Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Breaking Bread at Flour and Water

Outer Mission newcomer Flour + Water had been getting a lot of attention—good and bad—since its opening, so I thought it high time to go check it out myself with a few friends in tow.

Here's how it went down:

Flour + Water's wood-fired, thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza with creamy cow's milk cheese, lemon slices and arugula was nicely blistered and chewy. We liked the peppery crunch of the greens against the citrusy tang and creamy lusciousness of the cheese. But it's not the best pizza in town—that honor still goes to Pizzetta 211.

The pork n' peaches resting on canellini beans and bitter greens was met with much approval 'round the dinner table. The tender meat, its jus and all of its sides were chock full of flavor and cooked just right.

The hands-down winner of the night was the home-made papardelle with oxtail, braised until it had fallen off the bone and cooked to succulent perfection—a great pairing with the wide ribbons of al dente pasta.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anchor & Hope's Happy Hour (and a half)

When the cheap eats crew called a meeting at the brand new happy hour (and a half) at Anchor & Hope to take advantage of the dollar oyster special, I gotta admit I was a little scurred. What if they were serving big, stinkin' shellfish like the Malpeques? Blech. Definitely not my cup o' tea.

But as luck would have it, Anchor & Hope was offering up oysters from Hood Canal, WA—smaller, milder and really creamy. They slid down our throats with the utmost ease. Mmmmm.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Super Sandos at The Sentinel

I've never really cared for (ho-hum) sandwiches—not when I was a kid and certainly not now. However, I'll make an exception now and again, and order up a sando for lunch if it's made of extra tasty ingredients couched between slices of super fresh bread.

I'd been hearing about The Sentinel's flavorful offerings, created by Dennis Leary of Canteen fame. So, one fine SF day, I met PS in the fast-growing queue outside the takeaway lunch spot to see if the reality matched the buzz.

Washed down with The Sentinel's watermelon-ade, the wonderfully moist pork loin with frisee, apricot, muenster cheese and mustard spread was a treat.

The hot corned beef with cabbage, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing was divine. I'll certainly make the 20-minute hump from work to The Sentinel just so I can have this fine sando again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sorabol's Spicy Hangover Cure

Don Julio gave me one devil of a headache from the July 4th festivities at C&K's lovely Diamondhead home, and only one thing would cure it, I was sure: spicy Korean food. And lots of it.

So, off we went to
Sorabol on Keeaumoku for the spicy, sizzling grilled pork; boiling and red-chili hot sundubu jjigae, haemul pajon (OK, pajon's not spicy but man, was this scallion-seafood pancake so good), plus an assortment of spicy panchan like ggakdugi (cubes of daikon bathed in chili pepper), kimchi and more.

We did a fine job of eating almost everything in sight. Damn if
Korean food in Hawaii isn't really, really good.

As for the hangover? Done for. Done in. Dead ... to ... me ...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ichiriki Japanese Nabe

Under "IV. Shabu Shabu" of his list of Hawaii Restaurants, foodhound and long-time island dweller CH wrote: "Ichiriki Nabe Restaurant [is] OUTSTANDING. Our new favorite restaurant. If you like shabu shabu, you will love this. A hot pot restaurant, and the bowls are split so you can each have your own type of nabe."

Naturally, since we both like our shabu shabu, my sister and I had to go. And when it came time to order, we called CH to help us navigate Ichiriki's hefty (and ever-so-slightly overwhelming) menu.

CH advised us to go for the nabe vs. the shabu shabu (which in the case of Ichiriki refers to a broth vs water base) for added flavor, and to start with the basics this first go 'round, saving the kimchi and other fancier versions (king crab for one) the next time I came to town.

So we settled on the Ichiriki original and Shio Chanpon nabe with a side of thinly sliced prime beef. Out came the broth, and then a large assortment of veg and protein from chicken and beef filling, tofu, slivers of pork, salmon, shrimp, scallop and sausage to bok choy, chinese cabbage, glass noodles, enoki mushrooms and spring onions.

With the broth bubbling away, we started dropping in first the veg and then the heartier proteins, saving the seafood for last. We ate as we went ... finishing off with a helping of udon and ramen noodles, which we dropped in the remaining broth for a few minutes and promptly pulled out for our final push.

Ugh. We ate too much. But we couldn't help ourselves. The shio broth—made of chicken and pork—was irresistible as were all of the fresh ingredients bobbing around in there. A really good meal and a great rec from our dear friend, CH.