Hello Bao Down San Francisco!

Filipino cuisine is making its way to the top of the tastebuds of many foodies. This Hello Kitty Foodie is constantly in awe of all the amazing Pinoy offerings that are popping up every where! On my recent trip to San Francisco, I had the chance to checkout a newly opened gastropub specializing in Asian fusion food with touches of Hawaiian, Thai and Filipino flavors.

Located on Bush Street, next to  Executive Hotel Vintage Court is Bao Down.  It is the former location of Masa’s and All Spice and now is home to this Pan Asian Fusion food restaurant. This is Bao Down’s owners Greg Edwards and Marvin Agustin’s first US location. The original Bao Down is in Vancouver, Canada.

img_2699

Walking in, I was instantly mesmerized with the colorful and bright murals that are on Bao Down’s walls. I learned these colored murals were painted by Japanese-Canadian street artist Taka Sudo. He had also created similar murals for Bao Down’s Vancouver locations.

img_2747

Just as creative as the murals is Bao Down’s menu offerings.  It’s a traditional Asian food with a bit of pizazz and each dish has unique and flavorful ingredients.

I started off my meal here with one of their steamed baos. This place after all is called Bao Down and it seemed only appropriate that I try one of their signature bao dishes. I chose to try the Big Bang bao.

img_2696

The Big Bang bao consists of lechon kawali, carrots, daikon and Filipino sweet and sour sauce. Upon first bite, I could understand it’s name right away. It indeed made quite a bang for my tastebuds. From the soft outside bun to the crunchy lechon inside, it was amazingly delicious. The Filipino sweet and sour sauce brought out so much flavorful to this tender bao.

Up next, I tried one of their popular small plates, the West Coast Lumpia.

img_2695

Lumpia is one of my favorite Filipino dishes ever and thus I was quite intrigued to see Bao Down’s take. The West Coast Lumpia was filled with chicken, water chestnut, pickled vegetable and crispy noodles. I love how this starter was served piping hot. It was fried to perfect golden brown. The thin, crisp outside gave a nice crackling crunch at every bite.

For my main entree, I chose the beef rib kare kare.

img_2697

Kare Kare, similar to lumpia, is one of my all time favorite Filipino dishes. I have to say though that Bao Down’s Kare Kare makes it to the top of the most unique Filipino Kare Kare dishes I have ever tried. Their version consists of 36oz angus beef short rib, crispy garlic annatto-peanut sauce, crispy shanghai bok chow and XXXO sauce.  The angus beef short rib was gigantic and serving wise this could be good for four people! It was also super tender and one flick of a fork, the meat would come off the bone. The beef short rib was definitely a winner but one of the things I absolutely loved about this dish was the crispy shanghai bok choy! I was such a fan of their tempura bok choy. The buttery batter went well with the other savory sauces of this dish. This Hello Kitty Foodie bows down to this dish from Bao Down. 😉

With the rise in popularity of Filipino food in the United States, it is not surprising to see a place like Bao Down in San Francisco. I am happy to see them offering Filipino dishes with a special fusion flair. With their creative dishes and unique take, Bao Down takes Filipino cuisine to a whole new level.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review on Bao Down.

 

Advertisements

Hello Yellow Fever!

YELLOW FEVER noun /YELL-O FEE-VER/

1/ When someone is obsessed with Asian things
2/ An infectious tropical disease
3/ Ridiculously tasty Asian Bowls

As I walked into Yellow Fever, I saw the above definition and instantly thought hmm Hello Kitty Foodie definitely has some type of “yellow fever!”
Hello Kitty Foodie loves all types of tasty Asian cuisine and thinks cute places like this are quite infectious ;).

20140425-125328.jpg

Walking into this small little Torrance restaurant, I took an instant liking to the modern Asian decor. There is one wall covered in Asian bowls creatively placed and another area has a Asian kitty cat figurine. There are neat white chairs and bright circular lights spread throughout. There are also cute button giveaways with neat phrases like “Bruce Lee lives” and “Eat our lucky pickles, then go buy a lotto ticket. Seriously, Go Now.” The buttons gave me quite a giggle. 😉

20140425-125340.jpg

The menu consists of different appetizers, refreshments and various signature bowls that have been crafted to represent various Asian cities.

For today’s feverish meal, my friend and I got to try two different appetizers.

The first one we tried were Yellow Fever’s ugly egg rolls. They’re called “ugly” because of the wrapper that they use. It’s a dark golden brown wrapper that looks like it’s falling apart. The egg rolls here teach diners to not judge by looks because though it may look “ugly” it is far from being ugly in taste. The overall egg roll was served hot and fresh and the wrapper was wonderfully crispy. Inside were various spices, chicken and pork that mixed together to give a tasty concotion.

20140425-125403.jpg

The other appetizer we got to try is the parmesan furikake fries. It is one of the most popular orders at Yellow Fever and for good reason. It is a bowl of thick, golden fries sprinkled with plenty of parmesan and the Japanese seasoning that has seaweed and sesame seeds. It’s a unique and yummy starter!

20140425-125422.jpg

The main speciality of Yellow Fever comes in their signature bowls.
For my bowl, I chose to get the Seoul. The Seoul bowl comes with grilled filet mignon, asian slaw, mushrooms, kale, fried egg and gochu sauce. The runny egg, tender filet mignon and various veggies reminded me a lot of Korean bibimap. The red gochu sauce was pretty spicy and added quite a fiery kick.

20140425-125437.jpg

My friend got the Shanghai. The Shanghai bowl has braised natural pork belly, sautéed onions, bok choy, asian slaw, shiso leaves and kug pow sauce. I tried a little bit of this and it is very different from my Seoul bowl. It’s a lot milder. The Seoul was more unique while the Shanghai was crafted to be more simple and sweet

20140425-125500.jpg

Yellow Fever is a great place for Asian Fusion cusine. It’s hard not to feverishly fall for this place with it’s neat concept and overall uniqueness. (Side note: another reason for me to get fever for this place, they once had a pink drink called….Hello Kitty!) ❤️😊

For more smiles, please read my recent Yelp review on Yellow Fever.

Hello Filipino/Asian Fusion PYE @ La Fang!

Masarap! In Tagalog that means delicious.

Eating masarap or delicious food is just one of the reasons why I like La Fang Asian Fusion Kitchen. The other reason though is it seems every time I dine here, I always have a great experience here with friends!

I first tried La Fang when they first opened about a year ago. I came with my friend and Filipino yelp sis Jamie A.

A month later, also at La Fang I had the chance to meet famous Filipino American chef Ron Bilaro and be a part of his Eat and Ron segment of the tv show Adobo Nation.

20131124-165122.jpg
From that show, La Fang received this 2013 Kagat tasted honor.20131124-170827.jpg.

With such happy memories in mind, I was super happy and excited when Jamie decided to do her very first PYE (private yelp event) at La Fang.

The folks at La Fang treated us to delicious eats from the start!
We started off with plates of lumpia or chicken rolls. Lumpia is a popular Filipino dish. La Fang’s take on the dish is mini egg rolls fried and filled with chicken.

20131124-171951.jpg

20131124-165138.jpg

Our kind server John then served us more crispy treats via calamari.

20131124-165153.jpg

For refreshments, some of us tried Fresh Buko (coconut) juice. La Fang puts a little twist in their coconut juice by adding pieces of lychee fruit in the mix.

20131124-165211.jpg

Next up for us was sisig. Sisig comes from another Filipino dialect, Kampampgan and means sour snack. Typically the dish contains white onion, green chili, lemon juice or vinegar. Here at La Fang, they brought out a fish version and a pork version. I don’t eat seafood but the presentation of the fish sisig was impressive with the large bangus or milkfish. 20131124-165255.jpg

Similarly the pork sisig had a fine mix of pork marinated in the sour liquid and seasoning of various spices.

20131124-165354.jpg

Since it was a somewhat, chilly day, the next dish of chicken tinola seemed appropriate. It is chicken broth based soup filled with chicken and chayote.

20131124-165415.jpg

John served pork hamonado next. The pork hamonado had sweet pork marinated in beer and pineapple sauce.

20131124-165502.jpg

La Fang then gave us is a fusion version of Filipino mechado via their beef pastel. Mechado is a beef stew with tomato sauce and potatoes. Here at La Fang instead of traditional boiled potatoes, they had mashed potatoes on top of the beef.

20131124-165527.jpg

Last entree to be served was their #1 special of crispy binagoongan or fried pork cooked in shrimp paste and topped with mangos. Unfortunately I don’t eat shrimp and so shrimp paste based dish is not really my thing but my Yelp friends loved this! I did get to try a little bit of the fried meat and it was good (minus the shrimp paste 😉

20131124-165611.jpg

The sweet ending to our PYE was the banana yema pie. Yema is a type of Filipino candy made out of egg yolks, condensed milk and peanuts. At La Fang they mixed the banana and yema, placed it on a crispy pie crust and topped it with whip cream and swirls of caramel to make one delicious desseert
20131124-165636.jpg

20131124-165642.jpg

Thanks to Jamie A for setting up this yummy and fun PYE! It’s always great hanging out with my Filipino yelp sista 🙂 and it was nice to meet her husband Pablo.

20131124-165655.jpg

It was also awesome to see all my Yelp friends Jennifer N, Clarence M, Tony L, Craig Y, Antho L and Wan L

20131124-165712.jpg

Yay to good times with my yelp friends!

For more happy smiles, please read my very first Yelp review of La Fang when I first came here with Jamie.