About Flavor Boulevard


    A food blog with focus on Asian food.
    Food reviews. Cheap eats, a few fancy restaurants, a few recipes. Sometimes books and movies too. As long as it reminds us of food, we write about it.

    – About MAI –

    Q: Why do you blog? – I started Flavor Boulevard after I read the entire noodlepie blog from beginning to end, a few years after my family moved from Vietnam to America. That blog makes me miss Vietnamese food terribly, and it reminds me of what food writing is: not so much about food as about memories. With Flavor Boulevard, I can save in one place, however unorganized, memories of the meals, feelings I get from a dish, new things I learn from and about food. When I read what I wrote months and years ago, I can relive the experience. It’s kind of like talking to myself, the past Mai, the present Mai and the future Mai all in one place. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Q: What is your focus on this blog? – Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese food.

    Q: Why Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese? – Vietnamese because I’m Vietnamese. Korean because there were some years when I watched way too many Korean dramas, and when the protagonist gobbled up a skillet of kimchi fried rice, I just gotta try it too. Japanese? It all started with an okonomiyaki in San Francisco, and it got serious after a good izakaya night. But at the end of the day, it’s simply because these three cuisines make me feel at home.

    Q: Where can we reach you? – Email me: mai@flavorboulevard.com

    Mai Truong is a Vietnamese-born Texan currently attending UC Berkeley. Eighteen years living in Vietnam give her a strong palate for tropical flavors and an even stronger opinion on Asian food culture. Beside studying and Flavor Boulevard, she enjoys working as an editor at the Daily Californian (mainly in the Eating Berkeley blog).
    She has an incurable infatuation forย languages, pig trottersย and tea (UPDATE: check out her TEA BLOG: Tea & Mai). She also tends to compare every dish with her Mother’s cooking.


    – About KRISTEN –ย 

    My name is Kristen and I am currently a PhD student at UC Berkeley. My passions all involve food: writing, reading, eating, and occasionally cooking!

    I was born in Minnesota and grew up in various parts of Connecticut. Most of my early food adventures took place in Flushing, Queens (a borough of NYC), which has a large Taiwanese American population (where my family is from). I went to college in Illinois and now I am currently located in Berkeley, California.

    While my comfort foods are usually Taiwanese and Chinese dishes (xiao long bao, scallion pancakes, Taiwanese pork chop and pickled mustard greens, dumplings, beef noodle soup, mapo tofu, etc.), I have eclectic tastes. I think it comes from having a diasporic family: between them, my parents have lived in Taiwan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, East Timor, etc. and all over the US as well from Texas to Minnesota to Pennsylvania. Even though I have only lived in the US, where I have personally lacked in travel, I more than make up for in willingness to try new foods! My intention is to bring a diasporic Asian American perspective to the food blogosphere.

    My all-time favorite food is my grandfather’s and mom’s Taiwanese beef noodle soup. In fact, I am a huge fan of most any variety of beef soup/stew because it reminds me of home (for me, home is a feeling usually conveyed through food rather than a physical locale). My current palate tends towards sweet savory so those are the dishes that I am most drawn to as a diner and is probably what makes me more partial to most Asian cuisines (that and my heritage). However, I love all types of food and will always try something once!

    As for foods I dislike, I am finding that as I get more into the “foodie” culture and try new foods, my tastes are actually changing! (or is that me getting older?) For example, I used to hate avocados and mushrooms with a passion, but now I love them! Right now, the one food that I dislike is octopus, but I’m still hoping for a dish to prove me wrong on this one.

    My PhD field is in Comparative Ethnic Studies and while my research is unrelated to my food interests, I also am interested in the ways in which food (and foodie) cultures intersect with issues of race, representation, and media. For me, food and politics are intricately related and many of my posts, even if not explicitly, may carry this sentiment!

    I can be reached at kristen@flavorboulevard.com. I previously blogged at Put it on Kristen’s Plate. You may remember me from my guest post of Revival Bar and Kitchen. Find me on Yelp and Twitter!


    – More about FLAVOR BOULEVARD –

    Q: Do you get free meals at restaurants when you review them?
    A: Not for reviews. But interviews, yes. Unless disclosed otherwise, we don’t profit monetarily from any of our reviews.

    Q: Do you accept guest posts?
    A: We love them. If you feel like talking about food, be it your latest improvisation in the kitchen or an awesome street grub, take pictures and shoot us a write-up at mai@flavorboulevard.com. ALL posts that satisfy these guidelines are welcome!

    15 comments to About Flavor Boulevard

    • Ping

      omg, you food blog is incredible. It’s so organized and well-written.

      i would love to go with you one with ur excursions, but it’s probably not appropriate, considering that i’m ur student. maybe in the summer, when ur not my GSI anymore? if not, you should try brunch at La Note on shattuck, it’s super good. and Brazil Cafe too; their pineapple tri-tip sandwich is my favorite.

      Thanks so much for everything this semester!! you were awesome!

    • Mai

      Thank you Ping! You’re always so sweet. I’d love to have your company and expertise on the local morsels. And yeah, now that summer comes it’s totally appropriate for us to hang out together. ๐Ÿ˜€
      I’ve always wanted to try La Note, but its odd hours don’t fit my schedule during the semester. And Brazil Cafe is definitely on the list!

    • Hi Mai, thanks for dropping by! I love a new blog to read, especially about Vietnamese food. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Hi Deb, I like your blog too! Thank you for dropping by!

    • Aimee

      Mai! I miss you. And I love your blog!

    • Mai

      I miss you too, Aimee, wherever you are right now!

    • Come to Los Angeles – I will show you some good Korean places to eat at ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Tag – you’re it!

    • Mai

      I wish I could! One of these days… And yay, how’d you find this blog? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Jeanne

      Hi, Mai. So fun to meet you at adjoining tables Friday night at Revival.

      The name of the SF Vietnamese restaurant on Larkin that I mentioned is open only for dinner is Pagolac. 655 Larkin

      The name of the lovely foothills valley west of Hanoi is Mai Chau (same as your name, in part). A delightful place to visit on an overnight trip out of Hanoi.

      If you have not yet eaten at Xyclo on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland, I highly recommend that you check it out. 4218 Piedmont Avenue

    • Mai

      Thank you, Jeanne! It was wonderful meeting you and April last Friday night. Thank you for the recommendations, I will check out both places for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Whoa, Mai!!!! It’s Pauline! I just posted a bunch of comments without realizing who you are! Remember we met last year through Tam at the VISA volleyball game? How are you?

    • To spam your inbox more and increase your number of comments:

      I have an infatuation with Germany and the German language too.

    • Mai

      Yay fellow German fan! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Hmmm maybe I came to a volleyball game that I don’t remember, or maybe you met a different Mai last year? ๐Ÿ˜› It doesn’t matter though, I would love to have met you in person! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for visiting my blog and for the lovely comments! Your blog is awesome too! Please keep writing about Aggieland, I miss that town! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Dlitefulcravings

      Hi Mai, just stumbled on your blog looking for Okonomiyaki recipe! Love your blog and delicious posts. I absolutely adore Vietnamese, Thai, Jap, any Asian food really. You have another fan and follower!

    • Mai

      Thanks D! The more I eat the more I’m into Asian food these days too, more Asian food posts coming soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

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