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Everything posted by smayman

  1. Oh my god those menus look fabulous. I can't wait to go to <a href="http://www.themenupage.com/legendarypalacemenu.html" target="_blank">The Legedary Palace</a> - I wish I didn't already have dinner plans tonight! I know most Berkeley people know about <a href="http://www.lanoterestaurant.com/" target="_blank">La Note</a>, but I went there for brunch on Saturday and it was fantastic, even though we didn't get to sit on the gorgeous patio. My friend had gingerbread pancakes which were so light and fluffy, and my husband had some really great brioche french toast. I stuck with old faithful eggs, bacon, and home fries.
  2. I just moved back to Berkeley after 9 years on the East coast. A lot of my favorites are still here, but I'm wondering if people can give me their feedback on what the best restaurants here are. I love all food, but have special fondnesses for Asian food and seafood. (I'm so sad that the Cambodiana is no longer here!) I would also like to get some recommendations on cheap eats. Thanks!
  3. I have been to Belga several times and have liked it just fine, but last night I went and had horrible service. It was Friday night and they were very crowded. We had a reservation for 8:00 and were told that it would be just a few minutes. We opted not to wait in the bar as there was barely standing room, so we stood in the little area near the reservations desk. About 20 minutes later I saw the greeter woman highlight my reservation, then turn and walk into the bar and select some random couple to sit at my table! When she returned I asked he how much longer it would be for my table to be ready. The manager helped me and said, "Oh, this is you? We couldn't find you at the bar." to which I answered that I had been standing next to him for 20 minutes. He said the next table would be mine. About 10 minutes later a couple with no reservation comes in, and he seats them outside immediately! I said, "Excuse me, is there a table available outside? Because I have a reservation and have been waiting for over half an hour." He replied, "The next table is yours." I finally got seated 5 minutes later. I found this service to be very unprofessional. I have no idea why they would seat customers with no reservation before they would seat customers with a reservation who had been waiting for an extended period of time. I swear I don't have B.O., didn't wear my pajamas to the restaurant, wasn't muttering to myself in an insane way... I just don't get it. So the manager pays for our first round of beers. I order the romaine salad and mussels, my husband orders the mixed greens salad and hangar steak. His salad comes out, mine does not. He waits for me as his tomato sorbet melts. At least 5 minutes later my salad comes out. It's another mixed greens salad. I tell the server that this is not what I ordered - she says she'll take it back and have another made. I tell her I'll keep this salad as my husband has already been waiting for a while. If she was bringing us 2 of the same salad, why was one brought out 5 minutes ahead of the other? Bizarre. Anyway, to sum it up, I like the food at Belga, but they need to work on their service.
  4. I second the full kee reccomendation. I *always* get the shrimp dumpling soup - mmmm. The ambiance leaves something to be desired, but everything there is very tasty. Also, I think all the interesting stuff in chinese has been translated - if there's anything more interesting than what's on the english menus I don't know if I want to know about it. Congee with pigs blood and tripe... In the same neighborhood I also like Burma. Great noodle dishes.
  5. Holy crap I need that. I'll have to go asap.
  6. So if I make a reservation using open table can I still get the happy hour discount? Or do I have to sit at the bar?
  7. So I went to Old Siam last night and I have to say I am extremely happy that this restaurant has moved to the hood. My one complaint is that the nice tables in the front of the restaurant near the window are also near the bar, where smoking is allowed. (Yes, the bar is the old Mickey's bar, but it's all dressed up). That aside, the rest of the experience was great. The 3 boys I was with had beer, but I tried the sake martini which was very nice. We started with the chicken satay which was fine, and the spring rolls which were really good, especially the sauce. We then had a spicy seafood dish, pad thai with shrimp (which I had heard was above average - it was), spinach with black bean sauce, and duck basil. The duck basil was fabulous - crispy chunks of duck in a brown sauce with basil - yum. The spicy seafood dish was three stars spicy - the spice level was perfect - had a good strong kick, but didn't make you feel like your tongue was melting. On a Monday night at 8 all of the tables were full - a good sign. I'm definitely going to be a regular here.
  8. Okay - I looked at the "parallel board" and the two reviews up there were good. One was pretty glowing, and one was mediocre, dubbing The Old Siam as americanized, dumbed down Thai food which was still good. The good review mentioned the spring rolls and blanket shrimp as good dishes to try. I may go tonight and come back with more details.
  9. We went to The Ugly Mug on Monday night. The decor is odd - typical Capitol Hill wierd bar. However, the booths are comfortable and the food was really good, so I'll be back. The beer mugs did smell a little of detergent - that should be fixed - but other than that the meal was good. It is obvious that the restaurant is still very new. When my pizza came without one of the toppings I ordered, the waitress took it back to the kitchen, then came back to tell me they could remake it (like my dining companion was going to wait another half hour to eat his pizza which was already on the table) or they could just plop the topping on top of the existing pizza. I told her just to bring the pizza back and take the one topping off the bill. My pizza came back with the topping added, and the waitress said she removed the whole pizza from the bill. I thought I had totally scored until I just read the post above about Capitol Hill Restaurant Week. I will go back to try their mini-burgers soon. I'm excited to have Matchbox-esque pizza in our neighborhood.
  10. I've been curious about this place. Do they do carry-out? How's the pasta? ← They do a lot of carryout. The pasta is okay. For some reason I find it hard to get really excited about pasta, but what I've had there I've liked. I've has penne with asparagus, pasta with grilled eggplant. It's a good place to go for a mellow, inexpensive evening.
  11. Stolen from Yahoo: Sushi-grade fish, available at specialty stores and fish vendors, must meet certain aesthetic and health requirements. According to New Hampshire's WMUR television station, fish that is suitable for eating raw must be frozen for seven days at negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit, or flash frozen for 15 hours at negative 31 degrees. Contrary to popular belief, fish that's "fresh out of the ocean" is often dangerous to eat. This abstract of a recently archived New York Times article revealed some helpful facts: <li>Fifty to sixty percent of sushi in United States is frozen at some point. <li>The Food and Drug Administration stipulates that all fish to be eaten raw (with the exception of tuna) must be frozen first, in order to kill parasites. <li>The FDA leaves enforcement of the frozen-fish rule to local health officials. Tina Ujlaki of Food & Wine magazine rather unhelpfully notes that in addition to meeting the FDA freezing guidelines, "sushi-grade" fish must meet standards of freshness, fat content, and firmness.
  12. Thank you thank you thank you! I didn't even know Slavin's was there. I'll go on my lunch break today. I need tuna, but I also need cuttlefish, which seems hard to find. Follow up question - how about Japanese markets? I'm looking for shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7 spice powder) and am having trouble. I went to Da Hua Market in Chinatown yesterday - they have some Japanese stuff, but not this.
  13. Sorry about the state of restaurants on Capitol Hill - it is a shame. I have had many really bad meals at Starfish Cafe and have not been back in at least a year. Pacific Grill is good for the price, as is Banducci's which is only open Monday through Friday. I like their thin crust pizza. Don't expect fabulous service, but the place isn't usually packed anyway. It's located at 601 2nd Street NE (2nd and F). Upstairs they have seating - it feels like you're eating in someone's house.
  14. Does anyone know of a reliable place to buy sushi grade seafood? I usually try Fresh Fields, but a lot of the time they don't have what I need.
  15. I've had great specialty martinis there before. I really like the liver they serve in winter with mashed potatoes. I agree that the tables are too close, but I'll deal with it to eat in a decent restaurant in Capitol Hill.
  16. I came searching for this thread today to see if anyone else had had experiences like the one I had last night. We got to Zaytinya around 7 and waited in the bar for a table. We actually got a table in the bar (woo hoo!) and then spent at least 10 minutes to try to get drink orders placed. Okay, whatever. We place drink orders and sit there for at least 10 more minutes waiting for our drinks. After about 25 minutes out table was ready and we still had not received the drinks we ordered. So one person from our party had to stay in the bar and track down our server while the rest of us were seated. Mildly annoying. Then we got drinks at the table, ordered, had fabulous food as usual. There was this one salad that I've never had before involving oranges, pomagranate seeds, goat cheese, olives, and other things that I would never think of combining but was fabulous. Then we waited *forever* for our check. We asked two busboys with no luck and then finally spotted our server and asked him for the bill. The time we waited at the table between finishing our coffee and waiting for the bill must have been between 45 minutes and an hour. It was completely aggravating.
  17. I haven't been there in a while, but I used to *love* the nutella calzone. They put practically a whole jar of nutella in there, and it's all warm and melty. Mmm.
  18. I am so excited about this place - finally capitol hill will have more good restaurants! I'm pretty loyal to Montmarte but am craving a little variety. Has anyone else noticed that the food at Banana Cafe isn't as good as it was a few years back?
  19. smayman


    The Post profile and reviews were not terrible. They were better recently. Maybe I'll have to try it for myself.
  20. smayman


    I had the same problem! Very frustrating.
  21. Haven't seen much mention of Fin in Dupont in the forums, but then again it's new. Does anyone have any opinions they'd like to share?
  22. I just figured out that you can search the Post for restaurants in DC with private rooms - never had to do that before so didn't know it was there.
  23. Has anyone been to Ginger Cove/Ginger Reef? It got mixed reviews in the post. I've walked by it on my lunch hour and been curious.
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