We'd always had a visit to Arashiyama on the books and on our last full day in Kyoto, we decided to head out early in the day. We ended up taking the rather fun Keifuku Tram Line to Arashiyama Station.
It was a slightly hazy, but beautiful day....the air so clean. We walked out of the station and headed down what looked like Arashiyama's main street. And walked over to the Togetsu-kyo Bridge.
We headed north alongside the picturesque Oi River and took a right along a rather random street.
It wasn't very crowded, so we just took in the sights a bit.
We headed out front, looking for the Bamboo Forest. I walked up to a traffic officer and asked for directions to the Bamboo Grove. In the typical Japanese way....he insisted on walking us most of the way there.
It was very pretty....but for some reason, I expected it to be a bit more grand.
I guess having grown up around various bamboo forests......
The place does take some really nice photos though.
Heading back down to the street, we found another entrance to Tenryū-ji. This is the garden area and is quite beautiful.
By now, we'd had enough for the morning and headed back to downtown Kyoto. We walked around a bit and decided to have lunch at a place I had specifically marked down. We'd really enjoyed Ippudo in Osaka and there just happened to be a location in downtown Kyoto.
Call us boring, but we'd enjoyed ourselves so much on our previous visit to the Osaka location that we basically got the same thing. The Shormaru Special, what I call a classic tonkotsu with chashu and egg. And of course, the Missus got Hakata Chikara Meshi, chashu rice and an onsen tamago.
The broth was nice and rich, but not oily nor too fatty. The flavor is rather delicate. The chashu was tender and nicely flavored, the noodles just perfectly al dente for my taste.
I gave the Missus my tamago....now that's love. And when She cut into it....well, we had a perfect "egg porn shot".
Our meal was the perfect foil for the cool autumn chill.
Feeling nice and warm, we headed on out to do some shopping. We found an underground passageway to Takashimaya Department Store.
Of course this lead right to B1 and the food floor.
We were wandering around the third floor of Takashimaya Department Store and I noticed this.....
Oh my....it was Din Tai Fung!
And there was no line.....
The Missus and I looked at each other......why not, right? We still had a bit of room in our bellies, so we went for a second, rather light lunch.
I was wondering just how good this was going to be. We got the pork and crab version of the Xiao Long Bao. When it arrived, it looked like the XLB on the left had leaked, but it had not. As for the wrappers....well just look at the classic "XLB hang". The wrapper were very nice, for some reason they seemed a bit thicker than the wrapper at DTF here in the states. I really couldn't complain about the amount of soup, nor the flavor (a bit too sweet for me), or the texture. This was pretty good. Much better than anything we have here in San Diego.
The Missus has got to have Her veggies, so we got some greens. Nice and simple, very mildly seasoned.
Din Tai Fung (Third Floor of Takashimaya Department Store) 52 Shincho, Shijo Kawaramachi-dori Nishi-iru Simogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8001
I guess that's fun part of trips...you make basic plans, but leave time to wander and explore. You never know what you'll run into.
We've been doing this little blog for almost 12 years now. And while we've done almost 3500 posts over the years, we've been living in San Diego for almost seventeen. There are many places that we've tried out that we hadn't had reason to return to for various reasons. Last year, after looking back at my Karihan post, I decided to do the rounds on places that had been struck from our eating lists "BB" (before blogging) or even places where I need to drop by for convenience....yes, I do have a regular job with long hours. So I'm going to start a series on "Revisits to Places I've Never Done Posts On".
Starting with, well, the place where the Missus made me an "offer I couldn't refuse". Jokes aside, for some reason the Missus wanted some rather old school Italian food one evening. So I suggested two places in the neighborhood, super old school Old Trieste or Baci. The Missus said, "why don't we go back to The Godfather", we haven't been there in a while. Well, that part was true....like in over thirteen or fourteen years....I'd say that would qualify as "a while".
So cue up the music.....
The décor is quite old school and many of the staff look like they've been here for years. Our Server was the nicest, most gracious guy, and his demeanor really matched the formal, but not stuffy atmosphere.
The Missus had a glass of red; a Pinot Noir..... I heard a voice screaming "you need a martini".....so I had one. A pretty stiff one too......
From what I recalled about my previous dealing with The Godfather; portions were large, I remember not enjoying the proteins too much....and the large plate of fried zucchini you get to start dinner.
Simply seasoned....the good pieces, well after the initial "crunch" would almost melt away....other pieces were a bit dry.
The Missus ordered the Meatballs to start.
A bit too much filler for me and I prefer my sauce a bit more tangy. This in itself was fairly heavy and filling. The Missus really enjoyed this.
Soup or salad (of course) with your dinner here. We both got the minestrone, which was very tasty.
Hearty and rather thick, this hit the spot on a rather cold evening. Again, a straight forward dish, but quite comforting.
By this time the Missus and I were pretty full......and then the main courses arrived!
The Missus got the Ravioli Portabello ($19.95).
I thought the sauce was a bit on the sweet side and was too thick, like a béchamel. The pasta was fine and that mushroom filling quite delicious. We both noticed that up to this point, some of the items needed a bit more salt. In fact, I noticed more than one customer salting their food. Perhaps that's the way it's supposed to be here?
I thoroughly enjoyed my Penne Puttanesca ($17.95).
The pasta was al dente, just enough anchovies and basil to keep me interested, it could used more tomato in my opinion, but even with capers and olives, this wasn't too salty. It was way too much food and I barely put a dent into it. On the good side; the pasta held up well and I had dinner the following night.
In the end, I think we found our secret to the Godfather and no, it's not "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli", nor is it going to get me a gift of a bulletproof vest wrapped fish. It's keep it simple, minimize the proteins. It ain't cheap, but he portion sizes are pretty large. Not a place we can go to often.....but perhaps more than once every 13-14 years from now on.
Nice service, large portions, very old school.
The Godfather Restaurant 7878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92111
A couple of folks mentioned Mr Holy Gao to me....initially, I thought it was kind of a joke. Then "Jason" and "RD" commented on the place, looking at the location right across from Qualcomm, made it quite interesting.
So, a few weeks back I headed over on a weekend morning.
There was a large "Grand Opening" banner at the entrance to the parking lot....but it didn't really say for which business? I guess you just pick the shop that didn't have a sign up yet.
Based on the generic, rather clichéd décor I'm guessing this was an "ABC" establishment before?
It was a weekend morning and there were a bunch of "Chinese breakfast" items on the menu....but I saw the dishes coming out....which didn't look particularly inspiring, so I looked over the menu. There was a bunch of Sichuan dishes, but two items jumped out at me, so I ordered them.
The first was Sai Pang Xie ("Better than Crab" 賽螃蟹), a Jiangsu specialty that uses fish and egg whites to create a wonderfully creamy dish. Topped with black vinegar (just like you eat crab) and a nice dose of ginger....when you get a good version of that dish, it's quite heavenly.
This however, was not that. It wasn't terrible, but the eggs had been over-cooked and there was too much surimi in this, making it too "firm" for my liking. Not enough black vinegar and ginger made this a rather bland dish. The Missus still misses the version at the now defunct Best Taste of China. Though even there, it was a hit and miss dish. Kudos for having this on the menu though.
The other item was Tea Smoked Duck. I haven't found a decent version here in San Diego. So I ordered it.
I was surprised at the flavor, which was quite good. Nice seasoning, smokey, just enough salt. All of which made up for the rather rubbery skin. I took most of this home and the Missus enjoyed it. Though not enough to make Her want to accompany me back to the "Holy Gao". Oh, and I asked the Missus what the name of the place meant in Chinese and got told, "don't worry about it....you wouldn't understand....."
Which meant that I had to talk Calvin into joining me; which wasn't hard. I guess during the weekday, there are prepared lunches and what looked like Baozi for sale at what I initially thought was an oddly placed steam table.
So the drill usually is; I'll pick two dishes and Calvin picks two.....I have the right to veto, though. They were out of Tea Smoked Duck on this visit, so I went with the Pork Intestine with Dried Chilies.
This was easily the best dish of he day. While perhaps a tad over-fried, it was crisp, yet mildly chewy. More "ma" (numbing) than "la" (spicy), and definitely not bland. It also seemed a bit high on the msg side, but not disturbingly so. Nice dish.
I was thinking of getting the classic Shui Zhu Yu, but went with the Dou Fu Shao Yu (豆腐烧鱼). Usually a bit less spicy than the fish in hot sauce, when done right it's a symphony of textures. The tofu and the fish playing off each other in a bath of spicy sauce.
Loved the tofu in this; the fish, in terms of flavor was fine, no muddiness here. The "velveting" of the fish was a bit off tough, leaving us with rather gummy fish. The sauce wasn't very spicy at all and I would have appreciated more savory touches of doubian (spicy bean paste), ginger, and even salt.
Calvin loves lamb so he went with the Zi Ran Yang Rou - cumin lamb. I think you can tell how this was just by the look.
A bit too tough and not enough cumin. And strangely lacking salt?
He also ordered the Dry Fried Green Beans.
In spite of preferring my Gan Bian Si Ji Dou with beans a bit more puckery, this was pretty close. It did need more savory tones though as other than the garlic, this came through as being pretty plain in flavor. Add a bit more soy sauce or even the traditional preserved vegetable and this would be a decent version.
Another thing Calvin and I noticed....the rice here is not very good. It has a rather odd gummy texture....like it's been reheated multiple times?
After this, I gave the place a rest for a couple of weeks....but I wanted to get that Tea Smoked Duck for the Missus. So I returned on a recent weekend....to find that "Da' Gao" now has a real sign.
There's one really nice and friendly Server here. I think She gets a kick out of the fact that I can order some of the dishes (albiet terribly) in Chinese. So on this day, I ordered the classic Sichuan La Zhi Ji (辣子鸡) - Chicken with Chilies.
I liked that while this was perhaps a bit over-battered, the pieces were nice and crisp. Some were a bit too large and ponderous, but that's splitting hairs. This version uses dark meat, which is much more moist. Much like the intestine dish I had earlier, this could have used much more spice, though it was decently numbing. A decent rendition of this dish, though I'm used to having much more dried chilies which helps to bring up the heat of the dish.
And of course, this time they had the Tea Smoked Duck.
And while this time around, it was a bit drier, the skin was nice and crisp and the flavor was as good as before.
The really friendly Server dropped this by my table telling me "you try....you try".
I'm sure the folks in the area are happy to have a place like Mr Holy Gao nearby. In fact, there's not really much in terms of non-fast/ABC Chinese food in the area if I recall. So it really fills a need. I'm sure there are some dishes on the menu that I haven't tried....that menu is pretty large. We're not talking Chengdu Taste or anything like that here, but I thought some of the dishes were not bad. I'll probably roll around back here again in a few months.
Mr. Holy Gao 10066 Pacific Heights Blvd San Diego, CA 92121 Open Daily - 11am - 930pm
Post Script - I've heard that Szechuan Chef has improved. Anyone been there recently?
After a nice morning and early afternoon of visiting Kiyomizu-dera and shopping, we had a nice nap, then headed off to Kyoto Station. We had booked a trip to Nagoya.
For what, you might ask? Earlier on the trip we had visited Asahikawa in order to check out the "Main Branch" of Santouka, during one of our many visits to Taisho, Taka-san had told us that we should go to visit the "Main Branch" of Yakuyudori in Nagoya. We thought "why not"? And soon enough and told Taka-san that we'd be glad to visit Yakyuudori and told him what day we'd be there. On our next visit, being the nice guy he is; Taka-san handed me a small slip of paper with a phone number and the address of 142 Fujimigaoka. Apparently, there are several Yakyuudori and Hinotetsu branches in the area, but this is the one we should visit. He even told me that his friend, the main Yakitori guy there would be expecting us.
So it's was a pleasant trip on the Shinkansen, about a 40 minute trip to Nagoya Station where we meandered around a bit, then caught the Nagoya Higashiyama Line to Fujigaoka Station.
We walked around exploring the area, which is much different than around bustling Nagoya Station. We walked through the market and checked out some shops, before heading down Fujimigaoka, which parallels the train tracks (a key item).
Along the way we passed another Yakyuudori. We checked the phone number on the sign. When it didn't match up, we kept going. Until we ended up at this little shop right next to an auto repair.
The locale was quite amazing as it was built right below the subway tracks. Entering was even more interesting......consider the nice, rather darkly lit, austere, yet fairly classy Taisho...jazz music playing in the background. And then check this place out!
Man, you gotta love this place! A total neighborhood "joint", the guys working here were really friendly, almost jolly. And everytime the train passed overhead, the whole restaurant would rock slightly! Amazing!
The "main guy" was so funny...he'd been expecting us, and in fact, wore a Yakitori Taisho T-shirt to welcome us! Check out that crock of salt!
Don't let his jolly and easy going appearance fool you. He had some major grilling chops. Every so often, he'd pass us our food, wink, and say, "better than Taka"! And just crack up.
We ordered all the usual suspects.....if you read my Taisho posts, or have been to Taisho, you'll recognize them. This is where Taka-san trained.
Things started with some Hatsu (chicken heart). We weren't too thrilled by the appearance, but man, this was really good. Heart like gizzards always seems to absorb a good amount of smoke. Combine that with the perfect amount of salt and grilling the chicken heart to "just done" and this was so good. It was very tender as well. You could tell that the chicken here was much different than what we get in the states.
I thought the gizzards were a bit too hard for my taste.
Nice smokey flavor though.
This was good time for a beer break. We ended buying a round for the folks working and they were having a great time....singing aloud, almost dancing.....we were just loving it.
And we loved the Tsukune too. Up to this point in time; I'd say this was the best I had ever had.
My goodness, that tare was a wonderful combination of sweet-salty-savory....the meatball was slightly crisp on the exterior, and meltingly soft....as is the hallmark of the tsukune served at Yakyudori-Taisho-Hinotez here, there was a light background hint of ginger floating around. And a dip in that egg yolk.....adding a rich creaminess. This was number one, until it was dethroned later on this trip. Still, I'd come back for this in an instant!
The Missus loved the creamy Kimo - chicken liver.
Again, not over-cooked, and without tare....but the Missus said it was great.
The nankotsu was also a winner.
Great crunchiness, crisp on the exterior. Nice, restrained seasoning.
And of course......a Yakyudori classic....the Teba, chicken wings.
The akahimo also tasted like a carbon copy of what we regularly get at Taisho.
The kawa (chicken skin) was also a winner. Here it's served without tare as well.
Light and crisp at first bite, transitioning to a creamy interior. Perfect salt, really great chicken flavor.
And then the buto-shiso....the porkiness of this was very distinct.
The interior of the pork roll was very tender, this was another winner.
We loved this place.....the casual, yet welcoming crew, the unique atmosphere. This is what we were wishing for and were left wanting at the Yakitori places in Tokyo. After returning, I chatted with Taka-san about the differences in the chicken used at Yakyudori in Japan and here in the states. I was told that he "wishes he could get the same quality and breed" here.
Well, I guess we'll just have to head back to Nagoya......
Yakyuudori (野球鳥) 142 Fujimigaoka Meito-ku Nagoya Aichi
Before catching the Shinkansen back to Kyoto, we stopped at Takashimaya Department Store....of course going to B1 and checking out the food and snacks. One of the women working at one of the stands was so friendly and warm....really wanted us to taste everything! She was a hoot....so of course we ended up buying some snacks.
It was about time we got into the "holiday spirit" right?
Having a crazy schedule means that sometimes all I'm able to do is grab a sandwich, at sometimes a rather odd hour, on the way to the office.
Here are a bunch of revisits.
A stop for me when I'm getting to work on the earlier side; like 0530 - 0545. They keep changing the signage in the place, but at least the A la Mexicana, while now a dollar more expensive ($4.99), is still a nice early breakfast option.
A nice, rather light bolillo roll; eggs, salsa, a smear of beans....some jalapenos for a mild kick, melted cheese. Warm and not too filling....I don't want to need a nap when I've just gotten into the office.
I prefer the A la Mexicana to the Chorizo and Eggs, which started nice, but just got monotonous after a while.
Maybe too much of the same flavor.
Still, a nice early breakfast stop.
Best Donuts Bakery & Deli 4714 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
Grab & Go - Convoy Court:
While I've had my share of sloppy sandwiches from here. I enjoy the yeasty bread and have gravitated to the "hot" sandwiches. Toasted, sandwiches like the Spicy Cappocolla and the Grilled Cheese Feta.
Crusty bread, a healthy dose of pepperocinis, onions, tomatoes, perhaps a bit too much shredded lettuce, and nicely melted, milky and salty feta. Still, it the bread that makes this machine go.
It does help that they open fairly early.
Grab & Go 7701 Convoy Ct San Diego, CA 92111
Lit’l Pepper Gourmet:
Another place that opens pretty early....like 5am or something like that. The sandwiches here are huge and some of the "specials", as I noted in my previous post are a bit over-the-top. I had Lit'l Pepper cater two of my meetings....no one in either meeting finished an entire sandwich.
During one recent "off-hour" visit, I noticed they had a "Cubano" ($9.75) on the menu. So I ordered it.
As expected, this was a pretty hefty sandwich. Not a fan of the roll they used on this. I'd like something lighter.....not sure that exists in the LPG handbook though. Basically a modified pulled pork sandwich. A bit too much of a good thing, though the ham cut right through the pork and the pickles were nice; wish I could make out more of the milkiness of the cheese and I'm nto a fan of jalapenos on this one.
Still, I was able to share with someone else in the office. So we got two meals for the price of one. Maybe I should be like "Sandy" and stick with their "Classic" sandwiches. Curiosity gets the better of me it seems.
Lit’l Pepper Gourmet 8911 Complex Dr San Diego, CA 92123
After having a fun evening with Kat and Satoshi we got up fairly early and headed out. The Missus wanted to revisit Kiyomizu-dera to check out the fall colors. We got on the Keihan Line and got off at Kiyomizu-Gojo. The Missus was up for walking all the way up to the temple. But I had already done that the last time and I talked Her into taking a cab! Whew.....
We decided to check out a few areas we missed the last time we visited.
We headed to the Jishu Shrine, which is dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a gentle-hearted god, who along being "in charge" of farming and business, is the prime deity of match-making.
Here we found the "Love Stones"......you can read all about it....
The stones are actually set about 10-15 meters apart. If walk from one to the other with your eyes closed, you'll find true love.....miss...and "sorry Charlie".
Two young ladies actually tried when we were there.....to rather humorous results. I'm kind of relieved the Missus didn't try. With Her sense of direction, I'd probably go up in a puff of smoke!
Speaking of true love....check out this affectionate little guy.
He is truly a pampered pooch......
The main reason folks come to Kiyomizu-dera is for the view. Man, the main viewing hall was a lot more packed than the last time we were here.
The views, whether from the Main Hall or along the trail are quite beautiful.
We meandered along, stopping now and then to take a photo. We'd been here before and it seemed so familiar. And yet, we were able to stop at places that were quite busy the last time around. Like the Three Story Pagoda. I think folks were focused on the views and I don' blame them in the least.
Even with all the folks around us; there's a sense of tranquility.
You get to appreciate the beauty of it all.
Soon enough, buses of non-Japanese visitors started arriving and the noise level started increasing. It was time to head on out.
Just as on our previous visit, we headed back via the side streets of Sannenzaka and Nannenzaka. There's always something interesting to see.....
On this day, there were a couple of wedding photo shoots going on.... This one went for a more dramatic, glamorous look.
While this couple and their photographer were really friendly and nice.
And when I went a displayed my camera, even flashed nice smiles for us. It was adorable.
We headed on back to Shijo-dori. There was some shopping the Missus needed to get done. It was, however, still a bit early. As we passed a coffeeshop, I noticed that the place had "morning service". We'd enjoyed the morning service at Komeda's Coffee in Kamakura, so we decided to stop and get some breakfast. From what I understand, this practice of providing toast, perhaps an egg, salad, yogurt, or something similar originated in Nagoya.
We shared the toast, yogurt, salad...the Missus had a coffee, I got tea. I don't recall what the name of this place was, but this held us until dinner!
Soon enough, a couple Salarymen came in and started smoking....it was time to get the Missus's shopping done.
We then headed back to the apartment, took our usual afternoon siesta....and headed off to Nagoya for dinner. Which we'd be having at a place with ties to San Diego.
We had a nice walk over and met Kat and Satoshi. The place was much more busy than on our last visit.
And we spent a good deal of time catching up on things and just having a good time.
After all, places like this were made for friends gathering, sharing "pupus".
You can read all about this in Kat's post....and it also shows how far behind I'm at with my travel posts as well!
So from here on; it's most it's mostly photos.
Man, I love basashi.....
At the end of the meal, we gave the owner some Mac Nuts....even though we were sure he wouldn't remember us, he'd given us so much samples on our previous visit, we wanted to make sure to show him our appreciation...so of course he busted out the home made ume-shu......
Ed (from Yuma) writes about three spots in San Diego today. Kirk or Cathy will be writing about who knows what tomorrow. That's the way mmm-yoso!!! rolls.
These restaurants have been written about here previously, so I just wanted to touch on a few highlights.
Prime – I had a lunch at Prime Grill (website) featuring dolsit bi bim bap:
It was okay though my stone bowl didn't crisp up the rice very well, unlike Kirk's experience.
The eight ban chan items ranged from good to excellent. The squash was perfectly cooked and lightly seasoned:
Some broccoli I forgot to photograph was nicely highlighted with a tangy red sauce. And I have no idea what this earthy, slightly sweet and slightly woody vegetable is, but I liked it:
And of course the kimchi was outstanding:
I always used to wonder why some Korean restaurants served kimchi that was not as good as what I could buy in a jar in a Korean market. Prime’s is more complex and much better. I also enjoyed the metal teapot and cup:
Prime Grill, 4620 Convoy, Ste A, San Diego 92111, (858) 277-0800
Golden City – it had been many years since my last visit, but this venerable Chinese restaurant (website) on Clairemont Mesa Blvd is a longtime favorite of Kirk and Cathy. Memory is a tricky thing, but the interior seems more modern and appealing than it used to be:
Talk about an extensive menu; here, actually, three menus:
Of course I had half of a kwai fei chicken:
Cold, intensely flavored, and very tasty. The bone splinters were the only unappealing part of the bird. Most of this went back to the room and the ice chest. Great for munchies.
Off the monthly specials menu, I ordered steamed fish and pumpkin in black bean sauce:
Except for being far too much food, this was wonderful. The fish was fall apart tender and fresh flavored. Its natural sweetness was complemented by the sweetness of the orange squash and contrasted by the savory umami of the black bean sauce.
Golden City Restaurant, 5375 Kearny Villa Rd., San Diego 92123, (858) 565-6682
Kokoro – Tina and I really enjoyed our omakase here back in December, so it was my splurge dinner on my visit. I told Akio-san I was in the mood for some sashimi and some sushi – whatever he thought I would like – and I assured him I eat everything. Here is the sashimi platter:
The scallops seemed better this time, but the "like red snapper" fish at the front of the platter was outstanding, rich and chewy. The Santa Barbara uni also excellent.
The eight pieces of sushi, served one by one, were very good. The highlights: This black snapper was attractive and had a nice firm mouth feel:
The toro was rich and tender as expected:
The hirame arrived with just a sprinkling of rock salt as did this wonderful plump oyster:
In both cases, the salt instead of shoyu emphasized the clean flavors of the seafood and the sweet/tangy flavors of the sushi rice.
But the number one highlight of the evening was this:
Alaskan cod ovaries served slightly warm. Rich creamy fecundity, even more decadent than uni, sinfully delicious.
I don't usually discuss restrooms, but I was moved by the Ansell Adams poster on the wall:
It is sad to think about our government rounding people up, taking them from their homes, and putting them in camps.
Kokoro, 3298 Greyling Dr. Ste. B, San Diego, CA 92123, (858) 565-4113 (website)
It was our last evening in Seville. And to be perfectly frank; this wonderful gem of a city really charmed us....relaxed, friendly, warm, and fun. For our last dinner, we headed back to the scene of our favorite meal in Seville, the Zaragoza location of La Azotea.
Like I mentioned previously; if you want tapas sized portions at La Azotea, you need to sit at the bar. We arrived right after opening and was greeted with a smile from the very efficient bartender Pablo, who recognized us from our previous visit.
After having some really delicious navajas (razor clams) on our previous visit, the Missus was all about the seafood here.
We started with a media racione (half portion) of Coquinas a species of Donax (small clams) served with fried baby artichokes.
That garlicky white wine sauce was so good and the clams nicely sweet, briney, and tender.
The Calamares was the weakest dish of the evening. Tender, but really nothing special in terms of flavor or how it was fried.
Sticking with the bivalve theme, the Almejas (Clams) en su Salsa (cooked in their own juices) was excellent.
Nice oceany flavor, cut with a bit of acid. The clams were very tender as were the shrimp. Another sauce just made for bread!
And of course, our favorite from the previous evening; the Foie Gras ala Plancha.
Which was just as beautifully rich and decadent as what we had previously. Great balance of sweet and earthy tones, crisp on the outside, molten and quivering inside. Just lovely.
We finished with a nice Vermut. What a nice way to end our stay in Seville!
La Azotea - Zaragoza Calle Zaragoza 5c Sevilla, Spain Open Daily: 130pm - 430pm, 830pm - Midnight
It was Saturday night and Seville was happening. We headed back to the apartment, but decided to stop and enjoy this early (in Spanish terms - like 1030) evening. The Missus had been eyeing out this Helados (Ice Cream) and She decided to step in and get something.
And got the Goat Cheese and Quince Jelly Ice Cream!
I had a different notion....something from across the street.
I think there was some kind of student initiation or something going on here......
I had no idea what was going on, but it sure was festive.....
Though it seemed that most of the guys here just wanted to watch the football match.....
I had my one beer and left. It was time to hit the sack. Our train was to leave early in the morning.
We were a bit sad to leave Seville.....our trip to Spain was almost over. Just one more night in Madrid, then it was back to work.
Here's my requisite Jamon Bellota Iberico Pata Negra shot.
Actually, we shouldn't have been concerned. I had snagged really cheap first class train tickets form Seville to Madrid.
And this being Sunday morning and all; things were really quiet....like "Japan quiet". We were the only passengers in First Class which meant that we got a decent breakfast......and then were able to catch some shut eye!
With dreams of Foie Gras ala Plancha dancing in our heads!
I waited a couple of weeks.....but if there was any month that was just perfect for hot pot, it was this past February. On a rather chilly day, I headed over to Tasty Pot. And was surprised to see one of the "guys" from Village North! We saw each other and cracked up....apparently, he is a good friend of VN's owner and will help out when necessary. The young lady serving me on this day was really very nice as well.
And they also had one of my favorite hot pot condiments....fermented bean curd.
The menu boasts "combos" for lunch and dinner. Numbers 1-8 is $11.99 for lunch and $12.99 for dinner. Number 9 - 12 is $14.99 for lunch and $15.99 for dinner. And comes with rice or glass noodles and iced tea (unfortunately only sweetened) for lunch.
I went with the Taiwanese Supreme Spicy ($14.99) at medium spicy. These hot pots come loaded with stuff.
As you would imagine, this is more about quantity, but you can't say you're not getting variety. Which ranged from "meh", the clams were hard as rock and kind of messy, surimi, cuttlefish rings like rubber, to decent, the fried tofu puffs, the pork, which was sliced nicely thin, but had no flavor. I enjoyed the bean curd, the blood cake, and the tendon the most.
Overall, you couldn't complain about the portion size, there was no way I could finish all of this. I ended up taking leftovers home, but not until the really nice young woman partially refilled my broth! How nice. I do think the overall flavor while decent, didn't have a good a "ma-la" as what I had at Boiling Passion....though it's hard to argue with the portion size and variety at Tasty Pot.
On one rather rainy day, Calvin and I headed back to Tasty Pot.
Calvin decided to get the Stinky Tofu version ($11.99). Man, that intestine was delicious.
This was scaldingly hot, though not too spicy, and mild in flavor....until I dumped a good amount of fermented bean curd into it. The very thinly sliced lamb was very tender, but didn't have the gameyness associated with good lamb that I enjoy. As with most hot pots, it's those bean curd products I enjoy, along with mushroom and this was no exception.
Again, really generous portions....it's nice and warming on a cold day, the service was very nice. Like Boiling Passion, I'm not sure if I'll be a regular customer, but this wasn't bad at all.