July 08, 2011

Twofish Bakery - Pastry Heaven

Wow, who would have thought there'd be such a PHENOMENAL bakery in the sleepy town of Sea Ranch?! The pastries at Twofish Bakery here were absolutely delish!! Flaky yet crispy, sweet but not too sugary, and buttery but not too rich...perfectly balanced flavors and textures in each luscious bite! I was in breakfast heaven as I gorged on their almond croissant (my fave), scone, and cinnamon roll. Good thing I can get my pastry fix at Tartine Bakery in SF, otherwise I'd have to brave the treacherously windy roads up to Sea Ranch more often!

BITE METER: Two Fish Bakery - 5.0 bites (out of 5)

May 22, 2011

Incanto – Italian Fare for the Adventurous

I’ve been frequenting Incanto for years. It never fails to hit the spot when I’m craving comforting, rustic Italian food. Their ingredients are always high quality and include interesting and daring menu items – a haven for adventurous meat lovers. Chef Chris Cosentino has been rocking offal dishes way before the ‘head to tail’ movement became popular. The restaurant also has a warm atmosphere and staff that are both knowledgeable and passionate about the food.

Boccalone Ibérico di Bellota Lardo, Shinku Pear & Mint – composed of paper thin ribbons of lardo (back fat) from the celebrated Ibérico di Bellota pigs (free-range and fed only acorns…think Kobe beef of pigs) draped over cool, crisp pears and refreshing mint. The lardo was remarkably light, while giving the pears had this buttery melt-in-your-mouth coating. Exquisite!
Quail and Caper Salad– wish it was served warm, but the flavors were great and the richness of the quail shined.
Burnt Flour Rigatoni, Wild Mushrooms & Nettles – a throwback to the poor’s utilization of “used flour”, the burnt flour created a denser pasta with a chocolate color. I loved the strong flavors of the wild mushrooms….sumptuous and earthy with a bite from the nettles. Just what I needed on a cold, rainy day.
Roasted Lamb Neck, Smashed Roots, Broccoli di Ciccio & Gremolata – my hubby’s favorite dish at Incanto. He can’t resist whenever it’s on the menu. The lamb neck is moist and meaty, while the Italian parsley and gremolata balances its richness with herb and citrus flavors.

While this wasn’t the best meal that I’ve had at Incanto, it’s only because the bar has been set so high by the many other amazing meals I’ve had here over the years. I still dream of their amazing braised octopus dish and can’t wait for it to featured on the menu again. What I love most about Incanto is its ability to constantly showcase unique ingredients or serve food in a different way while keeping still making it *feel* traditional.

BITE METER: Incanto – 4.0 bites (out of 5.0)

March 20, 2011

Foodtruck Fun

The foodtruck phenomenon has long taken hold on San Francisco and keeps on growing. Below are some of my favorite meals on wheels:

Roli Roti – I’ve already written about Roli Roti, but I can’t do a food truck/stand themed without mentioning their unbelievably amazing porchetta sandwich. Thick slabs of oh-so-juicy roasted pork, seasoned to perfection with rock salt and rosemary, topped with bits of crunchy pork cracklings, caramelized onions, and fresh arugula…all in a big, crispy roll. No other place comes close its quality and price. (Tip: The short line is for their rotisserie chicken only. There’s a reason why it’s short, stick with the pork.)

Chairman Bao – Next to Roli Roti, Chairman Bao is my favorite food truck in San Francisco. Just the thought of their pillowy steamed buns filled with fatty, savory pork belly and crunchy slices of pickled daikon makes me salivate. Their duck confit and mango salad bun should also not be missed. After waiting in line (this truck usually has the longest line), you should get your fill on both.

Cupkates – I have a weakness for red velvet cupcakes, and these are one of the best around! Super moist and rich with the perfect hint of chocolate, while the cream cheese frosting is light and tangy. DELISH! However, I would not recommend the s’mores cupcake. It tasted bitter and oily, while the marshmallow frosting was overly sweet.

JapaCurry – Mmmmm, their pork katsu curry will warm your soul. Tender breaded pork cutlets smothered with a savory Japanese curry, all over a heaping serving of rice. Great to eat on a cold day.

Hapa SF – the adobo chicken banh mi is a tasty Filipino take on the Vietnamese sandwich. The chicken was flavorful and moist, while the pickled veggies kept it light.

Curry Up Now – I’ve only had the chicken tikka masala burrito. The chicken was slightly dry, but well dressed by the creamy and spicy tikka masala. Overall pretty good, but I prefer the fresh-out-of-the-tandoori-oven chicken tikka masala naan rolls served at Jack London Square Farmers’ Market on Sundays.

Food trucks that didn’t make the cut:

• Kung Fu Tacos – chicken was dry and the tacos were not particularly memorable.
• The Crème Brûlée Cart – the vanilla bean crème brûlée was bland, and served warmer than room temperature, like it’d been sitting out all day. Bleh.
• Senor Sisig – their tacos were waaaaaaaaaaaay too salty

Roli Roti – 4.5 bites (out of 5.0)
Chairman Bao – 4.5 bites
JapaCurry – 3.5 bites
Cupkates – 3.5 bites
Hapa SF - 3.5 bites
Curry Up Now – 3.0 bites