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Curry Up Now’s unique flatbread sandwich brings the spice at Off The Grid food-truck event

The Kathi Roll with chickent from San Mateo's Curry Up Now.

The Kathi Roll with chicken from San Mateo’s Curry Up Now.

I’ve always been curious to stop by one of those food trucks that serves up tacos and Indian food as I drive down El Camino Real every week. So I was happy to discover that a local event — Off The Grid — hosts a number of food trucks with diverse cuisine in one setting on a weekly basis in Sunnyvale.

Since food trucks have hit mainstream popularity in the last five or so years — Food Network even has a show called “The Great Food Truck Race” — I figured I might not be able to find a parking spot near the event. It turns out Off The Grid was not that busy Thursday evening, which was good for the diners because it allowed us to sample a variety of food without having to wait in long lines.

Dish of Choice

I made my way to two food trucks that evening (I had to restrain myself for the sake of my wallet and stomach): I ventured to San Mateo’s Curry Up Now, which offers Indian street food, and San Francisco-based We Sushi, which serves Japanese cuisine.

At Curry Up Now, I ordered the Kathi Roll, which was made with mughlai paratha (flatbread prepared with a pan-fried egg), sliced onions and chutney, rolled with your choice of beef, chicken, paneer (cheese) or vegan style. I went with chicken. With tax, my Kathi Roll came out to about $9.

The Crispy California Roll from San Francisco's We Sushi.

The Crispy California Roll from San Francisco’s We Sushi.

At We Sushi, I ordered the Crispy California Roll, which was made with crab and avocado wrapped in seaweed and rice, then fried in a tempura breading and drizzled with a spicy aioli. With tax, the Crispy California Roll cost about $8.

The Taste

Let me start with the Kathi Roll: My stepmom says you know a meal is good if you end up wearing it. Well, I was definitely wearing the juice from the wrap sandwich on my shirt, but I didn’t mind. The chicken was tender with a spicy marinade, and I liked how the egg was soft on the inside but crispy on the edges. The flatbread was toasted just enough without being crunchy, and the chutney brought some heat without burning your mouth. I would describe it as medium spicy. This was a sandwich that I would definitely get again.

The Crispy California Roll did not wow me as much as the Kathi Roll, but it was still tasty. The tempura breading had a nice crispiness on the outside without being heavy or greasy. The aioli reminded me of a Thousand Island dressing, but with a little more kick. The dish came with eight pieces of sushi roll, so there was enough there to walk away satisfied.

Off The Grid's weekly Thursday market at 1177 Kern Ave. in Sunnyvale, CA, next door to Sports Basement.

Off The Grid’s weekly Thursday market at 1177 Kern Ave. in Sunnyvale, CA, next door to Sports Basement.

The Ambiance

Off The Grid had a laidback vibe and was located in a lot next to a local sports equipment store. People could easily walk from truck to truck without feeling like they were bumping into each other. There were plenty of seats for people to enjoy their food and have a casual conversation with other diners. I wish there were tables because it was kind of hard to juggle all that food on your lap. Other than that, it was a great event to get outdoors and try some outside-the-box cuisine.

Other Details

Off The Grid was started in 2010 and currently operates 35 weekly public markets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, according to its website. It works with more than 200 food, bar and amenities vendors weekly and offers catering for groups ranging from 100 to 10,000 people. To check out its market schedules and vendors, visit offthegridsf.com.

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Posted by on March 15, 2015 in Indian, sandwiches, sushi

 

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Sushi rookies will enjoy getting out of their comfort zones at Santa Clara’s Yuki Sushi

The sushi lunch special at Yuki Sushi in Santa Clara.

The sushi lunch special at Yuki Sushi in Santa Clara.

I admit that I am a sushi novice. I typically play it safe and order a California Roll (imitation crab, avocado, and cucumber) or a shrimp tempura roll, which is pretty much fried shrimp wrapped in rice.

So I told myself I was going to try something different when I arrived to Yuki Sushi in Santa Clara, which was voted one of the reader’s choice winners for Silicon Valley’s best sushi by Metro magazine.

Dish of Choice

I decided to go with the sushi lunch special because it had a variety of sushi on one platter: one piece of maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellowtail), and ebi (shrimp), which each came on a bed of seasoned rice. The special also included six of the familiar California rolls and six rolls of tekka maki, which was tuna wrapped in rice and seaweed.

The special came with a salad and bowl of miso soup, which is typically made from a paste of soybeans, a starch such as rice or barley, water and yeast. Along with an iced tea, my bill came out to about $14.

The Taste

Friday was the first time that I tried the nigiri form of sushi, and I enjoyed it. The tuna and yellowtail both tasted fresh and tender. There was a small spreading of wasabi in between the fish and the rice. I typically stay away from wasabi because I always feel like my scalp is on fire every time I eat it. However, the sushi chefs used just enough to wake you up and add some spice to the dish. I love shrimp, so I definitely was not disappointed with the ebi nigiri. The California and tekka maki rolls were also fresh and added a nice variety to the dish.

The miso soup and side salad are part of the lunch sushi special at Yuki Sushi in Santa Clara.

The miso soup and side salad are part of the lunch sushi special at Yuki Sushi in Santa Clara.

The miso soup was probably my least favorite part of the meal, but that is not the fault of the restaurant. I have had the soup at other Japanese restaurants, and I’m just not a fan of the barley, yeasty taste.

I enjoyed the dressing on the salad because it was not too heavy or sweet. All in all, it was a great lunch special at a good price.

The Ambiance

Yuki Sushi is a small but quaint restaurant. Along with regular table-chair seating, diners can also sit at low tables on cushions with their shoes off for a more traditional Japanese seating arrangement. Guests can also sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs create their favorite sushi dishes.

Since the restaurant only seats about 40 people, the place fills up fast. I would suggest coming right as the restaurant opens or waiting until about 1 p.m. to avoid the lunch rush.

Other Details

Yuki Sushi is located at 1827 Pruneridge Ave. in Santa Clara. It has a second location at 1140 Lincoln Ave., #8, in San Jose’s Willow Glen area. Lunch hours for the Santa Clara location are 11:30 a.m to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and dinner runs from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (408) 248-9144 or visit yukisushi.com.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in seafood, sushi

 

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