New Korea Restaurant in Marina, CA – our review

Delicious bibimbap!

We were down in Monterey, California last week and craving some Korean food. Since we moved to Santa Cruz, we haven’t had access to all the wonderful, authentic Korean restaurants and grocery stores that were available to us in San Jose. Needless to say, we were happy to stumble upon New Korea Restaurant, a little gem tucked away in Marina about 10 miles north of Monterey. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Korea House in Santa Clara, CA

Gorgeous kimchee bibimbap!

Went out for Korean for the first time in 2012, and found this place at the end of the strip of Korean restaurants on El Camino in Santa Clara. We also found one of the best bibimbap’s we’ve ever had, probably because of the hot stone (cast iron?) bowl that it was served in. Continue reading

Shabu Shabu – Cook at your table. It’s healthy.

I apologize for not posting lately! Hags and I are in the middle of opening a yoga studio and have been super busy! We’ll post some pictures soon!

Japanese Shabu Shabu is “hot pot” cooking. The name, “Shabu Shabu,” is the Japanese word for “swishy swishy,” which is the sound that the meat or vegetables make when being “swooshed” around the boiling hot broth at your tabletop grill. The best way to describe shabu is as a kind of do-it-yourself blanching. Shabu is usually made with some miso-based broth and is cooked right at your table with some sort of heating element in the middle of the table. You are given a plateful of raw vegetables and thinly sliced, raw beef, and you just work your way through them, dunking one piece at a time. Shabu is very healthy, there isn’t much room for it not to be. It’s quite low in calories-if you have lean beef, the entire meal is under 450 calories. There are always other options besides beef, I usually order some sort of seafood or dumplings. Continue reading

Restaurant Spotlight: Chosun Myun Oak in Santa Clara, CA

Korean bibimbap in a stone bowl, "Dolsot Bibimbap"

Callie was in the mood for bibimbap and for trying out a new Korean restaurant last week, so we decided to check out Chosun Myun-Oak – a hard-to-find place that Yelp told us was always full of Koreans eating hearty soups and stews. Continue reading

Restaurant Spotlight: B Star Bar

Tea Leaf Salad at B Star Bar in San Francisco

Foodies in the San Francisco Bay Area are probably already familiar with the sublime Burmese cuisine offered at Burma Superstar. Unfortunately, they’re also probably familiar with the ridiculously long waits and the annoying reservation policy (show up, put your name on the list, walk around Clement St. for an hour). Fortunately, the wonderful people at Burma Superstar decided to expand a few years ago, and they opened up B Star Bar just a few blocks away. Continue reading

Restaurant Spotlight: Secret Garden Korean Restaurant

Korean Sweet Potato Noodles, "Chapchae"

Chapchae is the Korean version of Pad Thai, except it is made with “glass noodles” that are made from sweet potato starch. The noodles are light, naturally gluten-free and surprisingly, full of protein. The noodles are usually stir-fried with mushrooms, scallions, onions, spinach, carrots and garlic. Chapchae can be served as an appetizer or a main entree. Continue reading

Restaurant Spotlight: Yuki Sushi

Yuki Roll at Yuki Sushi

It’s an unfortunate fact that when people talk about Japanese food in America, 99% of the time they’re talking only about sushi. Now don’t get me wrong, I love sushi as much as anyone, but if you think that’s all that Japanese cuisine has to offer, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Real Japanese food involves so much more than sushi, as anyone who’s traveled to Japan would know. Shabu is one of the most enjoyable dining experiences you’ll ever experience, and if you’ve only had ramen of the packaged instant variety, you know as little about Japanese noodle culture as someone who’s had Easy Mac knows about Italian food.

Restaurant Spotlight: Norbu

Norbu is a Korean-Japanese restaurant located in Santa Clara, California, although I personally haven’t seen the Japanese influence in their food. It’s smack dab in the middle of Koreatown but in my opinion is a head above all the other restaurants in the area. It’s authentic, “country” Korean comfort food at its best. Norbu is remarkable mostly because it somehow packs three days’ worth of vegetables into one meal.

Assortment of banchan at Norbu

Continue reading

Three safe choices on any Asian menu

I think we can all agree that Asian foods are healthy, even the vending machines in Korea look like they belong in Whole Foods. Korean cuisine is naturally low in calories and is centered around pickled vegetables and grilled lean fish and other meats. Similarly, Japanese food’s focus is vegetables, although that may be hard to believe because many Japanese restaurants in America put everything imaginable into a tempura batter.  It would be nice if we could all spend a month or two in Asia and learn everything there is to know about their food, but that just isn’t a luxury we all have. So, I’ll share three Asian healthy foods that I’d encourage anyone to start incorporating into his/her diet. Continue reading