Garlic pork flavor spicy ramen – Ramen Dojo

Garlic pork flavor spicy ramen - Ramen Dojo
Roasted pork, fried whole garlic, kikurage mushroom, fresh green chives, quail egg, and chicken gravy (cooked ground chicken, chopped shiitake mushroom, chopped ginger, sesame oil, shredded red pepper). Ordered with extra pork and regular spicy. $11.25
Ramen Dojo, San Mateo CA

Wow, this was some of the best ramen I’ve had in a while! The broth was delicious and the “regular spicy” level was perfect. I think “extra spicy” would have been too much and the additional heat would have detracted from the flavor of the broth. You’d spend all your time sweating rather than enjoying the ramen. The “regular spicy” level was actually pretty spicy already! The pork was very flavorful and had a good amount of fat on it. Yum!

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Cocktails – Town Hall

Haze on Howard - Town Hall
Haze on Howard: Belvedere Vodka, ginger liqueur, vermouth, blackberries, lime. $12
Town Hall, San Francisco CA

Oooo, I was excited to visit Town Hall for the first time since living in SF. I can’t believe I’d never been here before. These cocktails were pretty tasty. The Haze on Howard was refreshing and bright, while the Vieux Carre was on the stronger, harder side. The first time I had a Vieux Carre was at Jardiniere and since I’m totally loving whiskies these days, this is becoming a favorite of mine.

Vieux Carre cocktail - Town Hall
Vieux Carre: Inventeed by Walter Bergeron, The Carousel Bar, 1938. Redemption rye, Henessey, Dolin sweet vermouth, benedictine, peychaud and angostora bitters. $10

Diane and Alfred Wilsey Court

The Diane and Alfred Wilsey Court, de Young Museum.

Happy hour cocktails – Nola

Ginger julep - Nola

Ginger Julep: Bulleit bourbon, house made ginger syrup, Evolution lemon juice, muddled fresh mint, Bundaberg ginger beer. $6
Nola, Palo Alto CA

You never know how a bar is gonna pour when they have happy hour cocktails, but these drinks were quite large and actually had alcohol in them! Score! The bartenders at Nola were super nice and made great, tasty cocktails. Perhaps the sangria was a bit sweet, but I can forgive that for the enjoyable experience.

Saucy's sangria - Nola

Saucy’s Sangria: a refreshing house infusion of red wine, apples, oranges, lemons, limes, pineapples, agave nectar and fresh fruit juices with a brandy float. $6

Pink flower
Pink flower that I can’t seem to identify by appearance (Vasona Reservoir). Help, anyone?

Schmaltz rice – Mission Chinese Food

Schmaltz rice - Mission Chinese Food
Dressed in chicken fat, with cucumber, cilantro, ginger, green onion, fried garlic and hot sauce. $7.50
Mission Chinese Food, San Francisco CA

Ok, how can rice cooked with chicken fat not be simply amazing?! This was SO tasty. The rice had a softer texture with the fatty dressing and a lot more flavor. I can confirm that this rice had no chance and was quickly devoured!

San Francisco morning
A beautiful San Francisco morning. It’s great to be back!

Shanghai dumplings – Mama Ji’s

Shanghai dumplings - Mama Ji's
Xiao long bao soup dumplings served with sweet soy sauce and ginger. $3.75
Mama Ji’s, San Francisco CA

I love XLB partly because they’re SO fun to eat. People have always warned me of the ones served in aluminum containers though because the dumpling wrapper tends to stick and break, and I’ve learned first hand that this is certainly true. So when these arrived to the table, I was already skeptical. Low and behold, they did break and not because of my amateur chopsticks-handling. What I could eat in one bite was good, but I would have loved for them to stay intact.

Korean bbq skirt steak salad – The Tropicale

Korean bbq skirt steak salad - The Tropicale
With peanut ginger vinaigrette, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, taro root chips, carrots and scallions. $21
The Tropicale, Palm Springs CA

The flavors in this dish were great, but the skirt steak was overcooked and super charred. It’s not fun eating a stick of black ash. 😦

Ginger martini – The Tropicale

Ginger martini - The Tropicale
Muddled pineapple, Skyy ginger vodka, orange juice, grapefruit, lime and soda. $12
The Tropicale, Palm Springs CA

Omg, our waitress was a bit wild and crazy, but very entertaining! She was definitely working hard for her tip which I can appreciate. This cocktail was more mellow than I expected (a good thing) and very refreshing. Mmm…