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  • Post #91 - August 22nd, 2013, 10:52 pm
    Post #91 - August 22nd, 2013, 10:52 pm Post #91 - August 22nd, 2013, 10:52 pm
    bengore wrote:Planning a trip to San Francisco in the coming months. Any veg/pescetarian recommendations in San Francisco / Bay Area?

    For fish/seafood, go old school: Swan Oyster Depot, Sotto Mare, Tadich Grill. I think all have been previously mentioned in other threads, so hopefully a forum search should reveal more info.

    Tartine is indeed a must, and not just for breakfast. Bar Tartine is no slouch, either.

    I liked Craftsman & Wolves (they also do a nice afternoon tea), but really loved Beast and the Hare, also in the Mission.
  • Post #92 - March 22nd, 2014, 7:02 pm
    Post #92 - March 22nd, 2014, 7:02 pm Post #92 - March 22nd, 2014, 7:02 pm
    Bumping this thread for suggestions--3 nights, 2 days in SF this summer--trip with my mom, as well as my sister, brother and their spouses. Mostly pretty good eaters--2 of the 5 are a bit less adventurous but aren't too diva-ish about it. Mom's favorite is Gary Danko and I'm guessing that may be one of the dinners but I'd love to hear other recs--throughout the spectrum too--I don't think we want all of our meals to go the tasting menu route. Mom isn't going to want to stand in line for anything so need places that will either take a reservation or won't have a line out the door. I plan to try to hit Swan Oyster Depot on my own or with my brother if he's up for it. Otherwise, looking for current recs (going through this thread and the others, a lot of the favorites are either closed or have some downhill alerts.)

    Would also love some recs for great cocktail bars. We're staying at the Prescott and won't have a car if that is helpful for orientation purposes.

    thanks in advance!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #93 - March 22nd, 2014, 8:24 pm
    Post #93 - March 22nd, 2014, 8:24 pm Post #93 - March 22nd, 2014, 8:24 pm
    Though not quite current, all the places I'm about to list are still operational.

    Wife and I arrived to San Francisco late on a Monday night and our hotel was located in the financial district, so we made reservations at a nearby restaurant called Campton Place. A very nice tasting menu containing courses of heirloom tomato variations, Maine lobster, snapper, angus beef tenderloin, and a nice chocolate mousse. At the time they also had an a la carte menu, but I believe they've done away with that and now only go the tasting route.

    Tuesday afternoon, Dana and I dined at Luce Restaurant.

    Veloute Sweet Yellow Corn Roasted Corn & Toasted Wheat Berries, Basil
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    Grilled Chicken Club Applewood Smoked Bacon, Avocado, Tomato Confit, Basil
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    Braised Short Rib Whole Weat Spaghettini, Grana Padano
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    Chocolate Pot de Creme Coconut Espuma, Cocoa Nib, Toasted Coconut
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    I had heard good things about Luce's dinner offerings, but this meal was quite the bore. Braised short rib was the only item worth repeating and even then I got tired halfway through.

    Dana had never been to San Francisco, so I told her we would go to the Wharf just to tell people she saw the Wharf (that's an OK reason, right?), and we ate at the In-N-Out Burger there
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    DO NOT EAT AT THE FISHERMAN'S WHARF IN-N-OUT BURGER. Now, I've never eaten at any other In-N-Out burger, but I'm willing to bet they didn't taste like these and I don't think I'm going to find out.

    Tuesday lunch, Dana and I hit Michael Mina's namesake restaurant.
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    Cocktails were expensive, but effective. One option was their On a Whim, which the bartender will make whatever he/she wants to.
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    If you want something more traditional, you could opt for their
    Bloody Mary hangar one chipotle, carrot, ginger, dill
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    Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad burrata cheese, cucumber, basil, country bread, red wine agrodolce
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    Michael’s Classic Ahi Tuna Tartare habanero infused sesame oil, asian pear, pine nuts, quail egg yolk
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    Plate does not come like this. Once your server sets down the plate, they 'compose' the dish before you.

    Lobster Ravioli
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    Second On a Whim
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    Mary’s Crispy Skin Chicken Breast & Ragout parisian gnocchi, oven roasted tomatoes, olives, arugula pistou
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    Sanddab ‘Fish and Chips’ pommes pont neuf, hijiki and lotus salad, house made malt vinegar, gribiche aioli
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    Chocolate & Peanut Abstract crunchy peanut ganache, flourless cake, chocolate cremeux, caramel
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    Deconstructed Strawberry Shortcake
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    At the time, their 4 course prix fixe was the only lunch option, but you are now able to order a la carte as well.

    For dinner, we ended up at a place called Umami that we actually enjoyed quite a bit.

    Potstickers pan-fried, minced chicken & shiitake “gyoza” dumplings with rice vinegar-red chile dipping sauce & spicy-sesame kimchi
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    Shibuya Sliders seasoned kobe beef, spicy aioli, crispy shallots & gingered pickles
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    Kobe Steak Tartar hand-cut, masami ranch “washugyu” steak with spicy miso-mustard, toasted peanuts, crispy capers & a fried quail egg; golden taro chips
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    Our flight out of San Francisco was a bit of a disaster and we ended up stuck at the airport for about 8 hours. We were given a lot of vouchers and squandered them all at Cat Cora. Food was pretty awful, but after drinking several bourbons we stopped caring.

    Pig and The Barrel buffalo trace bourbon neat with applewood smoked bacon
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    Farmer’s Market Bloody Mary fresh tomato juice, grated horseradish, basil, organic tomato vodka, hearts of celery
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    Dozen Seasonal Oysters
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    Surf Slider Trio with Housemade Chips grilled shrimp, crab cake, fried oyster
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    We also ate at a sushi restaurant in Mission named...Sushi Zone. I don't remember that meal, nor did I take photos (though I remember having my camera on me), so take that to mean whatever you want.
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  • Post #94 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:40 am
    Post #94 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:40 am Post #94 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:40 am
    Incite, absolutely stunning pix.

    Will be in Japantown for spa activity on Tuesday; any recent intel on good places for lunch would be much appreciated.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #95 - March 23rd, 2014, 11:37 am
    Post #95 - March 23rd, 2014, 11:37 am Post #95 - March 23rd, 2014, 11:37 am
    Thanks Nick--beautiful shots! Anyone else have some current suggestions along the lines of Canteen and Incanto (which, sadly, are closed and closing)?
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #96 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:03 pm
    Post #96 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:03 pm Post #96 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:03 pm
    Were I in SF the my first stop, even before Swan Oyster Depot, would be Kin Khao, the just opened Thai restaurant by well known blogger Chez Pim. First thing I'd order, Laab Sod Tartare, which makes perfect sense.

    http://kinkhao.com/
    http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/20 ... -francisco
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #97 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:04 pm
    Post #97 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:04 pm Post #97 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:04 pm
    Sam's Grill, for the *really* old-fashioned: I started going there in '61. It hasn't changed: get the rex sole. :wink:

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #98 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:12 pm
    Post #98 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:12 pm Post #98 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:12 pm
    Geo wrote:Sam's Grill

    Agree.

    I meet my brother, who works in SF, for dinner at Sam's Grill every time I'm in the area, old school SF at its finest. We used to meet at Tadich Grill, but its been Sam's the last decade.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #99 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:25 pm
    Post #99 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:25 pm Post #99 - March 23rd, 2014, 12:25 pm
    Thanks all! Keep 'em coming! Just to clarify though, mom and co. are pretty adventurous eaters--and none of the group will want very heavy food. Unfortunately, the parameters won't likely extend to the hole in the wall places that I might be more likely to gravitate towards.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #100 - March 23rd, 2014, 4:34 pm
    Post #100 - March 23rd, 2014, 4:34 pm Post #100 - March 23rd, 2014, 4:34 pm
    Farmer's Market at Ferry Plaza - Thurs and Saturday I think - if the Roli Roti truck is there get a porchetta sandwich! So so so very good. They also go around to a few other places, locations on their web site
    http://www.roliroti.com/porchetta
    https://lickmyspoon.com/restaurants/por ... -odermatt/
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/roli-roti-gourm ... -francisco
    http://rx4foodies.wordpress.com/restaur ... ncisco-ca/
    http://www.foodspotting.com/places/336- ... a-sandwich
    http://aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... rosso.html
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #101 - March 29th, 2014, 3:07 pm
    Post #101 - March 29th, 2014, 3:07 pm Post #101 - March 29th, 2014, 3:07 pm
    boudreaulicious - last time I was in San Fran we had several good meals but Sotto Mare really stood out. We did not have reservations and waited about an hour, but I think they do take res's.

    Sotto Mare (in the great North Beach neighborhood)
    552 Green St
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    http://www.sottomaresf.com/Sotto_Mare_S ... /Home.html
  • Post #102 - April 12th, 2014, 12:36 am
    Post #102 - April 12th, 2014, 12:36 am Post #102 - April 12th, 2014, 12:36 am
    Is there an LTHForum equivalent for the bay area? I'll be in San Fran Tuesday-Thursday of next week, then Palo Alto Friday-Sunday. I'm looking for awesome food and things to do in either location. Especially looking for ethnic food, coffee, baked goods, ice cream, noodles, dumplings, seafood. Looking for hole-in-the-walls, places locals go, etc.

    For background I've already been to:
    Ferry Market, Omnivore Books, Bar Tartine, Tartine, State Bird Provisions, Perbacco, Delfine/PizzDelfina, Mission Chinese, Yank Sing, Zuni, Humphrey Slocombe, Swan Oyster Depot, Manresa, French Laundry

    Graham
  • Post #103 - April 22nd, 2014, 9:10 pm
    Post #103 - April 22nd, 2014, 9:10 pm Post #103 - April 22nd, 2014, 9:10 pm
    Had an Amazing lunch at the bar at Wayfare Tavern, 3 guys and we had a ton of ordering power, Fried Oysters, Octopus, Oxtail Poutine, Mac & Cheese, Pea Tendrils cooked with country ham and pot likker, and of course the Fried Chicken.. Can't wait to go back this year.
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #104 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:49 am
    Post #104 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:49 am Post #104 - April 23rd, 2014, 10:49 am
    On our last trip to the Bay Area this past February, we had a great meal at SPQR in San Francisco on a Sunday night after a weekend in wine country. Many of the places on our San Fran to-dine list are closed on Sunday, but SPQR is a welcome exception. SPQR features "Italian Inspired Cuisine and Wine" and is located in the Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood. The dining room is small (+/- 50 seats) with simple wooden tables and a large wine bar.

    The menu is divided into the traditional Italian antipasti, primi, and secondi. Seafood dishes are well represented - always nice when dining in California - and most of the items ring a familiar Italian note with a modern twist. It was black truffle season while we were there and the evening's menu featured two dishes with truffles. We split the sunchoke agnolotti which was generously covered with freshly grated black truffles.

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    Sunchoke Agnolotti with Black Truffles

    We opted for the "Chef's Counter" seating, which offers the same menu (and price) as a regular table but offers a front row seat to the hot line. I found this absolutely fascinating. The expediter was located to our immediate left and watching the flow of dishes from cooking to plating to finishing was captivating. My wife and I didn't converse much during the meal (save for the occasional "Oh wow, try this") because we were engrossed in the dinner theater on display. It was very cool. Between the wonderful food and watching the cooking in front of us, I only took a few photos at dinner. On a return visit, we'd probably opt for a table in the dining room, but the chef's counter was definitely worth trying once.

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    SPQR Chef's Counter

    SPQR has a massive Italian wine list. Sadly, after the weekend in Sonoma and Napa I had my fill of vino, but my wife had two glasses paired with her courses on our server's recommendation which she both thoroughly enjoyed.

    SPQR
    1911 Fillmore St
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    415.771.7779
    spqrsf.com
    "This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn." Bernard DeVoto, The Hour.
  • Post #105 - April 23rd, 2014, 11:09 am
    Post #105 - April 23rd, 2014, 11:09 am Post #105 - April 23rd, 2014, 11:09 am
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    I posted on Afar.com about Berkeley Botanic Gardens, which offers one of the biggest deals you'll find in the Bay area; here's the text and a link:

    Two of us had paid about $50 to get into the Botanical Garden at Berkeley, and we’d previously shelled out about the same for admission to the DeYoung Museum and maybe half that for the Asian Art Museum. These are all magnificent attractions, well worth your time and so full of fascinating human and natural creations that one could easily spend several days experiencing them all. Here’s the thing, though: if you buy a $125 Family Plus membership at the Botanical Garden, you can take four adults (and four children under 18) to all these attractions and a lot more, on an unlimited basis, all year long. The investment pays for itself in just a visit or two, and the ticket is good for many, many hundreds of botanical gardens and museums across the country (!), even discounts at nurseries. Be forewarned: NONE of this key information is very well advertised (it’s almost as though, insanely, they’re trying to keep the benefits a secret). Take it from me, though: this membership is the way to go even if you’re just a family of four spending a long weekend in the Bay area. Not only that, but the fee is 100% tax deductible. Make sure that when you purchase the membership card that you they give you ROAM and North American Reciprocal stickers on the back on the card – these stickers should be applied automatically, but just check to make sure they are. For the full story, it's probably best to call/email/visit the Botanical Garden and talk to a person.

    http://www.afar.com/highlights/save-big-on-admissions-to-botanical-garden-and-museums-in-bay-area-dot-dot-dot?context=keyword&context_id=berkeley+botanic+garden

    Although this may not seem food-related, everything I do is pretty much food-related in one way or another, and I went to the garden in search of sago, a primary food (along with human flesh) of the Asmat in New Guinea. There was actually no sago in the botanic garden, though there is supposed to be a big one growing in front of the faculty building on campus.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #106 - August 11th, 2015, 1:47 pm
    Post #106 - August 11th, 2015, 1:47 pm Post #106 - August 11th, 2015, 1:47 pm
    Ate very well on a trip to San Fran last April. We visited most of the touristy landmark spots and found them similar to Chicago in that you really only need to see them once. Foodwise it's one of the better cities to eat, you just need to know that the two things the common tourist would assume they do really well, Chinese and Mexican, are actually what I would describe as above average at best. Nothing you would call out of this world. That said even though the city is small there's so many great options so it's not fair for someone who was there for a few days to speak as an authority on the food. But I can only base it off what I experienced and I felt the chef driven modern spots, the type of places you'll read about on Eater, are Frisco's strong point. You can pretty much bet that rent has something to do with this. More stuff from this trip HERE.

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    Farmers Market at the Ferry Building Marketplace
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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    Perbacco

    Located in the Financial District this seems to be a popular spot for meetings with clients. The interior is charming and the service was stellar. As soon as I saw they made my favorite pasta dish I knew what I was eating for lunch. Agnolotti Dal Plin is a popular pasta in the Piedmont region of Italy and it's basically a mini ravioli. Perbacco stuffs theirs with roasted meats and cabbage, tossing it in a very rich tomato sauce with a medium thickness to it. I was in heaven and almost went back on the final day to take an order to go home with on the plane. One of if not the best thing I ate on a trip that had lots of food that can cause major craves. I've wanted more since the last bite.

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    Agnolotti Dal Plin
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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    Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie

    We visited the popular Ferry Building Marketplace on a Saturday and the place was packed, like jam packed to the point where every damn tenant had a line at least 15 deep. The Farmers Market was also going on so there were handfuls of mobile food stands scattered amongst the vendors. I have no idea why but the famous Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie out of Oakland had what might've been the shortest line of all the mobile restaurants vending outside. The stuff I read online was saying this is one of the best sandwiches period so of course I wanted to try one. It was pretty much as advertised. The potatoes swimming in pig / chicken fat were equally delicious.

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    Porchetta Sandwich
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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    La Taqueria

    One of the spots I had on my radar was what Nate Silver and Team 538 called the best burrito in America. San Francisco and the Mission District in particular have an undying love for the burrito and a style all their own for them. They're called Mission Burritos and according to the not always reliable Wikipedia they became big in the 60's. What makes them different is basically the size and the addition of rice inside, though longtime neighborhood staple La Taqueria makes theirs rice free. That said I'm a taco guy and wasn't in the mood for a huge meal as we were headed elsewhere and this was just a detour so I was there for a taco. Ever since the big win the lines have been longer but they run a well oiled machine. There's a secret menu here and one of the popular things on it is the carnitas dorado taco dorado. It takes the fan favorite carnitas and gives them a little bit of extra time on the flattop to crisp up. Then they take a tortilla layered with cheese and allow it to crisp up. The crispy carnitas go onto the crisp tortilla and it goes into a soft tortilla. The entire thing comes with pico, sour cream and salsa and it was the size of a small burrito. While it was messy it was also delicious and very much enjoyed by the two of us. I loved the crunch.

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    Carnitas Dorado Taco Dorado
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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    Yamo

    While cruising by foot to a cocktail bar in the Mission District I spied something I thought was a dispensary as there was a small line out the door to get inside. I walked over and instead found a cute little Burmese diner hidden amongst the other shops on the block. There were four older Burmese ladies behind the counter and maybe 10 seats total to sit at. I had to take an order to-go and a $5 bowl of garlic noodles with pork both sounded and also smelled phenomenal. I watched as one of the ladies got to work dropping the noodles into the pot and the pork and garlic into the wok. What looked like something very simple as far as prep tasted like something you can only get from a spot like Yamo. A seriously pungent bowl made for a great post-drinks snack during some downtime at the hotel. In a city where the hot dogs from a street cart cost $8 this was a seriously cheap and also terrific treat. I'd be a regular if they were my neighbor.

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    Garlic Pork Noodle
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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    b. Patisserie

    I don't really eat pastries all that often but I knew San Fran was a big baking city and will stop into a place getting rave reviews which was the case here. While the croissant wasn't my favorite I think the kouign amann was the best baked good I've ever ate. I'm lucky I don't live near there.

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    Kouign Amann and Croissant
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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    Montesacro

    Around the time of our trip in late April this place was just getting going having opened a week earlier. It's located in a very old building in a formerly very sketchy part of town. When gutted it was revealed to formerly be a bakery back in the 1920's. The current owners are bringing what they call the country's first pinseria to San Francisco. Pinsa is what they call their own style of wood fire pizza in Rome. Check out the restaurants website to learn more about why it's different than pizza. For one it was much airier and shaped more like a huarache. The dough is made from rice, soy and wheat flour. We tried an option with prosciutto and red onion that was outstanding.

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    Roman Style Pinsa
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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    Liholiho Yacht Club

    Because this was a spur of the moment trip I really didn't bother seeking reservations anywhere as I knew all the hot spots would be booked. That said a couple of them take walk-in's throughout the night. I loved what I had heard about Liholiho Yacht Club and then I loved what I saw so it was a spot I had wanted to try. The dishes are Hawaiian driven but there is no boundaries as far as flavors. The menu spoke to me, both the food and drinks, and usually when that happens I know I'm in store for something I'm going to enjoy and that's exactly what would happen here. I cant remember the names of the drinks but the menu has probably switched. That said they were wonderful and I loved the fact they were utilizing ingredients not commonly found in drink recipes. Onto the food. I'm an addict for raw tuna and the tuna poke on a crispy cracker was a hell of a high. What I'm guessing was a Thai inspired salad featured a medley of marinated squid, crispy tripe, cabbage, peanuts and mint was outstanding. I haven't had tripe that crispy since I stopped by a booth specializing in Tripas tacos on the streets of Aguascalientes. Ending with a perfectly cooked Country Pork Steak topped with a honey miso mustard and charred cabbage was a decision I did not regret.

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    tuna poke, sesame oil, radish, nori cracker

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    marinated squid, crispy tripe, cabbage, peanuts, fried shallots, mint

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    country pork steak, charred cabbage, miso honey mustard, tokyo turnips
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Perbacco
    230 California St
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    (415) 955-0663

    Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie
    Outside Ferry Building Marketplace

    La Taqueria
    2889 Mission St
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    (415) 285-7117

    Yamo
    3406 18th St
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    (415) 553-8911

    b. Patisserie
    2821 California St
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    (415) 440-1700

    Montesacro
    510 Stevenson St
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    (415) 795-3040

    Liholiho Yacht Club
    871 Sutter St
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    (415) 440-5446
  • Post #107 - October 25th, 2015, 1:21 pm
    Post #107 - October 25th, 2015, 1:21 pm Post #107 - October 25th, 2015, 1:21 pm
    Da Beef wrote:
    Image
    Farmers Market at the Ferry Building Marketplace


    I didn't really review this thread much going in, as my friend had an agenda, and I didn't want to complicate things. Anyway...I am so glad the Farmer's Market was on the list! It's like Green City meets Whole Foods meets Eataly, and thrice the size. There is an indoor component which also includes more kiosks and sit down options. Stand-outs were oysters from Hog Island, korean tacos from Namu, chilaquiles from Primavera and BBQ from 4505. We sampled lots more too. If you can't find half a dozen things you love there, then you just don't like the taste of food. Delete your LTH account, go to Jewel, buy some Swanson frozen dinners, and slowly kill yourself.

    Aside from the market, here are the other places I would highly recommend and definitely return to. Yes, they are all Asian. No time for 3 hour celebrity chef dinners this time around. Only what time for what SF does best.

    Thanh Long (roast dungenous crab)
    4101 Judah St
    San Francisco
    b/t 46th Ave & 47th Ave
    Outer Sunset

    Izakaya Sozai (ramen was good, but the sashimi was superb and yakitori stuff was killer - cod roe wrapped in scallop wrapped in paper thin lardo? okay.)
    http://www.izakayasozai.com
    1500 Irving St
    San Francisco
    415.742.5122

    Burma Superstar (tea leaf salad and some super funky preserved green and shrimp something something)
    http://www.burmasuperstar.com
    309 Clement Street
    San Francisco
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #108 - October 25th, 2015, 4:18 pm
    Post #108 - October 25th, 2015, 4:18 pm Post #108 - October 25th, 2015, 4:18 pm
    When I was in SanFran a couple years ago I found the food in China Town much better than Chicago's China Town (Also its much larger). Specifically this carry out dim / bakery (Good Mong Kok Bakery) -- Horrible Name I know, but they had the best tasting BBQ pork buns I have ever had. Much more fresher and stuffed more with meat than the Chicago counterparts.

    Also the In-N-Out Burger at Fisherman's Wharf was one of the only times I had a burger that lived up to the marketing image.

    In-N-Out Burger @ Fishermans Wharf:
    Image

    Good Mong Kok Bakery In San Fran China Town:
    Image
    Image

    Good Mong Kok Bakery
    1039 Stockton St
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/good-mong-kok-b ... -francisco

    In-N-Out Burger @ Fishermans Wharf
    333 Jefferson St
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/in-n-out-burger-san-francisco
  • Post #109 - February 19th, 2016, 9:34 pm
    Post #109 - February 19th, 2016, 9:34 pm Post #109 - February 19th, 2016, 9:34 pm
    I had a very rushed and hectic business trip in SF but was able to sample a few of the local restaurants despite airport-driven meals & catered lunches. Arrived early afternoon on a Monday and was back on a flight to NYC super-early Wednesday morning. :(

    Trick Dog - Sampled the amazing Top Secret cocktail menu here. Loved the Grassy Knoll: rum, scotch, lime, jerk spice, and coconut water. Totally more than the sum of its parts. It didn't really taste like rum or scotch or any one ingredient but was delicious and refreshing on a hotter than usual SF evening. Chicken nuggets with sweet & sour, bacon ranch, and smoky BBQ sauces hit the spot as well, and you could tell that these were made from real chicken meat. Impressive, would love to go back. Sat upstairs with some friends, they were hesitant at first to let us up there since we weren't having a full dinner, but eventually relented.

    Beretta - Spotted an empty seat at the bar and snagged it after waiting 5-10 minutes. Looked like a mighty long wait otherwise, even on a Monday night. It was guest bartender night and Ryan Fitzgerald of ABV was in fine form. I loved my Escondido Swizzle with mezcal, passionfruit, fresh lime, Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso, bitters, and lime zest on top of the crushed ice. Ordered a buratta pizza with sausage and egg to help soak up my liquor. Pizza was good - a bit wetter and heavier than I usually like. I only ate about half before calling uncle.

    Beanstalk Cafe - The ridiculously named $7.50 Cragel Sando was pricey but great. A cragel (croissant-bagel hybrid) with cheese, egg, and bacon. Really satisfying for this jetlagged NYer. They were out of their mojito iced coffee and their regular iced coffee, unfortunately. I ate outside and watched the traffic go by on this very busy street.

    Liholiho Yacht Club - Waited for seats at the bar with some friends. Thought this place was great. Bustling and crowded. Food was excellent as were the cocktails. The Clifton Special (Genever, Coconut Water, Coconut Syrup, soda) was light and refreshing, while the Coconut Telegraph (Banks 5 Island Rum, Coconut Syrup, lime) took me to a poolside paradise. I also loved the fresh and well seasoned tuna poke served on big crunchy nori crackers. We demolished an order of curry and squash clams with a side of naan. And the fried oyster with a single slice of seared beef "carpaccio" in a lettuce cup was revelatory. Plus, my friend knew to order the off menu spam musubi bowl, consisting of their house-made spam served with furikake over white rice, as well as sprinklings of nori, scallions, pickled cucumbers and togarashi.

    SF is A+++ as the kids say. Would eat again! Hopefully I will be back sooner rather than later.
  • Post #110 - March 13th, 2016, 4:43 pm
    Post #110 - March 13th, 2016, 4:43 pm Post #110 - March 13th, 2016, 4:43 pm
    I have been to San Fran a dozen times for business the past 6 months. I am just going to mention a few places that I have enjoyed recently

    State Bird Provisions might be the best restaurant I have been to ever. Most creative, interesting, exciting meal I have had in many years. Nearly impossible to score a table. I love the half menu/half dim sum style offerings. Everything we had (and it was almost everything) blew us away. Michellin & Beard awards are well deserved. A must go

    The Progress- State Bird's sibling, almost as good but not quite. Much more formal, prixe fix meal. Still lovely.

    Mission Chinese Food - Edgy Chinese (sort of) food in the Mission. Picture Djs, kung pao brisket, kung pao burritos, etc. Mostly liked. Great energy.

    Dellfina- Still killing it!

    Slanted Door - Now a big touristy vibe prevails but the shaking beef, imperial rolls and cellophane noodles with crab are still terrific.

    Zuni Café - When you need roast chicken and a Caesar salad this is your pick.

    Yank Sing - Most consistent dim sum i've found. Xao Long Bao great!

    Swan Oyster Depot - local Dungeness crabs are back. I eat here every time I'm in town. Easily in my top five (actually 6) restaurants nationwide outside Chicago, which I will list here in no particular order

    Swan Oyster Depot
    State Bird Provisions
    Franklin's Barbeque
    Allen & Son
    Neptune Oyster Bar
    Domilisse's
  • Post #111 - March 16th, 2016, 9:26 am
    Post #111 - March 16th, 2016, 9:26 am Post #111 - March 16th, 2016, 9:26 am
    iblock9 wrote:Zuni Café - When you need roast chicken and a Caesar salad this is your pick.

    In SF recently for a wedding, while much of our dining was wedding related managed to hit a few favorites, including Swan Oyster, which I am well on record as loving, and Zuni Cafe.

    Zuni was humming, as in 45-minute wait 9pm on a Thursday for three without reservation. Pleasant bar helped time fly, and roast chicken was as good if not better than remembered. Oysters, salads, sides, service, people watching, I simply adore everything about Zuni Cafe, but oh that chicken.

    Hit the Ferry Building twice, once for hotel snacks on a weekday afternoon and once with the bride for Saturday Market.

    Ferry Building Hotel Snacks
    (Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam, Boccalone Soppressata, Acme bread)
    Image

    Ferry Building is a zoo on Saturdays, but we managed to find a table to eat our Roli Roti 1/4 chicken and porchetta sandwich. In true SF fashion we were table-mates with a Gigantic dog, a person engaged in conversation with themselves while drawing circles in a notebook and a happy friendly family of five.

    Roli Roti, Ferry Building Saturday.
    Image

    City by the Bay, count me a Fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #112 - September 4th, 2016, 6:28 pm
    Post #112 - September 4th, 2016, 6:28 pm Post #112 - September 4th, 2016, 6:28 pm
    Just confirmed that I will be uprooting to Berkeley for the foreseeable future. Very excited to try a wide range of food, but I have two queries for the community:
    1. I've obviously done research on Yelp, CH, and here, but: Any ideas for food in the Bay that are overlooked on the internet?
    2. Any recommendations for reliable, cheap diner breakfast in the inner East Bay (roughly, Oakland to El Cerrito)?
  • Post #113 - September 4th, 2016, 9:52 pm
    Post #113 - September 4th, 2016, 9:52 pm Post #113 - September 4th, 2016, 9:52 pm
    Wisco wrote:1. I've obviously done research on Yelp, CH, and here, but: Any ideas for food in the Bay that are overlooked on the internet?

    I haven't done a thorough search on The Internet, but Vietnamese food in San Jose deserves mention (short discussion on LTH). It is quite possibly the city with largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. There are miles and miles of strip malls with every Vietnamese niche imaginable.

    Restaurant specializing in mussels and clams:
    Image
    Image
    Image
    Oc-licious
    3005 Silver Creek Rd
    Ste 116
    San Jose, CA 95121

    Bun Mam Ha Tien - for the funk:
    Image
    Bun Mam Ha Tien
    3005 Silver Creek Rd
    Ste 192
    San Jose, CA 95121

    Malls with dried goods, electronics store, and Karaoke contests - in Vietnamese:
    Image
    Grand Century Mall
    1111 Story Rd
    San Jose, CA 95122

    Unfortunately, quality was not on par with quantity in my limited experience. You may have better luck.
  • Post #114 - September 5th, 2016, 2:57 pm
    Post #114 - September 5th, 2016, 2:57 pm Post #114 - September 5th, 2016, 2:57 pm
    Wisco wrote:Just confirmed that I will be uprooting to Berkeley for the foreseeable future. Very excited to try a wide range of food, but I have two queries for the community:
    1. I've obviously done research on Yelp, CH, and here, but: Any ideas for food in the Bay that are overlooked on the internet?
    2. Any recommendations for reliable, cheap diner breakfast in the inner East Bay (roughly, Oakland to El Cerrito)?

    Some favorites:

    Berkeley

    Jayakarta -- dependable, solid Indonesian (they will bring the heat, if you ask). Very inexpensive and centrally located, it ends up being a life-saver when other places are closed. I wish we had something like it here.

    Ippuku -- nearby izakaya, which you've probably already read about, as they've gotten quite a bit of hype. It's really terrific, though. Hard to get into and prices have been creeping up to match the hype, but definitely worth going. They're opening a soba place in Oakland next year.

    Gregoire -- takeout mainstay in the Gourmet Ghetto, with menus changing monthly. Breakfast and dinner are also available, but I've only ever been for lunch.

    Royal Rangoon -- one of the dozens of Burmese-ish places that have sprouted in the Bay Area; I like it more than Burma Superstar (at least the Rockridge branch -- it's been years since I could get into the original). Started by a former chef at BS and originally called "Rangoon Super Stars". The name didn't last, shockingly.

    Elmwood Cafe -- this could work for your breakfast request, although it isn't a diner. Think frittata and quiche rather than eggs over easy. But it's unpretentious and reasonably priced and everything is way better than it needs to be. Basically, a neighborhood place that I wish I had in my neighborhood.

    Fournee -- a great bakery near the Claremont. Excellent croissants and morning buns for when you can't make it to Tartine.

    Oakland

    Clove and Hoof -- I was really impressed by this hipster butcher/sandwich joint. If you like Publican Quality Meats, this is the place for you. Like PQM, the frequently changing menu features huge, decadent, meaty sandwiches, but also takes veggies seriously.

    Ramen Shop -- I've hyped this place here before and it's not exactly a hidden gem, but, damn, it's good. Unfortunately, all of the media attention they've garnered means a bowl of ramen is now almost $20. But, damn, it's good.

    Yuyu Za Zang -- Korean-Chinese joint specializing in homemade noodles. Very good ja jang myun and jjampong.

    Pho Ga Huong Que -- Vietnamese chicken joint. Don't bother with anything that isn't chicken-based; basically, it's all about the chicken pho (or boiled chicken, if you want to change it up). Closes at 6pm.


    I've left out many great places that are already well covered in the foodie press: Hawker Fare, Bakesale Betty, Smitten Ice Cream.
  • Post #115 - September 6th, 2016, 10:40 am
    Post #115 - September 6th, 2016, 10:40 am Post #115 - September 6th, 2016, 10:40 am
    The original Peet's is in Berkeley.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #116 - September 12th, 2016, 8:34 am
    Post #116 - September 12th, 2016, 8:34 am Post #116 - September 12th, 2016, 8:34 am
    Thanks for the recommendations! Jayakarta was definitely on my list. Also, need to find somewhere with good pozole on weekends.
  • Post #117 - September 15th, 2016, 12:07 pm
    Post #117 - September 15th, 2016, 12:07 pm Post #117 - September 15th, 2016, 12:07 pm
    Just completed a trip to the Bay Area.

    This is mostly Oakland-focused since I was not up in Berkeley much.

    My best meal top to bottom was Duende (a Spanish place). Everything was good or better, the albondigas, cabbage salad, squid and duck fat potatoes with fried squid, and pa am tombaquet especially so.

    I'll echo the Ramen Shop. I enjoyed Hawker Fare, but all it made me want to do was take my hosts to 2-3 restaurants in Chicago with broader menus executing at least as well.

    Pizzaolo may have had the best bread-y baked goods I've had in the Bay (which is saying something) and I've only been for brunch. Pizza is supposed to be as good, but not on the morning menu.

    Also, not anywhere near what you are looking for, but Sol Food in San Rafael for Puerto Rican was the perfect stop for a hearty meal after an equally hearty hike at Muir Woods. The shrimp po'boy was terrific, as were the garlicky pink beans over rice. I know a po'boy is not super traditional, but if they execute this well on a less-common dish, I feel like I can vouch for the rest of the menu.
  • Post #118 - January 8th, 2017, 7:38 pm
    Post #118 - January 8th, 2017, 7:38 pm Post #118 - January 8th, 2017, 7:38 pm
    Updating my suggestions above with a big, big recommendation for Larb Thai Food & Tapas in El Cerrito. Very nice people making wonderful food. The larb, boat noodles, and plump Isan sausages were all top notch. This is now a mandatory stop for me whenever in the area.
  • Post #119 - January 10th, 2017, 12:58 pm
    Post #119 - January 10th, 2017, 12:58 pm Post #119 - January 10th, 2017, 12:58 pm
    Let me add a fervent echo for the endorsement of Larb in El Cerrito. Ate there last night and everything was great. I had the Isaan sausage skewers, Lao style papaya salad with crab, beef larb, and the Kabocha squash curry. As a former Wisconsinite, I've eaten a lot of Laotian food, and this was really excellent.

    I've been exploring the vast amount of good food out here, a longer post is in the works.
  • Post #120 - March 19th, 2017, 9:53 pm
    Post #120 - March 19th, 2017, 9:53 pm Post #120 - March 19th, 2017, 9:53 pm
    OK, here are some thoughts and reviews from my past 5 months of Bay Area dining. Apologies for the lack of photos, I never seem to remember to take pictures of my food. I live in Berkeley and don't have a car, so most of my regular places are either close to my house or to BART stations.

    Mexican:
    Today I had some very good lamb tacos (they also offer a pastor-ish lamb tripe taco mixed with cooked onions, which I have yet to try) and some lamb soup (a delicious broth with lots of garbanzos, scraps of lamb meat, dried ancho peppers and onion), offered by the La Barbacoa mobile operation (tagline: La Mejor de DF!) at the Laney College flea market in Oakland (every Sunday from about 4am till 2 or 3pm, as long as there's no rain). There's a salsa bar with good green salsa, fantastic, very spicy red salsa, and an onion/habanero/cucumber relish. If you really like lamb, this is almost destination-worthy, and the flea market is fun and has other Mexican/Salvadoran food trucks which I have not tried yet.

    If you're in Berkeley and desiring tacos, the clear option is Tacos Sinaloa on Telegraph. Don't be put off by the location (close to UC and amid all kinds of student food glop), this is a branch of a famous East Oakland taco truck and quite authentic and delicious. I especially like the lengua and the chorizo which comes with an interesting marinade containing cinnamon. Pastor is good too. Downside: no salsa bar (tacos come pre-assembled with salsa) since it's a tiny space with stools.

    Mission Burritos: I have failed to do a comprehensive taste test yet, mostly because the El Farolito location next to the 24th St BART station is sufficient to fill my needs, and is directly on the way to my favorite bookstore. I usually get the lengua tacos or lengua burrito with avocado inside. I highly recommend the latter addition to any regular burrito as they're otherwise a little dry. The meats are delicious, the taco portions are enormous, they have a salsa bar (the green/avocado is literally my favorite restaurant salsa ever, the pico is weak, the 'spicy' is a weird, almost bitter flavor which is an acquired taste but is good on beefy flavors) and all the jalapenos/carrots escabeche you can eat. You have to order chips (but they're 65 cents). This place gets crazy, especially at night (the line does move pretty fast, though), and it is NOT clean inside (and pigeons will get trapped in the restaurant occasionally before someone shoos them out. It's that kind of place). Cash only.

    I also had a good carnitas burrito at the Taqueria Vallarta location next to the 16th St BART station, but be warned: They messed up my order the first time, the manager apologized for being drunk, and that location is a real mess late at night (there's a security guard outside for a reason).

    I've had numerous other tacos and burritos in weird little places around SF, usually while on social excursions late at night, whose names escape me. None of them were bad.

    I also had some good asada and chorizo tacos at Taqueria San Jose in San Rafael. IIRC the salsa bar was notably large there as well.

    Indian:
    My local standard, which is good and cheap but not a destination by any means, is Mehak on Sacramento St in Berkeley. Lamb dishes are good-to-very good and they will bring the heat. They also deliver pretty much anywhere in South or West Berkeley, and they're quite cheap ($8 entrees with rice, and there's a half-off Groupon going all the time).
    I had a great dinner today at Hamro Aangan in Albany, which bills itself as Nepalese-Indian (and does have momos) but has a mostly South Indian menu. Quite a departure from standard Indian restaurant fare, and not expensive for the quality level. They make their own sauces, all of which were very complex--the dosa hot sauce had pickled chilis in it, the achar potatoes had tons of fresh cilantro mixed in. Fresh-baked naan, lamb vindaloo that was gloriously spicy. Really impressive. Chicken momos were good but not quite the best I've ever had. Finally, I've enjoyed two buffet lunches at Marhaba Halal in downtown Oakland. Restaurant is a divey dive (seat yourself, pick a mismatched plate, dig paper napkins out of a plastic bag on the counter) but it's quite good for buffet food, some dishes (the chicken and goat curries, lamb biryani, okra dishes, and especially the channa masala) are among the best renditions I've ever had, if you get there early in the lunch rush. High proportion of fellow diners are Pakistani, so it clearly wins some authenticity points. Ate there the other day before bicycling 40 miles and it did the trick.

    Chinese:
    Have spent exactly 30 minutes in SF Chinatown, so can't add much other than to agree that Good Mong Kok delivers a great green onion pancake and pastries for pocket change. I still have lots more to explore in Oakland Chinatown, but I liked, but not loved, Shandong Restaurant for noodle dishes. Bay Fung Tong is good for Cantonese seafood, especially with a large group (they have large lazy Susan tables which makes sharing very easy). Tianjin Dumplings (confusingly, does not serve dumplings, and is a street-side counter, not an actual restaurant) makes a good jianbing with fresh hot soymilk for a total of six bucks or so.

    Other Asian: Good, not great, but certainly cheap pho and bun bo hue at Hoang Tra in Richmond. As mentioned in the last post, Larb Thai Food in El Cerrito is great and authentic, make sure you get some of the namesake and also the Lao style som tum with fermented crab. For a tamer audience, the kabocha squash curry was also excellent.

    Togi's Mongolian Food was a complete surprise, found by my roommate. We were attracted by the buuz (dumplings), but ended up more sold on the khuushuur (meat pastries with a delectable juice inside--make sure you bite a corner and suck it out to avoid clothing mishaps) and the goulash. Perfect winter food, to the extent that Oakland experiences winter. One of the few places which produces a craving worthy of a an hourlong round trip on BART to get takeout and eat in my living room.

    Oakland has a lot of Korean food, but I have to say that the consistent excellence of Pyeong Chang Tofu House has prevented me from exploring much further. Haven't had a bad dish (the seafood pancake, actually, is one of my favorites here), although do be aware that you get free tofu soup with every order, so there's no reason to order more of it unless you want the seafood version). Nice space and great service. Again, great cold weather food, and located in a hip area of Oakland with lots of drinking options nearby.

    I enjoyed the fancy yakitori plates at Hana, but honestly don't have enough experience with the genre to make informed comment. I will say that while Ippuku in Berkeley is a well-produced experience, I didn't feel that the bill (~$275 for 4 people, versus about $80 for 2 people, with more food per person at Hana) reflected a corresponding improvement in the actual food. And Hana is a perfectly nice, hip restaurant. I ate at the Ramen Shop a couple days ago and felt that the broths, while enjoyable, weren't really interesting or complex enough to justify the price tag.

    Had a delicious meal of kabobs, rice, and salad at De Afghanan in Fremont. Lots more in that vein there to explore, but I was taken there by a client of Afghan origins who lives there, so his opinion is definitely worth taking into account.

    Random other stuff: Miss Ollie's is quite good upscale Caribbean food with clear attention to detail, but the price tag was way higher than expected (The Bay Area has a very wide disparity in what people consider 'expensive' and reviews on Yelp and elsewhere reflect this). Telegraph Beer Garden has one of the better burgers in the area for $16 (the standard for burgers here is very low compared to the Midwest) and is a nice place to sit in the sun and drink IPAs. Berkeley Bowl really is a wonderful grocery store.

    Still trying to explore more regional Chinese places in outer-borough SF and the South Bay, ditto more Indian places in the latter. Reviews for Sichuan places are all over the map, so I don't quite know what to think. Still trying to drag friends to the Laotian spots in East Oakland and San Leandro.

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