Mongolian hot pot

Soups on!

Wintertime is soup time – even here in Silicon Valley where the average temperature is rarely below 50F (10C), soup is on everyone’s mind.

While you can find a lot of great restaurants on Castro St. in Mountain View there are some that are particularly great for your soup fix.

Kirin Chinese Restaurant has a wonton soup to die for and everyone can share.

Sharing is also a big hit at the Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot (see photo). You order the broth, which can be spicy or original and whatever meat, vegetables and noodles, or tofu you would like in your soup. It cooks right in front of you. We went with the original, but asked our server for some chilies. There is also the option to have half and half broth, in what looks like a yin and yang pot.

Further options are two Ramen places, which is a Japanese noodle soup dish, and a Japanese Shabu Shabu restaurant, which offers a kind of meat fondue (which is high on our list to try out next).

What are your favorite winter dishes? Do you have a recommendation for a soup restaurant in the Bay Area?

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve

Earthquake trilogy

Living along the San Andreas Fault sometimes feels like living on the edge. (Excuse my pun)

Recently we learned a lot about earthquakes. While the exhibit in the Tech Museum in San Jose was the most descriptive, the two earthquake trails we walked were especially good for exercise, and made it feel  more real.

In the Tech Museum, I liked the platform that reenacts different quakes the best. The three earthquakes I experienced so far all had slightly different motions. On the platform in the Tech Museum it confirmed that it wasn’t just me feeling it, they are different!

Point Reyes National Park has an earthquake trail which is about a 30 minute loop. It’s near the visitor center for Bear Valley, which I also highly recommend for exploring.

It was great for the kids to read out their descriptions
It was great for the kids to read out their descriptions

On the trail are two different signposts, one for adults and one for kids. They also had markers to follow along the fault. The most impressive one is  a fence that did a 16 feet jump during the 1906 quake.


This shows the two parts of the fence 16 feet apart.
This shows the two parts of the fence 16 feet apart.

The other earthquake trail is a 1.5 mile hike in Los Trancos Open Space Preserve. We picked up a brochure (you can also see the  PDF here: at the main parking lot. The 9 station long walk in with more than 2000 feet elevation was more scientific than Point Reyes but with some spectacular views.

Sign for the Fault Trail
Sign for the Fault Trail

We had problems finding the things in the description. There was also a fence that had been put there as an example, but it was only 3 feet apart.


Do you know of any examples for Earthquakes in the area? Have you ever felt an earthquake?

Movie Theater

Dinner & a movie

We did it! We finally saw Star Wars. I can’t believe Mountain View got a movie theater with these fancy recliner chairs.

We planned to have dinner near the movies and went to a place pretty much behind the movie theater that has about 5 restaurants. While we were looking around trying to find one that would please all of us, two guys came out of the indian place telling me the place is good, real good. Both nodding their heads. Well, you can’t argue with a recommendation like that. And boy were they right!

Wall decoration at my new favorite place for Indian food!
We have a new favorite restaurant now, serving Indian /Pakistani food on metal trays with an arrangement of dal, rice and a salad. Yum!
Plus they give you free chai tea and we also got one free dessert because they figured we were their new favorite customers.