I’ve eaten duk-buk-ki and odeng made from scratch from streets of Seoul. I’ve had bulgogi cooked on copper-top domes with juices flowing to the reservoir of the copper plate and mixing it with rice. I’ve had Korean fried chicken when it was first introduced in Korea in the 1980’s. I’ve had soontofu when eating tofu was not even cool in the USA.
I’ve had the best beef noodle soup from TaoYuan street (桃源街牛肉麵) that Taiwan has to offer. I’ve had the best Peking Duck (北京烤鴨) and Potstickers (中華路鍋貼) from the original Zhong Hua Rd. shops on the train tracks. I’ve eaten the best ShanXi knife-shaved noodles (山西刀硝麵) in Taipei. I’ve had the stinkiest stinky tofu in Taiwan. I’ve had the best oyster pancakes in the Taipei night markets. I’ve had the original Taipei Din Tai Fung‘s soup dumplings (鼎泰豐小籠包) before it is known as XLB or Xiao Long Bao in America, over 20 years ago.
I’ve had state sponsored banquets in Shanghai and xiao long baos from its birthplace in Shanghai, China.
I’ve stood in lines to eat ramen in the streets of Tokyo and got schooled at the Ramen Museum in Yokohama, Japan. I’ve had the best udon in Tokyo and have eaten soba standing up, inside the JR train stations.
I’ve had the tastiest Gobi and Chicken Machurian in Delhi, and the spiciest vegetarian food in Bangalore, India and I’ve tried the wonderful street noodles from Singapore’s hawker stands.
This website started as a place to record what I ate at which restaurant, and more importantly, whether it was good or bad. I’ve often gone to a restaurant and wondered “what did I order here last time?”, “was it any good?, “what was the best item at this place?”. And then sometimes I find myself ordering the same thing that was bad the last time I was here and later regretting it.
So I started the blog to record all these things I’m eating to make sure when I go to a restaurant, I know what are the best things to order there. Because it is very hard for one restaurant to have the best of everything – though a lot of places try and fail. So to eat well in the bay area Asian restaurants is to know what foods to order where. Hopefully this site will help everyone with what the best Chinese, Korean, and Japanese foods around the bay area are and where to get them.
I work for a high-tech firm here in the valley. I come from a family of restaurant chefs and owners. My family and relatives have owned and operated over a dozen Chinese restaurants throughout Korea and the United States. Our ancestral home is Shandong, China. Shandong 山東 is known well in the Chinese populace as the home of 麵食 (Mian Shi) or wheat flour/noodle based food. It is THE home for dumplings and hand-pulled noodles. It is the place where things like baozi, shuijiao are daily staples. It is the food that I grew up on.
Therefore you may find more articles devoted to these types of food than others. However, I’ve lived and traveled in countries such as Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, Singapore, and India to appreciate the cuisine of these places and also enjoy writing about them.
So feel free to look around learn about all the wonderful food that we have here in the San Francisco bay area. If you have any questions, comments, or restaurant suggestions, please let me know also. I can be reached at laotao [at] gmail [dot] com