Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yakitori Yakyudori: San Diego, CA

Minh moved down to San Diego a few months ago and little did I know that it'd mean I'd have a foodie buddy to harass. We discovered that we both had a liking for Yakitori Yakyudori over a Facebook photo. His dream is to one day order one of each item in one sitting. Hmm... amass a large group of friends or fast for a week to stuff this all? I say fast... I don't want to share my pork toro skewer.

Chicken Skin. I once saw a paper ad on the restroom door proclaiming you'd develop baby soft skin from indulging in this. I've gotten this dish every time I come but have yet to feel the effects. Oh well... it's still the first dish I always enjoy here.

Large Chicken Terriyaki Bowl. I like coming here with one other person to split this order. Perfect for two! I'm such a fan of the lightly charred chicken over white rice with a generous heap of nori slivers and drizzle of terriyaki sauce.

Beef Tongue. Another one of my favorites. Fatty tender goodness on a skewer seasoned perfectly with salt. Need I say more?

Fried Spanish Mackerel. Ahh this was the dish that did us! I normally don't get this but we got an order and it totally filled us up. It was a generous portion of mackerel coated with panko. Not my most favorite dish but I'm a fan of fish and fried stuff. Who isn't?

Pork Toro. Oh how I relish this item. Normally I get a 2nd round but thanks to the order above I was pretty much done after this. A lovely combination of meat and fat on the tongue. I'll be back soon for this! 

Rolled Pork With Shiso. I was pretty stuffed at this point. However, I mustered up enough stomach space to enjoy some more pork goodness wrapped with shiso along with a side of tart pickled plum sauce.

Yakitori Yakyudori
3739 6th Ave., #B
San Diego, CA 92103

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

See Ya Later At Extraordinary Desserts: San Diego, CA

My good friend Huy is moving back to the Bay Area. In some ways I'm jealous that he's leaving before me since I long to come back home too. We've known each other since middle school but our relationship at that time through high school was very different.. more along the lines of we were simply aware of each other's existence. I don't think it was until we both started attending UCSD that we actually developed a real friendship. Perhaps it was out of seeing a familiar face in a sea of strangers that brought us close together.

Anyhow this was was our last meal together before he took off. I was craving dessert at Extraordinary and normally I order a Blood Orange Ricotta Torte but there was only 1 slice left in the display and I'm not a fan of taking last slices so we went with a slice of the Roasted Coconut Cream Torte.  

They weren't kidding with the coconut in the name. It was delicious but coconut was just all about the only flavor I could distinguish. It was still a lovely combination of vanilla sponge cake, roasted coconut and voluminous lightly sweetened whipped cream.

I normally order a Chai or coffee but I was feeling fruity that day so I ordered a kiwi lemonade. What a visually appealing drink. Simply a refreshing light sparkling lemonade with kiwi puree. Most definitely a lovely drink to sip on a lovely day.

I'm not a fan of saying goodbye. I've watched as my friends moved away for family, grad school or new jobs and its always sad to say goodbye. So I'll just say see ya later! Hope you have fun readjusting in the Bay Area Huy! I'll be bugging you when I'm visiting the Folks in the area ;)
Extraordinary Desserts
2929 5th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Daytime Adventures in the City by the Bay: San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has always been a favorite day trip destination for my family but it's usually restricted to a visit to Chinatown. Sometimes we'd randomly find our way to Fisherman's Wharf.  I remember when I was going through my Sanrio phase as a little girl, my parents would let me roam around the 2 story store in Union Square and let me pick out something for my birthday. So my scope of the City growing up was Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and a sliver of Union Square. I got nothing against Chinatown. I love Chinatown but I always yearned to venture around a bit more through this culturally rich city. Even though EHK and I both grew up in the Bay Area, it never seemed like we got a chance to fully explore this gem by the Bay.

So we decided to take a day a few weeks ago when we both found ourselves at home and explore what was in our childhood backyard...

We began our journey during breakfast time so lets get some breakfast yea? We started the day at Tartine. It had always been on my to try list. Its just that I had never been in the City at an appropriate time to enjoy a morning pastry. We ordered a scone and frangipane croissant. Both were delightful. We tend to stay away from scones since we've had some bad experiences with hockey pucks. However, this was buttery and fall apart tender. The perfect mate to a hot beverage.

I had read that the frangipane croissant was just ok here but Mr. K had a soft spot for almond croissants and it was calling out to us from behind the display case so we had to order one. Airy, flakey and not too overpowering in almond flavor.  I actually enjoyed it so I'm not sure what's with the mediocre reviews.

I thought that the hot beverages served in bowls were cute but hindered functionality. Delicious Chai but I did miss the cup handle.

We packed a little surprise to go. So much a surprise that we don't have a photo of the delectable. Well it was a fruit tart. So you'll just have to check out Tartine to see what it looks like ;)

Since Bi-Rite Creamery was around the corner, we went for a walk around the Mission and waited for the shop to open up. We were essentially the first to walk in and proceeded to taste a few flavors before we settled on coffee, mint chip and brown butter pecan.  Silky smooth in texture and at the same time rich and bold in flavor... one could definitely taste the care and thought put into making this cool confection. My definite favorite of this trio was the brown butter pecan. I was so tickled with actually tasting browned butter in this creamy concoction.

After getting up to Coit Tower and taking in the lovely vista, we headed over to the Ferry Building Marketplace for lunch. We happened upon Boccalone and decided to give it a try since we had dinner plans at Incanto. I had been wanting to try Incanto for quite some time and I was hoping this would be a nice prelude to a tasty evening give the connection of both places to Chris Cosentino. I asked for a recommended sandwich and was given the La Cicciolina which contained porchetta di testa with pickled carrot, radish, chilli and mint. I should have known better when he said it was a take on the Vietnamese bahn mi. Don't mess with the bahn mi!  I'm already particular with how I like my bahn mi so I wasn't sure what came over me when I agreed to give it a go. The pickled veggies seemed way too overpowering. It should complement the meat which was why I was here since its a salumeria, but all I could taste was pickled carrot and radish :(. I mean it wasn't a bad sandwich. Just not good enough to leave me with a feeling of  wanting to come back to this shop for this sandwich. 

EHK and I were still feeling in the munching mood so we grabbed some bread from Acme, a few shops down from Boccalone and some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.

We ordered a dollop of the Fromage Blanc (photo above) and Montegrappa (photo below). I really like the cream cheese texture and semi tart, rich flavor of the Fromage Blanc. We were sitting on a bench overlooking the Bay Bridge so it was much easier to grab a spoonful of this cheese and spread it on some bread than to cut off a hunk of the Montegrappa. EHK was however a bigger fan of the semi firm nutty Montegrappa. 

Tartine Bakery & Cafe
600 Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Coit Tower
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94133

Ferry Building Marketplace
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Boccalone Salumeria
Ferry Building Marketplace
Shop 21
San Francisco, CA 94111

Acme Bread Company
Ferry Building Marketplace
Shop 15
San Francisco, CA 94111

Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop
Ferry Building Marketplace
Shop 17
San Francisco, CA 94111

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Low Carb Dinner at Sushi Ota?: San Diego, CA

What's a girl to do when her birthday and the company party are on the same week? 

I've been going to Sushi Ota for my birthday for the past few years now so it seemed out of the question to break tradition while I'm still living here. At the same time... I bought a cute red one shoulder dress that I had every intention of looking great in which was why I had been going low carb up until this dilemma of a week. So what to do? Well I showed up and gave Robert at the bar a challenge. Please make me an omakase meal with NO RICE. He pondered for a few seconds and the meal below is what he proudly presented me.  Uhmm... I think I'll just let the photos speak for themselves this time.

So I celebrated my 25th birthday as usual at my favorite place with my favorite chef, didn't miss the rice and I think I still looked decent in that cute red number :)

Sushi Ota
4529 Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, CA 92109

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