Pier Market

I’ve been looking through my JTA photos and I realized that I haven’t posted my Pier Market set. It’s one of the best lunches I’ve had in the Bay Area and I can’t wait ’til I get back again. I dined with my brother, Franco and my dad’s best friend, Tito Bernard. I wasn’t able to take note of everything we ate, but that Seafood Jambalaya was probably the best I’ve had!

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Sushi Zen

Now tell me, who doesn’t love sushi?

Last week during Labor Day, Franco treated me to a special Japanese dinner before he left for Manila. By now, it’s quite obvious that my brother’s favorite cuisine is Japanese, so expect a lot of posts like these when I go out with my brother. This date was a spontaneous answer to our sudden craving for Asian food, sushi, and of course, all things RICE!

I promised myself 6 months ago, that before I left San Francisco, I would go down 19th Avenue and explore the Sunset district. I’m glad to have that item off my bucket list thanks to Franco. Along Taraval and 19th, there’s this hole in the wall Japanese restaurant called Sushi Zen which is famous for their signature rolls.

You would have to get through that tiny white door which could be tricky to open, but don’t be fooled by the size of it because it was quite spacious inside. It actually reminded me of the restaurants along Maginhawa, where the looks of the exteriors can get really deceiving.

We decided to get three plates of sushi for ourselves and Franco had a helping of miso soup on the side. I was quite disappointed that we had to buy the miso separately. Other Japanese restaurants would normally serve this while you were waiting for your meal. However, the service did not disappoint and so did the food. Our orders came right on time and our server paid extra attention to our needs.

When our food came, we were in heaven. See for yourself:  Continue reading “Sushi Zen”

Tani’s Kitchen

Cravings are usually a regular for me. Last night, my palate yearned for sushi. After spending the entire afternoon in Japantown to take part in the Cherry Blossom Festival, I can’t believe that my brother and I weren’t able to find a decent place to have a nice Japanese dinner. The area was just too full and there wasn’t any space for two wandering Filipinos such as ourselves. Tired and frustrated, we decided to head back home and to our delight, found a hole in the wall Japanese restaurant just 5 minutes away from our place.

Photo credit: infoUSA

Tani’s Kitchen is located in the Westlake complex in Daly City. It’s something you would miss while on a car or bus, but if you go by foot, you won’t miss the sign hanging above their door. However, most regulars opt to have their orders to go since the place only seats 14 people– six on the counter and two in each of the four mini tables. The place is definitely not for the claustrophobic. Tani’s isn’t what you’d call 5 star, but their food was excellent and reasonably priced. A $20 (~900php) Japanese dinner for two wasn’t bad at all.

Tani's Kitchen - Menu

Franco and I had a nice dinner seated on the counter and had the opportunity to watch the chef make the sushi we ordered. What’s nice about the place is that you know your food is fresh and you get it right at the moment it leaves the kitchen–which was literally two steps away from where we were seated. The service was okay and I could probably blame that on the language barrier (our server had trouble with English), but overall, it was quite the experience and I’m definitely coming back before I fly out to Manila.

What we ordered: Tempura and chicken teriyaki bento, crunchy makimono and Philly makimono.
I give them points for presentation!
Their salad was interesting because it's the first time I've had a spicy twist to my vinaigrette. It also seems like the dressing had freshly pureed tomatoes in it, so that added to the refreshing burst of flavor it had.
Franco and I split the tempura-- he had the shrimp, I had all the veggies.
The bento box was blowing off steam until the end of our meal. Tani's truly defines "hot off the grill".
The sushi plate satisfied my cravings! The Philly was one of the creamiest I've ever had (look at the cheese in that thing!), but I do wish they put in a bit more shrimp inside the crunchy makimono.
I added spicy furikake to my Kikkoman to give it a little bite. It was a nice discovery and I'll surely be doing that again in my future sushi sessions.
Franco enjoyed the meal so much that we decided to save up on a Japanese buffet before we leave for home. If that plan pushes through, expect a Kome blog entry from me in the coming weeks!

The healthier option

I’ve been here in San Francisco for a little over two weeks now and since school has not begun yet, I’m usually either living the couch potato life or taking a stroll around our community. Armed with my camera and my need to resurrect my ‘skills’, I try to use Joe as much as I can.

Below are a few photos of my recent meals / snacks / everything I stuff in my mouth which are my favorites so far. Most of the shots are of healthy food choices because that’s a conscious effort on my end to start the year right. Although I make sure I have my daily intake of fruits or vegetables, I still can’t seem to rid my system of sweets and unnecessary snacking. No photos of the sinful stuff here, though. I’ll save that for next time!

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Say that you love me

Monday night dinner with Lao, Miles and Stods @ Gayuma

After a long day of doing our Advertising Management midterm project, my group decided to end the shoot (and the day) at Gayuma ni Maria. Gayuma is a quaint little restaurant situated somewhere along the area of Maginhawa, Quezon City. With bizarrely named dishes and a clever theme in mind, Gayuma definitely is one for the books. With pink laced up curtain dividers and a dimly lighted atmosphere, this restaurant earns a spot in the list of “places to date”.

The establishment specializes in dishes with a twist, all named after some love struck song or over-used phrase. The menu includes twice baked chicken in olive oil and garlic which they call “Please Be Careful with My Heart” (Miles’ and Stods’ favorite!), “Once You Go Black You Can Never go Back”, a cocoa-crusted cream dory with chocolate sauce and mustard, and “No Boyfriend Since Birth”, a delectable slab of chicken breast topped with cheese, mushrooms, and asparagus.

by Kara Santiago
A strand from the wishing tree

Although quite pricey for a hole-in-the-wall establishment, the experience of dining in Gayuma is worth your money. The interesting “wishing tree” (where you could tie ribbons which have your promises/dreams written on it), Naughty Nook, and Ifugao tribal corner (wherein they sell nifty necklaces, dream catchers and trinkets made by the Ifugao tribe) add to the mysterious quirkiness of the place. The ambiance and over-all vibe of the restaurant will definitely draw you back to Gayuma — literally having its magical potion work on the hopeless romantic in all of us.