Monthly Archives: April 2013

Oakland’s Ramen Shop

This weekend, I went to Ramen Shop. I showed up at about 5, and was seated immediately. By about 6, there appeared to be quite a wait, though they serve cocktails in the waiting area. The wait pales in comparison to that of Orenchi.

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I enjoyed their menu — more choices than just ramen.

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Asparagus, fava and avocado salad. Very Californian, quite tasty and fresh.

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Their kitchen! I felt a little weird taking photos of them cooking….

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The decor is hip and interesting, without exposed filament bulbs or reclaimed wood…

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Tonkotsu ramen with spit roasted chashu, shoyu marinated egg, pickled ramps and a carrot. Including the carrot’s greens.

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Veggie miso ramen with maitake and king mushrooms, salt cured eggs.

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Black sesame icecream sandwich

First of all, it’s hard to take attractive photos of soup, particularly since everything was swimming in the broth. But, excuses, I need to work on this.

Second, the food. The appetizers were great (I also got two to go, but not pictures…) and the dessert icecream sandwich was interesting, but I really, really like black sesame. But the ramen? Not bad, but nothing great. The veggie miso was a little too salty, but probably the richest veggie ramen I’ve ever had. The tonkotsu pales in comparison to other more “traditional” ramen places I’ve been to. Overall, I don’t know much about the availability of ramen in the East Bay, and Ramen shop is open late… So a good backup. But if I really wanted ramen, I’d stick to the south bay places. (Also Orenchi, Ryowa, Maruichi and Santouka are cheaper. $16 for a bowl of ramen with one slice of meat is pretty steep)

Fava and Artichoke Pasta

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This picture is underexposed.

But it’s a picture of fava and artichoke pasta, made roughly following this recipe. I used way less breadcrumbs than the receipe called for. Also, I added some lemon zest and thinly sliced mint over the top once it came off the stove. It was more mild flavored than things I tend to make, but I liked it. Would make again!

Boot and Shoe Service Brunch

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I’ve wanted to try Boot and Shoe Service for a couple years now, but they don’t take reservations and I’m not that dedicated to my quest for pizza, so I never made it. This weekend, my parents wanted to pick up some kougin aman from Starter Bakery at the farmers market and we happened to park outside Boot and Shoe and I finally got to try it!

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potato, trugole, black olives, rosemary & an egg........ 17

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cotechino hash with a fried egg................................. 14

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trippa alla milanese from the wood oven with cannellini beans,
croutons, grana, fried sage & an egg............................ 14

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Each dish seemed a bit expensive, but ~$50 for brunch for three isn’t bad… and it was very filling and satisfying. The pizza was thin, chewy and the toppings interesting and flavorful. The hash was a bit potato heavy, but the pork sausage was tasty and caramelized in all the right ways. The tripe was tender, well seasoned and interesting with the addition of sage and croutons. Between the tripe here and the tripe at Corso, I think Italian-style-tomato-sauce tripe is next up on my things to learn how to cook. I’m not even sure what to Google though.

Fried Fish

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In addition to working on my CS 107 homework for hours on end and battling the monster that is C (well, mostly, refreshing myself on pointers & malloc), I fried some fish! My parents picked up some rock cod at Market Hall and I dipped it in egg whites, then panko. Then into the hot oil they went, with some thyme pulled from the front yard.

I was surprised at how well it turned out since I’ve never been particularly adept at frying things. Perhaps all that’s needed is more practice…

Foraging


It’s the season for foraging! Fields of wild mustard (above), clumps of wild radishes (second below) and if you find a well shaded patch — miners lettuce! (the reddish leaves below are too late…)

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I took a second foraging class lead by Kevin a couple weekends ago with my parents. They had a lot of fun and we foraged (on private land!) wild radishes, mustard, cleavers, miners lettuce, mallow, chamomile, thistles and cardoons. April is definitely a better time to go foraging than June (when I took the last class). Wild plums aren’t in season, but all the interesting leafy things are!

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Pinhole Pictures

With help from Shamiq, I’ve made a bodycap-pinhole lens. It’s a body cap with some holes drilled into it (courtesy of Shamiq) and aluminum foil over the holes. Here are some pictures I took in the last couple weeks…

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Starter Bakery’s Kougin Aman

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Side of the house

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Bouchon paper bag + my mug of tea

More to come! Ideally taken outdoors so I don’t have to do crazy long exposures.

Kougin Amann

I stopped about Bouchon and to my surprise, they had kougin amann! I guess it’s the new popular trendy pastry, so I bought two. (And a strawberry croissant, on the left in the picture below:)

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It was like a croissant with more butter and lots of crispy caramelized sugar. I could only eat about half of it before pretty freakin’ full. So I bought my mom the other one… It turns out that my parents had been reading an article about them. This morning, I woke up to my dad returning to the farmers market where he bought more kougin amann from Starter Bakery. True to form, I thought I’d compare the two —

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Bouchon on the left (My dad already took a couple bites out of it), Starter Bakery on the right. (Plain above, pear below) The Bouchon one is significantly bigger. And the sugar is much darker.

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The Starter Bakery kougin amann is a really pretty golden brown with visible layers and filling. (this one is pear)

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Starter Bakery on the left, Bouchon on the right. Bouchon’s is much fluffier and croissant like. Starter Bakery is more dense, but equally buttery and sugary.

Conclusion: I prefer Bouchon’s. It’s fluffier and the sugar is more caramelized, making the flavors more complex. Also, it’s bigger. But, Starter Bakery is way more accessible, being in Oakland and not in Napa or Vegas. Also Starter Bakery has some with fillings! I’m┬ádefinitely not complaining if Starter Bakery’s kougin amann showed up on my doorstep everyday.

Also, footnote, I tried toasting one of the Starter Bakery ones and it was super soft and warm, but fell apart more than I would have liked and lost it’s sugary crisp. Also, it was greasier. But both my parents preferred it toasted. I guess my tastes are weird.