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Krys Stanley

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  1. OMG, Patrick Bui was cooking in the kitchen at Silks just about the time when I was eating there frequently at lunch (they have a good prix fix lunch deal). The chef who was running the kitchen at the time has since left and I am no longer working in the area, so I can't comment on what Silks is like these days. However, I was certainly in love with the food at Silks at that time. Anyway, Saigon City sounds good. The even have banana flowers, so I may not have to get to Ana Mandara in the city to try that. I don't know why these seem exotic to me. Please post and let us know how it is if you get there. Great to have all these ideas. I'm more of a person who drops into a place if I'm in the area, rather than planning ahead. Nice to know what to look for.
  2. This post on inexpensive Vietnamese food is great. I hope to see more posts there on mom and pop places. How about the upscale places? Just tried Ana Mandera for DAT. While I will try it again, I suspect it’s not going replace Slanted Door for me. SD has just gone so far downhill since its move to the Ferry Building. So what about it? Le Colonial in SF? I’ve read Crustasean is mediocre. Tao Café, Thanh Long, Le Soleil? In Oakland, Le Cheval? Anywhere else in the East Bay? What about San Jose? Is that just the land of outstanding cheap Vietnamese eats? Or has Slanted Door finally got its act together in the new locations. Here’s my thoughts on my last visit in August If I never ate at Slanted Door before, today's lunch would have not made me want to return. The decor is way to austere for me ... all blacks and greys. It's all very modern and sleek and, to me, very cold looking. Sure there is the view. It seems to offer more choices on the menu. I started with my old favorite, the grapefruit and jimica salad with the candied pecans. I've raved about this in the past. It was overdressed and soggy. Again, if I never had it before, I would have been unimpressed. They still have their loose leaf teas. I had the competition grade Tieguanyn. The last time I ordered one of their competition grade teas, it was one of the most wonderful teas I've ever had. This was unexceptional and the water temperature was way too hot. I ordered the five spice chicken because I thought that Slanted Door would have a good version. It was ugly. While it WAS cooked, it tasted uncooked. It had this flabby texture. Even the rice accompanying it was dry. The tamarand dipping sauce was delicious though. It seems that the place has growing pains. All the dishes seemed to be put together carelessly. I sat at the end of the bar that had a view of the kitchen and it looked like a frenzy in there. The $7.50 Bahn Mi is back on the menu, but they've stopped calling it a Vietnamese sandwich. The Vietnamese crepe seems new also ($9.50) Still a nice selection of wines and beers. Hope things improve in the future. However, based on my meal today, I won't be recommending Slanted Door.
  3. I recently tried Hung Tra in Richmond on San Pablo (near Home depot). It was a spur of the moment thing, saw it and craved Bahn Mi. Turns out it has a neighborhood following with quite a few East Bay reviews in the window. I wound up getting the ginger chicken rice plate which was ok with lots of fresh ginger. Anyone tried this place and have any favorites? I read the crispy ginger crab is very good and it looked pretty good too. A few tables ordered it. Anyway, looking through this thread, this seems to be the summary, so far on inexpensive Vietnamese in the Bay Area. Anyone have any other ideas to add? East Bay places would especially be appreciated. Milpitas Vung Tau (Vietnamese style NY steak with tomato fried rice, also the rice plates with broken rice and various meat cuts are great) Oakland Pho 84 San Francisco Golden Flower (bun (rice noodle salad) with grilled pork and imperial rolls) Golden Star (pho) Lotus Garden (pho) Minh's Garden (hot and sour soup with prawns or noodle bowl with barbequed pork and imperial roll) Pho Hiep #2 (pho) Saigon Sandwich Sunflower Wrap Delight (Bahn Mi) San Jose Binh Minh (freshly made tofus … get the ones with the bits of clear noodles and mushrooms) Lee Sandwich (fluffy pork bun (white)) Pho Thenh Long (grilled boneless fish (bun cha)) Tung Kee noodle (house cheap combo noodle- make sure to get FLAT EGG noodle) The Tully Road joints which is high on my list when I’m in that area again.
  4. Holiday Tea at Michael Minna I hope lots of people who visited these places will post about their experiences. The only ones I really want to try are A16 and Town Hall. A friend whose food judgement I really respect, raved about Town Hall. Really, it was surprising because I've never seen her that enthusiastic about another restuarant. Here are my thoughts on Michael Minna when I went for Holiday Tea. It is not a true take on what really happens there as the food was pretty straight forward. Given that, the experience didn't make me want to go back. I am in agreement the MB gets better service than the rest of us schlubs. The dishonesty of the staff really put me off. Here's my experience: Both the vegetarian and regular teas are priced the same … $32 … with champagne (Iron Horse) $42 … add strawberries and cream … $45. I think it says it all when the most memorable thing was the rye bread in the chicken salad with procuitto tea sandwich. That tiny taste was the best rye bread I’ve had on the West Coast. The baked goods were the strength of the tea. The tiny quarter sized tarts … lemon, banana, berry were intensely flavored with the thinnest of crusts. Applause for the blueberry and blackberry that tasted like they were plucked in the prime of summer. However, throughout the tea, there was a lack of attention to detail. While there were three generous dishes of clotted cream and marmalade, there was only one tiny quarter-sized scone to place these on. Everything else was cookies and tarts … not anything you’d slather with jelly. So I broke down the itsy bitsy scone into atomic sized pieces and piled on as much cream and marmalade as each crumb could accommodate. Despite the fancy Kobe roast beef tea sandwiches and truffled this and truffled that, it was only good, not great. The problem, for me, started with the reservations. I was told they were totally booked the morning I called. However, I could have tea in the lounge or at the bar. When I arrived, I was told there was “one table available”. For the hour and a half I spent at the restaurant, only six tables were occupied. I didn’t like the dishonesty of the reservation desk. It put me in a bad mood. The tea started off promising enough. A silver tray held every sweetener known, plus cream, lemon and tea bag. The tea is sent out brewed. You can add the tea bag to adjust the strength. The glass tea pots were nice to admire the color of the tea, but the tea was never more than luke warm to start and cooled quickly. There were a half dozen teas. There were two English teas and the rest were flavored oolongs. I chose the pear oolong which had no taste of pear. Some of the presentation wasn’t that pretty. The dishes holding the sandwiches were plain white crockery, the type you’d see at the neighborhood haufbrau. The champagne flute was a sturdy glass, like something you’d pick up at Wal-Mart. Charge me more. I want pretty china and crystal at a restaurant of this caliber. Use some of that china it took a year to design to hold the sandwiches and tarts. Sandwiches were served first and then tarts. When the sandwiches were brought out, the waiter told me they were now 'baking' my tarts. Wow, I thought. Baked to order sweets. Another dishonest statement. Almost everthing was a cold tart that were baked that day but very unlikely they were baked to order. Maybe the staff was in back blowing on the tarts to cool them down. Who would have thought that the beginning of the new millennium would be the era of bleak restaurant décor. There is the black and dreary Slanted Door, the colorless Cliff House and the boring beige and greyish celadon of Michael Minna. Yes, I can appreciate how the colors match the St Francis Lobby. I just find it very stark despite the praise it has received for it’s restrained good taste. Even the Christmas decorations are dull gold. There is nothing of holiday cheer in the restaurant. I almost could see Ebenezer chewing on that last crust of bread. A plus was that tastes of wine were offered in addition to glasses of wine. I miss the old Compass Rose. Based on tea, dinner at MM is way, way down on my list. Maybe not even on it. I guess I’m one of those "casual diners" MB refers to in this post.
  5. Cheat Sheet for Dine About Town I put together this cheat sheet for myself to keep in the car. It has all the DAT 2005 restaurants with address, phone, type of cuisine and hours of participation. My schedule takes me into SF at unscheduled times, so if it’s near meal time I can check out what is available. That little screen on my cell phone is just too hard to read. Thought maybe someone else might find this useful. Sometimes DAT participation isn’t during prime time (Friday/Saturday pm). Piperade is one of those restaurants that doesn’t have DAT on the weekends. Found myself in SF unexpectedly yesterday. Rubicon seemed to be closed and the only restaurant I could remember was Seasons (too rainy for Forbes Island). So I put the list together for next time. If you do use the list, I would call the restaurant first to confirm the information is correct. It seems that even as of Jan 3rd the list is changing. Yesterday 500 Jackson was on the DAT site, today it isn’t. Has anyone tried Café Andrée, Cafe de Paris L'Entrecôte, or Colibrí? Lunch Only A16 2355 Chestnut Street (415) 771-2216 Italian Lunch: Wednesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Absinthe Brasserie & Bar 398 Hayes Street (415) 551-1590 French Lunch: Tuesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Campton Place Restaurant 340 Stockton Street (415) 955-5555 French Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 1:45pm Saturday 12:00pm - 1:45pm Farallon 450 Post Street (415) 956-6969 Seafood Lunch: Tuesday - Thursday 11:30am - 2:30pm Friday - Saturday 11:30am - 2:30pm The Garden Court Restaurant at the Palace Hotel 2 New Montgomery Street (415) 546-5089 California Lunch: Monday - Saturday 11:30am - 2:00pm Grand Café 501 Geary Street (415) 292-0101 French Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Sunday 8:00am - 2:30pm Kuleto's 221 Powell Street (415) 397-7720 Italian Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11:30am - 4:30pm Ozumo 161 Steuart Street (415) 882-1333 Japanese/Sushi Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm PlumpJack Café 3127 Fillmore Street (415) 563-4755 Californian Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner Only Acme Chophouse 24 Willie May's Plaza (415) 644-0240 Steakhouses Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Sunday 5:30pm - 9:00pm Alfred's Steakhouse 659 Merchant Street (415) 781-7058 Steakhouses Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday 5:30pm - 8:45pm Friday 5:30 - 7:30pm, Saturday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Sunday 5:30pm - 8:30pm Andalu 3198 16th Street (415) 621-2211 Global/International Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:30pm ANZU Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street : (415) 394-1100 Japanese/Sushi Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Asia SF 201 Ninth Street (415) 255-2742 Fusion/Eclectic Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 6:00pm - 10:00pm Thursday - Friday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Azie 826 Folsom Street (415) 538-0918 Fusion/Eclectic Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10pmFriday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Saturday 5pm - 10:30pm Sunday 5pm - 10pm Aziza 5800 Geary Blvd. (415) 752-2222 Mediterranean Dinner: Sunday - Monday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Wednesday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Big 4 Restaurant 1075 California Street (415) 771-1140 American Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Cafe Bastille 22 Belden Place (415) 986-5673 French Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:00pm - 10:30pm Chenery Park Restaurant 683 Chenery Street (415) 337-8537 American Dinner: Monday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Wednesday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Sunday 5:30pm - 9:00pm Circolo 500 Florida Street (415) 553-8560 Latin/Spanish Dinner: Monday - Wednesday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Thursday 5:30pm - 1:00am Côte Sud Restaurant 4238 18th Street (415) 255-6565 French Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Cozmo's Corner Grill 2001 Chestnut Street 415-351-0175 American Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:45pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Crossing The Bar Pier 33, The Embarcadero (415) 261-3020 Fusion/Eclectic Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Crustacean Restaurant 1475 Polk Street (415) 776-2722 Vietnamese Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:00pm - 9:30pm Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 9:30pm Daily Grill 347 Geary Street (415) 616-5000 Steakhouses Dinner: Monday - Sunday 4:00pm - 10:00pm Eclipse Cafe at Hyatt Regency 5 Embarcadero Center (415) 788-1234 Steakhouses Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar 901 Cole Street (415) 566-3063 Fusion/Eclectic Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Equinox Restaurant at Hyatt Regency 5 Embarcadero Center (415) 291-8560 California Dinner: Sunday, Wednesday, & Thursday 6:00pm - 10:00pm 1550 Hyde 1550 Hyde Street : (415) 775-1550 Mediterranean Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday 6:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 6:00pm - 10:30pm Sunday 5:30pm - 9:30pm First Crush Restaurant, Wine Bar & Lounge 101 Cyril Magnin Street (415) 982-7874 American Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Thursday - Saturday 5:00pm - 12:00pm Florio 1915 Fillmore Street (415)775-4300 Italian Dinner: Monday -Thursday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Saturday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Forbes Island Pier 39, MI (415) 951-4900 American Dinner: Wednesday & Thursday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Friday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Hyde Street Bistro 1521 Hyde Street (415) 292-4415 French Dinner: Monday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Wednesday - Sunday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Il Fornaio 1265 Battery Street (415) 986-0100 Italian Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 4:00pm - 10:00pm Julius’ Castle, 1541 Montgomery Street (415) 392-2222 European Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 9:30pm Last Supper Club 1199 Valencia Street (415) 695-1199 Italian Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm to 10:30pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 11:30pm Le Colonial 20 Cosmo Place (415) 931-3600 Vietnamese Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Thursday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Moose's 1652 Stockton Street (415) 989-7800 American Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Nectar Wine Lounge 3330 Steiner Street (415) 345-1377 California Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:00pm - 10:30pm Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 12:00am Night Monkey 2223 Union Street (415) 775-1130 American Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 6:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 6:00pm - 10:30pm Nob Hill Restaurant 1 Nob Hill, 999 California Street (415) 616-6944 California Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Palio d'Asti 640 Sacramento Street (415) 395-9800 Italian Dinner: Monday - Friday 5:30pm - 9:00pm Park Grill at Park Hyatt 333 Battery Street (415) 296-2933 Californian Dinner: Monday - Friday 6:00pm - 9:00pm Plouf 40 Belden Place (415) 986-6491 Seafood Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Ponzu Restaurant 401 Taylor Street (415) 775-7979 Fusion/Eclectic Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Restaurant Jeanne D’Arc 715 Bush Street (415) 421-3154 French Dinner: Monday - Saturday 6:00pm - 9:00pm RNM 598 Haight Street (415) 551-7900 American Dinner: Tuedsay - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Rose Pistola 532 Columbus Avenue (415) 399-0499 Italian Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm to 11:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 5:30pm to 12:00am Rubicon 558 Sacramento Street (415) 434-4100 Californian Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm Ruth's Chris Steak House 1601 Van Ness Avenue (415) 673-0557 Steakhouses Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 10:30pm Sunday 4:30pm - 9:30pm Saha 1075 Sutter Street - In the Hotel Carlton (415) 345-9547 Fusion/Eclectic Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 6:00pm - 10:00pm Seasons 757 Market St (415) 633-3838 Californian Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 6:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Steps of Rome 362 Columbus Avenue (415) 986-6480 Italian Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - Midnight Lunch and Dinner Ana Mandara 891 Beach Street (Fisherman's Wharf) (415) 771-6800 Vietnamese Lunch: Wednesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:30pm B44 44 Belden Place (415) 986-6287 Mediterranean Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 4:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 4:00pm - 10:00pm Bacar 448 Brannan Street (415) 904-4100 American Lunch: Monday - Thursday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Sunday - Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Sunday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Bix 56 Gold Street (415) 433-6300 American Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Thursday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Bizou 598 4th Street (415) 543-2222 French Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30pm - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Blowfish Sushi to Die For 2170 Bryant Street (415) 285-3848 Japanese/Sushi Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 11:00pmFriday - Saturday 5:30pm - 12:00am Sunday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Butterfly Pier 33 Embarcadero @ Bay Street (415) 291-9482 Californian Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 3:00pm Saturday - Sunday 11:00am - 3:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Thursday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Café Andrée 562 Sutter Street (415) 217-4001 Fusion/Eclectic Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 2:00pm Saturday - Sunday 7:30am - 1:30 pm Dinner: Sunday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Café Claude 7 Claude Lane (415) 392-3505 French Lunch: Monday - Saturday 11:30am - 5:30pm Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Cafe de Paris L'Entrecôte 2032 Union Street (415) 931-5006 French Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11:30am - 4:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 4:30pm - 10:30pm Friday - Saturday 4:30pm - 12:00am Sunday 4:30pm - 10:00pm Cafe Pescatore 2455 Mason Street (415) 561-1111 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 5:00pm Saturday - Sunday 10:30am - 5:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Castagnola’s 286 Jefferson (415) 776-5015 Italian Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11am - 4pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 4pm - 9pm Friday - Saturday 4pm - 10pm Catch 2362 Market Street (415) 431-5000 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Saturday - Sunday 11:00am - 3:30pm Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Thursday 5:30pm -10:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Citizen Cake 399 Grove St. (415) 861-2228 x1 California Lunch: Tuesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Colibrí 438 Geary Street (415) 440-2737 Mexican Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 5:00pm Saturday - Sunday 11:30am - 5:00pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 12:00am Sunday 5:00pm - 11:00pm The Cosmopolitan Restaurant.Bar.Piano Lounge 121 Spear Street Unit B-8 (415) 543-4001 American Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 1:45pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30am - 9:30pm Friday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm DESTINO 1815 Market Street (415) 552-4451 Latin/Spanish Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 11:00pm E&O Trading Company 314 Sutter St. (415) 693-0303 Global/International Lunch: Monday - Saturday 11:30am - 5:00pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Enrico's 504 Broadway (415) 982-6223 Mediterranean Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11:30am - 3:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Fior d'Italia Restaurant 601 Union Street (415) 986-1886 Italian Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11:30am - 3:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 3:00pm - 10:30pm Foreign Cinema 2534 Mission Street (415) 648-7600 Mediterranean Lunch: Saturday 11:30am - 3:30pm Sunday 11:00am - 4:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 6:00pm - 11:30pm Fournou’s Ovens 905 California Street (415) 989-1910 Mediterranean Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Franciscan Restaurant Pier 43 1/2 The Embarcadero (415) 362-7733 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 4:30pm Saturday - Sunday 11:00am - 4:30pm Dinner: Monday - Friday 4:30pm - 9:30pm Saturday - Sunday 4:30pm - 10:00pm Fringale 570 Fourth Street : (415) 543-0573 Basque Lunch: Tuesday - Friday 11:30am - 3:00pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Gaylord India Restaurant Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point : (415) 771-8822 Indian Lunch: Monday - Saturday 11:45am - 2:00pm Sunday 12:00pm - 2:45pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Hornblower Cruises Pier 3, On the Embarcadero (800) ON.THE.BAY American Lunch: Sunday 11:00am - 1:00pm Dinner: Friday & Saturday 7:30pm - 10:30pm Sunday 6:00pm - 9:00pm Kyo-ya Restaurant at the Palace Hotel 2 New Montgomery Street (415) 546-5090 Japanese/Sushi Lunch: Tuesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 6:00pm - 10:00pm L'Olivier 465 Davis Court (415) 981-7824 French Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:15pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:30pm - 9:45pm Le Zinc 4063 24th Street (415) 647-9400 French Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 3:00pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Sunday 5:30pm - 9:00pm The Mandarin : 900 North Point (Ghirardelli Square) : (415) 673-8812 Chinese Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11:30am - 3:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 3:00pm - 10:00pm Market Street Grill 1231 Market Street (415) 487-4414 California Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11:00am - 2:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm MarketBar 1 Ferry Building : (415) 434-1100 California Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 4:00pm Saturday - Sunday 9:00am - 4:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 4:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 4:00pm - 11:00pm Maxfield's 2 New Montgomery Street (415) 546-5020 California Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 6:00pm - 10:00pm Maya 303 2nd St (415) 543-2928 Mexican Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Monday 5:30pm - 9:00pm Tuesday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm McCormick & Kuleto's 900 North Point Street, Suite H301 (415) 929-1730 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Thursday 11:30am - 4:30pm Sunday 10:30am - 4:30pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 4:30pm - 10:00pm Momo’s 760 Second Street (415) 227-8660 American Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 3:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 9:00pm One Market Restaurant 1 Market Street (415) 777-5577 American Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:30pm - 9:00pm PACIFIC 500 Post St. at Pan Pacific Hotel (415) 929-2087 Californian Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Tuesday - Friday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Paragon 701 Second Street (415) 537-9020 American Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Perry’s Downtown 185 Sutter Street (415) 989-6895 American Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 4:00pm Saturday 8:00am - 2:00pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:00pm - 9:30pm Piperade 1015 Battery Street (415) 391-2555 Basque Lunch: Monday - Thursday 11:30am - 3:00pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:30pm Pj's oysterbed 737 Irving Street (415) 566-7775 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Thursday 11:30am - 2:30pm Friday 11:30am - 3:00pm Saturday - Sunday 11:00am - 3:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:00pm - 10:00pm Restaurant LuLu 816 Folsom Street (415) 495-5775 French Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 3:00pm Saturday - Sunday 11:00am - 3:00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Friday 5:30pm - 11:00pm Saturday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine 101 Second Street : (415) 777-0277 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 5:00pm Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm Saturday - Sunday 5:00pm - 11:00pm Scoma’s Pier 47 & Al Scoma Way (415) 771-4383 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Thursday 12:00pm - 3:30pm Friday - Sunday 11:30am - 3:30pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 3:30pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday 3:30pm - 10:30pm Shanghai 1930 133 Steuart Street (415) 896-5600 Chinese Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:00pm - 12:00am Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 1:00am Sunday 5:00pm - 10:00pm The Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton 600 Stockton Street (415) 773-6198 Mediterranean Lunch: Monday - Saturday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Sunday - Monday 6:00pm - 9:30pm Tommy Toy's Cuisine Chinoise 655 Montgomery Street (415) 397-4888 Fusion/Eclectic Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:30pm - 9:30pm Tonno Rosso 155 Stewart Street (415) 495-6500 Italian Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 5:00pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Café 1 Ferry Building (415) 288-8630 Global/International Lunch: Tuesday - Friday 11:00am - 3:00pm Sunday 10:00am - 3:00pm Dinner: Tuesday - Wednesday 3:00pm - 6:00pm Thursday - Friday 3:00pm - 7:30pm Sunday 3:00pm - 5:00pm The Waterfront Pier 7, Embarcadero (415) 391-2696 Seafood Lunch: Monday - Sunday 11:30am - 4:00pm Dinner: Monday - Sunday 4:00pm - 10:30pm XYZ 181 Third Street : (415) 817-7836 American Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Saturday - Sunday 8:00am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday 6:00pm - 10:30pm
  6. I'm sorry and really surprised to hear about your expierince. Talking to the staff I know the commitment to get the best ingrediants. Supposedly the chef was a fanatic about getting the best oysters in the world. Different people have different tastes. There are quite a number of people who are dissapointed in Chez Panisse because they don't appreciate the simplicity of the dishes where the flavors are allowed to shine. I am still in the process of getting to know which posters have tastes that are similar to mine and which are different. I would say our tastes are different in some areas, which is cool. At least you can think twice about going to a place I recommend. I saw your post on Chuou chocolate which I think is one of the top Chocolatiers in the country. I am curiuos if you tried the Parchita which has that outstanding liquid caramel passionfruit center. I don't like all flavors at Chuao equially. i agree that organic doesn't necessarily mean delicious. It matters to some people though. There are quite a few name organic vendors at the Ferry Plaza Farmers market that are over rated. Just because you paid five dollars for a peach doesn't make it great. Also, just because a place has a slew of rave reviews doesn't make it good. That is why I love food forums. You are allowed to stand up there and say, I really wouldn't go back to the French Laundry. I did include references to all the reviews because I am new to the board and posters don't know my tastes yet. Out of the 13 memeber reviews on Citysearch only one was negative and one said average. For the most part it seems this place is a pleaser ... but again, that doesn't mean you must love it. There is also the matter of how developed your palate is. I will concede I do not have the most sophisticated palate. I go on and on about how I thought French Laundry was a wash. I could really appreciate the skill, the top quality ingrediants, etc, etc, but there was nothing memorable in flavor for me. Likewise Recchiuti chocolates leave me cold. I appreciate the fine ingrediants, but for me, the taste is way too subtle and not for me, especially at those prices. I appreciate that Michael Bauer said in his round up of top restaurants that Michael Minna wasn't for the 'casual diner'. Your post about 1550 Hyde was an inquiry about whether the restaurant was good. I see there are no replies with the flame being deleted. However, I'm curious about why you would choose to go when you say someone so disliked the place. Depending on who is posting, that type of reply would move the place down on my list of places to try. Just curious. I would say that you should not go back to 1550 Hyde as it doesn't match your tastes. I am thinking that 1550 Hyde is pretty consistant and what you experienced was not an off day or a fluke. I just think this restaurant doesn't offer dishes that make you bliss out. I haven't read enough of your posts to see what type of food and restaurant makes us both go mmmmm. Will get there. Slowly enjoying the board and getting familiar with all. Again, this is what I love about the boards. The fact that you have people presenting intelligent different points of view.
  7. With accolades from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Food and Wine, to name a few, 1550 Hyde Cafe & Wine Bar is one of San Francisco’s gems. It is on the best of lists of the Chronicle, Examiner and Citysearch. Patricia Unterman includes the restaurant in the most recent San Francisco food lover's guide.Their DAT menu is fabulous with generous selections from the regular menu. (see below). Chef Peter Erickson was part of the opening staff at Bizou and was a Chez Panisse alumnus, my two favorite Bay Area restaurants. It is no surprise that I absolutely love this restaurant. Like the two restaurants mentioned, 1550 Hyde features seasonal, top of the line and often organic dishes. The philosophy of 1550 Hyde is that good wine should be affordable. What a concept for a wine bar. One thing to note is that this restaurant is open Sunday night when many of the better SF restaurants are closed. This was the DAT menu when I dined there Sunday. First course, choice of fingerling potato and leek soup with truffle oil and chives hearts of romaine with aged balsamic, finocciona salami and pecorino montery bay sardines roasted with sunchokes and meyer lemon vinaigrette Entrée, choice of risotto with black trumpet, yellowfeet, and hedgehog mushrooms with spinach and reggiano parmesan grilled hoffman farms chicken marinated in pimenton, lemon and thyme with roasted cauliflower local petrale sole with carmelized brocolli, german butterball potatoes and fines herbs beurre blanc dessert, choice of Scharffen Berger Bittersweet chocolate pot de crème with shortbread cookies Chantenais carrot and pine nut cake with cream cheese frosting Maple syrup tart with crème fraiche Affogatto: Vanilla gelato drowned in espresso with orange-almond biscotti I was one of 1550 Hyde’s first customers when it opened in 2003. It was love at first bite. I moved out of the Bay area for a while, and tonight, Jan 2005, when I walked in not only did they remember me, they remembered my table. I was given a complementary glass of sparkling wine to celebrate my return. I have to confess, two dishes from the regular menu were so tempting that I reluctantly passed on the DAT menu. For a starter I had some of the best fried oysters I have ever tasted in my life. I bit into the crisp, delicate, greaseless coating and the creamy oyster melted in my mouth. For an entrée I chose sonoma rabbit braised in aromatic vegetables and tomato with aged balsamic and polenta This was the second time in my life I tried rabbit. It was a revelation and I understood the attraction to rabbit. The rustic dish was fall off the bone tender. There was a perfect marriage with the rich sauce and rosemary polenta. It was exactly the right comfort food for a cold rainy night. The only other time I tried rabbit was at the French Laundry. After eating the tiny rabbit sirloin hidden under a cherry and the matchstick rabbit rib, I still had no idea what rabbit tasted like. Chef Keller should stop by 1550 Hyde to see the way rabbit is meant to be served. Perhaps it was subconscious, but after the rabbit, I ordered the carrot cake for dessert. I don’t usually like carrot cake, but this light bundt-like piece had a restrained use of pineapple. The pine nuts were a wonderful idea. The cream cheese frosting was light like a crème fraiche. This wasn't your 1970's, hippy, damp, leaden carrot cake. The restaurant is a great place to unwind. The lights are low, candles flicker on the tables. Some great jazz plays in the background. The large storefront windows look out on the Hyde Street neighborhood and cable cars pass back and forth. In better weather, there are a few outside tables. The restaurant has and extensive wine list and offers wine flights. Currently there is a flight of sparkling wines. Wine is also served in the correct type of glass. No one size fits all wine glass. Rereading Michael Bauer’s review, he mentions that one night frog’s legs were on the menu and even people who might be squeamish about frogs legs would thouroughly enjoy them. In the past, I was a bit squeamish about rabbit, but 1550 Hyde has made me an enthusiastic fan. I think I implied it earlier, but the staff is freindly, knowledgable and exactly right for a neighborhood bistro. The Mediterranean menu changes frequently, but check the web site to see what may be currently available. The pictures posted online make the restaurant look darking than it actually is. Even with the soft lighting it was easy to read the menu. Moderator's note: This message was edited to remove an image that did not adhere to our copyright and fair use policy.
  8. Noooo, now I read this. I had CHICKEN. I could have had fish. I wonder if that would have meanth anything for the new year. Come to think of it, the year I made the pork roast stuffed with apricots and prunes for New Years day was a pretty good year. Next year ... pork and black eyed peas. There should be a traditional good luck dessert Your dinner has me drooling, especially the kielbasa. Here in SF, there isn't much good kielbasa.
  9. Sounds like a good DAT choice. Wonderful post and pictures. Thank you so much. I'm a little confused however by the Aziza website. The link to the Prix Fixe tasting menu states you must have eight people in your party and the cost is $40. However, it seems you only had 4 people in your party and the cost was $39. At the bottom of the websites dinner menu, it lists the price as that and the only restriction seems to be everyone at the table must participate. Given that, do you think that the tasting menu would be a better value than the DAT selection where you get your choice of one appetizer, entree and desert for $31.95?
  10. Michael Minna. Don’t do it. A rant at the end. I only tried Farrallon once and wasn’t impressed enough to ever go back. Pretty restaurant though. IMO, Hog Island Oyster in the Ferry Building is your best bet. The only thing I would advise against is the $14 bowl of clam chowder, unless you like the clams in your chowder with the shells still attached. Actually, I would not have a problem with this dish if the word ‘Chowder’ wasn’t used. The description is Manila clams with bacon, cream, aromatic vegetables and thyme. What you get is a bowl of the clams in shell with a thin broth at the bottom. When they say aromatic vegetables, they mean it. There isn’t a visible vegetable in site (well, there was a tiny cube of potato in my dish). If you go to the Ferry building, I don’t know how you feel about Caviar, but Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Café has caviar samplers. The caviar is farm raised and very EC (ecologically correct). They also have smoked fish as well. Nice, but small, selection of wine that pairs nicely with the dishes. It was part of another dish but I had one of the BEST, I mean the BEST, things I have ever eaten at the Tsar. Nestled in the Sashimi was a kumoto (spelling) oyster topped with crème fraiche, wasabi cavier and, I think, paddlefish cavier. Good, good, good. The briny oyster, the bite of the wasabi, the crème fraiche bringing it all together and taking the edge off the more assertive ingredients. Salty, hot, buttery. If you get the American caviar sampler which contains some flavored caviars, eat the ginger and wasabi caviars last. The wasabi is especially assertive and was all I tasted the rest of the day. Some of the presentation is over the top like this sashimi in a snifter with a live fish swimming around. The fish is to look at only and not part of the sashimi. The pretty little blue tropical fish in my dish did not want to swim, it's littl fins and tail drooped. Probably thought he'd be the next bite. The best squid in town is at Bizou . It is not a seafood place but Cal Mediterranean. Any preparation I have had of squid has been outstanding. I remember once having a tiny sizzling skillet of rice black with squid ink and tender squid on top. Call to see if they have any squid. Hayes Street Grill is on my to try list. I have eaten at their stand at the Saturday Farmer’s market where they serve the best softshell crab sandwich that I have ever had. The restaurant is supposed to be a fairly straight presentation of fresh seafood. You might try Tadich Grill which is an old San Francisco seafood house. When I first tried it decatdes ago, I didn’t like it. My problem was that I had just moved from the East Coast and was thrown by the difference between East and West coast seafood. If you want to try sand dabs, this is the place. NOW MY MICHAEL MINNA RANT I went there in December for a holiday tea. It was way too precious (kobe roast beef tea sandwiches). It was not well thought out. The problem with service that I had at Aqua, is also at Michael Minna. Michael Minna’s food has never been that good to overcome the thoughtless service. I called for reservations for tea. I was told it was sold out, but I could have tea at the bar. When I arrived, I was told there was one table left. For the entire time I was there, only six tables were occupied. What sort of game was that? Also, I was told when they served the sandwiches, that the tarts were being baked. Uh, it was a plate of cold tarts … cream fillings and such. Why make it sound like I could expect hot from the oven cakes. I could go on about how ticked off I was and the problems. The food was not memorable. I thought this would be an inexpensive way to scope out the restaurant. I have no desire to return. Most of what I have heard is that the food is ok but gimmicky. While I agree many times with the cirtic for the San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Bauer, he gets too impressed with the big name chefs and gimmicky presentations. It is nice that MM spent a year designing his china. That doesn’t make the food any better. My own preferences are for simple tasteful presentations using the best ingrediants over showy technique. I love Chez Panisse for that reason and am unimpressed by French Laundry. It seems the more you play with the food, the less llavor. It may loock pretty and be clever, but if it doen't taste amazing, what is the point? So you can use that a a guide to jude if my rant about MM is applicable.
  11. Yum. Rum raisin. I never knew the original Swenson still existed. Looking around to see the exact address (corner of Union and Hyde), it seems they make their own cones. Even if I passed by it, I probably would not have stopped because the ice cream at the chain was pretty bad. I'll have to check this out. Thanks for the tip. If I don't make it for the egg nog this year, I'll keep it in mind for next year.
  12. Still getting used to this board and reading through your wonderful posts, so forgive me if this has been discussed before. Mitchell's Ice Cream makes egg nog to drink for the holidays (as well as egg nog ice cream). This is a little late in the season to post this, but there are still a few days left. The egg nog was very nice. Not too thin or thick, the spices didn't overpower it. What I also liked was you could buy a small 6 oz cup as well as quarts. I'm the only one in my house that likes egg nog and I don't need the calaries that come with a quart. I've had Mitchell's Ice cream before, but this was the first time I've ever been to the mother store, the source of it all. Mitchell's has some of the best and most unusial flavors of ice cream in the city. The flavors that get the most mention are mango, pumpkin, avacodo, ginger, buko (baby coconut), purple ube (yam), and the cinnamon-scented Mexican chocolate. I had the spumoni today that was generously loaded with nuts, cherries and fruit. Delicious. The fruit flavors use real fruit and the taste is true to the fruit. They also have an really good selection of ice cream cakes for various occasions and holidays. There's a big book with pictures of all the cakes. As this excellent Chronicle article about history of Mitchell's mentions the ice cream is hand made and contains a whopping 16 per cent butterfat. There are a few other places that I know of that sell Mitchell's besides the original shop. 1. Near the Metrion Mitchell's Ice Cream, 825 Mission, (near Third Street), San Francisco; (415) 495-4237. 2. Joey's Ice Cream, Espresso, Sausages, Wash & Dry In the tenderloin at 517 O'Farrell The easiest way is to go up Mission to 29 th (a few blocks up from Cesar Chavez aka Army) You will see a Good Frickin Chicken restaruant on the corner (GFC IS good chicken). Follow 29 th for 2 blocks. You will see Mitchell's. There is a parking lot in back. 688 San Jose Avenue (Guerrero Street). (415) 648-2300 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 pm. 7 days a week
  13. I am in the minority not impressed with Piperade. I’m not a fan of upscale restaurants in general. I totally agree with Fat Guy in being under whelmed by French Laundry which was technically perfect but lacked passion. I have exceptions I love like Bizou and Chez Panisse. In other words, if I am paying top bucks, the place had better be extraordinary in terms of taste. Also, I was never a fan of Hirigoyen when he was cooking at Finagle. Nice food, but not exceptional to me. I know nothing about Basque food. In a discussion of Basque food someone mentioned that there is the older, heartier, peasant Basque food and today's modern Basque. I would guess Piperade leans toward the current Basque dining scene. I did have one MMMMM moment at desert however Parking is very important to me. Given all of the abundant parking at Piperade, it is really saying something that I never felt the desire to return after this visit in September of 2002, shortly after they opened. Here were my thoughts on that visit. If you like Finagle, you will like Piperade with the bonus of plenty of street parking in the evening and a larger, roomier restaurant. There is also a small outdoor patio overlooking Battery that can be pleasant on a warm night like tonight. There is a nightly "Basque Classique" on the menu. I decided to try that. On the night I visited it was Yellow fin tuna and potato stew "marmitako" I asked the server to recommend a appetizer to complement the dinner and he made the worst selection possible - Sautéed calamari a la plancha. It almost mirrored the main entree with the only difference being the fish. Then he compounded the error, when I asked to recommend one of the Basque wines, he said, "What would you like? Red or white?" When I asked him for his opinion, he said, either one. So, I thought I would try the white and move on to the red. BAD, BAD, choice and one the waiter should have known. For the first time ever in a restaurant, I had to put the wine aside to drink later and order the red. The calamari tubes in a lemon-butter garlic sauce were a disaster with the sweet chardonnay. It did pair nicely with the red. That was one good butter sauce and I used the rustic bread to sop up every bit. The calamari, while fine, was just an excuse to eat the sauce. The chardonnay did go well with the tuna. I bit into a delicious potato and tried to think what this reminded me of. The taste was very familiar. Then I had a piece of the tender tuna and it hit me - tuna casserole. Heck, I have been eating Basque food since I was a child and never knew it. Yes it was top quality ingredients, not canned chicken of the sea and russet potatoes, but tuna casserole it was. I like tuna casserole. I like fancy tuna casserole. I'm just not sure if I want to spend $17 for tuna casserole. The sauce was similar to the calamari, but a little creamier. This dish needed the salt toned down. Never the less, I did use more rustic bread to sop up even more buttery sauce. My mouth is still salty, as i write this. I had a glass of the sparkling wine for dessert. Did not catch the name, but it was not as spectacular as the description. I did a MMMMM when I took my first bite of the gateau Basque with peach preserves. A buttery slice of cake, topped with powdered sugar. There was marzipan in the batter, but in a good way. The marzipan was incorporated into the yellow buttery cake. A very successful marriage. The pool of peach preserves was ok. The unripe fresh fig did not belong on the plate. It was not on the menu and, not being ripe, took away from the dish. One of the best things about the restaurant was the friendly and helpful hostess. Very nice bus staff, too. The hostess treated me wonderfully. She saw me scribbling wine notes madly and asked if I'd like a larger sheet of paper to write on. She gave me some menus and business cards to take with me and answered a number of questions. She was very warm, helpful and friendly. The decor is rather stark, like the rest of the service. Brick walls, wood floors, exposed unfinished beams. A huge square rustic table with benches is in the center of the room. The room is somewhat softened by the candles in hollowed out stones and the low lighting. It is coldly sophisticated. The rest of the service while not really warm wasn't intimidating, but the real problem is that the waiter was not familiar with the wines or menu. There are a number of Basque wines on the menu. The wine list is interesting and reasonable with some wines at $20 a bottle. Per glass the wine is also well priced. The two Basque wines available by the glass were $6.
  14. Kosher Coke. Has anyone tried it? It seems that if Coke can make the soda with sugar for Jewish people during Passover, the argument that the facotories are not set up to handle sugar doesn't seem correct. If you bought Kosher Coke, where did you purchase it? I'm in SF, and I don't believe we have a big enough Jewish population for it to be available here. However I do get to LA ever now and then.
  15. I'd be interested too. I wasn't here last year for DAT. In doing a search, I couldn't find any topics with telling titles in January '04, though. Kathy ← I think the thing you have to do is when you get to a place, check to see if the DAT menu is more expensive than if you ordered separately. I really think that Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Café is a tasty, interesting and fun place in the Ferry Building. However, when you see their sample menu on DAT, it would be about the same as ordering a la carte. Also, this isn't so much of a restaurant as a bar. No tables. Would not make it a DAT destination, but do stop by if you find yourself in the Ferry Building. I tried Farralon during DAT two years ago. The DAT selections were a little boring. However, it was always a restaurant I was curious about, so it was worth the bucks to visit. Not good enough to ever entice me back. Also, many of these restaurants have prix fixe menus year round. Either check through citysearch or the restaurant's website to see if that is so. At one time Ana Mandara had a year round prix fixe. Looking at their website, that doesn't seem to be so. I might try them as I am so disgusted with Slanted Door (formerly a favorite of mine). Fournou's Ovens at The Stanford Court is just mediocre hotel food and not worth it at any price. The decor ain't that special either. I ate at 1550 Hyde Cafe & Wine Bar the first week it opened and loved it. LOVED IT. If parking wasn't impossible, I'd be there more often. I love it so much I'm giving you the link to the website so you can read some of the great reviews it has had. I agree ... strongly. One of the cable cars does stop in front of the place. The one restaurant I am SURE I will be going to is going to seem silly ... Forbes Island . Unlike what I've read on this board (more talk of decor than food), I've read the opposite. To some the decor has been, well, ok, but the food was fantastic ... and ... EXPENSIVE !!!. So I am sure this is one of the better deals on DAT this year. Here's a link to their menu to get an idea of what they serve (sounds great) and normal prices (ouch). I think they charge some sort of fee for the brief boat ride to the restaurant.
  16. Since you asked about Maya, I am guessing that is not out of your range of walking distance, so here goes: XYZ at W Hotel - no, no, no. Not even at a discount. It's a ladies who lunch type of place and it is about being seen rather than about the mediocre food. LuLu has its good years and bad years. I hear they are in a good cycle. If you go, please report back and let us know what you think. I've never been to the original LuLu but I am unimpressed by their location in the Ferry Building. Azie LIke LuLu and XYZ it is the closest to the Moscone center. I've never been. It changed its direcrtion from the the opening at the height of the dot com days and rethought things in terms of price. I miiiight try it this year. You don't say if you are looking for dinner or lunch. But a few blocks up ... Fringale Many people love this place. I'm not a fan. The problem is that it is right next door to my favorite restaurant Bizou. IMO, Fringale isn't as good. Bacar Until this year, I never tried it because, again, near Bizou. I was disappointed when I went. Dishes were too busy with too many ingrediants and they didn't compliment each other. Each element was fine in itself, but it was like a dish of little tapas rather than an etree. Great wine bar though. Bizou - My love. My favorite restaurant in the city. I lived very near it and it was my Cheers. With the exception of the past year when I've been traveling, I've eaten there about once a month since it opened. Given that. Don't make a special trip for DAT. Bizou has a the special prix fixe menu year round. It is a good value for prix fix though. For the entree price, you get an appetizer and dessert for free. If you've never had it, get the Valcheron for dessert. Michael Bauer recently down graded Bizou. I agree with some of his points and I hope Bizou takes them to heart. However, I felt that it was a bit unfair as Bizou is going through somewhat of a transformation from Cal French to Cal Mediterranean. If you see squid in any preparation on the menu get it. They always do an outstanding job. Braised dishes, especially at this chilly time of year, are always exceptional. In the other direction near Union Square Seasons at Four Seasons Hotel - Very close. I plan to try it. Something that seems new on the DAT website is that when you click on the restuarant, you get a bio of the restaurant and chef and a sample menu. Not all DAT restaurants have this, but Seasons does and, well, yum. Hope it tastes as good as it sounds. Capmton Place I haven't been here since the days of Jan Birnbaum and Bradley Ogden. However, whoever the chef is I've always liked the food. It was HEAVEN when Ogden was there and he never matched it in any of his restaurants (though I like most of them). Fun place to lunch as SF high society gathers and gossips. I might try this during DAT. If you are in the area of Moscone Center, stop by the new Whole Foods on Fourth. It has to be the best Whole Foods in chain.
  17. Thougts on Maya People either seem to love it or hate it. I'm in the later category. No, it's not worh the emotion for hate, it is too mediocre. Also this is one of those places that has the prix fixe dinner year round, so you don't need to rush there during DAT. First, don't go if you are expecting the typical Chevy type food. This is an attempt at upscale Mexican food done badly. I worked in Mexico City for about a year and of of the food top of the line food there is as wonderful as what you would find at Chez Panisse or Gary Danko. So I was VASTLY disappointed by Maya. If you look at Citysearch you will see that about 1/3 of the posters feel the same. I think the some of the posts in this thread sum up what is wrong ... people who went there don't really remember what they ate. The last time I ate there was in 2002 when there was something called "On the Town" which was similar to DAT. Three courses for $29. Here are my thoughts from that dinner. It was Sunday night and the white mums on the table were wilting and slightly brown at the tips. It was a visual summary of Maya’s décor and food - tired and not fresh. Appetizer: sopa de elote ~ creamy roasted corn soup served with a huitlacoche dumpling Put a can of Green Giant creamed corn in a blender, heat, and you would have a taste that was pretty similar to this soup. I‘m a big fan of creamed corn, but not at this price. I ordered the soup because I wanted to try huitlacoche, a corn fungus which is supposed to be a delicacy. It is said to have a flavor like mushrooms. The huitlacoche was in a dumpling and did not have any detectable flavor. It did make lovely black swirls in the corn soup. (Note: I have since learned that when huitlacoche is frozen it loses it's flavor). Entrée: camarones azteca ~ shrimp flambé with tequila, served with a huarache stuffed with black beans and cheese with chile-chipotle. If the shrimp were not frozen, it would be a surprise to me. Tasteless and tough. Don’t call it flambé unless I see it flaming. The worst was that there was no flavor of chipotle, a favorite of mine. The huarache was decent, a sort of fritter with beans and cheese. Bowls of nice nutty, buttery rice and decent black beans came with the entrée. I ordered a side of plantains which were good and not greasy. Dessert: Two plantain turnovers with coconut ice cream and strawberry sauce. They tasted like Pepperidge Farm frozen turnovers. I like Pepperidge Farm so these were not unpleasant like the ice cream. The only thing the coconut added was a gritty texture. The strawberry sauce had the taste of frozen strawberries puréed in a blender. I had a mojito which was tasty. This was my first mojito, so I have noting to compare it with. The guava margarita was a major mistake. Not a good combination with tequila. While it had a lovely pink color and real guava juice was used, it was the consistency of a Kern’s nectar and IMO, did not complement the tequila. I did not finish it. I thought the restaurant would be prettier. I had visions of gleaming silver. There were touches of silver here and there, but it certainly was not as fabulous as described in reviews. I found the room depressing and worn like the table linens. I’m not sure if Maya has dumbed down the flavors for mass appeal or they are in a slump. It seems like they are trying to please too many people. They want an upscale restaurant, yet they serve chips and guacamole to placate the Chevy’s crowd. Quite frankly, I would have had a better dinner at Chevy’s. The food would have at least been fresher. Service was pleasant, but diners were pushed to buy drinks. I was only half finished with the mojito when I was asked if I wanted another. The tables near me also were asked a number of times prematurely if they would like additional drinks. Also, the servers suggested ordering the more expensive dishes like the lobster and shrimp. So that was how I felt at the time. I hear the best value there is at happy hour when the appetizers are free and the drinks are cheaper.
  18. If I may point out for some readers who might be confused, the reference is to New Orleans and to the particular version there of a "beignet," or fritter, that happens to be popular in New Orleans, and is "empty" usually and resembles a cruller (or at the Café du Monde in particular, a pile of confectioner's sugar in which a cruller can sometimes be located, with patience). But in particular it's not the meaning of "beignet" found in the rest of the world or in French cookbooks, a fritter, generally with something else in it besides batter. Unterman by the way for any who might not know the name was one of the longest-running food critics in the SF Chronicle, with Sesser for part of that time. (After Whitelaw, before Bauer.) ← Thanks for the info MaxH. I never knew about the difference between the French and New Orleans version of beignets. Also appreciate clarifying some points for readers. I love the software on this board where you can link within your posts. I was only recently introduced to the term 'Mis En Place" which is why I linked a definition. I'll be sure to do the same for things that might not be general knowledge. Patricia Unterman also owns the Hayes Street Grill, a seafood restaurant near the Civic Center. I have yet to eat there, but Hayes Street Grill has my favorite prepared food stand at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Saturday Market. They have one of the best soft shell crab sandwiches when softshell is in season. Unterman is also the author of the San Francisco Food Lover's Guide.
  19. Shortrib Goulash and Ella Bella Farms Cauliflower soup are some of what is available for dinner tonight. Your post made me think I'd pop in to pick up dinner. When I checked the website for today's menu, it had not been updated. They said they will probably have the updated menu on line by noon. You can call ahead and have your order ready for you, should you decide to go. Boulette's has been opened little more than a month, so there are still pieces they are working out ... like updating the menu. If it isn't updated, give them a call and they will tell you what's cooking.
  20. Located next to Frog Hollow in the Ferry Plaza building , Boulette's Larder seems the most original concept in a long time First. let me give you my big tip about this place. On Sunday they make fried to order beneits that put Café du Monde’s to shame. More about this later. However, the beneits get my vote to appear on the next “best of the Bay’ type list. Like Gregoire’s in Berkeley, you can get upscale take out food. The choices are more extensive than Gregoire. You can get casoulet to go, for example. The concept is commercial Mis En Place, or as I like to think of it, Hamburger Helper for the upscale. Boulette does the difficult work of prepping which you can use to put together dishes that may currently elude the average home cook. As someone who needs to look up how to boil eggs every Easter, it opens up a whole new experience for me. I can certainly assemble complex dishes at home if the tricky part is done by someone else. There are all sorts of cooking fats, stocks, spreads, dips, sauces and condiments. Move over Pillsbury, you can get upscale cookie dough ready to slice and bake. Chocolate bon bon or buckweat sable cookie doughs are some examles. There’s gallete, tart and puff pastry dough. Spices can be roasted, mixed and ground to urder. There is the prettiest crock of preserved lemons in one window. Boulette’s and the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s market seems like a marriage made in heaven. There you are with your pricy Hoffmann bird. Pop into Boulette for the ingrediants to painlessly put together the dinner of your dreams. You can also order at the counter and enjoy your food at a communal table in the lovely kitchen that looks out over the Bay Bridge. Sometimes the wood burning fireplace is blazing. Boulette, an agreeable black mop of a dog, snoozes under the table. It is like sitting in a friend’s kitchen, a wealthy friend’s kitchen. Thanks to Boulette, you can also buy house made doggie food. This is not THE Boulette, just an idea of what the pup looks like. During the week you can get a light breakfast. Currently they are serving thick European style hot chocolate made of 70% Shafen Berger chocolate. It is almost, like a thick hot pudding. Some of the take out is fully prepared. Other items, like the quail stuffed with roses and bulgar, need to be cooked. For one dinner I had a melt in your mouth tender pork belly with cabbage and house made saurkraut. It far outshone any pork belly I have had in some of SF’s better restaurants. There was also a whole tasty little sausage and two stuffed cabbage rolls. It was enough dinner for two nights. Eigth donut hole sized beneits are served with a side dish of their house made yogurt with lavender honey and candied orange peel. The hot crisp exterier is covered with powdered sugar. Bite in and the interior is rich, molten and eggy. These are worth a special trip. They are worth the money … a subject I have so far eluded. The quality is top of the line much of it is organic. Just as you would expect to pay more in a top restaurant, expect sticker shock here. The beneits are $7.60. I thought the expensive donut faze in the late nineties was silly. However, IMHO, these are worth the price. There are some items that are below what you would expect to pay. The breakfast items are quite reasonable. Take out items run from $10 - $20, That casoulet was $45, but it comes in a special clay dish. During Chrismas, egg nog was $20 a liter ($10 ½ liter available). It came in a fancy Italian glass bottle. Have you started to hyperventilate yet? While most takeout is in plastic containers, my one real suggestion would be to have an option to order items like the casoulet or egg nog with or without fancy containers. The staff is very pleasant and helpful. The space is available for private parties after hours. The reason I mentioned Chez Panisse was because I think the concept of commercial Mis En Place is just as ground breaking as Chez Panisse which lauched California Cuisine. Also, like Chez Panisse, there is an attempt to use local grown and organic prodcuts. You will see many of the names of Ferry Plaza farmers in the take out. The web site does not list all that is available. A product list is available next to the register If you have tried Boulette’s Larder, I hope you will post and describe your finds and what you think about the place. Here's a link to one of my favorite food writers, Patricia Unterman, and her thoughts on Boulette's Larder
  21. The Apricot Tree on I-5 makes the BEST apricot shake in the world. They whip up a shake using their apricots, ice cream and milk. There is not another good thing at this place. The food is worse than bad, but oh that apricot shake. Another I-5 find is Tita's Pupusaria, off the Buttonwillow exit. It has authentic and tasty Salvadorian and Mexican food. IMO, Tita's would be a major find in SF, LA or San Diego. The pupusas are thick handmade discs filled with cheese. In addition there are pupusas with loroca, a salvadorian flower, fried pork or refried beans. It is accompanied by an tasty corrido, that vinegary slaw of onions, carrots and cabbage. Spread it on top of your pupusa and dig in. There are also excellent house made aqua frescas. The tamarindo was deep ruby red and had a smokey under taste. I liked the horchata and the arrayan, a Salvadorian fruit from my understanding. Usually there's a flavor of the day, like coconut or pineapple. If you don't like Salvadorian, there is a choice of American and Mexican dishes. You can get a burger, fries and even chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy. Haven't tried these though because I really liked the Salvadorian dishes. There are nightly specials that sell out early like Babacoa and menudo. The yucca con chicarrones is a standout, but I wouldn't suggest it if you are a burguer and fries type. The tamales can be ordered Salvadorian style or Mexican style. I ordered the Salvadorian style which are moister. There are tamales de elote, pork or chicken. I enjoyed the empanada de plantano, a fried banana stuffed with pudding. Also liked the plantanos con frijoles y crema. I have yet to try Tita's homemade flan which is made with three different types of milk. There are bottles of Jarritos which are Mexican sodas as well as Cola Champagne, a Salvadorian soda (it was ok, but I wouldn't order it again ... besides the fresh agua frescas were so much better. Tita's is open from 7 am until 10 pm seven days a week. I haven't tried breakfast there yet but in addition to American breakfasts you can get Sincronizado con tosino. There is ham, cheese and frijoles. Meals come with good chips and a hot hosemade salsa (not too hot, but hot enough to give it character). Tita is a friendly woman from El Salvador. Occasionally the daughters help out. You will feel welcome. The tables are covered with lovely white tablecloths embroidered with flowers. The walls are decorated with framed Central American money, 3d pictures of animals by a waterfall that gurgles. The picture of the last Supper is under a plastic grape vine. I thought that was a nice touch. To get there, take the Buttonwillow exit and hang a right (you want to pass Starbucks. Don't go in the direction of Carl's Jr. When you get to the end of the street, take a right to Buttonwillow which is located amid cotton fields. It is a short 5 miles up the road. Tita's is on 350 Front street which is the main drag. Once you make the right toward Buttonwillow, you won't need to make any more turns. But wait, as they say in the infomercials. There are actually more good restaurants in Buttonwillow. Talking to some other diners, it seems there is a Mexican restaurant that makes guacamole at your table. I think it is El Jacalito which is a deep reddish pink building. Buttonwillow originally had a large, for the town, Italian population. JC's pizza Shak is a holdover from those days. It was sold about a year ago, but I hear the pizza is still authentic. Haven't tried it though. The residents are mainly Hispanic and on a Sunday afternoon, Mexican music drifts out of the houses in this tiny town. I you are interested you can see the Buttonwillwo tree for which the town was name. A lonely large tree in the middle of open fields. According to a plaque placed by the Kern County Historical Society, it is a "lone tree on an old trans velley trail. It was an ancient Yokuts Indian Meeting place.
  22. Thanks to all for the welcome. I'm currently enjoying your posts as I get familiar with this forum. I'm a refuge from another food forum. I forgot to ask posters to share their favorite Bay Area holiday buffet experiences. I've always wanted to try the Clairmont. Lehr's has undergone a number of transformations. It certainly is not run by the original owners. It is the dining room of the Cantebury Hotel which is part of Best Western. Lehr's underwent a brief name change where it was called called "Lehr's GLASShouse". So it is possible that it was a chain that had a Socal branch when it started. Anyway, I may be a little post crazy in the beginning as I share my favorite Bay Area eating experiences and see who shares my likes and dislikes. Be patient.
  23. This is my first eGullet post. This is one of the better buffets in the city. It will please everyone from people with upscale tastes to the taste impaired. I know. I took a group yesterday with wildly different ideas of what good chow means. This is the first time that EVERYONE in this group was happy. The value is good for the price and the room is festive It is not too fancy. It is not too casual. As Goldilocks would say “It is just right”. I’ll mention some of the better items we tried first, although there were almost no misses. Of the four roasts at the carving station, the Garlic-Herb Prime Rib favorably caught everyone’s attention. The juicy and flavorful roast lamb was in the same top caliber as the Prime Rib. The Bourbon Glazed Bone-In Ham won some major thumbs up. The only disappointment was the Cider Cured Pork Loin. It was dry without much porky flavor. Free Range Roasted Turkey was already carved and in a chafing dish. It was very good. An example of how well Lehr’s thinks out the buffet was that there were two types of cranberry sauce, an excellent whole berry sauce and plain jellied sauce. Maybe it was my imagination, but I think I saw the can indentations on the jellied sauce. That scores points with those of us who favor the jellied type a la Ocean Spray (my guilty pleasure). Lehr’s 30 years of experience in holiday buffets showed itself with the food in the chafing dishes. It was hot and fresh. No congealed or dried out offerings. I will dream about the Yams Amaretti which were pleasantly spiced and had a deep, sweet yam flavor. There were four other hot potato selections. One person in the group proclaimed the mashed potatoes some of the best she’s tasted. This same person, a salmon lover, was pleased with the beautiful whole salmon and the poached salmon with Hollandaise. None of us had room for the Fresh Catch with Mango Salsa. At the dessert station you could have some lovely, boozy flambé peaches and/or cherries served over vanilla ice cream. Some misses were the Dim Sum items which were barely average and a slightly tasteless onion tart. As the ad for Lehr’s says … & much more. So many selections, so little time and tummy. Our group focused on the hot items. Other items I remember were two types of stuffing, fresh peas with onions, buttery, tender-crisp green beans with mushrooms and a summer squash medley that was a bit overcooked for my taste. I glanced at the cold food selection which included Peel & Eat Prawns, excellent looking Pates, Sushi, various salads, average looking cold meats and cheese. In this time of tomato scarcity, there was a huge platter of tomato slices. There were four types of dinner breads, as well as bagels, lox and cream cheese. Desserts included three types of pies, four types of cheesecake, mini tarts, cake slices and tiny éclairs. I am sure I missed quite a bit. The tea and coffee were adequate. The tea was served from carafes like the coffee. I’m not an extremely wine knowledgeable person. The selection seemed average with no standouts. The sparkling wine by the glass was St. Hilare ($6). It was ok, but not a favorite of mine. Service was friendly and pleasant. I had some demanding people in the group, and although no one complained, it seemed the response was a tad slow for this contingent. They believe in ‘I Dream of Jeannie” service. Blink and make it appear. The last time I was at Lehr’s was probably in the 80’s. At the time the décor was tired. While the selection was extensive, it wasn’t memorable. The food has improved vastly. The rooms have been given a facelift as well with mustard walls and green trim. There is a lovely, mostly green, oriental type wall to wall to wall carpet with flowers and tropical birds. Two rooms were open, the green house section with its huge hanging plants and a banquet room. The greenhouse is prettier, but the banquet room is pleasant too and is closer to the buffet. Tables have generous spaces between them. The traffic pattern at the buffet is well thought out so that diners are not tripping over one another or queued up in long lines. If your dining plans include taking multi generational members, it is one of the best in terms of handicap access. The grandparents will easily scoot about with their canes, walkers or wheelchairs without banging into tables, chairs and other diners. The space kept the noise level down. Either all the children at the buffet were extremely well behaved or the tables gave each group enough privacy so that they didn’t intrude on others. Lighted garlands, Christmas trees, wreaths, pine boughs and giant poinsettias were beautiful. The rooms gently glowed with holiday charm. Buffet hours were 12pm - 7pm. Adults $39.95, Seniors $34.95, Children 5 - 12 $19.95, Children 4 and under are free. On Thanksgiving I had an overwhelmingly disappointing buffet at the Cliff House that cost $45. The value and food at Lehr’s beat the Cliff House. I’ll never go back to the Cliff House. I look forward to returning to Lehr’s. Of course a buffet will never be the equal of a Gary Danko, but the people in my group who frequent that type of restaurant were pleased with Lehr’s. Valet parking in this parking deprived part of town is $12. Lehr’s is located just inside the Canterbury Hotel at 740 Sutter Street. 415-474-6478. When my pictures are developed, I’ll post those. The picture on the web site doesn’t do the restaurant justice. Link to Lehr's Greenhouse
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