“We’re still awaiting for that interview spotlight…”
You asked for it and you’ll get it soon enough chefs.
There’s a lot has happened since my last post and I don’t even know where to start. Initially my first plans, was to reveal to you guys the full hashed out story as to why I temporarily left the active “food blogging” circle for the past year. However given certain circumstances and a bit more extra time opened up. I felt it was necessary to finally get back into the rhythm of things.
Some call it coincidence, but I felt it was more so fate than anything the moment I moved back into the Bay Area. There were some noticeable changes in my neighborhood (particularly a couple of neighbors who moved in). It just so happens one of them has a heavy background in the Bay Area industry and invited me out to their pop-up concept…
Enter HARO ARIGATO X RONIN POP UP COLLABORATION
They’ve been hitting the SF Food Scene pretty hard and they want to show the Bay Area scene what real cooking tastes like. Chef Eric, Jefferson and Infected (awaiting real name) started on this concept mid 2012. Their approach of True Asian Fusion cuisine (don’t be confused with P.F. Chang’s/Panda Express) consisted heavily of their respective ethnic backgrounds (Filipino and Chinese), however utilizing traditional French, Italian and Latin dishes and approaches. They’ve given their own spin on tasty small (bar) food.
I’ve checked out their work on three separate events once during the Great American Pop Up Restaurant Experience and twice at Dear Mom:
Great American Menu Offering
K.F.C. Sandwich (http://instagram.com/p/OnJbWZHhzg/)
(Kimchi Fried Chicken)
Open Face p.B.L.T: (http://instagram.com/p/OnJjIHnhzr/)
(pork Belly Lettuce and Tomato)
Japanese Purin Flan: (http://instagram.com/p/OnJvynnhz1/)
Beef Kushiyaki: (http://instagram.com/p/OnNp6aHh3J/)
Dear Mom Menu Tasting Round 1
Dear Mom Entrance: (http://instagram.com/p/PIf4MHnh2H/)
Salchi Papa: (http://instagram.com/p/PIqkFZHhw8/)
Their Spin on the Loco Moco: (http://instagram.com/p/PIpymiHh_3/)
So far from my initial encounters, they’ve knock the sandwiches out of the ballpark. However the main focus will be my most up to date tasting, which happened yesterday evening:
Dear Mom Menu Tasting Round 2
Opening Spirit of Choice, Blanton’s Bourbon: (http://instagram.com/p/XQsLu1Hh91/)
Considering there was no Woodford Reserve. I said screw it, why not give it a shot? It tasted great and it had a mellow peaty-ness one wouldn’t have expected.
The Menu for the evening:(http://instagram.com/p/XQuHNcHhxD/)
Kahlua Pork Slider: (http://instagram.com/p/XQsbHhnh-L/)
Probably their “home run” special. The Pork was juicy and flavor and it had a great contrasting texture with the pickled vegetables. Definitely off to a great start with the one-two combo.
Spicy Northern Chinese Pan-Fried Dumpling: (http://instagram.com/p/XQsv16Hh-m/)
When they said spicy, I was expecting heat like Bruce Lee’s fists punching in your throat type of heat. However there was no “kung pao” in the sauce and it felt more like a jab from Mulan’s mini dragon sidekick Mushu. Nevertheless, the dumpling remained well cooked and the side garnishes blended well together (cilantro and chili threads)
Wing Kong 2.0: (http://instagram.com/p/XQtHoUHh_L/)
I was jipped, considering 2 of the 5 wings were subpar. However the Lime and Sriracha glaze combination never felt so right. Makes me wonder if Flora can make a Pan-Asian representation of their signature cocktail Carter Beats The Devil using these two ingredients.
Champorado Brûlées (http://instagram.com/p/XQtncdnhwD/)
For a dessert, the concept was well thought out. The execution was a different story. I am a creme brûlée fiend and when there is a new creme brûlée flavor out, I desire to try it immediately. The champorado was great, however the “burnt” condensed milk surface, shattered and sank into sugary class shards. In standard creme brûlées, the “burnt” sugar usually breaks and rests on top of the custard while you scoop it in the spoon.
Nevertheless, it was a pleasant experience overall. So at this point you’re probably wondering, why continue to patronize them if they still have to work out their culinary kinks?
Everyone has a beginning: David Chang, Eddie Huang, Martin Yan and the list goes on. These guys are the underdogs and when they’re bringing the A-Game, SF Epicurians shouldn’t underestimate their abilities. I’m looking forward to the day they really shake up the scene so I’m keeping a close eye on what they come out with next.
Dear Mom’s environment encourages such a colorful hub of characters to thrive in the underground culinary scene. As a result I am highly supportive of these dialogues to continue (they change underground culinary concepts weekly, check it out).
Maybe moving back to NorCal wasn’t such a bad move after all? Actually there’s more to the story, but I’ll get to that eventually…
Feel free to check out their corresponding Facebook Pages for more info: