Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boulette's Larder

My mom got Justin a gift certificate to Boulette's Larder last year for Christmas, and we finally redeemed it today for lunch.  It's a quirky little restaurant located in the Ferry Building of SF.  When I say quirky, I mean very unique.  There's only one main dining table that seats about 12, and the rest of the restaurant is the kitchen.  There are more traditional tables outside the restaurant that are located in the hallway of the Ferry Building, very cafe like.

I started off with a pomegranate and raspberry press juice.  Pretty delicious, but wasn't carbonated like I thought it would be.

We ordered bread and butter...such a simple staple but even so, it was delicious!  I liked the bread selection they had - there was one brown bread with chopped pistachios sprinkled throughout it, an interesting take on bread.  Butter was amazing too...it was just sweeter than usual.  We wanted to take it home or buy some, but never got around to it :-/  next time though.

Next we had a squash blend soup.  I can't remember what the soup was called, and it's killing me!  Boulette's Larder changes the menu everyday, so I can't check it.  It was a really amazing soup - pureed and blended together so well.  Served at a little above room temperature, instead of boiling hot, which was interesting.  Also served with a dollop of sour cream and some kind of chip. LOVED IT.  I really wanted a rubber spatula to finish every drop of the soup, but I didn't carry one with me.  I think I may have to from now on to assist me in moments like these.  NOM NOM NOM.

Justin got pulled pork sandwiches, with ladyfinger potato fries and a sauce I can't remember the name or taste of.  It was yummy.

I got roasted duck leg...which was phenomenal, even compared to Justin's dish.  He agreed too.  The duck was tender and had great salty flavor.  It really blew my mind.  The taste was also homey - it had some kind of stew underneath it, which was great.  The squash was awesome too, along with the spinach.  I think I finished the whole thing again too. 

This place got a 25 rating on Zagat for food....and now I can finally say why!  The service was also rated very high as well, and I've got to say, the waiter really took care of us.  Justin and I were really in heaven at Boulette's Larder.  We would definitely return....this place has inconvenient hours though, which is why we never made it out until today.  Also will have to wait for our wallets to be fuller.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I grabbed some eggettes tonight with some friends in the outer sunset.  Eggettes are a really great snack if you happen to want a late-night snack or afternoon bite before dinner.  If you've never tried one, it has the taste of a waffle batter, but it's crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside, also in the shape of bubble wrap.

The original flavor is "waffle" flavor, but they also have chocolate which is also pretty yummy.  This isn't my favorite dessert, but it's great to have every once in a while!  This place also doubles as a small internet cafe.  They also have Chinese music videos that I can never understand which adds culture to this great dessert place!


Justin wanted pizza for dinner, so we headed to Pasquale's on Irving Street.  This was my first time trying it for a couple years now...I haven't been there since high school, so it was nice to try it again.

We ordered some garlic bread:

It was pretty good, but it didn't have much garlic to it.  I think I'm used to garlic bread with TONS of garlic instead of just average garlic.  It was crunchy on the outside and soft in the center....the texture was great.  I'd get it again.

We also got some spaghetti and meat sauce, which I thought was the highlight of the meal.  So simple, yet really hit the spot.  How can you resist?  mmMMMmm...

We also got the House pizza, which came with pepperoni, mushroom, cheese, garlic and chicken I think.  The toppings were good, but overall the pizza wasn't too phenomenal to me.  Crust was too thin (I'm a thick crust lover) which made the crust soggy in the center of the pizza, not appealing to me.  Justin loved it though. 

I'd come back to this place, but would get pasta again or try the veal.  I think their Italian food might be better than their regular pizza.  We'll have to wait for next time though!

SF Moma

I saw an article in the December issue of Food Network (this is a great issue!  I can't stop mentioning it) that featured the special desserts offered at SF MOMA.  Their desserts are inspired by some of the exhibits at the museum, one being a Mondrian cake...

and another was a Wayne Thiebaud inspired cake!

I think Wayne Thiebaud is one of my favorite artists.  He is famous for his paintings of cakes, pastries, and yummy desserts.  I have a poster in my room at Santa Cruz of his cakes, and he had a neat exhibit at San Jose Museum of Art sometime during the summer which I really enjoyed.  His paintings are just so cute!

Going back to the cakes....they were so delicious!!!!  I was a little surprised considering it was museum food (I usually hate museum food).  The cakes were a bit high in price but so worth it.  I could really taste the chocolate borders in the Mondrian cake, and it was really dense like a pound cake.  Wayne Thiebaud cake was great too...butter played a dominant role in the frosting.  It wasn't a chocolate cake though, more like a velvet cake I guess. 

My sister got a mocha latte too.  It was so beautiful!

I would really recommend taking time out of your day to check out the museum.  They have this really neat San Francisco exhibit with different photos and paintings highlighting SF.  Not to mention a great gift shop!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

GIngerbread cupcakes

I saw this gingerbread cupcake and mango buttercream recipe in the December issue of Food Network magazine, and I couldn't resist!  The mango frosting sounded so delicious and I had never had mango flavored anything on a cupcake before.

I started with the cupcakes.  I was a bit reluctant at first.  I've never baked with molasses, ground cloves or ginger before...

...but it smelled great!  Just like gingerbread cookies, but batter instead!

The recipe said to fill the cups only 1/3 of the way, but I neglected this step and filled them 2/3.  One of my pet peeves is short cupcakes where the liner is a lot taller than the cake itself.

My instinct was correct this time!

So I wanted to make mango buttercream as the frosting, but when I pulled out the mango from the fridge, it didn't look fresh.  I tasted a bit, and it definitely didn't taste like mango.  It was super dry and a bit sour.  I decided to make cream cheese frosting instead.  The cream cheese frosting recipe I have never fails =)
Butter and cream cheese

mmmMMMmmm!!!!  They turned out great!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Greek food at Vasili's

Today, Justin and I were getting lunch and I suggested Hawaiian, but he wanted to try something new -- so we got Greek food at Vasili's on Mission St, next to McDonald's.  I was reluctant at first because I never had Greek before....but I was pleasantly surprised.  It was delicious!  I really loved the ambiance of the restaurant too.  Decorated with mirrors, wooden furniture and musical instruments, it had a homey feel to it.

We ordered a Greek Dip for appetizers, called taramosalata (red caviar, potato flakes, onions, pure olive oil and lemon, juice blended into a creamy dip) and served with bread cubes.  The dip was so delicious....the waiter gave us another basket of bread cubes, and I ended up taking the extra dip home with me too!

For lunch I got the Pastitisio -a lasagna, I guess pretty standard, but I wasn't daring enough to get something with lamb.  I really loved the homey taste of the lasagna... I felt like I was eating at a friend's house whose mom made Greek food.  

I think Justin ordered the vegetarian pita...but that doesn't seem like him to get something without meat.  I can't remember because he was sick and didn't share any with me.  But it looks pretty good! He liked it.

I would definitely come back here....no question about it.  If you think Greek food is too exotic for you, think again!  I was really surprised.  They have lots of vegetarian options too, and the dip was amazing.  There are a couple of things with more mainstream meat too, like chicken.  I can't wait to come back when school resumes!  What a find.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 4 BBQ Dessert

My Auntie Suzy had a BBQ at her house for July 4 =)  It was very good - but I forgot to take pictures!  My mom and Charisse made corn salad (two separate corn salads - neither of them knew both of them were making almost the same thing!), my Uncle Vincent did the grilling - very yummy chicken and beef!, my Uncle Steve bought some oysters from Half Moon Bay, and I brought the cake.  I thought it would be festive to make red velvet =)  Everyone thought it was pretty good.  I made it a few times since!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Counter & Kara's Cupcakes

Today Justin and I ate at the Counter at Santana Row for lunch.  It was pretty crowded when we got there, but we were lucky to sit at the bar for no wait.  This restaurant is pretty fun to go to.  The menu is basically a checklist of all the things you want on your burger!
We ordered milkshakes to start off.  I was supposed to get the chocolate one, but Justin ordered a vanilla-chocolate one with Kalua, and ours got mixed up so I ended up getting the vanilla-chocolate with no kalua.  Oh well.  It was pretty good, just not what I wanted.
We also got sweet potato fries and regular fries to start.  Very delicious.  I love the sauce they gave with the sweet potato fries...it was mayonnaise and horseradish combined, I think.  Or it tasted like that at least.
Then our burgers came!  Justin got a whole bunch of toppings, including bacon and garlic sauce from what I remember.  The garlic sauce was amazing!!!!  I will definitely have to get that next time.
For my burger, I got grilled pineapple, miso teriyaki sauce, grille onions, mixed greens and a tomato.  Pretty great, especially drizzled with the miso sauce.  Yum!  I should've taken a side view picture to show how tall it was.  Both burgers were really tall, I remember Justin's was at least 3".

This was our second time to the Counter, and definitely not our last!

Kara's Cupcakes was also right around the corner!  I tried a Smores cupcake.  It was pretty good - marshmallow top, which a chocolate cake, and the bottom had smashed graham crackers.  The marshmallow on top was kind of gooey, but I think it may have been because it was sitting in the hot car on the ride home. 
I think I'll have to ask them what their specialty cupcake is next time.  I couldn't tell when I walked in so I got the smore.  Not sure if I'd go back though.  It wasn't as good as Sprinkles.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Klondike Bars

When's the last time you had a Klondike Bar?
I hadn't had one in a long time, probably like a year, and I kind of craved it.  Lucky for me, Safeway had a sale, they were only $2.99!  Sweet.  I looked at the percent of saturated fat a single bar contains though, and it was not so sweet.  I think it contains about half of what you're supposed to have in one day...pretty disgusting....
...but so delicious!!! How can one resist?  Mmmm....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bistro Jeanty

Justin and I made a trip up to Yountville so that I could try Bistro Jeanty for the first time.  He loves that restaurant, and really wanted me to experience it.  It's a French restaurant, so I was pretty skeptical.  I don't like French food really.  I've had it a few times, and it didn't stick out to me as something as amazing as other types of food like Japanese or Chinese, or Italian.

They had a really cute store front!  The inside of the restaurant and outdoor seating was so adorable too.
For appetizers we ordered duck fois gras that came with a pear.  I thought it was good, but I couldn't really taste the fois gras.  I've had fois gras one time before, and it was very flavorful.  But this time, it tasted like nothing, but with a hint of something that I can't put my finger to.  It came as a spread, instead of how I imagined.  And the pear was purple!  So strange.  Good, though.

We also got frites (french fries!) which were okay.  Not their specialty though.  Probably wouldn't order again.
Also got pigs feet, which was delicious.  It came super saucy, in a soup bowl, and the meat was very tender, and there was so much fat on it, which was also amazing.  I was skeptical upon ordering it, but it was so great!!!!  I was scared I'd be eating a toe or something, (like in Dim sum when you order chicken feet, it's actually a foot and you see the toes) but it was nothing like that.

For main dishes I think Justin ordered the Epaule de porc, which was slow roasted pork shoulder. 

His was pretty good, but I'm really glad I got my beef stew.  It was just what I wanted!  The waiter told us the beef was braised in the back for 5 hours...and I believed it, because the beef was so tender it broke when I ate it!  Yummy.  That potato chip next to the beef was awesome too.  So were the mashed potatoes it was wedged in...man!

Desserts were phenomenal as well.  We got a pear tart thing, which was so good!  It was served with ice cream which was a great combination.  That sauce under the pear tart was the best part...it really amplified the taste of the pear.
We also got a chocolate creme-brulee...omigod it was amazing.  It tasted like chocolate pudding, but not so thick.
I will be returning to this restaurant one day, when mine and Justin's wallet isn't empty from eating out at all these great places this week!  It will be a while though...

Oh yeah, also got some bouchons from Bouchon Bakery down the block.  I always have to stop by there whenever Justin and I go to Yountville, because they're so special and difficult to make.  I've tried a couple times and always failed.  They're like brownies, but little cakes and a lot richer.  When they're served in the restaurant, they're melted in the middle, so when you cut it, the warm chocolate from the center just oozes out.  At home though, they're just like a brownie.

Vietnamese Sandwich

I ate a vietnamese sandwich today and it was soooooo yummy.  I hadn't had one in a long time, and it really hit the spot.  They're very simple sandwiches, super cheap ($4), and just excellent for what you pay for.  I don't know the name of the restaurant I got it at, but it was this ghetto place on Irving Street with flies in it.  Gross, I know, but I think it adds to the experience of your cheap sandwich.
I got BBQ Pork, and it was great!  I love the side ingredients they put in it too - cucumber, cilantro (a lot of people hate cilantro, but I think it's a necessary part of the Viet sandwich), thinly sliced carrots, and some sauce.  I think they butter the bread before toasting it, so it just turns out super crunchy when it enters your mouth.

Will definitely return to this restaurant when I'm back in the city =)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sushi Ran

Ate at Sushi Ran with Justin today expecting great sushi, and it didn't fail to meet those expectations!  We ordered Maguro and an Inada,
Crunch Roll, 
Jumbo Scallops, 
Hamachi Kama, 
a Sakekawa Roll, 
and an Omakase Roll.
My favorites were the Omakase, Hamachi Kama and Maguro.  The Maguro was not only fresh but perfectly fatty...probably the best combination ever.  Very simple too.  Omakase Roll was amazing.  Justin and I like ordering this one because it's the Chef's creation - it's always different.  Last time we got this huge eel bone that was fried, totally something we didn't expect, but was amazing.  Anyway, back to the Omakase roll from this time, it was fantastic! It had toro, sprouts, horshradish, and other ingredients that I can't remember what the waitress said.  Some red hot spicy sauce too.  The intensity of all the flavors at once was great...we wanted another one, but it was too expensive.  The Hamachi Kama was a lot better than how other restaurants make it.  I think they broil it to make it crispy, and I guess they broiled it a little bit differently from other places.

I didn't eat the crunch roll because it had shrimp in it, but Justin really enjoyed it.  I thought the Jumbo Scallops were okay.  Pretty good, but not something I would order again at Sushi Ran.  Not their specialty, that's why.  Sakekawa was also alright.  Not something I would order again, but I guess I'm glad I tried it.  Inada was pretty good, but not as great as the Maguro!

Although the food was great, I'm not sure if I would return to this restaurant.  I checked my bank account a few days after, and they charged me $20 more than they were supposed to.  I called them to tell them about their mistake, and the person I talked to was kind of rude about it, and talked to me like he didn't believe me.  I didn't like their service.  Food was phenomenal, but if you don't treat your customers right, you're not going to go so far unless your prices are excellent.