Friday, January 20, 2012

SF: Donuts, Burrito, Beef Tartare

In Dallas currently with nothing to do, so decided to do a short post for the time I was in SF this past weekend!

Before I left for Tahoe last Friday, Ahrhan and I stopped by Dynamo Donuts for a quick breakfast. Ever since I had it last time, I've been waiting for the day that I could go back and bite into their tasty fried goods. This time I got there a little bit late so a few donuts were gone but still got to try 3 new ones!

Dynamo Donuts & Coffee
2760 24th St (between Hampshire St & York St)
Mission, San Francisco, CA 94110

offerings of the day
They didn't have the Strawberry Earl Grey, which was my favorite here last time :[

partner in crime
HAHA she thought I was taking a picture of the donuts.

Went for the Molasses Guinness and the Meyer Lemon Huckleberry. Meyer Lemon Huckleberry was whatevers... but...

spiced apple
The Molasses Guinness was surprising and tasty. A molasses donut with pears then topped with a Guinness glaze. At first we thought they gave us the wrong one but is definitely the molasses donut since it had a darker hue than the other donuts.

holey donuts
Darker coloring = molasses. It has more of a flavor than brown sugar.

Also got the Passionfruit Milk Chocolate and the Chocolate Rose Geranium Hazelnut.

chocolate hazelnut
Chocolate Rose Geranium Hazelnut. Yup, a hazelnut donut with a rose geranium chocolate glaze. First bite, you get a flavor of the rose, then the geranium hits you. If you know what the geranium flower smells like... well, it tastes EXACTLY like it. It's a bit weird, and definitely a... hipster-ish donut :P

passionfruit milk choco
Last time when we came, the Passionfruit Milk Chocolate was my 2nd favorite and the glaze was still wet from the warmth of the donut! Not as fresh this time but still very tasty. Tangy and the milk chocolate bits give it a bit of sweetness.

Of course had to get a cup of latte. Not gonna lie, SF peeps really know how to make some good coffee.

Ahrhan's mocha.


Afterwards, met up with Justin, who's taking me to Tahoe and the three of us decided to grab a quick lunch before Justin and I left. Justin recommended eating at this Mexican joint near his place.

The Little Chihuahua
292 Divisadero St
(between Haight St & Page St)
San Francisco, CA 94117

funny logo
On the way there saw this weird and hilarious logo of this restaurant O_O Wth is going on??

the little chihuahua
Little Chihuahua. It's not the traditional Mexican restaurant... more California Mexican.

salsa bar
Salsa bar. They have some great salsas.

Pico de gallo, roasted tomato, tomatillo.

Free tortilla chips! My favorite was definitely the tomatillo salsa.

chili verde chicken burrito
Went with a chili verde chicken burrito, with chili verde chicken, black beans, rice, salsa, cabbage salad, and pico de gallo.

Very clean tasting and you don't feel any grease or any heaviness after you eat! All the meats are sourced from sustainable farming also. Very SF :P For each bite I tried it with different salsa and they all go very well with the burrito.


After I got back to SF from Tahoe, I had a few hours to kill before my flight back to LA so I met up with Tiffany and Jordan for dinner at Bluestem Brasserie, which is a fairly new restaurant, but good, in SOMA.

I took the pictures with my iPhone since I forgot my camera... so it's gonna suck :P

Bluestem Brasserie
One Yerba Buena Ln
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA

steak tartare
Steak Tartare with quail egg, mache, and pistachio oil. Solid solid solid. The mixed quail egg is a must to make everything bind together. Comes with toasted bread to eat with and you can really tell that Bluestem has some high quality beef.

steamed mussels
Steamed Mussels was recommended by our server. She mentioned how it was steamed in Pinot Noir rather than how it is done traditionally in white wine. You can definitely taste the red wine but not very apparently. The mussels were just alright but the sauce was great to soak the toasted bread in.

roasted half chicken
Roasted Half Chicken with brussels sprouts, garlic jus, and a side of macaroni & cheese. RIDICULOUSLY tender. I didn't really expect much since it is just a roasted chicken but my goodness, it is one of the most tender chicken I've ever had. We just used the regular knife they provided and it just comes apart. The mac & cheese and the brussels sprouts were great as well. Mac & Cheese is not too cheesy to make you sick after a few bites and I like how they caramelized the brussels sprouts.

butter beans
Butter Beans with Escarole, which is butter beans, garlic, and endives. A lighter and healthier side. I like how they have whole chunks of garlic in there.

arugula salad
Arugula Salad with candied walnuts, blue cheese, and pear. I just wanted some greens so decided to go for it. It was good but... portion is somewhat laughable :P

We also got the Kennebec Truffled Fries and Spinach Currants and Capers but the pictures I took with my iPhone was just horrible...

Hmmm... I think I'm ready for another trip back to to SF already. More Dynamo, try some more of Bluestem's menu, and discovering more!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cabin Cookin'

I love to board. Been boarding for quite a few seasons now so I always try to plan a boarding trip or at least attend a trip. To me, staying in a cabin, cooking, and eat with a good group of friends is one of the best part of the trip! It's always interesting too, because depending on the group I go with, the type of food changes, dramatically. Right at the beginning of 2012, I was able to go on two snowboarding trips and it is the perfect example of how two different group of friends eat so differently!

First trip I went to Big Bear and booked a cabin for 7 of us. If you're into snowboarding, Big Bear is not exactly the ideal destination, but it is close to SoCal and less troublesome in terms of travel time, which also meant we were more flexible in bringing up the items we wanted to eat and we decided to go the Korean/Mexican route. The drive is only two-three hours so we weren't afraid of food spoiling during the travel time so there was no problem hitting up a Korean market and a Mexican meat market! Here's just a little of what we made:

dinner prep
Prepping for dinner. Lighting at the cabin was HORRIBLE... so some of the pictures might be blurry :P

Glimpse of our dinner table hahah.

Three Koreans in the group so of course we had kimchi :D

carne asada
Carne Asada from La Venadita, which is this awesome Mexican meat market in Carson. It's always a must whenever we gather for any occasion. Comes marinated and ready to be cooked!

carne asada w/ guac & salsa verde
Add some guac, some salsa verde... and that is one bomb carne asada taco :]

ramen salad
Made some ramen salad, using the same recipe from the Thanksgiving dinner.

Rather than getting marinated mean, we got a ton of chadol, aka brisket from Korean bbq, and just pan fried it since we didn't have a griddle. Still just as good! We actually also made pork belly but... we killed it before I remembered to take a picture of it haha.

breakfast of champs
For breakfast, we had a lot of food leftover so we decided to continue on and add a few more items :P

chadol for breakfast
More brisket with sesame oil for breakfast :P

kimchi fried rice
Since we had rice left from the night before, decided to make one of my favorite, kimchi fried rice! Even the Koreans said "not bad" :P

chadol omelette
Since we still had some brisket left over, decided to toss it in and made a chadol omelette!! That's definitely a first for me haha.


The next weekend, I took off for Tahoe with a quick stop in SF (next post). Like I mentioned, the food brought and cooked all depends on the dynamic of the group. This time around, the group had no Koreans and we were all guys (8 of us) so you can imagine what type of food we brought along hahah. Also, we weren't too familiar with the Folsom, where we stopped for food, so we went crazy at Costco, buying tons of frozen food, while others stopped by Harris Ranch on the way from LA and picked up some bombtastic steaks.

Filets cooking on the grill.

harris ranch rib eye
Beautiful piece of Harris Ranch rib eye! We actually bought these from the actual location of the ranch, although you can find Harris Ranch beef at Gelson, Sprout's, and higher end specialty markets. I've even seen Harris Ranch burger patties before at Costco :P

rib eye & filet
Dinner: Harris Ranch filet mignon & rib eye.

After we let it rest so the juices won't flow out, Jimmy carved it up so it is easier to share. Perfectly cooked.

beautifully done
Damn that's pretty.

steamed fish
Jimmy & Edwin went fishing before we left for Tahoe and they even caught two fresh bass!

Small, but damn it was fresh and tasty.

cooking breakfast
Edwin, one of the cooks of the weekend, making eggs for breakfast.

maple cured bacon
Maple cured bacon from Costco. Must be one of the best bacon I've had.

caramelized onions
Caramelized onions in bacon fat.

sausage breakfast style
I found some Aidells Habanero Pepper Jack Sauasages at Costco, so we grilled it up and served it as breakfast sausages. I wanted my breakfast items together, so got a hot dog bun, added a fried egg, the sausage, and some pepper jack cheese!

with BBQ sauce
Then I added a piece of bacon with caramelized onions cooked in bacon fat and Sugar Ray's BBQ sauce. What a perfect breakfast sausage :D BTW if you've never had Sugar Ray's BBQ, GET IT. They have it at Ralph's. It was and still is my college roommates and my favorite!

Of course gotta have eggs for breakfast. I think we killed 4 dozen eggs that weekend :P

I'm actually sad cause when I was looking through my camera I realized I completely forgot to take pictures of the dinner on night two and the breakfast when we made breakfast burgers! I'll admit... I wasn't exactly sober on night two and my excuse for forgetting to take pics of the breakfast burgers was cause we still had to clean up the place before we left at 11am :P

The snow sucked this year... really hard, but at least ate well for both trips, and good food with good friends always result in an awesome trip!