Stopped in again with family for my mom's birthday dinner. We had sooo many different dishes-- definitely had enough for everyone to take leftovers 上海快3走势图. I guess you gotta go big for your mom's birthday. In order of favorite to least favorite:
Fried kabocha: According to past Nicole, we always get this. It's salty, savory, deep fried, and carby. What's not to love? This tasted freshly fried. The thin, uniform slices were perfectly crisp on the outside and carby on the inside 4/5.
Beef with mushrooms in XO sauce: Some people just cook beef better than other people. This place does it well. The beef is almost pillowy, tender, without any sinew, while maintaining a light beefy flavor. If I did have a complaint, it'd be that I wish they left mushrooms in larger, meatier pieces (instead of .5" bits) so that I could get more mouthfeel 3.75/5.
Shrimp fried rice: We usually get a fried rice dish at Fusion Delight-- they are good at making it such that the kernels are separated, but not dripping in oil. I enjoy the bits of tobiko they add on top to give the rice a bit of crunch. The extremely thin egg strips add to the rice's flavor. It's well made comfort food, although I wish that the shrimps were seasoned a bit more and a little bigger (they are ~1"), 3.5/5.
Princess chicken: Is it the best princess chicken I've had? No. But in a time without enough princess chicken (I got hit up China上海快3走势图town again soon), it's acceptable princess chicken. Skin is smooth and salty. Meat is fairly smooth, although I wish it had been a bit more salted. It just didn't have that in your face chicken flavor that I really enjoy about Asian chicken, but maybe I'm just being picky 3.5/5.
FIsh maw (swim bladder): I feel like this is normally a soup dish. It was served as a dish with a small amount of pearly, white soup. Overall, it felt like this dish hadn't been cooked long enough-- the fish maw was too chewy, whereas maw that has been cooked long enough is gelatinous. Same comment on the tofu skin that accompanied the maw. The dish overall could have used a stronger flavor-- the fishiness of the maw was slightly off-putting 3/5.
Sea bass: What was this? It felt like bones in fish jello given that the fat (there was lots of fat) in the fish had basically been cooked into a goop, which hid the fish bones (which there was a lot of) very well. Very hard to make out any actual fish meat texture but the flavor would have been fine, had it not been 90% oil. The fish had also been cut into long, thin strips, which is a bit odd-- makes me wonder if they used a whole fish filet on this? Pass 2/5.2.5 stars, my bf remarked as he pulled up the restaurant on his app. Guess it must be an authentic… Read more
Ray's has a cult following in the Tri-City area (Fremont, Newark, and Union City-- does anyone even call it that anymore?). I'd never heard of it until my bf mentioned that his family used to be regulars at the Hayward location before it closed. We then became regulars at the Newark location next to McDonald's before it closed. So I was excited when, upon searching for a birthday dinner spot suitable for my sister's birthday, I stumbled across Ray's yet again, now open in the Lion Center marketplace.
The location and decor seemed much more suited for a sushi spot-- the old Newark location was set in a concrete, Tex-Mex sort of building that was weird for Japanese food. This place, while nicely decorated, felt much more casual and suitable. We shared a couple rolls, a hamachi donburi, and a bento box. Overall, impressively sized sashimi pieces and portions, good value, and fresh fish. I'm sticking with the raw fish next time.
The hamachi donburi was hands down the most #worthit, in my opinion. Beautiful light pink color, thick cut pieces, atop a bed of seasoned rice. Felt like you got your money's worth. Fish was soft, slightly buttery, and not fishy, although I wish it tasted more like that fish's flavor (similar comment across all the fish we had), but I'm not complaining 4/5!
Overall, rolls were a good size, with excellent fish / toppings to rice ratio. Presentation was great. However, rolls fell apart easily if you didn't eat them in one bite (and the size was such that it'd have been difficult to do so). #morollsmoproblems
The Ray's Roll (yam tempura with mango, topped with grilled eel tempura) was our least favorite. I normally love the suppleness of grilled eel, but felt that it was a bit dried out as tempura, although I do appreciate the inventiveness. Yam and mango didn't particularly go together, and the eel did not help. 3.5/5 on innovation, but 3.25/5 on taste.
The Warrior's Roll (soft shell crab topped with hamachi, salmon, eel, avocado, unagi sauce, and tobiko) presented beautifully given the colors of the different fish. Crab was perfectly deep fried and meaty enough to not get lost in the rice. The fatty pieces of fish were well displayed. The green of the avocado was a nice contrast. However, the fish didn't really shine on this given so many different flavors going on (again, maybe I'm just anti-food mixing). 4/5 on presentation, 3.5/5 on taste.
The Mowry Roll (hamachi, grilled eel, and cucumber topped with salmon, avocado, spicy sauce-- probably Sriracha, and radish sprout). You could see the nice cuts of hamachi they used in this. However, I didn't like the spicy sauce on sushi (that's just me). 3.5/5 on presentation and taste.
We had the sashimi, chicken katsu, and California roll bento box. This also comes with a salad, miso soup, and gyoza. The sashimi was thick cut (2 salmon and 2 tuna, probably 1" x 2" x .75") and the color was great on both. However, the tuna did taste a bit fishy to me, and I wish the salmon was more buttery. The California roll was wrapped tightly and very dense. They really packed a lot of imitation crab in there. The gyoza skin was crispy without being burned-- this was a standout for me (and I can never replicate this at 上海快3走势图!). I didn't like the slightly mango(?) / floral flavored sauce on the salad, and would have preferred the standard miso dressing, but that's also just me. Chicken katsu was nicely fried and crispy. Not too dry either. The size of this could feed an average sized hungry person. Probably a better value than the rolls as well.
We will be back whenever the mood for non-fancy schmancy local sushi strikes!
I had the black milk tea with boba! The tea had that slight nuttiness / maltiness in the nose that I personally like, as opposed to a more milky in the mouth flavor, which i also like. The drink came across as a good level of milkiness. Not a particularly strong tea flavor though. Just light maltiness.
The 30% sweetness was perfect for me (someone who doesn't like things too sweet), and I wouldn't mind if it had been dialed down just a bit. I asked for no ice and they still filled my cup up all the way (yay. I don't like those places that end up taking out drink because you don't get ice filler...).
The boba was lightly pre-sweetened-- I would guess that they used regular sugar instead of a brown sugar or honey, which I personally prefer. The boba was a bit smaller than the ones I usually like, and the outside was pretty slick (which makes it a bit harder to bite down on). The insides were chewy (I guess I almost prefer mine a bit melted).
All in all, a 3.5/5, especially given the easy access on Market. Lots of seating in the back (a really long hallway) that was fairly empty on a weekday afternoon.
I had the kimchi fried rice and uni and butterfish arancini. Both were savory, with that perfect umami sense. I wasn't paying attention (#deskprobs) and ended up eating way more than I intended to. Idk how I'm not 500 pounds after eating primarily takeout for 4+ years, so that will be my special power.
Most kimchi fried rices are a bit meh in my book, but this fried rice had a good blend of slightly spicy with generous, bite-sized portions of pork belly that were neither too dry nor too oily. Granted, the dish overall was oily, but not so much that it weighed you down, as long as you ate a reasonable amount. There were also bits of kimchi (with crunchy vacuoles) that I appreciated in this dish. 3.75/5.
I was initially confused by the uni and butterfish arancini, thinking that I'd ordered something more along the lines of sashimi, given that the words uni and butterfish are usually in dishes that are raw. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed the savory umaminess of these rice balls, though the take out method rendered them less crunchy than I'd imagine they are at the restaurant. 3.75/5.
I'm excited to try more items on the menu!
About this time 4 years ago (I almost typed 16 for some reason...now THAT would be terrifying) I was looking for an apartment in SF and recall walking by a section of the Tenderloin / Civic Center area called Little Saigon. This was also the trip where I met the potential roommate who had decorated his bathroom with free CDs. In an attempt to cozy up to a potential roommate, I complimented him on his decoration, to which he emotionlessly replied "I'm an arrrrrtist". Yeah, let's just say I didn't end up living with that guy.
Anyway, 4 years later, Turtle Tower is still around in Little Saigon (which, looking back on older Yelp reviews, is a feat in itself given the speed with which restaurants come and go in this city). On a brisk fall night, I tried out their pho ga (chicken pho) and porkchop rice. Overall, it was fine, but there are other Vietnamese spots in SF I prefer. Everything smelled a bit too strongly of fish sauce for me (and I don't normally mind the smell of fish sauce).
The pho ga was certainly concentrated in flavor, but didn't have that concentrated, deep chicken flavor I really love. I wasn't really able to identify the flavor, but it smelled a bit like fish sauce plus maybe onion? Good yellow color. They use wider rice noodles (sort of like the ones in chow fun, but half the width). I appreciated that they had cut the chicken into chewable pieces, with a healthy mix of both dark and white meat (and some skin!). The portion size was slightly larger than average. The lemons and jalapeno I asked to add was also minimal. Overall 3.45/5.
The pork chop left something to be desired (note to future me, always read through the Yelp reviews, even when you're in a hurry). Many others had pointed out that the pork chop was very dry, and the texture of it (almost like that of in-process-of-becoming beef jerky) definitely was not what I was expecting-- Vietnamese pork chops is normally the gold standard of pork chops for me! Given the dryness (and thinness) of the pork chop, it didn't take up very much room on the pile of rice. They also threw in some pickled veggies (the vinegar tasted a bit funny to me) and one slice of lettuce on this. For $13.50, this wasn't worth it-- 2/5.
I wasn't a particularly happy lemon after having Happy Lemon. Lemons are usually drawn as happy, bright objects though given their yellow color. Maybe I am a sad pickled onion. Pickled objects seem like they might be sad, right? (You know that feeling at work when you get work dumped on you at 5pm? Yeah that's me right now.)
Here goes the matcha + other flavors story for me again...I always try them and then I always feel like it's not matcha-y enough. Drink had a weirdly sludgy mouthfeel from the sugary mango pulp that I didn't like. Or was the sludginess from the powderiness of the matcha? The mango was very fragrant and in the nose, which I liked. Little mango bits were nice. I didn't get much of the matcha flavor except that maybe it cut down the sweetness of mango. If you concentrated super hard, maybe a little tiny bit of matcha here and there, but it was really difficult to get.
Boba was not pre-soaked in sugar (why don't more places do this) and I found the innards of the boba to be too hard. The size of the boba was also slightly too small-- a bit hard to bite onto. They were quite generous with the amount of boba though.
I've been to more candle-lit dinners in the last three years than in the first 25 years of my life. I guess that's working life for ya. Overall, the presentation and the way the various elements of dishes worked together on the dish was a bit puzzling to me.
We had thin crust pizza apps, and both were great! The flavors on both pizzas (Four mushroom plus pine nuts and kale sausage) really went well together, and both were served piping hot. The crust was chewy and crispy. While the bread portion would have been too thin for a normal pizza, it was just right for a walk around and chat with others pre-sit down 3.5/5.
We had duck confit with sauteed onions and arugula as an app. The duck and onions were molded into a cylinder shape, with the arugula spread on the side of the plate. The duck had a slimy texture given its mix with the onion-- without looking at what the item was, I might have assumed it to be turkey. The meat was of good quality, but the duck flavor was lost. The arugula was not dressed in any way.
Next was the pear and parsnip soup. This was distinctive, but I could definitely see how this was a risky bet. There's someone at work who is a meat and potatoes sort of person who took a sniff at the soup and joked that parsnips are what poor people at in the middle ages, which was funny yet true. The soup texture was like that of a pureed pear mixed with chowder. It had a slightly vinegary aftertaste, which was distinct and different. I would definitely have this again, but it couldn't be an everyday sort of soup. 3.25/5 on taste, 4/5 on inventiveness.
The steak was a bit of a let down. Then again, I've never liked the steak at fancy restaurants-- it's lacking in all the fatty and chewy bits that I enjoy on my meat. While the potato gratin and broccoli the steak were resting on were hot, the meat was cold, though a good medium rare. The potato gratin was fairly normal and the broccoli was not seasoned in any sort of way. Steak was also not seasoned. 3/5 for a fancy spot.
The dessert may have been the least coherent. There were three different, unrelated desserts served on a plate. The first, a chocolate mousse in a crispy cone, was next to roasted mini marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs. This definitely had potential, as the marshmallows were slightly roasted and melted. However, I was confused as to why the graham cracker hadn't been incorporated onto the dessert directly. The next, a chocolate truffle with peanut butter filling, was fine as chocolate, but seemed out of place on a dessert plate. The last, a pastry crust square, held small slivers of cut fruit and a dab of lemon filling. This was the most confusing by far since the lemon paste didn't even fill the square-- 2/5 for a nice restaurant.
Large triangles of butter had sat on the table, but no bread was served until we asked for it at the very end. Butter and bread were standard. I noticed that they served the women at the table first, then the men. I haven't been to a restaurant where this has happened...ever. Not against it, but just found it different. Service was otherwise standard.2/25/上海快3走势图 Hi Nicole H. - Thank you for the visit and detailed notes on your experience. We look forward to… Read more
Stopped by on a bright, sunny Saturday at the farmer's market. Shared a SF lox and a white salmon lox.
The taste of the open-faced sandwich was fine, but like others, I wasn't particularly impressed by the thin piece of salmon that was on the sandwich since it was easily overpowered by the cream cheese (which was really good). The lavender finishing salt really put a different taste on the salmon that I'd appreciated. The taste of the white salmon was a bit light, and I preferred the original flavor.
Great for Instagram though, but unfortunately a 2.75 from this foodie.
If the goal in a battle was to confuse your enemies by overwhelming them by offering various cuts of meat, Espetus would be my first choice when assembling my army.
Overall, meat was flavorful, juicy, cooked medium rare for the most part, and served at a good temperature. However, I was not impressed by the:
- overwhelming amount of salt on the outside of some of the meat (which would be fine were it not also cut for customers)
- gristle / fat across multiple pieces of meat (normally expected, but not at this price point)
- pace of service (yes, I recognize I could have flipped my card to no thanks, but literally would flip and unflip immediately given the pace). Service was standard
Went as a party of 5 on Friday night and made a reservation-- they only hold spots for 15 minutes so be on time. However, restaurant was not out of tables by the time we left around 8pm.
I started off with a round of the salad bar, but didn't try too much given the focus was on being a carnivore-- Yelp recommended items at the salad bar were the fried banana (pretty good, but not the omg amazing that others ascribed to it). Fresh crunchy outer shell with warm, slightly dissolving banana. A good balance between the saltiness of the meat and sweetness of this.
I also tried other items including the beef lasagna (good beefy flavor, gotta eat it while hot otherwise the cheese will lose stringiness), french fries (eh, not crunchy or that fresh), and beef kibbe (beef and bulgur wheat croquette-- the texture was firm and but not really my cup of tea, definitely less flavorful than the other beef items), polenta (eh, I've had reaaally good polenta fries and this felt more like a stale-ish french fry), the collard greens (impressed by how thinly these were sliced, with a good garlic flavor-- perfect balance to the heavier meat), prosciutto (sliced thin, not too fatty, with a light floral flavor), Brazilian fish stew (pass, the fish was pretty hard), and paella (hi clams and mussels, it wasn't anything special, but I love salty carbs, and was a good texture change from the meat).
Cheese bread is brought to your table, and if you've never had it, it's an addicting piece of salty, savory, melt in your mouth carb. I personally thought these ones were okay, but felt the Fogo de Chao ones were more craveable.
Onto the actual meat items. Their website says they have 12-14 types of meat at dinner. Things I would get again:
- Beef ribs: Easily my favorite cut of beef at dinner. Very juicy, meaty and rich, and cut on a platter (unlike the swords they use for the other meats). Also recommended by Yelpers
- Pork belly: Crispy outer later, with a mix of chewy fat and "crispy" meat
- Shrimp: Marinated in pesto sauce, good "crunchy" texture, although I wouldn't have minded more grill flavor. Also recommended by Yelpers
- Lamb leg: Juicy, not too gamey, although I wish there was mint jelly (it says it's available on the website though?). This only came around to our table once
Things that were a-okay:
- Sirloin: To be totally frank, I had a bit of trouble discerning between the sirloin, top sirloin, and flank. Generally, just found them less beefy (but still flavorful) and juicy than the beef rib, but still tasty.
- Top sirloin: A bit leaner than the sirloin
- Flap steak: Apparently this is a "lower end" steak cut vs. the sirloins
- Filet mignon: I remember learning about how "coveted" filet mignon was in my early 20s, but generally find it lacking both flavor and chewiness (my favorite parts of steak) from fat. This was similar, although definitely tender
- Grilled pineapple: Not sure about the hype on this (My sister specifically warned me not too eat too much pineapple, and other Yelpers raved about this too). It was a great refresh after the heavier, oilier meat though
Things I would not get again:
- Chicken hearts: "This is good...for chicken heart", said a diner at my table. I'm sure much of this can be ascribed to cultural comfort, but the texture is a bit rubbery, which is what I expected. Although perhaps interesting to try one
- Pork loin with parmesan: Easily the firmest cut. I didn't think the pork flavor particularly came through, and the parmesan definitely did not
- Pork / chicken sausage: I tried these for novelty, and while they were definitely made with real meat (I appreciated the cut up meat texture), I would save my stomach for the cuts of meat
Did not try:
- Chicken breast wrapped bacon: Ah, nowt hat I think about it, I should have tried one since I do love bacon. Was way too full at the time though
Whew, that was a long review. Would I come again? It's one of those spots you should try for novelty / a celebration, but I generally find that I am stuffing myself by the end to get my money's worth, and that's not fun. At $70+ per person, it's hard to justify, but I would be down for lunch ($30+). Thought the meat was tastier here than at Fogo de Chao though. 3.5/5 on taste, 3/5 on value, 3.5/5 on novelty.2/12/上海快3走势图 Nicole, thank you for taking the time to review your recent visit! We certainly appreciate all the… Read more
I stopped by with a friend at around 6pm on a weekday and the place was packed. Service was very friendly and told us we could come back in 30 minutes for a seat-- didn't take down our names, but remembered us when we got back!
The restaurant was packed to the brim and the noise level was pretty loud. We shared a antipasto vegeteriano (grilled veggie platter) and their margherita pizza.
The veggie platter arrived first. At $16, I guess I was expecting a bit more, but it consisted of maybe 4-5 pieces of 3 different types of veggies. They were grilled just fine, but it didn't have that pizazz I'm looking for in restaurant food. Some more distinct seasoning would have been helpful. I wouldn't get this again. 3/5.
The margherita pizza was also just fine-- the ingredients went together well and it came out at a decent temperature, but there wasn't anything that made me want to come back asap. Then again, I'm not the world's largest pizza fan, so take that review as you will. 3.25/5.
Place didn't stand out for me, but might with the Italian food-loving crowd. 3.25/5.