Archive for August, 2011

PHO #54 at San Jose on Alum Rock Ave

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Last week, I lunched at PHO #54 on Alum Rock Ave (-x- Capital Expwy). Their PHO never disappoints me. The soup is authentic, and tasty. The beef is fresh and tender. I especially like their side dish, vegetable and lime. I visited this restaurant more than ten times, and their quality are always at my standard, at least a B+ grade, which is very consistent.

Comparing PHO #54 with other restaurant, it is better than:

  • Pho Viet – their noodle sticks together at the bottom !
  • Pho Hoa – their soup base is not finely prepared !

I would not mind to drive 12 miles from Cupertino, CA to PHO #54 for their PHO !

Founder of

Curry House 30% OFF on Aug 16th and 17th by House Food

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Curry House by House Foods now offers a discount of 30% OFF on August 16th (Tuesday) and August 17th (Wednesday), 2011. Then, at the Cupertino, CA store ONLY, with this attached coupon below, you get 20% OFF until August 15th, 2011.

If you like Japanese curry, it’s a great idea to visit them. I have been here at least twice, and I give a B+ to A- grade. The katsu (fried pork) has a B+ grade, and the curry sauce itself definitely has an A- grade. The cost of the meal at Curry House is just a little bit higher than most places, like 5% to 10%. For example, the Katsu curry over rice is about USD$10 compare to USD$8 at a Japanese supermarket’s restaurant, or USD$5 cold bento. But, I won’t hesitate to re-visit again and again. I have no complaint at this place.

Curry House (Cupertino, CA only) 20% discount until August 15th, 2011

Founder of

Roy’s Station Coffee and Teas (Japantown, San Jose, CA)

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Last Monday (Aug 1st, 2011), after having some bad ramen at Japantown, San Jose, CA, I decided to walk over to the next block for a great cup of Latte at the Roy’s Station. First of all, this Roy’s Station seemed to be a gas station a long time back, and the owner converted in into a coffee station. This is my 3rd time at Roy’s Station. I also ordered the same thing, Latte (16 oz at USD$3.4). There is only one size with two shots of espresso. To compare this Latte, it is way LESS milker than Starbucks’s Grande Latte (by default, comes with two shots of espresso), and about the same as Peet’s. This Roy’s Station Latte has a complex taste structure, but it has a well-balanced mixture of milk and espresso. The top portion of the Latte is less darker than Peet’s, but way browner than Starbucks (by the way, Starbucks’s Latte is white at the top portion). This well-balanced Roy’s Latte taste less stronger than Peet’s but it’s coffee taste has been consistent, and you could still get the same well-balanced taste even towards the last drop. On the other hand, Starbucks Latte is different. It first started to taste like milk, and the more you drink towards the last drop, the more the coffee taste. Peet’s Latte is “kind of” the opposite, at the last drop it taste weaker than the very first drop. I believe their process of making Lattes are different. I know for sure that at Starbucks, they put the espresso first, and than the heated milk. Anyway, Roy’s Station Latte has an A grade from me. Every drop of their coffee is finely made with their heart.

By the way, Roy’s Station does have WiFi internet access, but their closest parking spaces are metered parking from 9 AM to 6 PM. It’s about USD$1 per hour. Make sure you have enough quarters for the meter.

I will definitely go back there at Roy’s Station again and again to figure out their complex taste.

Founder of

Kumako Ramen (Japantown, San Jose, CA) – a huge DISappointment

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

I came here for lunch yesterday (Aug 1st, 2011), and it was my first time here and also my last time. I ordered a Shio Ramen (salt based soup with ramen). First of all, from the texture of the ramen, it looks like instant noodle for which was curly hair like. I wish they could have their own home made ramen. Then, here comes the soup base, a Shio soup base, it’s way too light, not salty at all ! Taste like a bowl of water plus half teaspoon of salt. The color is very light brown. If they could run a ramen business like this, I could do the same. Just go get some instant ramen from a Japanese market, and boil it, and serve it. There is no innovation, no secret recipes passed down from generations to generations, no skills of cooking, and no culinary art. It’s a shame to serve that quality of ramen to anyone!

I have been to many other ramen places like Orenchi Ramen, Ramen Halu, and Santouka. If I give them an A- grade, Kumako Ramen has a C- grade. I would give a failing grade to a restaurant if it has a C+ or worse (C+, C, C-, D).

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