On Saturday night four of us ate at the “xiao long bao” restaurant at “cupertino village.” (“Xiao long bao” = small … uh, dragon bun? they are little steamed dumplings. not “potsticker”-shaped, mind you–these are small and round, with a very thin skin, and very liquidy inside. they are also nothing like the “bread encasing stuff” like “pork buns” or “red bean buns.” they come in rounds of eight in a large bamboo steamer.) This restaurant was on the fancy side and a little expensive. We had their “regular meat” one, a “crab meat” one, and one more that I forgot. We also had some “fried rice” that wasn’t exactly just normal “fried rice”–normal “fried rice” has like egg and is usually drier; this kind was pretty wet/oily and didn’t have any egg. I already forgot what it was called, plus the thinnest “chong you bing” (green onion pancake) that I have ever had in my entire life. They were really really thin. And then we had a round of “jiou niang” … warm rice wine stuff, it is sweet and delicious, and some more really-thin pancake with a layer of red bean paste in the middle. My dad and brother say that the other place (across the mini-street from Nob Hill, next to our hairdresser’s) that serves this kind of food (xiao long bao) was better. (They sampled a lot of restaurants during the two weeks that my mom and sister were in Canada.)
Afterwards, a bunch of family came over and we hung out ’til like 1am. It was great. We looked at a million pictures together.
On Sunday we went to Todai at 11:30am when they opened, for my dad’s birthday (you get to eat for free there on your birthday. They check your driver’s license). I did not know there was a Todai in Vallco. What the hell occupied that spot before Todai was there? A department store? My brain got all mixed up. Anyway, I’d never been to Todai, but it was glorious. Everything was nice and clean and well-presented (of course that was probably because we were among the first customers of the day) and the place was pretty empty until about 12:30, when it got really packed all of a sudden. There weren’t as many kinds of sushi as I expected, but there was way more “other stuff” than I expected… jicama salad (mm!) and a bunch of other salads, udon and stuff, fruit, meat dish things, little snacky things like edamame and asparagus wrapped in bacon (what that is doing in a “japanese seafood buffet” I don’t know but I didn’t complain), a billion kinds of cake cut into really ridiculously little pieces so you could get one of everything, etc… everyone says “yeah the food isn’t that great but it’s all you can eat, so you can’t really go wrong” but I thought stuff still tasted pretty good. Raymond went into standby mode in the middle of lunch because it was so hot. Ahahahaa
We wandered around Vallco for a while. Lots of construction. I hadn’t been there for forever… they’re building an AMC on top of it and they look like they’re going to try to renovate the whole thing and divert some traffic from Valley Fair. Some of those storefronts I totally recognize, like the one that is just a bunch of glass shelves, and the Capezio is still there and looking the same as ever, and the cool nature gift-shop-ish store that was next to it is gone…
We visited Valley Fair after our stroll through Vallco, too, because we have no air conditioning at home and couldn’t really think of anywhere else to go. It was 102 outside, and the thermometer we have on a tree in our backyard read more than 120 (the max is 120) because the sun was shining on it. Valley Fair is stupidly crowded. You should have seen the line for the Jamba Juice in the food court.
I don’t like malls that much. I have a hard time making decisions as it is… if I go to a mall, I’d have to decide how to spend my time, which stores to visit, plan some kind of route across the vast wings of the complex that would best use my time, find out what stores were having sales… it’s just so much work. And I don’t like shopping. And large families with parents screaming at their screaming children are annoying. But air conditioning is good.