Mar 19 2024

Helen Huang’s Mandarin House

2031 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, FL 33020

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

Are the bell pepper mold or from cooking?

We planned to have dinner at Miami tennis Open but I didn’t realize (so me…) that I purchased qualifying round which means they close shop early.

We’re hungry. And found this Chinese, on the way to home with 4+ star rating. So Chinese it is.

Meter parking. Upon entering, the fish tank perks me up. At 7pm on a Tuesday, it’s empty. There is only one couple. The decor is dated and dark.

I see two women, one serves us and one is working around the dining hall, like
restoring or the like.

I asked if they’ve Chinese menu, she said no.

We’ve ma po tofu 麻婆豆腐and shredded pork Sichuan style. We’ve been sweating under the sun at the matches and wanted salt. The hot tea is soothing. (at bill time did I know it’s free, so is the rice.)

They’ve wine by the glass but I didn’t order which is rare. Something isn’t right.

Both dishes are sweet. Ha … And as we’re winding down and I’m picking on the last few strains of bell pepper, I see the mold. Horrified, I told the woman who comes to ask if we’ve done.

She is defensive and asks me if I know how to cook and the ‘molds’ are the birthmark of the wok.

“But they’re so tiny and concise, how could a wok make such marks?”

The woman goes away and returns with a container full of sliced bell pepper, raising her voice, “this is what we use. We don’t use moulded bell pepper…”

To be fair to them, I showed the photo to a few Chinese friends who cook, mold or cooking marks. Their answers, without knowing the above story, mold.

Oh well. What do you think?

Mar 19 2024

Venice Restaurant

911 North Broadwalk
Hollywood, FL 33019

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

Will return.

Fresh flowers.

We pass by it every time we’re on the boardwalk – next to our hotel, and finally find time to come – breakfast.

Their white furniture looks more Greek than Italian. Regardless, it’s inviting.
They’re on the boardwalk, is busier than their next door neighbor.

As we’re waiting for our food, (which turns out to be 30 minutes) watching people and pigeons passing by, I notice a tiny neatly folded paper, perhaps sugar bag or a receipt in the creamer tray.
To write about this is anal, Chinese has an idiom for it: picking bone among eggs – nitpicks.

When we finally get our food, toasts, sausage links, bacon and eggs are cold, so is my home fries, large and small pieces and brown, which I like. My husband’s fries, however is super hot and tidy. Our next table came much late but gets their eggs fries right after us. Ok, let me be Sherlock Holmes here: after they cooked our eggs, bacon, links and done toasts, the last bit of home fries is only enough for my plate. So they make more – that’s why all foods are cold, except the tidy fries … how is my detective skill?

Mar 19 2024

Margaritaville Cafe @ Hollywood FL

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
1111 N Ocean Dr,
Hollywood, FL 33019

All because of a simple song, resulted in this all decked out restaurant, on the ground floor, inside the namesake hotel, which is on the Atlantic Ocean / N Broadwalk in Hollywood, FL.

Its name has a few variations:

  1. Margaritaville Cafe on the check
  2. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on Google Maps
  3. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurant on Yelp
  4. Margaritaville Restaurant on TripAdvisor

There are probably more if I search more…

Before off to Miami Open, we stopped by for breakfast. Here is my review:

It’s great for kids and groups.

We’re here at 9am and people started to trickle in.

It has a few sections, indoor and out, that looking out to one of their pools.

Our server has a big smile and complimented my purple hair highlight. She’s well prepared. At check time, she asks with a smile: room check or regular. I like the small detail she or management puts in.

We’ve smoked salmon and SW skillet: both are good. The slice of grapefruit isn’t freshly cut. I crave bagel but haven’t found one shop that makes as good as New York’s – perhaps due to the water?

Their portion is a little bit too large, and I hate to waste food – coming from Beijing before the economic boom, we were or at least I often went hungry. This little sentiment comes from the Smith tea bag, which was established in 1949…

Jimmy Buffett (1946-2023) was a prolific song writer who died in Sag Harbor on Long Island on Sept 1, when the foliage begins to turn and New York is at her prettiest.


Your legacy is preserved. And we’re well fed -:)

A simple song spawn an industry. Well done.

Mar 18 2024

Aruba Beach Cafe

1 Commercial Blvd.
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL 33308

… more pix and videos on Google Maps, Yelp Yelp repost & TA

It’s more than a cafe: a very busy restaurant with three bar islands and, at least two hostess up front.

On this Monday at 2pm, although we’re seated inside immediately but it’s packed. A live band playing Grateful Dead, before it takes a break or rest.

Outdoor section with deck and on the sand, needs a few minutes to be seated.

Two hostesses, the short girl (Asian?) shows us plenty white eyeballs, and the taller one is very gracious with a smile.

The decor isn’t too bad for a beach dive.

We’ve: crab cake and PEI Mussels: both are delicious. A few strains of veggies are tasteless (I don’t mind) but fresh. The garlic sauce for the mussels is heaven – heavy in oil. The only regret is the bread, it’s like hot dog bun, heavy and dead, otherwise I’d finished the mussel sauce. Yup, no one wants to take me out -:(

A small parking lot on site. We parked at the adjacent parking lot, $10 for up to three hours.


This is a repost of my original bc Yelp deemed it inappropriate: no specifics, and didn’t offer me a chance to correct – actually without a specific reason, I can’t make any correction, can I? The only change I made is to correct the type and delete the “Asian”: ” the short girl (Asian?) ahowws us plenty white eyeballs” to “the short girl shows us plenty white eyeballs.”
IF this repost stands, then the word “Asian” must be the problem. WHY?

___Below is the post – my genuine, first hand experience ___

Mar 18 2024

Vista Park

2851 North Atlantic Blvd gov
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

… more pix n video on Yelp

Two miles south of Ft Lauderdale on the Sea, this small park has limited pay-to-park parking spots. When we’re there on Monday afternoon, we see a couple of empty spaces.

Driving through residential streets, to get to the clean beach, which is pretty empty. People come here to dive and snorkeling too.

Mar 18 2024


Broward County, FL 33308, 33062

… more pix n videos pix Yelp

A lovely small beach town on the Atlantic Ocean, population 6,198 (2020 census). It’s 8 miles north of Ft Lauderdale, predominately white, 81.98%, (Asian 1.45%).

My diving master suggested: swim out from the beach (Datura Ave) for the shallow reef, which is about 16 feet deep.

Datura Pier


Mar 18 2024

Hollywood Beach

Hollywood, FL 33019

… more pix on TA

Swimming here is pretty satisfying. 

Will return, although I’m not a beach bum -:) there is just so much to do, and not crowded. 

The sunrise 

Love the location: the long stretch of beach is very easy to access from the boardwalk with a bicycle lane, and the hotels. The westside of the N Boardwalk lined with hotels, restaurants and shops, which means you’ve the convenience of both sides: ocean and foods. 

The sand is clean. The short time I’m out on there, I see police patrols the area on their big sand wheels vehicles. 

Unlike Venice Beach in LA, California, neither trashy nor crowded. 

I tried to swim but unable: the big wave makes it difficult, just like Jones Beach in New York.

This part of Atlantic Ocean is emerald green.  


Mar 18 2024

Sunset Club | Rooftop Bar & Lounge

777 N Ocean Dr.
Hollywood, FL 33019

… more pix & videos on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

Will return.

This relaxed roof top bar looks out to Stranahan River and North Lake, the view is beautiful, especially during the sunset.

It’s a minute walk from our hotel, on a Monday. Without reservation. We were seated immediately.

The service is good, so is the food. We’ve Greek salad and Fish tacos. My glass of Pinot Noir $6 (omg … should have 2 more!), cost less than the Lagunitas IPA draft $9 -:) obviously I don’t know beers.

… So, the sofa section that is to the edge of the bar facing the water is reserved by a large group, perhaps school. A family of four comes and the mother looks agitated and navigates through the tables, and goes over to the group, asking if they could take a family photo under the Sunset State of Mind sign. They then take a few more by the railing, with the water as the background. After the photo op session, the family leaves.

I’m amused.

One, first, they have to squeeze between people’s tables, then into the group section, is pretty rude. Secondly, what is so special about a bar sign?!? This is worst than the group at Clássico Beach Club @ Urca, Rio de Janeiro.


Nov 22 2023

High speed train … ha ha ha

Is this travel writer insane? Incredible high speed train?!? Hellooooo

Reading the headline on Travel & Leisure, I got very excited … then quickly cooled down:

  • 250 miles from Orlando – Miami
  • 3.5 hours by car
  • 3.5 hours by this high speed train that cost $59 to $149 one way

What’s the heck!!!

Here is another set of facts

  1. Shinkansen, or bullet train in Japan, since 1960s
  2. TGV in France, since 1970s, 1981 Paris↔Lyon
  3. Euro Star only needs 2.37 hours run London↔Paris
  4. Maglev travels 286 mph in Shanghai, China

The media standard is so LOW now

Florida’s Incredible New High-speed Train Now Goes From Orlando to Miami — and I Was One of the First on Board
Everything you need to know about riding Florida’s Brightline train from Orlando to Miami.

By Skye Sherman Updated on October 30, 2023

As Brightline’s self-proclaimed No. 1 fan, I’ve been waiting impatiently for its Orlando extension.

Being a travel writer and central Florida native living in West Palm Beach, I feel like this modern high-speed train was made for me: not only can I hop between home and Miami (or Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, or Aventura) with ease, I can now sprint up to Orlando to see friends and family and include Orlando International Airport among my options when booking flights abroad, no three-hour drive required. (In fact, I recently booked a return flight into MCO instead of my usual PBI or FLL just because I could.) Heck, my husband and I might even become Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World now that the journey is this seamless.

Mar 25 2023

Jupiter, FL 木星

This small beach community of 61,047 (2020) people, is northernmost town in Miami metro area.

Roger Dean Stadium

Among 44 notable people in town, 15 are golfers, including Tiger Woods. Dara Torres (1967-; swimmer) and two playboy mates are also residents here.

The baseball team St. Louis Cardinals has their training camp here, in downtown. Compare to Mets at Clover Park, this one looks minor.

A canopy of bougainvillea is pretty grand.

Dinner at Guanabanas is neat and the layout of the restaurant is awesome.

The small red lighthouse charges a fee. We drove by but didn’t visit because of time constrain.

… some photos


44 notable people listed on wikipedia:

  1. Robert Allenby, Australian professional golfer on PGA Tour 1
  2. Rick Ankiel, professional baseball player
  3. Briny Baird, professional golfer on PGA Tour 2
  4. Daniel Berger, professional golfer on PGA Tour 3
  5. Matt Bosher, professional football player
  6. Don Brewer, drummer, singer, original member of Grand Funk Railroad
  7. Tyler Cameron, Contestant on the Bachelorette
  8. Shelby Chesnes, Playboy Playmate of the Month, July 2012
  9. Philip J. Corso, U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and author of The Day After Roswell
  10. Ernie Els, South African professional golfer on PGA Tour 4
  11. Colleen Farrington, Playboy Playmate, model and nightclub singer
  12. Rickie Fowler, professional golfer on PGA Tour 5
  13. Hermes Franca, Brazilian mixed martial artist and UFC fighter 
  14. Drew Garrett, actor
  15. Brendan Grace, Irish comedian 
  16. Rob Grill, singer (The Grass Roots)
  17. Matt Holliday, professional baseball player
  18. Hugh Howey, writer
  19. Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame NBA basketball player, majority owner of Charlotte Hornets
  20. Sarah Kauss, entrepreneur, S’well water bottles
  21. Brooks Koepka, professional golfer
  22. Debi Laszewski, IFBB professional bodybuilder
  23. Daryl Logullo, business executive and ecommerce thought leader
  24. Jamie Lovemark, professional golfer on PGA Tour 6
  25. Shane Lowry, Irish professional golfer on PGA tour 7
  26. Will MacKenzie, professional golfer on PGA Tour 8
  27. Steve Marino, professional golfer on PGA Tour 9
  28. Vincent Marotta, entrepreneur, co-developer of Mr. Coffee
  29. Rory McIlroy, professional golfer on PGA Tour 10
  30. Miles Mikolas, professional baseball player
  31. Jason Newsted, former bass player of Metallica
  32. Cody Parkey, professional football player
  33. Charles Nelson Reilly, actor and teacher. He lived in house given to him by Burt Reynolds, who had previously lived in it with Sally Field
  34. Burt Reynolds, actor
  35. Mike Schmidt, Hall of Fame major league baseball player
  36. Justin Thomas, professional golfer on PGA Tour 11
  37. Dara Torres, five-time Olympic swimmer and gold medalist
  38. Charles Vanik, former Democratic congressman from Ohio
  39. Richy Werenski, professional golfer on PGA Tour 12
  40. Brett Wetterich, professional golfer on PGA Tour 13
  41. Tiger Woods, professional golfer on the PGA Tour 14
  42. Zion Wright, professional skateboarder, U.S. Olympic Skateboard Team
  43. Kyle Kirkwood, racing driver in the Indycar Series
  44. Lucas Glover, professional golfer on the PGA Tour 15