Thursday, November 28, 2013

QQ--Cupertino, CA

Last Saturday night was a cold one here and we warmed up to the idea of some hot brothy noodle soup. So, we dropped by QQ in Cupertino.
Braised beef noodle soup
Each of the twins got the braised beef noodle soup, which was very fatty but would hit the spot for anyone with an empty stomach and in need of a warm up.

Soups like mine and my dad's (respectively spare ribs and chicken with black mushroom) came with the noodles and bok choy separated from the soup.

Lamb with pita bread
I wish they'd done the same for the pita with lamb. It's remarkable how much pita can taste like pasta. The downside, though, was after a while the pita got a bit soft and doughy.
Garlic sauce with pork noodle--Oh my was this a good one.

The best dish of the night wasn't a soup. Jenny's pork noodle was the best. The extra-wide noodles were chewy and simply amazing. I was delighted that she couldn't finish so I could take over and it's what I'll get when I go back.

QQ is cash only.

QQ Noodle
10889 S Blaney
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 253-5858

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Port Restaurant--Cupertino, CA

There are two things to remember about New Port, where my dad took us for dim sum last weekend: 1) Get there before 11:30 and 2) Stay hydrated because New Port's food is nothing if not high in sodium.

To their credit, New Port keeps the food coming. You won't have to wait long before a caravan of four or five carts will swing by your table. The har gao will come by fairly frequently, the sui mai won't. But, when it did for us, it was impeccable.

Perhaps the most distinctive dish of the day was a spinach and fish dumpling (below). The fish was cooked to perfect doneness. I regretted we got only one serving.

The Hong Kong style egg puff (below) was soft and as light as air, but it was served cold. So, it can't really compare to the offering from Cooking Papa.

Again, remember to get there before 11:30! By noon, the line will run outside.

New Port Restaurant
1696 S Wolfe Rd.
Cupertino, CA 94087
(408) 737-9976

Sunday, November 3, 2013

De Afghanan Kabob House

On our way to the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland last weekend we dropped by De Afghanan Kabab in Fremont. Mainly a to-go restaurant (there are only three tables inside, one outside), the line to order for most of the evening went out into the street.
Chicken kabob: As succulent as it looks
Everything was made to order in front of us. We ordered lamb and chicken kabobs initially, but were enticed by the gigantic potato turnover (see in photo below underneath the big metal paddle) and ordered one of those as well.

The cook was very diligent about snipping any charred parts of the meat and the result were kabobs that were as pleasing to the eye as they were tender and juicy. The dishes were salty, though, and we spent the rest of the night searching for water at Chabot wherever we could find it.

Lamb loin chop kabob
The most distinctive and memorable order was the Bolani Kachaloo, a turnover filled with potato and leeks. Jenny likened it to a big onion pancake one might get in a Chinese restaurant. I tend to agree with her, though the Chinese version is a tad more crisp and maybe even greasier still.
Bolani Kachaloo: A turnover filled with potatoes and leeks
One thing I didn't like that left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak, was how the bill was totaled. There was no paper bill; I was only told what the total would be. He just rounded it up generously (generously to the restaurant) to $35. The place was busy and we were in a hurry, though, and I didn't fight it. All that said, the restaurant will continue to get away with accounting shenanigans like this. It's like Bay Area housing: The seller calls his price above list and buyers will still line up.

De Afghanan Kabob House
37405 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94536
(510) 745-9599

Friday, November 1, 2013

Vive Sol--Mountain View, CA

Taking advantage of yet another birthday party, Jenny and I went to Vive Sol for dinner a couple of weekends ago. Though the restaurant was busy, we still got a table right away at 7:00 pm on a Saturday night. Unfortunately, we'd still have to do a lot of waiting at our table. Dinner took nearly half an hour to arrive as we fattened ourselves on chips. To make matters a bit worse, the server forgot the tortillas to go with the mole. I subsequently found out the tortillas--crisp and hot--were essential.
Mole Poblano (pork)
The mole was right on. It was about the best I've had in the Bay Area, rivaled only by Mexicali Grill in Santa Clara. The Mole at Vive Sol was a bit sweet, though, and the chocolate didn't really stand out.
Tacos Pescado (sea bass)
Jenny's Tacos Pescado featured sea bass and it was good, though expensive ($17.50). As such, it's not something she'd get again.
The chips were great with the surfeit of salsa!
All said, dinner was a bit far from perfect. But, you know what? I'm going back again. I just can't get that mole anywhere else.

Vive Sol
2020 W El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 938-2020