Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category
La Viga is a Latin American eatery, somewhat setback from the heart of Redwood City downtown. In case you didn’t know Redwood City (RWC), it is the city with “Climate Best by Government Test”. As a Bay Area resident, I can attest to the fact that it is one of the prettier of San Francisco Bay Area cities but I am still questioning the climate after an year of living in this city. Normally, if you are craving tasty tacos you will be eating at one of the many taquerias along the Middlefield where the best tacos in Bay Area are to be found. But if you want a nice sit down place (shared tables) with a more vibrant ambiance, La Viga it is.
If I had to pick a favourite, it had to be the Oysters on the Half Shell (I am partial to taste of sea) and Pulpos Salteodos. Latter reminded me of Nikkei cuisine from Barcelona’s Pakta.
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
For a few minutes every week, my weekly grocery is on my dinner table, waiting to be put away. It is a wonderful sight to behold in the summertime. What can be more glorious than a collage of nature’s bounty – multicolored zucchini, deep orange fleshed pumpkin, pastel colored melons, peppers ranging from purple to yellow, eggplants shaped like eggs and like elongated cylinders, potatoes shaped like fingers to ones shaped like grapes. And in Bay Area, owing to a large Asian community, I also bring home a large variety of different leafy greens, vines and gourds – when in doubt , I sauté with a hint of garlic and a dash of soy sauce. Aroma of fresh bread, popped corns, fermenting sauerkraut comingle to create a mini market on my table. Tomatoes are so juicy and plump that you want to eat them with a sprinkling of salt right then and there – and sometimes I do.
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.
A slice of brioche with a drizzle of Seville orange marmalade…..
Local citrus growers have started bringing their Seville oranges to markets now. Made a batch of marmalade this spring following David Lebovitz‘s recipe. We did only one alteration – removed the white pith from the rind before chopping them up. Result – absolutely the best Seville orange marmalade ever. And I am glad we canned the batch – if used in moderation, this should last us the year.
The Brioche was from Acme stand at Mountain View Farmer’s market – a citrus and almond brioche with candied orange and lemon peel and orange blossom water.
Evolution played a cruel trick on me by giving me a sweet tooth and then robbing me of the ability to digest lactose – a common component of milk. As a result I look longingly at ice-creams and then have to console myself with a chocolate souffle or two. But no more. Human ingenuity trumps nature again. A sorbet company based in the San Francisco Bay Area makes sorbets that are as creamy textured as ice creams, and have purer flavors to boot. Various organizations that give out awards to geniuses and what not, please take note.
The ingredients are high-quality and fresh, largely bought from local farmer’s markets, which is reflected in the clean flavors of their sorbets. It is also reflected in the sometimes unusual flavors, such as Anaheim Chile and Beet Lemon. They didn’t have Chile or Beet this weekend at our local farmer’s market. But they did have Sweet Potato and Coconut, which was intensely coconut-ty and sweet potato-ey. No fillers, just the taste ma’am. Peanut butter and caramel had that fresh roasted peanut flavor and was mercifully not cloyingly sweet. Hazelnut and Blanxart cocoa sorbet was just heavenly. As each little spoonful melted on my tongue, the perfume of hazelnuts and the lush flavor of cocoa made me want to go back and get a few gallons of the stuff for the week. Good sense prevailed as usual. I shall instead spend this week in anticipation of next week’s farmer’s market and a new set of wonderful tastes.
A note on the texture of these sorbets: I had expected hazelnuts to impart a slightly gritty texture to the sorbet, but it was as smooth as a gelato or ice cream. (Perhaps a Pacojet is involved in the process.)