Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Burmese Kitchen formerly Larkin Express Deli remodeled and a more extensive menu of Burmese items.

Mohinga - fish chowder with rice noodles, good balance between the salt, spice and the rice noodles. Ordered with extra fried lentils: good.

Rainbow Salad - noodles were a bit sticky. Other than that the texture was good, but flavors were fine. Prefer the spicier more acidic version at Pagan.

Lunch combo is a good deal, big bowl of soup and a small portion of tea leaf salad.

Previous Post on Larkin Express Deli

Larkin near Turk

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ice Cream Rankings

Having been banned (for spring training) from making my own ice cream for a while. I've been back at some of the shops around town. Tried Meyer Lemon and Coffee Porter at Bi-Rite. Meyer Lemon is a bit too mild and lacks the tang I like in Ici's version. I like my own Meyer Lemon Sherbet best. Coffee Porter was delicious, nice bitter beer tones with some rich coffee flavor.

Humphry Slocombe had scoops of Kumquat Poppy Seed, Earl Grey, Guiness Ginger Bread, Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Bacon Pistachio, Secret Breakfast and Black Sesame. At Mission Street Food, I had a Green Tea Sesame. Out of these I liked BB Vietnamese Coffee and Guinness Ginger Bread. I loved Kumquat Poppy Seed and the Green Tea Sesame. I did not like the Bacon Pistachio or the Black Sesame I had at the shop. The sesame seeds were whole and not crushed or chopped at all which overwhelmed the taste of the ice cream. I have mixed feelings about this place, I think it's great that they are experimenting with flavors, but they shouldn't be experimenting on their customers. Some of the flavors, that I had small tastes of, proved to be better as concepts than as ice cream.

Ici, had the Vanilla Cherry Almond and the Candied Kumquat. Both were excellent, loved the dried cherry tartness against the almond crunch. The Candied Kumquat was perfect. I think I'm developing something for kumquat ice creams, I've got to try making some. As I left Ici, I thought of how much admire the first person that solved the problem of ice cream dripping through the bottom of hand rolled cones. Put a dollop of dark chocolate at the bottom! Truly problem solving of the highest order.

Also made it to Sketch to try their soft serve style. Sesame and Earl Grey were both very good and deeply flavored and the soft serve style gives it a creamier mouth feel. At a dinner party, I happened upon Polly Ann's Lychee and Green Tea. The Green Tea had a good bitter tea flavor, though the consistency of the ice cream was more air fluffed and less creamy -- similar to Mitchell's style.

New Rankings:

Candied Kumquat - Ici
Kumquat Poppy Seed - Humphry Slocombe
BB Vietnamese Coffee - HS
Vanilla Cherry Almond - Ici
Salted Caramel (add toasted almonds) - Bi-Rite
Macapuno - Mitchell's
Coppa Mista - Gelato Classico
Sesame - Sketch
Cookies and Cream - Bi-Rite
Ube - Mitchell's
Green Tea Sesame - HS

Previous: Ice Cream Ranking in July 2007

Sunday, April 5, 2009


As I scanned the menu this weekend, I was kicking myself for not making or taking any notes on this restaurant. I completely forgot which dishes were the hits and misses even though I had tried much of the menu on my last visit. Here's what we had this weekend:

Rotisserie Chicken - Clearly they brine the chicken before putting it on the spit. The chicken was succulent, juicy and a bit over salted to my taste. .
Papas Fritas - fine
Arroz - fine and salted
Ceviche Mixto - this was a disappointment. A straightforward lime juice ceviche that was over marinated, so that the fish pieces were a bit tough and the overall flavor was overly acidic. I much prefer creamy aji amarillo type ceviche at Mochica.
Lomo Saltado - C said it was on the salty side, would not get this again.

There was a large party going on and this seems like a good place to have one because the prices are just slightly above fast food, but the ambiance and service are comparable to the original Limon restaurant. I wish they would lighten up on the salt -- this would be a great bargain, if so much of the dinner was not overwhelmed by sodium.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kitchenette - April

Lunch at Kitchenette a little lunch box spot in the dogpatch run out of one of the loading docks.

Surprisingly good
fried chicken sandwich. In spite of the fifteen minutes it sat in its wrapper before I got around to eating it, the chicken was crispy with a well-seasoned crunchy crust. Perfectly matched with the sweet spicy garam masala honey and herb freshness of the coriander slaw. This was much better than the sandwich at Bakesale Betty's.

Photo courtesy of R. Pereirea.

The chickpea salad with tumeric oil, served on the side was overpowered by the tumeric oil and acid, but still good enough for me to finish. I was hoping to try the chicharrones, but that day they had spicy chips. The chips were thin crisp and had the right hit of spice. I also had a bite of the
coconut devil cookie which was chocolaty, chewy, and airy.

Beef & Pork Polpette Sandwich- the meatballs were a bit dry, the sauce was fine.


Pulpo - tender nicely cooked octopus with fingerling potatoes, dusted with a nice hit of spice.
Calamares a la plancha - another good rendition of this dish, loved the harissa kick.
Clams - too salty and the broth lacked flavor.
Fried Sardines - medium sized sardines with delicious thin pieces of fried meyer lemon
Oxtail Croquettes - the fried outer shell was a nice crunchy compliment to the slow cooked oxtail.
Callos - tripe, reminded me of trippa a la fiorentina at Delifina, the tripe was well cooked though the sauce was a bit one note.
Butter Beans w/ trotter - bacony beans with chorizo, didn't get a bit of the trotter
Papas Bravas - this was a decent recital of this dish, crunchy potatoes. The smokey spanish paprika was familiar, but I would've liked some spiciness.

Halibut with peas and romesco sauce was somewhat bland. The fish was steamed and the romesco sauce lacked flavor to carry the dish.

Catalan musician's tart with vanilla ice cream - definitely get this again. pecan pie with mixed nuts, buttery flakey tart crust and a perfect balance of savory nuts on the sweet filling.

Overall, the quality of the food is high, though the value is questionable due to the portion size. While I appreciate their expertise, time, sourcing, overhead etc, it's a challenge not to feel a bit foolish for paying $7 for three little sardines the size of my pinky finger, or some fried potatoes equivalent to about half a potato. Particularly when the ingredients aren't so precious that such spending feels decadent.

The atmosphere was nice and the service efficient. Something about this place reminded me of Nopa (which I like better). I'd probably go to La Ciccia or Incanto instead where I might spend more but get a better value. That said, it's nice to have a good Spanish place nearby. It's a good place for someone on a diet. If I did return, I might get: pulpo, calamares and butter beans again. Also good were the tripe and oxtail croquettes. Next time try some of the beet salad.