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Everything posted by comilona

  1. There are several guides. For northern California I have links to several of them from http://www.marga.org/food/rest/links.html Citysearch and dine.com are for the whole country. Also try tripadvisor.com and epinions.com for user reviews and the website of the newspaper of the city/region you are interested in.
  2. We went to the Blue Bayou when we visited Disneyland last year. You can read my review at http://www.marga.org/food/rest/venue/bayou.html
  3. I went to Fleur de Lys for my birthday a few months back, and I was disapointed. The food itself was excellent and the room is beautiful - but they had big problems with both the timing of the courses and their sizes. Our first three courses came one after the other one with hardly any time to breathe between them - no sooner where we done with a course (and these are small dishes, it doesn't take long to eat them) that the dishes were cleared and the following course brought to the table. I felt like they were rushing us out. The last courses were brought at a much more leisury pace, and finally we were able to relax a bit. The menu was also quite badly balanced. The "food" courses were all quite small, so that by the end of the main course we were still appreciatively hungry. However the cheese course and the dessert course were simply enormous. I like cheese & dessert as much as the next person, but when I go to a place like Fleur de Lys, it's for the food. I frankly don't understand how a restaurant that has been on business for so long hasn't gotten things like this right. Anyway, my review of the experience is at my website: http://www.marga.org/food/rest/fleur.html
  4. I think most Thai restaurants offer reasonably authentic Thai food - the same basic tastes you find in Thailand just with a much more modest use of spice. If you are looking for something different, try Old Weang Ping in Oakland. My review from last year is at: http://www.marga.org/food/rest/weang.html
  5. My vote is for Gerald Hirigoyen. He's been "hot" for a number of years, first at Fringale's and now at Piperade's, but I LOVE his food (not so fond of Bocadillos, however).
  6. My daughter is just 3, and doesn't eat enough to justify a tasting menu. The idea itself is somewhat appealing, though we'll see how it plays out when she's older and has a larger appetite. But I don't like the menu choices offered. I really don't understand why so many kid's menus are filled with junk: burgers, chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, hotdogs & corndogs and the like. It's understandable that one would find such menu's at diners and chains, but at nice restaurants? I'd expect better! For that reason, we pretty much never order off the children's menu and instead get another plate and feed her from ours. And it's not an issue of what kids will eat. I think our daughter would be delighted if we could order for her a simple pasta primavera: something with large noodles and large slices of veggies that she could grab with her hands or would be easier to stab with a fork. Hey, even add some chunks of chicken while you're at it. She is at the age in which she is particular as to what she eats - but what she wants to eat changes from meal to meal - so dishes with several ingredients work best. Another point that these restaurants miss is that part of the reason for eating out is to expose kids to different foods. If you're going to give them the same shit you'd serve them at Denny's, there is little point of taking them to Chez Panisse.
  7. We have two Vietnamese restaurants in San Leandro (OK, 3, but 1 is a pho place). Vo's is the more upscalish with dishes bet. $9-15. Le Solei is a bit cheaper with dishes averaging $8. They are both very good, specially their grilled meats, though their menus are limited and don't offer many of the more traditional Vietnamese dishes. Vo's menu changes frequently. Both are new and stylish.
  8. Of the listed restaurants, I've only been to A16 and Bocadillos and wasn't impressed by either. A16 has some great dishes (the pork, the semi-freddo) but many of the others are just OK, the type of thing you can get at restaurants all over the bay area. I wasn't impressed by their pizza, which was authentic tasting but slightly burnt. I'm very puzzled as to why people like the restaurant so much. I was expecting Bocadillos to be as good as Piperade, but the food really can't compare. The food we had was good but unmemorable, nothing stood out or would make us want to go and face the wait again.
  9. comilona


    Wow! This is amazing and apalling! I haven't gone to Oliveto in years, mostly because my last experience there was underwhelming, and this is more of a reason not to go back. A question for you, do you just take the camera to the restaurant and photograph the plates as they are served? Do you ever get any comments from the waiters?
  10. I'm not surprised Marlena's classes sold out, just on name recognition alone. I've never taken a cooking class before but I considered taking one of her (your) classes just because of how much I enjoy the columns. Ultimately I decided not to do it because the classes are demonstration classes, I'm not sure how much I can learn from just watching. But what puts me off cooking classes is that most of them are dish oriented, they teach you how to cook a number of specific dishes. I can do that by looking at a cookbook. What I would appreciate more are general classes that taught general cooking techniques and tricks. Braising 101, Sauteeing 102, that type of thing. BTW, I'm new to this board, this is my first posting. I live in the Bay Area, I like to cook and I'm an accomplished recipe-follower but not a creative cook per se :)
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