1320 65th Street, Emeryville, CA  94608 | Phone+1 (510) 570-1703 | website

This is one of my favorite brunches in the East Bay.  Every weekend Los Moles puts out an amazing buffet where you can sample all eight of their fantastic Mole sauces created by owner/chef Lito Saldana.  It’s a lavish spread of everything you could possibly want to indulge in for a Mexican feast.  You’ll drool when you look at the extravagant buffet packed with succulent meats, iconic rice and beans, fresh salsas, classic comfort food dishes like menudo and pozole, fruits, salads, desserts, drinks, agua fresca and of course, all of those moles…

Mole is something like the national dish of Mexico that spans a spectrum of colors, textures, and flavors. Oaxaca boasts seven moles that range in color from green to yellow, rust, and black.  It is a magical blending of chiles, spices, nuts and seeds into a vibrant sauce full of intricate flavors that takes hours, sometimes days, to prepare, and the mole buffet showcases all of the namesake specialties of the house.  The sauces are made from family recipes which all use anywhere from 30-50 ingredients, there’s Mole Poblano that’s made with seven different types of chile peppers, cinnamon & chocolate, Mole Mama Luisa Mama Luisa’s specialty red mole, made with chile guajillo; Mole Mama Elena their Grandmother’s personal recipe Mole Negro, made w/ chile mulato; their grandfather’s Mole Pipia made with pumpkin seeds and essence of chile guajillo;  Mole Verde is Chef Saldana’s specialty made w/ fresh chile poblano, Mole Mango a mole sauce made with chile guero andfresh mango; Mole de Piña made with chile guero, fresh pineapple; Mole Habanero made with chile habanero and red bell pepper

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Veggie Lee Chinese restaurant in Hayward

by foodhoe on June 3, 2019

25036 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward  | 510.785.7133 | www.veggielee.com

We first heard of Chef Lee when he was the executive chef at Daimo, a Cantonese restaurant in Richmond which won numerous awards for his ambitious menu and meticulous preparations back in the day.  He left and opened a branch of Daimo in San Leandro, which was our favorite Chinese restaurant and we were very sad when it closed a few years ago.  So I was really glad when I read that he opened up Veggie Lee in Hayward, where he is serving up a fabulous menu of mostly vegan and vegetarian Chinese food, after he embraced a vegetarian lifestyle for health and spiritual reasons.  Chef Lee adheres to the purist Buddhist vegetarian precept of not using onion, garlic, scallions, chives and leeks, “the five pungent spices” which are believed to lead to anger (raw) and passion (cooked).  It is also thought that these odors repel gods and attract hungry ghosts and demons.  We ate several delicious meals there before we even noticed the statement about no garlic and no onion on the menu, everything is so flavorful and fresh tasting you really don’t miss it!

This simple dish is the one that keeps us coming back.  The Moo Shu Vegetables ($10.95) are served with gossamer thin crepes that you pile with the stir fried vegetables infused with a heady smokey flavor from being expertly seared in a hot wok, drizzled with some flavorful hoisin sauce then rolled up into a small burrito, tucked in at the bottom.  The crepes are so delicate and I always put too much filling so the wraps inevitably fall apart.  Delicious, messy and so finger licking good.

You have to try the Salt and Pepper Pumpkin ($8.95) at least once!  I love anything salt and pepper, which is a classic Cantonese preparation of savory deep fried dishes that are intensely flavorful.  It is lightly battered and fried until deliciously crunchy, then liberally seasoned with salt and pepper, then garnished with aromatic basil leaves, minced jalapeño instead of the usual garlic and bits of batter-fried seaweed for swoon-worthy texture.

The Pan-Fried Bean Curd Roll ($11.95) is constructed from thin layers of fresh tofu skin stuffed with mushrooms, rolled up, and then fried until the outside develops a shatteringly crisp crust.

Inside, the fresh layers of tofu are tender and juicy, filled with savory mushrooms and delicious drizzled with sweet and sour sauce.

Another one our favorite dishes are the Green Beans with Ginger  ($12.95).  We love Chef Lee’s vegetable-centric dishes because they highlight the wonderful fresh texture and flavors of the ingredients.

Sauteed Lotus Roots $13.95 a simple preparation of thinly sliced lotus roots, fresh snow peas and velvety back mushrooms tossed in a light savory sauce.

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Soft opening at Top Hatters Kitchen and Bar in San Leandro

April 14, 2019

855 MacArthur Blvd, San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510.632.5320 | facebook |  Mr. K and I were so excited to eat at the newest dining destination in the East Bay, which incredibly, is located in San Leandro!  It has been lovingly transformed from The Top Hatters hat shop into a restaurant that is sleek and […]

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Allie Daddy’s BBQ in San Leandro

March 10, 2019

15832 Farnsworth Street, San Leandro | 510-878-2228 | Tues-Sun 5pm to midnight. I recently went with a bunch of food friends to check out Allie Daddy’s BBQ, which is in an obscure little strip mall in San Leandro, buried deep in the suburban labyrinth.  It’s in the Manor Plaza, in an area that seems stuck […]

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A Kushiyaki Feast

January 6, 2019

I have always loved Yakitori, bite sized pieces of chicken grilled on skewers that can be found on the menu of most Japanese restaurants.  Kushiyaki is the generic word for all things skewered and grilled, including meats, vegetables, seafood and so much more…  We recently made a New Years feast of Kushiyaki and grilled everything we […]

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Benchmark Pizza in Oakland

December 5, 2018

499 9th Street, Oakland, CA | 510-488-6677 | website | reservations online Hey is anyone out there still reading blogs? I am much more active on Instagram @foodhoe, so I hope you follow me there.  Anyways, sometimes a place is so good that it needs a big page dedicated just to them, and that’s why we still […]

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Arca, dining in the jungle of Tulum

September 28, 2018

  I’m still thinking about my Mexican adventure last Spring which is beginning to feel like a distant memory… But, if you find yourself in Tulum, you must make time to explore the Si’an Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which is an amazingly beautiful UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site that is located on the east coast of the Yucatán peninsula.  It is […]

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