California Mangosteens at San Carlos Farmer’s Market

We were at the San Carlos Farmer’s Market, buying salmon from our favorite fishmonger, Pat from Mission Fresh Fish.  This was the first time we’d been to this particular market.  San Carlos is about 40 minutes’ drive from where we live in San Jose.  But we needed to pick up some fresh salmon and frozen ahi (more on that later).

Pat mentioned to us that there was a vendor who was selling mangosteens and lychee, grown in Lancaster, California!  (Lancaster is in Southern California, between Los Angeles and Bakersfield.)  I couldn’t believe it. But as we made our way around, we actually found the stall.


Alexander’s Steak House (Cupertino)

Alexander's Steakhouse (Cupertino)

Back when we had FoodGal Carolyn Jung and her husband MeatBoy over for dinner for our FoodBuzz 24, 24, 24 Cioppino Hot Pot meal, we discussed many topics, including the best steaks. We were of the opinion that the Grill on the Alley has the best steaks in the South Bay. But MeatBoy prefers Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino.

Alexander’s is a high-end, contemporary American steakhouse with Japanese influences (most notably, they serve real Japanese Kobe beef). Recently, we had the opportunity to go to Alexander’s for dinner with our friend Manuel and his family. This is the same Manuel who has eaten steaks all over the world and has concluded that steaks at The Grill on the Alley are the best he’s had. How does Alexander’s compare?


Sensational Sushi at Sakae Sushi (Burlingame), Part 2

We went to Sakae Sushi in Burlingame, CA to celebrate Annie’s birthday with some of the best sushi in the Bay Area. In Part 1, we talked about all the great sashimi we had. Now it’s time to talk sushi…nigiri sushi.

When most Americans think of sushi, they think of California rolls, Caterpillar rolls, Dragon rolls, etc. You know, a tube of rice and relatively small pieces of fish mixed with the likes of cucumber, avocado, fake crab, cream cheese, mayonnaise, you name it. Sometimes it’s even drizzled with a sweet sauce. It’s basically a way to avoid tasting raw fish, which I guess is not big with the Western palate. (No wonder I see a lot of people absolutely drown their sushi in soy sauce and horseradish!)

Japanese do eat rolled sushi (called maki) but they don’t tend to hide the fish. Nigiri sushi puts that fish right on top. And that’s the way we like it!


Sensational Sushi at Sakae Sushi (Burlingame), Part 1

Saturday was Annie’s birthday, and we wanted to go out for a special sushi meal to celebrate the occasion. We had talked about going back to see our favorite sushi chef, Ryo of Sushi-Man in San Francisco. But Ryo was tragically killed in January, and we were left looking for a restaurant worthy to replace the high quality of sushi and service that Ryo gave to us.

In recent months, we had been going to Akane in Los Altos to get our sushi fix because it was closer to us, was more affordable, and served some pretty high quality sushi there. We found this place on the “Big List of Peninsula Sushi”, where Akane came in at #2. #1 on the list? Sakae Sushi in Burlingame.

Sakae Sushi in Burlingame

Sakae Sushi in Burlingame

I made reservations at the bar for the two of us on Saturday night. We knew we were going to get top quality fish, so we had no problems going omakase. But would we make a connection with the chef, as we did with Ryo?


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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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