Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday Izakaya at Sebo

A meal at Sebo will easily set you back a couple of benjamins per 2 top, what with the finest-grade sashimi being flown in straight from Japan. But if Izakaya is more your thing, then Sundays at Sebo will do you right. We ordered almost everything on the weekly changing menu, plus some cocktails and a few extra-large beers, and couldn't quite polish it all off. And yet the damage totaled a mere $45 a head. Pretty much all of what we ordered (maybe 12-15 small plates) got high marks from the 4 of us, except for a couple of outliers.

Here follows a selection of Sebo's scrummy dishes:

Deep-fried, extra crispy okra and boiled egg, drizzled with a special sauce (aka zesty thousand island)

Eggplant in soy with a chiff of nori

Spicy, peppery mac n cheese (ah-mazing, we ordered 2); sweet yam, cooked al dente (I liked it; others, not so much)

Little fishy swimming in rice soup with a whopping dollop of salty roe sitting on a shiso leaf—this one grew on me; I liked it the more I ate it. The Koreans take these li'l fish and deep fry them in soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and garlic, making 'em the crispiest, crunchiest nuggets of goodness you'll ever have with your bowl o' rice.

Shrimp with winter melon (BLERG—overcooked and mealy, bland and sad, I found this dish extremely disappointing); dried squid with herring roe and konbu (bottom left; loved the squid; the hardened cubes of herring roe didn't add anything to the plate—"lowtide" as NJ put it in a not-so-complimentary way; I agree); woodear with tofu and lotsa sesame (bottom right; mmmm, good)

Lovely mussels in a tomato broth; tuna melt with quail eggs (from the folks at Farm Table who were guest cheffing that night); dried squid

Monday, July 12, 2010

Leonard's Malasadas

The malasadas from Leonard's Bakery are so much better than plain old donuts. Puffy, light and airy, and dusted with plenty of sugar, the half dozen "plain sugars" we ordered from this Honolulu institution came out piping hot from the fryer.

Of course, the extra-large-and-in-charge folks manning the store make me think it's a good thing malasadas can't be found anywhere in SF. (Read: As good as they are, malasadas are best had at most once every 4 or 5 years ... )

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fettucine Night with the Boys

Whenever J+J ask me over for supper, they often expect me to get to work in the kitchen. This time was no exception, though thankfully JG had already done the heavy lifting—prepping all of the ingredients beforehand for this especially toothsome Epicurious recipe: fettucine with peas, asparagus and pancetta with a couple of substitutions/additions—mint instead of parsley, for example, plus a healthy dose of crushed red pepper.

Crispy pancetta adds a wonderfully savory depth to the pasta.

And of course the fresh peas and asparagus make this the perfect springtime-into-summer pasta (we cooked this a couple of months back).

Truth be told, I didn't have to do too much beyond toss a bit here and taste a tad there. And it was all worth it once we sat down to eat the creamy-citrusy pasta sitting before us.