Sunday, May 27, 2007

I'mmm backkk with some thai flava

Its incredibly hard to find good Thai food in sunny San Diego. Its even hard to find good Thai food in San Diego that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg (aka Celadon).

Imagine my surprise when i walked into Antique Thai in Point Loma and found an amazing lunch menu! 7.95 for a complete meal? are you out of your mind!

Each meal comes with Tom Yung wannabe soup, one egg roll, one wonton, a little salad/orange, rice, and your main dish. The menu is about 2 pages long for the lunch, ranges from noodles to different styles of curry. Each one you can pick duck, chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu with each having a slightly different price.

The soup is very forgettable nothing special at all. Has the slight sour taste that Tom Yung is famous for, but nothing much else. There's a couple pieces of cabbage, made me feel like i was in an depression in the midwest during the time of the Grapes of Wrath!.

But those eggrolls and wontons! the eggrolls are your standard type of glass noodle/cabbage/meat mix. Fried to a nice golden crisp (2nd picture) the veggies tasted very fresh and the eggroll itself was very good. The wontons were a creamcheese mixture if i remember correctly, the same crispiness from the eggrolls applies.

Then they give you a side salad with peanut sauce. I <3 peanut sauce.

On to the dishes!

The dish i ordered was the Drunken Noodles with chicken.
Red Peppers, Basil, Green peppers, Chicken, and chow fun tossed with whatever sauce that drunken noodles normally use. I love pan fried peppers, i absolutely love them, i can eat them in probably anything.

The chicken was a LITTLE bit dry, but that's what you get with chicken breast. The noodles overall are on the good side still.

Do you notice that amazing glean on the noodles? That's what we in the biz call oil. Excessive excessive amounts of oil. I could definitely done with some less oil, kind of detracted from the otherwise nice taste of the noodles.

Next is the Pad thai!
Chicken pad thai. Tasty orange cola flavors with the same chicken problem as my drunken noodles. Eater said she loved it, delicious pad thai, not overly sticky noodles which are the staple of cheap pad thai.

Next is red curry with chicken
Good milky curry. My favorite type of curry is red curry, i love coconut milk and curry its one of the great inventions of our time (or of the ancient thai). i wish the basil flavor came out a little bit more because i felt it was a bit light on the herbal spices but otherwise a flavorful dish. A few pieces of peppers inside and a few pieces of chicken, just enough for a lunch.

the chicken in this was significantly better, i guess when you cook chicken in a pot it doesn't come out as dry *shrug*

Hopefully during dinner time the portions go up, this was fine for a lunch menu but for dinner i hope they give much more! I'm a ravenous beast at night time, but a meek pup during lunch!

I suggest this if you're around the area and want some thai. Its not expensive and its pretty quick! they also have an interesting wine list which i find rather surprising at a thai restaurant like this.

Antique Thai
3373 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 222-0689

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sorry again

I've been doing my write on for law review this week so i haven't had much time to post, but please be patient! i will have a new post during the weekend. (Law review is gonna get turned in at 6pm tomorrow!)

One thing of note, i'll be in Los Angeles this whole summer for work so there won't be as much San Diego food. There will probably 3 more restaurants with one fancy pants place tossed into the mix.

Friday, May 18, 2007

No pork allowed (SD)

When i was growing up in Diamond Bar my family would love going to this Islamic Chinese restaurant. Most chinese restaurants concentrate on mostly chicken, beef, and pork but due to the Islamic beliefs they don't serve pork... but what they do serve is a large variety of lamb dishes.

Fastforward 6-8 years and i'm in San Diego for undergrad. One of my roommate's parents always take us out to eat and one of their favorite restaurants at the time is Jamillah Garden (located on convoy). Like any good Islamic chinese restaurant they dont serve pork. Most of the dishes are centralized around lamb, lamb stews, lamb stir fry and the such. They also specialize in these really big pieces of "bread".

So a few weeks ago after studying for finals my friends and i decided to go get some Chinese food family style and i suggested this place. When we walked in, we were the only people in the restaurant, which was kind of weird since it was 6:30pm. There's that odd odd silence... that makes you just want to whisper.

Anyways, the first thing they served us was wonton strips! i love wonton strips! but wait.... i thought wonton strips were only served in those beef&broccoli chinese restaurants! Luckily , this wasn't so bastardly americanized.
The first dish we ordered was lamb with shredded green onions.
The waitress warned us that it might be too um.. Lambie? i dont know the term, i don't believe gamey applies to lamb but just think of it that way. Lucky for us, it wasn't. It had a light smokey lamb flavor with tons of green onions mixed in.
You know how some dishes are just meant to be eaten with rice? This is one of them. The mix with rice dulls the smokey flavor just a bit, enough for a tasty mix.

We also got an order of the green onion pancake to wrap the lamb in but i forgot to take a picture =P Its not like your normal green onion pancake where its nice and crispy, this one is very thin and doughy (not crispy) and has to be eaten with the lamb otherwise its just really dry. But its a nice compliment to the land.

We figured we needed a vegetable so we ordered Bok Choy with mushrooms
Typical good chinese vegetable stir fry. Nice big chunks of mushrooms and some bamboo shoots, just a little bit oily. If you look at the picture closely you can actually see my reflection come off of the veggies!

The final dish is one of my favorite things here, Knife cut stir fry noodle with chicken.

What they do (at least normally they would) is get a large block of noodle dough and they knife it off into a boiling pot of water, so every piece of noodle you get is slightly different, but its always fresh noodles not the dry kind.

Mixed with some eggs, veggies, and chicken it was a scrumptious treat. I really like noodles, i mean all kinds of noodles but this is definitely up there on the type of noodles i like and the restaurant itself does not disappoint in its preparations.

Something i do suggest that we didn't order is the lamb with sour vegetables hot pot, that stuff is A+. Its a stew with pickled Napa cabbage, slices of lamb, glass noodle all tossed together in a soup, delicious!

So if you ever want to try some chinese food that's a lil bit different, you should definitely check it out.

Jamillah Garden
4681 Convoy St., #C
San Diego CA 92111

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ole Ole Ole Ole (SD)

Spain, the land of Rioja with its Tempranillo wineries, sloping green hills and massive gothic structures.

Yet in America what are the two things Spain is best known for? Bull fighting.
and Tapas. Not that I have anything against bullfighting or Tapas, in fact I love Tapas. I love variety in my life and if anything tapas is variety. Of all the places I've been to in San Diego for Tapas I seem to always find myself back at Cafe Seville in the gaslamp district.

Located off of 5th avenue, its styled after a hotel and it has Salsa dancing on certain nights! But they do suffer for a severe case of "I dont want my restaurant to have lights in it so everyone has to eat in darkness" syndrome.

I know I know, before you start railing on me that its not really authentic and there are better places in PB blahblhalbhab ....I've been there and I still come back here cause I still like it more =P

Really the main thing that keeps making me come back here is the bread they serve in the very beginning.
Ciabatta bread (?) plain and with olives, and a side of garlic mayo and tomato sauce. The sad part of this is every time I come here I consume about two baskets of bread to go along with the garlic mayo. Its rather disturbing, but it does save me money cause I order less! But seriously, the sauces? PRIMO. MUCHO PRIMO (sorry my Spanish sucks)

The first dish we ordered was the newest thing on their menu Bocadillos Sampler.
Its lightly seasoned toast topped with a variety of meat and cheeses. Cinto de limo, Chorizo, jamon Serrano, machenga cheese, and smoke salmon (14.95). The cheese and the salmon were pretty average but the sausages and ham? absolutely amazing. The serrano is just like what i had at a truck stop in spain (yeah quality i know). I highly suggest getting this, the toast is just right, it has a nice crisp to it and the meats are absolutely stunning.

The next dish is my girlfriends favorite, the Tortilla. (3.95)
You can get this either heated or eaten cold. They cut it out of a big pizza shaped egg tart. If you don't know what Tortilla is, its a combination of eggs, onions, potatoes in a tart. Supposedly in Spain you put it between two slices of bread and you have yourself a meal!

This version is one of the bests i've had so far in America, my girlfriend a lover of Spain as well as a former resident for half a year says it actually may rival that of Spain itself. Bold claims i say, bold claims indeed little lady.

The final dish was the Brochetas. Grilled meat hanging on a skewer over a bed of Spanish rice. (15.95)

We ordered the chicken Brocheta with fresh lemon and "chef's marinade". Between each piece of chicken is actually a fig which results in a bit of sweetness with each bite of chicken. The fig juice saterates the meat to the point where its a little bit pink.

Sadly we aren't so easily confused in which the pink from the fig would mask the fact the chicken wasn't finished grilling/cooking. Probably the one downer of the evening.
Afterwards the chicken came back slightly more cooked but slightly more dry =( You win some you lose some. I've never been afraid of a little salmonella with my meal, that's what makes me daring.. like a bullfighter!

Anyways! if you're looking for a fun option for the night Cafe Sevilla is a great selection, the environment is nice, its a little romantic like the spanish themselves, the portions are generous, and its in the middle of downtown so you can go out and parttieeeeee.

Cafe Sevilla
555 4th Ave, San Diego CA 92101
(619) 233-5979

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New look!

How you guys like the new look? i figure its summer time, time for a little spring to our step! no more gothic black, and since blue is my favorite color what more can a guy ask for? (in a web blog at least)

The House that Curry built.

I love curry, especially Thai and Malaysian curry, that dash of hot spiciness with coconut milk really gets me going. But the one curry I've never found myself fond of having is Japanese curry. I think the problem is that whenever i have curry its always the curry you buy in the little cubes, it always tastes really mushy ,dry, and thick. I like to have curry that i can pour over the rice and really give it a kick, which... Japanese curry usually doesn't do.

So i was slightly skeptical when Matt and i decided to go to Curry house. How good could restaurant Japanese curry could be? i couldn't imagine how much more of a variation was even possible.

But wow is there a difference between market bought curry and a restaurant that specializes in curry.

This place had pages of curry, katsu curry, steak curry, seafood curry, curry with pasta, and what looked the best stone pot curry! You have a selection of over 7 different types of meat to put into your stone pot. I chose the katsu like hamburger which is basically ground beef fried in the katsu batter.
The pot comes out sizzling hot, with the very large piece of beef they top the rice off with some vegetables and my favorite! a raw egg yolk! Nothing tastes better than slightly cooked egg yolk on rice. You just toss all that stuff together and let the egg seep through the rest of your food.
The owner was actually generous enough to mix Matt's curry for him (chicken katsu), they pour over about half the curry and just go to town with it.

The chicken and the beef were fried perfectly, just the right amount of batter to the meat, full equality! no violation of the 14th amendment here! (sigh).

But the curry! or gravy as matt titled it to be was great. It was the middle ground before the soupy thai curry and thick japanese curry. It pours very easily and mixes well into the rice without clumping the rice too much. It tasted like a beef based curry, but i wasn't too sure. I downed the whole container they served it to us in.

My only problem with this stone pot was the rice was so so hot. Since... the pot is hot.. the rice never had a chance to cool down, you get full on gulping air alone from trying to control the heat!

Anyways, i highly suggest this place, the stone pot was 15$ but a normal curry bowl i believe is 9$ for dinner portions, but at lunch time all the prices drop a couple of bucks.

Curry house
3860 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

quickie!

Hello dear readers,
i'm sorry for the long spacing in between posts but my finals have just been killing me!

So i have a short thing to put up. Due to my recent Napa adventure a few months back i've had this outrageous wine kick. Sadly i can't actually drink any of the wine till finals are over because i want to be a studious student (oh snaps alliteration) but i do want to show you all what came into the mail for me today.

I lovedddddd the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Mondavi when I went there so I figured the older the better right?

1991 off ebay. Oh i love you ebay and your low low costs. Half off retail? What a steal!

And look at all the great health properties!
  • In late 2006, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology published the result of studies conducted at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine that showed the beneficial relationship of Cabernet Sauvignon in reducing the risk factors associated with Alzheimer's disease. The study showed that resveratrol, a compound found in all red wine, can reduce levels of amyloid beta peptides, which attack brains cells and are part of the etiology of Alzheimer's. [2]
  • Resveratrol has also been shown to promote the clearance of amyloid-beta peptides.[2]
It has also been shown that non-alcoholic extracts of Cabernet Sauvignon protect hypertensive rats during ischaemia and reperfusion
so Mr. 1991 reserve, I'd like to make a reservation with you + me + a nice steak after finals? for my health of course...
anyone care to join me? =) (sigh no WP's to be seen)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sorry!

Sorry for the lack of posts! i've been swamped with finals. I promise one by next thursday!
my phone took amazing pictures at this place!