go to restaurants

note for self


  • Breads of India
  • Cactus Taqueria
  • La Calaca
  • Lotus Thai
  • Rikyu
  • Shan Dong
  • Zachary's


  • Camino
  • Commis
  • Flora
  • Gary Danko
  • Pizzaiolo
  • Rivoli
  • Soi 4
  • Trattoria La Siciliana


  • Ole's
  • Rick and Ann's
  • Yank Sing/Ton Kiang

webmail test

My Gmail address is more or less public and pretty much all the spam is filtered correctly.  I've had a couple of Yahoo! id's but they did a smart thing by opening up the namespace with Ymail and Rocketmail.  So I have rebron@ymail.com now, come spam me!  Email = identity, it's the user's GUID for their set of services.  Email is as important as search if not more.

I still also have my Hotmail account rafebron@hotmail.com which is just littered with spam.  This was my first webmail account back in '96 or '97?  It's my primary spam account, but I also do use rafebron@hotmail.com for my Xbox Live account ID.

I had rebron@excite.com as a spam account too.  I had/have rebron2000@netscape.net which got converted to something else, rebron2000@aim.com.  I think I did have an AOL email account before I joined NSCP/AOL but didn't have an AOL account when I actually was employed by AOL.  rebron2000 is still my AIM user ID.

My primary email account is rebron@gmail.com.  I access Gmail through Thunderbird via POP.  I like how Gmail archives all of my emails so I don't have to worry about saving them locally via Thunderbird.  I don't use IMAP with Gmail, I did when it came out but it was too slow.  That might have changed.  What's cool about accessing Gmail through Thunderbird is that any spam that doesn't get caught via Gmail's filters, you can train Thunderbird to catch them.  Plus it's faster.

Here's my quick rundown:

Email is about identity as well as features with the webmail application.  In other words, if a user doesn't like or can't get their preferred username doesn't matter how good the webmail application is.

Gmail – best webmail app right now.  Fast, simple, integration with chat, allows access with other applications.  Threads messages into conversations which takes a bit to learn.

Yahoo!Mail – Acts like a fat client (due to Oddpost).  Integrates with Yahoo!Messenger.  Very busy user interface though.  Have to pay for other features that probably should be free, e.g. POP access.  No IMAP access still?  Calendar is still old school.

AOLMail – Like Yahoo!Mail.  Simpler, integrates with AIM.  Integrates with a better calendar.  The old AOL way of doing mail is long gone, the whacky modified IMAP.  Better than Yahoo!Mail given that mail access is open so can access email via POP or IMAP fat client of your choice.  Deletes your mailbox if you don't sign-in every six months (others might do the same thing).  They're on the right track.

Hotmail –  I don't have anything nice to say.  They don't program correctly for Firefox.  They just need to do a better job all around.

Yahoo!Mail, AOLMail, Hotmail are all moving towards a Zimbra like experience so will be interesting to see what happens in this space in the next few years.

Rikyu in Rockridge

I deleted my previous post on Rikyu, I delete too much, oh well.  We ate there the other day and the waitress was like, "I think you wrote one of our very first reviews, aren't you rebron?" Funny.  That's my work nickname.  I'm not much of a reviewer.  More of generalist, go/don't go, buy/don't buy.

Anyway, go to Rikyu for some really good sushi and Japanese food.  The sushi chef is from Kirala and the quality of the fish is great.  We haven't tried too many other things but the miso soup is really good and their salad is a real salad.  A lot of places serve wimpy miso soup and salad.  If you get shiso leaves with your sushi, I think you're at a decent sushi place.  I'm still on quest for a Japanese place that serves fresh wasabi.

The waitstaff is cool, very attentive.  It just opened and it's not in the most trafficked location so there's no wait yet.  If you don't feel like waiting for Kirala, then go here.  And while there are at least four other sushi places on College Ave. (and we've eaten at those too), one almost every two blocks, this one is the real deal.  It's a homey, no nonsense sushi place.

Trip to Yonderville

Yonderville, (Thomas) Kellerville, Yountville, same difference.  We actually went to Anderson Valley first so will start with that.

Last week, we drove up to Anderson Valley and checked out our favorite winery Navarro.  The weather is cooler than in Napa Valley and so the wines that grow well here are different.  From Navarro we picked up their gewurztraminers, pinot noir, and pinot gris.  You can picnic at Navarro.

Up a few miles is another one of our favorites, Husch.  It's a smaller winery and we picked up some chenin blanc and muscat.  Across the street from Husch is Roederer Estate.  We picked up their L'Ermitage sparkling wine which is cheaper at The Wine Mine and probably BevMo.  Roederer is a little snooty (can't picnic on the grounds, etc) but it is champagne after all.  We went to Goldeneye (and I don't remember the Bond movie) for the first time and did some wine tasting there too.  They have a wine with food tasting for an extra cost.

On the way to Anderson Valley is Alexander Valley but we didn't stop at any wineries there.  We just went and ate a friend's old restaurant, Healdsburg Bar and Grill.  In Alexander Valley we like Roshambo.

We made our way over to Yonderville, and there we stay at a B&B Oleander House.  It's really nice, DirecTV, web access, hot tub, wine, nice beds, good breakfast, walking distance to a winery next door and Mustard's restaurant.  Continue reading "Trip to Yonderville"

shrimp etouffee

Shrimp etouffee is one my favorite things too cook and say. Very quick and easy to make.

1 stick butter (unsalted)
2 medium onions
1 tsp celery seed (or 1 celery rib finely chopped)
a few garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon of minced jalapeno pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 14 ounce can of plum tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
1 tbsp of paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 to 2lbs of shrimp, shelled, deveined Louisiana Gulf white shrimp preferred
4 scallions
1/2 cup parsley (curly not flat)

1. Melt the butter. Add the onions and celery seed, a little salt, and cook until onions are glossy about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Rough chop tomatoes and stir in with juice, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add shrimp and stir until cooked about 2 minutes. Stir in scallions and parsley. Serve over rice and add a lemon wedge.

Serves 4 – 6.

You can substitute crawfish for the shrimp and also catfish probably. A nice, dry oaky chardonnay or sauvignon blanc; fruity wines, probably not.

hamachi carpaccio w/ candied kumquat

I made this the other day for some friends. I saw something similar on Iron Chef and I thought it was too easy not to try it at home. It's a nice and light appetizer and good for the summer.

1/2lb of sushi grade hamachi/yellow tail
3-4 kumquats
shiso leaves
great olive oil, salt and pepper

Thinly slice the hamachi. Get some plastic wrap and pound out the hamachi with a hammer or mallet until very thin. Place slices on a plate. Heat up some simple syrup, or 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar. Slice kumquats thinly and put them in the simple syrup pan and candy for a four to five minutes. Julienne the shiso leaves.

Place some of the kumquats and shiso on top of the hamachi. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.