Feasting With Friends

Sometime last year Tangerine, at the corner of 16th and Sanchez, closed and was replaced by Kitchen Story, but it took me until this week to get around to trying it. Shoulda done so earlier. Jeff took me there last Wednesday, and we were both impressed.

In the first place, they’ve spruced the interior up quite a lot, so the appearance is greatly improved. More importantly, so has the food, as the only thing i found memorable at Tangerine was their exquisite cream of mushroom soup, the best of its sort i ever ate. Unfortunately, cream of mushroom soup all by itself is not enough of a draw to sustain a restauant.

Kitchen Story calls itself “California Cuisine”, but the menu is really California/Asian Fusion, with the emphasis on Asian.

For appetizers we had the Free Range Chicken Saté, which was merely good and thus the low point of the evening, and the Ahi Scoops, which were not only a delightful and handsome presentation, but also utterly delicious flavor bombs accompanied by wonderfully spicy cucumber slices.

For entrees, it was the Big Hug, perhaps a little cutesy in name but a gorgeous presentation. Bacon-wrapped scallops with grilled eggplant in a puddle of spicy cilantro sauce with garlic egg noodles. The “bacon” was really more like roasted pork belly, the cilantro sauce was an excellent version of that traditional Indian sauce, and the noodles were lusciously creamy. The other entree was the East Feeds West. a slow cooked, five spice pork shank with grilled broccolini and cucumber salad that were so good i could push off on Jeff my half of the uninteresting lotus-wrapped yellow curry rice. And to be fair, Jeff somehow managed to choke down every last grain of the rice.

The wait staff were relaxed, friendly, and totally competent. I’ll go back soon.

David came into town for lunch last Thursday, and we tried the new Farina pizza outpost at the corner of 18th and Valencia. David had the gnocci, which was much better than my rather ordinary pizza, not as good as Mozzeria’s and twice the price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, we walked into the next block to 740 Valencia so i could show him Dandelion’s factory and chocolate store and so i could give their newly opened cafe a try.

Oh my goodness. They offer coffee from Four Barrel, but we were both more tempted by the hot chocolates. Yes, plural. Three offerings. I had the one called Mission, which was as expected flavored with a bit of cinnamon and more than a bit of chile, but oh was it ever delicious. I’ve got to go back and try the others.

Not to mention their confections. This time i had the chocolate caramel tart, and it was impossibly rich but somehow lightened by precisely seven crystals of fleur de sel.

Go to Dandelion, folks, and do it on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday since that’s when the production line is running and that’s part of the joy.

Soon.

Meanwhile, here’s some local fauna:

 

Local Fauna

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