Alright, you guys. Here's the scoop. I recently partnered with HP, who is currently on tour with Meghan Trainor (you know her from her catchy "All About the Bass" hit), to #BendTheRules bring you a different kind of Food Friday stack today. Taking inspiration from their HP x360's four modes (laptop, tablet, tent and stand), they've asked me to interpret the number four in any way I'd like. What a better way to do so than with a super stacked Food Friday post, right? (Four times the noms, y'all!)
You know that I'm always sharing what I eat with you over on Instagram, but not all the places I dine at are SF-based. Take for instance, last week's trip to Oakland. Thought I'd flip the script once again and take you to the other side of town. Having grown up in the Peninsula, I have more than a couple of favorite places that I like to give my money to on the regular. And because I love them, I thought you just might, too. So, if you find yourself in San Mateo, here are four foodie spots you've just got to visit.
Ramen Izakaya Kagura 279 Baldwin Avenue
It's no secret that I love ramen. There was a point, where I would have a bowl every. single. week. Excessive? If your answer is yes, you must leave my blog immediately. There's no room for that kind of negativity over here! Ha. In all seriousness, Ramen Izakaya Kagura is a place I like to visit when I'm in the area and need a ramen fix. It's relatively cheap and filling, and most importantly, delicious. My personal favorite is their Tonkotsu Ramen (I order mine medium spicy, no mushrooms, with an extra egg). It's a thicker pork-based broth, with thicker ramen noodles. After half a bowl, I'm pretty full, so I save the rest for later. Two meals for the price of one. (Second favorite is their Hakata-style ramen - thinner noodles, lighter broth, but still just as tasty.)
Masu 79 East 3rd Avenue
This is a no-frills, easy-in, easy-out spot for sushi. It made the list for its nostalgia factor (I used to dine here with my pals in high school), so don't think less of me when you come here expecting a fancy-pants-best sushi-ever experience. It's not that. But, it is a great lunch spot for when you want to fill up on a tasty bento box, throw in some sushi, and maybe a bowl of udon. Most people will tell you to go to Sushi Sam's if you want the best sushi downtown San Mateo has to offer, and I wouldn't disagree. But, I do like Masu's easy atmosphere, large portions, and affordable bentos. It's really a place to stop in if you're kind of in a hurry and just want to get the job done.
Hotaru 33 East 3rd Avenue
Right up the street from Masu is Hotaru, which I would argue is actually a close contender to Sushi Sam's. The sushi is always fresh (I always get their salmon sashimi, though it's not pictured above) and when I'm in the mood for it, their "bento" lunch combinations. It's a great deal and the food is always great. My only qualm is this place is kind of slow, so don't come here if you're in a hurry. Another pro-tip: bring cash. They always seem to have trouble splitting the bill here.
Ramen Dojo 805 South B Street
The last San Mateo spot on my list is Ramen Dojo. I'd be a fool to leave this off my list. It is the place to get ramen, if you are in the area. It's right down the street from my absolute favorite nail salon (shout out to Relaxing Nail and Spa!) and very much worth the hype. If you've heard of ramen in the SF Bay Area, you've heard of this spot. The lines are almost always out the door and can be upwards to an hour or so wait. Get there early (I think they open at 5:30, so 4:45, if you're serious) and don't be alarmed if you already see a line. I like to add a side of their gyoza to my order - super tender and comes soaked in the yummiest dipping sauce. If you're down for a wait and want to have the ultimate ramen experience, go here.
Okay, guys. There you have it. My first list of San Mateo spots to visit. This isn't my full list - I actually have wayyyy more to share with you, but I had to start somewhere. Any Peninsula friends out there? I know there are some of you! Tried any on today's list, or have some other spots you're a fan of? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Finally, one last word about HP, with whom this post is in partnership with. As I mentioned, they're currently on tour with Meghan Trainor. And by on tour, I mean they're putting together a behind-the-scenes documentary using the HP x360 to capture footage from the tour. Fans are also generating content on their x360's (think Vines, Instagrams, YouTube videos) that will be stitched together in the documentary. Pretty cool, no? I for one, am a fan of mine - I never imagined using something other than a laptop or desktop to create my blog posts on. But, I'm pretty impressed with all the ways I can use my x360. It's the perfect tool for work and play - when I need a break from creating my posts, I just switch it to the stand mode to listen to some jams, peruse Pinterest, or watch some Netflix ("Friends," anyone?). What a fun way to #BendTheRules of a regular laptop. Thanks, HP for letting me play!