All Vegetarian With My Vegetarian

Whoever said the coldest winter they experienced was a summer spent in San Francisco clearly has not lived in a decade ruled by global warming. Of course I am typing this as the city is lovingly blanketed by fog, but I promise that the last few weeks has been crazy-hot shorts weather.

(ps. Mark Twain was proven to not be the man behind the quote)

Now that summer is among us, I have been scrambling to get everything done before I begin my summer semester. A few things on my to-do list includes trying new foods (what else is new) and completing projects minutes before the deadline. I managed to check off both tasks in one day when I went to go visit Jacque sometime last week.

We promised each other lunch since I have not seen her since her mom was in town. I was in the middle of doing research on vegetarian friendly restaurants for said project and she recommended this all vegetarian restaurant that sits on the harbor of Fort Mason.

To be honest, the person we really need to thank is Jacq’s husband since she volunteered their wedding gift card to Greens Restaurant for our impromptu dining escapade. I said no about four times and made her text him to make sure it was okay.

A cool snippet behind Greens is that they were opened in 1979 as part of the San Francisco Zen Center. Their menu is all vegetarian, all local and all delicious.

I was really excited that there was a boat/building as part of our window scenery.

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As always, we shared everything family style and started with two appetizers. The first one to come out was vegetarian pupusas ($12) filled with squash blossoms, spring onions, serrano chilies and cilantro. It’s served with a side of avocado, salsa and pickled vegetables.

These were so different from the greasy, meat and cheese filled Salvadorian pupusas I get from Santaneca. Instead, they were light and was complimented well by the avocado. I am not the biggest pickled veggie fan so I saved those for Jacq.

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The next dish to roll out was fresh spring rolls ($11) w/ carrots, jicama, daikon, cabbage and jalapeños. These were served with a side of peanut sauce and a mushroom/radish salad.

It’s a good thing that I don’t care for pickled veggies and she hates mushrooms.

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As an ode to her African honeymoon, we shared the North African sampler ($17.5) that included a medley of different bites. Some things included were a basmati rice + lentil salad, beet salad w/ harissa vinaigrette, roasted carrots + fennel and hummus w/ dukkah + pita bread.

The flavors were spot on but I am a fan of warm foods and everything was a little bit less than room temperature.

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My favorite out of everything was this summer squash and pesto pizza ($17). It was topped with grilled red onions, lemon, asiago, gran padano and pepper flakes.

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Since her husband is allergic to chocolate and nuts, we indulged in this flour less chocolate cake ($?) with ice cream. It is hard to not be impressed with chocolate cake but the texture was perfect.

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Some how some way we ended up unintentionally matching! Only difference was her shirt had a cool floral pocket and my pants leaned more green.

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I am excited for this weekend, I might go to a drive-in theater! We will see how everything pans out.

Plans for this weekend?

Dine On Time Launch!

Two posts in one week? Who am I, superwoman? 😉

I am so excited to announce the launch of the Dine On Time app!Straits In-App.jpg

I felt bad for being so hush-hush in my last post where I worked with Chef Julian Yeo to create a dish for Westfield’s new app. Now that the event is over and the app is available to the public, I can finally share all the good news with you!

To start at the beginning, the exclusive dish we created is available on the brand-new Westfield Dine on Time app or on the Westfield Food website for scheduled pick-up/delivery to make it easy and convenient for you! I had a chance to play with the app and I love how sleek and user friendly it is.

(p.s. this is where I consider myself lucky to live in San Francisco because we get to try out all the cool things before other cities do!)

This past Wednesday, I joined fellow Westfield Food Tastemakers Under The Dome at Westfield SF to sample all the dishes and enjoy the company of other food lovers.

Our event was a success! There was over 150+ people in attendance and we could not have had it at a better place. I remember when Westfield had their opening day when I was in high school and now I had the pleasure of working with them.

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Somewhere between all the warm bodies and the sound of thirty different conversations was a presentation of the Tastemaker’s exclusive dishes. I was able to try almost all of them and am so impressed with everyones creativity! My Glazed Indonesian Chili Prawns are in-between the ‘Nduja pizza and Lamb Shu Mai.

(please read everyone’s blogs to get their perspective on everything!)

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Incase you were wondering who these so-called Tastemakers were, we somehow managed to wrangle everyone for a group shot.

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And last but not least, the most surreal part of this whole journey was physically seeing my name on the card at the event. It is just the little things sometimes…

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For a little incentive for you to downtowners to try my dish, all of the bloggers agreed to have their proceeds donated to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. I volunteer there once a month and can vouch that they are an amazing organization. Whoever gets the most orders will have their name on the check, so everyone- go get your prawns on from Straits!

I also have 10% off Dine on Time code to share with you: TRYDOT.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to follow this Dine on Time journey and to the Westfield Labs team who pulled this whole thing off. They did such a great job and all the people that work there are so friendly and helpful. I see big things in their future.

An even bigger thank you to my readers who came to the event to meet me! It is so nice to put some faces behind names. 🙂

All pictures (except the last one) are from Westfield Labs.

Extra Thin Please

Happy belated Memorial Day! I took the day off (from basically doing nothing) and spent the day eating frozen yogurt and barbecuing in our back yard.

I want to introduce you to a new-ish roommate of mine who moved in the Lisbon House sometime in the past few months. We cannot really pronounce his first name well so I lovingly nicknamed him Leo. Well, the boys actually call him Ders because he looks like an European version of Anders from Workaholics. He is here in San Francisco for six months to complete an internship at the Dutch embassy.

Although he has eaten an uncountable amount of pizza in Italy, I wanted to take him to a new-to-me corner spot pizzeria in Glen Park.

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We started our meal off with a traditional pre-pizza salad. Gialina offered a delicious avocado salad ($9) with blood orange (+ vinaigrette) and barley. I loved the acidic flavors from the blood orange with the creamy avocado.

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I could not help but take this picture that was directly in my vision the entire meal. This old-school couple probably has such a interesting back story to tell and I will just have to be left wondering. The old guy is looking like, “what the hell am I doing with this hat on my head”.

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The three of us shared two of Gialina’s signature classics. All of their pizzas are extra thin crust and instantly won the key to my heart. Less of the pan means more room for toppings. In this case, the ‘Atomica’ ($16) includes mushrooms, chilies, red onions & mozzarella. The boys demanded we added meat and I compromised with them by asking for slices of pancetta.

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The other one we shared was the Portobello ($16) w/ caramelized onion, fontina, preserved lemon & arugula. Again, we had to add a meat so I thought that sausage would make a good pairing. I could not decide which one I liked more; the first one had a really good spice but its hard to say no to arugula on pizza.

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Nothing really beats a well-made pizza and I have to thank Gialina for being open during my time of hunger. I hope you guys had a great weekend!

Thin crust or thick crust? I do not know if I can go on with my day without knowing your choice.

Westfield Food Tastemakers

Can I get one of you to do an impromptu drumroll? Last month, I was selected as one of the Westfield Food Tastemakers. Chef Julian Yeo of Straits and I teamed up to create an exclusive dish that will be featured in a new Westfield food experience.

In my last post, I mentioned a cool story between Straits and my family. A long time ago (although my mom would probably chime in and say it has not been that long), Straits’ first location was a small local corner Singaporean restaurant in the Richmond district. My mom was one of their first employees and I heard through the grapevines that she was lively and entertained her lunch patrons so well that they just kept coming back.

Well, one of those customers happened to be my dad! He would go to the post office to pick up mail and then head across the street for the most authentic Singaporean food in the city.

My dad must have been quite the charismatic gentleman because whatever tricks he had up his sleeve worked. They ended up dating and was lucky enough to have me bless them with my presence a few years later.

To think that I would not even be a human if it was not for Straits makes me feel like I should be a poster child for their company.

Back to the point- when I found out about this opportunity I knew that Straits and I had to work together. Chef Julian is the son of the owner (my mom’s old boss) and I am so humble for this experience.

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There is still a little mystery to this event because I cannot reveal our amazing entree until next week, but I am so impressed with it.

There are other bloggers that are also Westfield Tastemakers, such as:

Andi @ Misadventures With Andi who is working with M.Y. China

Mika @ Food Fashionista who is working with Lark Creek Steak

Melissa @ Savvy In San Francisco who is working with Cupola

Anita @ Dessert First who is working with CocoaBella

Brenda @ Bites and Bourbon who is working with Sorabol

We threw out ideas about what kind of dishes would be great for this event. Here is Chef Julian explaining what ingredients compliment each other in Southeastern cooking.

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He impressed all of us with the wok + fire combo.

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My failed attempts were responsible for a few laughs. A few months ago, I flipped an egg over in a little skillet for the first time by sheer luck. Apparently it was not my day with the commercial-sized wok. The chef said it takes a bit of wrist work and finesse.

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A few more coaching steps and I managed to get it down.

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I also did my part and helped chop the green onions.
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And to be completely honest, his knife skills are a lot more fast and efficient then mine!

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If any of my San Francisco readers are interested, I am giving away two tickets to the VIP launch event at the Westfield San Francisco Center downtown. Just leave a comment or e-mail me!