Doppio Zero Pizzeria Napoletana

Doppio Zero Pizzeria is located at the edge of Mountain View’s Castro Street. My Italian friend recommended this place for dinner as it’s as close to authentic Italian pizza as one can get in this area. We arrived around 5:30pm and immediately there were a lot of people eating outside. That, I felt, was a good sign that Doppio Zero is legit.

Patatina ($17)
Patatina ($17)

There are so many tempting choices, but I ordered the Patatina because it has french fries as one of its toppings. I felt so fat and unhealthy when our server placed the pizza in front of me, but I could not deny the utter harmony of flavors when I took a bite of the first slice. The fries have a crispy exterior with a fluffy interior. The mozzarella and sauce balances out the saltiness of the sausage. The thin crust has a decent coating of olive oil underneath and it’s neither too chewy or too crispy. I recommend eating the pizza with fork and knife because the crust is very thin.

Panna Cotta ($7)
Panna Cotta ($7)

For dessert, I ordered the Panna Cotta since my Italian friend said that it’s one of the more authentic desserts on the menu. It’s incredibly creamy and not too sweet. I could not taste the berry flavor unless I scooped a bit of panna cotta with the berry sauce. The strawberries are absolutely sweet and delicious.

Watch me gain 20 pounds because I’m definitely planning to return to Doppio Zero and eat everything on the menu.

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Boiling Point

such hipster wall
such hipster wall

What does the family do whenever the coolest person that is my brother comes home to visit? Experience a restaurant, of course!

Boiling Point, located in Fremont, is a Taiwanese hot pot restaurant. Upon entering Boiling Point, you are welcomed with an absolutely wonderful aroma that is reminiscent of the streets of Taiwan. By wonderful, I mean absolutely pungent smell that is stinky tofu (aka fermented tofu). The wait to eat at Boiling Point ranges from 30 minutes to 2 hours, according to friends and Yelp, but fortunately, we were immediately ushered to our seats.

We ordered a plate of stinky tofu, and each of us ordered a hot soup.

Stinky Tofu
Stinky Tofu

Eating stinky tofu was an interesting experience. The first bite was like eating a typical fried tofu, and then a strong fermented aftertaste knocks the wind out of you. Thankfully the sauce masked the aroma and fermented taste, so by the last tofu on the plate, it was palatable. Apparently this stinky tofu pales in comparison to the ones sold in Taiwanese night markets.

Unfortunately for all those who are allergic to seafood, your choices of hot soup are limited to two out of ten. If you’re like me who is also allergic to nuts, your choice is one: Tomato Veggie Hot Soup, which is still delicious nonetheless. I think the hot pot is large enough for two people, and I would recommend buying just one to share so you have some space for dessert. Honestly, my family was struggling trying to finish our own individual hot pots.

Tomato Veggie Hot Soup
Tomato Veggie Hot Soup

As the name suggests, Tomato Veggie Hot Soup has a decent amount of vegetables. I was pleasantly surprised when I found a large stash of meat hidden under all the veggies. I knew there was pork since the menu lists all the ingredients in the hot pot, but I did not expect a generous amount. I definitely recommend adding some of their sauce to make the hot pot tastier. They even serve a bowl of rice with the hot soup. We couldn’t exchange rice for vermicelli noodles because it was soft opening, but the rice with the hot soup was still good.

I definitely recommend going if you want to try (almost) authentic Taiwanese hot pot. I would definitely go back for the sauce; it’s that darn delicious!

Your Lie In April

© A-1 Pictures
© A-1 Pictures

Have a box of tissues when you watch this anime. Cling to one!!

Synopsis: “Piano prodigy Kousei Arima dominated the competition and has become famous among child musicians. After his mother, who was also his instructor, died, he had a mental breakdown while performing at a piano recital at the age of eleven. As a result, he is no longer able to hear the sound of his piano even though his hearing is perfectly fine. Two years later, Kousei hasn’t touched the piano and views the world in monotone, without any flair or color. He has resigned himself to living out his life with his good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, until, one day, a girl changes everything. Kaori Miyazono, a pretty, free-spirited violinist whose playing style reflects her personality, helps Kousei return to the music world and shows that it should be free and mold breaking unlike the structured and rigid style Kousei was used to.” (source: wikipedia.com)

 photo kaori.gif

+ Absolutely stunning animation. It’s such eye candy that I feel like I was being caressed by beautiful, saturated, and vibrant colors.
+ Likable characters who are all very realistic. I feel like anyone can relate to at least one of these characters on some level.
+ Music is beautiful. Obvious statement considering the plot centers around classical musicians, but I’m also referring to the music composed by Yokoyama Masaru. The opening and closing themes are awesome as well and fit the theme of Your Lie In April. I literally have 光るなら (Hikaru Nara) by Goosehouse on repeat when I exercise because it’s so darn catchy and upbeat.
+ Cohesive plot with a bittersweet ending. Like I said, have a box of tissues with you. There are comedic moments to lighten the mood.
+ I didn’t read the manga—written and drawn by Naoshi Arakawa—but I hear the anime follows the manga closely.

– Around the middle of the anime, I felt like some events were dragged out a bit too long. Otherwise, I think the pacing is good.
– My brother pointed out that the characters tend to repeat the same word 50 billion times in one episode, which I guess could annoy some people. I didn’t notice until he pointed it out because I thought it was to emphasize a point.

You can watch Your Lie In April on crunchyroll or hulu