December 2007

Happy Holidays everyone! I’ll report back on the sand and the surf and the Christmas experience with the Aloha twist.

Mele Kalikimaka.


We knew that the honeymoon was over after leaving Italy. However we had the great fortune of having Courtney’s sister living in France. We met up with her sister and brother-in-law, and Courtney’s mom and dad in Paris.

Paris started off pretty slow since we were still in Italy mode and just getting settled in Caitlin and Steve’s apartment. Since both Courtney and I both had been to Paris before, we really didn’t need to go sightseeing and really enjoy Paris without the stress of trying to see everything. Unfortunately I came down with some sort of stomach bug and couldn’t really enjoy a lot of the fine foods. Although I started to feel a little better, I knew that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to eat at Joël Robuchon’s La Table, which happened to be just 2 blocks away.

I was still feeling a little woozy and my stomach was taking nose dives into my intestines. Eating there really was a mistake for my health, but was worth the experience. We all had the prix fix lunch. It consisted of a three course meal from a pared down menu each with a glass of wine. Although I can’t recall the price, it was roughly about $60 a person?

Prix Fix lunch at la Table

My lunch consisted of Foie Gras as a starter, beef cheeks in a reduction sauce, as a main, and some sort of caramel with sorbet, as dessert. The foie gras was served cold, which didn’t really do it for me. It had great flavor but since it was cold it has the consistency of paté than warm butter. What really did me in was the main course. The beef cheeks were delicious and melted in your mouth. It had a rich, creamy, beefy sauce that was thick. The carrot on top had a lustrous orange color. Although it retained it’s carrot shape, the carrot itself could be cut with a spoon. The dessert was sweet and delicious, though I can’t remember much else about it.

I can’t remember what other people ordered but I do recall Peter had fish, Courtney had a steak that was mouth watering with a side of vegetables cooked in a tangine. She also had a sort of pea gazpacho.

Other food at La Table

In case anyone is interested here is the full menu for lunch.

Lunch at La Table
Lunch at La Table

All in all, I couldn’t really enjoy my meal since I was sick. I also can’t recall much of my meal since I was sick. From what I remember, the prix fix was definitely worth it for the quality of the food with the price. However, the started and dessert were good but didn’t blow me away. The main was memorable. I was expecting more from a michelin starred restaurant in Paris. I would like to try something else, especially when I’m healthy and hungry.

BTW, the meal ended up making me feel much worse, especially since I was digesting really, really rich food.

Since steampunk is all the rage, here is one in real life. One crazy guy has transformed his laptop into a steampunk one. It crazy, but in an awesome way.


I finally had a chance to check out The Trappist in Old Oakland last night. I had been looking forward to this place since they specialize in Belgian Ales, and I usually had to make a trek out to Amnesia in the City for that.

I had previously tried to go on opening night but since the Trappist is a small place there was a line to get in and I decided to go elsewhere.

Opening Night at the Trappist

So the lowdown? The place has a beautiful interior and everything you see you can tell that they had spent a lot of time and effort into the small details. They have an amazing selection of beers that the majority of them are from Belgium. They have over 10 taps and well over a hundred bottles. The most amazing thing about this place is that they meticulously serve each of their many, many selections of beer in their proper glass. Each time you order an Achel, you get it in the Achel glass. They also have installed a nifty glass washing apparatus and make sure that each glass is clean before serving.

Inside The Trappist

Their bar menu is a work of art and quite extensive. I had decided that night that I will “attempt” to go through the entire menu from beginning to end. I was told that it would be extremely hard to do since they plan on adding more beer and changing out some things as they become available. Best thing would be to have a copy and a checklist of some sort. Luckily their website has it available to print out.

First one on the list

We started with the Achel, which happened to be one of the bartenders/owners favorite. Small and unassuming from the bottle, it was very bubbly with a very smooth and subtle texture and flavor. I was indeed the highlight of the night. We then encountered a major dilemma. The next items on the list was Chimay Red and Chimay Blue, which me and my friend, Thomas, have already had. We left it up to the bartender to decide whether or not we should skip it and move on to the next one or stay true to the list in order. He said that since we had both had it before to move on to the Koninghoeven. We ended the night with the Koningshoeven Dubbel. It was slightly sweet but by now it was hard to disseminate between all the different beers (I had had sips from my other friend Peter’s various beers). Next time I will need a designated driver, a credit card, and lots of time. These ales hit you hard. Luckily we had time to sober up at the nearby New Gold Medal Restaurant.

Congratulations to The Trappist by being my new favorite bar. (Be forewarned that it is strictly beer and wine only, and a little cheese).

The Trappist
8th and Broadway in Old Oakland.

Although coming from the point of view of a Datsun owner, educational non the less.
This clip explains the relevance between the Datsun Fairlady and an MGB.

I have included a google maps mashup of the ongoing Taco the Town, my journey to go through the taco trucks in alphabetical order. The only rule, eat in order and order a carne asada and al pastor taco.

This installment brought me to my local taco truck, Tacos Chavez located by the Food 4 Less on Emery St. and 40th St. in Emeryville.

Taco The Town - C
The carne asada was a little gristly but flavorful. Toppings was some salsa with the onions and cilantro. The al pastor wasn’t anything to write home about. I do have to say that I have been to this taco truck many times and this was one of the more disappointing visits. I’m not sure if it has to do with the fact that I just got back from Mexico or not. However, I have always felt that this taco truck’s strengths was never the tacos but their burritos. Since I am not doing a burrito crawl (check out burrito eater for that), I won’t be about to assess the other trucks and their burritos.

Taco The Town - C
I have also been looking for a ratings system. Here is the ever evolving lodown out of 5 jalapenos.


I came across while looking at google maps, that they had updated information on which countries google maps are adding content and which do not.

Interesting enough, 24 of the have no google map information whatsoever, such as titles, geocoding, driving directions, business listings, and localized information. What is interesting to me is that while most are small pacific islands, there are a few stand out names, such as Argentina, and South Korea. I didn’t expect to get any information on North Korea and I was correct.

See the updated list here.

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