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.

Chinese Thanksgiving

I know you are excited for Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, a side of greens and a delicious pumpkin pie (or rhubarb if it is up to me). My past few T-days have been less than eventful, but I always make up for it by eating very well the day before and after. In this case, two days before and two days after. 🙂

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Weryoo, a new app on the market, contacted me and asked if I wanted to try out some of their cool features while dining at a handful of my favorite restaurants. Of course! I am always looking for a new way to find pictures of restaurants in the city.

Essentially, it is similar to Instagram where there is a feed, but it focuses more on the map feature so you can see what is going on in your hood at any given moment. You can see my pictures here!

I eat out a lot. I admit it. Everything from Persian to Mexican, I love each and every type of culture’s cuisine. However, there is always going to be a special place in my heart for authentic Chinese food. Ever since I was a little lady, my family went out to eat every Sunday and the most memorable ones was at our favorite Chinese restaurant. It just felt like home.

That is how it felt tonight at the R&G Lounge. This place is quite popular in San Francisco for being the ‘best’ Chinese food, but I have to disagree. While it is delicious, there are so many different levels of greatness in Chinese food from hole-in-the-walls to fancy gourmet. It is really hard to chose just one, right?

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Lychee martini for Abs and McCallan 12 for moi.

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Before we begin, let me apologize by how horrible the lighting is in Chinese restaurants. I do not get it. Does the yellow florescence just make the food taste better or what? Because I have been to many in America and China and it is the same internationally wide.

R&G is known for it’s live battered crab deep-fried and sprinkled with salt and pepper seasonings. To be honest, this is my first time eating crab and it was amazing. I am becoming a grown-up, y’all.

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One of my favorite dishes that weird people out is jellyfish. It is so good. Everyone is always surprised when I tell them I don’t eat seafood, but I eat shrimp, jellyfish and calamari. Please fly out to SF so I can have you taste my favorite appetizer.

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Have you had Peking duck? This was a sliced lamb in spicy sauce version. I personally did not try it because I do not eat lamb (gamey and it’s my Chinese astrology sign {lame, I know}). My friends said it was tasty and paired well with the bao.

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I know I have been gloating about every dish, but my favorite vegetable prepared in my favorite way is Chinese peashoots, aka dau mui. They are sautéed in garlic and salt and taste perfect every time. These are truly a seasonal dish because they are only available in the winter time.

A little pricey, but worth it every time.

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The last two entrees were Szechuan pork and X.O steak cubes.

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One thing I noticed while hanging out with my pallies is that they like to use their plates! Friends, use your bowls!

A. Your rice soaks up all the delectable sauces and flavors

B. It makes it easier to scoop out the last morsel of rice with your chopsticks

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Last but not least, red bean soup for dessert. I have grown to love it as I got older. My dad, who loves everything about Chinese culture (hello, look at me), can not stand red bean soup. He said that dessert is suppose to be cold, so we went to get a It’s-It every Sunday after dinner.

Sorry father, I have to disagree with this one. Red bean soup is delicious and keeps my tummy nice and warm.

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Happy Thanksgiving from me and Abs!

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Looking back at the meal, it is funny how we had every type of meat except chicken, the most plentiful kind there is.

Weryoo compensated our parties’ dinner, but as always, all opinions are proudly my own.

Where are you going for Turkey Day?

Anyone doing an untraditional dinner like I am? Puerto Rican After Thanksgiving for me and it is the most excited I have been all year. Can not wait for Lily’s tostones.