If at First You Don't Succeed Thai Thai Again

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Today, I'd like to talk about a glorious woman who long ago became an extra member of my family. When I first moved to California in 2009, I didn't have a job or any prospects. My partner at the time was trying to build a career and I was down to do something completely different. Up until that time, I had never lived outside of Texas. I had never been so far away from family and friends. That time was the beginning of a hugely transformative experience for me.

It was in the midst of a recession, so I could not find work anywhere. I applied for office jobs, waitress jobs, grocery stores...anything I could find. After three years, I took a deep breath and decided to apply to my favorite health food store at the time, Clark's Nutrition.  This is where I met Erika. Erika was this wildly gorgeous and inappropriate woman, and I knew from two seconds in that I wanted to be her friend. She started out as my boss and trainer, the almighty standard for front end department heads. She taught me so much about hard work and maintaining a work-life balance. Our friendship grew from those early days of working together.

   Passionfruit tea w/ boba and jellies

Passionfruit tea w/ boba and jellies

Shortly after I got divorced, I moved to Cathedral City into a loft that was maybe 5 minutes away from her. This is where our friendship solidified. Through breakups and makeups, depression, joy, the wild DGAF-ness of our late twenties...Erika has stood by me through it all. She was one of the first people to help me out when I broke my spine and couldn't drive myself to the grocery store. She checked on me everyday. To this day, when I visit her, she always makes me leave with food and beauty products. She is the Kramer to my Jerry. I am the Wilson to her Tim "The Toolman" Taylor.

My favorite thing about Erika is that she loves food! Thai food is her favorite and we spent many a night bonding over beers and sticky rice with mango. Today's post is dedicated to those vibrant memories with my homie for lyfe. She is my sister from another mister, and I love her so completely.

   Spicy basil leaves w/ tofu

Spicy basil leaves w/ tofu

   Green curry w/ eggplant & tofu

Green curry w/ eggplant & tofu

For today's MoFo, I wanted to feature my FAVORITE vegan spot ever: Thai Vegan. However, they were temporarily closed due to a gas outage. I almost cried.

Instead, my partner and I opted for Thai Dee. Very delicious but you absolutely need to ask about each dish. Some of their dishes have fish sauce, but they will gladly remove it if you ask them. And you can replace every meat on the menu with delightful tofu.

Featured above: Ryan got the spicy basil dish, which has bamboo shoots, peppers, onions, and Thai basil. I got my go to favorite in Thai food: eggplant. The green curry has peppers, onions, eggplant, and Thai basil. Yummy!

And for good measure, we stopped for boba at Viva Pho on the way home. It was all right, but I think there are more expansive boba spots in San Anto. When I lived in California, Erika and I used to frequent this Asian market called Fil-Am. I loved to get boba there on occasion.

This one's for you, Erika! Thank you for being the woman who literally pushes misogynists out  of the way. Thank you for all the beer buzzed adventures wandering around Target. Thank you for epic Easter hunt adventures. Tell Mason, Nibs, and Dirty I love them. Tell Chris...he's a'ight.