Every once in awhile, Mr. S and I like to go for a quick get away to SF. Nothing is usually on the agenda, just a quick overnight to relax, eat some good food and of course partake in some Philz Coffee. We usually squeeze in a trip to Japantown while we’re there. I like to hit up Daiso for cutie kitchen items and stock up on some of my favorite Japanese treats at Nijiya Market. In the past we’ve parked our butts at the Grand Hyatt or the Orchard. This time however, we decided to stay at the Kabuki Hotel in Japantown.  We scored a great deal on the rate and the hotel's reservation agent, Sandy, made sure we had an upper floor, corner suite.  This way we were assured of some quiet. I stayed at the Kabuki years ago when it was the Miyako and the Raddisson owned it.  It’s now owned by the Joie de Vive chain, not much has happened in the remodeling department (it's pretty no frills) but the JDV staff is terrific.  Domingo was working the front desk during our check in and check out and he was an absolute doll. I took a few pics of our room and the view to share. 


Sunken in tub and separate shower, Japanese-style

Sitting area with sliding screens

Koi pond on the first floor

Panoramic view from our wrap-around balcony, day time

View from the other side of our balcony, night time

Rooftop garden on nearby restaurant
(click to enlarge, it's pretty cool)

The thing I liked most about staying at the Kabuki was the proximity to Japantown (duh, it’s smack in the middle of it) but also that if you head over a few blocks to Fillmore (Pacific Heights), there’s all kinds of small cafes, delicious coffee spots and specialty stores.  Next time you're there, check out Jane on Fillmore and Pizzeria Delfina.  Sure, Pacific Heights is a bit hipstery but like Japantown, there’s practically no riff raff milling bout. Honestly that’s a huge draw for me. The last time we were in SF, I was getting pretty tired of the aggressive panhandlers in Union Square encroaching on my personal space.  Now if they would just build a Philz over in Japantown….☺

Recent conversation with Kidlet #1 over a breakfast of matzo brei:

Kidlet #1: This is good, what's it made of?

Me: Crushed matzo crackers and egg.

Kidlet #1: What's that?

Me: An unleavened bread. They're like giant crackers. My dad used to buy them for me when I was a kid.  I'd put a ton of margarine on them and eat them for a snack.

Kidlet #1: Cool. Are you going to write about it on your blog?

Me: Maybe.

Kidlet #1: Do you still call us kidlets?

Me: Yeah...but I guess I should change it now that you guys are teenagers. What should I call you? 

Kidlet #2 calls out from the living room: Starlord56! Starlord56!

Ummm, I'm NOT going to call them Starlord56 (although I do kind of wonder where the heck he got that idea from?) but I do think they're due for an update. They're hardly "kidlets" anymore at 12 and 15 years old.  Kidlet #1 is taller than me and just started shaving for goodness' sake! So maybe I'll just start referring to them as Teen Z (Kidlet #1) and Teen B (Kidlet #2)?  That should suffice, right? ☺

Anyhow, this weekend try making some matzo brei for breakfast (or a snack), you'll love it.  My favorite recipe is Ruth Reichl's, although I use a little less butter than she recommends (her recipe uses 6 tablespoons).  Reichl once described matzo brei as, "one of life's perfect foods."  I think she's absolutely right, the dish is quite delicious in its simplicity.

Matzo Brei


4 matzos
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Crumble matzos into a large sieve placed over a bowl to catch crumbs, then hold sieve under running cold water until matzos are moist and softened but not completely disintegrated, about 15 seconds. Gently press out the excess water.
2. Transfer to bowl with crumbs, then add eggs and salt and mix gently with a fork.
3. Heat butter in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. 
4. Add matzo mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until eggs are scrambled and matzo has begun to crisp, about 3 minutes. (I usually flip them halfway through, I like them slightly crispy on both sides.)
* Sometimes I like to mix it up by adding in some sliced spring onions or a shake of garlic powder. Or go sweet and sprinkle it with a some cinnamon and brown sugar or a wee bit of maple syrup. There's a matzo brei for every taste.
Ugh! I'm stuck at home today. Woke up feeling under the weather and a bit nauseated.  Mr. S can attest to the fact that I'm a horrible patient. I start feeling quite grumpy when I'm regulated to the bed. Don't get me wrong, I love sleeping in but being forced to stay in bed is...well, it's like back in high school or college when you read a book of your own accord and you loved it, but take that same book and have it part of an assignment where you're obligated to read it? Fuggedaboutit, you hate the book. It's like that with me and sleeping/staying in bed when I'm sick.

Anyhow, being stuck in bed is giving me a chance to do a little bloggin'. This isn't really a food post but I suppose it is kitchen related.  If you know me, you know I'm a huge coffee drinker. It keeps me functional. It's also what keeps me from feeling stabby in the morning at work.  Anyhow, lately there's been a ton of cute coffee cups on the market.  If I had the cupboard space I'd buy them all.

Here are few of my favs. What mugs are you loving these days? Do you like fun ones? Cute ones? Plain ones?