Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hungry in Silicon Valley?

What better place to get hunger pangs than in the Bay Area? This mecca of all that is high-tech in the vicinity of Palo Alto and San Francisco also offers much for both the discerning palate and to  those who just want a quick interesting meal. My recent trip here has been replete with exciting new discoveries in addition to visits to old favorites.

Among new discoveries, the highlight this time was Hogwash at Union Square.  They have 30 beers on tap in a place designed for sharing and community. You have to also try their sausages and make sure you ask for their house-made fried pickles with the harissa aioli. Warning: they can be quite addictive!

Hogwash at Union Square

Breakfast time in the Union Square area now always equates to farm:table!  This time I gorged on their excellent egg, ham and croissant sandwich and cappuccino.  I have already written about their out-of-the-world Daily Toast.

farm:table in San Francisco

Croissant and egg at farm:table

The Stone Fruit Salad at Lark Creek Steak in The Westfield mall was a revelation.  This dish turned out far more memorable to me than my expensive steak entree. The fresh peaches and plums with the greens and crumbled cheese on them made for perfection.  Not sure if they still have this on their menu; if they do, don’t miss it.

Stone fruit salad at Lark Creek Steak SF

The Burmese tea salad I tasted at Rangoon Ruby in Palo Alto was another winner.  As is usual, they craft this dish at your table and it makes for a pretty picture.  Once they have mixed the fermented tea leaf, squeezed lemon juice and thoroughly mixed all the colourful ingredients together, the dish is even more appealing - this time to the palate.

Burmese tea salad at Rangoon Ruby

A second new discovery from this trip was a small restaurant in Mountain View called Himalayan Kitchen.  Their claim to specialise in Nepalese food got me here.  I found them serving what looked like Indian food on their lunch buffet but with some intriguing twists.  For example, they had Indian-style Chilly Chicken which is usually found in Chinese restaurants in India along with variations on staples from the Indian sub-continent like pakoras, goat curry, etc.

Lunch plate from the buffet table at Himalayan Kitchen

No matter how authentic Nepali the restaurant is, I must say the food was completely delectable.  In fact, I thought the tastes and flavours here were more authentic as compared to many other more expensive Indian restaurants that dot the Bay Area.  One funny thing: this Nepalese place is staffed by people from Andhra!  There was not one Nepali in sight here.

Finally, even the Sheraton Palo Alto used food to make me happy this time. The lovely lady at the front desk was sorry that she checked me into the wrong room and in the evening I got back to find a wonderful cheese and fruit plate. Yummy!

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