Tag Archive for dinner

Asena Restaurant


About a block off the central Park strip in Alameda, you’ll find this Mediterranean-focused, upscale dining spot. By Mediterranean, I mean all over the Sea with a menu featuring pasta, sour cherries, artichoke, hummus, and so on and so on. Whatever region you want of the Mediterranean, you’ll probably find something that qualifies. And if you’re sitting out on the flower-covered patio, you won’t mind if it takes a little while for your dining companions to arrive.


Cocktail Round #1 saw us through that just fine.


Husband and Cousin’s Boyfriend, who ordered one later on, described the ginger sake martini as so light, you forget how fast you’re drinking it. Good, but could be dangerous. The Monte Cristo presented an impressive blend of flavors for me.


Campari, limoncello, Stoli, and pomegranate nectar was a sampling of the Mediterranean all in one glass! It was served over crushed ice, which kept it at a good dilution the whole way through, and the pomegranate brightness melded well with the bitter Campari. The limoncello provided an overall smoothness that made it taste similar to sangria in a way, though the Monte Cristo was much more my cup of liquor than most sangrias I’ve had lately.

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Little Star Pizza

Our waitress rushing out, concerned my husband left his bag behind. Thanks!

Our waitress rushing out, concerned my husband left his bag behind. Thanks!

Little Star is a small gourmet-pizza chain with three outlets in San Francisco. We chose it for an early dinner on a Saturday afternoon because it had the best ratings for open eateries in that neck of the Mission at that time, aside from the also-appealing arepas spot across the street.

At 3 pm, the place was empty, which is to be expected for most establishments. The menu is tiny, roughly five types each of deep dish and thin crust pizzas and about the same amount of appetizers and salads. Those pizzas come in small 9” and large 12” only, though personal pan pizzas are available at lunch for a reasonable price.

The color palette was cool tones, which I like, and the small bar at the entrance was especially cute. Medium-to-dark woods, silver tables, brick and sleet gray walls.

We started out with the goddess salad, little gems lettuce with creamy pesto dressing, chives, and toasted almonds.


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Mac & Cheese Night #2: Q Restaurant


I didn’t know that Q Restaurant would be closing when I planned Mac & Cheese Night #2. It proved fortuitous that I chose it as my next stop on the list as their macaroni and cheese will soon be no more, along with the rest of their jazzed-up comfort food menu. If you want to try the cheesy goodness for yourself, you’ve only got until this Sunday to do it!

It’s a shame they’re going, because any restaurant that takes the time to hide Waldo in their fake tree is a restaurant I can support.


The whole interior is playful, though the walls are becoming covered in farewell messages from their loyal patrons.


Enough of sad news—you’re here for the mac & cheese!


Price: $13 plus $2 for added bacon.

Cheese: Cheddar, swiss, and asiago. They made for a saucy, tangy combination.

Creamy vs. Stringy: Creamy, assuredly. Strangely, the sauce held a hint of tomato. But I’m the only one who tasted that, so I’m probably just having a stroke or something. No biggie. Plus, I liked it.

Noodles: Cavatappi spirals for more whimsy! They were cooked past al dente but not overcooked, unless you’re one of those people who thinks any pasta not al dente is automatically overcooked. Snob.

Breadcrumbs: Instead of breadcrumbs, Q’s macaroni and cheezy (their name for it) comes with tater tots on top! I was surprised to like the combination—I expected the tots would just add mush to the dish, but because they were extra crispy, they provided great crunch.

Grease: None noticeable. Not sure if that’s good or bad.

Verdict: I ultimately thought this mac & cheese was overpriced. A larger helping would have won me over—what you see in the photo is served on a flat plate, so it’s really just a single layer of noodles. Flavors were good, and I’d qualify it as an upscale version of mac & cheese in a box, which isn’t at all an insult. Box mac & cheese is amazing! The bacon teetered on the edge of being overcooked and didn’t add much other than being, you know, bacon, so I’d leave it off in the future…if there were a future. Oh, Q, don’t go. I just found you! Stay with me, if only for your desserts!


That beauty is a grilled banana served with caramelized walnuts, chocolate and caramel sauces, and Double Rainbow vanilla bean ice cream for $8. It’s also a simple dessert, but unlike the mac & cheese, I felt it was worth every penny. The banana was grilled to warm, mushy perfection and everything went so well together. I need to try and make that one myself.

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies à la mode and root beer floats were also happily had at our table.


I should also mention the delightful, if misleading, cornbread appetizer with jalapeno relish.


We expected multiple squares of cornbread with jelly on the side, as you might imagine. But instead, Q fries one cornbread square and drenches it with the tasty, sweet jelly. It was delicious and inventive and I highly recommend it. Just don’t expect it to feed the table!

See you in July for Mac & Cheese Night #3. Right now, I’m thinking the Tipsy Pig.

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar
225 Clement St.
Inner Richmond, San Francisco

Q Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Reviewed 14 June 14.

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