Review: P.F. Changs! »
Fuck it. I almost didn’t post about how much I love P.F. Changs because I know it might/should rape away any faith people had in my reviews of Chinese restaurants. And you should have faith in my reviews of Chinese restaurants because even though I am a Whitey McVegan, I slept with a Korean dude once, OK? What i’m trying to say is that I have an old Chinese soul. My taste is autentico. Moving on. I know the food here is about as authentic Chinese as Michael Jackson is authentic black but like, the shit is tasty! They have lots of vegan options and the tofu lettuce wraps—chopped up bits of flavorful tofu and veggies that you wrap up in lettuce leaves and eat, I think originally conceived of for Skinny White Bitches on Atkins but it’s all good—and coconut curry tofu make me happy to be alive. They also have an excellent eggplant dish and a few other tofu/veggie options. They know what vegan means and don’t make their vegetarian dishes with any kind of fish sauce. I know that is a result of this place being half-owned by a white guy but guess what, I LOVE IT. Oh and a full bar. Hooray! Also, the waitresses are mad hot, makes me want to get all drunken frat boy on them and be all, “Take it off! Take it ALLLLL off!” but that’s wildly inappropriate as I am a straight girl and also because it’s just wildly inappropriate.
Just a side note: I was in Santa Monica once visiting a friend and I told him to take me out for some authentico Chinese food, SoCal-style and he fucking brought me here. I mean, I should have known better; this is the same fool who pointed me towards La motherfucking Salsa when I requested good Mexican food. Never take dining advice from any WASP. Any WASP but me.
One more note: there are no P.F. Changses in SF proper because the inhabitants of our fine elitist Chinese city might burn it to the ground but there are a few in the East Bay, Marin and the South Bay. P.F. Changs thrives in Pleasanton and Walnut Creek because those cities are made of white people and malls, P.F. Changs’ natural breeding grounds.
Finally, the art on the website amazes. The link to that horse
is [Ed.: used to be]: pfchangs.com/images/heroes/horse.gif. HEROES? WHAT? I GUESS I’d want that crazy ghost horse to save me but I think it’s more likely he’d take me back to his dark lord after he had had his way with me. That horse = total potential rapist.
[horse photo by Josh Puetz]
Review: Loving Hut! »
Loving Hut. Yes, it has the grossest name around. Loving Hut. It reminds me of somewhere a girl would go to lose her virginity to an elder. And I mean ELDERLY elder. I’m Gonna Puke Hut.
Other than that, this place is delightful. I am reviewing the SF location today but there are two others that just opened in Palo Alto and Milpitas. It’s apparently part of a huge chain that’s all over Taiwan, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. It’s a Ching Hai Enterprise and so is filled with cult-like awesomeness, including a large television that plays Supreme Master TV on loop. I don’t get to watch much TV and I love it/hate it/want to marry it so when I’m in a room with one, my eyes immediately wander towards it. However, since SMTV is basically unwatchable insanity, it was both a blessing (to my friends who enjoy my company SO MUCH) and a curse (to ME, can we get some Gossip Girl up in here?!).
The menu is available to view and download on their website, but don’t expect to find the exact same menu at the restaurant you go to. The prices are also totally different. But the weird thing is, they’re cheaper at the restaurant than on the site. I don’t know what that’s about, some sort of reverse bait and switch?! Mama like! Most of the food is Chinese with some Vietnamese influences and a slight touch of crazy town. They also have a section of the menu titled “Western Food,” which is basically burgers, club sandwiches and spaghetti. See above about crazy town. So far, the standouts have been the Triple Happiness, pictured below—it’s like these deep-fried layers of gluten, taro and bread. Kinda like a savory gluten baklava. I think. Just try it. I think. Basically, you’ll either love it or think it’s kinda funky. Russian Roulette!; the Ocean Platter, above—basically a big platter of delicious fried foods and yummy dipping sauces, a huge hit with everyone; Spicy Cha Cha—yam crescents that are deep-fried to look and taste like shrimp HOW DO THEY DO IT; and the Won Ton Noodle Soup with fake pork! SO GOOD! The Guru’s Curry and the Veggie Stew are also delicious, basically just big pots filled with potatoes, carrots, and soy protein chunks—beef-esque. also, that’s a great fake word—in a yellow curry/gravy mixture. They have white and brown rice available and lots of drinks—NO ALCOHOL! Ching Hai does NOT imbibe!—ranging from the tasty vegan Thai iced tea to the insanely foul to adults/insanely delicious to kids, e.g. some sort of tropical drink mixture with vegan gelatin in it. I don’t know, I think I’m 10 sometimes and so I ordered it and then it came out and it was like drinking warm liquefied jello. Raunchy.
They have desserts too. Stay away from the cakes (sub-par Black China) and go for the fried bananas and ice cream! Soon they’re supposed to have fried ice cream (!!!) but they haven’t perfected it at the SF location and so we wait. Eagerly. I want that g-d fried ice cream. It’s available in Palo Alto currently so strongly considering making the drive in five minutes, JOB BE DAMNED! WHAT HAVE YOU EVER DONE FOR ME! BESIDES GIVE ME MONEY AND A SENSE OF PURPOSE! I say, nuts to THAT! I need fried ice cream like I’ve never needed anything! Actually, to be real, I need fried ice cream like I need a hole in the head. I just really want it. Really, really, very badly. I mean doesn’t that sound amazing? Also, I almost accidentally typed “friend” instead of “fried” 90 times in the above paragraph. What that says about me, I do not want to know. Probably that I’m really cute and fun.
Okay, also, two more quick awesome things. According to Loving Hut, SF is located in Canada. I feel like if this election doesn’t go well, this map will be called foreshadowing as half of SF is likely to move there. SNAP! Kind of! Also, the interior of the SF Loving Hut is like eating in the Taiwanese future. It’s all super-bright and clean with floating hearts and shit. You sort of expect your waitress to be one of the Jetsons. Love it. This place is good for dinner with a few friends but not going to be great for large groups and not at all romantical. Unless you think Clockwork Orange is sexy and then, eat here and after that, check yourself into the psych ward, you sick fuck! Alternately, CALL ME!
Review: Fraîche frozen yogurt! »
As Maria has said, Fraîche’s storefront is cold and joyless. I would think that places serving frozen treats would want to make customers more comfortable, rather than forcing them to sit on freezing metal chairs at pointy-cornered tables. And yet, they do not, so when you leave you can see the bruises you got from bumping into those pointy table-corners already forming underneath the first few layers of your skin, which has become creepily translucent with the onslaught of cold it’s suffered. Such are the penalties one pays for delicious soft-serve vegan frozen yogurt, right?
I appreciate the idea of vegan frozen yogurt. I love vegan yogurt that tastes as close to my ma’s homemade cow’s milk yogurt that I ate throughout my childhood. The vegan fro-yo at Fraîche combines the texture of the most perfect frozen yogurt with the sour tang of plain yogurt, which confused me with every bite. Is it dessert? Mixed with jam, is it my ma’s version of dessert that never fooled anyone? It has been almost seven months since I went and I still cannot make up my mind about it.
I can’t accuse them of false advertising, as they don’t say anything about it being sweet; they also serve their non-frozen yogurt with oatmeal, but this in particular seemed a little schizophrenic to me. Further, the gentlemen at the counter who served my friends and I were not the most helpful people I have ever done business with. To wit:
Laura to yogurt-server: Are your toppings vegan?
Yogurt-server to Laura: I don’t know; ask him (gestures to his right at a barista, because of course Fraîche has an espresso bar in addition to offering vegan and dairy frozen yogurt, and oatmeal, and granola)
Yogurt server to barista: Are the toppings vegan?
Barista to yogurt-server (does not look up from the coffee he is artfully pouring): No.
Yogurt-server to Laura: No.
Laura to (frustratingly idiotic) yogurt-server: I assume the fruit is (gestures to various small bins of fruits, including strawberries, bananas, blueberries, &c.)
So. If you are jealous of the soft-serve frozen yogurt everyone else is eating, get down the Peninsula (public transportation options include Caltrain and SamTrans) to Palo Alto and order Fraîche’s oddly sour vegan version. I advise at least trying it; I also advise limiting your interaction with the employees to the barest minimum, and not eating inside.
(Fraîche is the feminine form of the French adjective for “fresh;” the French word for “yogurt,” yaourt, is masculine; so, if the name of the shop were in reference to its main product—frozen yogurt—it ought to be Frais, “fresh” in the masculine form. But it seems that noun-adjective agreement was not this establishment’s highest priority so much as “foreign word pleasing to the Anglophone ear,” and so instead we have a terrible parenthetical diatribe on French grammar.)
[photo via Fraîche]