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Carolyn Tillie

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Everything posted by Carolyn Tillie

  1. I'm going to be the complete detractor here... I think Michael Mina, Benu, AND Coi are all over-hyped and over rated. Murray Circle has also lost some charm since its early lauds (as attested by a recent review by Michael Bauer). I would definitely consider Meadowood and perhaps extending your stay in Napa to include Morimoto, Ubuntu, or Rotisserie and Wine. More reason to head to Napa than for a LONG trip to Los Gatos for Manresa, IMHO. On Annachan's note on Burma Superstar; it gets hyped because we are one of the only cities in the country with a large Burmese population so it is a cuisine t
  2. Happenstance brought a handful of old friends to Napa and unexpectedly, the four of us found ourselves at Rotisserie and Wine, the newly-opened restaurant in downtown Napa by television darling, Tyler Florence. Of more interest to me however, is that Jeremy Fox, a favorite chef of yours truly, has been hired by Tyler to head up the kitchen in this meat-centric, waterfront establishment with a decidedly Southern bent. They have only been open two weeks and already it is jam-packed, but with a full capacity of barely a hundred diners, it is not surprising that without a reservation, there is a b
  3. Well, your pictures look pretty. But I ate there a year ago and have to say that it was one of the worst meals I ever had in Europe. My report (with pics) from last October.
  4. Sorry no one has responded to your inquiry, Eyedoc. I'm afraid most of us living in the area don't dine out during that holiday so your best bet might be perusing Open Table to see who is open and then double-checking ratings of those restaurants on Yelp or the Open Table ratings.
  5. Definitely deserved to lose a star. While they pioneered the farm-to-table concept, it is now de rigeur and the bar is set so much higher to maintain those good ratings. Much of what they are preparing and serving these days is commonplace and far from exceptional. I'm actually surprised it didn't happen sooner.
  6. No real comment on the food itself, but you have to realize that hilarity of your thread title makes it sound like the CARTS are wrapped in bacon, not the hot dog!
  7. Where did you end up going? Sorry I didn't see this earlier -- it is my 'hood....
  8. Wow -- I guess I am the only one that would LOVE shows on food history. The History channel has done a handful of documentaries about certain foods; hot dogs, ice cream, and so forth and then there is Modern Marvels which has shows specifically about milk or cheese or tea, but I would love full-on cultural investigations into Medieval, Victorian, Renaissance history. There are a ton of people out there doing bad-ass research and recreation; the SCA, Renaissance Faire Folk, and Civic War re-enactment groups who are doing everything possible to be authentic and so few know about it. I have done
  9. Saison had been on my list of must-try restaurants and it was when chef Joshua Skenes announced a series of “fire dinners” with some guest chefs that rushed to book a table because the first buddy he had working with him was the high-priest of vegetables, Jeremy Fox. Since leaving Ubuntu, I have been waiting anxiously to eat Chef Fox’s food again and had some brief hope in his partnership with Daniel Patterson for the Oakland restaurant, Plum, but instead it seems that Jeremy is looking for his own place instead. What I did not know when I sat down was that the meal I was about to consume, was
  10. Also - I wrote this on very little sleep and it was brought to my attention that I mentioned that the Sancerre was strident like a SauvBlanc. Which it IS a SauvBlanc and I know better than that... Sorry.
  11. Having eaten at the French Laundry under Corey Lee, for me this is it. As a friend mentioned to me earlier, he is a Korean chef with an Egyptian-named restaurant cooking Asian-influenced, occasionally molecular slightly French-inspired haute cuisine. It is technically perfect. The man should be on the Bocuse d'Or team with how perfect the consistency of his purées and sauces are. The meats and brunoise and cuts are all so precise, but for me to spend $300, there are other places I would go for a more epiphanous experience. I am sure I am going to get some gruff for this as others are lauding
  12. Benu has been the most anticipated restaurant opening in recent memory. Without a question. I was pretty thrilled to get one of the first seats on its second night. Unfortunately, it was a 9:00 seating so I knew it was going to be a late night considering I was going in for the full tasting menu. Walking up to the restaurant, there is an array of light beaming from the kitchen as large panels of glass separate the kitchen staff from the street-side gawkers. An austere and elegant courtyard welcomes the visitor, with the interior of the restaurant clean and similarly somber in its muted, beige
  13. I know. I had to go buy a new wool coat last week! This is our coldest summer in ages and it is getting REALLY old to go out with gloves and scarves in August...
  14. Sorry about Blue Bottle - I should have said that the drip coffee is the best thing to order. I read all your other posts and glad you had a nice time in our city; just sorry it has been so cold, although that might have been enjoyable for you if you have been suffering from too much heat in Oklahoma!
  15. Nickel Diner in downtown Los Angeles is now legendary. But in a way, I can say I knew about it when it was just a glimmer in one of its owners’, Monica May’s, eyes. Monica and I frequented the same foodie chat list when she started talking about the renovation of the location and the fight to bring wholesome, home cooking to a derelict neighborhood more known for its homeless and crack addicts. In two short years, she and her partner, Kristen, have been instrumental in changing the neighborhood. After my excessive fried dough excursion the night before, I thought I wouldn’t be up for another h
  16. The culmination of my first night of the fried dough extravaganza in Southern California culminated at Gambrinus restaurant on the boardwalk near the Redondo Beach Pier. It seems oddly ironic that I keep returning to a place where I lived for so many years to truly amazing food for when I lived in Redondo, I was usually traveling outside the city for better dining experiences. This proved to be quite a special evening. After a multitude of empanadas from Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, and Malaysia, our last stop for the evening was to be a departure from those versions of fried dough which
  17. Many of my friends know that I am on the continual hunt for the budget $10 lunch. I like those lunches that are either so filling that a modest dinner is all that is needed or one that is so ample as to provide left-overs for a supper snack. When a friend recently came to town and ended up in Hayes Valley, I advised her to pick some place that looked good for her for lunch and that I would join her. I admit that Cafee Della Stella had never attracted much attention as it lies across the street from the far more desirable (and expensive) Absinthe. And the fact that during the day, it is mostly
  18. I have to admit that I know nothing about Malaysian food and going to a restaurant for only one aspect of a particular ethnic cuisine, is probably not the best representational situation for learning. But I was on a whirlwind tour of discovering and experimenting with multiple fried dough offerings. And as far as I have able to determine thus far, most historical and ethnic cuisines have some form of fried dough within their pantheon of culinary offerings. And thanks to my incredibly knowledgeable and resourceful friend, we stopped at Belacan Grill on the off-hand chance that this unknown cuis
  19. Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Please, Lady Pleaser, say that you are being facetious in recommending Starbucks.
  20. There is no one I know who doesn’t get a little thrill about roadside architecture (also known as roadside attractions). You know – those buildings of historical eateries, giant structures that look like something, or some odd structure so out of the ordinary to make one stop and take a second look. It seems giant doughnuts on top of buildings were a big thing to construct in the 1940s and because there are a few still in existence within the Ho’s grasp, logic dictates that a visit must be in order. Perhaps it is the sense of nostalgia at seeing such a building. Driving down the crowded urban
  21. In the space that used to be Bar Crudo is a restaurant called Swell. Quite frankly, it is so close to what Bar Crudo was in its realization as to be spooky. Well, similar in style, presentation and quality of seafood without the wait, crowd, or hype. There is also a more accessible menu insofar as small bites are concerned. I learned all this late one afternoon when BFF Lisa and I were wandering around Union Square, trying yet again to decide where to eat that might be different and off-radar. I had completely forgotten about the restaurant’s existence after Bar Crudo departed and considering
  22. Ironically, I am doing that very drive this weekend. I left San Francisco on Friday and will be driving back on Monday. Six hours is a realistic drive if you you don't want to stop anywhere except for gas and to stretch your legs -- oh yes, and if you take the 5 Freeway. I drove down on Highway 5, left San Jose at 9:00 a.m. and pulled into Los Angeles at 4:00 (the last hour was VERY trafficky). That was mostly going 70+ and only stopping once to gas-up, not to sit and eat anywhere. If you are sticking to Highway 1, the drive will take 8 to 9 hours. It is VERY windy out of Monterey until you ge
  23. If he wants to experience Mexican food, he should definitely do it in Los Angeles and not Northern California and to get it with a slightly California twist, I agree that Border Grill is a safe bet. Much is made of the Mission Burrito in San Francisco, but ever since moving to NoCal from SoCal, I have found Mexican food wanting. I have to say that I hardly think of a "super steak" as destination cuisine in San Francisco; this city is far more interested in the combination of über-fresh ingredients with most of the steakhouses in town frequented by tourists moreso than locals. Here are my takes
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