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.

2 thoughts on “

  1. So much to comment!

    Ooh, I love xiao long bao. Where did you go in Cupertino village? There’s a little Shanghai restaurant in Daly City where my grandma use to live and they have the best steamed dumplings ever. They also have the red bean pancake that I love – “do sa guo bing”. Yummm!

    Isn’t that insane about Vallco? My brother said during the construction, one of the cranes or something fell into Vallco through the roof. This was during the rainy season so all this water collected inside too. I’m sure they patched it up by now. I think they should turn Vallco into some Asian strip mall. That’ll bring a lot more business there. Just look at how popular Dynasty is!

    When I go shopping, I actually do plan my route! I decide which stores I want to go to and what would be the most efficient route. I hate going to VF on the weekends. It’s too big and there’s always too many people. It’s nice to go later in the day though, or I just go to Stanford. I’ll take you to Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza sometime. That place is really cute.

    How often do you go back to San Jose?

    1. Re: So much to comment!

      We went to the place… on the front… if you walk around the corner you get to that A&J’s place (I always forget the chinese name)… it has white covers over the entirety of its chairs… there’s a long wait to get in… they give you a number and then a hostess with a clipboard and an earpiece comes out and calls peoples’ numbers to seat them… haha.

      Yeah, they told me that story about Vallco too. No people were hurt, but I guess stuff was damaged. I thought a long time ago that they WERE turning Vallco into some Asian strip mall–while it is true that the new “investor” or “owner” or maybe “one of the new investor/owners” in Vallco is a Chinese (? or some kind of Asian) guy. I’m very unclear about this. So maybe it will be more “asian-store friendly” but not “just asian stores” ?

      Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza, ok =)

      I don’t go back to San Jose very much. I don’t really get along with my parents, and I need NEED NEED my computer at all times (mostly to play Warcraft). And there’s no room for me. But I went back last weekend (for my dad’s birthday) and I was just over there yesterday (to see my friend jenny who was here in the south bay for a day. she’s friends with one of your friends alice? haha, she knows you as krdogstar)

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