The blog lives! Here’s a rundown of a taco tour my friends and I went on this Saturday. H did some research to narrow the taquerias in The Mission down to seven contenders, and we spent four hours bouncing around the neighborhood and gradually reaching our maximum capacity for crispy pork bits wrapped in corn disks. From worst to best:
Getting a phone with a better camera was supposed to increase the amount of photos I take, but I didn’t realize it would kill this blog. There are so many restaurants I want to update with, but the photos I have don’t do them justice. After I move this weekend, I’ll be more conscious of bringing the camera out. Until then, here’s what my phone saw in my recent trip to Ohio.
To see what’s sucking up all the food photos that should be coming here, visit my tumblr.
i eat stuff that’s embarrassing to share with people. i’ve probably had this plus vegetables for lunch every day for weeks.
The day after my birthday, the amazing Y and J got me brunch at oft voted Best Brunch in Berkeley, 900 Grayson. Not a breakfast food lover, but love this place for its location in the middle of (what used to be) nowhere. It’s unassuming industrial name and building. Its arrogant owners. Its fervent loyalty to local bread, meat, coffee, dairy, furniture, forks. Gritty, smug, super crowded, one-hour waits, servers who judge what you order–It’s a Berkeleyan’s wet dream. Just don’t come in search of vegan chicken and waffles, because they still haven’t brought it back.
Even though I don’t love most of the things on their limited menu, this place is fun. They even have a meal for Hobbits!
After a three month drought, it starts raining buckets the day before my birthday. After considering several nicer restaurants, S and I decided to go with something near the bar we would go to later on, so Little Baobab it was. This Senagalese Restaurant is a magnet for West Africans, and people who enjoy their fried yucca and plantains, peppery curries and grilled fish. Part restaurant, part dance hall, it’s a dark little building in the middle of The Mission with plenty of happy people and twinkle lights to brighten us up.
Earlier that day…a nice birthday lunch at a killer new Mexican place with the editorial girls.
So cheap I didn’t even have to feel bad about being treated!
All my years at Berkeley, I’d heard about the city’s best falafels at Holy Land. I’m so pleased to have finally tried it today and say that it is not an exaggeration. Light, crispy patties of flavor are born out of this dank, randomly placed shop. They’re piled with fresh vegetables and drenched with tangy yogurt sauce, then swaddled in a hot, handmade pita. In Holy Land, you will call out Christ’s name.
The salad combo plate sustained me through two meals. With a mix of pureed and whole chickpeas and an ungodly amount of tahini, their hummus is reason enough to pay a visit. And show some love to the owner, a sweet old man.
A few other bites from the past month…
Osha Thai is the place for late-night food in the city.
Found a great papusa and tamale place next to work. The burritos are just okay.
A customized salad from the popular Mix’t Greens in Union Square did not impress.
It’s been a good month for food. My sponge cake recipe has been improving each week too, which I’ll post about soon!
My dad’s birthday is 1/1/1958. His brother’s is on 1/1/1956. Both of their names end in yuan, meaning New Year.
The past few years, we’ve been apart for his birthday, so this time I decided to do something special for this guy who doesn’t want presents. Dad is a human dustbin, but my mom is very picky about food. She loves the slightly sweet cakes at Chinese bakeries so I found the best looking recipe online, and tried out my first birthday cake. It’s good, but not as soft and fragrant as the real deal (the price you pay for not using artificial flavors and emulsifiers) I have at least five other variations to try, so we probably won’t see this one again.
Even though it wasn’t perfect, this cake is full of eggy flavor and sturdy enough to pair with anything from chocolate ganache to custard filling to shredded coconut. The best part is that I can control how much sugar goes in. The worst part is that there aren’t enough people around to eat it while it’s fresh. I might have to freeze some.
Happy New Year!
Having a decent cellphone camera is the best and worst thing to happen to this blog.The photos aren’t great but at least I can save all the meals that would otherwise fall through the cracks. Most places I have been going to are random or repeats, but soon I’ll feature some good vegetarian restaurants I’m really excited to try. Until then, these are the salvaged crumbs of the past two weeks, mostly from work lunches and my trip to Southern California.
Vegan spring rolls with tofu and shrooms from Saba. Not amazing.
Carne asada fries from Filiberto’s, the only Mexican restaurant open Christmas day in Encinitas. Shockingly, fries and guacamole aren’t a good combo.
Shabbat and Hannukah
Korean banchan in Torrance–finally an amazing meal!
Bibimbap with crunchy rice bits.
Chinese breakfast in Walnut, with vegetable sticky rice and soymilk. The Chinese can keep their breakfasts.
Mondo German pretzel. Not my thang.
Tofu banh mi from Saba. Yep I have the frequent buyer card now.
Red tofu curry from Lucky Thai House in Berkeley.
Indian restaurants getting into the spirit.
A full work week after a long weekend can feel like eternity. When Saturday rolled around I couldn’t wait to meet up with S and kick it like the old days. After a fun day in Berkeley, where every event (Cafe Med, Ici, Jeremy’s, the Lawrence Hall of science and Berkeley Bowl) felt like a journey down memory lane, we headed back to our abandoned neck of the woods for Indian food at Kabila. Indian and Mexican are the only good cuisines found around here, but I ain’t complaining.
Inside the warehouse building is a warmly decorated space with a case of Indian sweets, a buffet table, and a gang of attractive waiters waiting to usher you to a good meal. It’s not surprising that I was expecting heaven on earth.
As long as I can ask for less salt, I’ll be returning here. I liked that the waiter asked how our food was, which happens too rarely. Which reminds me, I should start referring to this blog on my receipts.