One Market – San Francisco

One Market Rice Crusted PetroleOne Market
1 Market Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94105
Neighborhood: Financial District

Rated:  ♣♣♣

Yet again, I had another work meal, and yet again, it was satisfying. With no reservations, we ordered a dozen oysters to accompany our main course. Salty, briny, fresh – just as oysters should be. I had the rice-crusted petrale sole with a carrot-ginger emulsion. The dish was very light and mild. But then again, you really don’t want a strong sauce to overpower such a mild and tender fish. I also had a raspberry lemonade, but I wasn’t a fan because it was waaayy too sweet.

you might also like...

Shalimar – San Francisco

Shalimar Palak PaneerShalimar
532 Jones St
(between Ofarrell St & Geary St)
San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Civic Center/Tenderloin

Rated: ♣♣♣

For some odd reason, I’ve been craving a lot of Indian/Pakistani food lately. I’ve been wanting to eat it once a week and I’m hating myself for that since it’s never a light meal. In this tiny hole in the wall in the Tenderloin, I wondered if my hands were cleaner than the food I was about to eat. But in any case, K and I tried the Palak Paneer (spinach and Indian cheese) and our usual Chicken Tikka Masala (tandoori chicken in a creamy tomato sauce) with a side of basmati rice and naan. The Palak Paneer is one of the better one’s I’ve had. It’s thick, creamy, and packs a little heat. The cheese (or tofu rather) is a little firmer than what I’m used to. The Chicken Tikka Masala was very aromatic and flavorful. The only problem was that the chicken was a little overcooked. Overall, the fare is pretty good here. Best part of the meal was the hot and fluffy naan. I’d say it has the best naan in the city.

you might also like...

Turtle Tower – San Francisco

Turtle Tower Chicken Pho

Turtle Tower
631 Larkin St
(between Eddy St & Ellis St)
San Francisco, CA 94109
Neighborhood: Civic Center/Tenderloin

Rated: ♣♣

I tried the famed chicken pho at Turtle Tower, and I was shockingly unimpressed. It’s just not the pho I’m used to. I prefer the typical kind of pho with the thin chewy noodles. This kind of pho used fat rice noodles, similar to those in Chinese noodle soups. Also, the load of green onions and cilantro over powered the dish. A big turnoff. The spring rolls filled with vermicelli noodles, shrimp, chicken, mint and lettuce were fresh and tasty. But, I’d say Out the Door’s spring rolls are a little bit better because they’re bigger and they use a special sauce in the wrap. In conclusion, I don’t think I’ll come back to Turtle Tower when I’m craving pho.

you might also like...

Cafe Mo’z – San Francisco

Cafe Moz Huevos RancherosCafe Mo’z
36 5th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhoods: Union Square, SOMA

Rated: ♣♣♣♣

Sneaking in a shopping trip during lunch, my co-worker and I found this cute little cafe just outside the SF Shopping Center. I was initially looking at the falaffel sandwiches, but what is this? They have breakfast! Breakfast for lunch is always a preference of mine. Cafe Moz looks like your typical cheap take-out lunch place for the busy professional, but if you really sit down and enjoy the meal, you’d be pleasantly surprised.

The scene:

It seems like Cafe Moz serves 2 different kinds of food – Mediterranean and breakfast. An odd combination, but it works.

The service is very friendly. The server could’ve passed for borderline flirtatious, but hey, I won’t complain. Good service and good food is all I ask. My coworker even forgot her leftovers at the table and the server chased her out the door with her doggie bag.

The food:

Huevos Rancheros – I cannot turn down huevos rancheros. It’s a good brunch plate because it embodies elements of both breakfast and lunch. This common breakfast plate consists of hearty black beans mixed with fluffy scrambled eggs, salsa and chewy corn tortillas. I added a few douses of Tabasco for a good kick. One thing I look for in a good huevos rancheros is chewy tortillas. Soggy tortillas are no bueno.

The reason why I’m giving this 4 clubs rather than 5 is because I think they use a jarred salsa rather than a fresh one. Nothing wrong with that, but I’d appreciate it more if it was made from scratch.

you might also like...

Sumika Grill – Los Gatos

Sumika Grill Skewers 2Sumika Grill
236 Central Pl
Los Altos, CA 94022

Rated: ♣♣♣♣

The rave in Japan is all about yakitori (skewers). And it’s not your typical beef, mushroom and bell pepper skewers. It’s more like heart and liver skewers! Don’t be scared. If you’re less adventurous, there’s also the usual chicken, shrimp and veggie options. So, a group of friends and I got together to try Sumika Grill in Los Gatos for their… you guessed it! Yakitori!

The scene:

Sumika Grill is very traditional Japanese. They have pictures of sumo wrestlers on the wall and the master Japanese chefs are working the grills at the center of the restaurant where the kitchen is situated.

The caveat with yakitori is that portions are small, so it takes a lot to get full. The skewers start off at $3.50 each, but you’d be surprised at how much it adds up. For a table of 8, we each paid about $30.

The food:

Veggie Tempura – I didn’t get much of this, but I do remember it not having much of a crispy skin. The tempura was swimming in a light sauce, making the veggies soggy. I wouldn’t order this a 2nd time around.

Chicken Karage – I’m a huge fan of chicken karage, Japanese fried chicken. Some how, Japanese restaurants are able to make fried chicken that’s incredibly tender and juicy. The karage at Sumika Grill was exceptionally mouth-watering. The pieces are larger than your typical karage, but I won’t complain about the size.

Fried Garlic – This, on the other hand, was amazing! Fried garlic – who wouldn’t love that? The cloves were so soft, creamy and sweet. Not a hint of sharpness from the garlic in sight. The bulb also came with a creamy and tart sauce. I have no idea what’s in it other than Kewpi (Japanese mayo), but it’s good.

Yakitori – We had an array of yakitori – chicken thighs, shitake mushrooms, scallops, hearts, livers, shrimp, bacon-wrapped asparagus and bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms. All were very good, but I liked the enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon the most. The saltiness from the bacon and the juices from the mushrooms made for one tasty skewer.

Grilled Rice – I was so full at this point, but I had to try the grilled rice. These rice patties are super crispy on the outside and is packed with sticky soft rice mixed with sweet seaweed. A little sweet and a little salty. So good. I could eat these and the fried garlic all day.

I am a fan of this place and I’d definitely come back again. A well deserved 4 stars! By the way, I have not tried their famous sister restaurant, Orenchi Ramen in Santa Clara, but I’ve heard it is the best ramen in the Bay Area.

you might also like...