Posted on March 26, 2012 by Steve Mu

As much as I wish the above picture is a creation of yours truly, it’s actually one of the best dish from an all-time local favorite. Although I’ve always been aware of the discrepancy between vacationing versus living at a particular destination, the actual impact of that discrepancy has never been more clear to me than the last month and half. Years ago when I visited Boston, it was only for a week during the best time of the year, and we checked out some of the best restaurants in town for the entire week. Life is much different when you’re not spending $100 a day just on food.

Mostly, what I missed was great Asian cuisine. Although Boston does have a Chinatown, the competition pales when compared to the availability of Asian cuisine here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here, great Asian cuisine isn’t even necessarily in Chinatown, but all the way up and down in almost every city in the Peninsula. It speaks volume to the importance of competition in driving any economy forward, even for something as simple as food. In some ways, LA and San Diego has also outpaced San Francisco with newer and better quality cuisine, driven by newer generations of Asian immigrants that finds LA and SD more attractive venues.

I have friends who have spent their entire lives in California, and to some of them there’s always a question of, “Where would I go if I didn’t want to be in California anymore?” I’ve spent at least some of my childhood on the east coast, in the mid-west, and even a tiny little sliver of southern hospitality in between; maybe it’s the precise mixture of Asian-American that I’ve got in me, where I need just the right balance of both, but I can’t figure out where else I would be if not California. I even knew someone who took a job in Minnesota just to experience something different, only to return a year later never wanting to see snow again (a sentiment I can agree with completely).

I think that pretty much explains why, despite the insane real estate and living costs, that I still chose to stay here and hope for the best.