I had been wondering what was going on with Dumpling Hut since they closed for a spell. While keeping the Dumpling Hut moniker, the Chinese "name" had changed. The folks at Sizzling Pot King told me they had changed owners, but I hadn't seen any change of ownership notice. Still, even though my meals at Dumpling Hut left something to be desired, I was still curious, so I returned soon after they reopened.
Man, they've really....really, brightened up the place.
Though looking around a bit you notice some interesting "features".....
The place was really quiet when I visited. I was the only customer....during my entire meal.
I got to thinking that I'm probably the wrong "demographic" when my water arrived....with a twisted straw.
As for what to order, well, the "new" Chinese name had clay pot in it.....
So deciding to play it safe, I ordered the Pork Chop Rice Clay Pot ($11.50). The young man working recommended getting it "spicy". It came out in a donabe style pot.....which I've seen at Daiso for four bucks....in case you want one.
So, not quite "pork chop", more like spareribs, very tough, very salty, very one dimensional in flavor. The best item was the over cooked boiled egg. The broccoli was basically a garnish as it wasn't seasoned at all. The rice was fine; I think I would have preferred the "regular" as this was basically chili oil on rice; it was very greasy, one-dimensional spicy, some anise, and not much else. A lot of rice though.
Well, perhaps these were new owners, but the end result of my meal was the same.......
It was interesting though, Calvin was kind of interested in the place. And one day, (it was Tuesday) we went to Village North which was closed. So Calvin, JohnF, and I headed on over to Dumpling Hut.
Like my previous visit, we were the only folks in the place for the entire meal. I'm thinking this place is targeting a younger demographic after more snack like food and drinks.
We started with the Shenjian Bao ($7.99).
Liked the nicely brown and crisp bottoms of the buns. The texture of the tops were gummy, chewy, and these didn't seemed like they were steamed right. The pork filling wasn't moist enough and was pretty darn bland.
Next up was the "Guotie", I put that in quotes. So these Pork "Potstickers" ($8.99).
Good lord, basically a wrapper enrobing ground pork, then put into a pan and cooked like basic pot stickers. This reminded me of stuff you'd have from the frozen food aisle. I mean, I really didn't expect, say QingDao Guotie, but this was worse than what I'd had here before. Greasy, too chewy, not good eats at all....
The best item we had was the Spicy Tripe Hot Pot ($8.99).
Not very much tripe in this one; but it was prepared decently; perhaps a bit too hard, but properly cleaned. The broth, while rather singularly spicy, with no numbing tones, looked to be bone broth based.
It was back to the "the norm" with the next item. Calvin grew up in the SGV, a mere short walk from 101 Noodle Express....so of course we had to try the Niu Rou Chuan; the Beef Roll ($6.99), which was just plain tragic.
Very dry, not pan fried enough, with a cardboard like texture; the "da bing" was terrible. What's with the lettuce? Smeared with standard issue hoisin, the thin piece of beef was fine...what there was of it.
Check out the "photo" of the beef roll in the front of the restaurant. Does not even look like the same dish.
And to add insult to injury; we liked the look of the Sam Sun Dumplings on the window.
This is what we got ($11.50).
These were very unsatisfactory; the wrappers were too hard and seemed to be typical store bought wrappers. The 1/3 piece of shrimp was fine, but this was underflavored. definitely not what I expected from a place like this....well based on the meal, I should have expected this.
I think this visit was worse than my previous visits under the "previous management". The food was quite underwhelming. I probably won't be going back.
Dumpling Hut 8046 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92111
Nicer weather has gotten the Banh Mi Bug out of hibernation. Here are a few revisits.
Baguette Bros created some buzz when they first opened back in December of 2015. I hadn't heard much about them recently, so I decided to head back for a revisit.
Arriving a few minutes after opening; things were pretty quiet.
I really hadn't been overly impressed by the sandwiches in the past and really didn't know what to order....so I went with the interesting sounding Pho Banh Mi, which came with a hefty $9 price tag. Even during a slow time like this, I waiting almost 20 minutes for my sandwich.
I thought the bread was standard issue....a bit too much bread for a banh mi in my opinion. It also didn't hold up well and turned quickly into mush. The brisket had a great texture; not too tough, not too soft, but was really salty. For some reason, I really enjoyed the bean sprouts....the crunch and flavor added a nice "freshness" to the dish. That hoisin based sauce wasn't a favorite of mine......too much going on.
Overall, I still don't quite get this place. It seems more like concept over execution/taste. But for a lot of folks, that's enough.
Baguette Bros 4698 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Banh Mi Bakery & Café:
I'd wanted to go back to Banh Mi Bakery & Café a couple of times for lunch...but man; that parking lot can rival anything on Convoy during lunch hours! With Kaiser coming up, it's going to be really busy around these parts. Early one weekend morning, I needed to go into the office. I remembered that Banh Mi Bakery opens at 7am and also that "Calvin" had enjoyed the Meatball (xiu mai) Banh Mi. So that's what I got. Back at the office, I opened it up.
I'm kind of leary when it comes to Banh Mi Xiu Mai. I've had some terrible versions, but this was pretty good. The bread was nice and warm; I'd have enjoyed a bit more flakey/crustiness, but that's getting a bit too nit-picky. I still think the pickled vegetables here are a bit weak; just not sour enough. And in the case of a soft, rich tasting xiu mai, it just didn't hold up. Still, this was a nice sandwich.
A few weeks later, Calvin and I were finishing up a meeting. It was raining, but both of us were starved. We both thought about the Banh Mi Op La (easy over egg)......which would be nice for a rainy day breakfast. So we headed over to the strip mall and ran into the shop. We left with two sandwiches; being careful not to break the yolks until we ate them.
They hadn't cut these sandwiches in half; so when we started eating it became an oozy mess. After taking a bite we looked at each other....there was something different about the bread. It seemed kind of doughy and definitely not crusty, nor yeasty enough. Perhaps the weather had messed up the process on this day? But you need some quality controls in place to take care of that. Or maybe they changed their bread recipe? Bummer, because this was a nice sandwich in spite of the short comings of the pickled vegetables. The eggs were a bit over done, though we both enjoyed the crisp edges. The yolks were very soft, but not super runny; like I'd had previously. Man, the jalapeno on this day was spicy.
Not sure what to think. Was the bread just a case of an "off day". Or is this how it's going to be from now on? I'm hoping it was just a bad day.
Banh Mi Bakery & Cafe 9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite H1 San Diego, CA 92123
I've been trying to revisit places in my 'hood recently. I thought I'd start with Bay Park Fish, hard to believe that it's been almost five years since I last ate here. On this evening, every place was packed, and while BPF was busy, there was still room for one at the bar. So I had a seat, watched the game, had a brew, and decided to order an old favorite of ours; the smoked fish; which is now called the Smoked Fish "Stack" ($12).
They now "supplement" the smaller portion of smoked fish with romaine lettuce and avocado. It's still not bad. Decent smoked flavor, fairly balanced seasoning; a bit more mayo, celery, and stuffs than I recall.
Rather routine tortilla chips.
I'm not sure that this place has aged well. I know they've had to add, ahem, "sushi rolls" to the menu and they gave up on the fish counter years ago (you can find it at Catalina Offshore). The preparation of the fish here has never been my fave, but it's nice to see they are still going rather strong. After all, when we moved into the neighborhood, there wasn't much, and when Bay Park Fish opened in 2005, it was a big thing.
Bay Park Fish Company 4121 Ashton St San Diego, CA 92110
Man, does this place like to top off their soup with a ton of greens. Like way more than the last time I had this here. I guess it's there to distract you from the thin, small slices, of pork, which, unlike the previous time I had this, was now a couple of slices dropped on the side of the bowl....which, while flavored nicely, was quite dry and tough. The ration of sprouts were attaining a nice brownish color, so those were left out.......... the "Mi", egg noodles, which were prepared in sight was nice, just enough "pull" and a slight crunch. The noodle portion size was also decent. The broth was really bad though.....basically salt water with very little flavor at all.
I'm sorry to say that, based on my previous visits, this was what I expected......though I had hoped for more.
Someone did mention that the Banh Xeo here is fantastic; but I didn't see it on the menu. I'm wondering if any of our intrepid readers have had it?
Spotted Cow Viet Kitchen (in the Zion Market Food Court) 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, California 92111
Though we really loved the little groups of Rollerskate Kids we saw along the way.
I'm not sure if this was some kind of special event or if this was a typical Saturday kind of thing. Regardless, it was really cute, kids on rollerskates, accompanied by adults, dressed up in costumes.
It really added color as we made our way along the Guadalquivir River. Finally crossing over on the Puente de Isabel II to the colorful neighborhood known as Triana. We stopped again at Mercado de Triana, picking up some Jamon Bellota Iberico Pata Negra. We'd be heading back to Madrid the next morning at it was kind of our tradition to always pack some bread, jamon, and good Spanish Olive Oil for a snack along the way.
For lunch, I went searching for a place I'd read about only once; I really don't recall where....but down the back streets of Triana, on Calle Victoria.....is this place.
Appropriately named Victoria 8. We walked in and were told that there were no tables available, all were reserved. But we asked to sit at the bar.......just wanting to graze on some tapas.
Which was no problem. It was fun watching folks walk in.....quite a few larger parties, all of which seemed like locals.
We placed our orders, got some wine, and something to start us off.
The wonderful slightly acidic tomatoes....the "taste of sunshine" I call it; matched with a nice peppery-grassy olive oil; the jamon ends, salty and chewy adds texture...and who doesn't like a little boiled egg on top of anything? A very nice rendition.
The Missus loves Her callos.
This was an ok version; the flavor a bit too mild for us.....except for that morcilla (blood sausage), which was really good. I ended up ordering that to end our meal.
The Croquetas de Rabo de Toro - "Bull's Tail Crouquettes" were rich and full of flavor.
Glad we only got three, this would have been too much of a good thing. Well mixed, melt in your mouth, beefy goodness. The potatoes were fairly crisp but quite routine.
We decided to try the Alcachofas (Artichokes ). It was the one dish we didn't care for at La Azotea and I wanted to try it again.
This version had Foie Gras and confit scallion and was delicious; some nice acid, but not too much, richness from the foie gras, sweet-pungency from the confit scallion.
The last item might have been the best; such a beautiful dish with a rather long name; Morcilla de Burgos y Piquillos con Manzana Confitada.
Burgos is famous for their blood sausage (morcilla) and this was lovely. Again, it was combination of the earthy flavors and in typical Burgos style had onions and rice. The piquillo sauce had a nice smokiness and light sweetness; the apple (manzana) confit was nicely spiced and added just the right amount of sweetness. This was delici-yoso.
We had a very nice meal and if I recall, with a couple of glasses of wine each was still less than 40 bucks. It was a very nice time, we were satisfied, but not stuffed, one of the things we really enjoy about tapas. We'd gladly, and probably will return if we're ever back in Seville.
Victoria 8 Calle Victoria 8 Seville, Spain
We made our way back to the apartment....it was Saturday and Seville was buzzing. I'll end the post with the requisite photo of Plaza San Salvador, which I've included in many of my Seville posts. As you can see; this is a happening place.
And was not too impressed with the broth. Which while not bland as it had some hints of anise; it was way too salty and barely had any beef flavor. I couldn't bring myself to finish the bowl.
The proteins were decent though and the noodles, while the usual clump at the bottom of the bowl wasn't over done.
This was ok and I wasn't planning on having pho here anytime soon. But that Beef Rib Bones sign stuck in my head.
Curious I returned and ordered a regular sized pho ($7) and them bones ($3). Which turned out to be three good sized ribs bones which I believe is used for making the broth.
This was pretty good; not boiled into a mess; there was still some nice connective tissue; tendon and stuff, with a decent amount of meat. In spite of the pho broth still being way too salty, I scraped the meat off the bone and dipped it into the broth. I had added a touch of lime to temper the saltiness a bit and this ended up being quite good.
In fact, I enjoyed the rib meat had a lot more than any of the cuts in the bowl.
And while I wish the broth here was a bit less salty, richer, with more beef flavor, it was a nice foil for that rib meat. I cleaned "dem bones" up pretty good.
I was rather satisfied with this. Not cheapo at ten bucks, but someone just told me that a bowl at Pho T Cali, which is mediocre at best, set them back twelve bucks! Framed in that manner, this was a bargain.
Pho Duyen Mai 5375 Kearny Villa Rd San Diego, CA 92123
I had made plans after we'd done quite a bit of walking and of course shopping during the day. We'd already done nearly 12 miles and would end up at nearly 15. Of course there was the requisite nap and taking a leisurely walk before dinner.
It is indeed the city of light, regardless of what the true story behind that nickname.
Just take a look at Invalides, lights shining brightly even on a foggy night like this.
We meandered our way to our dining destination; Restaurant David Toutain in Arrondissement 7. I picked David Toutain because of the namesake's innovation and skill, especially with vegetable dishes, something the Missus is leaning toward these days. I thought I'd save the heavier and more traditional dishes for Burgundy, where we were headed in the morning. I'm not going to make this a very long post, as while we really enjoyed this meal, and found a wine that we kept searching for throughout Beaune and Burgundy, a fabulous and amazing white from the Domaine Alain Gras in Saint Romain (we even went to the Domain), this meal was over shadowed with an amazing meal from Sola that we'd have on the way back.
Still, that is not to say the meal wasn't innovative, starting with the amazing combination of Salsify with White Chocolate.
Earthy tones with a very mildly sweet and creamy "dip".
It was a show of creativity and the presentation was quite interesting.
This brioche was addictive.....
An interesting variety of textures and techniques; a bit of molecular gastronomy here and there.
Yes, there was quinoa, fried, airy pork skin, thin slices of walnut.....
And one spectacular piece of Cod, that had the Missus and I staring at each other. The texture was so decadent and buttery; I'm thinking this was sous-vide.
We're still talking about how amazing the fish in this dish was.....
Another fantastic dish was the Smoked Eel in Black Sesame; not something I'd generally think would go well together.
But the strong, smoky flavor of the eel really stood up well to the powerful nutty flavor of black sesame. The toothsome texture of the fish and the thick sauce complimented each other as well.
At the end, there was dessert.....a lot of dessert.....
The Entremets (palate cleansing course) was another amazing combination of flavors that worked together; Cauliflower Puree with White Chocolate and Coconut Ice Cream.
Dessert is of course, the Missus's thing and She really enjoyed Herself.
I thought the presentation of the Churros was a bit much.....
The staff here was amazing; professional yet friendly and warm. When the Sommelier noticed we enjoyed the Alain Gras so much, he gave us a second glass, and then matched it flawlessly with a few other dishes to display the fine range of the wine. The actual restaurant is quite discreet, no big signs, just a simple "DT" carved in the doorway.
While I'm not sure we'll be back soon; I'm glad we had the experience.
Restaurant David Toutain 29 Rue Surcouf 75007 Paris, France
We walked back to our hotel, quite happy with our time in Paris. Heck, even the Eiffel Tower surrounded by fog looks quite romantic, don't you think?
Except for some additional decorative lamps and paintings of Biàn Liǎn, those "face changing" masks, the place looks the same as on my last visit. Though, those masks are usually found in Sichuan.....so maybe they were just leftover from the previous restaurant?
Speaking of Sichuan....the menu has a mixture of Sichuan, Hunan, some oddball dishes like Lion's Head Meatballs and Egg Foo Young (?!?), and a whole column of totally "ABCDE" (American-Born-Chinese-Dining-Establishment) dishes.
Go figure. There's one soft-spoken, sweet young lady who works here, but everyone....I counted a total of 9 staff on one of my visits is very nice.
On my first visit; a solo affair, I waned two dishes. I went down looking for typical Hunan dishes and they were out of just about everything. I did get something with La Rou. Though it wasn't my favorite La Rou with Suan Do (or even the three smoked meats - La Wei He Zheng ) which is on the menu, but a version with dried bamboo shoots.
In terms of flavor this was much better than what I've had from Village Kitchen. And while some of the pork was on the chewy side, the flavor was spot on; smoky-salty, the rehydrated bamboo crunchy. Peasant food, I took this home and it reminded the Missus of Her grandparents in Hunan.....a bit of salty, slightly spicy La Rou with a lot of rice. The spice level left something to be desired....though we tend to enjoy the heat level at places like Hunan Chilli King.
So I had worked my way through some of the dishes and struck out; so the nice young lady told me to order something called "Pork Belly w/ Preserved Napa in Brown Sauce" ($11.65). Not sure what this was going to be; I chuckled when it arrived at the table....it was Mei Cai Kou Rou; which, correct me if I'm wrong, is more of Hakka dish.
There was one thing fairly true to the Hunan taste. This lacked any sweetness at all. Not much saltiness either....just kind of bland and the mei cai was too hard a chewy. The pork belly had been done decently, it was "chopstick tender", but this was quite bland for my taste. I thought that even Facing East made a superior version of this dish.
Anyway, I took the Smoked Pork dish home and the Missus really enjoyed the left-overs, so not feeling like cooking one evening, we headed back. Looking over the menu for dishes we struck out again. The Missus wanted some Liang Cai - cold dishes, and it was no Bueno; no pork ear, chicken feet, duck tongue....so we ended up with a total routine Bean Curd Skin.
Basically bean curd skin, nice and crunchy, in a decent Chili Peppercorn Oil. Though this tasted like something I'd make at home.
We tried to order the La Rou with Dry Beans again, but still no Bueno and got the version with bamboo, which ironically, is not on the menu.
We wanted a vegetable dish, but after trying a couple of items from the menu that wasn't available; we got the Leek with Shredded Lotus Root ($8.65).
We both enjoyed this simple dish; the lotus root nice and crunchy, though the pungent chives gives the Missus heartburn. I'll probably end up making something similar at home in the near future.
One weekend afternoon, needing a late lunch; like 230pm, Village North was closed so we decided to head back to Beauty Hunan. Where we tried for the Smoke Pork with Dry Beans again....and again ended up with the version with Dried Bamboo, which the Missus enjoyed anyway.
Looking at the menu, I noticed something called "Preserved Egg and Eggplant with Jalapeno" ($11.65). I asked the Missus and She said that yes indeed, this is the same dish that we enjoy at Village Kitchen. Hmmm....I'm wondering.....
This was a fairly large portion size, and while spicier than the version at Village Kitchen, it is not as well executed. Not nearly as creamy, some of the pieces of eggplant were huge and not as tender, and without that nice earthiness of the eggplant and light sulfuric touch of the preserved egg.
Pretty much at a lost, we decided to just get the Dry Cooked Pork Intestine ($12.65) which was much to salty and not very spicy.
The intestine was not cleaned very well and was too rubbery and we did without a doubt miss the "ma" (numbing) sensation of the Sichuan version of this dish. We did enjoy the Chinese celery in this, but that's about it.
So, I'm not sure if or when Beauty Hunan will have it's full on menu. right now it's a "one-trick-pony" for us. The customer demographic is kind of interesting; a lot of guys ordering the "ABC" dishes during my lunch visits, interspersed with young folk ordering stuff like the Dry Pot items. We thought the service was nice, not perfect, but really nice young folk. I'm not sure when I'll be back for a full meal....though I think the Missus is going to want the La Rou from here.....in whatever form the have it.
Beauty Hunan Restaurant 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92111
Sometimes there are other subjects, but today, mmm-yoso!!! is just about food. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are, again, busy; it's Cathy doing the writing.
After a week of rain, winds, gloom, cold and chilliness, along with consumption of way too much chili, stews and soup (which will be in different posts, interspersed in the coming weeks) (because I'm sure that's what most of you have been eating) a bit of 'healthy' eating for the New Year did occur.
The drill is the same, walk in, order, follow the line, maybe watch your own order being constructed, pay and pick up your tray at the end. The 'comfort soups' are now $5 (that's a basil oil and some sunflower seeds floating on top of the wonderful, fresh squash soup). Standard/daily soups are roasted roma tomato and rustic chicken, which are each wonderful and filling for a small meal. Items we've ordered before (and fall back on) include the Tuna Nicoise Salad ($12.50) Albacore grilled rare on top of potato, capers, tomato green beans, a quail egg and olives and greens tossed in a sherry vinaigrette. The Backyard Steak Salad ($12.50) is topped with rare (or more cooked if you prefer) steak. The radishes and beets on top of red and green lettuces are tossed in a horseradish vinaigrette. This was a chicken chili soup ($5) filled with vegetables and deep tomato flavor. There were a few times we've ordered out of our 'comfort zone'- this Southern Fried Chicken salad ($11.50) is a good example. Simple greens, tossed in a dill dressing with sliced radish and cucumber all topped with fresh fried, light and crunchy breaded large chicken chunks, this was a really decadent, fully flavored meal which will be ordered again. We had never ordered anything with chicken (other than soup) here and were so happy with this salad. One of the whiteboard specials was, again, mussels ($11.50) and of course we ordered it. Steamed in a garlicky broth and served with the toasted bread slices, this was another great choice. Of course, my absolute fallback salad here is the Happy Vegan ($11.50). Tender greens in the center, topped with a (fresh!) lemon vinaigrette, surrounded by mounds of four other salads: farrow (wheat berry) with cranberry and hazelnuts; quinoa with cucumber and beets; green hummus; tabbouleh. This is the meal that satisfies and which I would eat daily if given the choice. Once again, trying something new (to me), the Chinese Chicken Salad ($11.50)was a wonderful choice. Shredded (warm, fresh) chicken and crispy wontons on top of a mix of tatsoi, mizuna, yellow pea sprouts, carrots, peanuts, cilantro and green onion tossed in a sesame dressing. We did not expect such a great tasting salad. The thesaurus doesn't have words to describe what was the freshness and flavor in every bite.
The recent sunny, post storm(s) weather had me thinking about Lima again. And then I realized; man, I better finish up those posts.
So what to do after having sanguches de chicharron for breakfast, then walking the pork off at Mercado de Surquillo? Well, if you're with the Missus, you'd understand that She'd be wanting more cebiche. There's a shop in the back of the Mercado that I'd heard about named Bam Bam. And upon finding the little shop; it became apparent that Gaston Acurio likes the place as well.
The place was just opening when we arrived and we had no problem getting seats at one of the tables. The woman who served us was nice and professional; though the chips and the canchita tasted like they were mass produced. Still, we weren't here for those items; we wanted some cebiche and perhaps tiradito....and heck this place is known for the conchas negras, so why not get the combination?
Which is precisely what we did. Not being super hungry, we decided on splitting this; just getting a taste of four different items.
The best by far was the conchas negras; the perfect texture, toothsome, but not tough, the bitterness of the clams muted, with the brininess just perfect, nice acidity, the onions adding just enough pungency. This was very, very good.
The cebiche classico was next.
A nice rendition, we still prefer the version at El Veridico de Fidel, but this was solid; balanced acidity in the leche de tigre, the fish perhaps a bit too stringy for my taste, but a nice even flavor. And of course; the Missus can never get enough choclo.
That scallop in the cebiche mixto was delicious and the texture of the squid was amazing.
But the leche de tigre here just wasn't enough and this came off as being strangely mutes in taste. I even think it could have used some salt....more acidity. But the textures of everything except the shrimp, was fantastic.
I found the fish did much better texture-wise in the tiradito, but found the aji amarilla based sauce to be too thin.
It seemed like the basic house leche de tigre with some aji amarilla paste in it. This could have used a bit more oomph.
While we preferred this to La Mar and Punto Azul, it lagged behind El Veridico de Fidel in our minds. I'd still eat here again in a heartbeat.....man the conchas negras...I've never had them taste so good and the texture so perfect.
Cevicheria Bam Bam y Sus Conchas Negras Jr. Luis Varela y Orbegozo 213 Lima, Peru
In he mood for taking a nice long walk before our standard afternoon nap; we walked all the way from Surquillo back to Parque de Alfredo Salazar.
During the short week between Christmas and New Year, I decided to take Calvin and JohnF out for lunch. We usually eat along the rather close confines of Kearny Mesa....but this was the Holiday Season, so why not relax a bit (even though they had to stay at work even longer on this day)? John is from NorCal and Filipino.....the big joke with him is that when it comes to food, he says, I'm "more Filipino" than he is. He is also a pretty big eater, so I thought a visit to Villa Manila would be fun.
Ordering was to the point; bagoong rice (sorry no photo, though JohnF said his wife loved the leftovers), and of course Crispy Pata (a small portion).
From the looks I didn't think this was going to be as good as previous versions I've had here. But man, this was worth the "meat sweats". The skin was crisp, all that gelatinous goodness was there, the meat was moist, what more could you ask for?
I had to order the Bicol Express....which is not quite what is used to be.
There's not quite the same amount of bagoong alamang, so the flavor while still on the salty side, doesn't have as much of that savory finish. The pork is still tender, though the portion size has gotten smaller.
And then there is the Nilagang Baka, the beef shank soup. Calvin, whose Missus is Vietnamese really enjoyed the beefiness of the broth. You should have seen the look on his face when they came to refill the broth!
Overall, still a nice meal. Even though VM is not quite what it was before.
Villa Manila 500 East 8th Street National City, CA 91950
So, the Missus didn't believe me when I said that Zarlitos made some decent poke. But an interesting thing happened. During the nice Bitter Brothers Anniversary dinner, Candice mentioned the poke at Zarlitos to the folks sitting with us. Turns out it was Keoni Simmons (and yes, his dad is from Hawaii), who confirmed my belief that the poke Zarlitos makes is legit. And so that conversation with the Missus went on as we headed to Hogetsu Bakery. So She relented and we decided on stopping at Zarlitos.
Where she proceeded to eat a pound of poke. Now, even though I make Spicy Tuna Poke for the Missus, I'm not a big fan. The Missus enjoyed the version here.
First off, the quality of the fish is decent, no fibrous "suji". I think this would do fairly well "back home". These days, I put a bit of wasabi in my spicy tuna poke and that's what the Missus was missing....no major complaints on this though.
The Limu poke was a bit more problematic. The fish was of decent quality, but there was too much sesame oil in this...and yes, it wasn't salty enough...when was the last time I mentioned something not having enough NaCl?
Also, this version of "limu" poke used wakame....I mean, really? Even Poke Etc down the street used Limu Kohu. Still, this was much better than those "Chi-Poke" places that have sprung up everywhere.
Of course the Missus needed some rice; so I ordered the Longsilog.