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Shabu-sen, Mochica, and butterfly

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Shabu-sen, Mochica, and butterfly

vliang | Mar 22, 2005 04:09 PM

BF's parents were in town over the weekend so we went to the following:

Shabu-sen
Ordered two orders of regular shaub shabu with beef and two orders of sukiyaki with beef. The meat was lean and didn't have much flavour, but the sauces have imporved since our last visit... especially the sesame sauce. The sukiyaki was a bit too salty this time. But very clean and exactly what the rainy weather called for. Service, however, was in want and much worse than last time. We had to flag people down every time. I think you get much better service at the bar than at the table.
1726 Buchanan St
SF

Mochica
After much hoopla that we read about this on the board... we finally got to go check it out for ourselves. Ordered a ceviche with halibut and shrimp (as some members of our party don't like calamari). For entrees we got:
Lenguado envuelto, Halibut baked wrapped in banana leaf with Yukon gold potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and aji panca aioli. ($16)
Lomo saltado, Sautéed marinated New York strip slices with red onions and tomatoes, served with French fries and rice. ($13)
Pescado A Lo Macho, Pan seared halibut with seafoods braised in aji amarillo suave sauce. Served with rice and salsa criolla.($16)
And a salmon special
The ceviche was very refreshing and just right on the spiciness. The halibut and the shrimp were fresh and sweet. The halibut took on a more buttery, sashimi like quality than I'ved had at other Peruvian places. Liked this better than Limon's ceviche.
As for the entrees... my Pescado A Lo Macho was the best out of the four. The fish was buttery soft, the shrimp and calamari on top were perfectly cooked with great texture. The dish was flavourful without being overspiced. I only had a tiny bit of the other dishes to taste. The halibut in banana leaves was over-spiced for my tastes. The lomo saltado seemed a bit tough and the salmon was just salmon (ableit a nice fresh piece of fish). We had a pitcher of sangria and a couple of beers to wash down all the food. Despite the mediocrity of some of the dishes, I found the place to be a winner. And certainly the ceviche is something to dream about.
Service was slow and there was a LONG gap between app and entree. Didn't matter to us as we chatted and drank, but it was more than 30 min for sure.
937 Harrison
SF

butterfly
Hadn't been for a real meal here in years. Just for apps and drinks since it moved to the Embarcadero. Not in my mind a food destination, but was not my pick and was more than happy to get a free meal.
We ordered:
Baby Field Greens Salad 5-
Shallot and Thyme Vinaigrette with Dijon Mustard and Parmesan Croutons
Poached Pear and Endive Salad 9-
Warm Hawaiian Bread and Gorgonzola Muffin with Candied Walnuts
Caramelized Maui Onion Soup 7-
Chinese Smoked Bacon with Cabot Cheddar Crostini
Kalua Pig with Butter Lettuce Cups 9-
Hoisin Barbeque Sauce with Toasted Cashews and Green Onions
Teriyaki Glazed Free Range Chicken in Clay Pot 17-
Dried Shrimp and Shitake Mushroom Sticky Rice w/ Bok Choy and a Lop Cheong Sausage
Ponzu Grilled Hanger Steak 19-
Portobello Mushroom and Sweet Pea Stir Fry with Cabernet Jus De Veau and a Potato Gratin
Macadamia Nut and Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon 26-Whipped Potatoes w/ Foraged Mushroom Sauce, Buttered Beans and a Port-Thyme Demi
The people who had the salads like them enough but was no revelation. The onion soup certainly captured the sweetness of the maui onion but the broth was a bit oily IMO. The kalua pig was nearly as good as any we've had in Hawaii and on par with that served at Tita's. My chicken was like a chinatown lunch claypot dish. They did not modify or skimp on the dried shrimp or chinese sausage in the rice and made the dish with strong, pungent flavours rather catered to an Asian palate. I liked it, but BF turned up his nose. The hangar steak was a good example of its genre. The filet was a nice cut of meat but with the nut and the cheese and the accompaniments, was too rich. The cheese had to be scraped off.
As an aside, we were told the chef is from Hawaii and one can see the Hawaiian influneces in the menu. It was looking mighty like Roy's and not at all what I remember it used to being. Would go back for the kalua pig. Perfect service. Never had to ask for a thing.
pier 33 @ bay street
SF

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