Monday, April 30, 2012


Champa Sampler - toasted rice, spring roll, sausage, romaine with basil and parsley. Loved this. 8th. Ave Oakland.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

D.I.Y. Southern Comfort

Hosted by HM & B. 

Fried chicken, collard greens, lemon chess pie 

Dishes inspired from the American South that include at least one "made-from-scratch" ingredient that you usually buy from the store. 

Hush Puppies & Corn Bread with homemade cornmeal 

Bacon-y Coleslaw with homemade bacon 

Skillet Fried Chicken with homemade buttermilk 

Biscuits with homemade baking powder 

Green Peas in Cream with homemade butter 

Homemade Hot Sauce 

Fried Okra 

Collard Greens with homemade lemon and duck confit 

Hard Lemonade with homegrown lemons 

Lemon Chess Pie with homemade butter 

Mint Julep Ice Cream

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NOPA **'

Dinner w J&A, and M's first restaurant dinner.  Excellent service from hosts & servers.

Warm Marinated Olives - o.k. good sized serving.
Fish Soup - nice light.
*Manila Clams, Green Garlic Cream, Tasso Ham and Grilled Bread - good flavors, well balanced, the ham was particularly tasty.

*Fried Asparagus and Romesco  - simple but very good.  The fried coating was crispy and not greasy while the asparagus inside was perfectly cooked.

*Moroccan Vegetable Tagine, Almonds and Lemon Yogurt - my favorite of the night, which was a surprise to me.

Housemade Pappardelle, Nine Hour Bolognese, Spinach and Parmesan  - average at best.  The pasta was a bit clunky, the texture was a bit tough and the pasta itself doesn't have much flavor.  At least they didn't err on the overcooked too soft side.  Compared to the quality of the pastas at Italian specialists this dish fell flat for us.  The meat in the bolognese had the proper long cooked consistency, but the sauce needed something to punch it up, either more acid or a hint of spice.

Grilled Broccoli, Lemon, Anchovy and Breadcrumbs  - o.k.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kokkari ***

Great dinner at Kokkari.  I hadn't been in several years and the place hasn't lost a step.  From most to least favored:

Arnisia Paidakia -  lamb chops grilled with a lemon-oregano vinaigrette. Nice char and smokiness. My favorite.
Gigantes - giant beans with tomato and feta.
Tzatziki with housemade grilled pita - the fresh pita here is delicious.
Octapodaki tou Yiorgou- grilled octopus with lemon, oregano & olive oil. 

Horiatiki - classic Greek salad.
Baklava - the baklava was fine, but the praline ice cream was just sweet and flat.
Moussaka - the spicing of the lamb had too much cinnamon or nutmeg to my tastes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yummy Yummy **

Sate Beef Noodle Soup with Egg Noodles #8 (ordered spicy) - I loved the tender meat and strong sate flavor. 

I had written off YY before due to a lackluster Bun Bo Hue, but this was such a great showing, I might have to come back and give the BBH another shot.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yum's Bistro **

Salt & Pepper Pork - o.k.
Mock Goose - good wine flavored sauce.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

De Afghan Kabob House **'


Lamb Chop is the way to go lovely charred fat and meat.  My favorite so far.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Greek Easter Dinner


Hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh and bread
Greek salad
Roast leg of lamb with yukon gold potatoes
Spring vegetable saute 
Assortment of greek pastries, yogurt with honey, fresh fruit and dates

Queens Louisiana Po Boy Cafe **

Oyster Po-Boy - nice authentic bread and flavor.
Gumbo - could be spicier and less greasy, but I liked it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Plow **

The highlight here is the breakfast potatoes, they also serve Nueskes Bacon.
Tea Smoked Chicken Salad - pretty good.
Pricey menu, but good service.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Little Beijing *'

On Noreiga

Green Onion Pancake - thick layered and crispy.
Dan Dan Noodles - lots of peanut sauce not much meat, I prefer the one at Z&Y because it's a little less saucey and more flavorful.

All the other tables had pot stickers and fried chicken wings.  The menu also had water boiled beef, something I might try next time.  It seems like a hangout for Chinese students from SF State.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Homemade Bacon

I'm still working on my smoking technique.

Smoked Second Batch


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ice Cream Bar *'

The soda fountain is the way to go.  Nice neighborhood atmosphere.

Root Beer Float - the root beer in this float is delicious, loved the anisey sassafras flavor, the marshemellow on top is a nice touch, but the marshmellow itself isn't the best I've had.  The ice cream here is on the sweet side.  It's not bad but not something I'd seek out.

Classic Wild Cherry Phosphate - refreshing with a nice tart sour cherry flavor.

Ice Cream Sundae - o.k., the composition of chocolate, nuts and whipped cream is nice, but the ice cream is a bit on the sweet side and the chocolate sauce lacks body and salt.

Coconut Lychee Sorbet - good.