Friday, April 27, 2007

TOP 5 things to eat in financial without trekking to the ferry building in 73 degree weather

Side note: I'm trying to capitalize and punctuate as a discipline, in case you've noticed my writing looking a little more formal than usual.

It's so nice! Even when it's relatively hot in the bay area, San Francisco is usually 10 degrees cooler than most cities, but today the weather is great here! I don't feel like working, so TOP 5 it is!

1. Vietnamese vermicelli: it's light, not greasy or oily, and the citrus tang is perfect for warm days. Don't go to a Vietnamese restaurant and order pho! That's just silly. =)
2. Jamba Juice
3. Iced coffee: one of my coworkers always gets an iced coffee any time the sun is out. Perfect combination for the warm food-coma-inducing office atmosphere.
4. Salad/Sandwich: there are SO many good salad/sandwich places in the area! Focaccia (my favorite) and Mixt Greens are the best. Seller's Market, Mondo Caffe, Specialty's, Lightning, and Birley's are all pretty decent too. The main reason why Foccacia is the best is the price. Who wants to pay $10 for a salad when you can pay $5??
5. Crepe with strawberries: I'm actually not a huge fan of crepes and would rather just eat strawberries by themselves (especially since they're in season), but I don't really think you can do that around here (unless you brought it from home).


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

i like food, food tastes good

intersection of music + food. fabulous!

get it here!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TOP 5 foods found backstage after the shins

i just happened to have newfound connections to one of my favorite bands, thanks to my friend jacob! his cousin, dave hernandez, plays bass/electric guitar for indie pop band the shins, and we were fortunate to get backstage! it actually wasn't all glamour and lights, probably due to the band's, well, chillness. didn't have a plethora of food & drink, either, but we had fun with it regardless. =)

1. MINI TOASTS: these were definitely the highlight of the evening. tiny (~1 inch on each side) little toasts with a crouton-like texture, these mini toasts smelled like cardboard, but tasted like normal, unseasoned croutons. i was successfully able to cut off the crust of one side, but ended up breaking it while attempting to do the same on an adjacent side. so much for crustless mini toasts.

2. cheese: something smelled like sour parmesan, so i turned around expecting pizza... but lo and behold! a cheese plate of brie, blue cheese, gouda, and this greyish-green oily hard cheese (did not dare try it, although my friend vik kept eating it... he later went on to make a "kamikaze" mini toast club: a little bit of every cheese on the plate. it was a bad idea in hindsight). i used the brie to make a mini toast sandwich, which i offered to james mercer, the lead singer of the shins. he was struck with awe and fascination at its bite-size cuteness, although he politely declined. at least that gave us an in to a brief yet interesting conversation with him (e.g. "the tenderloin is more than tender... it's beat down! raw!"). afterwards, it was decided that mini toasts serve as great pick-up lines, and since they're so tiny, you can always keep a stash in your pocket!

3. coppola: the only type of alcohol found in the room. strange, yet i guess it went with the cheese

4. tejava: jacob was tempted to run away with bottles and bottles stuffed in his jacket. unfortunately, this idea never came to fruition.

5. soy milk. LOTS of it! talk about wholesome.

twas the most sophisticated backstage "party" i could imagine.


Monday, April 16, 2007

TOP 5 things to eat before i die

this is inspired by this post. it was SO difficult deciding what my top 5 would be, so i divided it into two categories. these are foods i would want to eat (again) before i die, not things i haven't tried yet. i interpreted it this way because when i tried to think of things i haven't eaten before that i would want to try, i couldn't think of anything! it's not like i've eaten everything in the world... these are just my favorites of all time (i'm sure the list will change when i get older)! besides, californian food is pretty damn good.

dishes from restaurants:
1. chef's tasting menu at french laundry (inc. foie gras, "oysters & pearls," wagyu beef, and lots and lots of gooood wine. is that cheating? not that i'm not already cheating....)
2. clementine french toast
3. bay scallop roll + chirashi from sushi house (so this includes different types of raw fish. i'm so cheating)
4. animal fries from in n out
5. special noodles from mandalay

food food:
1. avocado by itself (i.e. cut open, eaten with a spoon). some people think that's gross, but it's like eating butter that's good for you. mmm
2. fresh ripe organic strawberries with some milk
3. cheesecake made by yours truly (i don't post about baking/cooking, but i'm not too shabby)
4. black sesame mochi soup balls
5. mac 'n cheese: a combination of two of my favorite things - cheese and some form of dough

Note: i didn't take any of these pictures (links are included). they aren't ideal, but they're the best i could find without looking too hard.


Thursday, April 05, 2007


Asian/Spanish/Fusion?? small plates in the Mission

This place is pretty popular and in a prime area of the mission district. Parking's a bitch, so carpool or take public transportation if you don't live in the area. I went here for the first time last night pretty much knowing what to expect, and I was actually a bit disappointed. I think I'm just used to going to small plates restaurants in parties of two, allowing me to taste more of the food. Regardless, the food was definitely solid, but it didn't blow me away.

- polenta fries: because the menu said "curly," I was expecting something along the lines of curly fries, i.e. spiced, but it was just literally curly in a half-moon shape. These were good though, and definitely a nice break from the grease of normal fries
- halibut: don't get this. I've had much better at chinese restaurants (yes, they were going for asian fare here)
- duck confit dumplings: tasty, but mostly because they were fried. There was just too much wrapper (like a won ton wrapper) and I couldn't taste the duck at all.
- mahi mahi: the fish itself was ordinary, but the artichokes were quite complimentary
- roasted portobello: there were only 2 pieces for a party of 4, but even my half-a-mushroom was meaty and savory. If only there were more....
- pork wrapped in bacon: is it possible for something to be wrapped in bacon and not taste good? I really liked the yam puree
- coke short-ribs: I actually didn't think they were anything special, although jess really likes them. The coke flavor was non-existent, but I'm not sure if it's supposed to be?
- donut holes + mexican hot chocolate: good stuff, although it would've been I'D HIT THAT-worthy if they were served fresh and HOT.

All in all, this place is pretty solid - food-wise, ambiance (although... what's up with the KOIT music?), wine list. Good for smaller groups (I'd say no more than 4).


Monday, April 02, 2007

a non-food post about food, kind of.

2 topics of discussion: (1) foodies, and (2) food blogs. let's start with #2.

recently there was an article about food blogging in the SF chronicle, and apparently 2 very popular blogs for the city are tablehopper and becks & posh (???). now, there are gazillions of blogs for basically every single topic of interest that it's just impossible to keep tabs on everything. i honestly only read slashfood because it references a lot of other blogs and resources out there that i have no desire to research myself.

i'm not about to hate on those two aforementioned blogs, but when it comes to restaurant reviews, i personally only care about what to order - hence, most of my reviews will mostly say "good" or "bad" and then highlight the winning dishes. i also don't like vague and romanticized writing - i don't care to read about the intricate details of the place or the food. i just want to know if i should go there or not, and what/what not to order. also, who i'm getting the recommendation from is really important. for example, i'm not going to 100% trust a rave review of ton kiang by a white boy from kansas. i will, however, trust his review if i know that he knows asian food, and can tell the difference between what's good and what's bad (although i still would never go to ton kiang). it's like me and korean food. i like steve's, but apparently that's like panda express for korean food. now you know not to go to me for korean restaurant recs (although, i can recommend some places based on my korean friends' opinions).

back to the article - a chef was quoted as saying "Everyone has become a food critic. They think they're real big shots. They probably can't even make scrambled eggs." this brings me to topic #1: "foodies." and let me just say that i CAN make scrambled eggs. in your face, teo kridech! (hey whatdoyaknow... his restaurant is the reformed watercress. no wonder he's getting bad reviews....).

according to wikipedia, a foodie "
might dedicate significant time to food-related pursuits, including the pursuit of a specific item, such as the best egg cream or burrito." in other words, someone who likes and is interested in food. well, you say, doesn't EVERYONE like food?? sure, but doesn't everyone wear clothes? doesn't everyone like music?

being a "foodie" is really just about having an interest, and spending time learning more about that interest. it's about appreciating the ingredients, the technique, the art, and the innovation behind what you eat, not just about the newest hot spot or trend (although it might be like that in other more pretentious hipster scenes). with that in mind, let's address some unjustified generalizations:

- foodies only go to fancy shmancy restaurants: sure, i can appreciate fine dining (e.g. french laundry lives up to its hype), but it's not like i equate good food to expensive food. some of the best food in the world costs a few bucks or less. this guy blogs about hole-in-the-wall joints, but he's obviously a total foodie.

- foodies are snobs and elitists: as one who has been accused of being snobnoxious, my argument to that is... everyone has their own opinion! yes, i did just hate on ton kiang a few paragraphs ago, but so what? that's my opinion. you, my friend, can eat whatever you want. i LOVE hazelnut, but i hate ginger. not everyone has the same palate as me, and i'm not going to press my preferences onto other people.

- foodies are self-proclaimed experts whose only credentials are reading reviews and watching the food network: just because i didn't go to culinary school doesn't mean i don't have a decent palate (btw, culinary school really doesn't teach you anything that would make you a connoisseur) . refining your palate comes from eating a lot of different kinds of food (not just locally) and knowing what you're eating (i.e. ingredients). i also do not watch the food network except for iron chef once in awhile. i did, however, grow up on pbs cooking shows which has nothing to do with restaurants.

- foodies have a stupid name: you have a stupid name.