Ramen Dojo

Ramen Dojo
805 South B Street
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 401-6568

Brother had another win this weekend! So the story goes that the famous Santa ramen moved from this location and Dojo ramen moves in. Santa Ramen’s chef stayed and therefore, the quality of delicious ramen stayed.

This was perfect! According to my brother who ONLY eats ramen during his works trips to Osaka and Tokyo, “This is the closest ramen to Japan that I have found.” Both brother and I chose the garlic and pork flavored ramen, but I had regular spicy and added bamboo shoots while he had NO SPICY and no additions. I was in heaven with my first bite to the last. The soup was perfectly robust in flavor and not too salty and just “creamy” enough. The noodles were perfectly cooked to and al dente bounce and chew. I love all the extra regular bonuses like the big leaf of red lettuce, the quail egg with a slightly runny yolk, the crunchy bits of fungus, the chicken gravy that consisted of finely chopped bits of chicken and mushroom, and finally, my addition of bamboo shoots was a great choice! They had a pickled tangy flavor. The cold temperature and tangy flavor of the bamboos slices were a perfect balance to the hot noodles and comforting soup. I slurped everything up, but unfortunately my stomach protested me slurping down the last of the soup. Oh disappointing stomach….

Garlic and Pork Flavor Ramen

Conclusion: BOmb ramen! 5/5 beeptastic. (Totally overshadowed my visit to Monta Ramen in Las Vegas just two days ago. Monta Ramen does not have as many standard goodies and the chefs there prefer to make their soup base more on the salty side.)

Shanghai Dumpling Shop

Shanghai Dumpling Shop
455 Broadway
Millbrae, CA 94030
(650) 697-0682

[on my 24 hours turnaround in the bay for dear cousin steven’s crazy Chinese wedding banquet, here’s my food adventures…]
My brother has never seemed to be a “foodie” at all and not the best judge of food because everything I take him to he just says, “it’s okay”. So, when he wanted to take us to the best xiao long bao/juicy pork dumplings in the area, I was quite skeptical. Boy, did my brother show me!

1. Xiao long bao (regular) – not only super juicy on the inside but the “skin” on the dumpling itself was thin and chewy. Though Din Tai Fung is still #1, Shanghai Dumpling Shop came pretty darn close! We also ordered the xie fen xiao long bao (crab and pork juicy dumplings); however, they were not as juicy.
2. The stir fried green beans were also very tasty. They were garlicky and seasoned with just enough salt.
3. The deep fried Chinese bread dough (yin si juan/silver thread roll) was a fail. It is supposed to be multilayered by rolling and stretching the dough, but this restaurant cheated and just placed chopped pieces of dough in the center to mimic layers. Texture fail.

Green Beans Yin Si Juan / Silver Thread Roll Xiao Long Bao

Conclusion: As recommended by the brother, don’t come here for the other food because it is subpar, but this is a great option for super juicy xiao long bao in the Millbrae area! 4/5 beeps based on juicy dumplings!

Soyo!

Soyo Korean Barstaurant
7775 S. Rainbow Blvd
Ste 105
Las Vegas, NV 89139
(702) 897-7696

I think that I came out a happy camper with Soyo not because they have amazing food, but because it is what it is. It’s a great place to hang out, have drinks and have some decent korean bar food from early in the evening to LATE at night. For those who hang out in el-Lay know what I mean. Good ‘ol soups, stews, finger foods and sausage (blood/intestine).

Food wise…
1. Chicken wings with special sauce – deep fried wings drenched in a gojuchang mixture. it was sweet, spicy and satisfying. who can turn down wings?
2. korean sausages – this is not the typical meat sausage. this is made of blood\vermicelli/intestine. yum yum
3. fish cake soup – thin slices of fish cakes with hearty broth
4. stew/jigae of rice cakes, veggies/kimchi and instant noodles – appetizing hearty stew at any time of day!
5. Chicken gizzard and garlic – something about the bouncy yet crunchy texture that I can’t turn down and whole cloves of garlic are always my friend

Korean sausages by cravingsofafatgirl Chicken Gizzard and garlic by cravingsofafatgirl Chicken wings and special sauce by cravingsofafatgirl Vegetable, seafood and rice cake jigae by cravingsofafatgirl

Conclusion: Fun times and fun food. I’m going back! 3.5 beeps for food. 4 for overall experience.

Ohmmmmm Ohmmmm mantra masala

Mantra Masala
8530 West Warm Springs Road
Las Vegas, NV 89113-3618
(702) 598-3663
www.mantramasala.com

Brenda did not enjoy Mantra Masala. However, I ate with Brenda L on the same exact day, and we happened to be at the same table eating the same thing! haha! Anyhoo, I think I totally had a different opinion of the food maybe because we had split all the dishes and they gave the birthday girl (me) the better cooked dishes?

1. Mussels Mantra – i thought that the mussels that I had were actually really juicy and tender. And the sauce! Oh the sauce! I totally wanted to mop it all up with the naan!
2. Padpi Chat – i didn’t love this dish but i appreciated the tangy flavors and the crunchy bread
3. Sea bass – I thought this was actually overcooked and dry
4. Chicken Tikka Masala – i had the specially prepared one with extra spiciness. loved it and it was not dry
5. Lamb Mantra – i enjoyed this dish a lot because it was actually really tender and not gamey at all
6. Dewane Handi – this spinach dish did not impress me much, and nor did I even remember eating it! haha!

Out of everything, the sea bass was my least favorite, and my favorites were between the tender lamb and the fluffy yet crusty nan bread! So good! From what I’ve experience, Indian food is always pricier than other foods, but being that I had such a good experience, I guess the price was fine to me.

Conclusion: I’m sorry that Brenda did not have as good of an experience as I did, but I was a happy camper! Going back for more. 4.5/5 beeperoos.

Sorry no pics due to birthday girl being to distracted by the food! nom nom nom. And, it was to dark as usual.

5 Foods I Am (Only Somewhat) Ashamed to Say I Love

Following CNN’s James Oseland’s lead…

5 Foods I Am (Only Somewhat) Ashamed to Say I Love
1. McDonald’s Filet O’ Fish Sandwich – When made right, the crispy deep fried mystery white fish with the creamy-can’t-get-enough-of-it tartar sauce and a toasty WHITE/refined bread product. YUM.
2. Cheddar and Sour Cream Flavored Ruffles – Ever since my first taste at a young age, I have always loved the artificial cheese taste combined with the even more artificial tangy taste of the sour cream powder. Salivating just thinking about it.
3. Olive Garden Breadsticks and Salad – It’s probably one of the most commercialized representations of what a real Italian restaurant is, but I love the pillowy, warm breadsticks made with overly processed carbs sprinkled with probably-purchased-in-bulk garlic salt. How can you not love the tangy crunchy salad with their signature dressing.
4. Hostess cupcakes, ding dongs and twinkies – I love fake cake. What can I say?
5. Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Icecream – Real mint doesn’t taste like this, but fake mint tastes so good! They’ve got the perfect ratio of choco bits and the size of the bits allow for a nice uniform crunch with the creaminess of the icecream.

Anyone else have “bad” foods that they love?

Aranya

Aranya Thai Bistro
4195 South Grand Canyon Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89147-7171
(702) 243-1912

Oh boy oh boy! Another neighborhood Thai place NOT in Chinatown area. Love when we can save time and not have to drive all the way to Chinatown. Upon entering the restaurant, we were quickly greeted by the server and seated, and I have to admit that I was quite impressed by the well done decor. That aside, I would have to say that I was pretty satisfied with the food experience.

Had to order some our usual fav’s (Being that it was our first time here, we decided to play it safe and order 2 out of 4 level spicy just in case we didn’t want our bootays kicked too badly):
1. Papaya Salad – We couldn’t taste the spiciness at all. However, I still enjoyed the tangy and sweet refreshing and crunchy papaya shreds. Perfect for summer.
2. Tom Yum Gong – This soup I felt was way too sweet and also lacked any spiciness 92/4 spicy level). Someone was a little heavy handed with the sugar ladle, but the bf seemed to slurp his up happily.
3. Pad Kra Pow – We ordered this dish in the chopped beef form and it actually had some spicy kick. Maybe they forgot to add the spice in the other two dishes? *shrug. Either way, this dish was my fav of the night. Spicy, minty and flavorful. =)

Papaya Salad Tom Yum Gong Soup Pad Kra Pow (Beef)

Conclusion 08.02.2010: I’ve certainly have had better Thai food at other places, but this place is very a-ok in my book. 3/5 beeps

Conclusion 08.03.2010: Yup! I went 2 days in a row, but it did help me solidify my conclusion that the food here is definitely on the wayyyy sweeter side. Still just a-ok and prefer other Thai places over this one. Sucked in by the nice owner and the wonderful zen decor! 2.5/5 beeps