Monday, December 29, 2008

Monterey, Millbrae & San Fran .... Cisco

Continuing on my Nov. vacation from Monterey, the pastry chef from L'Auberge Carmel recommended this bakery as I head up north to the Bay Area:

Parker-Lusseau Pastries
731 Munras Ave.
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 643-6300

Once I arrived to my hotel near the San Francisco Airport, I decided to have some dim sum at Zen Peninsula.

There were no carts strolling by. I had to order from a list. I only chose a few things, since I had early dinner reservations at 5:30 p.m.

The jellyfish & seaweed salad tasted really good, nice balanced flavor. Overall, my lunch was pretty good. I would go back. If you want to see what I ordered, here's the list:

Don't ask me to translate. I don't read Chinese.

Zen Peninsula
1180 El Camino Real
Millbrae, CA 94030
(650) 616-9388

For dinner, I went to Quince Restaurant. I ordered the tasting menu. Unfortunately, I don't remember what I ate exactly, I didn't ask for a copy of the menu and I was informed of Quince's policy of no photography of the cuisine. Mind you, here are the pictures I was able to take that evening.

The meal was wonderful. The pasta dish was what I remembered most, very delicious. Afterwards, I expressed to the host my appreciation of the tasting menu, as well as my condolences of Quince's current absence of its Michelin star. The host mentioned that it was more of a suspension until the Michelin inspectors can dine at Quince's new location later in 2009 near the Financial District. Nevertheless, I will look forward to dining there as well.

1701 Octavia
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 775-8500

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I've heard about this restaurant called Urasawa for a long while. The whole place seats about ten people, thirteen tops. Dinner by reservation only. No website. $300 per person, food only. One restaurant owner told me Urasawa should be a three-star Michelin restaurant.

I made a dinner reservation for that evening and I went. I drove over to Beverly Hills to a valet parking garage. Once I got out of my car, I take the elevator to the second floor, where Urasawa is located. From there, I walk down a hallway until I see ...

... the entrance of the restaurant, I suppose. It looked bare and simple, definitely not over-the-top. Then, the door opens by this female Japanese server/attendant. I think I was the first one to arrive that evening. Around the same time, maybe before, a young Korean couple enters. There will be another couple arriving about one hour later. Five customers, one chef, two assistants, and one server/attendant. And that was it!

Chef Hiro Urasawa is a quiet man with a slight sense of humor. After initial introductions, I asked if I could take pictures. "Yes, that will be five dollars," he replied with a wink in his eyes. This is going to be a wonderful experience.

Hiro-san's domain and my place setting

Even though I did take pictures, I didn't take any notes. So, enjoy the pictures!

This is a magical sushi platter.

Every so often, a piece of sushi made by Hiro-san appears on this platter.
It needs to be eaten within ten seconds.
At this point, I stopped taking pictures.

Uni & Mushrooms

These were a couple of the many different kinds of sushi that appeared on that magical sushi platter. One of the highlights of my Urasawa dining experience was Hiro-san's lesson on eating sushi with my fingers, no chopsticks.
If you want to know, get over to Urasawa and experience this place yourself!


green tea, barley tea and the end of a wonderful meal


218 N. Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 247-8939