Saturday, October 13, 2018

Jay Bharat Restaurant: Indian Vegetarian Cuisine in Newark, CA

Above is the Punjabi Thali I ordered. Now here below is the Gujarati Thali Robin ordered. Each dish was so vividly flavored with fresh herbs and spices, using high quality produce, it wasn't anything like the great Indian vegetarian restaurants we went to in the South Bay. The yellow cubes with black dots are savory (I know they resemble cake or cornbread) made from chickpea flour. Each Thali plate comes with one of these, called Khaman, which I've never experienced before. Chickpeas & flour named for it are referred to as Channa Dal in Indian cuisine.

Above: a shot of the Punjabi Thali.


Pretty sure that's a yogurt drink up above. Just below it is Gulab Jamun, a very, very sweet traditional Indian desert item you might have encountered, like I have, at Indian buffets. 

Some very delectable dals, spiced to perfection.

Jay Bharat Restaurant: Indian Vegetarian Cuisine 
39203 Cedar in Newark, CA 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

What's Cooking In My Kitchen, Part 3

Eggs with sauteed mushrooms, poblanos, tomatillos, serranos, garlic, scallion greens, fresh picked & minced thyme and oregano, one minced salt cured anchovy, olive oil lemon marinade with rosemary black pepper, topped with Romano & Parmesan cheese; served with lightly fried corn tortillas. (Oct. 7, 2018).

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Zazzi Foods in Berkeley

Cubano Sandwich at Zazzi Foods in Berkeley.

Yesterday (October 5, 2018) I had some time to kill in Berkeley, so I went off on a walk down University. After an hour of window shopping, I was a bit peckish and wanted to stop for a snack and a rest. Zazzi Foods is a cafe that looks like a good place to relax over healthy fare, coffee, tea, kombucha and more.

Above and below is a small Chicken & Avocado Salad--chicken, pepitas, avocado, 3 pieces of small toast, and lemon vinaigrette over very fresh and crisp romaine lettuce. Chicken pieces are moist, and the combination with avocado and pumpkin seeds is a perfect complement, flavor and texture-wise. Quite healthy.

Above and below: the Cubano sandwich. Every once in a while, when I worked for Chef Tony in Austin, a classic pressed Cubano would be the lunch special--ham, cheese, roast pork, some butter on the pressed bread (good to have a pannini machine). I love it, but it's on that border of comfort food and junk food, like fried chicken, meatload sandwich or a Philly cheesesteak.

But this version has a few additions that makes it significantly different, and dare I suggest: better? Take a look at the bite closeup below--subbing carnitas for roast pork is no big deal, but this version has crisp dill pickles, raw jalapenos, mayo, swiss cheese, and Dijon mustard. This Cubano is both a he-man's protein bomb and healthy at the same time. And a delicious variation on a classic worth checking out. 

Red Chillies: Malabar Cuisine in Milpitas

Indian buffet in the style of Malabar, in the old downtown of Milpitas. Another first for me, I've never had this same exact type of South Indian food, for example, that Paratha? Never had one quite like it, with such a pronounced texture, almost like Croissant dough, or Greek Phyllo Dough. Whether they used Ghee or Oil to get that flakey crust, the Paratha doesn't taste oily. This was a buffet format, so they aren't making these dals and curries to order, so one could be concerned about the spice levels, but I wouldn't be. In fact, for a place known for being the hub of the Spice Trade for many millenia, the cuisine is quite balanced and just so.

Highlights included tandoori chicken, mutton and beef with coconut.

Rajwadi Thali: Gujarati Cuisine in Sunnyvale

Vegetarian Thali plates, with servers circulating, refilling dishes as indicated by diners.
 Usually there's a line to get in here, & once they seat you, they bring you a tray of their Thali dishes, then servers circulate to see what patrons want more of.

Our visit was in early September 2018.

Mango drink.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

UlavacharU: Indian Restaurant in Sunnyvale, CA

Baigan Bharta, Rice and other dishes at UlavacharU in Sunnyvale.

Above and below: Goat Curry.

Above: Paneer Biryani. I'd never seen or experienced this dish before.

Pununkulu. Our visit was in late August, 2018. Everything we had here was utterly superb.

Amar Indian Cuisine in Fairfield

Andhra Chicken Curry at Amar Indian Cuisine in Fairfield.

We've just recently heard about this Indian restaurant in Fairfield that opened in a space where Indian buffets were being done. Amar still hosts lunch buffets, but they doubled the space and are also serving exquisite Indian dishes for dinner.

Methi Palak Channa/Paneer.

Mutton Daar Kuruma.

Nizami Chicken Curry.

All 3 of the above dishes on one plate. Note the whole spices at the edge of this plate. This was from our first visit in September 2018. We were instantly hooked, and have been talking about returning ever since.

Above and below: a Chaat dish, Dhaki Bhella, served cold. This, and the following dishes, are from our visit tonight, October 4, 2018.

Amritsari Fish with Ajwain & Besan flour. Delicate fried fish with spices that are subtle compared to Amar's spicy curries.

Jeera Rice, with the heavy aromas of ghee and cumin.

Above: Mushroom Mutter Masala. The heavy cream makes this a very rich, filling dish.

Saving the best for last, Andhra Chicken Curry, with an intense array of spices, but not chile spicy hot.