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More Tanpopo

We wanted to see a movie, so we headed to the Kabuki Theater. Little did we know that no regular showings were happening due to the SF International Film Festival. Doh! So after roaming around a bit, we got hungry, so we just decided to take advantage of being in japantown and went to Tanpopo again. Yes, we’re addicts.

J got the Ankake Ramen, which was a thick starchy soy sauce flavored soup with sauteed vegetables and ground pork. Oh this thing was so beyond good. The broth is indeed thick, and it has a lovely nutty taste, which I assume is from sesame oil. It isn’t overly seasoned, so when he added a few drops of soy sauce to it, it became just right. This thing comes with mostly veggies, including shitake, cabbage, onion, green onion, carrots, and been sprouts. And the ground pork is a nice touch.

It was really really hot out, so although I wanted ramen, I didn’t think I could do it. So I just stole some of J’s ramen and got the curry instead. Even though it had its own heat, it was just what I wanted. It had chicken, onions, and carrots in it. As a trade for stealing his ramen, I forced him to eat my carrots. It’s a fair trade!

We adore this place. The food is great, cheap, and the service is efficient. But their bathrooms are pretty gross. I say hold it and go across the street in the Japan Center instead. I could eat here every day if I didn’t live on the other side of the country.

Tan PO PO Japanese on Urbanspoon

Tangerine Brunch In The Castro

Not that we’d eaten at every brunch possibility in the mission, but we ventured out a bit by ending up at Tangerine in the castro. They call themselves pacific rim, but since it was brunch, there wasn’t too much asian food on the menu. There is some outside seating, but it was much too sunny for that. J fell hard for this lemonade with fresh mint. Seriously, I think he likes this more than life itself.

J got the eggs florentine. It also came with a side salad which he didn’t even eat, and that like never happens! It did look pretty sad and wilted. The potatoes look heavily flavored, but they’re not that exciting. I liked them much better than J did. But he thoroughly enjoyed the main event. There was tons of spinach on there which he really liked. I do not like cooked spinach at all, so it’s like my ultimate nightmare. Plus, it came on top of some kind of dark and healthy looking bread. I’m a terrible person when it comes to bread, because I like it white and devoid of any nutrients!

I got the almond french toast. It’s really thick hunks of bread coated with sliced almonds. This was good, but it may have been a bit too decadent, even for me. The almonds add a nice crunch and a warm and nutty taste. It was topped with sliced strawberries and sauteed bananas. I particularly loved the bananas. These things were huge too, so I only ate about half of this dish. The place was pretty much full and everything is cooked to order, so you do have to wait a bit for your food. It’s in a quiet neighborhood and on a nice day out, it would be a perfect place for outdoor dining. But I think there are probably better brunch options out there. But it would fit for the right occasion.

Tangerine on Urbanspoon

Sushi Time!

It was pretty cold out, so I thought I wanted some udon noodles. So we started looking for some new and different japanese spots. I found Sushi Time so we headed up to the Castro to check it out. This place is so cool. It’s on a lower floor and it’s teeny weeny. It almost feels like you’re walking into a secret spot in Tokyo, even though I’ve never been to Tokyo. It just feels right! It’s just a sushi bar and some tiny little tables. The place is just one narrow strip. All the staff is super friendly. It felt like I was going back to an old favorite haunt. It’s just comfortable. Even though it was teeny, we lucked out and got two spots at the bar without waiting.

I felt like I needed some greens so I got the organic tofu salad. It comes with mixed mesclun greens with a garlic soy sauce dressing. This thing was perfect. As long as you like big hunks of tofu, then you will like this. The dressing is not overpowering and it adds a nice touch to the greens and especially to the tofu, which is just plain tofu.

J wanted to try something different, so he got the hamachi kama which is grilled yellowtail collar. Man, when this thing came out, I could see the terror in his eyes. Ha! It was just a big hunk of fish collar, with skin, and even with the gill. He’s skittish about food that looks this “real”, so at first, he was terrified. Once the skin was removed and he tasted this thing, he loved it. Oh this was just a terrific piece of mildly smoky grilled fish. It came with just a little bit of a soy-based dipping sauce. You know fish is good when you can just grill it without any frills and it just tastes great. He also ordered a kamikaze roll with yellowtail, avocado, scallion, and topped with tobiko. This roll was particularly big and tasty!

I got two awesome rolls. The first was the astro boy roll with spicy scallop, mango, cucumber, and topped with tobiko. This roll has a little bit of everything… spicy, sweet, savory. And it all just works really well together. And the scallops were marinated with some spice, but their sweetness still came through. And you’d think the mango would be a bit odd, but it’s actually great in this. The sweetness of it just works. The other was spicy walu roll with butterfish, avocado, a little spicy stuff, and little sprouty green things. Oh man, the butterfish was so great. And well… it indeed was buttery soft and melt-in-your-mouth! I just loved both of these so much. The freshness of the ingredients was beyond noticeable.

It’s my new favorite sushi place in San Francisco! Seriously! I just loved the vibe of the place. It was not expensive at all. The ambiance is just homey and intimate, not fancy or snooty. After all, it is in a basement!

Sushi Time on Urbanspoon

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