Tag Archives: Bay Area Eats

Bay Area Eats: Taka Ramen

In the Bay Area, there is no shortage for ramen restaurants. Go to any neighboring city and you’ll have a handful of options. I was running an errand in Santa Clara one night after work when I felt a serious craving coming along. So what’s a girl to do? Pull out your Yelp app and find the nearest ramen stop nearby with a rating of 4 stars. I love eating in the Bay Area and because food is such a necessity for me, I really don’t care if I’m going to a restaurant by myself. I pulled up a seat at the “bar” and decided to order what they were known for. What I love about this spot is the noodles! Every other ramen place in the Bay Area has the thicker kind, which is fine, but kind of inconsistent at a lot of restaurants. Most of the time, they haven’t been cooked long enough and are still unpleasant to chew. The noodles at Taka are really nice and thin though. As you can see, the egg is cooked just right and the pork was super juicy and tender. I haven’t been back since this first time that I stumbled across it, but it’s definitely in my top 5.

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Bay Area Eats: Hog Island Oyster Co.

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Earlier this summer before my heavy travel season, I decided to take a random weekday off for myself. I previously wrote a post about this actually about how it was hard for me to figure out how I wanted to use this day. Internally, I struggled. Why did this particular day need to be more important than others? What did I need to do on this day that I couldn’t do on any other weekend I had off? So the first thing that always comes to mind for me is food. Eating at some of my favorite restaurants on the weekends means that I’m facing terribly long lines and crowds. I knew whatever I was doing that day I needed to be in the city. My work was in Southbay so why not have a change of scenery. Together with my friend Leslie, we settled on Hog Island Oyster Co. at The Ferry Building because I had never actually eaten there before. I got a cocktail, naturally, at noon because I didn’t have to work that day. And the both of us shared a dozen oysters, the clam chowder, and their Po’ Boy sandwich. Sharing things always means you get to try more and we loved everything we sampled.

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This isn’t the clam chowder that I’m used to having at Ivars in Seattle! It’s a little bit more watery, but I actually didn’t mind it. I thought it was very flavorful and hearty because of all the clams and potatoes. It ended up being a very filling chowder and I wish I could have had more of it.

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Bay Area Eats: Tin Pot

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My favorite ice cream shop down here likes to entertain me sometimes. They do this really cute thing for kids where they add these edible eyes and carve out a mini mouth. The eyes don’t taste very good (not surprising there) but these make for such cute photo opps. I absolutely adore Tin Pot. Is it embarrassing to share that sometimes when we have a craving for ice cream, we’ll drive the 30 minutes for it? I don’t think so!

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Bay Area Eats: Tanto

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My dad is going to be so psyched when he sees this post. Though they never say this exactly, both of my parents are huge advocates of “treating yourself.” Our weekly phone calls typically consist of them ending it by telling me to eat a really good dinner to which my dad will interject and be like, “go to Tanto! They have fresh fish!” And he’s not wrong. Here’s a photo I took of their sashimi the last time I went. Often times when you go to other sushi restaurants, they really skimp on the way they cut their pieces, but Tanto doesn’t do that. Every piece is fairly large, buttery, and perfect. To clarify though, Tanto (in Sunnyvale) isn’t a sushi restaurant. They’re a Japanese tapas place, which is even more exiting because their menu is enormous. There are so many options and even though I’ve been there a few times, I’m no where close to having tried everything on their menu. They’re a highly rated restaurant with a very good reputation in the South Bay. The bottom photo is the Hotate Butter Uni Nose – a bowl of rice topped with scallops, uni, and salmon roe. If you’re going with a group of four people, it’s best to get about 7-8 dishes that you can all share.

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Bay Area Eats: Twirl and Dip

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Because normal ice cream on a cone is boring, you guys! While on a walk through Potrero Hill and finding that my friends and I were having some sweet cravings, we stumbled upon Twirl and Dip. For some reason, the fact that the melted chocolate could develop into a hard shell almost immediately was fascinating to me. However, don’t be fooled. Just because it’s in a shell does not mean you are able to eat the ice cream slowly. It will melt. And it will be a mess running all the way down your hand.

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Bay Area Eats: Souvla

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I was not familiar with Greek food growing up. It just wasn’t something that we ate so when I tried Souvla for the first time, I was hesitant. And actually a little bit self-conscious. Was I going to be the only person in the group that didn’t fall in love with it? The menu is simple. The portions? Large. The decor and interior of the restaurants – beautiful. And the crowds? Long, but reasonable. Souvla is a cult favorite in San Francisco right now and I’ve had the privilege of eating there twice at both locations with the one in Nopa being my favorite.

What I order:

  • Mary’s Free Range Chicken Sandwich – “Granch” dressing, Fennel, Navel Orange, Pickled Red Onion, Pea Shoots, Mizithra Cheese
  • A glass of the Souvla Greek Red wine
  • Frozen Greek Yogurt – Baklava Crumbles & Honey syrup (to share!) for dessert

It’s been awhile since I last went there with Mandi for one of our girl dates, but I’m already developing a craving as I type this.

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Bay Area Eats: Rumble Fish

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I sort of think that if I were forced to have sushi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day that I wouldn’t be that upset. While the sushi here in California doesn’t exactly compare to Seattle, I still feel pretty lucky that I have some spots nearby that I really enjoy! One of them is in downtown Mountain View on Castro Street. Since I’ve been here, I have yet to find another sushi spot that can make a seared salmon. When Rumble Fish opened sometime in late 2015, I decided to test my luck. It was a good move because now the seared salmon is all I eat from there! If that picture above makes it look like the seared salmon melts in your mouth… it’s because it does.

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Bay Area Eats: Tony’s Pizza

I had the best meal that I’ve ever had in San Francisco last week and I’m still thinking about it. One of my best friends was in town last weekend and her, her boyfriend, and I along with her group of girlfriends in SF got together for an incredible feast at Tony’s Pizza in North Beach. First off, this is minor, but let me just say that driving to North Beach takes forever! I felt like my drive home back to South Bay was a road trip in itself. I didn’t actually get any photos of any of the dishes that we ate that night, but everything was a party in my mouth. I woke up the next morning wanting to just eat their meatballs for breakfast or for dessert. That’s what those did to me. Here are all of the things that we ordered and if you’re a lover of Italian food, then you should order the same. We actually dined with someone that worked at the restaurant so she took care of the ordering and none of us were left disappointed:

  • Lillet Blanc Fries – basically pork fat fries. I could eat these for days. 
  • Caesar Salad – w/ Anchovies!
  • Deep Fried Green Beans
  • Chorizo Mussels
  • Meatball Gigante – wild mushroom, pancetta, cream sauce. You will die. It’s so good. 
  • Margherita Pizza – basically the best I’ve ever had. They only make 73 a day. 
  • Eddie Muenster Pizza – with fried kale and carmelized stuff. Yum. 

I am very hungry right now after writing this.

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Bay Area Eats:

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I’m not even lying to you. As I’m writing this post, I was thinking about what I was going to have for dinner tonight and thought about just aborting this post and going to get myself a Poki Bowl! Then I remembered, I couldn’t leave in the middle of the Emmy’s Red Carpet. It will just have to wait. Poki Bowl just opened in San Jose earlier this summer and I made a stop here about two months ago after work for a dinner date with a friend. When I arrived, the line was out the door. There wasn’t any seating inside or outside because it was so crowded and I’ll admit, I was a little bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to order before they closed. Was it worth the wait though? Of course. You can order in two different sizes and because this was my first time, I stayed safe and got the regular. For this bowl you get three scoops of fish! WHAT?! I chose a scoop each of tuna, salmon, and yellowtail – all my favorites and a side of crab meat, avocado and spicy mayo over rice. It’s a hearty meal so if you eat here, you better make sure you come hungry.

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Bay Area Eats:

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Well, now that we are on the topic of it being the last week of summer, it seems approrpriate to write a post about my favorite cold treat of the season: ice cream! I’ve been obsessed with Tin Pot ever since I moved here from Seattle and I don’t think that’s going to stop anytime soon. They are just the cutest little ice cream shop over in Palo Alto. They’re original flavors are great, but I love that they can change things up every once in a while by adding seasonal flavors, special floats, and limited edition sundaes!

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Bay Area Eats:

When it comes to brunch in the South Bay, there are very few options. Typically you’ll find diner style type restaurants instead of the really fancy type brunches that you might find up in the city. Nothing against those, but I like to find a happy medium. Sometime last year I discovered Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park and never let it go. Occassionally, Diana and I will find ourselves here during the weekend and sometimes spending upwards of about $60+ on brunch between the two of us. We go hard. Borrone is a popular spot and you can always expect a line here, but it’s also such a casual spot to be dining as well since they have a large area for outdoor seating and you can order your food right up at the counter. Here is just a sampling of the spread that Diana and I have once ordered. However, if you want to do my order, here’s what you need:

  • 1 chai tea latte
  • 1 freshly squeezed orange juice
  • The scramble – with salsa, avocado, and sour cream
  • 1 side order of chicken apple sausage
  • 1 side order of cinnamon raisin bread (toasted with butter)
  • (to split) a half order of the fresh berries french toast
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Bay Area Eats:

So I just discovered that we’re completely behind on all of our posts! One of the best things about Yow Yow! though is that there’s always something to write about. I never usually find that I run out of material, but I did notice that I did my last “Bay Area Eats” post back in March and I’ve definitely eaten a lot more since then so let’s play catch up!

Mandi and I had one of our girly brunch dates at Straw in Hayes Valley months ago! Now, this is a pretty unique restaurant because they put a fun spin on your favorite items with a carnival type twist. No, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. I really did order an egg sandwich in between two donuts. When Mom saw this photo she immediately thought that I was begging for a heart attack. For their dinner menu, Straw also makes a similar version with a cheeseburger in between two donuts! I was really hoping to like this because I love egg sandwiches and I love donuts independently. Together, however, was another story. It really just felt like I was eating surgary eggs and cheese combined with an already pretty sweet bacon. It ended up being a bit too much for me and on top of that – really messy to eat! I must’ve used up two of my napkins before I decided to give up – take it apart – and just eat the eggs. Has anyone ever tried this at Straw or a similar brunch meal? I’d love to know what you think!

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Bay Area Eats:

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So readers, here’s one thing you should know about me – I’m never good at learning lessons. Fact. Though I wish it weren’t true. I’ve been wanting to brunch at Starbelly in the Castro ever since New Year’s Day when we tried to brunch there the morning after New Year’s Eve and they told us it was going to be a wait and asked if I had a reservation. When things are unobtainable, you naturally want it more. To be clear, Starbelly is no Plow, but they shut me out the first time that I had to go back. So what did I do? I made the reservation one week ahead and when I got there I ordered the Loco Moco.

The lesson I was supposed to learn? You don’t order Hawaiian food at a non-Hawaiian restaurant. It’s the same as not ordering Asian food at an American restaurant – you get the idea. The Loco Moco wasn’t bad. I like that I could add avocado and the sweet soy, but it’s no gravy. The egg wasn’t even runny like it was supposed to be and the portion itself? Only a fraction of what REAL Loco Moco looks like. And I know what that looks like because I’ve had it at Seattle’s Kona Kitchen and San Mateo’s Takahashi Market in which the rice fills the plate and isn’t just a small scoop. It was a nice attempt, but Matt and I left feeling hungry and still. Hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson for the last time!

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Bay Area Eats:

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Oh boy, I’ve been wanting to try the toast at The Mill for quite some time now and have really just put it in the back of my list of places I needed to try until today. Yelly and I had planned on having brunch at Plow this morning, but as expected, the line was super long and we didn’t want to have to wait an hour and a half to eat so I threw out The Mill as an option. We both ordered two different kinds of toast – mine with butter, cinnamon, and sugar because I have the sweet tooth of a child and Yelly with a more savory toast of cream cheese, salt, and fresh ground pepper. The Mill was crazy packed this morning and I don’t think it’s just because of the fancy $3.50 toast. The cafe also serves up some delicious Fourbarrel coffee and has a parklet just outside. Needless to say, we’l probably be back.

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Bay Area Eats:

I was lucky enough to have a random Wednesday day-off yesterday and was ready to take full advantage of it. For quite some time I’ve been craving Hawaiian food especially because when I was living in Seattle, I could always count on Kevin to go to Kona Kitchen with me. I decided to Quora question where I could find the best Hawaiian food in the Bay Area and my coworker suggested I try Takahashi Market in San Mateo. It’s not exactly right in my backyard, but I made the drive anyways because I could really go for a warm meal of Loco Moco on a cold and rainy day. I hadn’t been to this place before so I didn’t know what to expect. It really is just a market place and I think most people just order take out, however, there are few tables outside that you can sit and eat at. I considered just taking out and driving all the way back home, but no one really wants cold loco moco! So I bundled up and hunkered down and ate my meal. It was worth it. Believe it or not, this was my first time actually order loco moco despite having plenty of Hawaiian meals in the past. I loved the beef patty, the rice smothered in gravy and of course the sunny side up egg. It’s the perfect brunch meal and I can’t wait until the next time I come back so I can order their unagi and ahi poke!

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