Turtle Tower (SF: Civic Center)
Something old - Chicken pho (pho ga long)
It's not that the chicken is stale or that the noodles are old... in fact, the chicken is juicy and tender, and the noodles are picked up by the owner fresh each day. Chicken pho is old in the sense that it's something familiar, something homey, something comforting. Speaking of comforting, this big bowl of chicken noodle soup was what cured six Saturday morning hangovers. And what better way to cure a hangover with a steaming bowl of clear broth made from organic, free range chicken? Only in San Francisco will you find the chicken used in pho to be good not only for man but for the animal as well. Think chicken pho is good? The server says, "pho ga long is better!" If you're alright with giblets, you'll certainly agree.
Little Delhi (SF: Union Square)
Something new - Badami chicken
The first dish I order at Indian restaurants is usually chicken tikka masala. The creamy yet spicy curry dish is simply irresistible. This time, however, I went for something new. The first dish that I ordered was the house recommended badami chicken, a dish prepared by adding tandoori chicken to creamy curry with ground pistachios and cashews. Grinding up the pistachios and cashews contribute a depth of flavor to the curry so that it's not just spicy but a bit nutty tasting too. It went great with the garlic naan, and it tasted even better as a dipping sauce for the samosas too. Even Kevin, who wanted nothing other than garlic naan, helped himself to a few extra spoonfuls of this exotically fragrance dish. Badami chicken was definitely something new for me. If only more Indian restaurants served this dish along with the other items on the menu.
Hong Kong Lounge (SF: Outer Richmond)
Something borrowed - Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf (秘制果蒸粽)
I'm not sure what inspired Hong Kong Lounge to create an enormous, eight dollar, Chinese sticky rice wrap at dim sum, but I wouldn't be surprised if they borrowed the idea of super sizing everything from the land that's known for foot-long sandwiches, double-decker burgers, and extra large slurpees. Often times dishes that are made to gargantuan proportions are somehow neglected if not by health, then by flavor or by lack of quality ingredients. This sticky rice wrap is not the case. It's full of savory pork, flavorful Shiitake mushrooms, roasted peanuts, fresh egg yolk, and saucy sticky rice. Check out how big the wrap is sitting next to the tea cup. That's some heavy duty Chinese flavor, for real.
SFO Aviation Museum & Library (SF: San Mateo Co.)
Something blue - Boy and Girl's wedding (SF: SFO Intl Airport)
If I were to really highlight something blue that I ate, it would just be the bleu cheese from the salad at the wedding. But how far would I get talking about the bleu cheese in a salad? What was truly blue (in color not emotion) was the wedding itself. From the Pan Am stewardess outfits on display to the creatively packaged Hershey's chocolate bars to the handmade table decorations to the groom's tie and the M&M's, there were vibrant shades of blue everywhere. A beautiful color... a beautiful wedding theme... a beautiful couple.
Cheers to the happy couple, Moritaka and Cheryl. I wish you a lifetime of happiness, much love and much adventure! I can't wait to hear more stories of food and travel. Until next time let's get S.O.F.A.T.
ML - 20110428-0501