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Palo Alto Sushi Fun Time

For dinner tuesday night, A and I met up halfway between where she was and I was. A suggested Miyake, a sushi spot on Palo Alto’s University Ave. Palo Alto, if you don’t know, is home to Stanford University. Yes, people who go there are really smart. Freakishly smart. It’s also one of the most wealthiest universities in the universe, so the campus itself is really beautiful and swanky. The main strip is also fairly swanky as well. Nicer than any college or university I ever went to… not that I’m knocking University Circle in Cleveland or Guadalupe in Austin, but we didn’t have sushi joints.

Miyake is made for college kids. It’s cheap. It’s close to campus. It prides itself on getting people drunk on sake bombs. It has disco lights. Did I mention it’s cheap? In the short time we were there, they put the lights on a couple of times and made some kids get up on chairs and do sake shots. Do you see the lights? And all the mirrors on the walls? But at least there’s no pretense here. They know people are here to just have a good time and get drunk and maybe have some mediocre sushi. Let’s not pretend it’s haute cuisine.

A got a few rolls… the summertime roll, a spiy tuna roll (it was supposed to be a hand roll but it came out a regular roll), and another roll with eel in it. I loved the bright and colorful dishes they served everything on.

I wasn’t really feeling like sushi, so I went with a nebenyaki udon. I had no idea it would come in a giant metal cauldron of a bowl. It was huge. It tasted ok. I didn’t expect much. It was only $8 or so, and the bowl was huge, so it was rather a bargain. In any other normal japanese restaurant it would have been 1/3 of the size and at least 50% more expensive. So all in all, it was a good deal.

I also got a spicy california roll. It was also ok. Better than I expected really. Beautiful plate. The service here is fairly fast and friendly. It’s a very strange looking place inside. Large dining area, one entire side being the sushi bar. There is a sushi conveyor belt. The decor sucks, and there are two out of place giant corinthian columns in the middle of the dining rooms. But I hear the place is really fun on the weekends and when you scream “sake”, everyone else screams “bomb”.

140 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 323-9449
Miyake on Urbanspoon

Tempura Time!

The other weekend, I cooked. For real! It involved lots of preparation and use of the stove. And it wasn’t easy either! You see, this day I decided to play with the magic of deep frying. After all, everything tastes better when deep fried!

We had a bunch of shrimp, and even some leftover pork cutlets, so we made both shrimp tempura and our version of tonkatsu, japanese pork cutlet. For the pork cutlet, I pounded the pork chops down flat using the bottom of a glass. I didn’t have a tenderizer so I had to improvise. Then I coated it with store-bought tempura mix (just the straight powder, not the actual batter that you make by adding water to the mix), dipped it in egg, and then coated it with panko. Panko is a japanese breadcrumb you can buy. It makes everything fried taste great. Then I just pan fried the pork until it was golden brown. We did buy some bottled tonkatsu sauce, but after an unfortunate lightpole incident, the bottle broke. We did salvage a tiny bit of the sauce, and if I do say so myself, the tonkatsu with the sauce tasted mighty fine. F said that it tasted like pork mcnuggets. Hey Mcdonalds! Pork fried nuggets! Take notes!

So onto the shrimp. Peeling, deveining, and butterflying are always fun. Most of the time when I deep fry shrimp, I usually just use the tempura batter. This time, we went for the panko. So just like the pork, it involved coating with the tempura mix powder, dipping in egg, and then coating with panko. And then into the boiling oil it goes! Cook until golden brown. I used to have a fry daddy, but I can’t find it. I have an electric wok that I use now for anything deep fried. I like it because it has a temperature gauge so I can set it to what I want, it has a little drip tray thingy, and it has a lid so the grease doesn’t have to blast everywhere. There is also bottled tempura dipping sauce mix. Once you dunk your hot crunchy shrimp and the dipping sauce gets all greasy, it makes it taste even better. Yes, it takes alot of effort, but sometimes, you just need to go for the deep fry. Your arteries will thank you!

Suburban Thai

Last Friday, I wanted to go to one of my favorite suburban thai restaurants for lunch. This would be Sabai Thai in Newtown Square, and of course, it was no more! I am pretty sure it is closed for good. Sadness. It had the best lunch specials. So we headed round the corner to Heng’s Thai and Sushi. This is a new restaurant in a new shopping center. We thought why not.

It’s a swanky place with a modern style. They serve thai food and sushi only, not japanese food, just sushi. They had some lunch specials that were thai only. My bro and I both got some lunch specials. Bro got the egg roll and also a salad. I had the tom yum soup and the salad. The soup was pretty good. The salad was even better. It is a typical salad you would get at a sushi restaurant, with the fresh ginger dressing. This is some of the best ginger dressing I’ve ever had.

W got a coconut soup. It sorta looked like shrimp in milk. She liked it though. She also ended up getting a salad as her entree. It was a cabbage salad. It could come with either cabbage or papaya, or a combination. She actually asked for a combination, but only got cabbage. It had a sweet and sour type dressing on it. It was pretty good.

Bro got the green curry chicken fried rice dish. They basically took some green curry chicken and mixed it up with a bunch of rice. Now mind you, this had coconut milk in it as most thai curries do, but I still liked it. I wouldn’t order it on my own, but I did enjoy it. It was very flavorful and the rice and veggies were well cooked.

I got the cabbage and tofu dish. It came with a pretty benign brown sauce and some brown rice. I guess in retrospect, it was a little too healthy for me. I liked it, but it wasn’t very exciting. All in all, the experience was fine. The service was good. I wish they would have had more selections in the lunch specials. What amused me the most is that their plates are personalized and they all say “Heng’s” on them. I guess I can’t be lifting any dishes from this joint…

Heng’s Thai
1156 Baltimore Pike
Springfield, PA

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