Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Boiling Crab - San Jose

When my friend mentioned that we should go to this restaurant for dinner again and I was already drooling.  We both couldn't wait for another day and decided to go that night.  This Cajun crawfish chain restaurant is owned by Vietnamese-American.  It has now grown to 10 locations in Texas and California.
It was popular in the Southern California and my friend brought me here few years ago when it open its first chain in the bay area.

The first time we went there we had to wait for 2 hours.   We decided to get there early this time and we were really happy to find that there was no line at 5:30pm.
The nautical decor was quite interesting to me and made me feel like I am at fisherman wharf.  There were already many customers inside the restaurant.  The waiter first set up the table by covering the table with butcher paper.  She then brought us bibs and a roll of paper towel  after handed us the menu.

Here's the menu.  Most seafood are $9.99 a pound and others are also within reasonable price.

We ordered our favorites: one pound of shrimp and 4 corns with the "whole shebang" which has lemon pepper, canjun spices,garlic and butter.  They were served in a plastic bag and no plate or fork were given at all. Everyone just peeled and tossed the shells on the table.

 The fish and chips were really good and portion was big for  $9.99.  They were really good.

We also ordered the fried oysters for $9.99 a dozen.  That was so delicious and I wished to get another order.

We tried the clams.  It was good but it was really salty with the "whole shebang".

We both were really stuffed after eating all these.  We couldn't resist ourself ordered some corns and shrimps to go for the family.
That was a very good dinner except I would have to remember to tell them to cut the salt in the "whole shebang" next time I come again.  We had tried their fried sweet potatoes and crabs last time.  The crab was overpriced in my opinon but was really good if you don't mind the price.

There is another Boiling Crab now open in the bay area.  This restaurant is so popular any night that unless you show up before 6p.m. It can be a 2-hour wait so plan to get there as early as possible.

The Boiling Crab
(408) 532-6147
1631 E Capitol Expy, #101
San Jose, CA 9512

Monday, March 28, 2011

Snow Ears Soup

My daughter was coughing a little lately.  I was looking for ways to ease her dried and itchy throat.  I found and tried this recipe yesterday.  Snow ears is a type of dried fungus and was believed to have calming effect with coughing and also good for the skin.  The almonds and Lo Han Guo have also the same effects too.


3 Snow Ears
1 oz. North Almonds
1 oz. South Almonds
1/2 Lo Han Guo
1 lb. lean pork
2 slices of ginger root


1. Boil lean pork with some cold water,bring up a boil then discard the water.
2. Add a pot of cold water, add all the ingredients.
3. Bring to a boil in high heat, then simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
4. Add salt to taste.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ume Sushi Restaurant

If you like Japanese sushi rolls, this is a place to try.  There was a menu devoted to many interesting sushi rolls at this UME Japanese restuarant in Pleasanton:

The place is quite big and there is a sushi bar on the right side once you walk into the restaurant.

We were going to order the Padora but decided instead to order the Simba roll with Hamachi, cream cheese, and avocado inside with house special sauce on top.

The bento box lunch was quite well-priced with a choice of 2  for $8.95 or 3 items  for $11.95.  We chose 3 items this time since it was only $3 more to try an additional item.

Yakiniku (Sliced beef),tempura and sashimi bento

Salmon, tempura and sashimi bento

The portion of the lunch box was big and the roll was also fresh.  The next time I come,  I will try the Pandora and other rolls.

UME Sushi Japanese Restaurant

4855 Hopyard Road
Pleasanton, CA  94588

(925) 734-0996

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oede Japanese Restaurant

My friend and I were hiking toward Mission Peak this morning as our morning routine walk.  After the two hour walk, we were so tired and ready to have a good meal.  She took me to this nearby Japanese restaurant.  I had not been to this restaurant for over 10 years, since I became a full-time stay-at-home mom. 
The name of the restaurant had been changed to Oede.  I was surprised that the lunch was really cheap but the portion of the food was good.  Check the menu here for price.

 I ordered the saba from the lunch menu. I was surprised to see that the portion was big and filling for lunch. The deep fried tempura was not greasy and the saba was really good. I loved the salad dressing as well.

My friend ordered the Teriyaki chicken and sashimi as her choice from the lunch menu.  The portion was big too for the price.

This sure is a place I will take my kids to, because the price is good and it is also very close to visit.

Oedo Japanese Restaurant
46573 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94539
(510) 770-9999

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rosie McCann's Irish Pub - Santana Row

After days of raining and windy weather, the sun finally decided to shine on the day I met with my friends for lunch at Santana Row.  I have always loved to come to this part of town just to enjoy a peaceful walk and window shopping on a sunny day. 

It's always in the early morning whenever I come to Santana Row and I didn't realize it was so difficult to find a parking space at lunch hour.  I was supposed to meet my friend at noon time but it took me a long time to find a parking space.  It was already 12:30 when I finally found my way to Rosie McCann's Irish Pub.

It was a big place for a pub and one would not miss a big bar once you walked into the door.  There were not many customers for lunch inside the pub.  I met up with two friends from the UK and a friend who just moved here from New York.  It was interesting to hear four of us speaking English with different accents.  Although we were all speaking English, my New York friend and I were having a little hard time understanding one of the UK friend's heavy accent.  Apparently she's from a different part of UK than our other UK friend.  It was so funny that the other UK friend had to translate for us whenever we seemed puzzled. 

It seemed strange to me that three of them ordered beer or some kind of alcoholic drinks at a Chinese restaurant while we had Dim Sum for lunch last week, but they didn't order any of that at the pub this time when there were all kinds of alcoholic beverages here.  We all ordered soda this time. 

I ordered my favorite seafood pasta as usual.  The portion didn't look impressive when the dish arrived, but it was very rich and delicious.  Both my UK friend and I could only finish half of the plate. 

My New York friend ordered this salmon; she said it was really good too. 

The other UK friend ordered a shepherd's pie.  A shepherd pie is a common English dish in which the potatoes were mashed and baked with ground meat and cheese.   I assumed it was good too, because they have always spend most of their weekend eating and drinking at this pub. 

Rosie McCann's Irih Pub
355 Santana Row
(408) 247-1706

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sozo Japanese Restaurant

I haven't seen my friend for almost 10 years, but we finally got together again.  She took me to a restaurant in Pleasanton for lunch.  The place was located in a small shopping center.  It was a small place, but already packed with people.  We sat down and ordered the dragon roll:

My friend and I ordered the same lunch box.  Look at the $9 lunch; the portion was big.  I liked that they included many selections in one lunch.   

That was a very satisfying lunch.  I would go back again to try their other rolls and lunch selections. Here is their address if you want to check out their menu: :

2835 Hopyard Rd
(between Secretariat Dr & Valley Ave)
Pleasanton, CA 94588

(925) 484-5588

Monday, March 7, 2011

La Moose Cafe - Thai Fushion Food

I got a phone call at noon time while shopping at the mall last Friday.  My friend had called to ask me to have lunch with her at a Thai restaurant.  It only took me five minutes to arrive this Thai fusion restaurant.

I was really surprised to see the small cafe was already packed with customers when I got there at 12:30.  My friend and I decided to share the dishes so that we could try a few dishes together.  I ordered a fresh coconut drink which was really sweet and refreshing.

My friend had tried the Pad Thai before and she said the way they made it was very different from other restaurants.  I decided to try the dish.  The Pad Thai was made with crab meat instead of shrimps.  It came with a salad on the side. I was really disappointed with the dish because it was very salty and fishy.  My friend said the last time she tried the dish it was very good.  

What was so interesting about this place was that there was a station where they made all kinds of French crepes from savory and vegetable to sweet desserts. French crepe in a Thai restaurant?  Who would have thought?  According to Yelp, this place is the place for great crepes.

My friend ordered a Thai curry crepe.  There was chicken, mushrooms, and vegetables with melted cheese inside the crepe and green curry sauce on top.    

It had an interesting combination taste.  It tasted little sweet on the outside, a salty filling inside, then it was also spicy.  It was rich with cheese and we could only finish half of it.  It was not great, but not bad.  When I went to talk to the owner whom my friend knew, she was making a vegetarian crepe.  It looked very delicious.  But I think I will order a dessert next time, for i like eating dessert crepes.

Another friend came and joined us for lunch later.  She said she had been here many times and the place was always busy.  She also said the salad here is really good.  She ordered a fruit salad and  let me try some of hers.  After the rich dishes I was really happy to have this refreshing dish to end the lunch before I left.

It was so delicious that we asked the owner how to make it.  She told me the secret was to use Ken's Asian salad dressing.  I looked at the salad and did a mental record of the ingredients.  The ingredients included lettuce, crunchy fried noodle, sliced strawberries, oranges, pineapple and cucumber with Asian dressing mixed in.  This is one delicious salad I will definitely order next time I go there or make it myself at home. 

 There are many interesting dishes on the menu for under $10.  Even though their food had not met my expectations, I would still go back and try their other food to experience the interesting combination.  This is a nice little cafe to go to with friends if you want to experience something different.

La Moose Cafe
5014 Mowry Ave.
Fremont, CA
(510) 745-7288

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Puzzles Fun

When the kids are out of school during summer and winter breaks, we all looking forward to great moments together as a family without all of the demands of the school year.  In the past few years, my kids and I have developed a love for puzzles time together.

I have taught my kids how to do jigsaw puzzles since they were toddlers.  They since have developed their own ways to sort and finish the puzzles in a more efficient time.  If you have never tried doing puzzle before, try it with a smaller box first like 250 pieces for a starter.  A big piece of cardboard is necessary for easy mobility and avoid losing pieces. The edges of the puzzle and corner pieces are usually located first and placed on the board so we can see the actual size of the puzzle.   Sorting the pieces by colors into a different boxes will make it easier to find the pieces you need.  After the puzzle is done, we used a puzzle glue to brush on the puzzle and let it dry before we frame it.

Here are a few interesting puzzles we have done in the past.

Thomas Kinkade's Oil Painting

We bought this Degas's from Metropolitan Museum of Art while visiting New York.  This is undeniable a good qualtiy puzzle.  I will definitely get more puzzles the next time I visit any museum.

We also bought this Glow-In-The-Night Puzzle in New York city.

This 3D puzzle was done many years ago. We bought it from Seattle.

We listened many songs while doing puzzle and recently this is one of the songs from Glee that I love to listen to.