Time For Tapas

So big things are happening in California…it rained last weekend. I know that I am late to the party considering today is Friday, but we are just going to ride this out.

Last Saturday, I was in that in-between stage of being sick where I was displaying symptoms but not quite bedridden yet. Staying home all day made me feel bad for myself, so I decided to go out and support Loló’s opening weekend at their brand spankin’ new location on Valencia St. (their original location was only a few blocks away, but bigger is always better and this place could fit at least double the crowd)

Take a second and see how depressing it is outside. Boo umbrellas and bokeh.

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Then welcome yourself inside and feel an instant mood-changer. Boom, just like that. What kind of human does not like palm trees and sunsets? (+ bartenders and a whole page of mescal cocktails)

Also, their wall of vintage car doors? Stop it.

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Their decorations were so tacky and bright that I fell in love instantly. Props to their interior designer, every wall was so different but worked so well.

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We started with a plate of guac + chips w/ cotija cheese and pomegranate seeds! ($6.5)

There is always a first time for everything and I loved the pom seeds, I might have to make it this way next time I have friends over.

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If there is a food trend in San Francisco right now, it is definitely fried Brussels sprouts (sister, you called it). Every restaurant I have eaten at lately has it on their menu and I always get sucked into ordering them. No regrets, as they are perfect every time.

Loló makes theirs with shallots, hazelnuts and late harvest zinfandel vinaigrette. ($6)

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Funny story, it was a tie between Brussels sprouts or the Mexiterranean Cheese Fondue ($9) w/ oaxaca cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, oregano and organic corn chips.

After a few minutes of deliberation, we realized that we are adults and can order whatever the hell we want for dinner. Both it is!

PS: That is a piece of bread that is holding the fire, putting the literal meaning of working with whatever is in your kitchen.

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Grecia is going to be my stand in for this post because I looked horrible (think sick nose, beanie and oversized sweater). Also notice the coats sewed into the chairs, I love it.

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She ordered a Michelada first and it did not take me long to realize that I really wanted one too. ($ no idea)

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After eating the crab salad at Tosca Cafe, I have been craving more of this local crab since it is in-season and was happy to see it on the menu here as well.

Introducing the Dungeness crab croquetas con garlic aioli and mirasol pepper reduction. ($8.5) I love bite sized food when eating tapas, so these were fun to just pop in my mouth.

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Grecia’s favorite of the night was the shrimp and rock fish ceviche, w/ a citrus roasted pepper sauce, avocado and salted peppercorns. ($11)

I am not a huge fan of seafood as you know, but I did try a bite and thought it was a good tasting ceviche (from the few other times I tried). I also wanted to take the spoon home with me.

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My favorite was a tie between these chicken confit ‘tinga’ tostadas with bacon, chipotle peppers and roasted tomatoes (8) and the pibil roasted pork shoulder gorditas ($8) (no picture because I ate them faster then my brain could think about pulling out my camera)

I think I should be an honorary Mexican because:

1a.) I look like I am one (under the right settings, Chinese and European genes will cross and tangle into one Latina looking baby)

1b.) Patients come up to me and speak in Spanish

3.) I love everything Mexican food

4.) Not to toot my own horn but my Spanish accent is spot-on…now all I have to do is catch-up on vocab.

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The penultimate tapa was the lamb sliders on a brioche bun and porcini mushroom sauce ($10)

I really wish I liked lamb because these looked so amazing in every way. Damn you, gamey meat.

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And finally, the vibrant ‘diabla shrimp’ with a creamy and spicy cascabel and chipotle pepper sauce, white mushrooms and white rice. ($15)

You really cannot go wrong with shrimp and cream sauce.

Especially not with white rice, I have been eating so much healthy rice (brown, wild, black) and quinoa lately that I almost considered just eating a whole bowl of regular rice and skipping the shrimp. (do not fret, I had Chinese food for dinner last night and had my fill of white rice for the week)

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Last year if you asked me if we should share a desert, I would have been fine either way. Now I feel like my meal is incomplete without finishing on a sweet note.

I do not remember exactly what this is, but I know it is a berry truffle with hints of basil.

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PS: Happy Birthday Ciafa!

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PPS: Happy Valentines Day! If you want to be my Valentine, listen to the new Frank Sinatra compilation all day today like I have been doing this whole week. Then, feel free to e-mail me and let me know how much you enjoyed it and what your favorite song was. Also, mail me a rhubarb pie. That would be the most ultimate Valentines day ever. 🙂

(it’s called Sinatra, With Love)

PPPS: A reader e-mailed me and asked if I could start including the price of the dishes I order. I thought about it and did not want to be embarrassed (no shame) on how much I spend on food, but we will try this out for a few weeks and see if I like it.

PPPPS: (last one, I promise) Do not forget to enter the Zabada Clean giveaway!

What are your Valentines day plans?

Do you like eating tapas? If so, what is normally your favorite dish? I always get one shrimp dish and chorizo if they have it.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Happy Easter, everyone!

I’m so thankful that I was able to go out to eat with my boyfriend on Saturday night. I have been riddled with anxiety over this Microbiology class, so I’m pulling out all the stops with studying. Chi closed his restaurant almost every night this week and I haven’t seen him much. So on Saturday, after an intensive study session after I worked, we went to Limón, a Peruvian Rotisserie.

We both have visited this restaurant a few times for various birthday parties. For some reason, this is a really popular spot for birthdays, we saw four birthdays being simultaneously celebrated while we were there! They just opened a new location on Third St and wanted to check it out. (The other two are in the Mission District, a few blocks from each other.)

Naively enough, I seriously didn’t think this location would be that busy, but there was three people ahead of us waiting for a table. We grabbed the first open seats at the bar and started to unwind.

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Chi ordered a Blue Moon and I chose to have a traditional Peruvian beer, a Cusqueña. I have had this beer before and enjoy it very much. They also had another Peruvian beer Cristal, but the bartender recommended me the former.

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Originally, we planned to just have a drink at the bar and wait for a table. 30 minutes went by and still no dice, so we had our friendly bartender place an order in for us. The food came out fast, and I think my mouth watered a little.

As you may remember, I am not a fan of fish, although I do love shrimp, so we got our own separate plates this time. Chi, who is a huge fan of ceviche (raw fish in citrus juices), ordered the Ceviche de Pescado y Camaron. It looked so fresh and smelled really good, too. I snuck a little shrimp onto my plate to try.

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I ordered my go-to, Lomito Saltado, which is the most amazing way I have eaten stir-fried sirloin strips and french fries before. What really makes the dish is the stir-fried onions and tomatoes with the soy sauce over it. I could probably eat this every day of my life and be happy.

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Since the portions are a little smaller than my stomach likes, we also ordered a quarter piece of Limón’s famously marinated, free-range rotisserie chicken that’s slowly roasted over an open flame. It came with two sides, and the one that accompanied the chicken was Tacu Tacu (basically mashed pinto beans and rice).

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The second one was Vegetales Salteados, which are essentially sautéed vegetables. These were really good, however, we couldn’t really figure out what some of them were.

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The chicken also came with a trio of dipping sauces, which were great; I pretty much dipped my little heart out that evening.

L-R; Aji Amarillo huacatay, Aji Rocoto, and a hidden Chimichurri sauce (which went really well with the steak pieces).

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We didn’t get desert, although I felt remorseful for not ordering the Mango Panna Cotta the next day.

My easter was pretty low key, I had a date with my textbook. Chi came home with a box full of easter cupcakes that the girls from SusieCakes brought over to Toma. I usually prefer their vanilla cupcake recipe, but I tried the red velvet one, and will have the green one after dinner tonight 🙂

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Tomorrow, I am off to the Academy of Sciences with the babies I nanny. I’m pretty stoked!

How was your easter?