so not exactly a food post

But kind of relevant! Jess took me around Google campus and we took pictures of the landmarks.

This included the droid.

And then various large food items, namely desserts. 1) Donut.

2. Cupcake.
3) My personal favorite--yogurt!
To top it all off, we reached a structure with a dead fish on it. "Ooh," I said, "A dead fish!"

Jess was not as amused, but I insisted on taking the picture.
And then I saw the inscription.

Michael Mina is a famous chef and restaurant owner, and Humphrey Slocombe is this ice cream place in the city that's famous for its quirky and strange flavors!

Now wasn't that exciting?


gochi japanese tapas

For our two year, Dan took me to this place in the South Bay called Gochi. He had been raving it about it for weeks, but I made sure that every time he said something good about it, I ignored it or blocked it from my mind. I didn't want to be disappointed you see (yes, I am crazy).

I shouldn't have worried.

It's located in a nondescript strip mall, but the atmosphere completely changed once we stepped inside. The decor mimics a modern Zen garden, and the space opens into a raised seating area where you take off your shoes. To the side is an aisle with regular tables, and to the side of that are private tatami rooms. It was busy, and there were waitresses and hosts running around calling out orders in Japanese. We were seated in the regular table and chairs section, but I didn't mind, because I don't like taking off my shoes.

The menu is extensive. Don't be fooled by what they show online--that's only maybe an eighth of their menu! They have everything from traditional Japanese fare to super fusion-y food, like kimchi pizza. Dan and I opted for the more traditional options with a small twist.

We started with oyster shots and a seaweed salad. The oyster shots were by far the highlight of the meal. They dressed it with a citrus-y ponzu sauce and green onions and cilantro, etc, that made it so light and fresh tasting, and not heavy at all, as oysters are prone to taste. The seaweed salad was good too, but there was too much lettuce and not enough seaweed.

Next, they brought out our hamachi sashimi. The hamachi was good, also really refreshing (the lemons helped), and the texture wasn't quite melt in your mouth, but it was still good. (I think the best hamachi sashimi I've had was at Wayo, this little sushi place in SF.)

Then we had age nasu tofu. It wasn't quite what we expected--it was deep fried eggplant with deep fried tofu dressed with soy sauce grounded pork and green onions. The eggplant was much too oily, but the tofu was amazing. The flavor and texture were so smooth and silky (it wasn't fried for too long, because the outside was barely browned), I wished there was more than four pieces! The pork was good too--they had taken out the fatty parts, so we didn't feel too bad eating all that deep fried food. Haha.

Last we had the black cod with asparagus. This dish was good too, particularly the texture of the fish. The outside was crispy, the inside was buttery, and the sauce complemented it perfect, albeit a little on the salty side. It would've been perfect with white rice, but by that time we were too stuffed to order more.

Dan had really wanted me to try their Earl Grey creme brulee, but unfortunately they weren't offering it that night (though they had green tea creme brulee). It's okay though, because we went to Fremont later to get dessert with Jess. But that's for another post!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this place--if I get to go again, I would want to try their clay pot rice! And their fusion food.

Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas
19980 West Homestead Road
Cupertino, CA 95014-0556


sprinkles part 2

This girl and I went gallavanting all over South Bay last Saturday, and of course (OF COURSE) part of our motivation (or rather, a large part of our motivation) was Sprinkles Cupcakes in Palo Alto. I haven't been to the original store in LA, but this is the next best thing right? Right?!

The store is adorable. The cupcakes are laid out behind a glass pane right when you enter the frosted glass doors (though, this led to problems as the line progressively got longer since leaving the door open caused the cupcakes to dry out). They also sell take home cupcake kits, t-shirts for babies, and other cute things. Photos courtesy of Jess.

We had originally wanted to try the Mocha cupcake, since we had both sampled the Red Velvet, but unfortunately they had none on display! So instead we opted for...

The Black and White! Description from the website: belgian dark chocolate cake with creamy vanilla frosting.

They forgot to mention the crunchy chocolate sprinkles on top! So fun.

Isn't the packaging (including the utensil) adorable? I'm such a sucker for good packaging. Just goes to show that you don't need something fancy--a simple brown paper bag looks so elegant and whimsical with the wooden spoons and Sprinkles sticker!

I was afraid that it wouldn't meet my expectations (because the Red Velvet was just that good!), but the cupcake was moist, with a lovely chocolate flavor that wasn't too overpowering. The frosting was sweet (I admit, we didn't finish the frosting), but it was a good contrast to the cake, which wasn't too sweet. Delicious! We'll have to go back again to try the others.


Sprinkles Cupcakes
393 Stanford Shopping Center
Palo Alto, CA

(On a side note, I dislike this shopping center so much! And not because I graduated from Cal--it's just not set up well at all! Why is Nordstrom all the way over there by itself?!)

PS Jwoo, have you had Horchata before? I had some yesterday and it was SO cinnamon-y, I thought you would like it, since you like all things cinnamon. Like churros!


what to eat at disneyland

The only things you'll ever need to eat at Disneyland.

1) Turkey leg from the turkey leg cart. Look at him attack that thing! It's HUGE. We shared one between the two of us. Warning, it's quite salty. And there are a lot of bones to look out for!

2) Dole whip. The only other place you'll find this is in Hawaii! It's in Adventureland next to the Tiki Hut. It's like ice cream but better. It's creamier, and not as cold, more like gelato I guess? It's pineapple flavored. Yum.


sprinkles cupcakes

Now, you may or may not know--I am not a big fan of cupcakes. *cues the collective gasp* Yes I know. It's tantamount to blasphemy, but I don't know! I just never understood the appeal.

Until I had Sprinkles.

I had heard of Sprinkles before (N had gone and enjoyed it, as well as various other people), but as I was in the Bay Area, I never got the opportunity (though I just learned there's an Palo Alto location. Still too far). I tried other cupcake places--Teacake, Kara's Cupcakes, etc.--it just didn't do anything for me.

But Sprinkles. Oh my goodness.

So my cousin Connie brought a box to church. "Eat one," she said. "I have too many!"

I resisted, but she already plopped on in my hands. Luckily (or so I thought) Dan said that he would eat it if I wouldn't. I watched him eat it without comment until curiosity got the better of me. "I want to try," I said, snatching it from him. And I'm so glad I did.

Connie had gotten the red velvet cupcake with a smooth cream cheese frosting and two circular candy sprinkle pieces. It was moist and had the best chocolate flavor, and the frosting was smooth and light. The cream cheese frosting balanced perfectly with the red velvet. I don't think I can adequately describe the sensation in my mouth.

I'm a believer in cupcakes now. No, I should rephrase that--I'm a believer in Sprinkles.

Perhaps it's a good thing that there aren't any locations nearby. I would not have enough self control.

No pictures because we ate that thing as though it would be our last taste of food. Please visit their website for their beautiful eye candy!



satura cakes

One of the things I miss the most about being in Southern California is the (somewhat) easy access to good Japanese markets. Near my home, there's a Marukai and a Nijiya, and Mitsuwa and Yohann is just a county away (though in opposite directions).

Actually, I went to Mitsuwa for the first time recently with my family the last time I visited. I was smitten. Not only is it a supermarket, it sports a bookstore and a food court. The food court boasts Santouka, a famous ramen-ya--it always has a line of people.

I'll save that post for another day; today I actually want to talk about Satura Cakes. This weekend, my bf and I visited his sister in San Jose. I was excited to see her and her family, but I was really excited to find that there is a Mitsuwa in their vicinity! So we went, because I was adamant that we go.

There was this bakery in the corner to the right of the entrance. We decided to get these cakes in these cute little cups for his sister--I'll admit, I'm a SUCKER for cute packaging. Have you heard of Benefit Cosmetics? Best packaging ever! /end tangent. The bakery was called Satura Cakes, and we got the Choco-Misu and the Honey Yogurt cup.

Aren't they cute? The Choco-Misu cup had a wonderful creamy texture, and balanced the chocolate and coffee flavors really well. The Honey Yogurt one was a little bit lumpier, but a really light refreshing taste, not too sweet with just a hint of tartness. I wasn't sure what the white cubes were; maybe some kind of fruit? The lady at the bakery actually recommended the Earl Grey cup, but I was pretty set on the Choco-Misu, but took her suggestion of the Honey Yogurt.

It seemed more cream/custard than cake, but the actual flavor/taste was really good. It's a bit pricey for the size ($3.95 for no bigger than a small cupcake!), but if you happen to see it, I would try it. I don't think I would go out of my way for it though.

Visit Satura Cakes!


just the clusters, please

Have you guys ever had Trader Joe's Just the Clusters Vanilla Almond Granola? It's a spin off of their popular Vanilla Clusters cereal, but without the flakes. Jeanette introduced me to it, and I'm hooked. It's good by itself, with milk, or with plain yogurt.

TWO of my coworkers tried to steal it from me yesterday. That says something, right?


national doughnut day

Just a heads up, tomorrow is National Doughnut Day, so if you are near a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Donuts, do drop by for a free donut!

I don't have either in my vicinity, so as you can imagine, I am quite sad. But I shall live vicariously through you, my readers, so please tell me how delicious they were!