Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Eating

Plum - Dinner at Plum and we ordered the whole menu again.  It's getting better and better.  I can't think of any misses.  Highlights were the: Wild Greens Panisse, Leeks in Vinaigrette, Braised Cauliflower, Oyster and Potato Stew.   Desserts took a while to come and were good under the new pastry chef, though the parfait was cold and a bit stiffer than before.  The chocolate creme was delicious but not as impressive as the parfait and cheesecake.

Chez Panisse Cafe - Lunch at Chez Panisse Cafe - loved it and they happened to be doing a menu inspired by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, a sign of a place with great class!  Loved everything: black sea bass cotechino, beets with romesco cauliflower, squid, fried oysters (tender and perfectly fried), hand cut pasta with mushroom ragu.  Grace likes the cafe more than the dinners she's had downstairs.  Though I've had limited experience with dinner downstairs, I agree that I prefer the cafe.

Mission Chinese Food - Each time I go there are new items on the menu and the other dishes evolve.  Standouts: rice porridge - a play on a westlake soup, deep flavor in the porridge itself, then topped off with bits of beef crab and other goodies, Taiwanese eggplant is indeed one of the best versions I've tried, Hainan Chicken Rice really clean flavors and delicious. Liked the salt and pepper crawfish but am a bit too lazy to have to pick out the meat.  The lamb soup reminded me of niou rou men.  On the cold appetizers, the tofu was nice.

Champa Garden - a lunch near J&A's place. A great meal.  Standouts were the fried fish dish with the gravy, the crispy rice in the appetizer platter, I loved the lao sausage in the app platter too.  Nice Larb and Noodles.  So good.

Koi Palace - duck dinner, lobster yi-men and a lemongrass beef dish.  W wanted the beef dish, it was full of umami though I probably wouldn't get it again.  A nice version of lobster yi-men though the lobster meat was not a sweet as I expected.  The peking duck was good as was the soup.  I thought the noodles with duck was ok, others said it was very ducky.  Overall a decent dinner though probably just on par with the food at New Canton in Sacramento.  Next time the Shanghai Style Crab two ways.

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