Category Archives: Great Finds

A Taste of Korean Walnut Pastry

Discover Korean walnut pastries.

Discover Korean walnut pastries.



I am drawn to bakeries. What can I say?

So even after gorging one evening on fried chicken at Vons in Sunnyvale (a must-try for the “crispy” chicken, by the way), I still felt compelled to stop in at a bakery steps away in the same strip mall on El Camino Real.

What enticed me was Cocohodo’s sign: “Walnut Pastry.”

Walnut pastries? Korean ones? What could those possibly be?

Why, quite delicious, that’s what.

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Munchery — A Game-Changer

Flintstone-sized pork shank with butter beans -- delivered to my door care of Munchery for all of $18.95.

Flintstone-sized pork shank with butter beans — delivered to my door care of Munchery for all of $18.95.


It’s not often that I review a product that so exceeds my expectations that my jaw just drops in awe.

But Munchery is that rare find.

Established in San Francisco in 2010, the meal-delivery service was started by two guys working in tech who found it a challenge to feed their young families well under today’s demanding time constraints.

They created Munchery as an answer to that. It’s now expanded to Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, and just raised $85 million in funding.

Unlike many other delivery services that either offer take-out from area restaurants or prepped food kits that you finish cooking at home, Munchery’s meals come complete and chilled. All you need do is heat in an oven or microwave to enjoy whenever you like.

The food comes neatly packaged in recyclable/compostable containers.

The food comes neatly packaged in recyclable/compostable containers.

The dishes are created and made by professional chefs, some of them quite well known, such as Bridget Batson, former executive chef of San Francisco’s Gitane and Hawthorne Lane; and Jeremy Goldfarb, former executive chef of 123 Bolinas in Fairfax.

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Introducing a Revolutionary New Product — Coffee Flour

Get to know Coffee Flour, an intriguing new product you're going to be seeing a lot of.

Get to know Coffee Flour, an intriguing new product you’re going to be seeing a lot of.


Did you know that for every pound of coffee beans produced, there’s nearly an equal amount of waste created?

Coffee Flour aims to tackle that immense problem. It is the first company to dry and finely mill that pulp waste on a large scale to create a type of flour that has five times the fiber of whole wheat flour and more iron than any other grain.

Surprisingly enough, the resulting flour tastes nothing like coffee, either. Instead, the gluten-free coffee flour tastes heavily of citrus and cherry.

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Heavenly Hummus

Miso makes this hummus something special.

Miso makes this hummus something special.


There are few things I’m fanatical about.

Hummus happens to be one of them.

It all started when I tried the one at Oren’s Hummus Shop in Palo Alto. It took awhile, though, since the small cafe always has a line out the door, no matter what time of day or night. But it also has tubs of hummus to grab-and-go at a refrigerator case.

After one taste, I was hooked for life. And no other hummus would do.

That’s because Oren’s hummus is the smoothest, creamiest version ever. It’s like the creme brulee of hummus. And I can eat it by the spoonful — non-stop.

The Palo Alto shop, as well as the second one in downtown Mountain View, was opened by start-up investor Oren Dobronsky, who is so finicky about his hummus that he imports the garbanzo beans from Israel.

So, when I spied a recipe for “Hummus with White Miso,” I was intrigued, but dubious. Intrigued, because I wondered what the addition of miso would impart. And dubious, well, because how could it be better than the hummus at Oren’s?

Seven Spoons

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Seven Spoons” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It was written by Tara O’Brady, a celebrated food blogger in Canada.

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Great Cheap Eats in Los Angeles

Finally -- the elusive fresh strawberry donut at The Donut Man!

Finally — the elusive fresh strawberry donut at The Donut Man!


On a recent trip down to Los Angeles, I had a chance to try some new favorite eats. All satisfying. All affordable, too. The best kind, don’t you, think?

Donut Nirvana

I’d heard about it, seen pics online and salivated over it on the Food Network. But try as I might, I never seemed to be in Los Angeles at the right time of year to snag a fresh strawberry donut at The Donut Man in Glendora.

Until this trip.

Let me tell you, it was definitely worth the wait and lived up to all the hype.

Imagine a fresh brioche donut split in half, then stuffed to the gills with fresh, juicy whole strawberries that have been macerated in just a smidge of syrup.

What I love is that it’s not overly sweet at all, thanks to the fact that the donut, itself, is not glazed. As a result, the flavor of the berries shine through.

It’s sort of like strawberry shortcake. Only better.

Of course, after making the drive, you've got to get more than one donut. You've got to get a box-load.

Of course, after making the drive, you’ve got to get more than one donut. You’ve got to get a box-load.

A beloved institution for more than 40 years, The Donut Man is sort of in the middle of nowhere. It’s essentially a humble kiosk with a walk-up window in a parking lot shared by a martial arts school, of all things.

If you’re anywhere in the vicinity, do make the drive.

Now, if I can only make it back one later in the summer when the fresh peach donut is available. Yes, same as the strawberry one, but with fresh slices of yellow peaches instead. That’s definitely worth making a return trip.

Grand Central Market is Plenty Grand

Think the Ferry Building in San Francisco — but a version that keeps it a little more real.

That’s Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles, a market arcade that originally opened in 1917, but was infused with new life two years ago.

Sure, there are upscale food vendors now such as Belcampo Meat Co., and Bombo, esteemed Chef Mark Peel’s seafood-centric cafe.

Inside Grand Central Market.

Inside Grand Central Market.

But there are also old-school, ethnic outposts such as China Cafe, which dishes up chop suey and egg fo yeung; Valeria’s, which offers a well-stocked Latin pantry of items, including fresh mole pastes to take home to cook with; and La Casa Verde, a large produce market with very down-to-earth prices.

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