power & emergency dessert

Power Dessert – Tofu w/ Chia Seeds and Maple Syrup

In a cup, add the following:

  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds (after soaked in water for 10 minutes)
  • 2/3 cup of silken tofu (I like Hodo Soy's from Berkeley Bowl)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of maple syrup (real maple syrup not pancake syrup)

That's it.  I've been eating this a lot lately, instead of ice cream and other desserts.

Emergency Dessert – Castella

My other go to dessert is Castella or Kasutera, a simple slight honey flavored sponge cake brought to Japan from Portugal.  They have these in the freezer section of Berkeley Bowl.  I like to keep it in the freezer and I like it as an emergency dessert for myself (as in if we've got nothing else) or in case we have guests over.  It's good with tea, coffee, morning, afternoon, late evening.

chia seeds

Chia seeds

I finally finished the Born to Run book that everyone I workout with seems to cite so I figured I'd get in on the references.  One of the things I thought was interesting was the chia seed talk as well as pinole — which seems to be toasted cornmeal with sugar and cinnamon.  So chia seeds are supposed to be good for you and doesn't taste like anything.  These two I guess are the super foods for the super athlete Tarahumara Indians.  Thought I'd give it a shot.

I bought some chia seeds from Amazon.  They're not expensive and I've been taking 3 tablespoons, 3 times a day of chia seeds.  You're supposed to put the chia seeds in water first to expand.  And then the seeds soak up the water and forms a jelly looking barrier around the seed.

Anyhow, I just add more water or pineapple juice (or any juice) to the seeds and drink it up.  I've also added it to soft tofu (taho) with maple syrup.

The health benefits are supposed to be pretty good, lowers blood pressure, helps with diet, high levels of omega-3.  We'll see how it goes.  So far so good, energy is up and food cravings have been down.  In a month or two, will see if it actually helps with the diet and blood pressure bit.

burgers and cupcakes

True Burger

We ate at  True Burger, in Oakland, last weekend and have to say that True Burger is now my new burger place — post workout reward, post Tahoe/road trip meal.  It's a small restaurant and they do burgers, fries, milkshakes, and that's about it and they do it really well.

In comparison to In N' Out, True Burger's burgers have much better flavor, better bun, slightly larger, and less greasy.  In N' Out's fries aren't very good, True Burger fries are crispy and tasty.  The milk shakes are tastier too, it's vanilla or chocolate or with fill-ins like vanilla with strawberry, peanut butter, coffee, etc.  You could say that True Burger is looking to create reference, by the book best versions of the American burger, fries, and milk shake and they do a ridiculously great job.  Here's a much better review but essentially, no more trips to In N' Out.

red velvet cup cake, from Cupkates Bakery

Cupkates Bakery

The other "best thing I've eaten" moment was a week or so ago when I was gifted with a Key Lime pie cupcake from Cupkates Bakery.  If you see the Cupkates cupcake truck, wave them down and buy the $3 Key Lime pie cupcake.  It's just crazy good.  I guess they drive around Oakland and San Francisco.

Key Lime Pie $3/ea
A graham cracker crust, key lime cake, curd filled, and topped with meringue frosting. Available with or without toasted coconut.

a cool pop-up

pop-up general store (OPEN TODAY 6/30/2010 at 5pm – 7pm at Grace Street Catering) is part of this interesting food movement that's happening in the Bay Area along with Jon's Street Eats, Eatwell Farm, any Bay Area farmer's market — where there's this mix of food reverence, technology, and a bit of grunge.

Anyway, here's pop-up general's store description:

is a group of professional cooks {nearly all of us current or former Chez Panisse cooks} making the foods we love to eat. We Pop-Up every two or three weeks so that you can get your hands on some.

pop-up general store is effectively in Ghost town.  Whatever.  Will check it out.  One of our favorite restaurants that closed, Cafe Jojo's in Oakland (which had the best steak frites), is now doing catering and offering products through the store so it's pretty cool to see them back in action.


We're over at the Berkeley Bowl and I'm about to go grab some Nutella.  Nutella has a low glycemic index and therefore ok to eat?  That's what I told myself anyway.

Next to Nutella on the shelf is Nocciolata and instead of grabbing Nutella, I grabbed it instead.  Glad I did because Nocciolata is ridiculously delicious, tons better than Nutella — game over.  It's available on Amazon and it's worth seeking out.

Anyway, make sure you're on a workout program before you buy a jar.

2010 Michelin restaurants – SF/Bay Area

To try eventually…

Three Stars
The French Laundry

Two Stars

One Star
Auberge du Soleil
Chez Panisse
Chez TJ
Ritz Carlton Dining Room
Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant
Fifth Floor
Fleur de Lys
Gary Danko
La Folie
La Toque
Madrona Manor
Michael Mina
Murray Circle
One Market
Plumed Horse
The Village Pub

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

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.


rose pouchong tea

Some tea recommendations (per request):

My absolute favorite tea – Rose pouchong from Fortnum & Mason

Other favorites:

  • Puerh (various) from Imperial Tea court (based in San Francisco)
  • Ginger Peach, Ginseng Peppermint, Good Hope Vanilla, and a few others from Republic of Tea
  • Korean Red Ginseng tea
  • Marrakesh Mint from Mighty Leaf tea and they have other good flavors
  • Genmai-cha and Mugicha, a barley tea

I haven't tried Numi Tea but they're local based out of Oakland over near the Embarcadero.  Teance is local too out of Berkeley.  Starbucks serves Tazo and their tea is ok.

Puerh and Republic of Teas are what I regularly drink.  Tea is supposed to be good for you, does stain your teeth worse than coffee though.  I haven't figured out what to drink when, e.g. if you're sick drink such and such tea, though puerh and red ginseng do give me an energy boost and calms me down, and gingseng peppermint is my stress reducer.

Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon and evening.

Related thoughts on coffee and chocolate