San Francisco has no shortage of great desserts and baked goods, so it can be quite an ordeal trying to plan where to go, especially if you’re pressed for time. I’m all for curated lists, so below are 5 suggestions if you’re looking to grab a sweet bite (or drink) in San Francisco!
As much as I hate to admit this, I will concede that our neighbors up north do have a pretty
respectable vibrant food scene. During the week of Christmas, a few college friends and I drove up to San Francisco and crashed at Rosalie’s family home, which is nestled in Outer Sunset.
Two Decembers ago, I returned to Burma for the third time, en route from neighboring Thailand, where my family had spent the bulk of our Christmas holiday.
To be honest, I struggle with writing about Burma. In some ways, I’ve been both blessed and burdened by my upbringing as an American of mixed Burmese and Chinese heritage. (My family is part of the overseas Chinese diaspora, with deep roots in Burma.)
Sometimes all you want is a piping hot bowl of liquid and protein nourishment. And Kim Chuy Restaurant, one of my favorite Teochew noodle soup shops in the San Gabriel Valley, offers just that. It’s become my go-to place for a hearty bowl of noodles and soup.
Given the blistering temperatures of late, I decided to give BlackBall Taiwanese Dessert a try, despite the tepid reviews on Yelp. BlackBall is a Taiwanese dessert chain that markets itself as an ‘healthy’ dessert alternative, with an emphasis on grass jelly desserts and the Taiwanese penchant for QQ, i.e., chewy.
Min Lan (မင်းလမ်း), perhaps Yangon’s best known seafood restaurant chain, serves amazing and delicious Rakhine-style fare. We paid tribute to this local favorite, dining at the chain’s Sanchaung Township location within hours after landing in Rangoon.
December 22 marks this year’s Winter Solstice. While it’s rarely more than a footnote on Western calendars, Winter Solstice (冬至), the shortest day of the year, is celebrated as a festival by many traditional Chinese families. It’s an occasion for family reunions and practically synonymous with a dessert dish called tangyuan, glutinous rice balls served in a sweetened syrup.
I went to Taipei with the goal of hitting up as many night markets as humanly possible. So our first night in the city, we headed off to the closest one to our hotel, Huaxi Night Market (華西街觀光夜市), which was rather sedated the night we went, with a lot of shuttered shops. So we instead spent a fair amount of time traversing Mengjia Night Market (艋舺夜市) instead. Both are anchored by Longshan Temple, a 16th century Buddhist-Taoist temple located in the middle of Taipei’s oldest district, Wanhua.
Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is a sprawling night market that extends along several streets in the middle of Taipei’s 2nd most populated district of the same name. While it’s widely cited by tourist guides and a great experience overall, if I were pressed for time, I’d pass this one, only because it lacks the signature grittiness of other Taipei night markets. (Food’s still awesome).
Continue reading STREET FOOD 101: Taipei’s Shilin Night Market
Pizzeria Locale is an up and coming pizza chain that is backed by Chipotle. The selling point? Customized personal pizzas with a simplified menu without the long wait. Now in California, this isn’t something new, with the success of 800 degrees Pizzeria and of course one of my favorites–Pieology. At the moment, there’s only two store-fronts in Denver, with the hopes of expansion in Kansas City and Cincinnati.
Mohinga is to the Burmese what menudo may be to the Mexicans. It’s the stuff of life, found all across Burma, in homes, street stalls and in restaurants. As a kid, I regularly ate it for breakfast on weekends (there was no way I was going to school with a potent fishy breath). Over the years, I’ve had countless iterations of mohinga. I’ll tell you this: once you’ve eaten enough bowls of mohinga, you realize that no two persons cook the same recipe–every chef makes the dish their own.
Ever since I booked flights to Bangkok, I had my eyes and stomach set on visiting Thip Samai, perhaps Bangkok’s most famous noodle institution, known for one dish and one dish only: pad thai.
Who comes to Thailand to eat pad thai, quite possibly the most pedestrian of Thai dishes anyway? But Thip Samai is outstanding, as evidenced by the huge crowds (locals and foreigners alike) that form every afternoon, even before the restaurant opens its doors.
I’m not about to start a feud between Thai and Burmese cuisines. But having been fueled by endless bowls of khao soi* while I was in northern Thailand, I beyond excited to grab a bowl of the ‘original’ Burmese coconut chicken noodle soup, aka on no khauk swe (အုန်းနို့ခေါက်ဆွဲ) when I flew into Burma.
*Khao soi just means ‘noodles’ in Burmese. Khao soi is Thailand’s take on the Burmese coconut chicken noodle soup, and has an intense coconut milk broth, on wheat noodles and a curried protein (chicken or beef).
610 Main Street
Napa, California 94559
I bought a LivingSocial deal for a six course omakase lunch at Morimoto Napa for my boyfriend’s birthday; the deal ran me $150.00. I easily made reservations on OpenTable and was more than excited to try out this restaurant. I grew up watching the original Iron Chef series as well as Iron Chef America, and Morimoto has always been my favorite iron chef, ask anyone who knows me! I even have a stuffed penguin named after him. His style of cooking is so clean and simple, yet beautifully artistic and (now I know) beyond delicious. I was ecstatic that this deal came up so that I could finally try his cuisine and fulfill one of my life-long desires!