Do you chowhounders out there ever feel like you need to just drink water and eat lettuce for a couple of days? That's where I am just about now. Over the past 2 weeks, we ate out much more than usual...Some of the places and my thoughts are:
1. The four of us ate at Trapeze in Burlingame on a Sunday night. I am sad to say that there were not too many people there. The service was exceptional. I don't know why more people don't come to this restaurant. They serve what they billed as Mediterranean Food. There was a nice bread basket. I think there were homemade foccacia, some very fresh sliced baguette, and some french bread. The bread was served with a very tasty tepenade(sp)..good mixture of olive and olive oil. I remembered they used to make it too salty but this time, there was sufficient oil to olive ratio to make it yummy. I had a wonderful crab filled tortellini in a cream sauce. The pasta was filled with lots of fresh tasting crab and the cream sauce was rich but not heavy. Other dishes at the table were a seafood paella, a sauté prawn dish with garlic-mashed potatoes, and a grilled lamb loin chop with a Madeira sauce(?). Sorry I didn't really take notes. Everyone thought the food was excellent. I didn't care for the sauce on the lamb, as it was a bit too sweet for me. I thought the rice in the paella was excellent, with intense saffron accent. The seafood was abundant and fresh. For desert we had their house made mango sorbet and it was really refreshing although I couldn't tell if it was really made in house. The prices at Trapeze are very reasonable, with the most expensive entree at around 18.00. We don't drink wine so I can't speak to their wine list. They have a full bar and I noticed that some diners chose to eat at the bar. For a neighborhood restaurant, I really like Trapeze. If you are ever in the neighborhood, give them a try!
2. I tried Anh Hong in San Mateo. This is the place mentioned on this board several weeks ago. The location has seen different restaurants come & go..from bavarian to shanghainese. We ordered the spring roll, and several noodle bowls. The spring roll had very fresh rice paper wrappers and the fillings of chicken, shrimp, rice noodles, and lettuce, and herbs, was all very fresh. This was served with a spicy peanut/sweet & sour sauce. I think the sauce was what made the spring roll delicious. We all thought the noodle bowls were ok. We always order our beef on the side so that they wouldn't be overcooked in the broth. The beef here was one of the best we've had. They were not the usually rounds of beef but tasted more like a sirloin. Very nice meat. That being said, we thought the broth was not hot enough and that since I think they are light handed with the MSG, the broth was not intense enough. Also, there was not enough of the onion flavor in the broth, as onions are a key ingredient in the soup for Pho. I ordered the Vietnamese stew to go with my noodles. The stew was very lean and not tender enough. I think it needed more slow cooking. Flavor was ok, kind of homemade tasting, as opposed to a restaurant. My girlfriend had the three-color bean drink. It was ok, although I though the portion was a little small. Good prices at this place but I fear that they may have a tough time getting people to come in.
3. I think many chowhounds have gone to Joy's in Foster City. I thought I would share several new dishes we tried that I thought were really good. We ordered the Fly (as in insect) head dish. It was written in Chinese and posted on the wall. We asked the server about this dish and she said it is actually a combination of diced pressed tofu, preserved black beans, diced Chinese chive flower stems, and onions. It was spicy and delicious. I can have this with rice any day and I think it would be wonderful with porridge. We also order sweet and sour soup with pig's blood. The guys loved this one. I thought they could put more liquid in the soup but the others didn't mind. It was almost like a stew and the blood was not hardened. We also had sauté beef with basil. This dish was flavorful, although I thought the leek they put in could have been a little more tender. We changed our A Choi order to a Yin Choi with little fish dish. The dish was served over a small candle stand. A little wok is filled with tiny white fish and yin choi. The flavor was nice but I was a little grossed out by the little fish, which resembled maggots all over the vegetables. I think it was only me since everyone else didn't seem to mind. Finally, I thought their pot stickers have gotten bigger and not as good...maybe I just needed to stop eating.