While Kirk is out of the country, Cathy posts the most, but today Ed (from Yuma) posts about an old favorite with a new name.
Tina had some slack time at work, so she and I drove up to LA for a few days. During the day we went to LACMA, the Getty, and the Huntington where we especially enjoyed the Chinese Garden:
We stayed at the Hilton on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel. That meant a lot of windshield time to LACMA and especially the Getty, but it also meant that we could have dinners in the San Gabriel Valley, which is a very good thing.
In particular, we wanted to go to Seafood Village in Temple city where we ate several times in the past, but that restaurant (as well as the one in Monterey Park) has been renamed Seafood Palace. Had the quality changed? In addition, we’d always ordered the special deep-fried crab, an amazing dish, but this visit we wanted to see what else the kitchen could do. We went there twice for dinner.
Both times we parked in the large lot behind the restaurant and entered through the back door:
One evening, we ordered a bottle of white wine; Seafood Palace had only two white wines, but we were happy with the Emmolo Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc:
It was complex, medium bodied, and dry – remarkably sophisticated with a very fair markup.
The first dish we ordered, the crab and fish maw soup, arrived in a large attractive bowl:
Wonderful soup. Imagine an egg drop soup with crab flavored broth packed with almost chewy, semi-gelatinous, and mildly flavored fish maws (air bladders). So good we each had three little cups:
This squid dish, salty baked squid I think it's called, really doesn't look baked:
The very light and somewhat salty crust has a bit of a crispy crunch and a touch of chili heat. The squid itself was remarkably tender. The tasty cephalopods were topped with slices of jalapenos and scallions and were served with white pepper and red vinegar.
The garlic fried snow fish (alias black cod, sablefish, butterfish) had an equally light breading and was moist, rich, and properly flaky:
Very well prepared. Not greasy at all, the fresh flavor of the fish accented with garlic.
One of our favorite dishes was the chiu chow scallops and asparagus:
Chiu Chow (various spellings) refers to cookery in the style of Chaozhou (various spellings), a city at the northern coastal apex of Guangdong province. In many ways the cuisine is similar to Cantonese but shows distinct Southeast Asian influences.
The asparagus was thick, fresh, moist, and cut perfectly. The large sliced scallops balanced the vegetable well and the mildly spicy sauce brought everything together. Even the scallions and roasted spinach leaves made small contributions.
We also loved the oysters cooked with scallions and ginger:
Scallions are often underappreciated, but here the fresh green onions became the main vegetable. I also liked the numerous oysters, mildly funky with that taste that reminds me of estuaries or small backwater coves. The ginger likewise was abundant, and the presentation emphasized the similarity of knobby and irregular ginger roots and bumpy and uneven oysters. Sort of a culinary pun.
The braised chiu chow duck was a little more problematic:
Every piece of duck was a bony piece of duck. The sauce was strongly flavored with ginger and leek, but I detected a slight odd herbal note and cornstarch. The hot pieces of duck were also hard for me to eat with chopsticks, lips, teeth, and tongue alone. The next day, however, in the privacy of our hotel room, Tina and I used our hands to devour the pieces of cold leftover duck, so I guess the duck was pretty good after all.
On one visit, we had the house special fried rice:
It was interesting, permeated with seafood flavors but light in texture. There were small clouds of egg white, thin slices of asparagus, scattered shards of crab, and occasional bits of shrimp. The rice matched well with the food, but it was the only thing that seemed kind of high-priced ($13.99).
Overall, however, Tina and I were delighted with Seafood Palace. The service was generally good even though the young man serving our wine didn't seem quite sure how to do it; nonetheless, he and the other servers consistently did well. If you want to see costs of the two meals etc., here is meal #1 :
The problem being....having the Missus tell me what She wants in the morning, then going out and shopping and the prep. Not bad if you're making one dish; but what about three? In less than 40 minutes with prep.....
Added the sauce with some minced cilantro before service. The Missus said these were the best lamb chops I've ever made....
Served with some stir fried broccolini with an oyster sauce glaze.
Every week, I buy one of these.
Twice during the week, I mince, along with minced water chestnut, scallions, five spice, and some cilantro and the Missus has a nice salad topping; or something for lettuce cups.
The last two weeks have been interesting; the Missus started by asking for some simple stir fried tofu and veggies with black bean.
Which culminated in Her wanting my version of fish with black bean sauce......it's basically oil velveting, though without the egg whites in this case. The Missus really loves the seared tomatoes and sliced jalapenos.
I ended up making this three days in a row. I went and bought a pound and a half of fish from Catalina Offshore thinking I'd make this once, then we'd have two other meals....it didn't quite work out that way.
When I visited, Tommy told me to try a make something with a Box Crab. It was quite lively when I arrived home. I decided to just put it in the freezer for 20 minutes, then simply boil.
The Missus basically destroyed this in 10 minutes....though She did share the brains with Sammy....lucky dog! She did say that the flavor is really good, but you have to be prepared for the especially hard and thick shells.
Catalina Offshore Products 5202 Lovelock St. San Diego, CA 92110
You've heard of Saint Jean de Luz, right? I wouldn't blame you if you haven't.....when I mentioned this charming seaside town; once a major Basque port town, now a major resort and beach town, folks often respond with "huh? Where?"
Initially, I had originally planned to go straight from San Sebastian to Bordeaux. But then I started to wonder about French Basque country and thought a short stop over might be good. The obvious destinations would be Biarritz and Bayonne, but for some reason, Saint-Jean-de-Luz caught my attention. It would be offseason and a Tuesday, so we'd avoid weekend crowds. Whether it's Poperinge, Miyajima, or Evora, we like taking these interesting side trips during our journeys.
Which is how we found ourselves catching the train from San Sebastian to the border town of Hendaye, via Euskotren, then walking over to the SNCF station in Hendaye. One interesting woman spoke perfect English on the train to the border, then as soon as we entered France would only speak in French to everyone. We walked across the street from Hendaye Station to grab a cup of coffee and there she was chatting to folks in French! Train tickets and such was easy as the ticket machines all had English translation buttons and we simply typed in our reservation number, etc..... The ride from Hendaye to Saint Jean de Luz was a mere 10 minutes or so. I had booked a little hotel named Hôtel Txoko which was a few seconds away from the main shopping streets and less than five minutes away from the beach. The owner was a wonderful, warm and friendly woman, and while the room was rather small, it was comfortable.
We soon headed off down the main shopping street Rue Gambetta.
Past all the shops; many of which tempted tourists with local delicacies.....
And gave folks; both the four legged and two legged kind the opportunity to socialize.
It was in this church on June 9th, 1660, that Louis the XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain were wed in what was an arranged political union, one which ended hostilities between the two countries. I read that little Saint Jean de Luz was chosen because it was just about halfway between Madrid and Paris.
At the time the church was constructed, the village was famous for its shipbuilders. Thus the ceiling looks like the bottom of a boat. There's also the replica of a ship hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the church. This was a gift from Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, a model of a ship that sunk offshore with her on board.
Right outside the church is a bricked up doorway. According to legend, this was the doorway was closed up after the wedding of Louis the XIV and Maria Theresa to symbolize the closing of hostilities between France and Spain. I've been told that the story isn't true though.....
We walked North than headed to the shore. This area is dominated by resorts and Casino La Pergola.
And headed down along the beach.....
And eventually ended up on Rue de la République, the street the hotel was on and the close by Place Louis XIV and the famous Maison Adam which was founded in 1660.
Well in 1660, Maison Adam made the favorite macaroons of Louis the XIV. There's a nice story here. These are definitely not macaroons as you probably know them. According to what we were told; these are still made with the original recipe in mind.
Maison Adam 6 Rue de la Republique Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
The Missus enjoyed Her macaroon.....
After a short respite, it was dinner time. We had chosen a shop on one of the side streets that served up what we were told more traditional French Basque dishes of the region named Chez Maya. When I mentioned the place to the woman at the hotel she smiled and said "très bon"...which I believe means very good.
This quaint, rustic little shop was staffed by what I can only term women who will totally remind you of your aunts!
We both ordered a glass of wine and a nice amuse was delivered, a tiny bowl of small shrimp. It's perfect for the Asian palate; very shrimpy and straight forward. If you like dried shrimp; you'll love these.
The Missus went with the Chipirons Sauce a la Encre ( 17,5 €) - a very nice mild briny flavor, the squid very tender.
I went for what I read was the house specialty; a Basque Seafood Stew called Ttoro ( 18,5 €).
This was quite delici-yoso! The seafood was cooked perfectly; especially the shrimp. The broth was like a peppery caldo de siete mares; Mexican seafood soup. It really had that "aaaah" effect. As the Missus and I were halfway through the stew, one of the women brought a bowl with more broth to the table......so we wiped out all the bread sopping up the soup.
They have an interesting fan system in the place that really grabs your attention. Even though it wasn't hot, they turned it on for a minute....just so everyone could see.....
Very warm and friendly folks, with a nice, rustic, comforting meal.
Très bon indeed!
Chez Maya - Le Petit Grill Basque 2 Rue Saint Jacques Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
As we rolled out of the place, the Missus decided that we (I) needed to walk off a few calories so we headed back to the beach. Along with some folks with the same thing in mind.
And was rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
The evening here was much different than the day had been; the day-trippers were gone and I think folks retreated to their resorts....plus it was a Tuesday night.
Sounds like some kind of amusement park, huh? Anyway, this one is courtesy of "FOY" (friend of yoso) and frequent commenter "JanFrederick", who was nice enough to send me an email about the place.
Located in Mira Mesa Mall right across from L&L.
8270 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA, 92126
And Crab Hut (Mira Mesa):
Right around the corner is the new location of Crab Hut.
Looks like they'll be ready fairly soon
8280 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA, 92126
Man, the interior of this mall looks kind of depressing.......the Mandarin Garden location stands looking quite alone......
A Quick Visit to the Market Hall:
I was in the East Village area so I did a quick visit to The Market Hall a few weeks ago; a grocery/restaurant concept that originated in Seattle.
Not much in terms of meat, seafood, or produce when I visited.
Decent, but not outstanding selection of cheeses and quite a bit of prepared food. In fact, the friendly folks kept asking me if I'd like to try something.
The place was rather empty, except for the coffee bar which was doing some nice business. and while I really don't see anything that compels me to return.....I get most of what I need in terms of cheese/meat/wine/beer/seafood closer to home, I think this is great for folks who live in the East Village!
The Market Hall 969 Market St San Diego, CA 92101 Hours: Mon - Fri 7am - 10pm Sat - Sun 9am - 10pm
SuperNatural Sandwiches 7094 Miramar Rd San Diego, CA 92121
Another favorite that I hadn't been to in a while. They've now got a lunch special, a sandwich with fries and a drink.....don't quite remember the price as I was enjoying talking to the owner.
Crisp pork gyro.....just like Greece! Well seasoned, crisp, enrobed in a nice warm pita. The owner also gave me a little cup of a nice sauce which went well with the fries. I need to come here more often....it's cheaper than a flight to Athens.
Zgara Greek Grill 1730 Garnet Ave San Diego, CA 92109
Best Donuts Bakery & Deli:
Heading to work early (530 am) with no time for lunch on my schedule. The solution? A stop at Best Donuts for the A la Mexicana.
Warm and fluffy bolillo, eggs, a smear of beans, gooey melted cheese, salsa, jalapenos (to wake me up), and tomato. What's not to like? I'm sure there are little shops like this everywhere....it's just a matter of finding them.
Best Donuts Bakery & Deli 4714 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
The nice folks here have put up their "Grand Opening" sign so I thought I'd drop by. There seems to have been a few changes to the menu from my previous visits, but the place looks like it's doing well. Nice change of pace for the area and heck, Faye seems to like the place. Not having much time, I took my El Cubano to go.
The sandwich seems to have a bit less meat than before, but in terms of proportion things went well together. The pork still has flavor and isn't "the other white meat", the Swiss cheese adds a nice milky flavor......and those pickles, well they add the acid and tartness to the sandwich. I do enjoy the plantain chips, which are sliced very thin, thus making it crisp. I need to head back to Embargo Grill for the Medianoche and compare.
Havana Grill 5450 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
Cali Baguette Express - Convoy:
Banh Mi Trung is probably one of my favorite breakfast items....though perhaps I'd take a good noodle soup or natto gohan with egg ahead of it. Cali Express is an easy choice, they bake their own bread (though I think Paris makes a better baguette) and who can deny the wonderfulness of a fried egg sandwich with Maggi on it?
And don't forget about the sneaky jalapeno....now that'll wake you up, right? Again, it's about ratios and proportion to me......the pickled veggies, the fried egg, the light and airy bread, cilantro....you get the point, right?
Cali Baguette Express 4425 Convoy Street San Diego, CA 92111
Kirk and Cathy have real jobs, and today they're either working on them or relaxing. So this mmm-yoso!!! blogpost, about a day trip to the Oregon coast, is by Ed (from Oregon originally).
During the middle of October, Tina and I spent more than a week in Northwestern Oregon (including PDX). Tina, who owns a real camera, brought it along, so most of the good pics in my Oregon posts will come from her, especially the outdoor shots – all I can photograph is food, it seems.
As well as getting together with relatives and friends in the area, some days we were on our own. When we woke up in Hillsboro Oregon on Monday morning, even the Hampton Inn parking lot was beautiful in the fog:
Soon we left the fog behind as we headed west on Highway 26, enjoying the colors of the season:
Though the fog was still visible in the distance when we stopped at a viewpoint in the coastal range:
In less than an hour and a half, we arrived at Cannon Beach, just south of the intersection of 26 with Highway 101, famous for its large beach and iconic Haystack Rock:
Our friend, part-time Oregon resident, gourmet cook and witty blogger, Joanie, texted Tina and said we had to eat at the Wayfarer:
The dining space was attractive and the windows looked out at the beach and Haystack Rock – look real carefully out the window:
Wanting to drink local, Tina and I had a glass of Archery Summit Pinot Gris and one of Domaine Drouhin Chardonnay:
Both were good, but the Chardonnay amazed me since most Oregon Chardonnays that I drank way back when seemed thin and acidic. This one was a classic refined focused Chardonnay.
The lunch itself started with some tasty warm bread and attractive chilled butter:
We were on the coast, so a cup of clam chowder was necessary:
Quite impressive. Full of tender pieces of clam and bits of potato, covered with a luscious, rich, creamy, savory broth. A classic version of the soup.
Joanie had advised Tina to have the Dungeness crab sandwich with garlic fries, so that's what she ordered. The garlic fries came with ketchup and a tangy aioli, and they were crispy and reasonably garlicky:
On first inspection, the sandwich looked like mostly baguette and melted cheese:
But it was packed full of flavorful moist Dungeness crab:
I chose a different local favorite, razor clams:
This variety of bivalve got its common name because it looked like the old school straight razor case into which the sharp blade was folded when not in use – kind of like an elongated sunglasses case. Nowadays the razor clams on beaches in Oregon and Washington cannot be commercially harvested so the pan fried clams on my plate, flavorful, a little crunchy, and tender chewy, probably came from Alaska. Still, a real treat for me.
I also loved the sides. The jalapeño jelly was sweet and tasty with the clams, but I preferred the old school dill flavored tartar sauce. The herbed rice contained a lot of wild rice as well as perfectly al dente green and yellow split peas. Nice flavor/texture combo. The fresh green beans, toothsomely prepared, were lightly flecked with garlic.
A very pleasing lunch. Thanks for the tip, Joanie!
After we paid our tab,:
we strolled down to the beach past one of the ubiquitous tsunami warning signs. Every time I see one, I think, "I'm betting on the wave.":
The road south from Cannon beach is often quite striking and occasionally sublime. For a while, it clings to the side of Neahkahnie Mountain hundreds of feet above the Pacific:
Then it comes back down close to sea level and sloughs and estuaries appear:
Here's Tillamook Bay, the picture taken from close to Garibaldi:
The road back to Portland area from Tillamook is easy driving and about as quick as the trip out on Highway 26. Nonetheless, after a day driving around, Tina and I decided to have a simple meal in Hillsboro.
We were staying in Hillsboro for a few days because of its proximity to friends and relatives, the Oregon wine country, and the coast, but most people who live in the area are connected to the tech industry, particularly Intel. So we figured there had to be a decent Indian restaurant nearby. A brief search on Tina's iPad led us to Urban Masala, which had just opened a couple of months earlier:
We enjoyed the Indian music in the background, but the decor and ambience were otherwise unremarkable:
The food, however, was pretty good, beginning with the complimentary papadum:
The chana masala was simple, spicy, and pretty straightforward:
The baigan bharta was far better than my photo of it:
The impressive khoormani ghosht, apricot lamb, showed off the tender gamy lamb with the sweetness of the fruit and abundant spice:
Equally outstanding was the wonderful garlic naan:
Light, puffy, crunchy flatbread, hot from the oven, as good as I've ever had.
Dinner tab less than half of lunch:
All in all, it was a good day. Gorgeous weather and scenery. Good food. Tina. Can't really ask for more.
mmm- yoso!!! is a food blog. Today, Cathy is writing a blog post so that Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) can relax and enjoy more of this beautiful, cool weekend.
It's that time of year again; The Mister celebrated his birthday and mine was a week later. We go out to eat every day in between and therefore I have quite a few meals to share with you.
Today's post is from a 'my choice' day. The Mister didn't know where I was driving nor what to expect, as is common during our birthday week...we only discuss sharing items when ordering but not restaurant choices.From across the street, I was happy to see the two tables in front of Corner Liquor (which is near but not *on* the South East corner of Adams at Felton) were empty. Those two tables and six chairs are the only seating available.
Alaskan Seafood Connection has shared a space within Corner Liquor since 2013. Seeing an up close of the sandwich board with the current menu should make it clearer to you as to why I chose Alaskan Seafood Connection for my special lunch. Here's a peek inside the door. The menu is repeated on the counter.Walk to the far end of the counter to place your order and pay. You can also purchase refrigerated and frozen seafood items from the cases on this side. You place your order and pay...and will be told how long the wait will be.
The back and other side of the space (not photographed) is the beverage/liquor store and its cash register is just across from this one. (You know, in case you want a beverage with your meal). Our 'appetizer' choice: 'Steamed P.E. Mussels' ($5.99). 'P.E.' is an abbreviation for Prince Edward Island Mussels, a sustainable seafood item. These small yet meaty mussels were simply steamed and served with a garlic butter. There were about two dozen in this serving (usually we count, but we didn't this time). We ended up tearing off some bread to eat the mussels and butter from the below item-The Lobster Roll ($12.99). Fresh Maine lobster broken into chunks and mixed simply with mayonnaise, salt and pepper...served on a lightly toasted roll with some lettuce and sweet pickles. There was a lot of lobster meat in this sandwich. The simple preparation made the sweet meatiness of the fresh cooked lobster shine through.Deciding on a fried item was easy for us; the Fried Scallop Platter ($9.99) included french fries and cole slaw...more to share. The sweet Bay scallops were breaded and fried to perfection (as were the potatoes). The slaw was refreshing and simply sauced.
There are condiments on the counter if needed, but all of the items are just right, to my taste.
All in all, a tasty, fresh and fun birthday lunch. From a kitchen inside a Liquor Store.
I hope you'll have a good week!
Alaskan Seafood Connection 3355 Adams Ave San Diego 92116 (619)281-3089
Closed Monday Open Tues-Fri 11:30-3:30 and 5-10 Sat 12-10:30, Sun 12-8This is the view from the table, in case you don't want to look for addresses or cross streets.
mmm-yoso!!! is a food and travel blog centered in San Diego. Most often Kirk posts here, and Cathy also posts alot, but since they are busy with other things, today you get to read something by Ed (from Yuma) who wants to let you know that he borrowed some of the photos from Tina.
The day before attending her family's annual cookout in Cotati, Tina and I found ourselves in the center of the old town of Sonoma, California. Some buildings date from Mexican colonial times:
That one reminds me of several structures in Monterey, a city that also preserves a lot of mid-19th century buildings.
From a different era, here's the old theater from 1933 which has a strangely familiar name:
And in the middle of this district of historic buildings, shops, tasting rooms, and restaurants is a beautiful park, Sonoma Plaza, including a nice fountain:
Lots of shady places to sit and picnic on a warm summer afternoon:
But we were hungry when we got to town, so our first goal was to find La Salette, a restaurant specializing in modern Portuguese cuisine. It's kind of hidden at the end of the walkway at 452 1st St. East:
Though there was a nice indoor area, we opted for one of the outdoor tables under an umbrella on the patio:
Soon we were given two elegant little glasses that held perfectly clear tomato water, lightly accented with the smoky touch of ham. A drop of extra-virgin olive oil lay on the top and a small cube of ham and a couple of corn kernels rested at the bottom:
Looks like grappa, but it tastes like the essence of a garden ripe tomato. A true amuse bouche, a fantastic start to the meal.
We soon received lightly crusted bread rolls that had a nice firm soft crumb, whipped butter, and a bottle of Pellegrino:
For our first course we chose three items from the Tasca tasting plates list, all served on a wooden cutting board. This photo shows off the tremoco-lupini beans, the slices of Serrano ham, and the rustic nutbread:
The ham was disappointingly ordinary and maybe a little dried out, but the beans were perfectly prepared, al dente – firm with a distinctive mouth feel.
This pic gives a close-up of the boquerones (white anchovies) and the almonds dusted with spicy piri piri:
The almonds were fine, but the white anchovies were the highlight on the board– concentrated ocean fish flavor with a rich creamy texture.
The gazpacho came next:
In contrast to standard California gazpachos, usually a seasoned fresh tomato vegetable purée, the kitchen at La Salette roasted tomatoes and vegetables in their wood oven before puréeing, giving their cold soup a smooth and lightly smoky sophistication.
To accompany our meals, Tina and I each had a flight of three Portuguese white wines, partly because we thought they would match the cuisine but also because we are largely unfamiliar with the white wines of Portugal:
The lightest, and most common in the US, is the fresh tasting vinho verde (on the left). In the middle is a Pomares from the Duoro Valley, a little richer with a nice floral nose. And on the right was the full flavored Esporao Reserva from Alentejo, having a higher alcohol level and a long smooth finish. In general, the wines complemented the food, and it was interesting to compare different wines with different dishes.
Our main courses were the highlights of the meal. Tina chose Sardinhas Asadas, Monterey Bay sardines flash baked in their wood oven. Each of the fish was nearly the size of a small trout, and they were lying crossways across a mound of very tasty warm sweet onion cebolada:
The preparation was remarkable. The fish were fully cooked, yet incredibly moist and flaky tender, sliding easily off the bones. Simple and exquisite, these little fish were also accompanied by a couple slices of hard-boiled egg, roasted black olives, and micro greens:
I opted for the wild caught Bluenose Sea Bass Filet lightly breaded and served on a bed of collard greens and roasted yellow corn:
The fish was excellent – fresh and perfectly cooked, and I was blown away by the collards and corn. The greens were cooked to tender crunchy and had a light touch of bitterness that balanced perfectly the roasted sweet flavor of the corn. The mouth feel of the vegetables also balanced and contrasted with the sea bass, just as the colors on the plate contrasted/balanced each other and made the dish visually appealing as well.
We came, we saw, and we ate:
The meal ended with two little balls covered with toasted coconut. It was certainly enough dessert:
We left La Salette feeling happy – and that wasn't just because of the wine. Considering the quality of the food, the excellence of the service, the tastiness of the wines, and the relaxed ambiance of the location, the price tag seemed quite reasonable:
Speaking of wines, our visit to the town of Sonoma concluded with a stop at Walt Winery:
Owned by the Hall family of Napa Valley, Walt specializes in Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs grown in cool coastal influenced vineyards in California and Oregon.
Tastings are done at tables, not standing at a bar, which allowed Tina and I to talk about the wines, our plans for the rest of the day, and anything else. That day the tastings were $30 apiece and included six different wines. First came generous pours of two Chardonnays, one a single vineyard Dutton Ranch Chardonnay and one blended from several Sonoma Vineyards. Notice also the excellent stemware:
The four Pinot Noirs were likewise served two at a time, allowing Tina and I to try one and then the other and notice their similarities and differences. We enjoyed all of the wines. Here is the tasting menu at the time of our visit:
We sat around Walt slowly sipping and then walked around the Plaza for a considerable time, really enjoying Sonoma and the warm afternoon and our leisurely pace. Contentment.
There seems to be a little revolution going on in LA and the OC.....poke, something I've eaten....well, being born and raised in Hawaii, basically all of my life has really gained a foot hold. Places like Poke District, North Shore Poke Company, Pokinometry, and of course Costco and Whole Foods, plus erstwhile food bloggers like Elmomonster, means that it's getting full coverage in the OC. It was only a matter of time until a shop specializing in poke opened here.......so, I wasn't surprised to read about one opening in Eater...though I'm not sure Hillcrest is the best location for it. Still, I was intrigued, so I headed up to Hillcrest to try out Poke Go.
Upon entering and seeing the owner; well, I cracked up. It was the guy who used to own Convoy Sushi and Fish Market, Moby Dick Fish Market & Grill, Ocean Harvest Seafood, etc....etc.... He does love creating new restaurants. The "concept" as he calls it, is quite simple, poke "bowls", called "platters" here, Korean influenced rice based dishes, as a quick stop is the objective. Select your fish, Ahi or Salmon (have you ever seen me eat salmon poke?), Rice (White or Brown) or Salad, and then your "spice" (aka da' sauce or seasoning), finally a "side" completes your "platter".
Of course, I went with the "Shoyu Hawaiian" style Ahi on White Rice with Mac (here called Tartar Macaroni) Salad. The menu price for this is $8.99, but during the grand opening period it's $7.99. So here's what I got.....
The first thought that entered my mind when I opened the cardboard carton was "wea's da fish"? This looked like a glorified seaweed salad with a few cubes of fish in it. There seemed to be maybe two ounces of fish in this thing. For the price, I didn't expect anything near, say what I make at home, or even what I make for the Missus. But it was decent, if not great quality fish. What I managed to pull out of the seaweed salad was on the bland side, nowhere near what anything in the islands is like. The sesame oil flavor permeated everything.
The "Tartar Macaroni" was terribly dry and not dressed enough as well.
I did return and to try the version with Kimchi sauce....."extra spicy" they said.
I will say that there was much more fish in this one. Plus, I really enjoyed (gasp) the brown rice; nice and nutty and it went well with the furikake. The fish was on the dry side and fairly bland as before; not too much "suji" (connective tissue), but still kind of chewy. It wasn't very spicy at all. There was kimchi at the bottom of the fish.....which looked like a lot; but one bite in and it was quite apparent that this was perhaps just a bit more than what I had previously.
I will say that the portion of "Kanikama" (surimi) was quite large, but I'd have appreciated a bit more effort in flavoring. I got full on that alone.
So here's what I think. If you don't mind getting full on rice, salad, and seaweed salad, with a few ounces of fish...then this will work for you. I'd gladly take it in place of a fastfood lunch. While this stuff would never fly back home. I've definitively had worse here in San Diego.
As to whether it's Poke "no" or Poke Go....well, you'll have to make up your mind yourself.
Thanks for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! on this warm summer day. Kirk is (again) busy with work, errands and stuff while Ed(from Yuma) is (still) busy being retired and exploring Yuma and other places while enjoying life. Cathy is (once more) writing a post.
One day not long ago, The Mister and I were driving down University Avenue and noticed this signage, located in between Tu Thanh which Kirk has posted about twice now.The business on the other side used to be (another) Ali Baba, but now is City Heights Cafe.The menu is pretty much standard. There is a sign in the window for churros with cajeta (caramel made with goat milk) for $1.25 as well as large plantains for $1.50 with but those are fried and aren't being made in the these days of heat. The glass case you see in the above photo shows some of the Thrifty brand ice cream flavors available.The wall opposite has photos of some of the menu items.The glassed in refrigerator displays most of the fresh fruit available that day.One day I was craving a coctele and ordered the shrimp version ($7.75). Only one size and this was plenty. The large shrimp are cooked in the lime/tomato juice to which is added cucumber, onion, cilantro and slices of avocado. There were at least 12 (and I think 15) large shrimp in this cocktail, which was more than enough.Another version of chamango (small, $4) was tried here. Since mangos are in season and available fresh (instead of being frozen), the drink wasn't as cold or icy, it was merely tasty and wonderful.One other visit had me craving the shrimp again, so I ordered a tosti-ceviche ($4.50). It was a great ceviche (again with large shrimp) on top of spicy lime Tostitos (which are only sold in Mexico). It is $2 more than a plain tostada and the melding of flavors is good/unique, but I can now go on with my life and order a regular ceviche tostada next time.Pretty much any visit to a Fruiteria includes a fruit salad (small, $4.25) and our visits here are no exception. Papaya, banana, mango, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries and apples along with cottage cheese, granola and honey made this hearty meal a good (and refreshing) choice.The tortas here are wonderful. The fresh bread and plenty of quality ingredients have simple sandwiches being a fancy meal for us to share. Above, a Lomo torta($5.25). Plenty of beef tenderloin, a thin layer of good beans and cheese, Romaine and avocado on the fresh, toasted torta bread. It's great.Then there's the ice creams. Usually we share a two scoop cup ($1.25) but one day, The Mister thought we should share a banana split ($3.95). Who am I to argue. Best part, you choose the ice cream flavors and don't need any sauce to disturb those flavors. Our usual ice cream choices: pistachio, butter pecan and cherry. A perfect snack on these hot days.
I hope your week is going well!
Mucha Fruta 4804 University Avenue (Between Estrella and 48th) San Diego 92105 (619) 282-0282 open 8-8 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat and 8-7 on Wednesday, 9-7 on Sunday
Go ahead, click on it; the photo will go upright. I still don't know what I've done to make my camera phone go goofy.