Traveler’s Oasis: Dojima Ann

sushi-3Of all the fabulous places one can dine in the culinary rich San Francisco, I ate at the little hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant near my hotel – twice! As usual, I was totally craving the taste of home!

Dojima Ann, located a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of Union Square, is not just a little friendly Japanese noodle shop but an oasis for any Japanese or Japanese-food loving travelers tired of dining at fancy restaurants and just want simple, down-home cooking (the place was packed with those appeared to be Japanese tourists). What is so pleasantly surprising about this place is that despite its location, it offers many authentic, Osaka-style dishes that you would only expect in Asian enclave.

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I ordered a bowl of Daikon Oroshi Udon, a cold udon noodle with grated Japanese radish, quail egg, fish cake, scallion and root vegetables (pictured above), served with dipping sauce, and a side of hamachi (yellowtail) cut roll to calm my Japanese food craving. (pictured below).  They were both so darn tasty!

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I guess you can take a girl out of Japan, but you can’t take Japanese food craving out of a girl.

Dojima Ann
★★★★☆

The Tourist Bait: Boudin, San Francisco

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I spent most of this week in San Francisco for business and had a marvelous time learning new things, meeting wonderful people, and absorbing the vibrant energy this city radiates. This was already my second trip to the city this year but I just can’t seem to get enough of its rich history, unparalleled beauty and an impressive culinary variety. This city is definitely one of my favorite places in the world.

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This frequent travel has helped me become a better traveler but I still can’t seem to shake off my bad habit when it comes to figuring out my dining options.

While I usually stay away from dining at touristy, overpriced restaurants back home in Los Angeles, I shamelessly become a camera-hauling, fanny pack-wearing Japanese tourist when visiting a new city, willingly allowing those touristy restaurants to take total advantage of me. It must be my inner “ambulance chaser” that makes me gravitate toward things that people are buzzing around, just so that I can say I’ve been there too. I once stood in line for an hour at a hole-in-a-wall bakery in San Francisco Chinatown only because there was a long line, and I didn’t even know why I was in line for! Curiosity .. it’s a bitch.

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Boulin located in Fisherman’s Wharf (perhaps the LA equivalent of Venice boardwalk … they even smell alike) is definitely the bait, hooking tourists and their wallets with its hyped reputation, robust history and stylish décor.

I ordered the famous Clam Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at Boulin and although the bread was pretty amazing, the chowder was mediocre. I had to add salt and pepper (which I usually don’t do) because the soup was flavorless and bland, and I could barely find any clams in the small bowl.

But I suppose I should judge this place on the quality of the sourdough bread that it is famous for, and in that case, this place is pretty impressive. It was so good that I even hauled a couple sourdough baguettes back home as souvenirs!

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The cutest bread boules ever 🙂

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They are too cute to eat!

Bland soup aside, Boudin is a place everyone should try at least once when in Fisherman’s Wharf. Sitting at the outdoor dining area overlooking the water is definitely one of the treats of visiting San Francisco.

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Boudin
At Fisherman’s Wharf
Sourdough bread: ★★★★☆