Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 3: Xanh (Niniane)

Xanh is the restaurant in downtown Mountain View with the poshest decor.

Lunch at Xanh is a buffet.

The catfish stew was my favorite dish. Noodles with sprouts was also good.

Today's guest was Yezdi, who told us about co-founding Firefly, selling it to Microsoft, and starting another startup in 2008. I liked how candid he was about the various challenges he faced.

Day 3: Xanh (Yishan)

The best part about lunch at Xanh were the gigantic silver balls.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 2: Vaso Azzurro (Niniane)

Today we ate at an italian restaurant. I noticed that the first three restaurants on the tour are all quite good! The average Castro St restaurant quality must be pretty high.

Candor shot, taken by the waiter while we were not ready.

Our guest today is Garrin, an ex-paypal'er. He is so funny! He also made a lot of effort to remember everyone's names, which is nice.

On the menu was a pasta dish with EVVO. Elaine said it sounds like a robot. I said it sounds specifically like the robot from Wall-E. Yishan corrected us that it stands for "Extra-Virgin Olive Oil".

Taher pointed out that "Brute Force lunch tour" is not the most accurate description. He said it's more like "Round Robin lunch tour". Brute Force sounds like we have to order everything on the menu, and then finish it.

Veal scallopini, which was very tender.

The owner was exuberant. We overheard him telling one of the waiters, "I need olive oil, and bread. Thank you! I love you, brother." He also started singing impromptu, and one of the cooks sang a duet with him for a line. We were inspired. We're going to introduce all new members to Sunfire by singing and saying how much we love each other.

Elaine with her lemonade, which she said was very syrupy.

Day 2: Vaso Azzurro (Yishan)

The proprietor sang or serenaded us the entire time, proclaiming the lemonade (which Elaine ordered) to be "Tuscan lemonade, the best lemonade in the whole world!"

I ordered the Scallopini di Vitello (veal), which was pretty good. It came with green olives, and I don't like olives, but they did not detract from the meal.

The proprietor's singing and presentation of the meals and day's specials was so good that I was tempted to order dessert when he offered it, but at the last moment I caught Niniane shaking her head out of the corner of my eye and remembered that I too didn't actually want dessert, and my resolve was fortified.

Day 1: Hunan Chili (Yishan)

I ordered the General [Tso's] Chicken, mild. It was still spicy. You know how it is with Hunan food...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 1: Hunan Chili (Niniane)

Today we decided to start our Brute Force lunch tour. We walked to the end of Castro Street, and ate at the first restaurant on the western side: Hunan Chili.

During lunch, Ben and Terrence showed us their cool iPad augmented-reality app. They imported a scene from the game Myst, and as you pan the iPad around, you can see different sections of the Myst scene.

We got so excited that we forgot to take photos of the food.