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Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)
the BUNRAB blog spot
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February 22-28, 2007
February 28, 2007
Skip to Lou
Lou might look pretty generic from its strip mall exterior:
... but this plain wrapper hides a laid back, cozy wine and nibbles lounge.
We couldn't resist ordering a dish called "pig candy" ($5.00):
... which was sugared bacon that was good, but it had a softer texture when I yearned for something with a crunch.
A generous serving of almonds and olives ($6.00):
... was sharable and just the thing to get the juices flowing.
The bistro salad plate ($9.00):
... was a trio of cold veggie salads. The romanesco cauliflower with shallots and tangelos, roasted beets with goat cheese and walnuts and the brocolini with carrot were all fresh and delish.
Charcuterie and cheese plank ($14.00):
... was strewn with slices of Armandino Batali salumi, pork rillettes, pistachio studded pate and artisanal cheddar and sheep milk cheeses.
... came heated in a ramekin alongside crunchy croutons. This salt cod spread was tasty and satisfying. I would order this again.
For dessert, we split a blood orange sponge cake tart ($8.00):
... which came with a snowball of whipped cream to compliment this citrus mosaiced, cake square. Not bloody bad.
Lou is a fun place to grab a light bite and a glass of wine. All of their 26 bottles are also offered by the glass.
The service is friendly and efficient in this relaxed yet stylish snack zone.
February 27, 2007
This thirsty cat started with a kumquat margarita ($11.00):
... not only for the opportunity to order a humorous sounding, scurvy inhibiting libation, but also to check out what was shaking behind the bar. I had seen the clever bartenders devising new cocktails while I have lunched at the counter, they even do a clever quality control trick of plunking and plugging a clean straw into a freshly concocted-tail to take a sanitary sample.
As a sobering agent, I started with clam chowder ($9.00):
... which had a smoky depth from a porky influence. These stomach walkers took a forced march into my belly as I did not blow my opportunity to chowder down on this tasty, chunky, liquid.
I requested my salmon fideo ($23.00):
... rare, but was told by the waiter that they didn’t accept doneness requests for this dish as it is always done a sort of medium rare. Unfortunately, mine migrated to me on the overcooked side. It was still okay, but it saddens me to see a beautiful piece of fish subjected to this treatment.
The barramundi ($21.00):
... was a superior choice. This firm fleshed, perfectly cooked entrée cuda never found a more welcoming diner.
Chocolate bread pudding ($8.00):
... was not a dessert to be eaten over zealously as it is served in the manner of poorly planned revenge. This dish put the pain in pain de mie contained in this molten centered carbo pot. The striation of melted chocolate eased my scorched tongue as a consolation.
The Hungry Cat
February 26, 2007
Toi on Sunset is directly next door to the guitar center. Although it is not mandatory that the staff members play the guitar, we are told that it is on the list of interview questions.
We split an order of Larb ($7.95):
... as an appetizer. The ground pork was mildly caliente with lime juice and cilantro added for dimension. The lettuce wasn't the larger, leaves that allow you to cup the ground meat mixture, they were chopped into strips instead (which took away part of the fun.) It was good, but not something I would neccesarily reorder.
The broccoli with oyster sauce ($7.95):
... had a cornstarchy liquid that left a muscusy trail when florettes were lifted from their gelatinous pool. Although there is nothing wrong with this okra or snail emulating liquid, it was a little out of context.
Pad Thai ($8.95):
... was standard issue rice noodles with egg, sprouts, chicken and one shrimp. This ketchup flavored preparation was belly balast, but nothing I would go out of my way to re-order.
I did like the brown rice:
... with its sturdy, chewy texture and robust flavor.
I'm not sure if I just ordered the wrong things or if this place serves okay Thai food, but the one thing that stuck out was the friendly and efficient service.
February 25, 2007
Los Angeles put us in sushi-mode so we went to the best one that we know of in Marin.
They were busy as ever for dinner at Sushi Ran:
Luckily, we made a rezzie so we didn’t have to endure a wait in the cold (although there was that cold walk outside to their bathroom…brrrrrr...)
We started with some warming miso soup and some spinach before progressing to the nigiri portion of the program.
They manage to serve up consistently high quality fish. We had tako, hamachi:
I like to pull off the little legs and eat these grissini of the sea before pulling apart their shrimpy heads and eating it eyeballs and all.
We then moved on for some maki action.
The Rainbow roll ($16.00):
...is filled with fresh snow crab, cukes and avocado and striped with salmon, yellowtail, maguro, hirame and ebi. As far as this type of roll goes, it’s a step up from what you get at most other Bay Area sushi bars.
Salmon citrus roll ($15.00):
...is filled with Japanese cucumber and avocado. Its coat of marinated salmon topped with paper thin slices of lime make for a perfect balance of crunch from the cuke, creaminess from the avocado and fish finished with a tang from the lime.
Marin is lucky to have a good sushi bar with a friendly and efficient staff.
L&L is just plain heaven to me. I know it's fast food, and not the healthiest sort, but I love it. The lau lau is great, when they have it and the short ribs are delish. I even like the super-mayo'd macaroni salad.
Multiplying like you-know-what, there is one in Daly City and another on Kearny St downtown.
Long live L&L!
Wow, I didn’t know that they had them in the Bay Area. We will have to try your recco of lau lau next time (and maybe some spam musubi as an appetizer…)
February 24, 2007
The San Francisco Restaurant community understands that a rising tide lifts all ships. When the Bar Crudo crew needed a little support, A16 contributed a generous gift certificate for the silent auction. Our winning bid provided us with the perfect excuse to motor over to get some Italian style eats.
For starters, we decided to split a Romana pizza ($10.50):
...which we requested to be cooked dark. Our blistered beauty came with a pot of chili oil to drizzle over to taste. The very center was a little tomato logged, but still good. Slivers of garlic, pitted olives and oregano made this ‘za disappear quickly. I glanced over to a neighboring table where a diner was carefully extracting only the middle bits of her pizza with a knife and fork (leaving the delicious crust aside) I resisted my urge to reach over and grab these tasty edges (wars are often fought due to border disputes.)
The pork scaloppini ($21.50):
...was a flattened Berkshire loin with a crunchy breaded armor on a bed of wild arugula. The meat was very tasty, but this rich dish became a little monotonously heavy due to its generous serving. A squeeze of lemon helped, but I really should have gone with something like Chubby’s order of prawns ($24.00):
...which were spot hitting with their pristinely fresh, perfectly cooked, translucent flesh. These Hawaiian blues were showered with slivered almonds, chopped Italian parsley and meyer lemon juice. Absolutely delicious.
Entrees come with your choice of side dish. We both selected the Lacinato kale which was cooked to a tender tomatoey doneness with a hint of anchovy. Although this was enough to share, we both mowed through our greens happily.
The service was friendly and efficient. Their Italian-focused wine list offers bottles, glasses and carafes for which we were given knowledgeable guidance.
It’s always a treat to visit this bustling:
...casual, chestnut of a restaurant. Check out what
Chubby had to say about some of the other dishes.
February 23, 2007
We decided to go to Grindz but found that the chain of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue:
...had taken its place.
Hawaiian BBQ mix ($7.75):
...was a combo of marinated sliced beef, short ribs and chicken. The reason why this kind of chow appeals to us is not because the flavors are balanced (these were too heavy on the soy sauce) but because the meat and the sticky rice make a great combo.
Spam has a solid trotter-hold in Hawaiian cuisine
and they have this potted meat product available for those interested
in camping food without the mosquitoes. They also serve noodle soup,
burgers, salads and sandwiches in this counter order, inexpensive,
plate lunch restaurant.
From today’s bunrab email, Passionate Eater writes about yesterday’s beanery visit:
You definitely visited the "classic" restaurants in L.A.!
Wow, that’s a frightening history. From what I could tell from the crowd inside, it appears that those days are now thankfully over.
Now if only they would focus on not overcooking their eggs.
February 22, 2007
If you like television and a menu that rivals a major metropolitan city’s phone book, then Barney’s Beanery is for you. It’s not the kind of place you come to for the chow, it’s where you go if you are in the mood to shoot some pool, watch a game, and focus on caloric intake from a frugal (rather than taste) perspective.
We started with some chicken wings ($7.95):
...which came with the requisite celery and blue cheese dip. I’ve had better and I’ve had worse.
The Cobb salad ($10.45):
...had this massacred hard boiled egg on it. I always think about the person in the kitchen who looks at the food before it hits the table and wonder if they would eat what they serve. But I remind myself - this ain’t the Ritz.
Chubby got the chilli ($7.25):
...capping over easy eggs and served with plastic pots of guac, sour cream and salsa. A red beach of rice bordered this pool of food. Belly ballast was it’s promise and it delivered on that count.
Burgers and all day breakfast are popular items here.
If you like food with your sports or wings
with your pool game, this is the place to come. If you want quiet
conversation and haute cuisine, that’s another story.
Entire contents copyright © 2007 by BunRabCo. All rights reserved.