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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Little India Cafe

I was in the south bay and had a craving for Indian food. I turned to Yelp and found Little India Cafe. Since my husband was working late, I ended up getting take-out.

Little India Cafe is located at 415 N. Mary Ave, Suite 101 in Sunnyvale.

We tried:

Chicken Biryani--$8.99. This had good flavor but the chicken pieces were too large.

Butter Chicken--$7.99. I ordered it medium but I think they made an error. There was no spice in this. It had good flavor though.

Saagwala Lamb--$9.49. I ordered this mild but it was spicy. I liked the spinach but the lamb pieces were tough.

Naan--$0.99 each. Loved these. Large portions and just slightly chewy.

2016 03 26

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

MaMa Chen's Kitchen

I've only been to MaMa Chen's Kitchen once and I didn't care for it. Meanwhile, it's gotten pretty good reviews so I thought I would try it again.

MaMa Chen's Kitchen is located at 19052 Stevens Creek Blvd in Cupertino and specializes in Taiwanese cuisine. I liked it a little better than last time but I won't go out of my way to eat there.

Spicy Pig Ear--$5. I love pig's ear but this was too sweet. The texture was good though.

Oyster Pancake--$6.50. This was actually pretty good. The only problem is that oysters in the US are so much larger than those in Taiwan. The dish is much better with tiny oysters.

Sauteed Pork Kidney with Sesame Oil--$13. The kidney was well cooked but the knife skills on this dish needed improvement. The kidney slices were huge and irregular.

Squid Potage Noodle--$6.75. I did not care for this at all. The soup was too thick and too sweet. There was no flavor and the noodles were too thick.

Beef Chow Fun--$8.25. This was not bad. It was a tad sweet though.

Glutinous Rice--$4. 

2016 03 26

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Equus Steakhouse

The next night, I attended a Retirement Party at Equus Steakhouse. It's located at 101 Fountaingrove Parkway in the Fountaingrove Inn. We were in the room to the right when you walk into the restaurant. We had a group of 75 but the room could probably accommodate 100 people.

The salad was a green salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and a lemon vinaigrette. I had pan-seared Atlantic salmon with roasted grape champagne sauce and toasted almonds for an entree and it was delicious! I was pleasantly surprised. Dessert was Lemon Mousse Cake.

2016 03 24

Monday, March 28, 2016

Willi's Wine Bar

I went to Willi's Wine Bar for a work event and didn't take pictures. It's a Stark Restaurant, located at 4404 Old Redwood Highway in Santa Rosa. Unlike other Stark restaurants, Willi's does not have a Happy Hour.

We had:

Ahi Tuna Tartare with Lemon, Shiso and Pine Nuts--$13. The ahi was fresh and there was good flavor but there wasn't much Shiso. I might order this again.

Monterey Calamari Salad a La Plancha, Sweet Pepper Piperade, Chorizo, Aji Amarillo Vinaigrette--$12. This was in quite a bit of oil. I wouldn't order this again.

Warm Skillet Bread, Melted Gruyere, Sea Salt, Green Olive Tapenade--$6. This was the best thing we had. The cheese on the bread was delicious and I loved the tapenade. I would definitely order this again.

Cauliflower Soup Shooters, Truffled Pimenta Grilled Cheese--$9. There were 2 shooters and 2 tiny sandwiches. The soup didn't have much flavor and there was too much cream in it. I didn't get a chance to try the sandwiches.

Arugula & Endive Salad, Avocado, Manchego Cheese, Toasted Almonds, Meyer Lemon Truffle Vinaigrette--$9. This was okay.

Warm Spinach Salad, Goat Cheese, Dates, Cracked Almonds, Pancetta Vinaigrette--$10. I liked this salad better than the arugula salad and would order it again.

Willi's Truffled French Fries with Truffle Aioli--$9. This was okay--not enough truffle flavor. I wouldn't order this again.

Lamb Tartare with Vadouvan Aioli, Preserved Lemon, Mint, Pinenuts & Harissa Olive Oil--$13.  This was served on baguette toast slices and had good flavor.

Liberty Farms Pulled Duck BBQ, White Cheddar Polenta--$11. This was okay.

Crispy Pork Riblets, Pomegranate BBQ, Thai Basil, Pinenuts--$12.50. This was way too salty and too greasy. I wouldn't order this again.

Filet Mignon Sliders, Creamed Spinach, Whole Grain Mustard Bernaise--$16. There were 2 sliders per order. Not worth $16.

I had a flight of Zinfandel--three 2-oz pours for $17. The Zins came from Watkins Family, Taylor Mountain (2012), Benovia, Sonoma County (2013), Gamba, "Starr Road Ranch" Russian River (2012). I didn't like any of these zinfandels. I like my zinfandels jammy with a spicy undertone. Maybe, I didn't care for most of the dishes because my wine didn't pair well with the dishes.

2016 03 23

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg is a city of 7000 and the largest on the Mendocino coast. It was founded as a military garrison before the Civil War. During its heyday, it was a lumber town but the mill was shut down in 2002. Commercial fishing plays a role in its economy now.

Town clock.

Guest House Museum. It served as the Fort Bragg Redwood Company's home for senior officials and VIP guests. The home was donated to the city of Fort Bragg in the 1990s and serves a museum today.

Nearby is the largest redwood in Mendocino county. It lived for over 1700 years--it started as a seedling in 190 and was cut down in 1943.

You can also catch the Skunk Train in Fort Bragg. It used to travel all the way to Willits but Tunnel #1 was damaged so leaving Fort Bragg, you can go only as far as Pudding Creek.

Visiting downtown Fort Bragg is like stepping back in town. There is still a functioning Sears store.

2016 03 19

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fort Bragg Whale Festival & Chowder Tasting

Two weekends ago, Mendocino had a whale festival and chowder tasting. This last weekend was Fort Bragg's turn.

The chowder tasting was $10 with a $1.34 convenience fee on Brown Ticket. Having a pre-purchased ticket allowed us to skip the line and go straight to Will Call. We got out wrist band before it opened at 11 am and stood in the line to get in.

In Mendocino, there were 7 clam chowders to taste. Fort Bragg only had 6 chowders and 2 of them were the same as in Mendocino--North Coast Brewing and Harvest Market. My favorite was Angelina's. The chowder was thick and creamy, the potatoes were cooked through and it was full of clams. I also liked Point Noyo Restaurant & Bar. I did not like Cucina Verona. It had an off taste and my husband nearly broke a tooth on a piece of shell.

2016 03 19

Friday, March 18, 2016

Wednesday Night Dinner

This week's Wednesday night dinner was pork chops. Fabulous, as usual.

Farmhouse Soup--Tomato. This was delicious. I could have made an meal with just the soup.

Organic Green Salad

Spice-Brined Grilled Pork Chops with Sun-Dried Fruit Compote, Creamy Spinach with Homemade Sausage, Blue Lake Beans & Whipped Potatoes. I don't like Peter Rabbit's Favorites so they weren't included on my plate.

Homemade Bread & Butter

Chocolate Foldovers with Whipped Cream

2016 03 16

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Restaurant Week 2016

In the end, we tried 8 different restaurants--2 for lunch and 6 for dinner for Restaurant Week.

My favorite dinner was definitely Partake. Unfortunately, their doors have closed and we won't get to eat there again.

I also liked dinner at Jack & Tony's and Earth's Bounty. We'll definitely try those restaurants again. Sweet T's & Brasas were good bargains but the food was just okay. The only disappointment of the week was Restaurant Hazel. Their 3-course dinner really didn't justify the $39 price tag. Their mushroom soup was disappointing and the lamb meatballs, while tasty, was just swimming in a layer of grease. The seafood stew was okay.

2016 03 13

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Jack & Tony's

On Sunday night, our last Restaurant Week meal was at Jack & Tony's. It's located at 115 4th Street. They offered a $29 three-course dinner.

One of the choices for the 1st course was Mac and Cheese with Herbed Breadcrumb Crust. The cheese sauce was creamy but not too rich.

Another 1st course option was ‘BLT’ Salad, butter lettuce, bacon, tomato and homemade ranch.

The last option was a bowl of potato-leek soup, cheddar and chive. None of us ordered it.

The options for the main course included New York Strip, scalloped Yukon gold potatoes, Cabernet sauce. Last year, this was delicious and had a nice flavor. This year, the steak was cut thick and gristly.

The Scottish Salmon, first-of-the-season asparagus, lemon hollandaise was delicious. The salmon was pan fried with a nice crust. The hollandaise was creamy.

Braised short rib was fork tender.

Dessert options included Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme. This was thin and more like pudding rather than thick like pot de creme.

Fresh Strawberries on rum cake, Chantilly cream was the better dessert option. 

2016 03 13

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Sazon Peruvian Cuisine is located at 1129 Sebastopol Road. They offered a 2-course lunch for $15.

The first course was:

Papa a la Huancaína--Yukon gold potato with ají amarillo-feta cheese sauce on butter lettuce; with hard-boiled egg and olive

Ensalada de la Casa--Spring Mix Salad, tomato, mozzarella cheese, olive, plantain chips, hard-boiled egg, purple corn vinaigrette

Empanadas Peruanas--Crispy (2) turnovers with your choice of filling: (chicken stew, beef picadillo or pork adobo), Served with salsa criolla, olive and huacatay sauce. We all chose the empanadas. Our favorite was the pork adobo.

The 2nd course was:

Ají de Gallina--Pulled chicken stew in a ají amarillo cream sauce, Yukon gold potato, hard-boiled egg, walnuts on top, served with steamed rice. This was good but would have been better with cilantro.

(2) Tacos de Pescado--Plantain crusted tilapia tacos, avocado slices, salsa fresca, Huancaína sauce. This was tasty but would have been better with 1 more taco.

The other option was ½ (Half) Adobo Sandwich --Braised pork stew, marinated with “Chicha de Jora” and Peruvian beer and peppers. Served with soft roll bread, camote frito and salsa criolla

2016 03 13

Monday, March 14, 2016

Partake By KJ

Last year, our favorite meal on Restaurant Week was at Partake by KJ. This year, they offered a 3-course dinner for $29 and another for $39. Wine pairings were just $10.

When we sat down, we were given a mystery wine in a black glass and

an amuse bouche of mozzarella with pickled radish. The mystery wine turned out to be a Sauvignon Blanc.

The $29 options included:

Mushroom soup, Pickled Mushrooms, Crispy Pancetta, Creme Fraiche. This was delicious. It was creamy and rich and so much better than the mushroom soup at Restaurant Hazel. This was paired with Jackson Estate Outland Ridge 2013 Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley.

The other 1st course option was Farmer T’s Greens, Herb and Shallot Vinaigrette, Roasted Pistachios, Vella Dry Jack Cheese. No one at our table ordered this but it was a huge bowl.

One of the 2nd course offerings was Roasted Chicken Romesco, Estate Spigarello, Pickled Pepper Relish. I didn't like the Romesco and the chicken would have been better brined. This was paired with Jackson Estate Los Robles, 2013 Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County.

The other options was Potato Gnocchi, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Poached Purple Onions, Tuscan Kale

The dessert was the best. It was Caramelized White Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse, Bacon-Praline
Crumble, Chardonnay Caramel Sauce. The bacon praline was amazing--sweet and salty at the same time. It was paired with Grand Reserve Late Harvest Riesling 2013 from Monterey County.

The $39 dinner included:

Cured Hamachi crudo, Citrus Salad, Jalapeno, Juniper, Pea Shoots. This was paired with a chardonnay but since none of us were chardonnay fans, we opted for the pinot.

Grilled Squid , Bone Marrow, Chimichurri, Oyster Mushrooms. This was also paired with the Pinot from Anderson Valley. This was great. The squid was perfectly grilled and the chimichurri was the perfect accompaniment.

Roasted Lamb Loin, Estate Squash, Pickled Chantrelles, Fennel, Lam Jus. This was paired with Jackson Estate Alisos Hills Syrah, 2013 from Santa Barbara County. The lamb was perfectly cooked and tasted great with the Syrah. 

Braised shortribs , Rosted Winter Squash, Squash Puree, Turnips. This was paired with Jackson Estate Trace Ridge, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Knight's Valley. This was tender and also delicious.

“Bowl of Cereal”, Oplay Panna Cotta, Graham Cracker instead of Caramelized Rice Krispies, Dulcey
Cremuex, Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream. This was also paired with the late harvest Riesling. This was not as good as the other dessert. I think the caramelized rice krispies would have been better.

Unfortunately, this will be out last meal at Partake. The restaurant is closing and will be replaced by a Siduri tasting room. So sad!

2016 03 12

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Canneti Roadhouse Italiana

We had Saturday lunch at Canneti Roadhouse Italiana in Forestville. It's located at 6675 Front Street. They offered a 2-course lunch. Lunches are supposed to be $10 or $15 for Restaurant Week. For some reason, theirs was $19.

Foccacia was brought to the table when you sit. If you ask for another serving, it's $4. It was a good foccacia and warm. Not sure 5 pieces was worth $4 though.

There were 2 choices for the 1st course:

Tuna of the Chianti: Tuscan preparation of Pork Shoulder and baked Tondini Beans with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Aromatic Herbs. This had a nice flavor.

Grilled Romaine Salad with candied Lemons, organic Blue Cheese, Apricots and Balsamic Vinaigrette. I liked the salad with the candied lemons and apricots. 

There were 2 choices for the main:

Crispy Skin Chicken over Fava Pesto fresh Cork Screw Pasta and Pecorino Cheese. The chicken needed to be brined and the skin was not crispy. The pasta was good but I wasn't a fan of the fava pesto. It needed a little more flavor--garlic would have been nice.

Maccheroni with Tuscan Meat Sauce. This was a pork sauce. The meat was too fatty but the sauce was nice. I liked the pasta--well cooked al dente.

2016 03 12

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Earth's Bounty

When we went to Winter Wineland, Earth's Bounty served a delicious Mac & Cheese at Thumbprint Cellars. They were part of Restaurant Week and we saw an opportunity to try them out. They're located at 5755 Mountain Hawk Way, at the old Fresh location. It's part deli/specialty food shop, part restaurant.

I was pleasantly surprised by the restaurant and wine bar. It's a lot better than when it was "Fresh."

They served a 3-course dinner for $29

The first course included spice crusted ahi--seared tuna lemon aioli, pickled vegetable and pea shoot salad, mustard flowers, potato confit. This was not a large dish but it was delicious.
The other option for the first course was Wild Arugula and roasted beets fennel, blood orange, Laura Chenel Chevre, citrus vinaigrette

Herb marinated petite grass fed tenderloinm, Caramelized onion potato gratin, asparagus, natural jus. This was delicious.

The other entree option was Truffle Scented Risotto Baby root vegetables, asparagus, chive oil, lemon zest

Beignets Vanilla anglaise, chocolate sauce. When this arrived, I thought it was just fried dough but when I bit into it, it tasted just like a beignet.

My husband wasn't very hungry and ordered off the menu. This was the soup of the night--cauliflower soup with chili oil, truffle oil and paprika croutons. This was $10 for a small bowl but it was delicious and creamy.

The entree he ordered was Mac & Cheese for $12. Orecchiette, Sebastopol mushrooms, roasted shallots, Vella cheddar, crumb. It was delicious.

2016 03 11

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flavor Bistro

We took a break from Restaurant Week to have dinner at Flavor Bistro. It's still the best deal--$24.95 for 4 courses and 4 wine pairings.

Guazzetto--Day Boat Scallops, Jumbo Prawns, Mussels & Calamari Served in Heirloom Tomato Brodetto Di Vino Bianco, Sweet Basil, Garnished with Petite Flatbreads & Saffron Aioli, paired with 2014 Artazuri Garnacha Rosado, Navarra, Spain

Ravioli D'Anatra--Homemade Duck Ravioli Garnished with Ratatouille Relish, Tomato Cream & Balsamic Glaze, paired with 2013 Di Majo Norante Sangiovese, Terre Degli Osci I.G.T., Molise, Italy

Brasato Di Maiale--Slow Cooked Sonoma Style Pork Cacciatore Topped with Organic Fingerling Potatoes, Arugula, Pecorino & Gremolata, paired with 2013 St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Old Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma

Limone-Mirtillo Vol-Au-Vent--Puff Pastry Filled with Lemon Curd Topped with Blackberries Served in Strawberry Coulis, paired with 2012 Navarro Vineyards & Winery Late Harvest Riesling, Anderson Valley

2016 03 10