nom.

There are a lot of things I have eaten and photographed that I should and need to talk about. I’m going to start with nom.

Ever since I learned about Nom., the student run restaurant at Yale, I have wanted to try it.  I finally organized myself and booked a reservation – unbeknownst to me, I booked a reservation for their last open day.

The pop-up restaurant is located in Davenport College’s buttery, and nom. made use of all of the space there was to offer, using both the kitchen and the buttery countertop, and filling all of the remaining space with tables and chairs for customers. I went in a group of four people and we ordered virtually everything on the menu. The dishes are small, tapas-style.

The flavors were great and the ideas were fresh. Although the execution was not always perfect, the food and the restaurant as a whole far exceeded my expectations for what is a student-run restaurant out of a basement. This kind of idea and project is what makes me oh-so proud and happy to be a part of the Yale community. It is also embodies what makes the Yale experience so yummy – a pervasive passion for food.

We started with a bunch of small dishes (think banchan style, the smorgasbord of small dishes that precede a traditional Korean meal). These included:

The kimchi carbonara

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The tsukune slider – chicken-mushroom burger, red miso, papaya-daikon slaw

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The glazed eggplant

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The tom yum tacos – shrimp, coconut tom yum sauce, mushroom soil, lime

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The chopped chicken salad

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The Cantonese pork belly

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And The nom khao (Laotian fried rice ball)

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The best were by far the Cantonese pork belly and the nom khao. Although the rice of the pork belly was a bit hard and undercooked, the flavors were spot-on. We ordered more and extra of the nom khao to fill our bellies. The glazed eggplant was also a hit, as were the tsukune sliders. The chopped chicken salad was my least favorite.

For dessert, we all split a hodge podge which consisted of frozen pound cake, mixed berry compote, greek yogurt, coconut, nutella, and more. How could you not like?

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We accompanied our meal with yujacha soda, made of Korean citron tea and homemade soda. I loved it, though my dining companions were less keen on it. I grew up with citron tea, however, and already love those flavors.

Overall, my thoughts: nom.

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SF Pizza Tour Stop #3: Zero Zero

The first time I went to Zero Zero a few years ago, I fell in love with it. Unfortunately, because it is so far from where I live, I don’t get there very often. The restaurant itself is quite large and can seat many. As a result, it is much easier to get into than many other pizza places in San Francisco. You can walk in and sit down without much of a wait, and reservations are often available only a few days in advance.

My favorite thing about Zero Zero is the crust of their pizzas. As the name of the restaurant would suggest, the crust is unique in that they use zero zero flour. The crust of the pizza manages to be thin while maintaining its chew.

I most recently went to Zero Zero for a very quick bite before a Giants game. We shared two dishes. Both were delightful and quickly scarfed down (we ate in less than 40 minutes).

The slow-cooked pork belly with roman style dumplings, crispy broccoli, poached egg, and harissa. Although pork belly has now been done a million ways and then some, everything on this plate together created a perfect combination of flavors. If there had been one more item on the plate it would have been too many flavors. One less, and the all the flavors wouldn’t have been complete. Needless to say, it was quite good and the combination of flavors and textures were quite complex.

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The special pizza of the day – a white pizza with soppressata, carmelized onions, dried oregano, shishito peppers, mozzarella, and grana padano. The combination of the carmelized onions and shishito peppers gave the pizza a surprisingly sweet taste.photo 5

Zero Zero

826 Folsom St. San Francisco, CA 94107

(415)348-8800

London Eats: Borough Market

London’s Borough Market sits on the south end of the London Bridge at Southwark Street & Borough High Street. We headed there one day in search of good food, as always. What we discovered was one of the best markets, if not the best food market, I have ever been to. Selling a mix of produce and prepared foods, Borough Market has a delightful range of food to munch on and buy to make munchies of. The selection reminded me a lot of San Francisco’s own Ferry Building Farmers Market, but the space (in a large, open but covered space) reminded me of a cleaner, more-gourmet version of Barcelona’s La Boqueria.

Wandering around, checking out the scene:

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By the time we left the market, we were overwhelmingly full. Our stomachs were filled with some of the most delicious food items London has to offer.

The chorizo sandwich at Brindisa was recommended by goop, and I would recommend it to anyone traveling through the market. The sandwich itself was delightfully simple and oh-so delicious. It simply consisted of perfectly toasted ciabatta, chorizo, piquillo peppers, and greens. Mmmmmm…

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Next we tried the scallops with bacon (on a bed of bean sprouts, yes) from Shell Seekers, which we’re fresh and therefore tasty, but definitely not mind-blowing.

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We also tried the pork belly sandwich from Roast. Though pork belly has been declared as oh-so passé by now in the food world (at least in my San Franciscan mind), I can never resist a well-prepared and accompanied piece of pork belly. This pork belly was paired with chewy, flavor-filled crackling and Bramley apple sauce. The crackling was a delightful surprise, and it’s flavor and texture went deliciously with the soft, moist pork belly in the sandwich. After a while, however, most of the crackling was stuck in my teeth. Still, this pork belly sandwich, with its perfect balance of salé and sucre, ranks among my top favorite sandwiches ever.

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Some of the food items we didn’t get to try (though we were recommended them and wanted to, our stomachs simply wouldn’t let us) included the duck confit sandwich from Le Marché du Quartier and handmade pasta from La Tua Pasta. We’ll have to return to London and the Borough Market to try those. Any excuse to return to paradise, aka the Borough Market.

-M

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