Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Okonomiyaki and other things I like

We drove into San Francisco today to meet an old friend of Lane's who was visiting the city from Salt Lake. The first stop was Japantown, where I tried a dish native to Osaka and Hiroshima, okonomiyaki. This is sort of a Japanese pancake made with egg, flour, water, cabbage, and whatever else you want. The word kono refers to the verb "to like," so okonomi means, more or less, "things that I like." Yaki means "fried" in Japanese. Mine was made with squid, shrimp, and beef. It was covered in Japanese barbecue sauce and mayonnaise as well as some powdered seaweed. (We were joined at lunch by the friend's Japanese-American friend, who explained all of this to me.)

I was starving at the time so I gobbled it all up. Immediately after I felt, ugh, like I'd just eaten a lot of fast food. I don't know about okonomi yaki. Maybe if you add fresh vegetables. Maybe if there's a little less yaki. It reminded me of those big breakfasts in England; I kept thinking with the right ingredients and cooking this could be really good. I do want to give okonomi another try.

I had more fun picking up cheap little things at the shops in the neighborhood. I got Jasper a little denim pencil case to keep a few little travel toys and some toy sushi. I also got a scrap of brown silk for a scarf at an antique store, some Hello Kitty pocket tissures, some hand wipes, and these cute little slippers.

It was cold today so we looked for indoor fun. There's no H&M in Salt Lake so we ended up there, which was fun for me. I picked up some astonishingly cheap t-shirts. Then we just drove around the city enjoying the views. It was kind of fun for the adults but a little tough on Jasper.

My obligatory photo of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Lane's friend is... well, I think I posted last summer about the polarization between parents and non-parents in Salt Lake City. Lane's friend is not a parent. So I had to keep Jasper quietly amused in the back. It was not easy, but once I mentioned an ice cream bribe Jasper worked very hard.

We finally made our way back to Palo Alto around 8:00. Even though we hadn't yet had dinner we went straight to the Peninsula Fountain and Grill and put a scoop of cookie dough ice cream in front of Jasper. He earned it. After that heavy lunch Lane and I just shared a burger with green salad. But oh my, we're going to have to return to Peninsula another day, this time with empty bellies.


Luisa Perkins said...

It wasn't a bribe; it was incentive. A bribe is offered in exchange for a wrongdoing. You held out the possibility of ice cream as a reqard. So you should feel very good about providing incentive for Jasper. ;)

I have a non-parent friend. After a few failed attempts at having positive visits at our house, I now only meet her on her terms: either at her apartment or at a restaurant. So I totally understand your task yesterday. Sometimes these things can't be avoided.

Cute slippers!

Sylvia said...

Such a contrast between Japantown and Chinatown in SF. J-Town is pretty much dead except for the tourists and homesick exchange students. C-town is so vibrant!

Good thing you guys got out of Tahoe.

shaunamama said...

Sounds like you're having a wonderful time! I'm so glad. Give that cutie Jasper a hug for me. He's a trooper. It's hard being that little with that much energy...he deserves two servings of ice cream!

Adriana Velez said...

Yeah, while there's a lot to be said for getting away from one's kids and spend time giving your friends your undivided attention (some of you may be saying "oh really, when do you EVER do that???") I do appreciate it when my friends-without-kids can relax around Jasper and even enjoy his company.

I can understand why Lane's friend is uncomfortable around families but it's still kind of put a damper on things.

Yeah, our friends' wedding in Tahoe was well timed! Sounds pretty awful for the residents.