Archive for March, 2011

Delicious Oyster Probably Not From Japan – Higuma

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

In order to support Japanese restaurants during this tough time, I have been eating sushi more often lately than before. My sushiya of choice is Higuma in Redwood City. In addition to sushi, I had two oysters which were really tasty in a clear vinaigrette sauce.

Note: This picture was taken with a Nexus One mobile phone.

540 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94063
Tel: +1-650-369-3240

Old Style Family Breakfast – Black Bear Diner (Davis, CA)

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

The FoodLover took Junior to Davis on Thursday to participate in the Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Before going to the competition site at UC Davis the next morning, we walked over to the Black Bear Diner across the street from the motel for breakfast. The country-style decor of this place was clean and comfortable. The servers were friendly and efficient.

While we were browsing through the menu which looked like a newspaper, I ordered coffee and expected Junior to ask for his regular OJ or milk. No, he didn’t want any of that kiddie stuff; he ordered coffee as well. He then filled the coffee mug to the rim with cream and five packs of sugar. I will be waiting for the day when he starts to drink coffee black.

Junior’s Belgian Waffle looked great. It had to taste good too because he ordered the same on the following day. I had not had Corned Beef Hash & Eggs since my college days. I mixed the beef, egg and hash browns all together and it gave me this familiar feeling of yesteryear. The English Muffin was warm with buttery taste – simply well prepared.

On the following day, I had the healthy 7-Grain Almond Granola Pancakes. There were three of these 10-inch steaming pancakes. I spread half a ball of butter with all the syrup on the top pancake. It was good and I was full after finishing the first one. Didn’t want to let go, I asked the waitress to give me more syrup and she pleasantly came back with two servings. Unfortunately, my stomach had its limit; I had to stop with one and a half pancakes still on the plate.

I will not hesitate walking into another Black Bear Diner when I see one on the road; Junior will do the same, I am sure.

Black Bear Diner
255 Second St., Davis, CA 95616
Tel: +1-530-756-4190

Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? – Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot 內蒙古小肥羊火鍋連鎖店(庫比蒂諾)

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Francis was so kind to invite us to share a hot pot dinner on his birthday. There had been two Little Sheep hot pot restaurants (小肥羊) in the Bay area for a few years; one in Union City and the other in San Mateo. These restaurants are so popular that you always have to call ahead to make a reservation. This one in Cupertino opened just two weeks ago. When Francis called to reserve a table, he was told that we could have either 5:30pm or 8:30pm seating. He took the earlier option.

At 5:30pm, there was already a crowd waiting at the door. We were seated as soon as Francis and Winnie showed up. The manager here used to work at the Union City shop and recognized Francis right away, so we were in good hands. He told us that they would only take reservation for parties of six or more. Smaller parties have to get there early and fight with other early birds. There are a couple of long tables for larger groups in a back room.

There were half a dozen different choices for the soup base; we picked the House Original which was not spicy.

At Little Sheep, it was only appropriate to try their lamb slice; beef slice (肥牛) was another must-have for hot pot. The Supreme Lamb Leg Slice was not bad but I was not a big fan of paper-thin sliced meat – I would be able to taste the lamb better if it was cut into thin slabs like the beef we had. I liked the Supreme Beef Slice.

Fish balls were soft but didn’t have much flavor of fish. Beef tendon balls (牛筋丸) were crunchy and yummy.

At Little Sheep, vegetables were the main attraction. They only served the best part of the vegetable; I wondered how much of each plant did they throw away. Before we started with any meat or vegetable, we each first had a piece of the Sesame Pancake (內蒙黃金大餅). The texture of this pancake was something between bread and cake. It was warm and soft when served. When you order this pancake, eat it before it cools down.

After finishing all the meat and vegetable, we filled our stomachs with Bean Vermicelli (粉絲), Taro Vermicelli Knot (芋絲扎). Udon Noodle (烏冬麵), House Made Pork Dumplings (自制韭菜豬肉水餃), and Red Bean Past Yam Cake (豆沙紅薯餅).

If you are planning an enjoyable dinner with friends and family, you can’t go wrong by going to Little Lamb. Do call ahead to reserve a table though.

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot 內蒙古小肥羊火鍋連鎖店
19062 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel: +1-408-996-9919

Grilled Chicken – Yakitori Kokko (by Wallace)

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Wallace had a dinner with Henry and Terry at “Yakitori Kokko” on 2nd Avenue in San Mateo.  Typical yakitori (skewer) style restaurant that you can find the feel as in Japan.  We started with the waitress recommended cold sake, green peas, beef sashimi, and deep fried lotus root as appertizer.  The lotus root is a suprise and really great!

Then came the skewers including – Kimo (Chicken Liver), Kawa (Chicken Skin), Hatu (Chicken Heart), Nankotu (Cartilage), Gyu Tan (Beef Tongue), Kamo (Duck Breast), Tontoro (Pork Cheek), Uzura Bacon (Quail Egg with Bacon), Sardine, Sea Snail, Ginkgo, deep fried garlic, BBQ Rice Cake etc.  All were delicious.  Two thumbs up!

We also had the draft beer, House Ramen, and Tsukune Don.  Tsukune Don was a bowl of rice covered by a mix of ground chicken, cooked egg and raw egg.  Yum yum!

Kokko cooked the skewers over Japanese charcoal that made the taste so unique.  This is a place definitely “must-go” again.  It is a small restaurant; better call and reserve a table before you go.

Sake / Green Peas

Beef Sashimi / Deep Fried Lotus Roots

Chicken Heart, Quail Eggs with Bacon / BBQ Rice Cake

Chicken Liver with Gingko / Chicken Skin and Cartilage

Deep Fried Garlic / Deep Fried Tofu

Draft Beer / Duck Breast

Pork Cheek / Japanese Charcoal

House Ramen / Sardine

Sea Snail and Gingko / Tsukune Don

Yakitori Kokko
509 2nd Avenue, San Mateo, CA94401
Tel: +1-650-401-7008