Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bistro Luneta

615 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA
(650) 344-0041

I always wanted to try a Filipino restaurant and just so happened to stumble upon Bistro Luneta online. It serves Filipino inspired Asian fusion cuisine.

Luneta Sampler - Shanghai Pouches, Manila Pork BBQ, Crispy Tokwa, and Bangus Maki

I am a sucker for variety, so it was nice to order a sampler to tried four of the many appetizers Luneta has to offer. The Shanghai Pouches are crispy minced pork pouches with sari-sari sauce. It reminded me of fried wontons. It was okay, nothing too unique about it. The Manila Pork BBQ is street-style marinated pork skewers with pickled green papaya. The pork is quite tender and flavorful. The Crispy Tokwa are crusted soft tofu soy-vinegar sauce. This appetizer reminded me of lightly battered Japanese's adagashi tofu. But different  in that it comes with a thicker saltier sauce. I really liked it. The size of the tofu was a perfect bite. Bangus Maki was the most unique of all. It consists of milkfish with diced tomato, onion, and salted duck egg sushi roll. Even though it sounded unique, it tasted just like deep fried sushi with fish in it. I could taste the deep fried seaweed and fish but couldn't really taste the salted duck egg.

Escabeche - Seared Tilapia with julienned vegetables in sweet tangy sauce

I ordered fish because I love fish. The fish was seared nicely, golden brown outside and tender inside. The sweet tangy sauce was indeed sweet and tangy, but very thick and salty at the same time. I had to scoop some to the side of my plate, and a lot of it got onto the fish already, so it was hard to get rid of. I could not have be able to eat it if it wasn't for the rice.  
Chicken Inasal - Vinegar marinated grilled chicken with greens and pickled-papaya

I had a little bit of the Chicken Inasal, and it was okay. It was cooked perfectly, very tender and juicy, but again, it was very salty.

Rib Eye Salpicao - Grilled Rib Eye with Deep Fried Potato

Usually diced up beef tasted very rough, but this wasn't the case. It was very tender and delicious. Though, I think it would be nice to serve this with rice or mash potato instead because beef and fried potatoes are both very heavy food.

Luneta Chicken Adobo - Whole Poussin chicken with roasted garlic and mashed potato

I never tried chicken adobo but I always wanted to. I know it is braise diced up chicken with onions and herbs served over rice. But knowing Luneta is a fusion place, I did not complain when I see a whole chicken. What I need to complain about though word...salty.

Bistro Luneta is a very nice restaurant interior design wise and service wise, but I did not enjoy most of the dishes I had because it was so salty. The waiter had to keep coming back to fill my glass of water. Maybe it's just the night I went or maybe that's how it usually is. But yes, with my curious, I yelped the place afterward and realized a lot of the yelpers thought their dishes were salty too. After that, I don't know if I want to come back to this place...maybe.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Old Fisherman's Grotto

39 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA
(831) 375-4604

Oh! I heard so much good thing about their clam chowder and how the restaurant is one of the best around Monterey, CA. When my boyfriend and I was walking down the wharf, we were given numerous numbers of clam chowder samples. The wharf was like a clam chowder heaven. After many samples, I like two of the clam chowder samples there, one being Old Fisherman's Grotto.

After staring at sample platters and menu outside restaurants, my boyfriend and I decided to go into Old Fisherman's Grotto since the samples platter outside the restaurant look so attractive. Yes, visual is very important!

I wasn't too hungry after all the samples, so I ordered a salad while my boyfriend ordered some shrimps. Both our orders were from the specials, so they weren't listed on the regular menu.

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Avocado and Grilled Shrimps Salad - Just like its title, mozzarella, tomato, avocada, asparagus and grilled shrimp.

This salad is not one of those healthy salad. It was cheesy good! The tomato were huge but it tasted very delicious with the cheese and shrimps. This is similar to italian style mozzarella and tomato salad. Very simple, so it is hard to go wrong. I find this to be very delicious but it has so much mozzarella that I couldn't finish it. Also it was a bit too oily.

Coconut Fried Shrimps and Macadamia Nuts Crusted Halibut - Coconut crusted shrimps. West coast halibut crusted with Macadamia nuts toppe with a tropical salsa made with mangoes and a citrus sauce. Plated with sweet potatoes and vegetables.

I took a few bite of this. I was surprised nothing was too oily since it is fried. I think the vegetables and sweet potatoes really help balance the fried food. The salsa was interesting but too sweet.

The food is pretty decent overall. The place definitely likes to fill the plate until full and has great presentation since they seem to like to use colorful ingredients.