Friday, November 30, 2012

Vietnamese Cuisine in Marin

Since there are now three restaurants in Marin serving Vietnamese food, I thought it time for a page featuring the choices.

Corte Madera
La Maison de la Reine

San Rafael
Pho Viet
Saigon Village

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pho Viet

We're lucky to have this authentic Vietnamese family run restaurant in Marin.  Owners Hoa and KimSa Lam have opened Pho Viet with  Cang Nguyen, Hoa's brother, managing daily operations with the former chef of Le Cheval in Oakland,  Tan Le in the kitchen.  Guests are always greeted warmly here and there always seems to be a stream of hungry fans coming in and out of the restaurant.

I was greeted warmly and urged to try the barbecued quail.  I've had quail before and usually don't choose them because of their small-boned nature.  I succumbed thinking that these must be something special to have them so enthusiastically offered.  And that was the right choice.  These temperature-hot pieces were so succulent and the tasty fresh lemon-pepper sauce did little to cool these, however it added a pleasant tang to the dish.  I would order these again without prompting.

What I had my mind on when driving to lunch was the vermicelli bowl, this one was barbecue chicken with egg roll.  Light and satisfying I was  happy with my 'bun'.  I actually had not planned to blog the visit, but thought that it was worth sharing and snapped these with my trusty phone camera without flash.

The staff also encouraged me to try their avocado shake, which was smooth and the little tapioca balls added fun and contrast to the drink.

The latest restaurant inspection results for Pho Viet are here.

Find address/phone number/directions on Anna's Map.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving and later

My father Charles and I enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving with friends in San Rafael.  The sideboard was laden with all the right stuff and stuffing for the day, with plates full and happy hearts we ate and enjoyed the day.

Then on Sunday I started to get a cold, rats!

And it didn't go away... and miraculously my friends cooked the Thanksgiving turkey carcass down that had its seasonings of herbs de provence intact, deliciously seasoning the broth.  Just making a soup from it this evening and finding me still sniffling, they delivered me a BIG bowl of it!  I'm feeling better already!  The wonders of a homemade poultry-based soup!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chinese Restaurants - Updated

                                                                                                                    photo credit: iStockphoto

Chinese restaurants in Marin

Corte Madera



DJ Chinese Cuisine

Mill Valley

Bamboo Hut - To be reviewed
Boo Koo - To be reviewed
Lam's Kitchen (name changed from Lily Kai)

Green Bamboo Restaurant - To be reviewed
Mandarin Restaurant - To be reviewed

San Anselmo

San Rafael
Happy Garden Restaurant - To be reviewed
Sunrise Donuts - To be reviewed

Feng Nian
Panda Express
Tommy's Wok

Lily Kai - To be reviewed
Ming's Restaurant

Other Bay Area Chinese

168 Restaurant

San Francisco

Golden Gate Dim Sum
New Hong Kong
Shangri-La (Vegetarian)
Superior Palace
Ton Kiang

Santa Rosa
China Room

Palo Alto

Friday, November 23, 2012


                                                                                                                                            photo credit: iStock photo

It's time for some fall cleaning on the site so that anyone looking for a restaurant that has closed, or changed hands to a new name and concept can be noted before embarking on a jaunt and be disappointed. I'm cleaning my sidebar after I post this so just the remaining restaurants are listed. Because I've not been actively blogging for awhile, some of these have been closed for awhile.  But on to a freshened site!

Corte Madera

Izzy's Steak & Chops


China Village
Koffee Klatch


Cafe Z Epicerie


Thepmaggon Thai on the Bay


Pacific Cafe
Tacqueria Mexican Grill de Marin


The Valley Grove Cafe


Cafe Lucano
E & O Trading Company
Ward Street Cafe

Mill Valley

Antigua Mexican Grill
Asqew Grill
Chinese Deli
Restaurant Ino
Maria Maria
Peking Wok
Rain Tree Cafe
Strawberry Gourmet Delicatessen
The Pleasure is Mine @ Harbor Point
Tsukiji Sushi
Young Can Wok


Chez Pierre
El Encanto
Garden Court
Golden Egg Omelet House
Grant Ave. Cafe
Hamilton Cafe
Happy Garden
Mill's Restaurant
Neo Tataki
Points South
Portelli Rossi


Cafe Marmalade

San Anselmo

Debbie Does Dessert
Dream Farm

San Rafael

Bamboo Garden
Big Dogg Pizza
Bobby's Cafe
Bombay Garden
Cafe Gratitude
Cafe Trio
Fujiyama Restaurant & Sushi Bar
I Love Sushi
India Village
Jason's Burger Joint
Mikado Sushi
Moe Moe's
Om South Indian Cuisine
Playa Azul Marisco
Ray's Hot Pot
Sabor of Spain
Seafood Peddler
Sushi Boat Restaurant
Szechwan 7
Tekila's Taqueria
Three Dragons Restaurant


Amy's Cafe
Paradise Bay
Piccolo Teatro
Winship Restaurant


Bistro 35
Cottage Eatery
Paradise Cafe
Rooney's Cafe & Grill
The Dynasty
Tiburon Grill

and many others have come and gone before I even got a review up... it's quite amazing what has happened in the Marin food scene in the past 3 or so years.  Lots of turnover, and lots of good things to come.  And my nearly accomplished goal of tasting in all establishments has slipped every further away.  Oh well!  Bon Appetite!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

May everyone have a happy Thanksgiving!
Many happy bites to you with family and friends!

I'm enjoying Thanksgiving with friends in San Rafael and adding a Japanese twist to the day with oshitashi (a steamed and dressed spinach salad) and a sweet potato round with lemon sauce (served room temperature).  Some of my friends do not like the traditional sweet potato dish with all the marshmallow, etc. and some LOVE that dish.  So I think this is a good compromise as I can have the sweet lemon sauce on the side so those who want to sweeten it up (and that's the actual recipe) can, and those who like it plain can pop it in the microwave and add butter.  Just trying to please all!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Drunken Blueberry Cake

Drunken Blueberry Custard Cake
(c) photo by Anna Haight

I'm still alive!  And still enjoying the food scene in Marin and environs and having fun in the kitchen.  I have been making Blueberry Schnapps  and just drained the blueberries out after 3.5 months this morning.  They were just too gorgeous, so I had to 'make up' a way to use them.  Hence the above Drunken Blueberry Cake was born.  It resembles nothing so much as an American clafouti.  The batter is made of organic unbleached flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, organic extra virgin olive oil, grade B molasses, and rose water. I didn't measure, sorry.  And I sprinkled powdered sugar over individual slices, liberally.

No the vodka didn't 'burn off' in the oven as I expected.  The blueberries pack a powerful punch and are a little much for the recipe, but it is still enjoyable, especially if you leave a few blueberries behind!  I would not submit this in a recipe contest however!  I'll have to think of another use for the blueberries next time.   

Well, in another 4 months the schnapps will be ready!  Think DIY blueberry extract as well.

With increasing father-care and his difficulties enjoying dinner out I've been mostly cooking in and getting my fix of the restaurant scene by continuing to write Bread and Butter for the Marin Independent Journal.  Bread and Butter appears weekly on Wednesdays.  The articles tend to go into a paid archive after a few months, so I decided not to link them here regularly since I'd like most of the content here to be available.

One day, no promises, I'll clean up my reviews.  Sadly we've lost so many restaurants.  And we have added many new ones.  If you wish to check in on me more often, subscribe to my Facebook page. My interests are broader than food, but I do of course post quite a bit about food and links to Bread and Butter each week.

Until later!