Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cooking: Throwing it all Together

It's good to get back into cooking since I was eating out a bit much during the months of August and September. I've been more confident in my cooking recently and have been throwing together different ingredients to experiment more.

One day, I decided that asparagus, eggs, and chicken with penne pasta and marinara sauce sounded good. So I tossed them all together, coating them lightly with olive oil (see picture). It was definitely a hearty and healthy meal!

I've also been focusing more on buying fresh and frozen produce rather than pre-packaged meals. I haven't been much into processed foods for awhile anyway, but I've still become more mindful about what I'm putting into the grocery cart. Every week is an opportunity for more cooking experiments.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eating Out: Educated Palate's Restaurant Classroom

I had passed by the Educated Palate a lot in the past three years of living here in San Francisco. I never thought to go inside until recently....

The concept is interesting, intriguing: walk on in and you feel like you've entered into a super-fancy, super-pricy place. That's the point: but the prices of the menu items are very affordable. The restaurant is a classroom for budding culinary stars to practice their skills with less pressure than working at a fine-dining establishment off the bat.

Oh, but even though they're all "in-training", they still emanate professional standards. I certainly felt taken care of while I was here; I came here with my brother and we got plenty of bread (freshly made by the pastry students) and water. My entree was unique: mahi mahi, grilled mango, red rice with edamame. I'm all about tropical fruit on top of savory dishes after all!

Too bad I didn't have room for dessert, but I'm sure it's also exquisite. I believe every San Franciscan should check out the Educated Palate if they're downtown (it's at 4th Street and Mission Street). Go, support our future culinary superstars, and have a delicious, affordable meal (average $5-$10 per dish) during the workweek. You won't regret it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Eating Out: New Eateries in the Neighborhood

There have been quite a few new restaurants popping up nearby; luckily for me, my brother is willing to try out these places with me, considering they're all walking distance from our place.

From what I've seen so far: seems like noodles are trying to make a bigger presence out this way. We have a lot of casual Chinese eateries around and these new places are trying to break out from the crowd, if only just a little bit. There's a new pho restaurant, a new ramen place, and also a cheap sushi place that also serves noodles and casual Japanese food.

Not bad to throw a little more diversity in the mix, but I wonder if these places will be able to last. The neighborhood basically shuts down after the other shops close, and most people who stick around for dinner go to their tried-and-true.

Well, I walked by the sushi place yesterday and seems like it is doing good business with all the customers lined up. Maybe they'll be the lucky ones in this new wave of neighborhood restaurants.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Eating Out: Off the Grid Taco Comparison

I went to Off the Grid on Thursday evening with my friend aka Froyo Girl. There were about ten mobile food trucks/carts at the event, but we were especially interested in the tacos offered at a couple trucks.

First up: a sisig taco (picture on the left), a blend of ground meat in sour marinade (well, according to Wikipedia anyway). This was available from the Filipino food truck, Senor Sisig. I went with beef sisig with some spice. The lettuce was finally shredded which helped hold the taco together better. I liked the bit of lime squeezed on top of the taco, and the sauce definitely was a good way to counter the spiciness of the taco. Well done!

Next was a kalbi taco, Korean short rib, courtesy of Seoul on Wheels (picture down below). I personally liked my kalbi taco since the short rib was nice and chewy. The taco was topped with mayonnaise though...a little strange, but the taco was still enjoyable.

So, which taco did I enjoy more though? Well, after I consumed both of them, I decided that the only thing that made these tacos was the tortilla (ah yes, the most obvious part, right?). But I was impressed with how they constructed the tacos with their own unique blends of toppings.

In the end, though, I enjoyed the kalbi taco more. Maybe it's because of the thickness of the meat, but it also seemed more flavorful to me.

Next up, I'll try out a Chinese taco. How about someone make a Japanese taco?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vacation: Pyramid Salad

Just a photo to share today: I don't recall the exact name of this salad, but I do remember how I had to topple the whole presentation to eat it (after the picture was taken). One of the main ingredients of the salad was avocado, which complemented the crunchy bits on top quite well. I went to this steakhouse on the last night in Vegas with my family. Really marvelous experience!