'Bay Area Eats' on Serious Eats

Bay Area Eats: Café Rehoboth, Ethiopian Food with Heart

"Some people are able to gracefully scoop food up with pieces of injera. I just aim to keep my shirt front clean and to resist licking my fingers." Rehoboth Ethiopian Café and Restaurant 655 North Sixth Street, San Jose CA 95130 (map); 408-947-1717; caferehoboth.com Price: About $15 per person, including tip Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Closed on Mondays My friend asked the other day, "Ling, what do you mean when you say 'this food has heart'? I don't understand, how do you taste 'heart' in food?" It took me a couple of minutes before I could respond—I had... More

Bay Area Eats: Snail Vermicelli at San Jose's Saigon Seafood

Jackfruit Salad. Much ado is made about Heston Blumenthal's snail porridge, served at The Fat Duck, his three-star Michelin restaurant in Bray, Berkshire. But if you, like me, do not foresee yourself shelling out £130 for his tasting menu, fret not. Snails are a lot more accessible than you think. Snail Vermicelli. Long before the French started dipping escargots in garlic butter, the Vietnamese would gather snails from the fields and sauté them in garlic and salt. These sweet morsels star in Saigon Seafood's rendition of Bún Ốc (Escargot Tomato Soup with Rice Noodles). In a tangy tomato broth redolent with herbs (coriander and spring onions) and a good kick of ginger, the snails have a pleasantly firm bite.... More

Bay Area Eats: Fish Tacos Extraordinaire from Mariscos Sinaloa

Tacos de pescado. When I want a fish taco, this is where I go. It's an hour's drive from where I live, and I have to rustle up a couple of burly guy friends (no going solo because the area's pretty sketchy and I'm chicken), but this is where I go. Mariscos Sinaloa. In four years of seeking out fish tacos, I've not found a better one than that served up by the folks at Mariscos Sinaloa. Plump, lightly battered, and deliciously moist morsels of fish are served up on a griddled tortilla, adorned with tomatoes, red onions, and jalapeño. Ceviche de pescado. On top of that, they do a mean fish ceviche. Firm to the bite with plenty... More

Bay Area Eats: Kahoo Ramen and the Quest for the Magic Egg

"In the same way an omelet is considered the Western chef’s yardstick, I believe shio ramen is the true measure of a ramen chef’s skills." Shio Ramen. One’s love for ramen is a highly subjective affair. So I feel it necessary for me to explain why I would go against popular opinion and rank Kahoo Ramen in San Jose, California, above what many would consider its “betters”: Ippudo in New York City, Asa in Los Angeles, and the likes of Ramen Halu in the Bay Area. The truth is, I love ramen. Love it. It’s the closest thing I have to a religion, and it wasn’t until I moved too far away (18 hours by plane) from my family’s favorite... More

Bay Area Eats: Hog Island Oyster Farm

"We can attest to Hog Island's oysters being delectably plump, thoroughly slurpable, and downright delicious." Oysters are dastardly creatures. You think they're innocent—sitting there on their bed of ice waiting to be shucked and devoured—and then your finger slips and before you know it, you've got a gash so deep it needs stitches. Only you just got to the farm and you're hungry, and if the oysters think you're giving up, they can think again! You slap a bandage on your mutilated finger and keep going, but by then you're bleeding so profusely that no one wants to eat your iron-laced oysters. So you pass the shucking knife and glove to someone else. And so it came to be that... More

Bay Area Eats: Wuji Ma La Hot Pot

Wei La hot pot, spice level 0.5. On a chill winter night, there may be no better food in the world than hot pot. You sit, you order, and within minutes, a cauldron of flavorful broth is brought to your table, along with generous platters of meats, innards, seafood, and vegetables. The pot sits on a low flame, bubbling merrily throughout the meal, and you get to decide how and when you'd like your food - tossing in some napa cabbage first so it simmers over the course of the meal to a melt-in-the-mouth tenderness, sliding a plate of shrimp in so the broth takes on a delicious, oceanic brineyness, and giving some thinly-sliced lamb a quick, five-second swish... More

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