Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Burger Bar!

I love Burger Bar, and I'm planning to eat there as often as I can.

The Beer
Unibroue, Blanche de Chambly, Canada
This was a refreshing wheat beer that had a nice citrus finish. Ay.

Salmon Burger
This was delicious! It was cooked perfectly medium -- still a bit raw inside, just how I like it. This was like eating the freshest cut of a pan-seared salmon. Hubert Keller really knows how to cook his salmon! To keep with the healthiness of the protein, I ordered a wheat bun and aioli sauce. The aioli was nice and garlicky. I also added a side of Zucchini Fries. It's been consistently tasty.

Cheese Cake Burger
The taste and lightness of the cheesecake is delicious. The donut is a bit bigger than in Las Vegas. Overall I still prefer Las Vegas's version. What made this particularly dish stand out was the decorative whipped cream - the shape of a mouse! It's just like the mouse that Chef prepared in the Top Chef Masters episode where he made the winning dessert for the Girl Scouts.

Beer Float Paddle
We were the first ones in the San Francisco establishment to order this! Chef Hubert helped assemble the floats and the paddle. Our table watched the whole process. This is an order that you have to share. It's so delicious, but so heavy, especially after a hearty burger.

At the end of the meal, we had another chance to talk and take pictures with Chef. Throughout the meal, I noticed that he was very busy between the milkshake bar and the kitchen. However, whenever customers approached him, he warmly talked to them with a big smile. What a stand up guy!

More Ramen & Chicken

Before hopping on the Bart in Fremont to get to the Warriors game, my friend and I tried this ramen place that hails from Japan. Overall, this is a repeatable place and we really enjoyed the food.

Ajisen Noodle, Fremont
The Inside

Homemade Tender Ribs Noodle
This is a small order, and it was so generous. The pork is delicious! It was fatty enough, but not overly fatty. The braised taste was infused throughout the tender pieces. The noodle and the broth weren't as impressive. The noodle was on the thin side, while the broth was a bit salty.

Nagoya Tebakara Karaage
Japanese Fried Chicken coated with a sweet and spicy seasoning. Delicious!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Boiling Crab

I went to the Boiling Crab tonight in San Jose.  I’ve been hearing so many things about this place, and I’m glad I finally tried it.  Overall, it’s a fun experience.  The food is on the table, and you eat it up with your hands.  The bib works, by the way.  Be ready to wait awhile for your table.

The Bib
Trust me, you’ll need it.
boiling crab bib
The Inside
Great set up.  It feels like a seaside getaway.
boiling crab inside
In garlic butter.  This was my first time having crawfish.  It was pretty good.
boiling crab crawfish
Dungeness Crab
A great choice!  Dungeness crab is always the way to go.  It’s so meaty and full of that tasty fat in the head.
boiling crab crab

We also got an order of clams, which were nice and tasty.  But my hands were too messy to take out my camera. 

Red Velvet, Round 2!

My mom made another batch of red velvet cupcakes before she left.  Yay, I have dessert for the week!  She previously made square red velvet cupcakes.  This time, she tried the traditional shape.  It still had the same great, light texture and the same great taste.

Resting in the Pan
red velvet resting
red velvet iced
A Look Inside
The cake was moist, light, and fluffy.  The icing was more generous this time.  Look at how light and fluffy it is!
red velvet cut
Individually Wrapped for Freezing
red velvet storing


On a side note: I just got my new camera!  The new camera pictures start with the cupcake cut open shot.  I’ve had the camera for a few days now, and I’m still so excited every time I take a picture.


This is one of my favorite Filipino pasalubongs (homecoming gifts from the Philippines).  It’s from Pampanga, where they grow and harvest the rice.  Because of it’s limited production, it’s pricey.  After eating a bowl, it’s so worth it.  It’s freezable, so it can last a long time.

Here is it straight from the freezer with a little bit of sugar.  Look at that golden color!duman
Pour some boiling milk in the bowl, stir, and you’re set!  Mmm…time for another bowl…
duman with milk

Eating In

After a long day, it’s nice to come home, open up a bottle of wine, and cook a good meal to wind down the day.  With fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market and fresh whole sardines from the grocery, dinner had great potential.
Roasted Beets in a Garlic Vinaigrette
I love beets!  The texture and the sweetness!  Mm!
Bitter Melon
Sauteed with Onions and Tomatoes.  Every time I eat bitter melon, I feel like I’ve gone through a cleanse.  Woo – it’s a strong, bitter taste!  But, I’ve grown to love it, mainly because I know it’s healthy with plenty of nutrients.  I love my vegetables.
bitter melon
Furikake Fried Brown Rice
This is something that I’ve eaten since I was a child.  My parents cook everything great, including Japanese foods.  This is one of my first memories of home cooked fried rice.
furikake rice
Broiled Sardines
Nice and meaty!  This was a great find at the grocery.
broiled sardines

Monday, October 19, 2009

Burger Bar San Francisco is Open!

October 16, 2009 marked the Grand Opening for Burger Bar San Francisco.  On the first two days, the restaurant hosted 2,000+ customers!  What a success!
Thanks to my parents, I was privileged to attend the Grand Opening Party.  Following the party, we dined in the restaurant.  It was exciting to see everyone eager for the Burger Bar experience.  Adding to the excitement, Chef Hubert Keller, and his right-hand man Chef Laurent Pillard were greeting customers and giving samples of Mini Chocolate Burgers and Mini Milkshakes.  How fun!

Guam Foodie and I with Chef Hubert at the Grand Opening Party!
Burger Bar With Chef Hubert Keller
Plates of sliders were being served throughout the night.  Angus, chicken, and salmon.
Burger Bar Salmon Sliders
Mini Milkshakes
Personally served by Chef Hubert!  I couldn’t say no, and I’m glad I didn’t.  So tasty!  Creamy and full of taste!  This particular milkshake was Caramel and Coffee.
Burger Bar Milkshake
Where the Magic Happens
Our party was given a tour of the busy kitchen and the meat kitchen.
Burger Bar kitchenBurger Bar Meat 1Burger Bar Meat 2
The Entrance
The entrance is to the right.  Behind the glass doors is the private dining room, where larger parties and private events will be hosted.
Burger Bar Waiting Area
The Bar
Burger Bar Bar
The Bar Tables
Burger Bar Bar tables
The Milkshake Bar
Burger Bar Milkshake Bar
Each booth has their own television.  You can request to have the channels changed.
Burger Bar Booths
The Tables
Burger Bar tables
The View from Our Table
Burger Bar view
The Beer Pairing
The menu holds 24 beers on tap and 80+ bottles to choose from.  Not only that, there’s also an extensive wine list, cocktails, and virgin and adult milkshakes.
This is the Avery Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest.  Delicious!  A deep, malty flavor with tasty hops.
Burger bar beer
Peppercorn Burger
Country Natural beef topped with Dijon Mustard and whole peppercorns.  Served on a toasted white bread, with skinny fries.  Also served with a creamy peppercorn sauce on the side.  If you love peppercorns, you will absolutely love this burger!  It was cooked perfectly medium.  The taste of the beef is delicious on its own.
Burger bar peppercorn burger

I can’t wait to go back to try the rest of the menu!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trattoria Pinochhio

Pinocchio is one of my go-to Italian restaurants in the City.  The pastas are consistently delicious and comforting.  And, they have a light tiramisu.  Mm!
The Inside
pinocchio inside
Puglia, Italy
A decent red wine to pair with the pastas.  It could have been aired out longer.
pinocchio wine
Calamari Fritti>
Deliciously coated and seasoned.  Definitely one of the better plates of fried calamari.pinocchio calamari
Ravioli di Vitello
Home made veal ravioli in a porcini cream sauce.  Rich, but tasty!
pinocchio ravioli
Penne Vodka
This is one of my all time favorite pastas.  It was here that I first started loving it.
pinocchio penne vodka
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Creamy and filled with bits of pancetta.  Delicious!
pinocchio carbonara
Spumoni Ice Cream
Pistachio flavored.  Not overly sweet, and a nice chewy gelato texture.
pinocchio spumoni
Light and creamy!
pinocchio tiramisu

Left Bank at Santana Row

Chef Roland Passot has two restaurants along the main street of Santana Row – Left Bank and LB Steak.

Left Bank, Santana Row
I’ve gone to Left Bank several times.  I’ve been going since it opened in Menlo Park years ago.  My main critique about Left Bank is that it has the oily smell and feel inside.  The attraction with Left Bank in Santana Row is that there’s outside bistro seating.  Perfect for those beautiful California days.
left bank outside
Moules Frites
A solid order of classic mussels and fries.  The fries are done well: not overly greasy, and not overly starchy.  The mussels are nice and plump, and the broth is delicious.
left bank mussels
Salmon Hash
Generous bits of salmon with cubes of potatoes, topped with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce.  This was a tasty brunch plate.  The egg and the hollandaise nicely brought the dish together.
left bank salmon hash

LB Steak, Santana Row
LB Steak basically took over the structure and design of Tanglewood, so the interior is nice.  Overall, I wasn’t too impressed.  The burger was dry and too compressed.  The steak was delicious, but my dad still cooks far more superb steaks.
lb steak inside
Syrah/Grenache, St. Martin, 2006
A nice glass to pair with a burger or a steak.
lb steak wine
Burger Americain
The burger was a fail.  The bun was too crumbly, and the meat was overcooked and too compressed.  The taste was good, but because of the texture of the meat, it failed the whole burger.  Nice presentation, though.
lb steak burger
Side of Onion Rings
Decent.  The crispiness didn’t last long, as the batter and the oiliness took over.
lb steak onion rings Porterhouse
A delicious order of steak!  We had to ask to kitchen to cook the steak a bit more, as it came in rare when we asked for medium.  After that, it had a nice caramelized coating.  The New York Strip side was far tastier than the Filet side.
lb steak porterhouse