Sunday, June 28, 2009

Birthday in the Park

One of my girls joined the Quarter Century Club. We celebrated with La Vic's takeout and Asti in the park.

A glass of Asti with a Lengua Quesadilla

Ice Cream CupCakes from Cold Stone

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer is Here!

Summer is finally here and the weather has been beautiful. That means...BBQs! It was a true BBQ, as in slow cooking

Home-Brewed Peach Hefeweizen

Lost Coast's Winterbraun

Smoking the Pork Ribs

Look at that beautiful color!

The chef at work

Grilling the lamb stuffed with garlic and basil

Shrimp in a Special Marinade

Almost ready!

Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Pineapples

Grilled Lamb

3 Hour Smoked Pork Ribs

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Day in the City

Summertime in San Francisco is usually cold and windy. On this particular day, the clouds were out of the sky and the sun shined bright. It was a perfect day for a free concert in Golden Gate Park.
Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray toasting to the crowd.

Gavin Rossdale -- my reason for standing in the crowd under the hot sun. I've been wanting to see him live for over 10 years, and I can finally check this off my bucket list.

A concert in SF means the food selection is going to be better than average.
Garlic Crab Fries with Aioli
Well-fried and not overwhelmed with garlic. The crab and aioli was a nice touch. I wish the crab shreds were real shreds of dungeness crab. That would have made this amazing.

Beef Gyro
I've been having gyros lately. The past few were wrapped in lavish bread. I prefer the ones in pita bread with yogurt sauce, exactly like the one here.

After the concert hydration and a chair were needed. On a beautiful day, Union Square seemed like the obvious choice. We went to Emporio Rulli located in the center of Union Square. Refreshing drinks and great people watching.
Peroni and a Grenandine Italian Soda

For dinner we went to Charles' Phan's Out the Door. This dine in/take out restaurant is located in the new food court section of SF's Westfield Mall. What I love about this place is that it makes Slanted Door quality food accessible in a casual setting.
Gruner Veltliner, Austria
I love pairing crisp, dry wines with Vietnamese food. This was especially refreshing after a long day.

Crispy Imperial Rolls
This is also served in Slanted Door. It is perfectly (and not overly) fried. The chunks of noodles, vegetables, and pork are all distinct. This is a must-get.

Gulf Shrimp with Egg Noodles
The egg noodles were perfectly cooked. Chewy and filled with flavor. This dish is definitely repeatable.

Cellophane Noodles with Dungeness Crab
This is one of Slanted Door's classic dishes. It's always delicious. It's a perfect Vietnamese tribute to San Francisco.

There's been a lot of hype about Bi-Rite Creamery. Since it was still open and we were craving for ice cream, we drove to the Mission District. When we got there the line was packed and all the way to the corner of the street. We waited for 20 minutes. Many new people in line were vocally asking if the line was worth it. A few dropped out. Many of the repeat customers kept insisting that it's so worth it and it will enhance your life.
Salted Caramel and Roasted Banana
AMAZING. I almost cried because of the intensity of the flavors and the smooth, creaminess of the ice cream. This is the best ice cream I have ever had. I want to have the Salted Caramel forever in my life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Night in Half Moon Bay

One of the best things about the Bay Area is the proximity of getaways. A quick drive to the coast led us to Half Moon Bay. You can't go to HMB and not get a brew at the brewery.

Half Moon Bay Brewery
If it's a nice, warm day or night sit outside. The air is so soothing by the coast.
Mavericks Amber Ale
This is my favorite beer from the brewery.

Fried Artichoke Hearts
It wasn't as good as I remember it to be, but since I love artichokes I still enjoyed this dish. They serve it with blue cheese dressing. I personally like it with ranch dressing.

Fried Cod Fish Tacos
Whenever I'm by a coastal city, I have to eat seafood. The frying of the fish was a bit too much. I should have opted for the grilled fish option.

Mezza Luna
We walked down a block for dessert. I love tiramisu. This tiramisu makes it to my list of great tiramisus. My favorite is from Trattoria Pinocchio in San Francisco. I look for tiramisus that are light and creamy, with a nice balance of the liquor, espresso, and mascarpone.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Santa Ramen, San Mateo
I've been hearing about this place for years. It's one of the best ramen houses in the Bay Area. Living in the South Bay, I would always go to Ryowa Ramen House in Mountain View whenever I had a ramen craving (or fried chicken craving). There was plenty of time to kill during this one night before the premiere of Top Chef Masters. So my friend and I went to Santa Ramen. They are known for their Tonkotsu (Pork Broth) Ramen with a side on Kurobuta Pork. And that's exactly what I ordered. Delicious! The texture of the noodles were nice and chewy - not overcooked, not undercooked. The broth had a delicate, yet intense milky taste. The kurobuta pork was like falling in love. But, it's the kind of love that's not good for you all the time. I want to eat for as long as I can, so I monitor how much pork belly I have, and being Filipino I LOVE pork from all parts of the pig.

Pre-Summer Night

There's going to be a lot of barbecues this summer. This was a sneak preview of meals to come during warmer nights.

Homemade Santa Fe Caesar Salad with Grilled Lettuce and Sliders with Caramelized Onions on Hawaiian Sweet Bread.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Night with Chef Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain spoke at DeAnza College in Cupertino. He spoke on various topics such as Alice Waters, why vegetarians are bad for the world, and celebrity chefs. After speaking for about half an hour, the lights lit up and he took questions from the audience for about an hour.

An eager audience member ran up on stage to ask Bourdain to autograph his thigh. On his thigh was a tattooed replica of Bourdain.

After the show, my friend and I went to the Cypress Hotel in Cupertino. An hour later at the bar, Bourdain shows up and orders a Negroni right next to us. I called out his name, "Excuse me, Chef!" and proceeded to acknowledge his trip to the Philippines. Before we left we requested to have our photo taken with him. He's HUGE. And not just tall (6'5'') but he has a massive head. I couldn't help but blurt out, "You're so tall!" So he bent down while I tiptoed for the picture.

Japanese Nights Out

The best thing about Japanese food is that I can eat it everyday. Why? Because it's not the same foods everyday. It varies from sushi, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, izakaya, yakiniku, and so on.

Juban, Menlo Park

This is a yakiniku house where you get to cook your food on the grill in front of you.


Bean sprouts, daikon, spinach, and soy sprouts


Boneless Kalbi Short Ribs

Grilling the food

Grilled Shrimp

Gochi, Cupertino
Japanase fusion tapas
Calpico Shochu
This drink is like childhood, but with an adult twist. I could swim in this.

Lychee Shochu

Grapefruit Shochu

Saba Carpaccio

Gyuniku Reishabu Salad
Shabu beef salad

Chicken Karaage