Gather Restaurant, Berkeley, CA

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Gather Restaurant

Restaurant Week #2 continues... We're still on the East Bay today in Berkeley, CA for brunch at Gather. This is a new downtown Berkeley restaurant that uses many local and seasonal ingredients.

Although we were close to the UC Berkeley campus, this brunch was all UCLA Bruins, all the time! There were 5 adults and 1 child. Between us, we have seven UCLA degrees! :) Goooo Bruins!

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Summer scramble
(Descriptions from menu in italics)
roasted corn, heirloom tomatoes, basil, scallion, roasted potatoes, shaved summer squash arugula salad, Three Sisters cheese $12

Sumi, my RA from the UCLA Sproul Hall dorms, got this dish.

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Acme walnut French toast
braised strawberries, maple walnut sauce, Straus yogurt (1 pc) $8, (2 pc) $12

I devoured this one. It was yummy...although I wish I ordered two pieces.

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Blossom Bluff stone fruit
saba, yogurt, Riverdog almonds $7

Agnes, UCLA roommate and traveling companion, ordered this dish. We had some mealy peaches the previous day, and Ag said these were perfect!

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Smoked onion cannellini bean soup
radicchio, Fall Press Sevillano olive oil, San Joaquin Gold Cheese $8

Shannon (double Bruin like me - UCLA BA and UCLA MLIS - Library degree, plus she has a JD from Hastings!) ordered this yummy soup. Agnes' daughter Julia also enjoyed a small cup of the soup.

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Braised mushroom sandwich
grilled ciabatta, cashew-leek "cheese," little gems $9

Diane, former UCLA roommate, ordered this sandwich. Doesn't it look yummy?

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Diane's vegan and got this plate of vegan desserts. I ate the perfect fig. Delicious!

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Shannon ate this ginger ice cream. She said it was very gingery good.

Gather, Berkeley, CA Gather, Berkeley, CA
Bread pudding and chocolate cake desserts.

Gather, Berkeley, CA Gather, Berkeley, CA
The restaurant had two performers on the patio during brunch, and they have a full bar.

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Agnes' daughter, Julia hanging out with Diane

Gather, Berkeley, CA
Sumi was the Resident Assistant/RA in the UCLA Sproul Hall dorms many years ago. Agnes and I were two of her residents during our freshman year!

If you are in the East Bay, head over to Gather for some fresh and vegan/vegetarian friendly food.

Restaurant:
Gather Restaurant
2200 Oxford Street, Berkeley, California 94704
On the corner of Allston Way and Oxford Street
Phone: 510.809.0400, Fax: 510.809.0404
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Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian - Berkeley, CA

Monday, August 23, 2010

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, California

Restaurant Week #2 continues...the next few will be from my recent trip to the Bay Area (San Francisco and Berkeley). And, yes, it is back-to-back Thai restaurants. I love Thai food.

My college roommate, Agnes and I took a road trip with her 5-year old daughter Julia to the Bay Area. One night, we met our UCLA roommate Diane for dinner. Diane's vegan and she selected Green Papaya Thai in Berkeley.

To be honest, I always have some doubts when venturing into vegan restaurants...I think I've got scar tissue from visiting Cafe Gratitude several times in the Bay Area. (It's not the mostly raw food, although I do like warm soup, it is the names of the menu items.)

I AM DAZZLING CAESAR SALAD
I AM INSIGHTFUL SPRING ROLLS
I AM TRANSFORMED TACO PLATE
I AM ACCEPTING SUSHI BOWL
See the menu...I'm not kidding.
Then, when the waitstaff delivers your meal, they say, "Who is Dazzling?" and when you weakly raise your hand, they place it in front of you with a "You are Dazzling!" Kill Me.

Seriously, I want to order:
"I am freaking annoyed cold water"
"I am disappointed dairy-free milk"
"I am clinically depressed hummus"

Anyway, happily, Green Papaya was wonderful and the staff very kind.

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
Curry Puff $5.95
(descriptions from take-out menu are in italics)
Triangle, stuffed with pumpkin, fresh shitake root, potato, onion, pepper, curry powder, wrapped with wheat paper....served deep-fried with cucumber carrot salad

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
House Special Brown Rice
A combo of black, brown and wild rice

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
Peanut Sauce Tofu $7.95
Steamed broccoli, topped with fried tofu, seasoned with peanut sauce

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
Kee Mao Tofu $7.95
Broccoli, carrot, cabbage, bell pepper, green bean, sweet basil, chili, and fried tofu, stir fried with flat rice noodles and mushroom sauce

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
Yellow Curry Tofu $7.95
Potato, broccoli, carrot, onion, and fried tofu, served in yellow curry sauce

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
My friend for 21 years, Agnes and her lovely younger daughter, Julia (age 5)

Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian, Berkeley, CA
Mango Sweet Sticky Rice

The first thing I ask at any Thai restaurant is "Do you have mango and sticky rice today?" Since it is seasonal, sometimes I'm disappointed. But if they do, I plan accordingly and make sure I save space! :) This dish is one of my favorites. Mango, rice, coconut milk. Delish!

If you are visiting the East Bay, try Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian restaurant. You will find it Dazzling (and not annoying)! :)

Restaurant:
Green Papaya Thai Vegetarian Cuisine
2016 Shattuck Ave. (near the Downtown Berkeley BART station)
Berkeley, CA 94704
Tel. (510) 845-1658
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Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA

Friday, August 20, 2010

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Daisy Mint in Pasadena has some interesting decor!

Restaurant Week continues (next week is all San Francisco food from my recent trip!)...

We had a work thang at Pasadena City College so after a day of talking and talking, my co-workers and I went to Daisy Mint. I've been here at least four times, and seriously love this Thai restaurant. Knowing that we were going to Daisy Mint after the work event made the day go quickly! :)

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Waterfall Pork Salad
grilled marinated pork with shallots, scallions, rice powder and greens with spicy lime dressing ($10.95)

OMG. This is the best. The Best. I could eat this spicy salad, um, every. day. Just go. Just go order it! And you'll see what I mean.

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Pumpkin [Kabocha]
with egg and basil in garlic sauce (with Chicken, $8.95)

I love kabocha (Japanese squash pumpkin). It is a sweet, dense squash. This preparation is delicious...the meat isn't even necessary.

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Mushroom & Ginger
Fresh ginger sauteed with onions, mushrooms and scallions (with Tofu, $8.95)

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Daisy Noodles
rice noodles with red curry, egg, crispy onions, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts (no meat, $8.95)

This was great because we wanted a curry and a noodle dish but there were only four of us...and this dish combined the two flavors!

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Close-ups of the Daisy Noodles and the absolutely delicious Waterfall Pork salad. I can't wait to go back and have some more!

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Pumpkin Custard Dessert
Kabocha with a custard. Soooo good and interesting! $4.50

Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
Oh yeah, that's a kabocha or pumpkin! And since it was a vegetable to begin with...we put it in the veggie category. Hee hee.

If you are in Pasadena, stop by Daisy Mint for some yummy Thai food!

Restaurant:
Daisy Mint Thai Restaurant
1218 East Colorado Boulevard (walking distance to Pasadena City College, near Zankou Chicken)
Pasadena, CA 91106-1842
(626) 792-2999
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85 C Bakery, Irvine, CA

Thursday, August 19, 2010

85 degree C Bakery in Irvine, CA

"Restaurant Week...or a bit longer"
continues on the blog. I'm cleaning up unfinished restaurant posts, and sharing all the eating out I've been doing lately. After eating at the Guppy House, JustJenn and I headed over to the much loved 85 ° C Bakery in Irvine, CA.

A few weeks ago, the LA Times Food Section profiled the Taiwanese 85 ° C Bakery in Irvine, California (Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2010). Irvine is in Orange County and I don't pass through it very frequently. However, since the Cupcake Camp OC was held in Irvine, JustJenn and I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

85 degree C Bakery in Irvine, CA
The line is long and they limit the number of people in the bakery. But the line goes pretty fast and you can spend your time thinking about what carbs you are going to pick up! :)

85 degree C Bakery in Irvine, CA 85 degree C Bakery in Irvine, CA
The LA Times article describes customers waiting around for staff to bring out a tray of hot bread. When I was in the shop, a man came out and yelled "Taro Bread" - and I grabbed two purple ovals of goodness!

85 degree C Bakery in Irvine, CA
85 ° C Bakery has a large display of refrigerated desserts and cakes, but I was all about the breads! See JustJenn's earlier visit for more photos, including the famous Sea Salt Coffee.

85 degrees C Bakery & Cafe, Irvine
This place is totally worth the wait. I love, love the Taro Bread. I could eat it everyday...and would probably end up looking like a taro. This bread had a swirl of taro paste in it.

85 degrees C Bakery & Cafe, Irvine
JustJenn said these cakes were yummy so I picked up a strawberry and blueberry jam cake. It wasn't until I was home did I discover that coconut surrounded the cake, trapping in the wholesome goodness. A paring knife sliced off the offending coconut! Hey, a girl has to salvage her carbs. The sponge cake was light...and I could eat a bunch of these.

I wanted to fill my tray with so many other goodies, but I did just eat cupcakes all day so I had some self-control. So, if you head into the O.C., I would definitely stop by 85 ° C Bakery

Bakery:
85 ° C Bakery
2700 Alton Parkway, No. 123 (Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center)
Irvine, CA
(949) 553-8585
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Guppy House - Kimchi Udon and Popcorn Chicken, Irvine, CA

"Restaurant Week...or a bit longer" continues on the blog. I'm cleaning up unfinished restaurant posts, and sharing all the eating out I've been doing lately. Today it is two posts about Orange County eatin'.

Guppy House Restaurant, Irvine, CA

After the sugar coma we got from the Cupcake Camp OC at the beginning of August, JustJenn and I went to Guppy House on Jamboree in Irvine, CA.

JustJenn got the Popcorn Chicken Plate with potato salad. The chicken was mildly spicy but the potato salad was the "sweet" variety. Not her favorite kind of salad. ($7.99)

Guppy House Restaurant, Irvine, CA
I ordered the Kimchi Udon Noodles with Pork ($7.99). Holy smokes. When this Harry Potter size cauldron of boiling soup arrived, my eyes grew big. It was quite enormous and suitable for a family of four.

Guppy House Restaurant, Irvine, CA
I ordered it mild and it was pretty spicy. Remember, I'm Japanese American and can't handle the heat the some Koreans and Chinese can take! ;) The soup had udon noodles and pork slices. I wish there were a few more noodles and a few less gallons of soup.

Guppy House also has these MASSIVE shave ice with fruit monster dishes. You often see a table full of college students munching on it. And they do serve smaller sizes.

This dinner gave us our strength to stand in line... at 85 C, the most popular bakery in the area. More on that in the next post!

Restaurant:
Guppy House
(949) 851-9788
2730 Alton Parkway STE 101
Irvine, CA 92614
They have other locations in Southern California
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The Counter: Custom Built Burgers, Los Angeles

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Restaurant Week...or a bit longer" continues on the blog. I'm cleaning up unfinished restaurant posts, and sharing all the eating out I've been doing lately.

My friends and I went to The Counter recently. I always like to be in control of my ingredients, and The Counter offers that. Although on this trip, it was more like they were in control.

The Counter Restaurant, Los Angeles
We started with the delicious sweet potato fries. I could eat these everyday (although that doesn't sound like a good idea)! It comes with a Russian dressing-type dipping sauce.

The Counter Restaurant, Los Angeles
First, just to you know. Our group was famished by the time we got around to getting lunch. We were sooooo hungry. I filled out my order sheet and turned in an order for chicken on a bed of lettuce. However, it wasn't until I ate 95% of the salad did I realize that I didn't get the salad I ordered! I added avocado to my order and selected a different dressing and toppings. But this one was pretty good...and, again, I was so hungry I didn't notice! :)

The Counter Restaurant, Los Angeles
Beef burger with cheese, bacon and grilled onions. Yes, you can add additional meat to your meat.

The Counter Restaurant, Los Angeles
Turkey Burger on multigrain bun

I really like The Counter. Some people think it is a little pricey for a burger joint (burgers start at $8.50 and go to $13.50), but I will go anywhere for those fries. Hee hee.

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Tender Greens, Culver City, CA

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The pot and pan haven't been on my dance card lately. I have been eating out a lot. A lot.

So, this is "Restaurant Week...that might get extended for a while" on the blog. Catchy title, no? I have so many random, unfinished restaurant posts that I'm cleaning house! And I went up to San Francisco last week so I'll have some Southern and Northern adventures this week...and maybe next week.

First up, Tender Greens in Los Angeles

Tender Greens is a "fast-service restaurant" (you order at the front, wait for your food, pay and sit indoors or outdoors...what is the proper name for this type of ordering/serving?) The food is very fresh and delicious. They have salads, soups and sandwiches. I've been here twice; they have several other locations as well.

Tender Greens, Culver City, CA

You may think with the name Tender Greens that it is vegetarian or vegan...but no. As evidenced by my marinated flat iron steak salad.

The meat was perfectly cooked and just the right amount. I like a little steak with my salad, not for it to be the focus of the meal. We had a little mis-communication when I ordered it and they made the food to go.

Tender Greens, Culver City, CA - Mashed Potatoes
Oh, the mashed potatoes are to die for. I love them. So whipped and melt-in-your-mouth yummy!

Tender Greens, Culver City, CA
My friend got the Tuna Nicoise salad with quail eggs and field greens.

When you need a rest from eating heavy food...head over to Tender Greens!

Restaurant:
Tender Greens
Various locations in California
Culver City Location: 9523 Culver Boulevard Culver City, CA 90232
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Oatmeal Breakfast Bread Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie

Oatmeal Breakfast Bread Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Natalie of Oven Love selected Oatmeal Breakfast Bread on page 44 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. Have you visited Natalie's blog? She's fantastic!

I made mine into muffins because they are easier to give out at the library. I made 12 big muffins and they baked for 21 minutes. Next time, I'm going to double the topping so each muffin gets a little more lovin'.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bread Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie

These muffins are semi-healthy...made with applesauce, oats and dried fruit (along with oil and buttermilk), and have a nice topping of brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts (I used walnuts). I used Turkish dried apricots, but you can use dried anything!

Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!

Recipe:
On Natalie's Oven Love blog, or
Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 44
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