View all posts filed under 'Seafood'

New Pizza Joint in the South Bay, Dungeness Crab Galore & More

Wednesday, 15. February 2012 5:25

Caprese salad at Blue Line Pizza. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza Opens a Locale in Campbell

Pizza lovers will rejoice that San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza — famed for its deep-dish, cornmeal-crust pizzas — opened an offshoot last week in downtown Campbell.

Blue Line Pizza, named for the train that runs between O’Hare International Airport and Chicago, features organic salads, paninis, and both deep-dish and thin-crust pizzas.

The original Little Star has been a sensation ever since it opened its original Divisadero Street location in San Francisco in 2004 in San Francisco. There’s now a second branch in San Francisco, as well as one in Albany.

Sidle up to the bar at Blue Line Pizza. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

One taste of its deep-dish pie will tell you why it’s so popular.

I’m partial to the Blue Line (Little Star) with spinach, ricotta, feta, mushrooms, onions and garlic, as well as the Mediterranean Chicken with roasted chicken, red bell peppers, olives, onions, feta and plenty of marinated artichoke hearts. It’s a mouthful; it’s a meal.

Blue Line Pizza is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

A Crabby Time at Lark Creek Restaurants

Through the end of February, the Lark Creek Restaurant Group celebrates the bounty of fresh, seasonal Dungeness crab.

Its 23rd annual “Crab Festival” will feature a range of crab dishes at its various restaurants.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Pizza, Restaurants, Seafood | Comments (7) | Author:

Dungeness Crab Time, A New Indian Restaurant & More

Thursday, 29. December 2011 5:26

Fresh crab slathered with pesto -- at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Dig Into Dungeness in Half Moon Bay

Hankering for fresh, local Dungeness crab, but don’t want to cook it, yourself?

Take a pretty drive along the coast to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, where Chef Gaston Alfaro is dishing up “Baked Pesto Infused Dungeness Crab.”

The crab is poached in a secret blend of spices and a splash of Mavericks Ale, then cracked and slathered in pesto sauce before being slipped into a hot oven for a few minutes. How good does that sound? Even better when you hear it comes with garlic bread.

Of course, if you’re a purist, you also can have your crab in the classic style, served warm or cold, simply with drawn butter and garlic bread.

Both dishes are $23 each. They’ll be on the menu as long as local Dungeness is available.

The modern interior of Arka in Sunnyvale. (Photo courtesy of the restaur

Arka Opens in Sunnyvale

A new contemporary Indian restaurant has opened in Sunnyvale, serving up the likes of vegetarian tandoori kebabs and “Doodhiya Gosht” (lamb curry with ricotta cheese, essence of screw pine and edible silver).

Arka Restaurant, Bar & Lounge will officially open in January, but it’s already opened its doors this month for a test launch.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Pizza, Restaurants, Seafood | Comments (3) | Author:

Hawaii Part 4: Four Magnificent Meals on Maui

Thursday, 1. December 2011 5:25

Dessert at Mama's Fish House in Maui is something to remember.

MAUI, HAWAII — You’re probably accustomed to restaurant menus that list the farms where the produce comes from and the ranches that raise the pork and beef starring in the dishes.

But how about a seafood restaurant that lists not only where the fresh fish it serves comes from, but the name of the fisherman who caught it and the method used to land it?

That’s what you’ll find on the menu of Mama’s Fish House in Paia on the north shore of Maui, which has been including that information since it opened 39 years ago. At a time when upscale restaurants on Maui were all steak houses, Vice President Karen Christenson’s parents opened this beach-side restaurant to spotlight seafood because it was cheaper then — and because the fishermen conveniently delivered.

Today, you’ll find descriptions on the menu such as “Deep-water ahi caught by Shawn Boneza trolling the north shore of Maui; seared in ginger and panko crust with kalua pig rice pilaf” ($40) and “Papio caught by David Wallace while adrift over deep sea ledges near Kaupo; upcountry style with caramelized Maui onion, tomato and jasmine rice” ($38).

How’s that to make a dish sound even more enticing?

The beach is right outside the door at Mama's Fish House.

The entrance to the restaurant.

Recently, I had a chance to dine as a guest at four wonderful restaurants on Maui, including Mama’s Fish House, as part of my trip to Hawaii, courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

They take their fish seriously at Mama’s Fish House, a bustling tropical outpost with dining rooms decorated with outrigger boats and shells, as well as views of sand and palm trees.

Fresh fish that arrived at the restaurant that morning.

The fish come in whole and are cut and stored in a separate room at the restaurant.

Chef Perry Bateman, who has been at the restaurant an astounding 20 years, turns out about 1,000 meals a day. Everything is made from scratch, too.

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Hawaii Part 2: Chefs Who Pioneered Hawaiian-Regional, Fine-Dining Cuisine

Tuesday, 29. November 2011 5:25

Fabulous ginger-crusted onaga at Alan Wong's.

HONOLULU, OAHU –  Alan Wong. Sam Choy. Roy Yamaguchi. George Mavrothalassitis. And Peter Merriman.

Together, they make up a large part of the culinary cognoscente who first put Hawaiian fine-dining on the map. In their hands, the unique ingredients of the islands have been elevated to new heights with sophisticated techniques and glorious ethnic influences.

On a recent trip to Oahu, courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, I was invited to dine as a guest at two of these pioneering Honolulu restaurants. They did not disappoint, either.

In 1995, the flagship Alan Wong’s restaurant opened in an unlikely spot: the third floor of a rather non-descript office building. It boasts no view of the ocean or beach, just cars whizzing by on the street or kids skate-boarding after dark.

But when the elevator doors open to the restaurant, you step into a warm, inviting and always busy dining room full of couples and families celebrating birthdays as befits this special occasion place.

The menu offers a la carte choices, as well as two tasting menu options — a five-course menu sampling and a six-course chef’s tasting menu. The former is a roundup of some of Wong’s signature dishes, while the latter features newer dishes.

My husband and I opted for the $75 five-course, though the cooks threw in a few extra goodies.

Soup and sandwich go glam at Alan Wong's.

Wong’s food is full of whimsy and bold flavors, as evidenced by the famous “Soup and Sandwich,” which features chilled Hamakua Springs tomato soup in a martini glass that’s playfully juxtaposed with a grilled cheese kalua pig sandwich. Yes, in Hawaii, you can get great tomatoes practically all year-round. Eat your heart out, mainlanders. Bite into the crisp sammy and prepare to swoon as tender, smoky pig meets gooey mozzarella.

Ahi done up like a sea anemone.

Another inventive take was the ahi, which comes wrapped in slivers of wonton wrappers, then is deep-fried until it looks like a golden sea anemone on your plate.

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Hawaii Part 1: Bright and Early at the Honolulu Fish Auction

Monday, 28. November 2011 5:25

The action gets going at 5:30 a.m. at the Honolulu Fish Auction.

HONOLULU, OAHU — Long before the sun comes up six days a week, Pier 38 is a frenzy of activity even in deepest darkness.

As early as 1 a.m., fishing vessels that have been 200 miles out in international waters pull into port to unload their formidable fresh catch at the Honolulu Fish Auction, the largest such auction in the United States. (The only other one is in Maine.)

The fish — bigeye tuna, swordfish, mahimahi and others — are weighed and tagged with the name of the vessel that caught each one. Then, the fish are put on display in row upon row of ice-heaped pallets inside an expansive warehouse kept at a frigid temperature to maintain the integrity of the seafood.

Fresh, whole opah. Can you guess why it's also called moon fish?

The male mahimahi have square heads, while the females have rounded ones.

At 5:30 a.m. sharp, the auctioneer rings a brass bell to signal the start of bidding on that day’s bounty from the sea.

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