brian’s birthday

We celebrated Brian’s birthday before his actual birthday this year. Things have been a little hectic this month with me finding a new home since work decided to move to SOMA, but of course I made time to celebrate his birthday with him!

We started off with lunch in Foster City at Pho New Saigon. How can I say no to pho? I seriously think that ever since I moved into Foster City back in October, I’ve had pho about 1-2 times a week. My options are pretty limited around where I work in San Mateo, unfortunately! I’m not complaining though; I like this pho place. They are quick, friendly, and clean.

Afterwards, we hit up Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39! I used my Cantonese to order us a batter of fried shrimp…all for about $11! Not bad! They gave us a crapload. And then of course we had to get some infamous Trish’s Mini Donuts. Made fresh, always. And oh so delicious.

We left to go to Japantown, but got there too early for our dinner reservations. We killed some time at  YakiniQ Cafe. I just love the interior design of this cute cafe. And the drinks are pretty good here too!

To celebrate his birthday in style, we dined at Bushi-Tei! It is a delicious Japanese French restaurant. We got seated on the 2nd floor where we could overlook the petite restaurant. We both got the omakase and the food was pretty delicious. I got stuffed quickly!

Thanks again to Helen + Deric for the certificate!

And if you’re wondering what I got him for his Birthday…3 Star Wars prints from Christopher Lee of The Beast Shoppe. They are now hanging proudly in his living room.


wandering around the mission district

Saturday my coworker, Hemant, visiting from Bangalore, India and my college friend, Johnny, and I went around the Mission District for a mini food tour. We barred to the city from Daly City so we didn’t have to worry about parking and potentially getting a ticket from the anal meter maids.

Our first stop was a late lunch at Pizzeria Delfina. We ordered the Panna and the Salsiccia Pizzas. Both were pretty good for a thin crust pizza, but my favorite pizza place in the city is Tomassos in North Beach! It’s a small family-owned restaurant, and the service proves quite excellent there! The food makes it worth the wait!

After we stuffed our faces with pizza, we went across the street to Bi-Rite. Even though it was quite chilly, the line wrapped around the corner of the street. Bi-Rite is efficient though so the wait wasn’t long despite the frightening line. I got the burnt coffee and salted caramel. I usually don’t like ice-cream that is too sweet, but these flavors were mouth-watering. We laid on the grass and ate our ice-cream at Dolores Park, you know, where all the Mission hipsters hang out! Ha.

We checked out the boutiques on Valencia St before we had an early dinner at Mission Chinese Food. We wanted to avoid the long wait, but unfortunately we weren’t hungry! We got seated quickly the second they opened. The interior is dingy and petite, and they blasted hip hop music while we dined. They had Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a dragon. We ordered the the Westlake Rice Porridge, Salted Cod Fried Rice, and the Ma Po Tofu. All were pretty good, but since I am a true Cantonese person (okay, not really since I was born here), I thought the restaurant is over-hyped and I can get cheaper, authentic, tastier Cantonese dishes in the Richmond or Sunset district.

Pizzeria Delfina
3611 18th St
(between Guerrero St & Oakwood St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th St
(between Dolores St & Oakwood St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission

Mission Chinese Food
Lung Shan Chinese Restaurant
2234 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission

san francisco

Saturday we went to the Ferry Building and explored their weekly Saturday farmer’s market. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so it was quite packed. A little too packed! I really wanted to try the infamous Roli Roti food truck, but the line was ridiculously long.

Jonas picked us from the Ferry Building to have a late brunch (or would that be called lunch) at The Butler and the Chef Bistro in South Park of SOMA. It was my first time in the area, and I love it! I always knew San Francisco had their several neighborhoods with their own personality, but this place made me feel like I wasn’t even in SOMA anymore! South Park is a petite area with a park in the center.

While we were waiting outside for our table, the owner chatted it up with us. He’s a middle-aged French guy who obviously had been in San Francisco for a while and had been in the South Park area for quite some time. He gave us a run down of the history; he informed us that the South Park used be an exclusive, wealthy neighborhood with a handful of mansions. And across the street lives the artist who is best known for his Marlboro Man work. Not sure if it’s true or not, but it was a good story!

Once we were seated, we ordered the:
Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
Niman Ranch Ham Eggs Benedict
Myrtilles Belgian Waffles (with Bananas)

The portions were pretty large! The Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict was delicious; they put it on fresh, toasted bread with generous slices of smoked salmon. On the side was a salad with light dressing. I tasted the Niman Ranch Ham Eggs Benedict, and normally I don’t even like ham, but this was pretty delicious. The Belgian Waffles was delicious too. I’d like to head back here sometime soon to try other things off of their menu!

For dinner, we decided to try a new ramen spot in the Mission called Ken Ken Ramen. I got the Miso Ramen. I didn’t think this place was bad at all; the noodles weren’t overcooked so it was chewy, I got two generous portions of meat, and the veggies were a nice touch; however, the soup was way too salty!

Jonas got pearl tea from Boba Guys at the bar, which is created by two guys who use organic ingredients to create the pearl tea. The milk tea was delicious, but the boba wasn’t so fantastic; all the pearls stuck together because it was so overcooked! Also, $4 for boba mllk tea is a bit steep in my opinion.

Ferry Building Marketplace
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111

The Butler & The Chef Bistro
155A S Park St
(at 3rd St)
San Francisco, CA 94107

Ken Ken Ramen
3378 18th St
(between Capp St & Mission St)
San Francisco, CA 94110

chinese new year and dining at the house

Saturday we hopped on bart in Milbrae and met up with Vi and Troy in Union Square. They had just started setting up some of the streets for the annual Chinese New Year Parade at 5pm. Since I am trying to save money and not shop as much, I opted out of walking around the mall. The less temptation the better!

We made our way to Chinatown to check out the Chinese New Year Festival. It was packed with people, of course. Troy was hungry so we stopped at a bakery and he got a pork bun which he kept raving about! It did look delicious though! I saved my appetite for dinner at The House.

We got the:
Classic fried calamari
Warm wasabi house noodles with angus flatiron steak
Grill sea bass with garlic ginger soy
Angus ribeye steak, housemade teriyaki, toasted garlic butter
and two house specials . . . one was a lobster soup and another was slow roasted pork shoulder

Even though we were so full from dinner, we still had room for dessert! We stopped by my favorite gelato place in the city, Gelateria Naia, even though it was freezing outside!

After dinner we got to check out the Chinese New Year Parade on our way back to the bart station. Since I’m pretty petite, I couldn’t see much! Oh well. Next year! The highlight of the evening besides the fantastic company was that Troy bought some of those firecrackers I used to play when I was a child . . . and I had so much fun throwing it him and Vi! I am so mean and childish.

The House
1230 Grant Ave
(at Broadway St)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Gelateria Naia
520 Columbus Ave
(between Green St & Stockton St)
San Francisco, CA 94133