May 18, 2006

Food for Thought

My husband and I are big time foodies. We love trying out new restaurants and have a shared appreciation for good food. Recently, we experienced the new Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino. Upon arrival, I was a bit taken back at the rows of meat hanging in a display window when I walked in the restaurant, reminding me of butcher shops in Hong Kong. However, a few steps forward and you will be greeted by multiple maitre d's: one to take your coat, one to find your reservation, and one to simply make you feel welcome. The waiting area has a nice fireplace and a sophisticated designed lounge so no sweat if your table isn't quite ready. Their menu has all the traditional steaks, but proudly boasts of their imported Grade 8+ Kobe Beef, which was really the reason my husband and I decided to try them out in the first place! Alexander's Steakhouse is a traditional steakhouse infused with many creative and interesting Asian-Fusion dishes. We couldn't pass up on the Maine Lobster Tempura, the Fois Gras "Squared", and Sea of Cortez Scallops. No worries though, that still left us room for the Kobe Experience--a four course tasting menu that left us yearning for more. No room for dessert? They don't give you a choice...every guest gets a big fluffy cotton candy (yes, the kind you get at theme parks!) with the bill. Every dinner should have a sweet ending like this one. Check out their menu online at

Okay, there has to be a balance to life. One cannot fine dine all the time! There's plenty of great restaurants out there without an eye popping price tag, and Shabuway is one of them! The first Shabuway opened in San Mateo about two years ago, and there has hardly been a night without long lines at its doorway. For those of you unfamiliar with the term Shabu Shabu, it is a traditional Japanese cuisine known as the "beef fondue". The term shabu shabu means "swish-swish", describing the swishing motion of cooking a very thin slice of beef in very hot water.

At Shabuway, every person gets their own pot of boiling water, a plate of high quality beef slices, a plate of assorted vegetables, a bowl of rice and two different dipping sauces--ponzu and sesame. It's fun, delicious, filling, and reasonably priced (expect to spend around $15 per person for dinner). The second Shabuway recently opened a few months ago on Castro Street in Mountain View. It's definitely worth a try, but it's not the place for large groups of people. Check them out online at

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