108626975088463927

this weekend in food …

went to two eateries for the first time.

shabu-zen (16 tyler st in chinatown) is a bit more than a year old and is shabu-shabu all the time. shabu-shabu is “the latest Asian food fad to sweep through California”. basically it involves cooking your own meat and veggies in a boiling broth. this boston.com review is a good intro to what it’s all about. i had the vegetarian version and it was pretty good (although in retrospect i think it came w/ fish balls), although it’s definitely more one of those places like fire and ice where the food isn’t that exciting but where it’s good to take a date or people from out of town to.

also went to central kitchen (mass ave in central sq) w/ andy. the service was subpar. you know it’s a bad sign when your server forgets to tell you the specials. anyway, andy had the roast lamb which he said was good but a bit overpriced for what it was. i had the stuffed sweet onion. it was in a creamy goat cheese sauce with a mostly artichoke/asparagus mixture and came on a bed of “fregola”, which according to formaggiokitchen.com is “a grain sized toasted pasta from Sardinia”. all in all it was better than most vegetarian things i get, although it wasn’t that fantastic. (we would’ve gone to salts, winnie, but they were booked. soon.) incidentally, here’s a tip for all you clueless restaurant patrons out there: don’t ever feed someone else food in a restaurant unless they’re under the age of 2. it really creeps other people out.

another newer find is shino express (newbury st near dartmouth). i’m surprised that andy and i didn’t try it sooner. it’s pretty cheap, pretty tasty sushi. the rice and nori are a bit dry and bland, but last time i got the vegetable futomaki and some inari (fried tofu wrappers) and both were good, and the ambience is very cool.

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