Crime Scene

No, this is not funny – this is evidence!

We are definitely not in the habit of hanging our Prosciutto over the back of the chairs; this is hard evidence of the stealing going on in this house if one walks away from the breakfast table for just a moment.

So, you cats, listen up:

The first time you got away with it.
The second time we disturbed you and we have the photo to prove it.
The third time… we live in CA and we have something called the “three strikes law.” So you better be careful.

Thieves! Bandits! Gangster!

In Honor Of His Noodliness

If one starts the day with a bowl of Ramen soup,

it is only a short step to deciding to dedicate the day to His Noodliness, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, which involves homemade pasta.

Paired with homemade Pesto and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan, our “Day of Honoring His Noodly Appendages” was a delicious success.

I Can Eat That

There we were, out and about to look at some art, which is always a wonderful way to spend a warm Friday evening. After having feasted our eyes, it was time for a nibble. While debating where to go we passed “Unami Burger” – according to food lore THE place to go for burgers.

I had to debate with myself, because – quite frankly – I am not into burgers. Flat, dry pieces of meat clamped between bath sponge-textured buns, dribbling with overly sweet ketchup splashed over limp salad leaves, tasteless tomato slices and the horror of horror, a slice of plastic cheese… no, I am not into burgers at all. On the other hand, “Unami Burger” was being praised for being different – okay, let’ give it a try, we said.

I am glad we did!

I have to admit, this is not the very best photo of the signature Unami Burger, but I’ll try to make up for it by describing the experience: First of all, the meat was cooked medium to perfection, the also ordered “Port & Stilton Burger” was impeccably cooked too. The cheese was not some plastic looking and tasting piece of molten rubber, but a baked lacy Parmesan slice. The tomato – roasted; mushrooms – sauteed. Just looking at it I thought: Hey, I can eat that!

And eat it I did. Nothing dribbled, nothing fell off, even the bun tasted good. Paired with some sweet potato fries with homemade tomato ketchup, which we shared, it was a very pleasant and good meal. I wouldn’t know about the much touted “5th Taste Experience” – let’s just say, this is a burger I would have again if I happened to pass by the place.

And that is high praise for something I am normally not into at all.

Yummy!

Freshly picked

unto the plate.

Amongst simple but delicious dishes a Caprese Salad ranks high. Prepared with freshly picked tomatoes it turns into goodness on a plate.

To get hold of something that yummy one only needs: A few feet of ground, some tomato plants and a neighbor with very greens thumbs and a love for sharing.

Thank you, Collin!

Moat Seating Only

A trip to San Francisco is always fun: Walking along the streets, hopping on buses, going down to the Bay and…

Sushi Boats in San Francisco

…yes, having sushi at my favorite restaurant in SF – Isobune in Japantown.

Not only is the food delightful, eating at Isobune is just fun! Sitting around the moat, watching the boats with their tasty morsels float by, grabbing one and then waiting for the next little dish which is just calling out to you…

As a kid you were never allowed to play with your food – here the eating experience is playtime in a big way!

Oh Dear…

lap-band_blog_3292

How about eating less junk and sugar and saving the $12,000 – $25,000 for the procedure for something rather more fun than an operation?

But then again, maybe this common-sense attitude re. food and weight-gain is just a bit less fashionable than the “quick fix” advertised on bill boards.

In Praise Of Bread And Dedicated Bakers

A short while after having seen the Atwater Village Bakery sign go up, we checked the store out. Bread in a variety hardly seen in shops was on offer, plus delicious looking cakes and a wide variety of food to be consumed on the premises. So we became regulars, getting our bread from there on weekends.

One weekend the store was not as crowded as usual and we happened to have a chat with Richard, the Head Baker, about different kinds of bread and about “Graubrot”, this unique type of bread found in Germany and dearly missed by all Germans abroad. No, he said, no, he did not know this type of bread, anything special about it? Now I am not an expert on baking, but I tried to describe this kind of bread to him. To cut a long story short, Richard suddenly said: “You know what, I’ll look it up and give it a try. I love a challenge!”

Fast forward to yesterday: A phone call from Richard – some sample loaves were ready for me to try out. Wow! We dropped everything, jumped into the car and drove over to the store. To be honest, I was getting excited – real bread, at last? Could it be?

We had to wait a while, other customers had to be tended to first. But Richard already pointed to the samples waiting:

bread-loaves-blog_1493

Then it was our turn. Richard described what he did to get this “special” taste and density to the loaves and that he and his bakers played around with shapes. Then he handed me a loaf and said “Merry Christmas.” What – wait until I was home? Never? I wanted to have my first bite there and then. So he cut off some slices and I did the first test – sniff the bread. I could not help myself, I blurted out: “That smells like home!” Then the first bite – yes, yes, yes, that was it. True German bread for the first time in years, freshly baked, not out of a factory and wrapped in plastic.

bread-blog-1517

Now all this new bread needs is the teeniest amount of fine-tuning, adjust the density a fraction and the shape and then I will never again have to forgo one of the simplest and most rewarding food delights: A fresh slice of bread with butter and cheese – just like home.

Thank you, Richard. That is true dedication to one’s craft and superb customer relations.

Pushing The Envelope – Oaxacan Style

Never one to shy away from exotic foods, I finally crossed the line into the world of creepy-crawlies: I ate chapulines.

In plain English – grasshoppers.

They are a staple in our favorite Oaxacan restaurant “Guelaguetza” on 8th Street. Our friendly waiter sang the praises of the dish, so how could I resist? The little critters were very tasty and slightly crunchy, having been toasted with garlic, lemon juice and sal de gusano on a clay cooking surface called comal. One only needs to pulls off the legs, apart from that one eats them whole.

They look like bugs!
They look like bugs!

So that was that. Tasty and slightly unusual for someone not growing up in Oaxaca. The question after such an experience is always: Will I add this treat to my list of foods I could eat all the time? Well… no. Why? Quite simple: The aesthetics are a bit off.

However, I could well imagine to eat chapulines again if they came as tempura, with the direct visual impact somewhat softened by the batter.

Does that make me a grasshopper wimp?

Bento Delight

Lunch at San Sui on Hillhurst is always a delight. First of all there are the delicious bento boxes:

O-Bento-blog_2232

In addition to the culinary delight one steps into a little haven of peace and quiet with a lovely view:

O-Bento-2-blog_2229

After lunch one feels restored, not only in body, but in mind too.

They don’t even charge for the restoration of the inner being. It’s all included.