Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wa Dining Okan

The menu changes frequently.
(Note the "Housemaid Salmon" --as fans of Downton Abbey, we were amused.)

Fried shrimp with sea salt -- incredible. 
You can just eat the whole thing, shell and all.

"Spicy" shrimp dish that was actually not that spicy.
Cheese hamburg.

Our friendly server mixes the half-cooked egg into our kettle-cooked rice. Yummm.

It has fatty pork in it. So good.

Dessert was custard pudding with black sugar honey.

And shiratama zenzai -- red bean paste and rice dumplings with green tea ice cream on top.

Fried mochi.

Such good potato salad!

Simmered radish in broth.
This is the kind of thing Okan does so well!  Simple homey dishes.
Rating: Two thumbs up!
Date: 11/20/11
Time in: 7:40 PM
Time out: 9:17 PM
Servers' recommendations: Pork cheek, spicy marinated tuna, fried shrimp with sea salt, cheese hamburg
What we ordered: Fried shrimp, potato salad, simmered radish in broth, flavored rice with braised pork in a kettle with half cooked egg, fried mochi, spicy shrimp, mini cheese hamburg, custard, shiratama zenzai
Number in our party: 3 (Aki as guest critic today)
Final check amount: $61.41
  • All the dishes were excellent.  The fried shrimp, potato salad, simmered radish, flavored rice, and desserts were particularly delicious.
  • Portions are pretty tiny, so you have to order a bunch of things.  We actually had already had dessert and then decided to order more savory because we were still hungry.
  • Always come here for dinner.  Lunch doesn't even compare! 
  • The music is a nice, quiet jazz.
  • Jenne really likes the azuki in the shiratama zensai, and she usually does not favor red bean paste. (Guys, this was no-kidding delicious --J)
Address: 3860 Convoy St, Ste 110
Phone number: 858.279.0941
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Parking: Crowded lot with teeny spaces.
Ideal group size: 1-4.  (4 would be the maximum.  It's a good idea to make a reservation if you're coming for dinner.)
Available vegetarian options: Onigiri...maybe?  If you eat fish, you'll be fine, but if not don't bother.
Who not to bring: Vegetarians.
Noise level: 2

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chilies Thai Gourmet - CLOSED

Fancy water cups!

Free salad has mayo/rice vinegar dressing.

Prawn and tofu wraps. Yum.

Chicken wings with coconut on top!

Me Hank.

Desserts! Sweet rice with coconut ice cream on the left, taro cake on the right.

Rating: Two thumbs up
Date: 11/4/11
Time in: 2:18 PM
Time out: 3:11 PM
Servers' recommendations: This was the first restaurant where the server wouldn't give us a recommendation, despite our repeated request for one.  "Everything!"
What we ordered: Me Hank, chicken wings, prawn and tofu wraps, taro cake, sweet rice and coconut ice cream.  I (Miko) had to ask for any savory dish to be prepared mild.
Number in our party: 2
Final check amount: $24.30
  • This was our second Thai place in a row.  We were not excited -- we were imagining the same lunch special that they have at every other Thai place in San Diego.  But!  Chilies Thai Gourmet is in direct contrast with Koon Thai Kitchen, which is larger, fancier, and more commercial.  It's teeny and simply decorated.
  • The whole place is run by two people (a husband and wife, we think).  That explains why they have rather inconvenient hours.  (Every time we tried to come here before, it was closed.)
  • The music was soft and pleasant.
  • The prawn and tofu wraps were quite tasty.  Recommended!
  • The chicken wings were curry flavor and had shredded coconut on top.  I (Miko) would have liked the meat to be a bit softer, but it was still yummy!
  • The Me Hank noodles needed a little more sweetness to the sauce.
  • The coconut ice cream was SO delicious.  It had a slight hint of salt, which made it totally addicting.  Holy cow.  The taro cake was also good, but it didn't even compare.  We want to try the fried bananas with ice cream next.
  • The chef is a truly ADORABLE man.  We asked him about the ice cream, and he launched into an earnest explanation of the recipe.  He clearly takes pride in his work, but  is very humble.  The restaurant is supposed to close at 3, but he let guests in right when we were leaving and offered them a choice of either the lunch or dinner menu.  He won our hearts. 
  • Our meal was so enjoyable that we giggled in the car on the way home.
Address: 3904 Convoy St, Ste 105
Phone number: 858.565.8861
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Crowded lot, especially when The Original Pancake House is still open
Ideal group size: 1
Available vegetarian options: Lots of tofu options

Noise level: 1.5