A visit to the local ice cream shop now has some added drama thanks to Cryo Cream, an ice cream shop that freezes its creations in seconds thanks to liquid nitrogen. Customers choose from the brief list of flavors and watch as the sweet liquid turns semi-solid front of their eyes. Flavors change often, but include strawberry, salted caramel crunch, breakfast cereal (featuring Captain Crunch and Fruity Pebbles), and "The Elvis" that includes banana ice cream, chocolate sauce, sliced bananas, and optional bacon. This comes on the heels of the announcement that S.F.'s Smitten Ice Cream, which has patented machines devoted to the liquid nitrogen-freezing process, is coming to Los Altos later in the fall, making these exciting times for the local ice cream enthusiast. 240 Park Rd., Burlingame; (650) 401-6400.
Ramen Izakaya Goku in San Francisco's Mission District has quickly become one of the city's go-to ramen spots. After only two months in business, Goku has now opened a 40-seat Peninsula sibling, Ramen Izakaya Kagura, to compete in the intense San Mateo ramen market. As its name suggests, ramen and bar snacks are the two cornerstones of Kagura's menu, supplemented by daily specials like taro served in a dashi broth with yuzu miso. Of the ramen choices, the Hakata-style pork tonkotsu is the house specialty. Meanwhile, on the izakaya side of the menu, diners can graze on sashimi preparations, a half dozen salads, various grilled meats, and an extensive selection of "kushiage" (deep fried skewers of assorted meats and seafood, such as squid topped with uni or kurobuta pork). Kagura is also one of the few places on the Peninsula where you can enjoy tsukemen (cold noodles served with a pork-soy dipping sauce). Homemade green tea crème brulée is always available for dessert. 279 Baldwin Ave., San Mateo; (650) 685-8800.
After closing shop in Burlingame earlier this year, Roti Indian Bistro has opened its new location just a few miles south. Sunil Arora's menu of traditional and modern Indian cuisine remains largely the same. Start with some vegetable samosas, share some freshly baked naan stuffed with goat cheese, then explore some of the biryani rice entrées. From the tandoori oven comes chicken marinated in yogurt and saffron, along with leg of lamb kebabs coated with peppercorn and cumin. More than 30 Southern Indian curry specialties are found on the menu, including many vegetarian choices or "gosht madras," a lamb curry with coconut and golden raisins. Finish with a scoop of housemade kulfi ice cream. The two-level space includes a small bar and an airy open main dining room on ground floor, while upstairs is a smaller setting overlooking the street. 201 E 3rd Ave., San Mateo; (650) 340-7684.