Give us a brief introduction, your name, hometown and the tour you lead.
I’m Michael, and I’m a Taiwanese-American, born and raised in Los Angeles. I’ve lived in Arcadia since I was in kindergarten, and I’m the tour guide for Taiwanese food in Arcadia. Works out great, eh?
Of the five tastes, which one are you?
Sweet… sour… bitter… where’s spicy? I think I’d be savory or spicy. I don’t think I ever eat ketchup without at least a few dashes of Tabasco to it. Yeah, out of the five tastes, I’d definitely be spicy. That’s a taste on your tongue, right?
If you were on Death Row, what would be your last meal?
What was I put on Death Row for?
Let’s say you were guilty of a mass murder?
Alright, then I gotta go for a massive last meal then. I’m thinkin’ Vegas-style buffet here… Ya gotta start off with some shrimp cocktail and king crab legs…I can’t get enough of that stuff. Smoked salmon, raw oysters, uni (sea urchin) sashimi… bring on the seafood! Oh, and some grilled Korean pork belly with a crispy Korean seafood pancake (haemul pajeon). Put some kimchi to the left of that and some soju on the right. Speaking of pork belly, I want a Taiwanese pork belly taco (gua bao) with an ice cold TAIWAN BEER. PLEASE. We can top this all off with an In-n-Out double-double with fries well done. Can I get a shake with that? Oh, and bring on the King Taco al pastor please! I can die happy if I have some Mexican food. Hopefully, by the time I’m done eating all of this, I can get Obama to pardon me.
Name your favorite LA restaurant.
A&J Restaurant. It was my favorite place as a kid. Their noodles are hand-pulled, and I just can’t get enough of their ground beef pancakes. They’re ridiculous. Just talking about it makes me want to go out and get some. I’m hungry now!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
I have had some pretty strange foods, but the strangest has got to be deep-fried scorpion. Even though it was fully cooked and devoid of any venom, when I bit into the tail, it sent shivers down my spine.
It sounds tasty! Is there any food that you don’t enjoy?
Hrmmm… that’s a tough one. Anything that’s too mushy. I don’t like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and regular cheesecake. I’ve got to chew my food, strangely.
When you aren’t working as a tour guide, where can we find you?
Working off all the food I ate… the gym if I can make it there without stopping at a taco truck. Probably in a coffee shop resting my voice and blogging about my adventures. I write a food and travel blog called the S.O.F.A.T. Blog. (http://www.sofatblog.blogspot.com)
What do you like most about being a tour guide?
I introduce the same foods each week, but every group is different… I enjoy all the different reactions from guests… someone SQUEALED on the tour today when I mentioned the Din Tai Fung dumplings. No joke.