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mixmastermidori's Profile

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Back to Sacramento for holidays, what's new this year?

I don't think this place has been around that long, but I moved back to Sac about a year ago, and it's new to me: Masullo Pizza on Riverside Blvd. The pizza was excellent, the place is stylish, and the service was attentive. The quality was high, and the sauce is bright and fresh. I also enjoyed our appetizer of pork rillette, pickled onions, olives and pizza bread.

Dec 30, 2009
mixmastermidori in California

New Years Eve??? Sacramento

Kamon restaurant. $5 cover charge. DJ in the bar area and karaoke in the restaurant area.

Dec 28, 2009
mixmastermidori in California

Sacramento Foodies-ISO BEST Foodie shopping & dining...

You should also check out Taylor's Market on Freeport Blvd. They carry Spanish chorizo and lots of other yummy things.

I bought my Zojirushi rice cooker online. You can get it for a better price if you look online. Mine has a timer (so that it'll start when you're out) and will cook porridge, brown rice, white rice and mixed rice.

They also carry rice cookers and lots of yummy Japanese things at Oto's on Freeport. You can buy fresh tofu (not packaged) by asking the butcher for it. I also like to buy saba (mackerel) from them. It's the go-to place for Japanese people when we want to make a nice Japanese meal for guests. Their quality is great, and it's the only place you can find many of the ingredients.

Dec 28, 2009
mixmastermidori in California

Lunch in downtown Sacramento

I really like Cafe Bernardo on R and 15th for brunch or lunch. They have a great menu, the food's always good, and the prices are less for the same food as at other Paragary's locations. One of my favorite places to go when I'm too hungry to think of an alternative. :)

I second (or third?) the vote for Aioli.

I also think some of the best ramen in Sacramento can be found at Shoki Ramen on Broadway.

Jul 11, 2009
mixmastermidori in California

Santa Cruz Diner PHO

I lived in SC for 18 years. I mustered up the courage a few years ago to try the pho and found it horrible. The meat was deli roast beef. Lemon slices? One good thing about living in Sacramento now is that there are at least 2 good pho places now, and one place with good bun. I know the owner's wife is Vietnamese, but the pho was underwhelming. Maybe they've improved it since I tried it, though.

May 09, 2009
mixmastermidori in California

pho vs ramen

I'd choose ramen. Go to http://www.kiwami-ramen.com/ in Waikiki. When I went there, they only served ramen and ramen with pork. I've heard that they've expanded their menu. Get the ramen with pork. I haven't tried Gomaichi, but Kiwami had the best ramen I've ever had.

May 09, 2009
mixmastermidori in Hawaii

Santa Rosa recs

I searched the boards for "santa rosa" and came up empty. Does anyone have any mid-priced restaurant recommendations? I haven't eaten out there much and want somewhere good but not too expensive to celebrate my birthday. (I'm an Ox.) I'm up for nearly any kind of food -- even holes in the wall as long as the food is outstanding.

Based on the Sunset article this month, I want to visit Iron Horse vineyards since I know nearly nothing about sparkling wine. I plan on bringing a picnic lunch to the vineyard to help us sober up a bit before moving on. ;)

Thanks in advance!

Feb 15, 2009
mixmastermidori in San Francisco Bay Area

Ramen in Waikiki

That's it! Thank you so much! =^..^=

Oct 13, 2008
mixmastermidori in Hawaii

Ramen in Waikiki

I'm looking for the name of a specific ramen house in Waikiki. I remember that it was on the main drag (sorry, I went in 2003), and you had to walk down about 8 stairs to get to the underground strip mall. There was a Starbucks on the right, a Taco Bell down there, then the ramen place on the left and a pulgogi place behind it. I think they were doing construction on the strip mall behind that.

The ramen place had a U-shaped counter in the center of the small restaurant and about 4 2-tops on the sides. All they served was ramen: you could order it with char siu or without.

I can't remember the place's name because I think it had a long Japanese name. The menus boasted that they used Hawaiian salt in the broth, and that was why it tasted so good. The ramen was the best I've ever had. The noodles were good, the dashi was amazing, and the pork was awesome. But I can't remember the name.

If anyone can help me so that my mom can go on her upcoming trip, I'd be extremely grateful.

Best,
Midori

Oct 13, 2008
mixmastermidori in Hawaii

Favorite Grocery Store in Santa Cruz and Why

I just moved to Elk Grove after living in SC for 18 years (sniff). I already miss Shopper's Corner, but I've found a great market here. Shopper's Corner has a great butcher. I got some fish to make sushi with, and the butcher told me that it wasn't fresh enough to eat raw. I've also had them get me a fresher piece from the back to eat raw on another occasion. When a butcher tells you *not* to eat something, you keep going there. Shopper's Corner's produce is always fresh and reasonably priced.

For bulk herbs, I went to Way of Life in Capitola. Similar prices to Staff of Life but right next to the gym.

I liked that the Costco had organic chicken, which the Costco here doesn't carry. I also liked the Cabrillo farmer's market on Saturdays, but the farmer's market here (downtown under the freeway) is bigger and cheaper.

I liked Trader Joe's for cheaper gluten-free products like their brown rice pasta and brown rice tortillas. I also liked to get the goat milk yogurt. Some things are just cheaper there. I never liked the seafood at New Leaf. It doesn't look fresh. Their prices are high, too. Although, I went to the one in Capitola because it was convenient if I needed to pick up something.

Oct 07, 2008
mixmastermidori in California

Marianne's Ice Cream, Santa Cruz up for sale

I miss Polar Bear! I liked going to the store in the summer and getting a scoop. I'd often buy the quarts in the store. I always liked them more than Marianne's and didn't know why everyone liked Marianne's so much. My favorite thing of Polar Bear's is the Paws. You can buy them at Cafe Violet in Capitola Village. They have a Turkish Paw (coffee), Mexican chocolate Paw and one other, I think. I like getting a Paw and walking down to the cliff past the stage at the end of the Esplanade.

Oct 07, 2008
mixmastermidori in California

GFCF in Sacramento

Just wanted to report back that I *love* the new Nugget in Elk Grove. They've got nearly the full line of Bob's Red Mill flours and are happy to order products they don't carry. (I have to ask them to order the Sorghum Flour for me.) They've got lots of products that I thought I'd only find at the co-op, and I don't have to drive across town to get them. They also have a nice organic produce section and natural meats.

No organic chicken at the Elk Grove Costco. :(

Oct 07, 2008
mixmastermidori in California

GFCF in Sacramento

Thanks to you both for tips on produce. In Santa Cruz, I also buy organic produce at a regular grocery store (Shopper's Corner) since it costs much more at the natural foods stores. Dimsumgirl, you must live by my dad! I grew up in that area but still haven't been inside the new Nugget. I've heard that it's a good store. That'll be convenient since it's by family. I was also going to check out Taylor's and see if they have natural meats and things.

My friend calls Whole Foods "Whole Paycheck" since it costs so much. I'm also bitter because SC has many independent natural foods stores, and now two Whole Foods are being built. Grr...

Thanks!

Jun 23, 2008
mixmastermidori in California

GFCF in Sacramento

I was recently diagnosed with Candida, and I'm now on a strict diet (no yeast, no grains except oatmeal, no vinegar, no sugars of any kind, no fruit, no mushrooms, no dairy). I'm very sad since I'm used to planning my vacations around where I'm going to eat.

After I'm done with the strict diet, I'll probably have to eat GFCF (gluten free, dairy free). I know that there are many options now since many autistic kids are now on this diet.

After 18 years, I'm moving from Santa Cruz where there are tons of options for buying organic foods and specialty items (gluten free flours, coconut oil, etc.). Our regular grocery stores carry natural meats. I'll be moving to Elk Grove, where the Natural Food Co-op wasn't able to survive.

Does anyone have any recommendations of where to shop that's reasonably priced and not too far away? I think I'm going to have to do much of my shopping at Trader Joe's since they carry natural meats and many gluten-free products (the brown rice pasta is actually decent!). The Costco in Santa Cruz carries organic chicken, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find things at the Costco in Sac. I'm also planning on hitting the freeway farmer's market.

One place I'm going to really miss is a place here where you can buy herbs in bulk. It's a great deal (you don't pay for packaging) and organic. Is there anywhere you can buy herbs in bulk in Sac?

Thanks for your help!
-Midori

Jun 23, 2008
mixmastermidori in California

Okay to eat old ricotta?

Thanks to all who replied. Good to know that it'll sour before you can see mold. Maybe I should just stop being such a cheapskate and buy a new container. ;)

Apr 18, 2008
mixmastermidori in Home Cooking

Rice -- a compromise b/t white and brown, parboiled recs?

I'm also Japanese American. I mix white and brown rice at a ration of about 1 to 0.5 and cook it in the rice cooker. That way, I get the nutrition from the brown rice (however minute), and it's still sticky and satisfying. I highly recommend it.

Apr 18, 2008
mixmastermidori in Home Cooking

Okay to eat old ricotta?

I have an opened container of ricotta that's been sitting in the fridge for a few weeks. There are no signs of mold, and it's still before the expiration date. The note on the container says to eat the cheese within 3-5 days of opening it.

I'm wondering if it's okay to eat. I plan on cooking it rather than eating it fresh. I have some leftover marinara sauce that I made in the freezer and want to mix it with some penne and shredded mozzarella and bake it.

Think it's safe?

Thanks,
Midori

Apr 18, 2008
mixmastermidori in Home Cooking

3 nights in Santa Cruz

I second Cafe Brazil for breakfast. There can be a wait, so get there on the early side. Try the feijoada. You can also split the pot of stew with a friend and get an extra plate with just the rice and sides for the dish. I love this.

College students love to bring the parents to the Crepe Place. I haven't been there in awhile because it seems like the kind of place you bring your parents when they're in town. There's something for everyone. It's just hard for me to spend that kind of money on a crepe when I can easily make crepes at home for next to nothing.

I haven't been to Zachary's in years. I always had an upset stomach (I won't get any more graphic than that) after eating there. I decided that it was the potatoes that did it and no longer had a problem once I stuck to oatmeal on those group breakfast outings. I don't recommend that restaurant.

I love the Silver Spur. Their food is great, and they have homemade muffins as a choice of bread.

Lillian's is also a great, casual place for dinner. They have a limited menu, but everything is great.

Sri is also good. Everyone I know who's been there loves it. They have a great dinner deal on Sunday nights where you get tons of food with drink and appetizer for $13. Mostly vegetarian, but they have some fish.

Vasili's is also a fun place by campus. Casual, lots of food, decent prices.

Sawasdee is also an inexpensive place. It's in Soquel, has good food, and the service is always good.

For somewhere a little pricier, I recommend Caruso's. It's tiny, but their pizza is great. Their fried calamari is light and not greasy. It's on the Capitola Esplanade. I love their marscapone and proscuitto pizza.

Mar 18, 2008
mixmastermidori in California

Best Burger in Scotts Valley?

I had it a few years ago. Lunch with co-workers kind of thing. It was big and good, but not so spectacular that I even remembered it when writing my first reply to this email. Okay, again, I'm not being very helpful to you. ;)

Oct 19, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Lillian's Kitchen in Santa Cruz

They do have their liquor license--they have a short beer and wine list. My mom had a Stella Artois since she's allergic to wine. We didn't try the wines since we brought a bottle in case they didn't have their license yet.

We also tried the cannoli. I'm not a big fan of it, so I've only had it a few times. I don't know how Lillian's's (how many 's?) compares to others. My mom didn't like it, but she might just not like cannoli. Sorry that I can't be more helpful with that.

Oct 19, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Lillian's Kitchen in Santa Cruz

I haven't seen a review of Lillian's Kitchen on Soquel, so I thought I'd start a thread...

I went to eat there last week, and I'm glad that we decided to venture to a new place instead of going to an old stand-by. It's a small place in the old Malabar Cafe location. The vibe is casual, like a neighborhood restaurant. There was a regular next to us who seemed to know the staff by name. It's that kind of place where you expect regulars.

They only offer penne as a pasta choice, and their menu is limited. But what they offer is very delicious. Granted, all of us at the table ordered the same sauce on our dishes, but we all really liked it. The Sunday Gravy, a slow-cooked tomato-based sauce with several different kinds of meat, was excellent. It was very meaty and satisfying, not sweet and tasted like my Italian friend's grandmother's cooking. I'll have to bring him there.

I wanted the lasagna, which is also made with the Sunday Gravy, but they were out of it. They offered me ravioli with Sunday Gravy instead. They brought me a large bowl of cheese ravioli that was way too much for me to eat. It's not on the menu, but I'd order it again if I could.

We also ordered side salads, which were refreshing. I had a basil dressing instead of the vinagrette; that alone would make me go back to the restaurant.

The prices are reasonable. Corkage fee was $8, I believe.

Oct 17, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Best Burger in Scotts Valley?

I'm probably going to get flamed for this :), but I used to always like getting the Turkey Burger Special with potato salad at Heavenly Cafe in Scotts Valley. Turkey burgers can often be dry, but this one's good. The potato salad is even good.

Oct 17, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

Aoi has become Rumblefish, another sushi/Japanese restaurant. Cafe Carlos is the Scotts Valley Diner now, not related to the Santa Cruz Diner.

Oct 09, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Favourite pizza topping combos?

I've had prosciutto and marscapone pizza, but I can't remember what else was on it. Is fresh basil and olive oil enough, or should I add other cheeses? Thanks!

Sep 17, 2007
mixmastermidori in Home Cooking

Bakeries - Santa Cruz County

Gayle's is good, but I think their cakes are a little more expensive than the Buttery. I don't know what your price range is. I got my wedding cake (German chocolate with chocolate ganache) from the Buttery and got a couple sheet cakes (which was cheaper than getting a large wedding cake). You might also want to check out The Farm on Soquel Dr. in Aptos. I'm not sure if they have sheet cakes, but they have excellent fruit tarts. :)

Sep 12, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Recipes for Quinoa?

Tartinet, I made quinoa for the first time last night using your half-and-half white rice method, and it was sooo good! I loved the crunchiness while still being enough like rice to not make me feel like I was eating too healthy. ;) Thanks!

I have a plastic strainer that I bought at a Japanese grocery store made for cleaning rice. It was perfect and didn't let any quinoa drain out of the bottom.

Sep 12, 2007
mixmastermidori in Home Cooking

Old Town Sacramento Restaurants

Has anyone tried Tunel 21? Just checked out their website but haven't been to the restaurant.

Aug 03, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Rib King in Scotts Valley

I emailed them through their website and found out they're in Scotts Valley on Tuesdays at Surf Control from 12 to 1 directly across from Scotts Valley Market. Let us know if you find out any other locations. :)

Jul 11, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

Rib King in Scotts Valley

Wondering if anyone knows when the Rib King is in Scotts Valley. I've heard about this roach coach's rib burrito and want to try it out. It's pork, cornbread, beans and bbq sauce wrapped in a tortilla. I think he shows up by Scotts Valley Market.

Thanks for any help,
Midori

Jul 10, 2007
mixmastermidori in California

mexican restaurants in Sacramento...Carmelita's

Anyone have feedback on El Novillero? I haven't been there in years, but I know a bunch of people who still think it's the best in town.

Went to Vallejo's a few weeks ago and liked my meal. It was something unique to the restaurant, and I can't remember what it was called. It was like a sandwich made with tortillas. Good, but not great. The nachos are big enough to feed two people.

Jun 17, 2007
mixmastermidori in California