Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Food, Inc.

I highly recommend this documentary that discusses America's food industry and its effects on consumer health, the environment, and workers' rights. It's a very entertaining, enlightening, and compelling piece that really makes you think about the food we eat and the government agencies that monitor this industry. Please see the film's website here, check it out at theaters if you can, and make an effort to support organic, sustainable, and locally-grown food!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kioku Sushi

I am usually slightly suspicious about Korean-run Japanese restaurants, but I have no complaints about the sushi at Kioku. The sashimi is fresh and sliced thickly -- a great value for the price. The rolls are creative and tasty. The waitresses are always friendly. That's enough to make it a regular spot for me. Enjoy the photos!

Love the color of that salmon



Sakura roll (salmon and avocado roll topped with tuna)

Kioku Sushi
6180 Jarvis Avenue
Newark, CA 94560

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Il Fornaio

In an effort to expand my knowledge of restaurants beyond San Francisco, I decided to try Il Fornaio in San Jose for my dad's birthday last month. If you're looking for reasonably-priced, authentic Italian fare in a pretty setting reminiscent of trattorias, this might be your spot.

Carne Mista 'Ncoppa A Griglia ($21.99)

This was my dad's dish -- guess he still likes his meat! A trio of meat offerings -- grilled rack of lamb, game hen, and spicy sausage -- served with sauteed broccoli rabe and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes. We loved the grilled rack of lamb for its juicy tenderness, but the game hen and sausage were nothing special. The meat paired very nicely with his glass of 2007 Aglianico Terradora, a full-bodied red with deep flavors of black cherry, plum, and spices.

But ... I totally won the dish-off for the night ...

Spigula Dinto O Cuoppo ($22.99)

A cut of fresh bluenoss seabass baked in parchment paper with shrimp, mussels, clams, cherry tomatoes and white wine. This was a simple yet sensational dish. Baking the fish wrapped in parchment paper really brought out its rich, moist flavor, accentuated with the juices from all the seafood and veggies. I couldn't get enough! Accompanying the dish was a side of green peas sauteed with pancetta and roasted Yukon gold potatoes.

Can't ever really go wrong with pancetta!

Free dessert was in order for the birthday boy. Their Rosina al Cioccolato was a chocolate lover's heaven -- chocolate mousse and sponge cake soaked in Triple Sec, balanced with fresh raspberries and an orange crème anglaise. And they even took the time to decorate the plate with a birthday wish!

A sweet ending to a great meal!

Il Fornaio
302 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

P.S. Please welcome my newest friend joining the food blogging community -- WongCo Food. He can take some killer photos.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cassis: Dine About Town 2009

I apologize for my blogging hiatus; work and other activities have been keeping me busy. I've also been dealing with two health issues that are fairly unfortunate for a food blogger -- stomach acid reflux and a mild onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. I think my body is warning me about certain aspects of my lifestyle? (Oh caffeine, how I miss thee.)

But fear not, the foodie explorations have continued! For this year's Dine About Town, we tried out Cassis, a casual-chic French restaurant in the lower Pac Heights area.

Loved the ambiance and decor

Our table. Three courses for $34.95. Ready, set, go!

Warm goat cheese salad with bacon and pine nuts

The actual salad part of this first course was nothing particularly special, but the warm goat cheese was so damn good that I wished I could just order more slices of it separately. Super soft and creamy, and the slight warmth made its texture even silkier.

Grilled lamb tenderloin with provençale sauce, served with crispy polenta

The lamb tenderloin was decent, tender and properly cooked. I thought the provençale sauce was a tad too heavy, but another friend liked how it masked the gamey taste of the lamb. The polenta was wonderful though -- a perfect golden color, slightly crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.

Mmm ... delish.

Vanilla crème brulée with a touch of bourbon vanilla

My favorite dish from the meal overall was dessert. The crème brulée was textbook perfection, and the extra dash of vanilla really pulled everything together nicely. I was quite sad when I ate my last spoonful. Judging from my friends' expressions, the other two dessert options -- fresh strawberry tart and cream puffs with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce -- were just as pleasing to the taste buds.

'Till next time! Au revoir!

2101 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94115