Oct 2018

Hog Island Oyster Farm – Marshall

Hog Island Oyster Co. - Marshall, CA

Two of my cousins got married within the span of a week this past summer—Cousin Kristine got hitched in San Diego first, followed by Cousin Andrew tying the knot in Sonoma. While in Northern California for Andrew’s big day, I planned several notable meals along the way including stops at Chez Panisse in BerkeleySHED in Healdsburg, and Hog Island Oyster Co. in Marshall. The latter was one of my favorite meals of the year.

Hog Island Oyster Co. - Marshall, CA

A few weeks prior to the trip, I secured reservations for “The Boat”—a full-service restaurant perched on the shores of Tomales Bay. Sun-soaked and perfectly convivial, the dining “room” could not be beat. I mean, look at this view and crowd.

Hog Island Oyster Co. - Marshall, CA

To start, a fantastic loaf of locally-made Brickmaiden Bread ($6) served with Achadinha cultured butter made from goat’s milk, cow’s milk, and Kefir.

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Oct 2018

{swoon} Salchipapas at Mancora Peruvian Cuisine

Mancora Peruvian Cuisine - Alhambra

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered the salchipapas ($6) on a whim while lunching with colleagues at Mancora Peruvian Cuisine in Alhambra. Tucked under the appetizers section of the menu, the salchipapas were described as “French fries and thinly sliced hotdogs topped with our variety of sauces.” I’d never encountered this Peruvian delicacy before, but knew immediately that I had to have them. Why yes, I am still eating my feelings. Also, I like the way salchipapas rolls off my tongue.

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Oct 2018

Pho Hai Kieu – San Gabriel

Pho Hai Kieu - San Gabriel

I started eating my feelings again this past week. The world is falling apart and I’m drowning my sorrows in fish sauce. On our drive back from procuring pigs’ feet and pork floss at the San Gabriel Superstore this past weekend (I told you I have been eating my feelings), Vernon, June, and I stopped in to Pho Hai Kieu for lunch.

Pho Hai Kieu - San Gabriel

The three-year-old restaurant run by Chi Minh took over the former Chung King space and specializes in northern Vietnamese favorites. Considering the busy road on which the restaurant sits, it is quite peaceful inside the dining room.

Pho Hai Kieu - San Gabriel

We shared a trio of dishes between the three of us, because over-ordering is our favorite thing to do as a family. I was most looking forward to tasting the banh cuon ($5.50), rice flour crepes stuffed with ground pork, ground shrimp, and scallions and served with fish sauce, cha lua (pork forcemeat), bean sprouts, cucumber, and fresh mint.

The stuffing, slightly different from my family’s go-to ground pork and woodear mushrooms, was heavy on the black pepper in a great way. The thin, slippery crepes magically held on to the fish sauce.

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