Naan Therapy

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Archive for the ‘Restaurant Review’ Category

Lers Ros, Thai food in San Francisco

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Larb Phed Yang – A chunk of roasted duck mixed with rice powder, chili powder and lime based salad dressing.

Pad Ped Alligator – Stir-fried Alligator with House made chili paste, Thai Eggplant Young pepper corn & Galangal

Lers Ros is a popular thai restaurant in tenderloin. Some say it is as good as Portland’s Pok-Pok. After looking at Yelp and Chowhound, we decided that Larb Phed Yang (duck salad) was a must have. We also decided to get the alligator from the special lunch menu.

The salad didn’t disappoint, the duck was moist and the whole dish packed a multitude of flavors that one tends to associate with south asian dishes. Raw onions had mellowed out in the lime. Basil leaves and coriander paired well with duck meat. Rice powder, somewhat grainy in texture like cornmeal, had added a crunchy texture to the duck meat which was itself cooked perfectly.

Flavors of Pad Ped Alligator were equally satiating. The curry didn’t have a coconut base and reminded me of Indian style curries. In particular I liked the fact that the quantity of green peppercorn was generous and I could actually taste them, they tasted like sichuan peppers without the numbing effect. Unfortunately, alligator meat itself was overcooked.

We went in on a weekend lunch expecting a crowd but there weren’t any. Restaurant itself is fairly canteen style. Staff is friendly and the menu is extensive. Although I won’t put Lers Ros in the same bracket as Pok-Pok, I am definitely returning. If it were my neighborhood restaurant, I would be doing take outs fairly frequently.

Written by Som

October 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

Sugar, Butter, Flour

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Sugar Butter Flour

Our local pastry shop, “Sugar Butter Flour” serves up excellent pastries. Here is a loot from a recent trip – tiramisu, chocolate hazelnut, flourless chocolate and a key lime mousse.

Written by Som

August 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Bistro Jeanty @ Napa, California

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Washington Street in Yountville has been taken over by Thomas Keller. So, holding your own out here has perhaps been fun for the rest of the great chefs in Napa. Nearly a decade ago, we ate our first lamb tongue dish at Bistro Jeanty and instantly fell in love. Now that we have been to Paris pilgrimage, we can safely assert that the food here is authentic French bistro cooking. Ambiance is Californian, with golden sun, crisp air, and spacious seating. On a summer day, sitting out on the patio, sipping one of the local Napa wines is a delight. Here is what we ordered this time around: Warm lamb tongue salad,  pigs feet, duck and goat cheese pate’, butter cooked snails, a bottle of their table red and a plate of cheese for dessert.

Lamb tongue is mellower and sweeter meat compared to rest of the lamb and was served the same way as we ate a decade ago, with warm potatoes and salad greens, a light and delightful dish. Pigs feet was slow braised, the fork tender meat was shaped into pig feet shaped log, coated with flour and deep fried – a bit on the heavy side. Rillettes was rich but it was mellow and sweet on the nose. Snail came with a lot of heavenly butter. I unloaded each snail on a slice of baguette, perhaps 1/2 a teasoon of butter per snail. Yummy. A light red wine and my better half provided delightful accompaniment to the meal.

Lamb tongue with warm potato salad

Snail in butter and parsley

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Written by Som

August 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

Commis

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“It was a sublime evening sitting in front of Chef Syhabout and his team.” “The educated love of food is evident in every offering.” “… studied grace of the kitchen …” “I was left speechless and incredulous.” Reading people’s comments on Commis sounded as if Ferran Adria himself had moved to my neighborhood. So before he decided to move shop from Oakland to somewhere where there is more there there, I decided to sample what others had been raving about.

With the help of opentable we got a reservation, read (some of) the breathless reviews on the web, and with some spit on our shoes and polish in our hair, off we went to Commis. For us ADD afflicted folks here is the summary – “Very good food with some minor issues. But the amount of hype Commis has received far exceeds the quality of food. Good service. Minimalist to the point of being IKEA-ish decor. Something should be done about that sodium vapor yellow/orange street light right outside the place.”

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Written by Sachin

April 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

Posted in Food, Restaurant Review

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Korean Fried Chicken, Bon Chon

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We live in part of San Francisco Bay Area that is famous for Korean food. So when the popular south Korea based franchise, Bon Chon Restaurant, opened a branch in our neighborhood strip mall, it was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I got in. My neighborhood hole in the walls are just that. Decor is typically non-existent. Menu is minimally put together. Furniture, floor and walls have a beat up look.  The wait staff is typically a first generation immigrant who speaks rudimentary English. But this is an immigrant community and while these restaurants are not for special occasions, they can serve up a dish or two that are expertly put together. In general, fried food in Asian cuisine is less greasy. Korean tastes are fiery.  So, it is fair to say that I was expecting a less greasy and more spicy version of southern style fried chicken from a fast food joint, a Korean McDonald.

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Written by Som

February 27, 2011 at 8:56 am

Grégoire’s – can I have some fried mashed potatoes to go?

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Crab sandwich with chips

Deep fried mashed potatoes

Deep fried mashed potatoes

Winters are a little drizzly around here. On these drizzly weekends, in lieu of long walks on the hills of Bay Area, we often find ourselves staying home with reruns of Firefly and surviving on samosa sandwiches. A few weekends ago, we decided to change the drizzly weekend routine and drove out to People’s Republic of Berkeley with the idea of lunching at Gregoire’s, a small hole in the wall that is purported to serve up gourmet lunches.

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Written by Som

February 21, 2011 at 7:56 am

Ubuntu – Philosophy to Food

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Fresh butter

Fresh butter

Gazpacho soup

Gazpacho soup

Steamed bun, stuffed w/ burrata and coated with crunchy corn

Steamed bun, stuffed w/ burrata and coated with crunchy corn

Mini rootbeer cupcakes

Mini rootbeer cupcakes

Lunch:

Someone was bound to combine two of San Francisco bay area’s favorite pursuits – yoga and food. Ubuntu in California’s Wine Country bills itself as selling just this combination. We visited only the restaurant half of the strange amalgam, but did not fail to appreciate the lithe yogis and yoginis passing by the large bay windows.

I suppose once you have decided to combine a restaurant with a yoga studio, you cannot really serve up cow or pig or any of god’s tasty creatures. So you end up serving vegetarian/vegan food. Sort of. There was egg on the menu.

Vegetarian/vegan food is such a departure from mainstream American tastes and practices that I usually approach it with trepidation. I am always afraid that I will be served some prettily arranged steamed peas and tofu decorated with fresh herbs, and that I am going to do something really seriously nasty. Like write a blog post.
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Written by Sachin

October 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Taquerias – where vegetarians fear to tread

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Little Mexico in Bay Area

Little Mexico in Bay Area

Middlefield Road in Redwood city, somewhere between 5th Avenue and Douglas street is a little Mexican island. Unlike neighboring Palo Alto and Menlo Park,  here there are no cute million dollar homes. Instead, the street is barren of trees and populated by run down yet colorful stores, taquerias, roach coaches and body shops. There is never a lot of crowd on the street and on hot summer afternoons, the emptiness against the stark background is noticeable. When you do see people, you see teenage mothers pushing babies in carts, dilapidated older women in bling, and groups of men standing around in grimy T-shirts, chatting and visually undressing all women walking by.

What brings me here? Yes, the tacos. A plate of tacos is a small meal – it costs practically nothing and can slide in between your normal meals with perfect ease. The salsas excite your tongue, the fresh corn tortillas arrive charred and soft and, the meats here don’t stop at perfectly done carnitas and pastor. You can get tongue, head cheeese, brain, cheek, and tripe too.

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Written by Som

August 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Sand, Sea and Moule Frites at Le Garage, Sausalito

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Le Garage at Sausalito waterfront

Le Garage at Sausalito waterfront

A weekend lunch with my sweetheart, after a gorgeous drive over the Golden Gate bridge, to the beautiful seaside town of Sausalito… If Le Garage, the popular French bistro in Sausalito, gets any closer to the sea, it will have to be a floating restaurant.

Le Garage’s ambiance is perfect. The place is hip and  causal, like a smartly dressed woman you want to be seen with. From the patio, the view of bobbing sail boats and flying sea gulls sets the mood. Our waiter at this particular lunch was a tall, dark and handsome young man, who got down on his knees by the table for our order – makes a girl feel special even if she is with her sweetheart. I was in a lovely mood this far. Our order – moule frite and squash blossoms stuffed with crab.

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Written by Som

July 17, 2010 at 7:28 am

Kathi Rolls of San Francisco

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Kasa at San Francisco, intersection of Fillmore and Filbert

Kasa at San Francisco, intersection of Fillmore and Filbert

Turkey kathi anda style @ Kasa

Turkey kathi anda style @ Kasa

Over the last year, Kasa has grown in fame for their kathi rolls, chef’s London School of Economics pedigree, and their modern hip taqueria look at the intersection of Fillmore and Filbert. Last weekend, after a long walk through the neighborhood of Pacific Heights, we found ourselves at Kasa ready to  chowdown on as many rolls as our stomach could hold.

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Written by Som

June 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

Fillmore: Jazz and Dosa

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Fillmore jazz festival is around the corner. There will be music, swing lessons, can’t forget the American Lindy Hop championships, and, inevitably, barbecue. Last year, I was at such a happy high after an hour of listening to swingin’ tunes from a time before my own that I forgot my usual wariness of San Francisco barbecue and bought a pulled pork sandwich from one of the food stalls lining the street. Even the thought of the pasty bread and the dry flavorless pork is probably killing a few neurons in the taste centers of my brain. But I have an alternative this time.

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Written by Som

June 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Domaine Chandon, California Wine Country

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Domaine Chandon

We had just had a lovely lunch at Perbacco, and were expecting to have a lovely dinner at Ad Hoc (Yountville). But how to spend the few hours in between the meals. We usually keep ourselves busy at work between lunch and dinner, but were playing hooky that day. It had to be something appropriate to celebrate a rare day away from work. Champagne, we thought, just might hit the spot. It was a hypothesis worth testing thoroughly.

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Written by Sachin

November 15, 2009 at 10:53 am

Posted in Food, Restaurant Review

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Perbacco, San Francisco

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Financial District of San Francisco

Financial District of San Francisco

In this the epicenter of all that is holy in foodie-land, it is not sufficient for a restaurant to call itself Italian if it is to lay claim upon the foodie’s attention. Sicilian? Yes. Piedmontese? Sure. Tuscan? So early 2009. It is hard to believe that there are many folks here who can tell a Tuscan meatball from a Piedmontese meatball. We most certainly cannot. So when we set out for Perbacco, it was just with the expectation of some good food. And boy, they did not disappoint.

We went to Perbacco for a weekday lunch. Lunch? Yes. You see, we were planning to go to Ad Hoc for dinner the same day. Playing hooky from work too. Now feel free to hate us.

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Written by Sachin

October 2, 2009 at 9:31 am

Ad Hoc – Thomas Keller’s restaurant in California Wine Country

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Napa countryside

Napa countryside

When your ship finally comes in you go to eat at French Laundry or Per Se. But until then, Thomas Keller has you covered with some less pricey options – Bouchon (Yountville and Las Vegas), and Ad Hoc (Yountville). Bouchon pretends to be a French bistro several thousand miles away from any real French bistro. Ad Hoc is a modern Californa bistro with its white walls, dark linear furniture, and servers dressed in retro gas-station attendant uniforms rather than the classic black and white. Ad Hoc also declares – pretentiously if you are hungry, cutely if you are not – ‘for temporary relief from hunger’.

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Written by Sachin

September 30, 2009 at 8:39 am