Hi, I'm Adam.

Adam Parkzer   •   31   •   Las Vegas, USA   •   5'10" (178 cm)   •   152 lbs (69 kg)   •   Korean American

Although I am best known for my various public appearances as a personality, I am a busi­ness­man by trade. Pri­ma­ri­ly, I help run cor­po­rate op­er­a­tions at Tem­po, a game de­vel­op­ment studio, mul­ti­me­di­a pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny, and esports fran­chise; I cur­rent­ly o­ver­see le­gal, fi­nance, and hu­man re­sources ad­min­is­tra­tion. You can find more details on my curriculum vitae.

Having formerly been in law enforcement, my main interests include criminology and forensic psychology. In my free time, I like to write, train martial arts, pursue investment opportunities, and de­vel­op new prac­ti­cal skills. I used to be a competitive gamer, but now I just play casually.

The easiest way to get to know me better is to read about INTJs on the Myers-Briggs Type In­di­ca­tor. I'm split between Investigator (Type 5) and Chal­leng­er (Type 8) on the Enneagram. My CliftonStrengths Top 5 are De­lib­er­a­tive, Learner, An­a­lyt­i­cal, A­chiev­er, and Com­pe­ti­tion. I score highest in Well-Being, Self-Control, and Emotional Stability on the SPI-27. My top per­sonality trait on both the Big Five and HEXACO-PI-R is Con­sci­en­tious­ness.

I don't use social media much anymore, but my profiles are @Parkzer on Twitter, Adam Parkzer on LinkedIn, Parkzer on Last.fm, Parkzer on Twitch, and Adam Parkzer on YouTube. If you want to write me a letter or send me a package, you can ship it to PO Box 2222, Las Vegas, NV 89125-2222, USA.

Below, you can find my blog where I document my adventures, organize my thoughts, and share snippets of my life. You can browse in re­verse chron­o­log­i­cal or­der, or you can sort by these popular categories: Travel | Hiking | Food | Finance | Cats | Best of the Best




Hello Killdozer, Jones BBQ & Foot Massage, and Tortellini

This past weekend, I took a very quick trip to Southern California to meet up with Doug Wreden while he was in town. While we were there, we visited some of Doug’s friends, and to my joy, I got to meet their pets.

One of the people we visited was his friend Dash, better known online as Altrive. He has two cats, one named Killdozer and another named Jones BBQ & Foot Massage. Yes, I confirmed with him that those were indeed their actual, real names.

Jones BBQ & Foot Massage is apparently only a few months old, and he is a very energetic little kitten. He spent a lot of time entertaining himself by dig­ging through a paper bag lying on the kitchen floor.

As you’d probably expect from trying to take pictures of a black cat, most of the photos I took of Jones BBQ & Foot Massage were big black blobs, and a lot of them were out of focus. I did my best to edit the raw data from my camera sensor to enhance some of the details of his body, while still trying to accurately portray the light-sucking void that was his hair.

Killdozer is a very well-behaved cat who was very curious and friendly within minutes of meeting me. He was fairly active and always on the move, but after about half an hour, he finally calmed down a bit so I could take some still shots of him.

Like a majority of very young kittens, Jones BBQ & Foot Massage didn’t mind getting picked up, so I made Doug take over as the photographer and had a little pho­to shoot.

At our next stop, Doug introduced me to Eric and Abby, better known online as PointCrow and AbbyBagel. Their pet is a goldfish named Tortellini. Yes, just like the pasta.

You can literally feel the 🤌 through his piercing eyes and arching frown.




Hello, Welder Up in Las Vegas, Nevada

I know quite a bit about pickup trucks and like following pickup truck news, but I’m not much of a car fan, and I’m definitely not much of an old car fan. As someone who likes the rapid advancement of technology, I never really saw the magic in classic vehicles.

Considering that my preferences expose me to a fairly pigeon-holed breadth of vehicles, I decided that would be a great reason to go to a rat rod mu­se­um, featuring cars that are intentionally built to look old, unfinished, and worn down—something that I otherwise wouldn’t actively seek out for hob­by purposes. My museum of choice was Welder Up, which apparently also has a television show on the Discovery channel.

They definitely went all-in on the rat rod vibe. There were also a few specially-themed vehicles with incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail.

This museum was unusually light on text and descriptions. There was one placard at the beginning describing the “cancer car,” which was designed to visualize the stages of progressing through cancer. But otherwise, none of the other vehicles on display had backstories, which I found to be unfortunate, because there were some very unique and interesting cars that I would have liked to learn more about.

Admission was US$5.00, which is extremely low for a Las Vegas museum, but the ticket price was proportional to the size of the museum—it was rel­a­tive­ly small, with one warehouse area and a few additional vehicles on display outdoors. It took me a little bit over half an hour to go through every­thing, and I thought it was a nice pit stop between some of my other errands I was running in the neighborhood.




The Adam Parkzer and Doug Wreden World of Warcraft: Classic hardcore saga

Starting in mid-April, I joined my friend Doug Wreden in playing World of Warcraft: Classic hardcore.

For those who are unfamiliar, hardcore mode, also known as “perma-death,” is a modified way of playing a game that enforces various additional re­stric­tions, the most iconic of which prohibits you from ever dying, consequenced by being forced to delete your character. WoW Classic doesn’t have an official hardcore mode, but there is a fan-made add-on that implements the functionality, which Doug and I used.

Here is our saga.

I joined World of Warcraft during Mists of Pandaria and never played Classic. I’m not really a fan of classic games in general—I appreciate the quality-of-life improvements that game developers add to modern-day games, so I usually don’t go out of my way to play older games unless they are particularly nostalgic. With that being said, Doug somehow convinced me to join him on a duo adventure of WoW Classic hardcore.

Doug really wanted to play Druid, which limited us to the Night Elf race. My first character was a Hunter named Parkzerect, a combination of “Parkzer” and “erect,” because this is hardcore.

We got to level 2, at which point, Doug got bored of the Night Elf leveling zone and proposed bum-rushing our way to the Human leveling area. I didn’t know what that meant, but I agreed; we set off on our journey and promptly died to a level 20+ Young Wetlands Crocolisk.

For our second attempt, I made a Hunter named Parkzerecter, a combination of “Parkzer” and “erecter,” because we were just getting started and I was even more ready than before. After six levels, I discovered that clearly was not the case, because I sort of just randomly forgot to keep track of my health bar and died to a Vicious Grell, ending our run.

I’m not great at World of Warcraft: Classic, but I play a ton of MMORPGs. I was pretty tilted at my method of death, which I found to be inexcusable due to how basic and easily-preventable it was. To express my frustration, I named my next character Parkzerblind.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. We were both insane. We tried the bum-rush strategy a second time and promptly died to another Young Wetlands Crocolisk.

… Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. We tried the bum-rush strategy a third time on my fourth character, a Hunter named Pogzer because of how Pog it was to die over and over again.

As you’d expect… we were NOT insane, because this time, we died to some sort of strange swamp beast and not a Crocolisk. Very Pog.

In the spirit of actually not being insane, Doug came up with a different strategy to make it to an alternative leveling zone on our fifth characters—we swam. I put Doug on follow and he piloted himself and my Rogue Dogpit for literally 50 minutes through the ocean.

Miraculously, this was a successful journey. I’m generally a Shadow Priest one-trick pony and I know basically nothing about any other class, so the Rouge leveling experience was novel. One of my favorite parts about Rogue was its instant-cast ability, which was very convenient for tagging quest mobs.

There was one situation where a lot of other players were standing in an orderly line waiting for a spawn, and when Doug and I arrived, we joined the line. The line soon degenerated into chaos after some inconsiderate people showed up and tried to cut in line. Hilariously, after I realized there was no point in being respectful anymore, I said aloud, “I guess there’s no line anymore” … and then promptly proceeded to catch, tag, and steal the next spawn of the quest monster, effectively saving us potentially upwards of 20 minutes of waiting, had everyone else decided to continue using the line system.

We successfully made it to level 10, upon which I did the Rogue class quest. While doing the class quest, I had to find a treasure map, so I walked up to the target holding the loot and started attacking it. Suddenly, four Defias Bodyguards spawned out of nowhere and started attacking me.

I shrieked out to Doug for assistance, and he healed me… rerouting monster enmity to himself. Tanking four level 10 monsters as a level 10 is never great news, and unsurprisingly, he died. After their successful assassination, the guards went back to targeting me, and I died as well, ending our run.

So what happened? Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to attack the monster that had the treasure map. Instead, I was supposed to use my Stealth to enter his house undetected and use my Pickpocket ability to steal the treasure map. My lack of game mechanic knowledge caused our deaths, which was dis­ap­point­ing.

As a side note, remember how, in our second attempt, I died because I wasn’t paying attention to my health? I fixed that by installing an add-on that lets me create custom alerts. Now, when I descend below 40% health, an airhorn blares and the words “YOU ARE LITERALLY TROLLING” and “RUN AWAY” appear and start bouncing on my screen (which you will see in the next screenshot). It has been incredibly useful.

Doug and I were both pretty bummed that we lost our run just because I didn’t know a particular game mechanic and the quest text wasn’t explicitly clear about what I was supposed to do, so we booted up our sixth attempt with Dogspit the Rogue.

We made it to level 11, one level higher than before… but we died when Doug jumped into a pit to attack a melee quest mob and ended up taking too much damage from two additional rangers. I didn’t see them hiding behind terrain, but Doug said he did notice them, though it didn’t occur to him that they would deal so much damage.

I further compounded the problem by not properly focus-firing the lowest-health target—I thought I had killed the melee enemy and started sprinting towards the ranged ones, but apparently, I either missed my attack or canceled my attack animation and the melee enemy survived with a sliver of health, giving it enough time to make Doug flinch during his heal cast time and die by a margin of milliseconds.

At this point, we wanted to give up and refused to give up at the same time.

Attempt seven was Drooid the Hunter, which we managed to bring to level 12 (yet again, another one level higher than before), but failed our run when Doug… uh… drowned to death.

Attempt eight was Driud the Hunter, and at this point, both of us were pretty frustrated and mildly tilted. This death was very similar to our second attempt when I randomly died to a Vicious Grell; Doug ended up getting greedy and pulled a quest mob with a slow respawn timer while he was already under attack by a monster, and through a combination of unlucky respawns of regular mobs and falling under attack by even more enemies, we died.

Out of sheer stubbornness, we kept trying. It was infuriating that we kept on dying right after finishing the introductory zone, and we really wanted to get to level 20 and clear at least one dungeon. I created Dogmilk the Hunter to adventure together with Doug’s Druid Dogcheese for our ninth attempt.

At this point, as you’d expect, the Night Elf leveling zone was very, very boring. Luckily, there was apparently a Peggle add-on for World of Warcraft: Classic, which I eagerly installed. Doug has played a lot of Peggle, but this was my first time trying it. I got instantly hooked and proceeded to clear (all the orange pegs) and full clear (all the orange and blue pegs) every single one of the 13 levels in two days.

Peggle made leveling from 1 to 10 much more bearable, but it also came with its own risks… I got so invested into Peggle that I almost got our run dis­qual­i­fied three times. The first was when I was too busy playing Peggle to notice that I had to pick up the Stormwind flight path, and a few hours lat­er, Doug flew back to Stormwind while I was still stranded in the questing area (which is a problem, because both duo characters have to remain in the same zone and only have a 10-minute grace period). The second was when I was too busy playing Peggle to notice that Doug had logged out already to take a break for dinner (which is a problem, because both duo characters must be online together at all times in order for the duo run to be valid). The third was when I was too busy playing Peggle to notice that my ship had arrived back in town after Doug had finished his Druid-specific class quest, and I nearly kept riding the ship to the next destination.

I started actually having a lot of fun after we got past level 13 and realized we weren’t going to continue the “die after one more level” curse.

Doug and I also got much better at coordination, and we managed to survive multiple seemingly impossible situations, one of which involved being un­der attack by six enemies at the same time due to a combination of miscommunication, poor timing, bad respawn luck, and unexpectedly high aggro ranges.

After we got to the mid- to late teens in level, it felt like we actually had agency over our own lives, and if we played with good skill and synergy, we could survive sticky situations without feeling utterly helpless. I had a pet with Growl that I could use to juggle tanking aggro, we had multiple healing and buffing items to use at our disposal, and we had crowd control spells to slow or disable the enemies while we kited away.

So… we did it. We made it to level 20 and cleared both Deadmines and Wailing Cavern. I screen recorded our first dungeon to preserve the memory, and I live streamed our second dungeon on Twitch as my first stream in over 8 months.

Our Deadmines run went extremely smoothly because we had a highly competent and overqualified team, but our Wailing Cavern run was a lot more dicey, which made it far more interesting. I also enjoyed streaming again, and it was nice seeing and recognizing some old usernames from several years ago back when I used to stream more regularly, as well as a lot of new usernames from Doug’s community who joined in to watch.

Now that we finally achieved our goal, we’re both going to take a short break from obsessively grinding WoW Classic, but it’s definitely something we’re going to keep alive little-by-little over time to see just how far we can manage to take our characters.




Hello, Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

As a middle schooler and high schooler during the 2000s, my taste in music consisted mostly of a combination of metalcore, punk rock, and pop punk. I actually have a playlist in Spotify called “Middle school” consisting of songs by bands like As I Lay Dying, Underoath, Chasing Victory, August Burns Red, He Is Legend, and The Fall of Troy. I also have a playlist called “High school” consisting of bands like Green Day, Sum 41, blink-182, All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, and Yellowcard.

A new museum recently opened up in Las Vegas called the Punk Rock Museum. They had a locals’ discount for Las Vegas residents on weekdays, so I decided to head over earlier today to see if I can have a nostalgic experience and relive some parts of my childhood.

Although it was interesting looking at some of the relics of punk rock history, I think I am a little bit too young to be comfortably within the target au­di­ence, as I didn’t really recognize most of the bands until some of the final exhibits in the timeline. I also discovered that my taste in music was a lot more pop punk and a lot less punk rock than I thought it was.

The age difference was further made evident by the fact that, while I was on a self-guided tour, I ran into the guided tour group part-way through the museum. Today’s tour guide was Greg Hetson, the guitarist from The Circle Jerks and Bad Religion. He’s in his low 60s, and the people who purchased the premium guided tour tickets (which were five times more expensive than the locals’ general admission ticket) appeared to mostly be in their upper 30s and 40s.

If you’re really into punk rock, I think this would be an amazing museum for you. However, just like any other specialty museum, your results may vary if you’re not a huge fan of the specialty topic. The museum was a very traditional-feeling museum with a ton of displays holding relics of the punk rock past, safely secured behind glass. It wasn’t particularly text-heavy, but there were a few placards and informational cards spread throughout the exhibits.

They did have punk rock music playing from standard speakers, and there were also a few televisions showing footage from some old concerts. I would have liked for the museum to do something innovative and unconventional, like crafting some sort of captivating and immersive musical experience, but for now, it seems like everything they’ve set up is fairly straightforward.

There were little to no interactive experiences, and I’d say that this museum serves mainly as a potential social experience. If you go as a group of friends or are the more chatty type and can easily make friends with strangers, buying a guided tour ticket to meet a punk rock legend (which rotates depending on the day) and geeking out, then socializing at the museum bar and playing guitar in the jam room, would probably be a dream come true for a lot of punk rock fans.




Hello, Anima by EDO at the Gramercy in Las Vegas, Nevada

I love going to tasting menu restaurants. Sometimes referred to as “chef’s choice” or “omakase” in Japan, this meal option allows me to make only one single decision at the beginning—to order the tasting menu—and then the chef handles the rest.

Although I have my fair share of experience, I still don’t consider myself to be a food expert, so any chance I have, I am happy to let the professionals make the decisions for me so I can learn more about taste complementing, dish presentation, and flavor storytelling, among other culinary concepts.

When I meet up with friends, I usually let them pick the restaurant. I am probably the least picky eater alive, and I am quite literally willing to try any food that would be served at a restaurant (at least in the United States), so no matter what they pick, it’s an easy “yes” from me. This lets my friends se­lect a restaurant with food they like at a price point that is comfortable for them.

This time around, I was the one tasked (or burdened, depending on how you look at it) with selecting a restaurant. To make it even more challenging, the friend with whom I was going to dinner subscribes to veganism. It is extremely rare to find a restaurant that offers a vegan tasting menu, but I came across one in the Las Vegas Valley: Anima by EDO. She ordered the vegan tasting menu, and I ordered the regular version.

Our amuse-bouche was a beetroot dish. This was a complimentary hors d’œuvre and was not part of our tasting menus, but I assume they gave us beet­roots because she had ordered the vegan option, and the restaurant wanted to accommodate in a “lowest common denominator” kind of fashion.

Hilariously, my friend hated it, and I ate both portions. It literally felt like I was a rabbit.

The first dish of my tasting menu was Kaluga caviar and eggs. The caviar was placed atop some bottarga espuma contained in an eggshell, and below the whip was a creamy mixture of egg yolk and trout and salmon roe. I am very disappointed that my camera decided to focus on the spoon instead of the food in both photos I took of this dish, but I still had to include a shot because of how amazing it was.

I don’t know if it was because I had just finished eating the blandest beetroot I have ever had, but the caviar and eggs was an insane explosion of flavor. The caviar had the rich flavor that you’d expect from caviar. The espuma added a nice fluffy texture, but because of the strength of the other flavors, it didn’t throw off the overall profile at all. The inside was incredibly creamy, but did not leave any kind of greasy aftertaste.

I feel like I might have eaten this too quickly, as it was just an overwhelming assault of orgasmic flavors on my taste buds the entire time. It was also un­believably salty, which I usually do not like, but the salt did not bother me. Salt is great for enhancing flavors, but if there is too much salt and not e­nough base flavor, the salt just feels like it is pickling the inside of your mouth. Because the caviar, roe, yolk, and cream was so flavorful, the salt had a lot it could work with, so the enhancement effect was on overdrive.

I think I can comfortably say that this is one of my top few favorite dishes I have ever had in my entire life.

On the vegan side, my friend’s appetizer was farro and haricot vert with green apple and almond topped with cilantro vinaigrette.

According to the menu, my next dish was supposed to be salame rosa with sunchoke gremolata and chamomile maple syrup. Unfortunately, now that I am organizing my photographs and thinking back, I never received this entrée.

Instead, I went straight to the third dish, Hawaiian tuna sashimi with roasted bell pepper escabeche and balsamic pearls.

I wasn’t a big fan of this one. The escabeche basically tasted like regular salsa you’d find at Whole Foods Market in which you’d dip your tortilla chips while watching American football with your buddies. It was far too sour, which overpowered the tuna to the extent that I couldn’t really tell that I was even eating tuna.

The second dish for the vegan menu was very interesting—it was green tartare made from zucchini, avocado, and green bell pepper topped with a drizzle of pistachio vinaigrette.

Next up for me was a caprese salad with tomato gelée, balsamic gel, textures of basil, and tomato sand. I’m usually not the biggest fan of tomatoes and will generally only enjoy them in moderation, so when I first received this dish, I was a bit concerned at the large quantity of tomatoes. However, when I started eating, all my worries were dissipated.

The tomatoes were cooked so a lot of their sourness was subdued. The large tomato in the center of the plate was hollowed out in the middle and con­tained the gelée, which had a deep, rich flavor. The tomato sand added an earthy grit to the texture of the overall dish, and the cracker had a bittery burnt taste that rounded everything out.

Eating any of these components alone would have been underwhelming, but eating all parts together, in rotation, little by little, made this one of the best salads I’ve ever had.

Back to the vegan side, dish number three was a garden vegetable salad with asparagus, eggplant, bell peppers, frisée, and romesco.

For my normal tasting menu, we were done with the introductory dishes and started getting into the main courses. As a transition dish between the ap­pe­tiz­ers and main entrées, I was served artichokes tempura with a side of Manzanilla olive hollandaise and pear mostarda.

Tempura usually leaves a greasy aftertaste and the oil stays behind on your fingers, but this chef somehow managed to batter and deep fry the artichokes in a way that didn’t have either of the previous downfalls of fried foods. It wasn’t just straight-up artichokes, though; from what I saw, it looked like the artichoke bracts were delayered, then secured in some sort of flour-based wrapping.

The sauce was unlike anything I had tasted before, and I think the sauce was secretly supposed to be the true star of the dish. The tempura was good, but not crazy in flavor, which I think was intended, because it gave a great base on which the sauce could be applied.

Next for the vegan tasting menu was oven-roasted celery root with truffle vinaigrette. You may notice that the presentation on this dish is a lot worse than the others… and that’s because this was one of those “prepare at your table” dishes.

The waiter brought out a pre-cut celery root standing upright, pressed down on it with a spoon to spread it out, cut open a pouch of truffle vinaigrette, and poured it on top. If I were to put it nicely, the waiter was still learning how to do his part, and hadn’t quite built up the skill and experience yet to stop the root from sticking together and the vinaigrette from clumping up.

Flavor-wise, it was fine. I like cooking with truffle-infused olive oil at home (during the rare times that I do cook), and this dish tasted like what I im­ag­ine it would be if I were to just drink out of the olive oil bottle.

For my main entrées, I was served two pasta dishes. The first was squid ink spaghettini with lump crab, uni, pomodoro, and calabrian chili. Eating this reminded me of the first dish, in that it was just a constant explosion of amazing flavor.

You would think that mixing this many different strong ingredients would just create a jumble of weirdness, but that surprisingly didn’t happen here—I was able to consciously extract and savor each individual flavor, depending on what I was searching for with my taste buds. To top it all off, the texture of the spaghettini was amazing, with a satisfying balance of softness and chewiness.

The second pasta was oyster mushroom raviolini with dried figs, chestnuts, and porcini mushroom espuma. I didn’t really have any lasting thoughts about this raviolini, apart from the fact that it was just a solid, well-rounded, delicious raviolini dish. There was nothing notably special about it that I could detect, which, in itself, might have been what was special about it—it was a very “comfortable” dish to eat.

It was time for the grand finale: Washugyu steak.

Washugyu is a special type of wagyu beef cross-bred with Black Angus. Wagyu beef is known for its stunning marbling, which is the even distribution of intramuscular fat across the meat. This restaurant’s Washugyu dish was served next to some burnt onion with koji marinade and alongside a round of bordelaise sauce.

In my opinion, this was actually the worst dish, and I am mostly just confused at it. The meat was cooked blue rare on the inside (which is fine for me, but unusual to serve to the general public in that state of doneness without receiving a special request for it). On the contrary, the outside was burnt (not just charred, but actually burnt).

When I cut into it, the inside had little to no marbling that you expect from wagyu. It wasn’t particularly tender, and it had none of the melt-in-your-mouth texture you expect from wagyu. I could barely taste the steak in general because my taste buds were pummeled by the scowl-inducing bitterness of the badly-burnt crust.

To wrap up the tasting menu, the final dish was the dessert of the day, crème brûlée. The caramelized sugar on top was fun to crack, the custard on bot­tom was smooth and delicious, and the ratio of the two was nicely balanced—overall, a nice, well-prepared crème brûlée with no frills.

Often, restaurants will try to stand out by crafting very creative dishes that aren’t found anywhere else. Also, often, these attempts end up being a huge hit-or-miss—the restaurant either comes up with an innovative and iconic dish, or it creates some gimmicky Frankensteinian entrée that makes you won­der how it got past quality control.

Anima by EDO is not only a great example of the “hit” in that scenario, but one where it has “hit” multiple times in a row. It serves boldly creative dishes that I have never seen before, and they are amazing. (As a side note, I find it ironic that the one dish that I think they messed up—the wagyu—is a fairly common and “boring” dish to begin with anyway.) It’s not often you come across some food where you think “wow, this is new,” and Anima by EDO managed to give me that eye-sparkling joy four times in a single dinner.

As for the vegan tasting menu, although I’m not a fan of vegan food because I think you miss out on way too much breadth of flavor by cutting out all animal products, I’m still impressed that Anima by EDO managed to come up with seven different interesting gourmet vegan dishes for a seven-course tasting menu. I, of course, would never have it for myself, but if you’re vegan and are sad about the lack of high-end restaurants that make top-tier vegan dishes, then this is a great option.

I’m split in my opinion about the cost. The price of my normal tasting menu was lower than expected, and I think it is very budget-friendly. On the other hand, I’m surprised that the vegan tasting menu’s price was close to mine, and I think the vegan one more closely resembles a high-end luxury restaurant price. This is what we paid:

Chef’s tasting menu (8 courses)  $  80.00
Kaluga caviar and eggs add-on course  $  18.00
Chef’s vegan tasting menu (7 courses)  $  75.00
Tax (8.375%)  $  14.49
Gratuity (20%)  $  34.60
Total  $ 222.09

If you’ve been consistently reading my blog, you know that I don’t hand out praise often and only do so when I think it is genuinely deserved. With that being said, I think I am absolutely justified in my overall very positive review. If you’re in the Las Vegas area and want to have a nice dining experience without the chaos and inflated prices of the Strip, I definitely recommend Anima by EDO.




Photo dump from early 2023

After spending the winter setting up a temporary home base at the Tempo headquarters in Long Beach, California, the time has come for me to continue to my next destination.

I spent more time there than I usually do because we had some behind-the-scenes stuff happening on the logistical and operational side of the company that I had to tend to, but that also meant that I didn’t have a chance to do as much exploring as I wanted to… not that the amount I wanted to was that much to begin with anyway, though.

I noticed that this has been a recurring theme every time I visit California—the traffic is so paralyzingly bad, and for some reason, I generally just feel less motivated than I usually am, so I end up just staying indoors a lot.

This means that I didn’t really do much that would warrant their own dedicated blog posts like I regularly did when I was out non-stop road tripping, but I do still have a smorgasbord of photographs, so I wanted to share a handful of them here.

This is my friend’s greyhound Majima. He is very lanky, awkward, and clearly ecstatic to be a part of this picture.

The CEO of Tempo, one of our Producers, and I all share similar birthdays within the span of a few days, so near the end of January, we celebrated by going to some nice restaurants. One of them was the Naples Rib Company in Long Beach, California.

I’m still eating a diet low in saturated fat for heart health, so I ordered some swordfish instead of barbecue ribs. The swordfish filet was tender and juicy, the flavor was exactly what you’d expect from nicely-cooked swordfish, the sauce was perfectly complementary without being too overwhelming, and the sides added richness and texture to the main entrée.

While stationed at the residential quarters of Tempo’s facility, considering that I wasn’t personally paying for rent or otherwise being charged a fee like I do with hotels or other forms of lodging, I was more willing to go on air travel trips.

One convenient thing about the location of the company headquarters is that it is in close proximity to both Long Beach Airport (LGB) in Long Beach, California and John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, Orange County, California. This means that I can fly out of much smaller airports, as opposed to going all the way over to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Here’s a photo of the Orange County suburbs:

… as well as the snowy mountains in northern California up by Lake Tahoe:

Air travel hasn’t been the best experience shortly after the initial surge of quarantine mandates during the pandemic, as most airlines decided to roll over everyone’s elite status, so it wasn’t special anymore to be a loyalty member—this meant that the upgrade list was oversaturated, so it was very rare to get free upgrades to first class if you weren’t one of the highest elite tiers.

However, in a “nature is healing” moment, I managed to be able to fly first class again on Delta Air Lines. Even better, regular meal service has been re­stored (as opposed to the “deluxe snack boxes” that they switched over to during the pandemic, where everything was pre-packaged to avoid physical con­tact by the flight attendants with the food). It wasn’t the best food ever, but definitely better than just having 8 different kinds of chips and crackers.

I also squeezed in a Las Vegas trip as well, for the usual—to check my mail, get a haircut, meet up with friends, and take care of some other errands. My hotel of choice for this trip was the ENGLiSH Hotel, part of the Marriott Tribute Portfolio, located in downtown Las Vegas on Main Street in the Arts District.

The hotel was pleasant, though I wasn’t a fan of the parking situation—the hotel’s lot is tiny, so I ended up having to street park… and downtown Las Vegas doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for being the most secure area in the Valley. Luckily, nothing happened to my truck.

Thanks to my Marriott Ambassador Elite status, I got to enjoy a free breakfast at The Pepper Club by Todd English, the restaurant directly connected to my hotel. I decided to order the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon because it was priced perfectly efficiently to be able to use my entire breakfast credit.

Maybe it’s because I’m just used to staying at lower-end hotels for the bargain and convenience, but the Eggs Benedict was unexpectedly delicious. It tasted like an actual high-end breakfast restaurant dish—everything was cooked well, the presentation was nice, and the flavors had just the right amount of intensity. I’m also usually not the biggest fan of cheese, but the cheese sauce was just that—more of a sauce than actual cheese—so it didn’t have any of the moldy or vomit-ey smell that I prefer to avoid.

While in town in Las Vegas, I also met up with one of my friends and went to 138 Restaurant in Henderson, a restaurant that specializes in dry-aged food.

For my appetizer, I ordered duck confit wontons with chili oil, fried garlic, and sweet and sour sauce. I wasn’t a big fan of it—the pickled vegetables on top were way too sour, the sauce was overwhelming, and the wontons were over-fried, so I could barely even tell that there was any duck inside at all.

My friend ordered dry aged crispy pork belly with fennel butter, pickled shallots, apple, and pork jus.

For my main dish, I got Ōra King salmon with aloo gobi spiced cauliflower, red pepper coulis, cucumber, and cilantro, with a special request for it to be cooked less salty. I liked this much better than my appetizer—the flavors were much more complementary, and I could actually tell what the meat was that I was eating.

Although the menu didn’t clarify, the waitress said that the salmon had been dry aged. I couldn’t really tell, and it just tasted like I was pretty much just eating very normal salmon.

Finally, for dessert, I got some crème brûlée. I realized after-the-fact that the photograph makes it look small, but it was actually literally about double the portion size that I would expect from an already big portion. It tasted amazing, though I’m pretty sure I ate a week’s worth of sugar intake in just that one bowl.

Hi Doug.