We were going to go to Yasu, but as we pulled up at 8:30 PM, they had just switched off the light. Closed. Kaita. Closed. Minato’s. Closed. Banana Crepe, closed. We ended up at Gombei, which is usually a good bet. But I just couldn’t shake off the disappointment of being foiled from trying the chicken rice dish at Yasu, which I’d seen other diners polish off. On our previous (and first) visit, we’d bypassed it for other more interesting-sounding dishes, which were good, but not memorable.
I’d recommended Yasu to Eugene, who was coming to San Jose on a Monday, when Hukilau was going to be closed. He paid it the ultimate compliment: “Really liked the restaurant–wish it was in Berkeley.” (Eugene is no slouch when it comes to food.)
This past weekend, we checked out Club Elite’s Saturday night live jazz program. It used to be part of a restaurant called Hamasushi in Cupertino (Think of it as a smaller version of Yoshi’s, $10 cover, and 40 miles closer). We’d been meaning to go this summer, but our niece who was working there as a host was mortified at the thought at her second-cousins showing up, so we waited until she had escaped to start college at UCLA this fall.
The restaurant has morphed into Boas, a Korean restaurant, which will serve you dinner while enjoying the jazz. Anton Schwartz (who looks kind of like my buddy Loutz) and his quartet were pretty good. The bulgogi was a bit too sweet.
There was couple sitting in front of us, a slender young Singaporean thing draped over her man, her fingers affectionately tap-dancing on his bald spot (where Canada would be, if his head were a globe)
Truffle: Which came first, the fungi or the chocolate? Having read enough about it in Peter Mayle’s Provence books, I finally got to actually try it for the first time in Chianti, pasta with wild boar (Viva Asterix!) and truffle. So what if it was summer and out of season, it was decadently good.
Last week, the mushroom stand at Farmer’s Market which introduced us to fresh shitake and king pleurots, had both fresh black and white truffles. The white ones were the size of a large gumdrop, and were going for $1 a piece. They smell as good as they taste. I can’t quite describe it. It’s earthy and erotic all at once.
The recipe I found online said to grate it raw mixed into scrambled eggs almost right before removing the eggs from the pan. I had merely diced it fine. But it didn’t taste enough of truffle. Too much egg? Not enough truffle? Maybe I should have gotten black truffle. Hopefully they’ll have more truffle next week so I can try it out again.
Aychung: A branch of this Taiwanese chain opened up in Milpitas Square where a Vietnamese restaurant once was. They seem to specialize in noodles. The portions are Taiwanese, not American-sized. I could have easily finished two bowls of noodles, and I’m not really a big eater. I had the satay sauce squid noodle in soup, which were pretty tasty, although the soup was a bit gloppy. Apparently it’s their thing to heavily fortify the soup with cornstarch?, because Casey’s stewed meat noodle soup came in the same manner. Jeff had ordered the goose noodle soup, which came in a ‘regular’ clearer broth. But the goose was just boiled/steamed/poached? Unlike good ol’ Cantonese roasted goose (OK, now I’m a wee bit nostalgic for Yung Kee in HK. Or even the mystery place in Yaowarat that my step-mom’s family gets their Taechiew style goose from).
Jeff, being rather finicky about fat, left all the skin and fat in a big pile by his bowl. I looked at it wistfully, with regret that all those most flavorful bits were being wasted in the name of health.
There’s only two shows I like watching on Food Network, Good Eats and Iron Chef. But when you’re surfing on it, it’s hard to avoid Rachel Ray, who has three different shows. I find her bubbliness annoying, because I’m not sure how genuine it is. Especially that throaty giggle. But the one tidbit I did find out from her celebrity show, in the Morgan Freeman espisode was that he was in Electric Company, one of my favourit shows as a kid.
My mom somehow limited my TV diet to PBS shows (although I’d catch the Flintstones and Rocky and Bullwinkle occasionally at sleepovers at my cousin’s house.) Sesame Street (my favourite sketch was the animated 3-D pinball machine which focused on a number). Mr. Rogers: the trolley clanging past the traffic light, through the tunnel to Make Believe Land (although I found the King Friday puppet slightly menacing-looking). Zoom: I barely remember anything but a chorus fragment of the theme song “Come on and zoom zoom”, and that there was an Asian girl! with long hair amongst the cast dressed in striped shirts in the opening credits. I do recall sending in a game I devised, but it never got featured on air. (My first, and definitely not last rejection!) Interestingly enough, Zoom went on hiatus in the 80’s, came back in the 90’s, and is about to get cancelled again. I never even knew it came back.
I can’t remember much of Electric Company either, except “Hey you guys!” and the “Electric Company” chorus. And Spiderman was on it. I have warm and fuzzy (in both senses of the word) memories of these shows. I wonder if today’s kids who watch today’s TV shows are getting the same benefit and joy as my generation did. Barney? Teletubbies? Who knows?
Several of our friends with toddlers have mentioned Wiggles as the hottest thing since Elmo. Whenever Joe and I channel surf past the show (all of three times), they seem to be stuck on an episode where they’re singing “Fruit salad . . . yummy.” That jingle is so subliminally catchy, it pops up from out of nowhere into our heads every so often.