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Category Archives: Asian fusion

Pulled pork waffle & Indian-style tacos highlight trip to Moveable Feast’s SJ Taco Festival

Paneer Crazy Tacos at San Jose/Bay Area's Got Curry?

Paneer Crazy Tacos at San Jose/Bay Area’s Got Curry?

There are three types of food that I will never get tired of: Seafood, Indian food and tacos. So when I found out that Moveable Feast was hosting a festival dedicated to the latter, I knew I had to go.

The company hosted the 4th annual San Jose Taco Festival of Innovation at the city’s History Park, Saturday, May 23 through Sunday, May 24. The festival brought a fleet of food trucks from around the greater Bay area that introduced their own twist on the traditional Mexican dish. The great thing about the festival: All the plates were $6 or less, so you could get full for a reasonable price.

Waffle Amore, San Jose

My first stop at the taco festival was Waffle Amore, which is focused on bringing “the taste of authentic Liege and Brussels waffles” to its customers, according to the food truck’s website. Its toppings include Belgian chocolate hot fudge, maple bacon butter and Speculoos, a type of shortcrust biscuit.

I went for the savory side of the menu and ordered The Porkwich, a crisp waffle sandwich with pulled pork, braised with spices and topped with BBQ sauce and Waffle Amore’s own crunchy Granny Smith Apple fennel cabbage slaw.

The Porkwich at San Jose's Waffle Amore.

The Porkwich at San Jose’s Waffle Amore.

The food truck was generous with the pulled pork, which was tender and moist. The BBQ sauce was sweet and tangy and was a great complement to the slaw, which had a nice crunch and subtle apple flavor. Best of all, the waffle was soft in the middle but crispy on the outside. I didn’t necessarily think “taco” as I ate the dish, but I was not disappointed.

For more information about Waffle Amore, call (408) 645-5351 or visit waffleamore.com and www.facebook.com/WaffleAmore.

Got Curry?, Bay Area/San Jose

After Waffle Amore, I headed over to Got Curry?, a Bay Area food truck that specializes in Indian-Mexican fusion, according to its Facebook page. I was happy to see two of my favorite cuisines coming together. My eyes automatically went to the Paneer Crazy Tacos, soft tortillas topped with cheese cubes, topped with tikka masala sauce, rice, onions, bell peppers and Indian spices.

My tacos did not come with bell peppers, but they were dressed with cilantro, which I think was better anyway. The tikka masala sauce was creamy, and the aioli brought extra spice and tang to the dish. The paneer tasted fresh and had a soft texture, while the cilantro and onions added the taste of a traditional taco.

Despite their small size, these tacos were filling, and I was debating on if I could make a trip to another food truck. It was a great value for $6. For more information about Got Curry?, call (510) 501-5022 or visit www.facebook.com/gotcurry.

Treatbot, San Jose

I wanted to grab a fish taco, but I knew I would be too full for dessert. And I really wanted an ice cream taco.

The Ice Cream Taco at San Jose's Treatbot.

The Ice Cream Taco at San Jose’s Treatbot.

My third and final stop was Treatbot, which specializes in ice cream and karaoke. I ordered the ice cream taco, a waffle cone in the shape of a taco and filled with two scoops of ice cream. Customers could choose from Mexican Chocolate, Pineapple Mojito Sorbet, and Eastside Horchata, a rice milk-flavored ice cream infused with cinnamon. I went with a scoop of Mexican Chocolate and Eastside Horchata.

The ice cream was rich and creamy without being overly sweet. I loved the strong cinnamon flavor in the Eastside Horchata. The Mexican Chocolate was also tasty, but I didn’t see what made it different from regular chocolate. I was expecting the flavor of Mexican hot chocolate, which is flavored with cinnamon and the spicy kick of chili pepper.

I really enjoyed the waffle part of the taco, which was subtly sweet and crisp. I’ve been on a waffle kick lately.

I would like to try some of the other flavors on Treatbot’s regular menu, including The 408 (caramel ice cream with fudge and Oreo cookies) and Macapuno (coconut ice cream with coconut chunks).

For more information about Treatbot, call (408) 548-7328 or visit Treatbot.com or www.facebook.com/Treatbot.

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Korean beef tacos, Asian-inspired entrees a plenty at Cupertino’s Elephant Bar

The Quick-Fried Soy-Ginger Calamari at the Elephant Bar in Cupertino.

The Quick-Fried Soy-Ginger Calamari at the Elephant Bar in Cupertino.

My friend Jason is coming for a visit next month, and I have been looking for a nice-but-reasonably-priced contemporary restaurant to take him to on his first night here. I have heard good things about the Elephant Bar in Cupertino, which specializes in Asian-inspired fusion entrees and has an impressive happy hour menu.

Dish of Choice

The happy hour menu offers a number of discounted appetizers and drinks from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 p.m. to close everyday. I chose two appetizers: the quick-fried soy-ginger calamari, which was served on a bed of marinated vegetables, crisp rice noodles and toasted sesame seeds; and the Korean beef tacos, which was served with marinated beef sirloin on corn tortillas, topped with a blend of cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado and sour cream. The three tacos also came with a side of slaw and spicy salsa.

I also ordered the Snap Dragon Martini, which was made with Dragon Fruit Skyy Vodka, passion fruit puree, cranberry juice and cayenne pepper. Since it was happy hour and Skinny Cocktail Tuesday, I received $3 off each appetizer and half off my martini. The bill was about $18.

The Korean Beef Tacos at the Elephant Bar in Cupertino.

The Korean Beef Tacos at the Elephant Bar in Cupertino.

The Taste

The calamari was thick, tender, and lightly breaded with just enough seasoning. I also enjoyed the crisp noodles and marinated vegetables, which were a nice complement to the dish. The beef on the tacos was also tender, and I also enjoyed the slaw and the blend of vegetables and herbs on the tacos. The spicy salsa on the side added a nice kick without setting my tongue on fire.

The drink was strong, but not over-the-top strong, so I could still enjoy the passion fruit and cranberry flavors. The puree tasted fresh and the cayenne pepper was subtle. I would order this cocktail again.

The Ambiance

Elephant Bar has an upscale, modern style without feeling stuffy. The restaurant was dimly lit, creating an intimate feel. Although they had a steady happy hour and dinner crowd, it wasn’t too loud, so you can hear and enjoy the conversation with the person across the table from you. It seems like a good place for a date night or a laid-back night out with friends.

Other Details

Elephant Bar is located at 19780 Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino and has 11 other locations throughout the Bay area and Northern California. Hours at the Cupertino location are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call (408) 865-0701 or visit www.elephantbar.com.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Asian fusion, seafood

 

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