Category Archives: Seafood

Pacific Catch Makes A Landing in Mountain View

Korean Barbecue Bowl at Pacific Catch in Mountain View.

Korean Barbecue Bowl at Pacific Catch in Mountain View.

 

San Francisco-based Pacific Catch opened its sixth location at the end of March in Mountain View — and its largest restaurant to date.

Located at The Village at San Antonio Center, it’s a pretty, airy restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating, plus roomy booths in the dining room that’s decorated on theme with fish prints, a cascading water wall and light fixtures that look like they’re fabricated from delicate Japanese paper.

Partners Aaron Noveshen and Keith Cox opened the first Pacific Catch on Chestnut Street in San Francisco in 2003. This spring, they also brought on board David Gingrass as executive chef. Gingrass, who cooked with Wolfgang Puck and once had the lauded Hawthorne Lane restaurant in San Francisco, has streamlined and upgraded operations, according to the general manager. Still to come, Gingrass will be putting his stamp on the menu with some new dishes.

The dining room.

The dining room.

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to check out the current menu when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.

The restaurant is proud of its crafted cocktails including the Spicy Pacific ($7), which I tried at the manager’s suggestion. It’s a golden blend of Svedka vodka, passion fruit and Serrano chilies. It starts out fruity and refreshing, then the kick of heat kicks in at the end, warming the throat all the way down. It should come with a warning, as you can’t help but take one sip then reach for another and another.

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A British Columbia Mussel Flexes Its Muscle in the Bay Area

A simple pasta dish made extra special with new Honey Mussels.

A simple pasta dish made extra special with new Honey Mussels.

 

There’s a new mussel in town.

And is it ever extraordinary.

You can’t find it in retail stores yet. But you can enjoy it at some of San Francisco’s most discriminating restaurants, including Rich Table, Bar Tartine, Parallel 37, Foreign Cinema, and Ragazza.

The Honey Mussel is so named because of its amber-hued shell. It doesn’t taste of honey per se, but there is a hint of natural sweetness about it. It’s also impressively sized — with its meat taking up almost the entire interior of the shell. Even after cooking, there’s little shrinkage, as I found when I had a chance to cook a sample at home in a simple pasta dish. Indeed, it’s probably the plumpest, most tender mussel I’ve had the pleasure of eating.

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Memories of Stone Crab Claws and A Food Gal Giveaway

Now, that's a holiday seafood platter, wouldn't you say? (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Now, that’s a holiday seafood platter, wouldn’t you say? (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

 

Having grown up in San Francisco, I am an avowed Dungeness crab gal through and through.

Some people may consider lobster the ultimate luxury ingredient. But I think Dungeness is far superior with its fluffy, sweet meat.

That being said, though, I have dabbled with stone crab claws.

When you worked in South Florida for four years as I did, you can’t help but fall for these big, meaty claws.

On a lowly newspaper reporter’s salary, pricey stone crab claws were a rare treat.

But the once or twice that I did splurge on them, I must say they sure satisfied, especially dunked in mustardy mayo.

Thanks to Anderson Seafoods, I got to relive that memory recently.

The Orange County seafood distributor, which overnights fresh and frozen seafood right to your door, sent me a sample of real-deal Florida stone crab claws to try.

They’re ready to eat once they arrive. All I did was whip up my own mustard-mayo sauce before digging in, happily.

I may be a California gal, but there just might be a little bit of Florida still in me. Just maybe.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a $300 credit from Anderson Seafoods to enjoy whatever seafood you please. Entries, open only to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 14. Winner will be announced Dec. 16

How to win?

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Get A Taste of Jose Andres’ New Food Products

Plump, wonderful mussels -- Galician-style -- by Jose Andres.

Plump, wonderful mussels — Galician-style — by Jose Andres.

 

Would you pay $18 for this tiny tin of canned mussels?

You just might if they carry the stamp of approval of renowned Chef Jose Andres.

With glam restaurants around the world, including The Bazaar in Beverly Hills, this Ferran Adria protege has introduced his own line of food products, Jose Andres Foods, that speak to his Spanish heritage.

Recently, I had a chance to sample a few of the products.

Spain takes its canned seafood seriously. Unlike in the United States, where tinned seafood is often thought of as a cheap pantry staple, Spaniards treat their canned seafood with reverence because the quality is high enough to serve in the best restaurants.

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Seafood for Father’s Day and a Food Gal Giveaway

A dish with which to spoil any father.

A dish with which to spoil any father.

 

My Dad loved nothing better than scrambled eggs in the morning enfolded with salty chunks of SPAM.

Yup, that was his breakfast of choice, if given his druthers.

If he were still alive this Father’s Day, I’d change that up. I’d present him with pillowy scrambled eggs, all right. But topped with briny caviar instead.

I’m sure he’d be startled, thinking I’d lost my mind or was mortgaging my house to do so.

Nope, on both accounts.

Instead, I’d tell him that Southern California-based Anderson Seafoods provided me with a sample to try. The roe is from American Lake Sturgeon. The teeny-tiny, ebony-charcoal-hued eggs have a nice pop when you bite into them. At $38 for a 1-ounce jar, it’s relatively affordable, too, as far as caviar goes, especially because it takes only a smidgeon to make anything more luxurious tasting.

The company offers an array of fresh and frozen seafood, all of which can be delivered to your door overnight.

A precious jar of roe.

A precious jar of roe.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a chance to sample $300 worth of seafood of your choice, courtesy of Anderson Seafoods. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through 6 p.m. PST June 13. The winner will be announced June 14.

How to win?

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