A 23 year old student and Bay native encountering food from all of the Bay Area (and more, on occasion!). Submissions are always welcome! If you see your pictures here and want them down, feel free to contact me via the ask box or e-mail me.
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So, if you’re seeing this message, it means I’m finally getting the heart transplant I’ve been waiting for! That means this blog will be inactive for several weeks. I need to spend time recovering so bayfood will be going on a hiatus!!!

If you want to know more, I started a blog for my transplant experience: http://iman-ifesto.blogspot.com/

Anyway, that’s all for now! I’d appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

- Iman

Yo Yo Sushi (Santa Clara, CA) - Caterpillar Roll. One word. Disappointed. 

This is worse than the sushi I use to get at the Coffee House for lunch in UCD. And that says a lot considering those are boxed up probably hours prior before I actually buy it. The eel was rubbery and the roll itself was small for what I was paying (well my coworker paid for the meal), but it wasn’t worth it. 

I was so disappointed. I pass by this place often when I go to Fantasia in the same center. I won’t be coming back. 

On the plus side, the ladies are always very eager in filling your water or tea. So service was great! Food.. not so much. 

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Extraordinary Soup and More (Cupertino, CA) - Not immediately obvious from the name, Extraordinary Soup & More is actually a Mediterranean restaurant offering sandwiches, wraps, kabobs and all kinds meat plates. The ‘Extraordinary’ soups are served on a self-served counter. They have about 6-7 varieties including some rather uncommon ones like Polish Dill and Black and Blue. Those small sample cups really came in handy for the indecisives. I like most of the soups I have tried but wished they have something lighter and not as creamy. 

The gyro falafel platter was absolutely huge. One order is more than enough for two to share. The gyro meat was tender and the falafels were crisp. It is a good deal for the price.

My only complaint is the cleanliness and upkeep. I found food residue on the soup bowl and serving plate had a chip. Had it not been the case, this could be my new go-to lunch spot in the area.

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Koja Kitchen (Berkeley, CA) Left: Kalbe beef sandwich between two rice patties. Right: Koja Waffle fries

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Fresh U Order Bakery (Sunnyvale, CA) - With Fresh U next door, I don’t see why anyone would ever frequent the neighboring Subway. Well… Unless you really crave a sandwich in late afternoon or cold rock hard subs are your thing. 

Each sandwich is made to order and always come out hot. Bread is fresh and ingredients are tasty. Their breakfast eggwich (available all day) is my favorite - fluffy egg in between a dense and chewy bagel, perfect meal to start a day.

While the sandwiches might not be award winning, Fresh U is still a neighborhood gem. I wish they could expand their veggie selection or offer egg white variety for those with diet restrictions.

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Dan Izakaya (San Jose, CA) - The Uni and Ikura bowl; the creamy uni and salty ikura were a real treat!

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La Boulange (San Francisco, CA)

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Mount Everest (Berkeley, CA)

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BAYFOOD COOKS: One of my favorite soups of all time is Aush. It’s an Afghan tomato-based noodle soup that has ground beef, lentils, and herbs. I love the splash of tang that the yogurt gives as it’s put on top at the end. I’ve become a big fan of Aush since trying it at Salang Pass back when it had just opened. We decided to learn how to make it at home since you can’t always eat out! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons No Salt Added tomato paste mixed with 2 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 can of No Salt Added diced tomatoes (about 14 ounce can)
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 pack of Herb-Ox Instant Chicken Bouillon Broth & Seasoning, 1.13 ounce (Comes in Pack of 12) (contains no salt)
  • 1/4 cup of split yellow lentils, boiled
  • 1 ½ cup of plain Greek or Persian yogurt, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint (optional)
  1. Sauté half of the onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauce pan on medium low heat until tender.
  2. Add the 1 teaspoon garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the ground beef and use a spoon to break until separated.
  4. Once the beef has browned, add the coriander, paprika, salt, black pepper and tomato paste/water.  Mix everything well and continue to cook over medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is brown. Set aside.
  5. While the meat is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a deep pan and fry onions until soft.
  6. Add remaining garlic, coriander, salt, turmeric, cumin, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  7. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. In 2 cups of hot water, mix chicken broth pack and add to tomato mixture.
  9. Add another cup of water and let it boil. When it boils, add the noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes until noodles are tender.
  10. Add the lentils and continue for 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  11. To serve, ladle noodles and broth and 1 tablespoon of meat into a soup bowl.  Finish with 1 or 2 spoonfuls of yogurt on top and sprinkle with dried and/or fresh mint Fresh mint enhances the flavor but dried works just as well. 

You can use flat noodles, spaghetti noodles, or even ramen, whatever you have on hand. It’s a pretty easy meal to make since you can just add what you have on hand. We make sure to use no salt added canned products to cut out extra, unnecessary sodium because of my diet. You can also make it as a vegetarian version by omitting the meat and using a non-meat based broth, although the chicken broth flavor is pretty distinct for this. I’m assuming you can find something that tastes like it but is not meat based?Our yogurt is also homemade, but you can use Greek or Persian yogurt.

This is a great meal when you’re feeling sick or its cold outside. I love it late at night or early in the morning or on a goat or in a boat. It’s kind of like green eggs and ham to me. 

Señor Sisig (Berkeley, CA) - “Señor” Sisig Burrito with chicken, Adobo garlic rice, pinto beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, and cilantro cream sauce.

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