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A market or restaurant not only sustains a community, but is also a reflection of its people and culture. Despite there being a substantial Asian population in Palo Alto, many are still unaware of the rich traditions surrounding food in Asian cultures. While it costs at least $700 to fly to Asia, it only costs around $5 worth of gas to drive around the Bay Area and experience what Asian cuisine has to offer.

Pork Chashu Bao

Price: $3 for medium sized dishes

Restaurant: Cooking Papa

Address: 1962 W El Camino Real, Mountain View

Pork buns, shrimp dumplings, siu mai and steamed turnip cake are served a la carte. After recieving your food, the servers will stamp your receipt according to your individual order. To pay, the cashier will count the number of stamps correlating with different dish sizes: small, medium or large. Cooking Papa is the closest authentic dim sum restaurant and is located in Mountain View on El Camino. While the restaurant lacks the traditional catering carts, the food is still the type you would find in a traditional dim sum restaurant.

Vanilla Snow with Lychee Jelly, Strawberries and Condensed Milk

Price: $5.50

Restaurant: Sno-Zen

Address: 2101 Showers Dr., Mountain View

Sno-Zen offers shaved snow and shaved ice, both equally delicious, although slightly different in texture, a variety of toppings, and an array of sauces to go on top. Pictured on the left is vanilla shaved snow with lychee jelly, strawberries and condensed milk. Shaved snow has the consistency of powdery ice cream that melts in your mouth immediately. Lychee is a popular flavor that is applied to many Taiwanese foods and unfamiliar to the Western palette, while the condensed milk is drizzled on top to provide extra sweetness.

Soft Tofu

Price: $10.62

Restaurant: So Gong Do Tofu House

Address: 4127 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

There aren’t many Korean restaurants in Palo Alto. Because of this, So Gong Do Tofu House attracts many customers everyday. Their most popular dish is the soft tofu. Tofu House’s soft tofus, or Soon Doo Boo, are the ultimate Asian comfort food. Hot, spicy and filling, this dish is served in a stone pot to preserve its heat and keep your tofu stew warm for over an hour. All soft tofus consist of cubes of tofu immersed in a stock soup which is served still bubbling. Cracking a raw egg into the dish and mixing the egg and the broth together allows for the egg to cook and adds additional flavor.

The unsuspecting white staffers of Verde Magazine tried traditional asian foods which were new to them. This video goes along with and article written about asian foods available in the bay area.