Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Saiwaii Ramen


Located in the space SO (Moved to SOMA) used to occupy on Irving Street, Saiwaii Ramen is a refreshing change of pace from the dominance of Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurants that line the streets west of 19th Avenue. PPQ I still <3 you!

IMG_0710Spicy Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen (Mild) w/ Pork Belly


IMG_0712Tonkotsu Ramen

While Saiwaii carries a variety of foods/appetizers to supplement your ramen, at the end of the day I highly recommend going for the ramen over the other foods. On their menu you’ll find items such as salads, donburi and grilled items.  Now on to the important stuff!:  The Spicy Garlic Tonkotsu ramen broth has a strong garlic zest of flavor while providing enough kick to hit your taste buds without being too thick (still drinkable!). While the noodles are a bit thicker than what I’m used to from the ramen shops down in the San Jose area, they are still satisfyingly chewy and fresh. But the Pork Belly, if you love good pork belly, you must add it in! Imagine this: Fatty braised pork belly that melts away in your mouth and provides a lovely savory taste that overloads your tongue’s sensory functions. It’s a bit pricey at $3 for 3 cubes but it’s so darn tasty! The egg was cooked a little bit more than I liked but the flavor was good and the yolk still maintained a decent consistency. Definitely a gratifying bowl of ramen and I’ll be sure to come back again for another one soon. Pretty sure this has just become my new favorite ramen shop in San Francisco.  I just hope they don’t get too popular and move away!


Saiwaii Ramen

2240 Irving @ 24th Ave

San Francisco, CA 94122

(415) 665-7888

Friday, July 1, 2011

Orenchi Ramen

For several months, coworkers and friends living in the Santa Clara area have been raving about Orenchi Ramen (not to mention the huge lines and waiting times on the weekend) for both their noodles and their chicken karaage. I finally took the bait and went down to Orenchi on a Friday night with a friend to check it out.

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Orenchi Ramen down in Santa Clara!

Chicken Karaage - with a  Grape Tomato, Lemon Slice and Jalapeno

Shoyu Ramen with Roasted Pork Slices

The noodles here are definitely well made and delicious.  They have a nice thick chewy consistency without being starchy and breaks satisfyingly when you bite into them.  Complementing the ramen was a tasty mouthwatering poached egg which was just a little runny, but very savory. The broth is loaded with flavor without being overwhelming. Add in some minced garlic and pepper and you have a super solid bowl of ramen perfect for the end of a work week. The Karaage on the other hand was a bit light of the flavor and not very salty but was so darn tender. Needless to say I gobbled both up.  The wait however was not exaggerated. It took us 45 minutes to be seated and apparently this was on a good day. Worth waiting for? I’d say yes.

Orenchi Ramen
3540 Homestead Rd
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 246-2955

Thursday, June 9, 2011

China Max

When traveling with family, I am almost sure to have at least one, if not more meals at a Chinese restaurant. My visit to San Diego was no exception. While I wasn’t too particularly impressed with the Chinese food in the area (limited is an understatement), China Max actually made a well deserved dent into my appetite.

With an array of Cantonese style traditional dishes supplemented by a few additions, the food was generally authentic if a bit on the more expensive side (compared to LA and SF at least).

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Crab Meat w/ Fishmaw Soup – Generous amounts of Meat without being too salty

Peking Duck w/ Hoisin Sauce and Bun – A slight variation on the original with cucumber slices

Sautéed Stuffed Cruller with Shrimp and Asparagus – Like a deep fried shrimp dumpling

Fried Tofu with Chinese Broccoli

Fresh Lobster cooked with Scallions and Ginger

Spinach leaves sautéed with minced Garlic

If you end up in San Diego and must have Chinese food, China Max is the go to place for authentic Cantonese style cuisine. All the dishes were well prepared, delicious, and fresh. The spinach leaves were nice and tender, while the lobster meat was succulent and flavorful.  The food is, in comparison to other Chinese restaurants, on the more expensive side.  If you’re looking for cheaper eats and have the time, head up to LA for more options.

China Max
4698 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 650-3333

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yakitori Yakyudori

I’ve finally had a chance to go nibbling away in San Diego while I’m enjoying some family time! While the realities of being an uncle kick in (e.g. going out for food with a couple infants in tow is nearly impossible), thank goodness for take out!

I had the opportunity to pick up some food from one of my favorite Yakitori joints in San Diego, Yakitori Yakyudori.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug A plateful of grilled deliciousness: (Salted Wings, Chicken Liver, Chicken thigh, Beef Tongue, Roasted Garlic, Chicken Gizard)

More tasty goodness: (Beef, Chicken Thigh, Chicken Gizard, Chicken Hearts, Octopus Legs, Pork Belly)

You take one whiff of the smells in the restaurant and your carnivore impulses take over. All of the meats are well seasoned and cooked. The salted Chicken wings are especially my favorite. The lightly salted wings are grilled to perfection. If you're not a fan of tendons and organs, it's time to become a convert. And the gizard was crunchy, yet soft and loaded with flavor. Given the chance, you definitely want to dine at the restaurant since the food tastes best straight off the grill.

Yakitori Yakyudori
3739 6th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 692-4189

Friday, April 15, 2011


One of my favorites activities in the city is to hit brunch on the weekends. Whether it’s eating traditional American fare or hitting up a Chinese restaurant for Dim Sum, plenty of options are available for your dining pleasure.

On this trip, my girlfriend and I drove on over to Hayes Valley to get our grub on at Stacks. I’ve been to the Stacks down the Peninsula a few years back so I was ready for a refresher at the San Francisco location. We ended up sitting at the bar where the service was friendly and the food came quickly.

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Bananas, Whipped Cream, and Crushed Walnuts on a Golden buttery waffle

Eggs Benedict & Sliced Ham over a toasted English Muffin

The eggs were well poached and nicely complemented the lightly salted ham. On top of the eggs was a nice smooth hollandaise sauce that was tangier than expected, but was still creamy and buttery. Overall an enjoyable dish with a small side of fruit and hashed potatoes to top it off. The waffle on the other hand, was buttery and fluffy but not anything out of the ordinary. Through and through, solid brunch fare. It's probably worth checking out all the eateries in the Hayes Valley area, but Stacks will remain a solid go to choice.

501 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 241-9011

Monday, January 31, 2011


Wow, it’s been a while since any food pictures have made its way to the site. Holidays and lots of family photos have put the food pictures on the back burner, but sure enough, I’m still eating ravenously!

In my continuing quest to find delicious ramen in the bay area, I discovered a new ramen shop in Fremont off of mission, across the street from Ohlone College (I’m guessing their mission campus).

It’s a no frills, simple ramen eatery with several types of ramen and tonkotsu, salt, and soy sauce broths.

Chasiu Ramen

House Ramen Special

Pork Belly Ramen

Overall their broths are tasty with the poached egg packing in quite of a bit of salty flavor. I personally tried the tonkotsu broth with the taro ramen (pork belly) and was happy with the quality of the noodles. However, the pork belly was a bit chewy rather instead of being soft and fully tender.  In the end, it was a fully satisfying bowl of ramen that met my expectations for ramen eatery that left me with no broth aftertaste nor a heavy stomach. The poached eggs were done exceptionally well and I give them 2 thumbs up for that! While ramen loving yelpers and foodies tend to be diverse in their opinions, I would gather than Dohatsuten would do well in any of their ramen joint recommendations. It sure does for me!

Dohatsuten Japanese Ramen
43691 Mission Blvd
Fremont, CA 94539
(510) 668-0959

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Still eating away

I've been camera-less for a few weeks now but my tummy still rages on in the search of good food. Hopefully I'll get that chance to eat some in the next few days while I visit New York.

In the mean time, here are a few of things I've been eating:

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Osaka Fever Pizza @ Bluefin Sushi (SF)

Unagi Nigiri, Dragon Roll @ Bluefin Sushi (SF)

Albacore Tataki @ Bluefin Sushi (SF)

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Organic Loch Duart calmon carpaccio @ Isa (SF)

foie gras with yellow peaches @ Isa (SF)

Roasted rack of lamb with sautèed eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, nicoise olives & lamb jus@ Isa (SF)

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Roasted Squab @ Asian Pearl (Fremont)

Clay Pot Eggplant @ Asian Pearl (Fremont)

Blue Fin Sushi
1810 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 387-2441

3324 Steiner St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 567-9588

Asian Pearl
43635 Boscell Rd
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 979-1368