Asian food in California: Berkeley and San Francisco

This weekend, I traveled to California and visited my boyfriend who’s studying Journalism in Berkeley J-school! So, instead of cooking Chinese food myself, I decided to introduce/rate food that I tried these two days. I arrived in San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 13 at 12 p.m., so the first meal I had was the lunch in Berkeley. My boyfriend led me to the Japanese restaurant called Ippudo.

Their ramen is the most famous dish, but I love the chicken nuts that come with the ramen best (it’s set B). By the way, they have the best chopsticks I’ve ever used in restaurants. For Asian people who are stick with chopsticks for every meal, the quality of the chopsticks a restaurant provides can directly affect the experience they have in the restaurant. Ippudo is smart, and I’d love to give them an A.

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For the dinner on Friday, my high school best friend who’s currently attending UC Berkeley led us to a Chinese restaurant called Great China.We tried this dish that I’ve never tried in China before. It’s called and came from the Northern part of China (I’m from south.) This dish is my favorite because the Wasabi is perfectly mixed with the shrimp and everything. We also ordered Tofu and pork, and they’re fairly well done but did not surprise me. So, I’d love to give Great China a B+.

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On Saturday, we took the Bart and traveled to San Francisco. I did some research and found this restaurant called R&G Lounge. We ordered their most famous dish: Live Crab with Salt&Pepper. It’s the way Guangdong people cook crabs: they mix salt, peppers powder and sweet potato powder with a little water, and they stain the crab with the mix then deep-fry them. It’s delicious, but a whole crab for two people is a lot, and it costs $47 for a crab. So, I would recommend getting half a crab for one-two people.

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The last meal I had in California was in a Japanese restaurant called Ippuku. They are so popular that we have to wait in the line from 8:45 p.m. to 9:30. There are the best! I would definitely have them again if I come back to Berkeley. (The restaurant does not allow taking photos, and they prefer you to switch off your cell-phone. It’s not mandatory, but I think their philosophy is that we need to focus more on tasting food and having conversation with our friends rather than taking photos and chatting with other people online.) They are kind of expensive and it’s kind of hard for me to get enough food with my budget. So I would recommend going there at maybe 9:30 p.m. with your best friend: have a nice conversation with some wine, taste some barbecue but don’t expect to get full there after a tiring day. I would love to give them an A-.

I would love to hear your experience with food in California if you’d like to share. Comment or email me, please!