Millennium for Thanksgiving

28 11 2012

What do you do if your family doesn’t do a big Thanksgiving anymore, and you don’t even eat turkey? Go to Millennium! Millennium is an upscale vegan restaurant near Union Square in SF, and mom was smart enough to make a reservation for Thanksgiving months ago when no one knew what their plans were going to be. I mean, you can always cancel the reservation, right? Good thinking, mom.

Schmancy salad!

They had a prix fixe menu for Thanksgiving evening, which included an appetizer plate for the table, soup, salad, choice of two mains, and choice of two desserts for $65 per person. An optional wine pairing was offered for an additional $28, in which our party did not partake due to being: a) cheap, and b) already sufficiently pre-partied. Sadly, since I didn’t snag one of their menus (or a picture of it — what was I thinking!), I don’t have the huge list of superfluous descriptions for each dish. In fact, I will probably barely be able to even describe what the damn things were since Millennium has a way of creating highly enigmatic menu summaries*.

Anyway. We started with a weird appetizer plate for the table to share. It included a couple different types of bread (corn bread, sourdough, and walnutty bread), some really really good cauliflower dip, truffle pop corn (I guess the truffle out-chics the low-rent-ness of the pop corn? we were puzzled by this), roasted chestnuts, and something lentil-y. It was kinda odd, but certainly entertained us. Especially since mom ate the chestnuts whole. Are you supposed to do that?

Appetizer plate for the table.

Next came the celery bisque, which we were all skeptical about, to be honest, but was really, really good. It was served hot (thankfully) and had excellent flavor. And it was salty enough, which is often a problem for me with a veggie-based soup.

Pretend like this photo doesn’t suck. It was dark in there and I hate flashes.

The salad was pretty standard, just some greens and a sweet-ish vinaigrette. We got a good shot of Danny showing his true feelings about this particular choice of restaurant that evening…

Danny isn’t super excited about vegan Thanksgiving. But he was a good sport anyway.

Next was one of two mains. A mushroom torte or pumpkin something. They each came with some brussel sprouts and potatoes (or maybe it was daikon? we weren’t sure at the time), something fluffy and starchy that emulated stuffing, home-made cranberry sauce stuff, and syrupy sweet potatoes. I got the mushroom (which, oddly, is a similar consistency to turkey); the other three got the squash. They were both very yummy.

Pumpkin main course.

Mushroom torte main course. The mushrooms are on the right under some kind of puree and gravy. Yum.

For dessert, the choices were pumpkin pie or chocolate pecan pie. I do not like either of these, even at non-vegan restaurants, though I don’t doubt that they were well made. I ordered the chocolate pecan hoping it was more chocolate than pecan, but, alas, it was not. I think mom finished her pumpkin, as she does, but dessert was definitely the weakest course for all of us.

Chocolate pecan pie and ginger ice cream (me no like-y). The pumpkin pie is not pictured; it looked like regular pumpkin pie. Use your imagination.

Overall we had a really good time and a great meal. I would highly recommend this place for Thanksgiving. It was easy, not ridiculously expensive, super filling (we all regretted the appetizers we consumed at my house beforehand), and generally very tasty. And I didn’t have to wash one single dish. Booya. Happy Thanksgiving, peeps.

*A dish description from their standard dinner menu is as follows: “brik pastry dough, Kuri squash, grilled seitan & dried apricot filling, beluga lentil & tomato tagine, sauteed fall greens, Fresno chile harissa, cucumber-mint raita, cinnamon-almond dust”. I could start a long list of questions, or just shrug and order something because pretty much everything is really good despite the ridiculous descriptions.





Buon Appetito — Revisted

7 03 2011
Atmosphere: 5/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  A Few* ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes, please
___________

Buon AppetitoHello again, Buon Appetito. My first review of Buon Appetito in Hayward followed my first visit about this time last year. Since then we’ve been back a couple times and I wanted to report on the growth of this place for those who haven’t been in a while.

Last time I commented on the new addition of the bar area to the main restaurant. They have now added a third space as they attempt to take over that entire tiny shopping strip. Sandwiching the bar area is a second seating area that could probably seat another 50 people easily. I didn’t ask who their interior decorator is, but it’s clear that they spared no expense — the place looks fabulous.

Buon Appetito

The newest dining room at Buon Appetito, Hayward

They’re also adding what appears to be a small patio area on the parking lot side of the main dining room, which seems to be almost finished. It’s really impressive how they keep expanding and using their profits to grow their space and, undoubtedly, their business.

A couple more dishes that we tried recently which should be mentioned:

  • Fried Calamari: Crispy and delicious but a bit heavy (as you might imagine from a deep fried dish). A good portion for the price. Comes with two dipping sauces, yum!

    Calamari

    Calamari

  • Chocolate Tart: I actually can’t find this on their online menu, but it’s a little chocolate cake-y thing served hot and filled with liquid chocolate goodness in the middle. It’s amazing. I should have taken a picture with the chocolate pouring out of the center, but I didn’t because I was too busy stuffing my face and pretending to offer a bite to my boyfriend even though I wasn’t going to relinquish any piece of this little blob of heaven. This is worth the trip to BA alone.

    Cake

    Chocolate Tart!

*As this is a “revisited” post subsequent to a previous post about the same restaurant, any changes in my ratings at the top of the post are shown in bold. Otherwise, they remain the same as before.





Kokyo Sushi Buffet — Revisited

5 01 2011
Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited:  Two* ♦   Will I Return?:  For Sure
___________

Since Kokyo Sushi Buffet does not have a website, my previously posted Kokyo Sushi Buffet review has been receiving a lot of traffic, no doubt from potential customers. As my offer to create cheap websites for local restaurants has gone thus far unanswered, I feel obligated to update readers and google searchers about my findings regarding Kokyo Sushi Buffet.

A second visit to Kokyo has yielded some information about their lunch buffet. My previous post was regarding the dinner buffet only and the lunch is slightly different.

Much of the same food is present for the lunch buffet and in generally the same format. Notably, there is no sashimi at the lunch, as there is with dinner. There is sushi (fish on rice), and sushi rolls, but not just the fish by itself (sashimi). Also, there are no crab legs at either the hot seafood bar or the salad bar, which there were for dinner. As I’ve only gone once to each of these, I’m not sure if this is always true, but these changes seem in line with the relative costs of the lunch versus dinner. Prices are reviewed again below:

  • Lunch $8.95 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday
  • Dinner $14.95 4-9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday
  • Sunday and Major Holidays all day $14.95
  • Children ages 3-11 Lunch $2.50-$6.50 ($0.50 additional every year), under 3 free
  • Children ages 3-11 Dinner $3.50-$8.70 ($0.65 additional every year), under 3 free
  • Senior Citizens age 60 or above receive 15% off
  • Soft Drinks $1.25 with free refills
  • Buffet To-Go (excludes sashimi) $4.25/lb for Lunch, $5.95/lb for Dinner
  • Catering trays also available, menu at front counter of restaurant

Additionally, I would like to further comment on the soup available at their buffet. I have now tried both the miso and the hot and sour and both were extremely bad. I love this place and I think it’s a great value if you love sushi. But I have no idea what they’re doing wrong with their soups. Both were inedible to me and I thought that was very unfortunate.

hot and sour soup

Hot and sour soup from Kokyo Sushi Buffet in Hayward

Also, the awesome donuts that I raved about last time weren’t as good the second time around; the magic was gone. I think last time the batch was fresh out of the oven and was far better for it. But, I ate one again this time anyway as they are still good.

For the full picture run-down and descriptions of all the food at the buffet stations, see my original post.

Have you gone to Kokyo Sushi Buffet? Tell me what you thought of it with a comment below! I’d love to hear how everyone’s liking (or not liking) Hayward’s latest addition. Also, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask with a comment, I try to respond to every comment within a couple days. Thanks!

*As this is a “revisited” post subsequent to a previous post about the same restaurant, any changes in my ratings at the top of the post are shown in bold. Otherwise, they remain the same as before.

Kokyo Sushi Buffet on Urbanspoon








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