Discoveries of 2013

Delicious discoveries since the new year….


Craftsman and Wolves


Old Fashioned from Hog & Rocks

caramelized hazelnut financier

caramelized hazelnut financier from Craftsman and Wolves


Matcha Green Tea Strawberry Shortcake from Hopscotch


Corned Beef Sandwich from Percita Park Cafe


Garlic Pork Flavor Ramen from Ramen Dojo


Mini Pie from Pietisserie


Bibimbap from Bob’s House

OaklandTrip-13 OaklandTrip-12 OaklandTrip-5

Calamari will make it’s mark on Rhode Island

Last week, legislation was filed to named Calamari to be Rhode Island’s official food, more specific their state appetizer.  My mouth just absolutely waters when I think about it. Makes me wonder what California should be? San Francisco definitely should have an official food. What do you think?

What other foods do you think should represent your state or city?

You will want to get INNA Jam

Photography by CatalepsicFox: JamesMNgo Photography

Tayberry Jam

I first heard of INNA Jam when I got a grilled cheese sandwich from Homeroom and i bought my first jar from Eat Real Festival. Ever since I absolutely love their jams. their most popular jam is their jalapeño jam, its actually surprisingly mild with a tiny sweet kick.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Homeroom (Oakland, CA) featuring INNA Jalapeño Jam

I’m never known to like to eat fruit. I do however like fruits when it prepared in different ways. Put it in a smoothie, ice cream, cake, etc, I will eat it. For that reason, I explore the many ways to enjoy fruit in its ripen sugary forms. One way is when it’s preserved and jacked up with plenty of sugar. INNA jam is one of my current obsessions. INNA jam sources local fruits in creating their jams, their’s always made in small batches. Moreover with the love from the community, their new commercial kitchen is crowded funded excessing the goal via kickstarter. Since then, their beautiful new kitchen is now produces delicious jars of jam.

Like a good bottle of wine, each jar is simply labeled and where it is sourced. You may find buy their jars in selected retailers including BiRite Market and Whole Foods. Of course, INNA Jam can be enjoyed in many places besides straight from the jar. INNA Jam is also features in many different restaurants in throughout the bay area. You can check it out on their website.

iPhonegraphy through Instagram

Sometimes I’m always caught without a camera. Sometimes more often my large DSLR sits in my room. This is the reason why I always wanted to have a smartphone handy for sharing pictures. I know it’s late, but my iPhone 5 is my first smartphone ever. And I’m discovering so such awesome apps photo related like SnapSeed, Camera+, and ,of course, Instagram. My phone has become my most portable camera I ever have.

Even before my iPhone I always been pressured into using Instagram with use of my iPod Touch and iPad. The sweet spot of portable and quality comes to the phone. So I been trying to post more often. I do pull some inspirations from other instagrammers such as @alice_gao@avalaurenb, @pketron, @rick_poon

Here’s some a sample of my Instagrams. Follow me @jamesmngo

Eat to work

From finding out about a local bakery that serves up some awesome empanadas to simply enjoying a tasty banh mi. Life has been great!

I haven’t been posting as often but there’s so much to share. You probably know from my twitter posts I’m always out and about and always have something to say. I am currently taking a small break from that to post here reorganize some other things. Not too long ago, Eat Real 2012 in Jack London Square has been quite a foodie adventure. I watched a butchering competition and tried out new things like Shrub Soda (from INNA Jam, more about it on a future Food Socialist post) and Charcuterie.

Banh Mi from Cam Huong, Union City, CA

Empanadas from Elite Bakery, Union City, CA

The Winner! Eat Real 2012, Oakland, CA

Tried Shrub Soda before? It’s a deliciously crisp. From INNA Jam, Eat Real 2012, Oakland, CA

Fish Sauce Chronicles: The Sauce!

When I think of Vietnamese food,  fish sauce instantly comes to mind. It’s the liquid gold of classical vietnamese cuisine. Often used to season or as a required dipping sauce, it adds a savory sweetness you cant find anywhere else. Everything from dipping your spring roll to drizzling over a luscious prawn salad. Fish sauce is the golden standard for Vietnamese cuisine. (more…)