Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hong Kong Lounge II **'

No wait at 10:30 and service was better than original location.

Shrimp Dumplings
Fried Tofu Skin Roll
Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaves - a very good rendition
Salted Pork Porridge - o.k.
Noodles with Clam and Crab Paste - was a bit disappointing, the ramen noodles in the dish mediocre.
Chive Dumplings - translucent gummy skin, not my favorite

Friday, March 30, 2012

Toyose **'

Kimchi Fried Rice - excellent rendition, perfect seasoning and the egg yolk dripping over it added the right amount of substance to it.

Hae Mul Pajeon - chock full of seafood and nicely fried.

Yogurt Soju - a little weak alcohol wise, but good flavor

Seafood Jige - a variety of seafood in a spicy stew, the fish meat added flavor to the soup, but the meat itself was a bit mealy.

Fried Chicken - o.k. nicely seasoned, but needs sauce or something to finish it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

B Side BBQ **

Beans - tasty, nice acid balance
Dark & Stormy - Ribs great, with or without sauce
Coleslaw - good
Cornbread - good
Brisket - smoky but dry, the tomato based side sauce not to my taste
Smoked Sausage - good, not special
Friendly staff

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

De Afghan Kabob House **'


Tekka & Chapli Kabobs - tekka was excellent tender beef with nice smoke and char from the grill. Chapli is the ground beef patty mixed with spices and green onions and crisped up on the flat top.  The ratio of green onion to meat was a little too much green onion for my tastes, but I liked their general approach.  The rice is very good and the little side salad of potato in a vinaigrette was a nice foil to the rich meat.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

State Bird Provisions **'

halibut tartare & quinoa w/ bonito rosemary - nice way to start, enjoyed the nutty flavor of the quinoa, but the tartare itself didn't have any distinct flavors.

sourdough, sauerkraut, pecorino & ricotta pancake - ok, light.

CA State Bird - Fried squab, excellent crunch perfectly cooked moist tender meat.  Not gamey.

potato chips & dip - crispy, not greasy, enjoyed the creamy dip

hass avocado with scallop, squid and mussel ‘salsa’ - tortilla chips with whipped guac and a salsa of scallops, clams and squid; the seafood was tender and the sauce well balanced.

red trout with kishus, hazelnuts and garum brown butter - well seasoned crispy skin - a highlight for me.

duck liver mousse with almond biscuit - a favorite, loved the rich creamy mouse and the brioche-like biscuits.

duck neck dumplings in sourjus
- I like the acidic broth but the dumplings were unremarkable.

green garlic bread with burrata - Nice housemade burrata, but wasn't a fan of the prep with the bread because it was a bit soggy.

cast iron asparagus, lentils & sunchokes
- roasted asparagus with lentils, liked that the asparagus kept is fresh crunch and the lentils made it more substantial without the usual treatment of drenching them in fat.

kimchi pork belly with manila clams and tofu - I like the broth in this dish, the rest of it was o.k.

beef short rib ‘salad’, radishes & bone marrow - nice, tender chunks of braised rib, the salad had an appropriately zingy shallot? vinaigrette. And miner's lettuce to HM's delight.

tofu, yuba, shimeji mushroom & white miso
- a mix of tofu ingredients in a light well balanced creamy miso vinaigrette.  Perhaps because I'm used to being punched with miso flavored sauces, I was impressed with the lightless and delicacy of its use in this dish.

milk chocolate sesame crunch, clementine-cocoa jam - loved the combo of sesame with chocolate.

turkish coffee ‘ice cream’ sandwich, hazelnut streusel
- excellent.

‘world peace’ peanut muscovado milk
- ok not much essence of muscovado.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dumpling Kitchen **

XLB had very thin skins, though the bundles were not as neatly made as those at YS.  The filling had a decent amount of soup, but was lacking seasoning.  I was pleased with the skins even though a few of them broke when lifting them from the steamer.  I much prefer for them to err on the side of being too thin rather than too thick.

Pork Dumplings in Hot Oil - the hot oil is not spicy as I would like, but I though the dumplings skin had good flavor and texture and I loved the chinese chive filling.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

De Afghan Kabob House **


Kochaka Bolani - grilled stuffed flatbread, spicy and good.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sneaky's BBQ *

Wednesday Wing Night - double the wings for the price - tried the original and the spicy bbq sauce w/ the wings. Prefer the spicy.  Wings were o.k.

Beef Brisket - parts were excellent, the bark was well seasoned and had good smoke, the interior was moist but a bit too soft so somewhat overcooked for my tastes.