Tag Archives: UC Davis

Updates in the New Year

15 Feb

I can’t wait for spring. Bring on those allergies!

Cherry Blossoms at Housing Department

Beautiful cherry blossoms outside Student Housing building

Oh, and happy belated Valentine’s Day to you!

Happy Valentine's Day :)

A purple daisy for you!

A purple daisy for you! --- Basket of roses and purple daisies courtesy of my mom.

Terrarium from Papa

Received a terrarium from Papa

It was one of my best friend’s birthday on January 23rd so I sent her a lovely care package filled with goodies.

Birthday Care Package: Chocolate covered pomegranit seeds, chocolate mints, Hi-Chew candy, a stuffed cow with a T-shirt that reads "Someone from UC Davis loves me", and a cute ducky letter ---- oh, and don't mind the awkward person in the background...that's just my friend (I think) or her roommate P

Dry Hair Remedy

My hair has been feeling dry because of the cold winter weather here, so I found a new way of hydrating it: avacados, bananas, and egg.

Now don’t laugh because it works. Ladies (and gents), if you have dry hair on the verge of split ends this is a great remedy.Many shampoos that claim to rehydrate hair have avacado oils so why not just ditch the extra chemicals and go straight for the real fruit? Bananas are also helpful for making hair shiny. However, I listed it below as optional because it gets very sticky and is hard to remove.

After the first use, I saw a great difference. My hair was soft and shinier. The next week I didn’t even have time to use the homemade remedy and my hair still was soft after shampooing.

Here’s what I did:

– 1 ripe avocado, mashed

– 1 egg, beaten lightly

– 1/2 ripe banana, mashed (optional)

– long-toothed comb (a must-have if using banana)

As you can see, the banana and avacado here are not that ripe. You MUST use ripe fruits otherwise the avacado will crumble instead of turning into a mush. Banana is also hard to smush but still useable.

After combining all these together in a clean bowl, spread onto the dry parts of your hair. For me, this was from the mid part of my hair to the bottoms (not the top). Lather up your hair as if you were shampooing. Keep in hair for 2 hours. Wash out, and then shampoo and condition hair as usual. Do this twice a week at least. Results guaranteed! :)

*If using the banana, then make sure you have a long-toothed comb. I suggest leaving hair wet after washing it, and thoroughly combing all the banana fibers out.

Since I’ve been away for a long time, I’ll just sum up these past 3-4 months as:

fun! Met lots of nice people at college.

successful! Got a 4.0 last quarter.

laid back! It didn’t seem like that last quarter but compared to this quarter, it sure is. This quarter is a killer with the extra class I’m taking, applying for jobs, and finding the right apartment to live in next school year.

Since it is the new year, I do have some resolutions:

1. Make more friends. –> I have a great start already :)

CKI Greengate Elementary Volunteer Event --- awesome people, might I add. <3

2. Maintain friendships better. –>Working on this. Care package is a start!

3. Keep up my grades. –>So far, so good.

4. Apply (and hopefully get hired) for a job during summer and/or the next school year. –>So far, I have a job for the summer as an Orientation Leader for incoming freshmen and transfer students! Yea!

5. Make the most of college socially, academically, and spiritually. –>Bible study is going well.

Things I would like to do:

– read more often

– sleep more

– go out more

– bake more

– update this blog more!

What are your new year’s resolutions? Or, why don’t you have any?

Food-related Tidbits from my Classes:

Think of this essay as orange. You want to squeeze it to get the juice, but you don’t want to squeeze it so much that all the pulp and seeds come out. I will grade your essay as if it were a glass of orange juice so try not to over think (and do) it; I don’t want any pulp or seeds. – Cultural Anthropology Teacher Assistant (TA)

You can’t be nice. In economics you’ll find that when you try to give something away you simply can’t do it. For example, there’s this restaurant in San Francisco that serves a $20 meal for only $10. Great deal right? Well not really. You see, the line of people waiting to eat at the restaurant is extremely long. People wait anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before they are seated. They pay less $ but they lose their time, which could be used for something more productively. Like they could be eating somewhere else, spending their money elsewhere, which would help society’s economy. This of course assumes that the monetary value of the people waiting is the same for all

Now assume the restaurant owners feel bad for the people waiting in line so they start serving FREE wine. Nice right? Nope. By doing this, the restaurant is creating rent seeking loss, hurting society’s total surplus, and wasting people’s time. – Microeconomics Professor

A mi me gusta cocinar, comer, y cenar. Y tu? – phrase from my Spanish essay (pardon the lack of accents and upside ? mark)

Translation: I like to cook, eat, and dine out. And you?

Comment below on what you like to cook or bake.

77. Cooks often add some salt to water before boiling it. Some people say this helps the cooking process by raising the boiling point of the water. Others say not enough salt is usually added to make any noticeable difference. Approximately how many grams of NaCl (salt) must be added to a liter of water at 1 atmosphere of pressure (normal room pressure) to raise the boiling point by 2C? Is this a typical amount of salt that you might add to cooking water? – Problem from my chemistry textbook

In regards, to this question what is salt used for if it’s not to raise the boiling point? I know some cooks add salt to water when boiling pasta to make it tastier.

Wow. 113 grams of salt is needed! Feel free to double check my math. There's always room for mistakes.

First Post from My Davis Dorm

30 Oct

Hi Everyone!

I’m here to quickly post up some pictures of my food adventures at UC Davis. For those who know me personally, you will have seen some photos on facebook but I have some new photos and stories here.

FYI: If you’re interested in more frequent updates on my food adventures, then you can follow me on twitter: @Notebookworthy. :)

Downtown Davis Farmer’s Market

Check out the prickly pears on the right! Who knew they existed? And I never knew there were different shades of purple that eggplant could be. And don't even get me started on how strange those squash look. Amazing. *I also like their sense of humor. The sign over the eggplant says "Grill me! I'm a superstar." :P

So at the farmer’s markets, I usually go with my friend Liz and the last time we went, we ended up walking up and down and all around the market 6 times, and each time we saw something different. The second time we went there we learned not to eat breakfast before hand and to instead get there early and buy a freshly baked pastry. I got a large cinnamon roll – the size of my whole hand with fingers extended! – and she got a scone and expresso.

But the first time we went we had a good time too because we ended up buying fresh basil, chinese long green beans, several types of eggplant, squash, and garlic. Then we made a veggie stir fry the next night. We were happy kids especially since we were so used to eating like this at our homes.

Segundo Residence Hall Garden

Luckily, I don’t have to go all the way to the official student farm which is located off of campus because the residence hall here has a little garden where we can grow produce. After the summer vegetables were harvested, we planted the fall (winter?) produce like purple and white beets, green beans, squash, tomatoes, basil, and much much more. I was only able to stay for an hour so I’m not sure what else they planted but I passed by the other day and all the boxes are filled so this week I’ll figure out what else they planted.

No more having to try growing tomatoes all by myself on the rooftop of my apartment. I've got a garden team!

The Green Chef Challenge: Team Cuarto!

At the Dining Commons (DC), I saw a sign posted calling all cooking enthusiasts. How could I not resist?

Photo credit: UCD

I got lost on my way to Cuarto (the dorms of campus) and almost ended up on the freeway….on a cruiser bike. Right before the road turned into an on ramp, I pulled into some apartments’ parking lot and called the coordinator. Luckily, she steered me in the right direction. :)

We had a team of five and one UCD chef, a list of vegetables produced on the Student Farm, and a 3-hour time limit to create a dish for the judges who would judge the dish on appearance, taste, and reproducibility.

Some of the ingredients:

  • eggplant
  • olive oil
  • setan (meat substitute, made of flour)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mini strawberries
  • vinaigrette sauce
  • boy choy
  • zucchini
  • brown rice
  • sea salt

    Photo credit: UCD

We could NOT use:

  • garlic
  • onions
  • oil

It was difficult to create the flavors we wanted since we couldn’t use the above items, but I think we did pretty good considering we were limited.

The chef had great ideas so we mainly went with his ideas but we were free to incorporate some of our ideas and own techniques while prepping and cooking.

photo credit: UCD

And our final creation included:

  1. Mixed vegetable gazpacho (cold soup) with fried eggplant chips on top
  2. Bok choy vegetable fried rice in a thin zucchini wrap topped with fried setan and fresh cherry tomatoes
  3. Strawberries rolled in a fresh vinaigrette sauce

photo credit: UCD

Cooking Club

I also joined the Cooking Club at Davis. The first meeting’s theme was “Home” so I made an apple blueberry cobbler with a cinnamon walnut crumble on top. It was a hit! The girl behind me was talking to someone and she said, “OH MY GOD. This cobbler is delicious, guys! I’m going to get some more.” It made my evening and helped me survive through Philosophy discussion which was right after.

Apple Blueberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Walnut Crumble Topping

(unbaked) Apple Blueberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Walnut Crumble Topping -- yes, there was oatmeal in the crumble too!

My plate: pesto pasta, marinara pasta, banana bread, poppy sead cupcake, chocolate chip cookie, and my cobbler :)

My plate: pesto pasta, marinara pasta, banana bread, poppy sead cupcake, chocolate chip cookie, and my cobbler :)

This week’s theme is Halloween so I’m going to bake pumpkin spice cupcakes in halloween cupcake liners. So excited!!!

Hopefully I don’t get sick this week though. Last week baking with a fever was no fun. :(

Circle K International – UCD

I happened to see a post on the UCD Class of 2015 post asking if anyone was going to the Circle K meeting. Having nothing to do and simply browsing through the site, I kept reading the comments. Someone asked, “What is Circle K?” The original person responded saying it’s a community service organization/club on campus.

Since I was looking for this kind of club, I was immediately hooked. I Googled what Circle K was and found their website here.

I was sort of thrown off with all the video game references because I thought “Eh… I may not fit in with this group after all…” but I went to the calendar and I liked the various events they held and the other service organizations they were affiliated with. I was especially intrigued by the “Challah for Baking” weekly event.

After emailing back and forth with the service rep from Circle K, I went to Challah for Hunger, had lots of fun, and then went to the general CK that night.

Funny story about that meeting actually. A couple of the CK members at Challah for Hunger mentioned that the meeting’s theme was plaid. “Where any plaid you have,” they urged warned. It felt like a warning at least. Their facial expressions seem to say, ‘If you don’t wear plaid you’re going to have to suffer some sort of embarrassing public humiliation.

After Challah for Hunger I went back to the dorm and pretty much ran around the tiny little room as if I were a tornado. I tore through my drawers and closet as if the building were on fire and I was trying to find my most precious possession. I was about to give up finding a plaid anything when I remembered that I had this plaid pajama top.

I wasn’t sure if this was something that was presentable for outside but I had nothing else. The plaid shirt was sort of fuzzy, made of red material with forest green lines so I paired it with a lighter forest green shorts with a brown belt and a yellow tank top. I figured I was going to go for a “forest ranger” look. Luckily, it didn’t turn out too weird and at the meeting, I won team points for being in theme clothing for my new CK family – the Zoras!

Right after the meeting, I had to go to the Dining Commons (DC) to have a reunion with the Green Chef Challenge participants so I simply went there with my plaid costume. It was getting cold so I buttoned my plaid shirt up all the way – which was a bad idea – because I really did look like I was about to crawl into bed and go to sleep (haha). And funny thing too was that we took pictures so now there’s evidence! But, I’m not posting the pictures here… :P

Anyway so since I like adore being in CK a lot especially in the Zora’s, I decided to bake them cookies for the next meeting. Unfortunately I had baked for three straight hours the day of the meeting while having a fever so I was not in great shape in time for the meeting. I dropped off the cookies with the team leader hoping they would get eaten, but they weren’t eaten until two days later! By then my beautiful graham cracker topping was not crunchy, but everyone still loved them. :)

Inspired by Picky Palate's S'more Cookies (recipe here). I was actually going to only make 1 batch but decided that I didn't have time (and energy) to bake cupcakes for CK so I just doubled the recipe. By the way, when Picky Palate calls them giant, she wasn't lying. Look at how huge they are!

Challah for Hunger

Yeeee - challah if you like Challah for Hunger! ;)

I just mentioned that I volunteered at Challah for Hunger and for those who don’t know what challah is, it’s a Jewish bread. Now I knew it was bread but I didn’t know it was a Jewish bread so when I showed up at the volunteer club house – it’s literally a house – I was surprise but not deterred. Besides the house smelled of sweet pumpkin and cinnamon. (That week the recipe was for cinnamon sugar and pumpkin challah – yum!)

I eagerly joined where I could that first day which was simply making labels for the bags and putting the finished challah in them. Just to show you how bad of a speller I am, I was constantly misspelling every other bag by writing, “Cinnamon” and then “Cinnamin” (incorrect). Haha… luckily the guy next to me noticed and corrected me before I wrote too many “Cinnamin” bags.

Pumpkin Spice Challah - Week 1

The next week I actually participated in shaping the loaves with contained either nutella or olives. I’m actually pretty good at making the filling stay inside of the challah strands. :) And then because I was going home that weekend, I bought one olive challah and one nutalla challah. I was just going to buy one, but when I was given a sample of freshly baked olive and nutalla challah my taste buds gave me no choice!

Olive Challah - Week 2 ---- This one I actually ate with my mom and we warmed it up for 30 seconds and the whole loaf was delicious. The bread was soft like Filipino sweet bread but it was firmer than that; and the savory taste of the olives complemented the bread so well. Too bad we didn't have any olive oil to dip it in. And if you're wondering about the nutella, it didn't last long enough for a picture (haha).

The third week I showed up on time at 1pm and participated again in shaping the bread and filling it with pesto. (mhm…) I wish I could have tasted it but I had to leave early to help out at the Resident Garden and then see my Stats TA. (boo…)

The Dining Commons – Segundo

Eggplant Provencal with side salad and setan

Farm to College Theme Night

Farm to College Theme Night - all of these are REAL

Farm to College Theme Night - all of these are REAL

Ta Ta for Now!

So since it’s Halloween Eve, I want to wish you all a Happy Halloween!! I hope you taste all the lovely holiday foods out there. The seasonal treats make this time of year very special and memorable.

My Time at Davis

1 Aug

Well, the trip is officially over. I am back from Davis and this time to stay. (I came back for the July 4th weekend and last weekend as one of the YSP fieldtrips).

Looking back I have to say that I had a good time. Originally, I was nervous and very unprepared for the unexpected. I was almost ready to call the director and tell him that I had changed my mind, especially since I felt that I was going to miss out on baking internships/jobs/classes. But you know what? I’m glad I went to Davis. There are no regrets.

The research part of the program was especially interesting. I was able to work with tomato seeds all the way from the beginning. I chose the little seeds from the tomato library in the Plant Science building with my lab partner, Jina. We counted ten seeds per tomato introgression line (IL). And for those who don’t know what an IL is – and don’t feel bad because I didn’t know what it was until I got to Davis – is a domestic tomato genome that contains a small, known genetic region from the wild tomato (S. pennilli).
The project was to germinate the IL seeds to see what the wild tomato region in the domestic tomato genome produced. Previously, the lab had already categorized the traits that belonged to the domestic tomato and the wild tomatoes so they could compare the IL’s physical traits to the known traits. If the IL exhibited a trait that belonged to the wild tomato, then the IL was said to contain a quantitative trait loci (QTL), which contains that gene responsible for the physical trait. It’s kind of confusing, I know, but if you’re truly interested in more of the research just comment and I’ll go into depth further.

Once I had the seeds, I put them into sterilized plates that contained a nutrient-rich agar media so we didn’t have to open the plates and risk contamination. I kept the seeds in there until seven days after germination and scanned the plates daily.

Basically the results of the experiment was that certain IL seeds did contain QTL responsible for a specific trait. In the future, the lab will work on genetically identifying the genes within the QTL to establish a gene-to-gene relationship network within the wild tomato. This network will detail how genes interact with other genes, and and how transciption factors and promoters affect gene expression (phenotypes).

Wild vs. Domestic Tomato

A- Wild tomato(left) and domestic tomato(right) B-domestic tomato; contains three cortex layers and linear xylem cell structure in middle C-wild tomato; contains two cortex layers and clumped xylem cell structure

IL seeds on microscope slides

IL seeds on microscope slides. The seeds were made transparent using chloralhydrate so I could count the number of lateral roots (emerged and initiated).

Analyzing lateral roots

Analyzing the IL roots for lateral roots (emerged and initiated).

Planting the IL Seeds

Transfering two IL seeds from the sterilized plates to plastic containers

IL seeds planted

IL seeds planted. Containers are placed in a special plant chamber that provides 16 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness.

The whole IL family

The whole IL family in the plant chamber.

So these are the photos that I am allowed to put up. It kind of gives you a glimpse of what I’ve been doing these past few weeks. It was very nice to work in a lab especially with this project because it was brand new. The lab researchers were literally just starting the project when I got there so these are the first big batch of ILs (36 ILs out of 72 ILs). I set up the experiment, gathered the data, analyzed the data, and then presented the data and conclusions at my program’s symposium on July 30th.

As far as the presentation goes, I was really stressing out for it. Maybe I wasn’t “stressing” per say, but I was panicking on the inside. I made sure my powerpoint was decent enough and then wrote out my transitions from slide to slide because otherwise everything just seemed awfully incoherent. Because of the number of times I practiced, I actually ended up memorizing my slides and what was on it. I didn’t memorize word for word and I didn’t write everything that I was going to say on the slides so the presentation actually turnedĀ  out alright.

My presentation was after lunch so I told myself that I shouldn’t eat too much before it because I knew that when I started getting nervous, I’d get the butterflies in mystomach, and when my stomach is full, I’d get a stomach ache. But, I ate anyway. A lot. Like a lot more than I usually do because it was the last time I’d be in the Dining Commons for lunch. I ended having to wait for my mom and family friendĀ  (Eric) at the dorms because they didn’t know how to get to the lecture hall. This kind of made me more nervous. And then once we got to the hall, we had to wait outside for the presentation inside to finish. Once inside, I sat down near the back but I moved forward because I was up after the guy that was speaking. But then, my researcher (Mily) comes and takes me out of the hall to tell me that my data was somewhat inconclusive for the lateral root counts and that I’d have to mention that in my presentation. I basically nodded my head and said that was fine and went back in. Three minutes later, it was my turn.

I got up out of my seat with an already flushed face from the heat, running around, and nervousness. I thought about my best friend and how she always smiles during class presentations and I figured I’d be okay. Once in front of everyone, I just opened my powerpoint and then looked at everyone. There must have been at least 50 people (39 of which were the YSP scholars like myself). I kinda smiled and told myself, “This is it. Showtime”.

Once I saw my slide and started my introduction, the words just flowed. I glanced at my slides when I needed to and when I was changing topics. I was dreadfully nervous up there though because the seats are ascending so the people in the back are not only far away but really tall. I tried to do hand motions but that kind of failed so I just kept still most of the time, and it turned out okay.

After each presentation, there are about five minutes for questions so when I ended, I waited for questions. Surprisingly, I understood the questions so I could answer them. I felt really accomplished after the presentation because I’m not much of a public speaker. I have a soft-spoken voice – so I’m told – and big crowds can just be a little intimidating. But it worked out, so I’m glad. Best of all, my mom was extremely proud of me. My whole research team and friends even greeted afterwards. Pictures were taken to capture the happy (relieved) faces of all of us who were done presenting.

With friends after my presentation

Hanging with my friends after my presentation. Check out all our spiffy outfits!

I also wrote a paper on my research, but I might submit it to a scientific journal so I can’t reveal anything on it really. All I can say is that it had to look like a published scientific journal and mine came real close. I had the all the parts (abstract, introduction, materials and methods, discussion, etc) and the right format (two columns with headers and footers). It looks really nice, “looks” being the keyword. :)

But enough of the research, the friends I made in the program are hopefully friends for life. I know that I’d love to keep in touch with them if they’d be willing to too. After all, friendship is a two-way street. Now, I’ll be posting up some photos of our fieldtrips, adventures around town or in our dorm, and anything food related.

Plant Life Science Building Potluck

Theme: Food Inspired by Scientists and Their Discoveries

Theme: Food Inspired by Scientists and Their Discoveries

Photosynthesis Salad

Photosynthesis Salad

Indian Rice

Corn Bread

Corn Bread

Allie and Da Hae preparing the pasta

Researchers Allie and Da Hae preparing the pasta

"Mold" Jello
“Mold” Jello. It’s supposed to be how we spread yeast over plastic plates/slides.

Berry Tartletts

Berry Tartlets

My plate of food

My plate of food :)

Making Brownies in My Dorm (Rm. 312)

The set-up and ingredients

The set-up and ingredients

Mixing, mixing, mixing

Mixing, mixing, mixing

Brownies in the oven

Brownies in the oven

Brownies all done

Absolutely perfect for dorm brownies :)

Tahoe Fieldtrip

Tahoe Research Center

Tahoe Research Center

In the Tahoe Researh Center

In the Tahoe Researh Center

Ice Cream Shop at Tahoe

Ice Cream Shop at Tahoe; friends Jina and Ben are shown walking :)

Making wishes at a wishing well

Making wishes at a wishing well

Wish Description

Wish Description

Tahoe Beach

Choosing a spot at the Tahoe Beach

Tahoe Beach 2

Group Photo

YSP Group Photo ... missing a couple of people

Group Photo - full

All of us :)

Professor’s BBQ

The infamous peahen

The infamous peahen that woke up us all up at 5 am.

Jina (lab partner) and Coline (best roomie ever)

Jina (lab partner) and Coline (best roomie ever)

My plate

My plate: portebello burger, chicken alfredo, salad, fruit salad, etc

Professor's tomatoes

Professor's tomatoes in her backyard

Trip to San Francisco & Alcatraz

Ferry ride

Ferry ride

The Alzatraz Tour

The Alzatraz Tour - had to wear funky headphones

Boudin for lunch

Boudin for lunch - the breadbowls were so good! And the tomato soup was actually a good match for the sourdough too.

At Fort Point under the Golden Gate  Bridge

At Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge - it was so windy and cold. Don't we just all look wind whipped-lashed?

Move-Out Day

Saying the last goodbyes

Saying the last goodbyes with friends (Ben, Jina and Daniel)

With all these photos, I’m sure you’ve gotten a pretty good view of my time in Davis. There were definitely some crazy moments of pure randomness – my roommate Coline can vouch for that – as well as times of pure scholarly chaos with turning in journals to counselors, writing research papers, and making it to rooms before room curfew. :) But these moments are probably what made my time at Davis the best. And these moments couldn’t have existed without the people there. For sure I’ll never forget anyone from that program let alone the people I spent a lot of time with. Like I mentioned before, the friends I made are friends for life.

Here’s a video my friend Ben made.

YSP 2010 from Ben Yang on Vimeo.

Another Eventful Day: UC Davis and Lunch at Caffe Italia

19 Jul

I never really get a break now do I? School ends and I somehow always figure out how to stay busy. Such is life :)

Today I left my house at 9 am to meet a friend at U.C. Davis. It was a long drive and the hot weather was daunting, but I’m so glad that I went.

My friend toured me around her school wanting to show off all the great hang outs places, the dorms, and the cafes and little restaurants. It was all fun and exciting, but the heat just got the better of us. After walking around for about 2 hours – yes, we were crazy enough to walk around in 108 degree weather – , we decided that this was enough. By 2 pm I think even my friend was getting tired of her school so she decided to finally take me to the restaurant that she and her other friends go to to relax and chill. “Besides the food,” she confided, “which is very good, it has air conditioning.” At that point, that was all I cared about. I could have just been happy going into a McDonalds as long as there was air conditioning.

Boy, was I going to take that back once we had eaten there.

She ended up taking me to this Italian restaurant called Caffe Italia about a 3 minute car ride from the campus.

The ambiance was cozy and home-like. Definitely perfect for friends, family, and even dinner dates. The seating was wooden booths like Outback’s Steak House, but they had another room full of tables and picnic blankets over them. There were little “witty character signs” like this one:

Note for above: not my picture; from yelp.

I know it's a crappy photo. But it was dark in that room and I was looking through glass. I figure that they open this room during dinner time when it gets really busy.

What was really cool was that you can draw on the tables. Well, actually, the white paper that covers the table. You can be a kid here. In fact, the server writes their name on the white table-paper. Kinda cool though by the time I had gotten there I was basically a sweating city pig with a sunburned nose and raccoon eyes. I was in no shape to draw.

Note: This is not my photo, but instead, a photo I got from the yelp photo album.

So when we finally got to ordering,
we decided to share their Chicken Strips and Garlic Bread.

This is the only picture that I could take before the chicken strips were gone. It’s another bad photo (I’m sorry! But when you’re hungry and the heat is ever present, you do some funny things). The chicken strips were so gone. The batter was homemade and the seasonings/spices were unique.

The garlic bread was made out of french bread that had a slightly crunchy crust and a soft middle. They toasted/grilled the top with olive oil and garlic so that it was it crusty as well. My rating: 3.75/5 I only give it this much because I’ve tired so many other different garlic breads. Nothing was wrong, but it wasn’t anything spectacular.

For my main meal, I settled on their large Spinach Salad. It came with fresh spinach, crumbled boiled eggs, bacon bits, white mushrooms, black olives, and rotisserie-styled chicken. (The chicken was an extra $2).

The before…

The After…er…Midway…

The Spinach Salad was good. I rate this a 4.5/5. I usually go to Pasta Pomodoro in the city when I can because I love their spinach salad. However, this salad beats it. I’m not a very big fan of sauces (especially since I found out how much calories they pack into sauces. Why waste precious calories of those when I can save room for dessert or something better? But anway,) Caffe Italia’s Spinach Salad had a light vinaigrette dressing, which I love. The spinach leaves were crisp, fresh, and slightly cold (to my delight)!

I also ended up ordering their Half-Size Spinach and Cheese Ravolli. Guess what I’m into lately?)

Came with about 6 raviolis for $6. Not too bad, I guess.

The Inside. As you can see, it was quite thin.

Another inside view. Kinda messy by now, but just as delicious.

And, well, it just didn’t last long. :)
My rating: 4/5. After my friend pointed it out, the actual ravioli was not that great tasting; it was their sauce. The sauce had so much flavor that I eagerly ate the entire thing.

Now for the dessert…

I was told by my friend that I couldn’t miss out on their signiature dessert. In fact, I think it’s their only dessert.

Featuring: Whipped Cream, Chocolate Shavings, Chocolate Syrup, Vanilla Ice Cream, Toasted Coconut Walnut Brownie-Cookie

A beauty, isn’t she?

Looking back now, I realized that we didn’t get our chocolate shavings, but believe me, there’s enough chocolate in this thing that you don’t even need it.

We’re all taking our “second-wind”. The advertisement on the table is what got us. :)

(By the way, that’s my friend’s boyfriend across the table, in case you were wondering who that was).


Oh, the delicious, mess. :D

The Chocolate Lasagna Supreme gets a 5/5 because of the taste, originality, and presentation. The toasted coconut on the brownie/cookie gave it a great taste and the walnuts complimented it wonderfully. The ice cream was not high quality. I could tell it was the French Vanilla Ice Cream from Safeway, but it was pretty good. It would have been better with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The whipped cream and chocolate sauce were just added bonuses. :)

The ending result for Caffe Italia? The price is reasonable, service is great, and the ambiance is quirky (in a good way!). Go there if you live near by or are ever in the area. I hear they have a superb breakfast menu (I saw it and there is quite a lot of variety) and the dinner is even better than the lunch. In fact, based on some reviews, the lunch is ‘disappointing’ compared to the dinner. The next time I visit my friend we are definitely going there for dinner because we were impressed with their ‘disappointing’ lunch.