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!

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 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.

That Takes the Cake

Visited a new cupcake shop with my two best friends from high school.  The place is called That Takes the Cake, which is located on Union Street of San Francisco.  I found out about this place from my sister, who got a deal on this website called Groupon.  Originally a dozen cupcakes is $33, but we got a 50% off deal, so we only paid $17 I think.

This was their display!  Pretty cute.  The store was very small and intimate.  My two friends got Red Velvet and a yellow cake with chocolate buttercream.  I got a little bit of everything - 2 Tuxedos (Double chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate chips topped with vanilla Buttercream), 3 Gentlemen Prefer Reds (aka red velvets), Banana Cream, some expresso one, and another one that was topped with a peanut butter cup.  I guess they added some more cupcakes that aren't on their website's menu.

I've tried one of the red velvets so far, and that was delicious!  The cream cheese frosting was right on.  I tried half of the banana cream one too, and that was also pretty good.  Dense cake, yummy cream cheese frosting again.  Regular price of cupcakes were $2.95 each though.  Pretty expensive, but I guess it's alright every once in a while.  Would return if in the neighborhood!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brothers Korean BBQ & Ghiradelli Square

My high school friends and I got together and ate dinner together at Brothers Korean BBQ Restaurant on Geary St. of the Richmond District.  Great place, I had been there once, but not really because my cousin had taken out for us.  We decided to do family style - started off with several mini platters of appetizers.  A lot of pickled things, like kim chee, cucumber, and cole slaw type of mini-salad.  All vegetables except for the mackeral.  All of the mini-appetizers were great!  There was one I really liked but didn't know the name of.  It was some sort of tofu-like thing, or bean cake?  Good flavor to it.
...then the meat came!
The lady was nice enough to put it on the grill for us...or was it because we were BBQing it too slow?  We ordered beef, chicken and spicy pork....probably the best decision we ever made.  It was so delicious!  I think it was also because I was thinking of the Korean BBQ ever since lunch today.  Honestly it was all I could think about.  So glad the food was delicious!  Beware though, wear some clothes you plan on washing.  I sat right in front of the grill and my shirt smelled after.  Hair did too.

Great restaurant, will be returning!

Afterwards, we journeyed to Ghiradelli Square for some dessert.  I like going to that place because it's so San Francisco.   It reminds me of the times my friends and I would just go there in high school, just to hang out, eat ice cream, and get free samples of chocolate at the gift shop next door.  Has a great view of the bay, it's freezing cold, and has a beautiful Ghiradelli sign that we always take pictures outside of.

Curtis and I split a Strawberry Sundae, which was bombski.  It was super tall, perfect for the both of us though.  Probably a million calories, and another million grams of fat, but so delicious.  Had chocolate, vanilla ice cream, and strawberries throughout every level of the sundae.  Whipped cream and a chocolate covered strawberry on top....perfect way to end the night!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ton Kiang

Ate at Ton Kiang with my boyfriend for dinner.  I was pretty skeptical at first, because I came here once with my mom a few years back to try the dim sum and remembering it wasn't so great.  But we tried the dinner menu, and it was pretty good.  I was surprised that we sat down without any wait.  The restaurant didn't seem to busy, mainly Caucasian families celebrating someone's birthday.  There's a second floor to the restaurant too though, and maybe that was filled up first.

Justin and I were super hungry, so we ordered three different dishes, and three dim sums.

This is the Beef Chow Fun.  It's probably one of my favorite Chinese dishes to order at a restaurant.  I think it makes a good meal on its own - super carbs from the noodles, the right amount of beef, and just super filling, I guess from the carbs.  Has a little bit of crunch to it too from the bean sprouts.

We also got Cha Seew Fried Rice, which was really yummy.  It was surprisingly sweet, unlike any other fried rice we had ever made.

For our meat we got Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs, which were pretty good.  The pieces were huge, which I kind of didn't like though, because I was lazy and it was too much work to chew off all the meat.  Yummy, though.

This was one of our dim sum dishes.  I ate almost all of it was great.  It's Nol Mai Gai, which is sticky rice with meat, beans and shrimp wrapped up and steamed in a lotus leaf.  I really liked this nol mai gai.  I don't know if it was because I hadn't had it in a while, or maybe it was actually great. Haha.  Amateur restaurants attempt to make this leaf wrapping but can't succeed in making sure that the rice doesn't end up soggy.  This nol mai gai had the right amount of moisture to it - pretty much perfect.  I was surprised.

Oh we ordered Siu Lung Bao too, which is a Shanghai dumpling that's meat inside with juice that's supposed to pour out when the dumpling is "popped," but this restaurant made it so that there wasn't any juice (my favorite part if you couldn't tell), which means it was probably sitting around and aka not fresh!  Justin liked it though while I frowned at him.  He also ordered some fried shrimp ball thing, but I didn't eat it cause I'm allergic.  Didn't bother to take a picture either since I didn't eat it.  Justin said it was good, though.  Not sure if I'm trusting him after that siu lung bao incident though.

Sprinkles Cupcakes

My boyfriend and I went to Sprinkles Cupcakes for the first time today!  I was really excited.  It's an L.A. thing - there aren't any Sprinkles in NorCal except in Palo Alto.  The store was just as cute as I imagined!  Only took one picture though, because I didn't want to be taken as a freak.
I ordered a classic Red Velvet (which is supposed to be their specialty), another Red Velvet for my roommate's birthday (which came in such a cute individual box, I just had to get it!), Chai Latte, Cinnamon Sugar and a Milk Chocolate.  I thought the Red Velvet was probably the best cupcake out of all of them.  The cake itself was average, but the cream cheese frosting was amazing!  I didn't have the Chai Latte, but my mom and sister thought it was pretty good.  Cinnamon Sugar was not so great - the other half is still in my fridge and I don't want to eat it.  It was just weird having sugar over a cupcake, I think.  The milk chocolate cupcake was pretty good, I might get that again.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Ate at Tamarine last night, it was supposed to be Justin and I's Valentines' Day Dinner since we celebrated Feb 14 at my Grandma's house for Chinese New Year.  I've been wanting to try this place for a long time now, at least half a year.  So glad I finally got a chance!  It's a nice Vietnamese restaurant located in Palo Alto on University Avenue.  Older crowd was there - people that are middle-aged and a few Stanford college students and their rich parents.  Restaurant was really packed considering we got there at 8pm.  We got there at 7:40pm, and didn't know where to stand since the restaurant doesn't have a waiting area (kind of like a house with no foyer), and that was weird.  The restaurant was so loud that you can barely hear the music, only a distant beat in the background.

We sat down early, ordered two appetizers and our beverages, and got our food pretty fast considering.  They were definitely on a tight schedule.

We got Tammy's Banh Bap, which is basically like a Tamale.  It had corn and pork, inside of the same leaf that a Tamale is in, except green.
We also got Tuna Tartare.  I think that's an appetizer  I always have to get, wherever it's offered!
 I really liked the fish in the Tuna Tartare, it was so fresh.
For dinner we ordered Empress Rice, which was sticky rice, garlic, leeks, ginger & egg; served with a sweetened soy drizzle.  It was sooooo good, Justin and I were really surprised.  This is a terrible picture of it though.  When it came to our table it wasn't mixed yet.  It was different because the egg was just a sunny-side up egg, sitting on top of all of the rice!  Then the waiter mixed it for us, which is the picture below.  I think the sauce was great, I think that's what made it such a great dish.  It was also very moist, which is something I never knew fried rice could be.
This is the Pan-Seared Hamachi...mmmMMM!  It was pretty good.
Finally, we had Shaking Beef, which I was really looking forward to.  Someone recommended it on Yelp, and I was anticipating something great.  It was pretty good! 
All in all, this was a pretty good restaurant.  It says in Zagat that this is one of the best eats in Palo Alto, and I've got to say this is true.  However, we don't live in Palo Alto or anywhere close, so I wouldn't go out of my way anymore eat at Tamarine.  Glad I tried it though, no regrets!