Saturday, July 10, 2010

only in san fran

Hola conejitos, I just got home from watching the last South American team fail to place in the World Cup :(. 'Twas hard to watch without a brew in hand. But alas, all is not lost, because today we have another installment in the Plates from Around the World series! Yay. As a reminder, these posts run on Saturdays and describe a contributor's incredible travel experiences with food. Please join me in welcoming the lovely Maggie who has so graciously offered to take us on a culinary tour through the Asian favorites of California's Bay Area. 

Hiya, I'm Maggie from Say Yes to Salad.
I'm so happy that Danielle asked me to post for this series. I'm a huge huge fan of eating crazy exotic foods and I can't wait to share some of my favorites. I'm quite obsessed with Asian food, but having never been to Asia I will have to say that my favorite foodie place in the world is the next best thing: the San Francisco Bay Area (northern California). Even though it's American soil, I had the best Asian food of my life in the bay area.
First up: Vietnamese! Vietnamese food is by far my favorite cuisine. Ever. I have tried papaya salad (my favorite dish) at too many resturants to count. This particular papaya salad comes from Xanh  on Castro Street in Mountain View, CA. It had shredded green papaya, fresh shrimp, mango, peanuts, crispy onions, and that tangy Vietnamese dressing that I can never recreate. Delicious.  (Read more about it here.)
Second: Korean! I could eat Bi Bim Bap every night and never tire of it. Bi Bim Bap is a medley of sauteed exotic veggies topped with an egg (and sometimes beef, but I leave that off when I'm being vegetarian), lots of the spicy Korean red sauce, and sesame oil. "Exotic veggies" means things like burdock, lotus root, and shitake mushrooms. (It also comes with rice but I don't really like rice, so I skip it.) This Bi Bim Bap was from Jang Su Jang in Santa Clara, CA. (I wrote about it here.)
Third: Japanese! Bobby, my fiance (husband in late July, eek), is half Japanese and we always try to find the best Japanese food there is; we both love it. We used to love going to Delica RF-1 in San Francisco. This particular lunch bento thing (it's Japanese deli food) has Wasabi Garlic Potato Salad (Garlic potato salad with wasabi mayonnaise, edamame, snap peas, and romaine hearts), Spicy Burdock Root Salad  (A spicy mix of braised burdock and konnyaku (mountain potato) tossed with thin slices of white onion, celery, julienne carrots, and wild mizuna), and Tofu & Chicken Patty with Hijiki (Free-range chicken and organic tofu patty with hijiki seaweed and carrot; served in a sweet soy sauce). I actually recreated the Burdock Salad so check it out if you get a chance.
So those are three of my favorite Asian-in-the-bay-area meals. One of the reasons I loved living in the bay area because Asian food was so accessible (and cheap). I've found some great Asian places in New York, too - but they don't compare to Sunnyvale/Mountain View/San Francisco.
Thanks again for letting me share Danielle! What are YOUR favorite Asian foods?


  1. What a great post from Maggie! I love SF so much but never had asian other than a tasty fancy indian meal on new years...can't wait to go back and try these! In terms of asian food...I usually prefer japanese but it has been a while since I have had vietnamese.

  2. How have I never had Vietnamese food?! Papaya salad sounds amaazing. I would love to visit San Fran someday!

  3. Maggie: It was my pleasure, my dear! My Asian favorites are Indian, Vietnamese, and Japanese. I cannot wait to go to San Fran to try out your recommendations!

  4. hooray for bay area pride. as a native east bay-er myself, i can totally vouch for what maggie says. thanks for sharing :)


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