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Emilie.'s Profile

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Vegetarian Japanese

Thanks for all recommendations. We went to Kaygetsu and it was great! They were very nice in accommodating this vegetarian restriction: they asked precisely what was forbidden (fish, fish stock, ...) and the chef worked around it. We had the 5-course kaiseki menu ( For me, the highlights of the meal were the seared scallop in the starter course, then the seared tuna in the hassun course, and really all the hassun course was an dizzying assortment of flavors.

The vegetarian version had a carrot instead of the scallop in the starter course (only place where I think the vegetarian eater was shortchanged), and avocado wrapped in tofu skin and a variety of seaweed instead of the sashimi. Most the hassun course was the same, except for a dish with vinegared lotus root in place of the egg custard square ( a great replacement in my opinion, I didn't like this dish at all because of the gelatin). The last course was completely different with vegetable tempura instead of the pork and a vegetable soup instead of the miso soup. That was my husband's preferred course. Finally, the dessert was also different with a sesame seed sweet and yuzu sorbet (I guess it was vegan).

Kaygetsu also offers kaiseki menus with more than 5 courses. However, we were pleasantly full after 5 courses and starting to have "tasting fatigue" due to all the different flavors. So, at only $55, it's really a great choice.

Vegetarian Japanese

I am looking for a Japanese restaurant (any type) that serves a variety of vegetarian options, preferably in the South Bay (Palo Alto to San Jose), but I am willing to travel to SF or Berkeley if it is worth it. So far I have found:
Hoshi in Cupertino
Cha Ya in Berkeley and SF (seems too informal, I'm looking more for a special occasion place).
Any recommendations? Thanks.

Lunch to go in Sunnyvale / Mt View area?

Taste Buds has a buffet that you can take to go. They have great vegetarian dishes in particular, flavorful but not spicy.

Shana Thai also takes orders to go. I recommend the duck curry and the red curry.

Taste Buds
673 Grape Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Shana Thai Restaurant
311 Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043

San Jose - The Fish Market? Any Thoughts?

I went there a month ago with a group of non-adventurous eaters from work. I got the advice from this board or some other reviews to stick to simple grilled fish and skip the more elaborate preparations. That's what I did. The food was plain but not bad. The taste of the fish was nothing to remember, the texture was too hard as if it was a bit overcooked, but I am not much into fish anyways... The menu has nothing for vegetarians. Note that it is is not a romantic setting, the restaurant in Santa Clara is quite big, the lighting and decor make it feel like a big hall, so that's not a good place for Valentine's day. I would never go there again on my own, but for a group outing, if the company makes up for the unimaginative food and decor, it's OK.

I want to buy some quince!

There are some in Milk Pail in Mountain View. They don't look as good as a few weeks ago but they're fine. I made some quince jelly myself with them.

Milk Pail Market
2585 California St, Mountain View, CA

Dosa Place, Santa Clara report w/ pics

You take a bite-size piece of dosa with your fingers, dip in a chutney, eat it. When the dosa has some potato filling, it's mostly in the center of the dosa, the sides have no filling. So in order to have filling + dough in every bite, you can start eating from the center of the dosa instead of the sides (not sure if this is very clear... it's a detail anyway).
For the idli, I prefer to eat it with a spoon due to the texture, but I guess you could eat it with your fingers too.

Udupi Palace SF open

I went this weekend. They have a wine list, which is small but this is unusual enough for Indian restaurants to be noted. I didn't try any but it looked suited to Indian food. I had the Chettinad uthappam (cauliflower + spices on top of the uthappam). It was OK. Someone else at the table had the mixed vegetable uthappam, which was very nice, and not too oily. I really liked the sambar, which is on the spicier side, and the coconut chutney. I found the vada rather bland, but the texture was good. As the original poster, the combo gives you an idly and vada on top of uthappam or dosa. It's a lot of food for a low price. Our waiter was very friendly. He gave us refills of sambar!

Dosa Place, Santa Clara - anyone try it?

I've been there a few times since my first report. I highly recommend it. Every dosa I had from the menu is tasty. The channa batura is the best I have had. I've been there with visitors from India and they were very happy too. Don't expect anything in terms of service though, it's a very casual place: once all our orders came at the same time, except one that came at the very end of the meal. This place is popular, you might have to wait a few minutes before being seated.

Dosa Place, Santa Clara - anyone try it?

I went last weekend. It's very good. I had the Chetinadu dosa, its filling is some kind of vegetables instead of the regular potato-based filling. It was very tasty, and the coconut and peanut chutneys were very nice too. My friends also recommend the vada.

The Chef from China Village has been found.

The Chef from China Village has been found.

Do you recommend any particular dishes on Hunan's menu? I'm going to Fresno soon, so I want to take the opportunity to visit this restaurant, but I'm pretty clueless when it comes to Chinese cuisine. Thanks.

How can I keep yogurt from curdling...

I also have this problem every now and then. What helps is to lower the flame, add the yogurt last, after the spices, and turn the contents of the pan continuously after adding the yogurt. It also helps if you beat the yogurt with a fork beforehand. Some brands of yogurt are more prone to curdling than others. I use Trader Joe's "European Style Whole Milk". It's very good on its own too.

May 16, 2008
Emilie. in Home Cooking

indian in paris?

I tried one of the restaurants in the Passage Brady (don't remember which one). It was very bland.
This page lists a few more Indian restaurants: with a focus on vegetarian options. Some have good reviews, but as others have said, Indian food is not one of Paris highlights.

Apr 25, 2008
Emilie. in France

DESSERT Cookbook of the Month VOTING


Apr 25, 2008
Emilie. in Home Cooking

Cheese affineur with some time on their hands

I would try Alleosse:
They're one of the very few cheese "affineurs" in Paris, they have their own cellars where they age the cheeses themselves. They're friendly but the store in always busy. If you contact them ahead of time, maybe they can arrange something.

This thread could also help: "Best fromagerie in Paris"

Apr 21, 2008
Emilie. in France

How to become a better cook?

Thanks for all the advice, the links and the wishes of good luck. It definitely helps. I will practice and practice. One new recipe a week sounds like a great idea. I will also look into the basics. I realized that I lacked knowledge in that domain when cooking eggplant: somehow the texture never comes out as I want it to be.

Apr 21, 2008
Emilie. in Home Cooking

How to become a better cook?

Hi everyone,
I started cooking about 3 years ago and now I can cook a good number of dishes, ranging from yummy homestyle Indian dishes (my husband is Indian), to subtle flavored recipes, including a number of classic French desserts (I am French). I would like to expand my repertoire and become "a better cook". Mostly I would like to have more variation in what we eat every day. I have tried cooking vegetables that we don't usually eat, or trying recipes from cookbooks such as "The art of Indian vegetarian cooking" by Yamuna Devi and "Pure Dessert" by Alice Medrich. They correspond to the style of dishes we like to eat but only a small proportion of recipes really stuck and made it into our list of regularly made recipes. The best source of recipes so far has been food blogs. I wonder if I'm just picky or overly accustomed to what you are used to eating, and therefore conservative, or just expecting to much from cookbooks. Anyway, I turn to you for advice on how to improve. Also I would love to hear your personal story of how you became a good cook. Thank you.

Apr 19, 2008
Emilie. in Home Cooking