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Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

’Cue Up the Ramen

Bushido, a new izakaya serving ramen in Mountain View, has a little something extra up its sleeve: house-smoked meats. This gives a distinctive flavor to the shoyu ramen, the best of the noodle offerings, with a lightly smoky broth and shaved smoked pork, says eatzalot. But make sure to ask for the noodles "hard," as they have a tendency to arrive overcooked and mushy otherwise.

Get an order of smoked chicken wings, says Melanie Wong. Expertly done, they have a pungent aroma but a refined, smoky flavor and juicy, succulent flesh. "I only had one wing and that piece might have been the best smoked chicken I've had in the last year (and I've tasted at least 30 examples in this interval)."

The delicious kimchee gyoza is another must, says eatzalot, and don't skip dessert—Bushido has a dedicated dessert chef whose offerings, like a light and refreshing lemon curd parfait, are "neither the pro-forma local Japanese-restaurant mochi balls and green-tea ice cream, nor the common gringo-restaurant Dense Chocolate This and Heavy-Cake That."

Bushido [Peninsula]
156 Castro Street, Mountain View
650-386-6821

Discuss: Bushido (Mountain View)

Argentinean Barbecue, Fresh Off the Truck

Heads-up from BernalKC on a new truck serving supertasty Argentinean barbecue in Emeryville. Primo's Parrilla gets an Argentine's seal of approval for tri-tip and chicken "grilled to perfection," BernalKC says. A plate of either comes with a salad of mixed organic greens, slices of baguette, mashed sweet potatoes with spinach, and chimichurri sauce.

Primo's Parrilla [East Bay]
No formal address; see Twitter feed here
650-465-3253

Discuss: Primos Parilla – Argentine grilled goodness

How to Stretch Pizza Dough

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Give it a push to get it to the size you want. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How to Use a Pizza Peel

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It's all about the slide. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How to Toss Pizza Dough, and Why You Should

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It's not just about looking cool. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

Not Just Another Ethiopian Restaurant

Enssaro, which has been mentioned recently by a few hounds as a new favorite Ethiopian restaurant, "lived up to the hype," says Ruth Lafler after organizing a chowdown there. "When Ethiopian food is done poorly, the flavors get muddy and the dishes tend to taste the same. These dishes were all distinctive and complexly seasoned."

The vegetarian dishes are stellar, Ruth says, especially the gomen (collard greens), which have both sweetness and tang. Atakilt, a medley of slow-cooked vegetables, includes the unusual addition of beets.

Doro wat
(chicken stew) was a hit, "an unforgettable, savory dish potent with rich flavor," says Antarctic Widow. Lamb banatu is another favorite, a tender and delicious tomatoey stew with pieces of soft injera bread mixed in. The beef dishes are forgettable, Ruth thinks, although the special kitfo, a kind of spiced steak tartare, has plenty of other fans among the hounds. "Very nice delicate flavors and tender beef," says roster.

Enssaro [East Bay]
366 Grand Avenue, Oakland
510-238-9050

Discuss: Ethiopian Chowdown at Enssaro, Oakland

Veganism Just Got Tastier

Good news for vegans, perhaps: Slate has run a detailed and persuasive story about why it's fine for you to start eating oysters, which, incidentally, are delicious. Here's the argument by writer Christoper Cox, in an oyster shell:

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New Dim Sum, Old-School Chinese Sausage

In a healthy twist on a classic dim sum offering, Wing Lee Bakery now has whole wheat bao, says Melanie Wong. They're "actually kind of mind-expanding after a lifetime of white buns," says indigirl. Melanie describes them as "soft and tender, just a slight bit coarser than the white flour would be, and the filling's just the same." For the record, that filling was chicken; a combo variation involves boneless chicken thigh meat, Chinese sausage (lop cheong), hard-cooked egg, scallions, and black mushroom. The whole-wheat bao are also available at sister restaurant Happy Bakery and likely also at Wei Lee,  under the same ownership.

Speaking of Chinese sausage (a handy addition to noodle soup when you're at home), the lop cheong at Mow Lee Shing Kee & Co "is the best in San Francisco has to offer," says yimster. The Chinatown spot is the last one still making "waxed"/preserved meats in-house the old-fashioned way, he says. They also do a good duck liver lop cheungmonku always gets a few pounds of each kind for family back in LA when visiting SF.

gordon wing was pleased with the tender, flavorful lop cheung he got at Wycen Foods. They're a safe bet, concedes yimster, and the option of cut-up sausages is really convenient.

Wing Lee Bakery [Inner Richmond District]
503 Clement Street, San Francisco
415-668-9481

Happy Bakery [Sunset]
2253 Irving Street, San Francisco
415-661-1386

Wei Lee Chinese Food & Donut [Inner Richmond District]
700 Clement Street, San Francisco
415-668-6783

Mow Lee Shing Kee & Co [Chinatown]
774 Commercial Street, San Francisco
415-982-5767

Wycen Foods [Chinatown]
903 Washington Street, San Francisco
415-788-3910

Discuss: Whole wheat bao (buns) at Wing Lee (Clement St, San Francisco)
Wycen Chinese Sausage—thumbs up!

GMO’d Enviropigs, Achatz’s Egomania, RIP Boxed Wine

Canada Makes Magic Pigs: Canada has green-lighted the "limited production" of a genetically modified pig, dubbed the "Enviropig," which excretes less polluting poop. Up next: Golden-egg laying geese? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? via Discover

Chicago Schools On the Food Revolution Bandwagon: Starting in June, Chicago Public schools will be serving healthier lunches with more whole grains, dark green and orange veggies, and leaving "'dessert or candy-type' ingredients off the breakfast menu." via Chicago Sun Times

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Overheard on the San Francisco Boards

"MB's palate is limited. Ethnic is generally out and if the place doesn't have a full bar, cute waiters, the slab of meat option and a twist, he won't give it a high review." – ML8000, in a discussion of San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer and his Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list

"We just returned from dining at Hachi Ju Hachi in Saratoga, and it was an absolutely AMAZING experience!" – slydep, referring to the new upscale Japanese restaurant Hachi Ju Hachi, where the former chef of the kappo-style Hamon Washoku can now be found

"Mixed scoop of cardamom + dulce de leche for $2.95 = happiness." – bradluen, on the new location of Lush Gelato in Berkeley