Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fog City Diner, San Francisco, CA

Fog City Diner
Near Fisherman's Wharf, SF, CA

I actually ate here two nights ago.

Salt and Pepper Calamari with chili-lime dipping sauce 10.95

6 Batter
Nice visual texture. Had a slight pepper kick--good, but also had a major salt kick--bad. It was a bit too salty. Also, either the batter or the squid, but I think it was the batter (dear g-d, I hope it was), after a chew or two was strangely mushy. It was a not-in-a-good-way-odd experience. It should get a 6, but I'm not sure what the cause of the already chewed batter experience was, so I'll knock it off at the end. As a matter of fact, I will change it to a 6 now.

8 Accoutrements
Fried jalapeƱos, yowzers! Fried Spanish onions too. (Relatively) fresh sprigs of cilantro, an herb which I adore (though you'd think I adore other sorts of herbs from the look of that picture above).

7 Squid
Slightly, slightly chewy. OK texture.

8 Sauce
It's getting an 8 only because of its uniqueness. Otherwise, it didn't help cut the saltiness of the batter.


7.25 - an arbitrary extra .25 point for the scant helping of tentacles + .15 for the flavinoids =


It doesn't take American Express, by the way.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Basil Thai, Soma, San Francisco, CA

Uniqueness counts quite a bit in my scoring.

plamuk tod
Thai fried calamari served with sweet & spicy chili sauce

8 Batter
Ordinary looking. But not ordinary tasting. It had a subtle hint of sweetness in the batter. I thought cheese was different (see Pasta Cuisine's review), but sweet? I guess that's the Thai. The only detraction was that the batter was ordinary looking, and there wasn't any hint of spice in it. However, that touch of sugar was a spectacular surprise.

9 Accoutrements
J'aime le cilantro!

I love fried lemon too, which you can spy if you try hard enough in the lower left quadrant of the image. The julienned carrots gave a nice splash of color.

8 Squid
Not chewy. Not fishy. Good texture.

8 Sauce
Would've been a 7, but for the fact that it is comprised of legendary Sriracha sauce. I love all things asian (except for Pol Pot, Viet Cong, Madame Mao and her Gang, and early 20th century Japanese soldiers). It also was a consolation sauce making up for the lack of spice in the batter.


8.25 - .20 for scant tentacles and scant quantity overall


San Remos, San Carlos, CA

I ate this about 45 minutes to an hour after it was made, so it will not be judged, lest ye be judged 45 minutes to an hour after you were made.

Calamari Fritti.......................... 8.00

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Peruvian Restaurant, San Mateo, CA

Spanish and Peruvian restaurant
Downtown, San Mateo, CA

Scoring to come ...



6 Squid
Chewy. Not fishy. OK texture.



Friday, August 25, 2006

Parkside Grill, Portola Valley, CA

Parkside Grill
Near Dr. Sanders (groovy vet), Portola Valley, CA

I left my connector cable at home, so a picture of the restaurant will suffice until I get the cord.

alright, here it is:

This was near my tortoise's vet in Portola Valley. Convenient on that factor. Turbo, all tuckered-out from her annual check-up, slept in my car while we, my beloved and I, ate.

Calamari with Orange Aioli

7 Batter
The batter was decent. Mild flavor with a good hint of salty. Nothing mind-blowing. I don't know what mind-blowing is, but when I find it--you all will be the first to know. Anyway, the batter was not spicy at all, which gets the rating knocked down (for my tastes at least).

8 + .5 - .5 Accoutrements
Different, which is always a good thing. I'd like to add that comment to Pasta Cuisine's review, because their accoutrements were different than any other time I've had fried calamari (the caramelized onions). Parkside Grill's calamari was served on a bed of caesar salad-sized bits of romaine lettuce, and that tasted quite suprisingly yum (versus boring) with a lemon squeezed on it. The orange aioli wasn't a bad thing either on the romaine. The other nice touch was a light layer of finely grated cheese all over the whole dish, something like pecorino or parmesan. I was trying to avoid half points, but after thinking about the cheese, I'm going to have to break my rule. I never imagined cheese on my calamari. Hmm, now I just remembered that this dish, too, was not colourful. I'll knock off the extra half point. At least at Pasta Cuisine it was served on a plate thickly rimmed with blue.

8 Squid
Not chewy. Not fishy. Good texture.

8 Sauce
Orange aioli. I love the citrus theme of this presentation, not that it was an overly citrusy theme, but now that I think about it, the overall flaver was citrusy between the fresh lemon squeezed over it and the orange aioli. The only thing about the aioli was that it was kinda mayo-ey. I know that aioli is essentially a mayonaise, but it just tasted really mayo-ey, like a hint of orange mixed with Hellmann's. And I really like mayo too, so I dunno what to tell you.


7.75 + an arbitrary extra .05 points for the stingy helping of tentacles =


Monday, August 21, 2006

Pasta Cuisine, Oakland, CA

Pasta Cuisine
City Center, Oakland, CA

Crisp Rhode Island Calamari with peppers, onion, and tomato 8.95

7 Batter
Yum, but ordinary looking. Spiced with black pepper? I like a spicy batter, and it was decent on that account.

8 Accoutrements
Caramelized and raw onions--very healthy and delicious (antioxidants, flavinoids?). sun-dried and regular tomatoes. nice coloring, the big spots of red, although fried calamari looks bland against a bed of caramelized onions.

8 Squid
Not chewy. Not fishy. Good texture.

0 Sauce
Non existent.


5.75 + an arbitrary extra 1 point for the generous helping of tentacles and flavinoids =


Rhode Island ne'er tasted so good.

Atwood Cafe, Chicago, IL

The standard to which all will be compared.

Atwood Cafe
Hotel Burnham, Chicago, Illinois.

Graham Cracker Fried Calamari
With roasted garlic aioli $11.00

The memory is but a dream. Crackamari, because it's a high that can never be reached again, though I will relentlessly search.

Next step--to set a parameter of specific aspects by which to judge the squid, such as:

1. Crispness
2. Batter
3. Squid
4. Sauce

Any other suggestions?