Try the peanut butter pie

This adventure started with a little app called Ness. This a user-based app, with its simplified interface, makes recommendations based on past eats, location, time of day, and of course how fat you and your wallet are feeling. It’s a foodie’s paradise.

I don’t just love to eat, because who doesn’t? I love to try new things. I’ve written another food related post called Spice of Life actually.

Scrolling through the app, I stumbled across Shuck Oyster Bar. It didn’t take me long to deduce through the reviews and pictures that it was located smack dab in the hipster capital of Orange County: SOCO. I knew I just had to go.


Stepping into the restaurant, I’ll admit there was a twinge of intimidation, but it was everything I expected: modern whitewashed interior with some wood decor, oversized incandescent lightbulbs, an iPad-integrated cash register, and chalkboards plastered on the walls. I basked in the sophistication of the wine racks and took my seat. The service was incredibly attentive start to finish (which could be contributed to the fact my friends and I were the only patrons during the afternoon lull).

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To start off, we order the Seafood Stew, Chowda, and grilled cheese. I’ll keep the descriptions brief as I understand this isn’t a food blog. I’m sure you’ll all appreciate it though.

Talk about authentic! The Chowda here made me rethink everything I thought I knew about clam chowder. The bits of fresh clams in the ridiculously smooth and creamy soup was almost as killer as the inevitable heart attack in my near future. If that wasn’t bad (good?) enough, the block of butter that came neatly tucked between the accompanying bread definitely was.



The grilled cheese was a pretty $10. It’s a simple sandwich but you could see the aged fanciness ooze from its crispy sides. I guess it’s a dollar for every year the cheddar is aged. While the seafood stew was my least favorite dish, it served as a delicious dip for the sandwiches.


We washed it all down with our cucumber-infused water and mentally prepared ourselves for the oysters.

I went with the chef’s selection of a dozen oysters. The variety was outstanding, but the most notable one was the Naked Cowgirl, both for the name and the taste. It was on the larger side and the brininess was just right. With a cheers, we downed those shucking oysters and knew the bill was going to be worth every penny. The taste of ocean definitely confirmed their claim of getting their oyster fresh daily.


I see you all scrunching up your noses in disapproval as you picture me slurping down the raw oyster as a string of slime trails from my lips, but a wise man once said, “Always try the peanut butter pie.”

Peanut butter pie actually sounds delicious so I’m not sure it’s the best analogy, but the idea is spot on. Why risk the chance of missing out on something beautiful just because it’s a little out of your norm?

A passionately driven food fanatic.

A hunger inspired knowledge seeker.

A promoter of personal adventure.

A collector of edible experiences.

Those are the words of Robert Navarro, writer of 100eats. I find “hunger inspired knowledge seeker” epitomizing of myself: I eat not only to satisfy my hunger but also my curiosity. I want to experience everything I can in life and that just happens to include food. I am very grateful for a family that doesn’t mind my picking off each of their plates. I get fidgety when I’m limited to one dish. I’m the type that asks “Are you going to finish that?” before you’re two bites in. I don’t know if that makes me a pig or a “passionately driven food fanatic” but let’s go with the latter.

I also inherited my father’s love for travel, and I’m waiting for the day I can take my adventures all over the world. That would be the life. I’m also waiting for the day I can return to this establishment and try the $20 Belon oyster, French imported. Anything topped with creme fraiche and Osetra caviar has to taste good, even if it means you have to fool yourself into thinking so.

I will not recommend this restaurant specifically, but I’d definitely recommend you all get out there and experience something, food-related or not.


The Writer’s Curse

“He peered into the infinite darkness  pitch blackness  nothingness, trying to uncoil the void that laid before him.”

That’s a possible bit from my upcoming Chapter3. But I’m struggling to find those perfect words that would truly describe the darkness. Darkness (in concept as well as semantics) is very vague in of itself. To leave it at simply darkness would be doing the word an injustice. Unknowingly writing poorly is one thing, but it becomes a sin when you deliberately cop out, knowing full well the literary potential you’re squandering. This is no mere belief. It goes beyond that. I am incapable of betraying myself to this. It eats at me, like when you’re grasping at the air for that word dangling off the tip of your tongue. You know it’s there – that it exists – but that knowledge only makes you want to explode with frustration. And compromise is never an option.

To help some of you guys understand the degree to which this eats at me, I have once scoured a dictionary to find a word, going off of nothing but its first letter. Why is that anyway? How is it that our brain manages to know what the word starts with yet keeps the rest of it from us? Anyway, it was u. That’s all I had. Fortunately, the u section is relatively short and the second letter was b. Now and forever, ubiquitous will be seared onto my mind.

Fun fact: ubiquitous is the most looked up word starting with u.

It definitely was a pain to go through all that, but when I pumped out my final draft, read it over again, and saw how snugly that ubiquitous fit in my piece, I knew it was all worth it. Sometimes a single word can make all the difference in setting up tone and tying together your writing. At that point you can’t really call it a curse anymore.

Writer’s blessing-in-disguise doesn’t flow all that well though.


Sit tight, my loyal readers. I’ll get Chapter3 out before the end of this month. Thanks for the continued support.

Rainy Day

Ever since I can remember, I have always stayed up to listen to the rain on the side of my bed. Not so much look at it, but rather stare out into the darkness and listen to the pitter-patter against my window and the constant trickle down the gutter. At 3AM, the rain drowns out all other noises. The complacency of the stillness and silence gives time for contemplation.

Thunderstorms are a whole different story. I can’t help but smile as a heavy one rolls directly over me. It’s exhilarating yet at the same time comforting. I get chills all over just thinking about it. I feel like the lightning is a flashing sign that says, “Hey! Get ready! The thunder’s coming. Wait for it…”

BOOM! goes the thunder.

Being from California, thunderstorms are a real treat. I’m sure anyone reading from Texas could care less and probably scoff at my naïve enthusiasm, but over here it still holds a novelty factor.


There are those devastating mornings when I would wake up to see the puddles of drowned earthworms and realize that I had missed last night’s rainfall. But the rain would greet me (almost apologetically) with that clean-smelling aroma that’s probably one part asphalt and two parts acid rain.

There are so many kind of rains. There’s tropical rain. The kind you can strip to your underwear and dance around in (given you’re a child and it’s culturally acceptable wherever you are). There’s windy rain. The kind that gives you a friendly smack on the face time to time and gives the rain bursts of energy and dynamic. Then there’s weekend, winter rain. The kind that makes your heart jump out of your chest and dance as you imagine shredding down the slopes the next day with powder all up in your face. Or maybe that’s just me.

Then (if you’re really, really lucky like I am right now) there’s rain at the crack of dawn, when the birds come out to join in it’s chorus.



It seems like all hell breaks loose when 17 year old John Sonner discovers his recurring nightmares go beyond the bedroom.

Following the suicide of a close friend, he realizes there is more going on at Carmal Valley Academy than meets the eye…of everyone else at least.

As John continues to face new challenges and tread deeper into his school’s dark secrets, he realizes the cafeteria food was the least of his worries.

Can he save the school and stop the encroaching evil before it’s too late?


The posts on this blog will serve to gather my raw thoughts and ideas into an extremely basic outline. I am hoping that by writing through these twenty-two chapters, I will be able to concisely summarize and organize what very well might be a book I’ll write in the future. This pre-write will enable me to construct a plot and rearrange things accordingly in the finished product.

The story will follow the life of John Sonner, a typical boy in high school, whose life takes a dramatic turn after he discovers the reoccurring dreams he’s been having go beyond just his bedroom.

Now I know that this “ordinary-teenagers-whose-lives-flip-upside-down-following-some-dramatic-revelation” genre is as overdone as a Sizzler’s  sirloin steak, but bear with me.