Foodie Friday: Food Truck Smorgasbord

We Sushi, Soulnese Food Trucks
We Sushi, Soulnese Food Trucks

 

Waiting in line at the Curry Up Now food truck
Waiting in line at the Curry Up Now food truck

*No*, I did not try these food trucks all at once. As much as I think death-by-food-coma is probably the best way you can leave this world, I’d like to enjoy food a little more.

 

Curry Up Now

Fridays tend to be my foodie days in SF, where I don’t bring lunch and go out and try what the FiDi has to offer. Curry Up Now was one of my targets. Doc’s Burgers was a hit with not only me, but my co-workers, so I was excited to try this truck that sells Indian/Mexican hybrid goodies. Despite the wait, I still wasn’t really able to decide when it was my turn to order, so I went for a combo and ordered the popular stuff: tikka masala burrito with a mango lassi and a samosa. I *loved* it: the burrito was spicy (people weren’t kidding about the kick), and the samosa was huge and yummy. The mango lassi was the only disappointment. It didn’t have the tang and thickness I associate with a lassi drink. The only bad point I can recall is how messy the burrito was. It makes sense  I guess, I’m eating Indian curry covered in a huge, yet thin tortilla. You better have a plate and lots of napkins near by after that first bite. If I ever go back, which is probably a heck yes, I’d go for the deconstructed samosas or one of the vegan options. Hopefully next time they’ll have their wheat tortillas in stock too.

Soulnese & We Sushi

One of the reasons why I love eating with friends is that there are more chances to order more food all in the name of “sharing”.  While waiting for the San Jose Taiko concert my friend and I walked around the park which had food trucks lined up. My friend wanted sushi, I wanted to be adventurous and out of all the food trucks at the park, Soulnese’ chicken & waffle burrito took the prize. Of course, to assuage my guilt my friend and I shared the burrito. So glad to have friends who enjoy food too.

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Lobster crunch sushi and chicken and waffle burrito. Gross? Amazing? Hmm..

Despite the new cred food trucks have now, sushi food trucks was pushing it for me, but We Sushi proved me wrong with the Lobster Crunch. It tasted pretty much like any American sushi you would order at a Mikuni’s or Japanese fusion restaurants, definitely didn’t taste like the ingredients were stale and out for a while (I’m still alive after all).

We Sushi website

The burrito was kind of another story:

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A girl can splurge every once in a while right? Right?!

If you like chicken and waffles (and why wouldn’t you?), you would enjoy this crazy breakfast burrito. Fried chicken, egg, ham, bacon, and waffle with maple syrup. Although I did enjoy it, the waffle and fried chicken were not crisp and more on the soggy side. I think I’d prefer chicken and waffles spread out on a plate so I can enjoy the crispiness and pour any amount of syrup I want. I’m glad I tried it, but probably won’t order it again.

Soulnese website

 

Foodie Friday: Clover Bakery & Cafe

One thing that surprised me when I lived in Japan was the number of bakeries around. Not only for their sheer number (think Starbucks-around-every-corner-of-the-city number), but also the popularity. Like most Asian countries, rice is a central part of a meal, and in most Japanese’s minds, bread is associated with western countries. Then again, in Japan one is always on the go, whether from commuting or staying out late working. It’s a quick, cheap, and very portable meal to bring with you when traveling or rushing to work. Vie De France, one of the more famous bakery chains, was a usual go-to for my Peach sisters and I before heading out to travel.

Bakeries. Another reason why Japan is a dangerous for me and in my top ten of things I miss about Japan. Which is why I was sooo dismayed happy  to find Clover Bakery & Cafe: a Japanese bakery which is next to a Japanese supermarket and Kinokuniya no less.  Saratoga just got *that* much more dangerous.

 

Clover Bakery ♧
♧Clover Bakery ♧

 

Unlike America where you just go up to the counter in the bakery section of a supermarket and order what you want, a Japanese bakery tends to use a more cafeteria-like approach when purchasing your carby goodness:

 

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#1: Grab your weapon and shield! I mean tray and tongs!

 

Next…the hardest part…for me anyway:

 

Choose your poison~
#2: Choose your poison~

 

In addition to the standard fruit pastries, anpan (red bean-filled bread) and cream pan, Japan truly makes bread their own when baking savory types including カレーパン、or curry pan (bread), mentaiko pan (ew), the odd corn and mayo pan (honestly, what is UP with the corn+mayo combo Japan?!) and the ultimate carb selections like spaghetti, yakisoba, or okonomiyaki bread. Let’s not forget the cute Anpanman, Hello Kitty shaped anko bread too! If you go to a lot of bakeries, ahem like me , you’ll notice bakeries tend to usually sell the same things. If you’re lucky they might sell artisan breads for a slightly high price. Of course in addition to bread, bakery/cafe combos including Clover sell your standard coffee/tea/juices. When I went with my aunt we both ordered a matcha latte, which was so-so to be honest, but we didn’t go there for the drinks!

Clover was a home away from home for me. It reminded me of the little bakery in my little town in Okayama. Sigh, good times. If you have the chance to visit a Japanese bakery, DO SO. And eat a cute face-shaped bread for me. Oh and if anyone knows some good bakeries let me know! I’m a sucker for bakery/cafe shops.

For those around town and would like to try:

♧ Website

♧ @Cloverbakery They post deals on their twitter. Sadly they’re on weekdays from what I’ve seen.

Foodie Friday: Erik’s DeliCafe

Sad story, but true: due to my mom’s diabetic and kidney condition, she gets hospitalized. A lot. Ironically, the only food places around the hospital are Carl’s Jr.s and Jack in the Boxes. Fortunately, I found through Foursquare a little cute cafe/deli that sells tasty soups sandwiches and tempting baking goods. May I present, Erik’s Deli Cafe.

Turkey walnut pesto sandwich

The cafe is a bit on the pricey side, but I feel like I’m paying for the quality of the food. The best deal you can get is the half and half combination so I got the turkey walnut pesto sandwich and butternut squash soup. Man I forgot to ask them to take out the sprouts, but the turkey, avocado, jack cheese, walnut pesto aioli on the 9-grain wheat bread make up for it.

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The store had cabin, antique feel to it. It’s cute

 

The only complaint I have is that they messed up my order the first and second time I went there, which is a bit annoying, but their food is tasty so I forgive them. Let’s hope third time’s the charm!

 

Foodie Friday! Afternoon Tea @ The Fairmont

I kind of have an obsession with British afternoon tea, thanks to my trip to London(a post about my trip there can be found on my other blog here). I thought I would never have afternoon tea outside of England, but crazily enough there are places in the US that do it. There are a few in Vegas, one which I’ve tried and it was meh. The next one I tried was in The Fairmont hotel and my sis and I took my aunt there for her birthday. Lucky for me she likes British things too and always wanted to experience afternoon tea.

Similar to my experience in London, the food was pretty much decided and you just choose your tea. I chose maple maple while my aunt and my sis had a jasmine and a berry tea respectively.

First came the savory stuff.

egg salad, salmon, cucumber sandwiches and prosciutto crepe
egg salad, salmon, cucumber sandwiches and prosciutto crepe

The proscuitto crepe had fig jam and though good was way overpowering.

Next, the moment of truth: the scones.

seasonal scones served with lemon curd and Devon cream
seasonal scones served with lemon curd and Devon cream

My only complaint that for the amount we paid we just got two tiny scones. Delicious though. I think one had cranberries in it.

The last part of the meal, the dessert, was the one I felt like it was out of place. Don’t get me wrong it was tasty as heck, but I didn’t really get this fancy dessert in any other afternoon teas. I guess I would’ve preferred more scones ^_~  Maybe it’s a perk for having it in The Fairmont?

I almost didn't want to eat it, it was so pretty
I almost didn’t want to eat it, it was so pretty

I really liked the cassis mousse….

My aunt enjoyed our little tea session though we all agreed it was worth doing only once. Especially at $32 a head. The hunt for a decent scone and cup of tea continues. Sigh.

EXTRA CREDIT: I made scones for my aunt as her birthday present and bought her devon cream at World Market.

Deformed, but tasty imho
Deformed, but tasty imho

Foodie Friday: Leggo my MoGo!!

How did food trucks get so popular? I never really liked the idea of them as a kid. I just had the impression that they were roach mobiles that carried nasty food (got my nasty food fix @ McDs thankyouverymuch). Then I went to college and found the awesome-ness that is the taco truck. And THEN I got addicted to watching The Great Food Truck Race (curse you Seoul Sausage!! y u no in Bay Area?!) and THEN my aunt sent me a link to an awesome thing called Moveable Feast.

http://mvblfeast.com/ It’s pretty much a food truck market. Every day, this…market goes to a different area around the bay and show off the goods. Although there are a TON of trucks that participate, it looks like it changes every time though some trucks are probably regulars. I went to the Blossom Hill location on Monday. My parents went to Chairman for the pork belly bun and my sis and I went to get our Korean-Mexican food on at MoGo BBQ. Korean. Mexican. Best combo. EVAR.

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Kimchi quesadilla for me. Spare rib burrito for my sis

The only thing I can complain about this truck is the pricing, but I’ll let it slide since I thought it was really tasty. The burrito was really good. The spare rib and rice with kimchi was an interesting combination for a burrito. And it *works*. My parents’ order was good too, but I’m not really a fan of pork belly anyway (shoot me). It’s a good thing I was happy with MoGo because KoJa Kitchen owned the night. Skimming through the menu I could see why.

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Line for KoJa. Next target acquired

I want to go again. Or maybe hit Off the Grid. Well, whichever one has Sam’s Chowdermobile. I’ll catch you yet Chowdermobile!! ::shake fists::

Foodie Friday: My ramen damnit!

 

During the Returning JETs Reception in San Francisco I saw a guy trying to find returning Fukuoka JETs. To be honest I forgot why, but he wanted to discuss with them about ramen and the second he said that the girl next to me and I nearly had a fangirl fit and demanded asked nicely where we could find *good* ramen.

Him: Good ramen? Orenchi Ramen. In San Jose. Best ramen I think.

Me: Yay I live in San Jose! What about San Francisco?

Him: Hm..no..not many good ramen in SF.

Woah. Now Kyushu has some pretty tasty ramen, so I definitely had to visit this place if it got a thumbs up from a Japanese expat.

Orenchi Ramen’s menu is pretty straight forward with 4 types of ramen and some choice of appetizers and salads. My friend and I both ordered the Orenchi ramen, which has a tonkotsu base. The menu can be found here: my ramen

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And oohhhh man, the taste is just like I remembered it in Japan. The noodles were firm (かため) and the broth wasn’t too heavy, but still had plenty of porky fatty taste (and I mean this in a good way). My friend ordered karaage too which tasted pretty awesome too.

VERDICT: Definitely a go-to place for ramen, but Orenchi’s time might not match yours. It’s known to have lines and the store closes when they run out of soup even though they do have set hours. If I have the chance to go again, I’d try the tsukemen. If I could, they only serve to 15 customers for lunch and dinner. Boo.