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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Eating with the Locals

Back to our trip to Seoul. We had trouble finding a place to eat for dinner. Because it was near Chuseok, there were more places closed for dinner. We walked down an alley and found a restaurant on the 2nd floor that was open. Everything was in Korean so I'm not even sure of the name of the restaurant.

The kitchen was in the dining area and it was almost like eating in someone's home.


We ordered the soybean bibimbap for W7000. A bowl of tofu was brought to the table. 

We were told to put greens on top of rice and spoon the tofu on top. This was definitely not like any bibimbap we've had before. It had a nice miso flavor and was tasty.

 Because we had seen marinated crab on a lot of menus, we decided to try the soy sauce marinated crab for W13,000. I was surprised when the crab was brought raw. This was hard to eat. I've never had raw crab and I didn't like the mushy texture.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Vietnamese Sour Catfish Soup

My latest Supper Club had a theme of the Five Tastes. I chose sour and prepared Vietnamese Sour Catfish Soup.

Vietnamese Sour Catfish Soup

1 tablespoon of cooking oil
2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised and cut down into 3 inch lengths
1 shallot, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ lb catfish fillets, sliced into 2 inch widths, patted dry
6 cups of chicken stock
2 cups water
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 can of pineapple chunks in juice, drained
2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
2 stalks of taro stem (bac ha), peeled and sliced on a bias into 1 inch thick pieces
Fish sauce to taste
1 bag of bean sprouts
1 bunch of rice paddy herb (ngo om), chopped
½ cup cilantro

Heat up a tablespoon of cooking oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass, shallot and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the catfish and brown for a couple of minutes. Remove the catfish and set aside. The catfish does not need to be fully cooked through at this point.

Pour in the chicken stock & water over the sautéed ingredients. Add tomatoes and pineapple and bring to a boil. Add tamarind paste. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the catfish back as well as the taro stem. Season with fish sauce to taste and continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and cook for 3 more minutes. If more sourness desired, add lime juice.

Spoon into bowls and add rice paddy herbs & cilantro.

2013 11 9

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chicken Tetrazzini

I came up with another recipe to use up the case of Cream of Mushroom soup I bought from Costco.

Chicken Tetrazzini

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 lb mushroom, sliced
3 Tbs Madeira
2 cups shredded chicken
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
¾ cup chicken broth
½ cup grated parmesan
¾ lb thick spaghetti, cooked al dente
Salt & pepper

Brown bacon. Add mushrooms and sauté. Add Madeira and chicken. Stir in can of mushroom and chicken broth. Add grated Parmesan and cooked spaghetti. Season with salt & pepper. Put in greased baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil brown top.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


My parents' favorite Japanese place in Cupertino is located at 10700 S. De Anza Blvd. Yoshida raised the price for their lunch special by $1. There is no longer a mad dash to get there before it opens at 11:30 am but I still think it's a great deal. How can you beat all this, salad & rice for $8.95.

Black Rock Cod. Loved this! It was buttery and delicious.


Vegetable & Shrimp Tempura

California Roll & Inari

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

China Palace

I wanted oyster pancake and stopped in China Palace to see if they had it. It's located at 688 Barber Lane in Milpitas. No oysters today--so disappointing.

Beef Chow Fun--$6.50. This had a nice flavor and wasn't too oily.

Salt & Pepper Tofu--$6.95. This would've been great if there was actually salt & pepper on it. I think the seasoning should have been added as soon as the tofu came out of the fry pan.

Sauteed Fish with Vegetables--7.95. This was my favorite dish and probably one of the most healthy. It's just sauteed fish with bok choy & mushrooms.

2013 11 9

Monday, November 25, 2013


I had heard about Ciccio in Yountville and finally had a chance to try it. It's located at 6770 Washington Street.

Braised Tripe--$11. This was amazing--tender tripe in a nice tomato sauce. It reminded me of the tripe I had in Florence. I asked to be notified when this appears on the menu again.

Cacio e Pepe--bucatini with pepper for $12. Perfectly al dente pasta with nice cheese & pepper sauce. Took me back to Rome. 

Sausage Pizza--$16. Large enough for 2 to share. I loved the crust--just like in Naples.

This is now my favorite restaurant in Yountville. It's like eating in Italy without taking the long flight!

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Sunday, November 24, 2013


I can't go to Yountville without stopping in Bouchon.

Pain au Raisin--$3.25. I like this. It's full of raisins and has just the right doughiness.

Chocolate Bouchon--$2. It's a cakey brownie bite. Although this is their signature, it wasn't my favorite.

2013 10 27

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Redd, Yountville

One of my favorite restaurants in Yountville is Redd. It's located at 6480 Washington Street.

Sashimi of Hamachi, Sticky Rice, Edamame, Lime Ginger Sauce--$14. This is my favorite. The fish is fresh and buttery and the sauce is amazing. I still dream about it.

Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, Asian Pear, Avocado, Chili Oil, Fried Rice--$14. This had a completely different flavor as the hamachi and was flavorful as well.

Gulf Shrimp & Grits, Fried Egg, Andouille Sausage--$12. The egg really made this dish delicious--nice and runny yolk with creamy grits.

Red Snapper, Creamy Jasmine Rice, Clams, Chorizo, Saffron Curry Nage--$25. I didn't get much of this since my husband ate most of it. What I had was flavorful with a little spiciness from the chorizo.

2013 10 27

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday Night Dinner

Another wonderful dinner at Flavor Bistro for $24.95. 

Bruschetta Con Gamberoni--Topped with Jumbo Prawns, Black Olive Aioli, Arugula, Roasted Sweet Red Peppers & Heirloom Tomato Salsa paired with 2011 La Follette Chardonnay, North Coast

Risotto Con Funghi E Salsiccia--Arborio Rice Cooked with Mushroom Pesto, Homemade Italian Sausage & Parmigiano-Reggiano paired with 2010 Alexander Valley Vineyards Redemption Zinfandel, Wetzel Family Estate, Dry Creek Valley

Agnello Alla Griglia--Grilled Marinated Lamb Loin Chop Garnished with Cannellini Bean Ragout Flavored with Braised Chicories, Onion Confit & Roasted Garlic Served in Chianti Reduction Sauce, paired with 2009 St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Merlot, Sonoma County

Tiramisu--Espresso Lady Fingers Layered with Rum Flavored Mascarpone Cream Topped with Cocoa paired with 2011 Bonterra Vineyards, Late Harvest Muscat, Bartolucci Vineyard (Organic), Lake County

2013 11 21 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Model Bakery

Model Bakery is located in one of the Oxbow buildings. They make a bacon bread that is delicious.

The bacon batard is $3.75 for a small and $6.50 for a large. The bread has chunks of Fatted Calf bacon. How decadent is that?

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Annette's Chocolates, Napa

The Oxbow Public Market is located in 2 buildings at 610 & 644 1st Street on the east side of Soscol in Napa. It houses food shops & restaurants and reminded me of Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid.

Annette's Chocolates is one of the purveyors in the Oxbow Market.  

I'm always in search of chocolate covered caramels with sea salt and found one at Annette's Chocolates. The chocolates are $24.95 for 8 oz. I thought they were okay but I still like the ones at Mendocino Chocolates better.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bum Mam Soc Trang, Oakland

I had a craving for bun bo hue and risked life and limb to venture into East Oakland to have it at my favorite place-- Bum Mam Soc Trang. It's located at 1326 E 18th St. Oakland is so confusing with numbered streets and avenues intersecting each other. Be careful to include "Street" when you type the address or you'll end up in the wrong place.

Spring Rolls

Bun Rieu--Crab Meatballs with Fish Tofu & Tomato Soup. If you've never had bun rieu, you have to try it. It has such a nice seafood flavor. It's not for everyone because of the fish sauce flavor but I love it.

Bun Bo Hue--Hot & Spicy Lemongrass Beef Soup. This is definitely the best in the Bay Area now. The broth is the most flavorful and I love the Vietnamese greens that really add to the flavor.

Free dessert--Coconut Rice Pudding.

2013 10 26

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chloe's French Bistro

I'll catch up on local restaurant outings before returning to our trip to Seoul.

Chloe's French Bistro is located at 3883 Airway Drive, Suite 145 in Santa Rosa. It's only open Monday-Friday 8-5 so it's hard for those of us who work full time to go. They make great sandwiches and soups. There's a different soup on the menu every day.

Chicken Lentil with Smoked Paprika & Bacon--$5.95 for a bowl. This was delicious and I don't even like lentils. This had so much flavor and I loved the smokiness.

Roast Beef Sandwich--$8.50. This had brown sugar caramelized onions, blue cheese and garlic aioli--loved it!

There's a different pasta gratin everyday. This was fusilli with roasted butternut squash, green onions, asiago & Swiss cheese and bechamel sauce topped with roasted pecans and bread crumbs for $9.95. I thought this was too rich but my husband loved it.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wednesday Night Dinner

I was intrigued with the main entree for the Wednesday night dinner at Flavor this week and it did not disappoint. It was a small group--just 10 of us. This was better odds for winning the wine game. Guess the varietal and get a raffle ticket for the drawing. First prize--$25 gift card for Flavor. Second prize--free dessert. My husband won the $25 gift card.

Spice Brined Pork Chops. This was so flavorful and absolutely delicious. It was slightly sweet and so moist.

Potato Gratin. The dinner is served family style but we each got our own soup and potato gratin.

Roasted Onions, Creamed Spinach and Glazed Carrots

Autumn Organic Salad with Tomatoes & Fennel.

Farmhouse Soup. This was a delicious tomato soup with a splash of cream. 

Homemade Warm Biscuits

Apple Tart with Whipped Cream

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

David Coffaro, Fritz, Locals, White Oak

The Ultimate Lobster Bisque at David Coffaro paired with Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Truffled White Bean Cassoulet with Blood Sausage at Fritz Underground Winery paired with Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Porchetta Italian Street Food at Locals Tasting Room paired with Zinfandel.

Nonna's Puttanesca Sauce at White Oak paired with Myers Reserve Red.

2013 11 03