Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Da Tuna Shack

I can’t believe I’ve lived up the hill over 12 years and have never set foot in Da Tuna Shack. Until tonight that is. Wow, what a special gem this place is. A relatively small, yet elegantly appointed dining room. You forget you’re even in a seedy strip mall with bad parking. I ordered a Shrimp Tempura Roll ($9). Made with tempura shrimp, crab, avocado, sprouts and cucumber. Rolled with both nori and soy paper, topped with eel sauce and beautifully presented. Tasted very good and fresh.  Service was very friendly and extremely attentive. All were in good spirits and very welcoming. They have a wide and varied menu which I look forward to sampling. Much more than just sushi. There’s something for just about any taste, even those who don’t like oriental food…


Thai Time

What time is it? It’s Thai Time! Excellent dinner tonight. Sampled one of their fried rice dishes. They have about 6 styles to choose from – I ordered the Spicy Fried Rice. It’s made with stir fried rice, egg, garlic, basil, bell pepper, onion and chili. It’s prepared with your choice of meat/combo/vegetarian. I chose “combo” style which includes shrimp, chicken, pork and beef. Kind of house special style. The cost driver is the meat choice. My combo style costs $12.95. Most others are less, and there’s a seafood option for $13.95.
It was all very tasty and the presentation is always elegant and refined. Service was good. Everyone was very cute, friendly, etc., even the owner lady. They seemed genuinely happy to have you visit. The place was abundantly decorated in a somewhat tacky fashion, just how I like it. Great visit, can’t wait to go back… Next time my wife goes out of town…



Grilled Cheese Sandwich

With bacon!  One of my signature dishes, albeit humble.  Using a good, high quality bread, lots of butter and thick slices of sharp cheddar cheese.  Maybe next time I’ll add some thin sliced mater.  Keep the heat low and be patient, otherwise your bread will burn before the cheese fully melts.  


Boll Weevil 

As I’ve posted before, I’m a big fan of the Thursday night all-you-can eat Fish & Chips at the Weev. Unfortunately the Fish & Chips Friday – Wednesday is decidedly different. Tonight was a very institutional variety. I would say it was from the freezer section somewhere in between Smart & Final bottom shelf and Statler Bros top shelf. Served with fries and no salad for $9.29. Wish I got a burger tonight. Service though was sweet as always and loved my cold schooner.



Pei Wei Asian Diner

The so-called “Mango California Roll”.  Every time I get this at Jr PF Chang I have such high hopes.  I think I’d rather just get a pre-made Cali Roll at Ralph’s across the parking lot…


Homemade Pizza

Two ways!  First a classic red sauce with pepperoni.  Then a white pizza made with a garlic cream sauce, bacon, mozzarella, then dotted with daubs of ricotta.  Really good.  Mrs. FoodObs always rocks the scratch dough.  


Wing & Things

I’ve been enthused about two things lately. Sushi and chicken wings. Today for lunch I satisfied the latter. Tried Wings N’ Things in Carmel Mountain Ranch. It took me a few minutes of staring at the menu to understand how/what to order. It’s actually pretty simple. I didn’t notice much of the “things” part of the menu, but you basically select your chicken preference (tender or wing), then style and/or heat of sauce, etc. All comes standard with the carrots/celery/dressing/breadsticks… It was better than I expected and all very tasty. Wings were substantial and meaty…


O’s American Kitchen

Had an excellent Cobb Salad lunch today at O’s American Kitchen in Carmel Mountain Ranch. Back in the day this place was Oscar‘s, then Pat & Oscar‘s, now just “O”. That’s right… O. They seem to be going through the same identity crisis that plagued Boneys/Henrys/Sprouts…
This is billed as a “small” salad for $8.99. It comes in a huge bowl teeming with grilled chicken tenders, chopped bacon, hard-boiled egg, bleu cheese, cucumbers, maters, green onions, whatnot, etc… tossed with their fantastic house dressing. Much better than the hot mess of a cobb salad I had at Panera a few weeks ago…




… With meat sauce.  One of my favorite signature dishes to make at home.  Easy and satisfying as long as you adhere to some fundamental techniques.  First and foremost, don’t overcook the pasta.  For a perfect al dente, start checking at least a minute before the prescribed cooking time. 


Karl Strauss

One of the best restaurant specialty salads I think I’ve had.  Called Zoe’s Salami Chop.  Made with Genovese salami from Zoe’s Meats in Santa Rosa, CA.  Includes red dragon cheese, peppadew peppers, dried Spanish chorizo, fennel, tomatoes, herb croutons, kale, romaine, radicchio, pecorino and a sherry vinaigrette.  Did I get all that?


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