Trying to beat the heat. Over the weekend in order to try and beat the heat and not languish in our terribly hot house, I tried out 2 new places. First one was the Elephant Bar Restaurant which is a "Dining Adventure". It is basically a themed Cheesecake Factory, although cheaper. I tried the blackened catfish with jambalaya. It was surprisingly not bad, though nothing special. This is a type of place when you really need generic food at a decent price. Nothing to write home about.

The other place was one of many Chinese restaurants in the Ranch 99 market in El Cerrito. Courtney and I tried out several dishes but nothing too fancy. We had salt and pepper shrimp, which wasn’t bad, garlic and pepper whole fish, and scallop vegetable fried rice with abalone sauce. The best out of the three was the rice. There is just something about fried rice with gravy, like "fu-king" fried rice. The salt and pepper shrimp was above average as they picked out shrimp with smaller shells. The fish was very different than I had expected. It had very strong garlic and red pepper flavors but that was about it. I expected something a little more sweet with a little more of a sauce. It was however still good, just something that I didn’t expect.

The menu all had pictures and it seems that bird’s nest and abalone are the house’s specials. I’ll have to eventually try something else. It seemed very popular with the local chinese clientele.