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Santa is Moving

There were about 15 people waiting outside today at 12:30pm. Some things don't change. I did not go inside today. Parking is a nightmare at this stripmall during certain times, but there is extra parking behind the stripmall via a driveway between the Sprint store and a shoe store.

Ramen bath

'Ramen bath' offers supposed health benefits without lingering aroma of pork marrow

Jul 15, 2007
Wolfy_sm in Food Media & News

Sushi Grade Fish - peninsula?

Supposedly early next year in Cupertino.

Yoshinoya beef bowl

The other NorCal location is in Cupertino.
19825 Stevens Creek Blvd.

There's a list of them at

Didn't realize SoCal had so many. Even Bakersfield has one.

Where can i get a Green Tea cheesecake in san jose area

Seto Deli in Sunnyvale has them. They seem to be out of them sometimes, so you may want to call ahead.

Another interesting item I recently saw was what they call Vegetable Sweets. It's a two layer cake using white frosting (Japanese style, not overly sweet) with tomato slices between the cake layer and a cherry tomato on each cake slice. Sort of a tomato version of strawberry shortcake. There are also bits of spinach along with other unidentified tiny items in the cake. I liked it but Mrs said it was too weird.

Seto Deli
155 E. Maude Ave, Sunnyvale, CA
Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Marukai opening in Cupertino

According to the Cupertino Courier, LA-based Japanese grocer Marukai will open its first NorCal store in Cupertino this summer. They are taking over space currently occupied by Long Drugs on Stevens Creek a block west of Wolfe. It sounds like it will be across from Imahara produce. How does Marukai compare with Mitsuwa?

Chicago Italian Beef inside SF??

I remember seeing a Vienna Italian Beef sign inside Moishe's Pippic but I don't remember seeing it on their menu.

425 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 431-2440

Gumbah's Italian Beef, Vallejo, why it is worth a trip

Thanks, one of these days I'll try there as well as Chicago's Deli in Pleasanton.

Santa Ramen still rockin'

I pass by Santa a few times a week and I see their popularity is still high. 8:30pm this past Fri had 5 people waiting outside. 11:20am Sat (10 min before opening) had at least 20 people lined up. (I've seen people line up at 30min before opening on weekends). 11:35am Sun had no one outside which was unusual. Maybe an occupant of the new condos across the street can point a web cam to gauge the Santa wait time.

Gumbah's Italian Beef, Vallejo, why it is worth a trip

I went to Windy City for a Chicago dog on Saturday after avoiding them for 3 years following disappointing visits. This time, I was pleasantly satisfied by the taste which wasn't stale like before. It had all the toppings except celery salt. Their Vienna dog is larger but shorter than Woody's. $5.50 with a bag of Lays chips though their menu said Chicago's Jays.

Being on a hot dog roll, I then went to SF's Moishe's Pippic on Hayes for the first time. Their Vienna dog was smaller than Windy City's but same length as Woody's. Bun tasted a bit stale. They had all the toppings except celery salt. But, the tiny tomato slice and puny pickle spear were pathetic. At $5.75, dog deserves better.

Gumbah's Italian Beef, Vallejo, why it is worth a trip

Well, it's close to an authentic Chicago dog at the Woody's hot dog stand outside Lowe's in San Bruno. They have steamed poppy seed buns, Vienna dog, self-serve condiments including chopped onions, neon-colored relish, sport peppers, mustard, celery salt, but no tomato and no pickle spear. At least it tastes fresher than Windy City's in SM.

Nijiya Market, San Jose opening Sun 2/11/07

The version with salmon instead of tuna is good, too.

Nijiya Market, San Jose opening Sun 2/11/07

Last week, one of the free Japanese weeklies had a grand opening sales flyer insert for the new SJ location. There's about 28 items on sale. Sales are in effect from 2/11 to 2/14 at the SJ store only.
Some of the sale items include:
Tuna sashimi -14.99/lb
Yellowtail sashimi - 12.99/lb
Octopus sashimi - 9.99/lb
Salmon roe soaked in soy sauce - 14.99/lb
Pocky - 0.50
Kikkoman soy sauce, 1 L - 1.00
First 300 paying customers get a 6-pc Cafe Kobo mini cream puff set.

Japanese grocery store?

My post said SJ as in San Jose. 240 E Jackson in San Jose is smack dab in center of San Jose Japantown. I think it's the location of the old Dobashi market which closed last year.

Japanese grocery store?

Another Nijiya will open on 2/11 in SJ Japantown (240 E. Jackson) according to their latest sales flyer.
lists many of the grocers in this area and NorCal. This directory is a bit outdated - like Sparks in SM and Dobashi in SJ are no longer in business.

Super H Mart Vs. Mitsuwa

First thing you'll notice once you step into Super H Mart is the large produce section. As Pugman wrote, selection and prices in general are very good. Much, much better than Mitsuwa, but limited in Japanese produce. I did see nasu (eggplant), daikon (white radish), kyuri (cucumber) and Hachiya persimmons. We thought the flounder and pork cutlet were very good. A tofu shop recently opened where a freshly made block was going for $1.29. This is quite a deal since their tofu had a nice nutty taste compared to the usual blandness of the pre-packaged kind. There's a bakery but I prefer Hippo in Mitsuwa.
Rumor is that they are looking at the Schaumburg area for their 2nd location. One thing that annoyed me was that 4 different people tried to push a cd/dvd on me on a Sunday visit. I'm guessing these are of the religious kind.

Jan 20, 2007
Wolfy_sm in Chicago Area

Is it wrong for a grown man to crave crunchy cheetos? What junkfood do you crave?

I like Tim's in general with Wasabi as my favorite.

Jan 10, 2007
Wolfy_sm in General Topics

Sahale Snacks from Target??

Costco here in the SF bay area had the Sing Buri blend last month. Good taste but a bit pricey - it was $6.99 for 10-12oz bag(?). Fuzzy on the exact size but it was not big for a Costco when you compare that to their 40oz of basic mixed nuts for $10.99.

Jan 08, 2007
Wolfy_sm in General Topics

beard papa - RWC - finally open

When I stopped by last Friday they had vanilla and caramel and others were "coming soon". I inhaled them both in no time. They said caramel was the special for that day. Only a few customers on a Friday afternoon.


I finally went to Gumbah's this past Saturday and had the Chicago hot dog. This was almost faithful to the prototypical Chicago dog except the buns were not steamed and instead of celery salt they sprinkled something else which I could not identify. All in all, a pretty decent dog. Better than Windy City here in San Mateo. They were out of fries so I had their Jumbo Beer Battered onion rings straight out of a bag. Next time I'm in the area, I'll try their beef. Interior has lot's of faded Chicago items and wood carvings for sale. It felt spooky to be in there so I had it to go and ate in the car.

favorite potato chips

Grandma Utz Handcooked
Jays Kettle Cooked
Tim's Wasabi

Oct 27, 2006
Wolfy_sm in General Topics

Where to Go for the Best Hot Dog

Agree that Superdawgs has a kitschy, fun factor that out-of-townies will get a kick out of. My only quibble is that they don't include tomato slices in their dog.

Oct 25, 2006
Wolfy_sm in Chicago Area

Chika-Moving to San Mateo

Chika Restaurant at 3rd and Ellsworth had a grand opening over the weekend. Place was almost full. They have a wide variety of appetizers, grilled items, deep-fried items, noodles (soba, udon, pasta) and sashimi. Place has a feel that sorta resembles Himawari and the old Den on B Street.
We liked the creamy croquettes, meaty mushroom salad and soba. Tokyo-style soba broth was excellent and I drank it all up. We also had chicken yakitori which was good and ikura oroshi which was ok but somewhat overpriced IMO. I had a bottle of Asahi Black beer which I've never seen before. Dessert was chocolate parfait with banana and tangerine slices. There were some breakfast cereal (Honey Bunch of Oats?) pieces in the bottom which I understand is commonly done in Japan. Service was uneven - maybe it's just opening weekend glitches. Servers were Japanese. A bit unusual to see tabasco sauce on the table in a Japanese restaurant. We saw a non-Asian diner sprinkle some tabasco on his tempura and eat it with his hands. Most of the diners were Asian.
We had a good impression of Chika and would go back to try other dishes. We had not gone to their previous SF location.

Where to Go for the Best Hot Dog

I've read that Flukey's on Western near Pratt is no more and a U Lucky Dawg has replaced it. Flukey's was also my favorite for a long time but I had to invoke the 3 strikes yer out rule after 3 consecutive disappointments 2-3 years ago. Sorta sad when they stopped caring about serving dogs that were in the water too long, shriveling tomato slices and stale buns. Haven't tried U Lucky Dawg yet.

Oct 22, 2006
Wolfy_sm in Chicago Area

The secret is out... Chef Andy Wai's own restaurant in San Mateo

Amazing how "restless" this location is. Before Chef Wai, it was Iron Chef, Island Cafe, Fung Shang Cafe, and Cindy's Buffet the last 3-4 years. Did I miss one?

Japanese place to take a Japanese student?

If it doesn't have to be located in the city core, I'd recommend Renga-Tei in Lincolnwood for their homecook style along with a Japanese-speaking staff. If the student misses being around other Japanese nationals, Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights would be a good place to hang around. You can eat at the food court (food is just OK but there's a good selection), stock up on Japanese groceries and baked goods (Pastry House Hippo) and browse the bookstore. The bakery is good enough reason to visit, IMO.

Oct 17, 2006
Wolfy_sm in Chicago Area

Which airport in the U.S. has the best food?

On Terminal 1, I've had the 2 hot dog/pizza carts with the big Vienna Beef sign on concourse C and they are OK. Forget Billy Goat in the food court, they have DIY condiments (onion, relish, mustard) and the bun was a bit dry. The one on the north end of B concourse (on your way to gates B19-B22) didn't have all the toppings.

Gold Coast Dogs are at terminal 3 and 5(intl). I haven't tried these but the ones in the city are decent.

Aug 02, 2006
Wolfy_sm in General Topics