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  1. I live about 10 minutes north and I'd say there are a lot of great choices in Marin... I agree that Emporio Rulli is a delicious bakery and is so enjoyable for a morning pastry and espresso. Some of my current favorites are: Thai - Royal Thai (San Rafael), arguably one of the best in Marin Indian - Lotus (San Rafael) (lotusrestaurant.com) Sushi - Sushi Ran (Sausalito), not cheap, but incredible (sushiran.com) Mexican - Taqueria San Jose (San Rafael), great bay area-style taqueria Puerto Rican - Sol Food (San Rafael), crazy green building, great food (solfoodrestaurant.com) Burgers - In-N-Out Burger (MillValley), the best fast food style burgers, search various threads for reports (innoutburger.com) Seafood - Fish (Sausalito) (331fish.com) Steak - Boca (Novato), run by George Morrone of Aqua in SF (bocasteak.com) Also, be sure to visit the Marin Farmers Market on Sunday, outside of the Saturday one at the SF Ferry Building it is one of the best in the Bay Area... Brioche Bakery from SF sets up here and has incredible pastry too. Enjoy!
  2. I'm a huge Thomas Keller fan. I have been to FL and Bouchon in Yountville on many occasions and I have never been disappointed and after all of the posts here, I had to try Bouchon at the Venetian for breakfast. There were only about 6-8 tables taken when we arrived around 9:30am, but the hostess wanted to seat us well away from the rest of the patrons and the large windows which let in the morning sun. We asked for a table closer to the windows and were granted one. I will never understand why this happens in restaurants... but regardless... to the food. We ordered the cheese Danish, scrambled eggs with bacon, and the omelette special which was of the Denver variety and served with breakfast sausage. The eggs arrived with sausage and the cheese Danish did not arrive at all. Both issues were quickly remedied, but not the kind of delivery I have come to expect from a Keller restaurant. The eggs, as mentioned above, were served rather overcooked, and seemed a bit rubbery. The bacon ranged from way overcooked to underdone. Sadly, the sausage did not taste any different than what was available at the buffet. The omelette was properly done, but lacked any real compelling reason they were charging the prices that the were ($14). On the brighter side the Danish was quite tasty, definitely something you'd find at a top rate bakery. All in all, however, I left feeling disappointed. I spent over $50, for a breakfast that was no different than I could have had at almost any other cafe in town. The room was nice, the server had a nice smile, the coffee was hot, but I felt taken. Perhaps, I will stick to Yountville.
  3. Just north of downtown and a short cab ride from the Staples Center is Phillipe's. It is a downtown LA original, that is known for its amazing French dip sandwiches. Often there is a line but that usually tells me something about the place. Try a lamb dip sandwich, single-dipped or double-dipped.
  4. I was using Apple Music Store via iTunes. Then I searched around PodcastAlley.com. They both seemed to have a pretty similar selection. After listening to several of them now, I can't help but think of the SNL skit with Alec Baldwin as Pete Schwetty every time.
  5. I realize that podcasting is a pretty new technology, but there seems to be a fair amount of food related ones already. I was curious to see if there are other fellow geeks here that can recommend some culinary ones worth getting. I did happen to find one called "All You Can Eat" which had lengthy interviews with both Bourdain and the Canadian chef at Lumiere, Rob Feenie. As well, I have been subscribing to the podcast from KCRW, Good Food, which is also full of interesting content.
  6. This wine bar in San Francisco is drawing a lot of local interest. It has quite a gimmick to make the wine bar experience unique. VinoVenue Tasting events usually seem to be a great draw of patrons. I used to frequent an excellent wine bar in southern California that had scheduled tastings conducted by the winemakers themselves. Its great PR and selling opportunities for everyone involved and the customers learn a lot. I would imagine this would produce even more business. A good wholesaler would set these up when the winemakers are in town, touring around the country or happen to be in the neighborhood for trade events.
  7. Here is a brief review I gave from a dinner I had there in December. I was not expecting much, as I wasn't a big fan of Flay, the TV personality. The restaurant was really enjoyable, however. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=793325
  8. Just got back from Vegas and wanted to add a report... MESA GRILL - Thought we would try it out, because we are big fans of southwestern cooking and wanted to see what Flay does in real life as oppossed to TV. The restaurant has a great layout and we had a great table to see Flay actually cooking and expediting in the kitchen... The waiter said that he shows up about every 3 weeks and stays for several days. The service was excellent, and handled all of our needs smoothly and with a smile. A beautiful scallop dish that had a pungent spice crust and a orange-tamarind dressing arrived alongside a chile-laden pumpkin soup with pomagranate seeds. Both were excellent and well thought out. A 16 spice chicken entree was perfectly cooked and served with the obligatory mashed potatoes. My pork tenderloin, which tasted like some of the best BBQ pork I have had in a while, was accompanied by a delicate and sweet corn tamale. A creme brulee tart for dessert was also a hit, especially the tangy mango sorbet and fresh mango and blackberries that were on top. Overall, it was a great surprise since we didn't know what to expect and had not been to either of his NY restaurants. I give it a big recommendation!!! DELMONICO - We had a previous experience that was outstanding, so we decided we would return. Unfortunately, the dinner did not live up to our previous trip. Our service was pleasant but lackluster. The waiter suggested the signature barbeque shrimp, but they were uneventful and had me wishing I had tried that night's gumbo. Our steaks were decent, but had been overly charred on the outside. As well, my medium-rare ended up being more like medium well. Dessert was the peach pie with buttermilk ice cream. It was a small tart with a chewy crust, with more whipped cream than anything else on the plate. Overall, very disappointing. CRAVINGS (Mirage buffet) - This new buffet certainly has many different types of food and there were a few tasty gems among the steam tables, but it is by no means revolutionary. The BBQ brisket, kung pao chicken and moist pork tenderloin were nice surprises. The dim sum choices were enjoyable as well. It was the first time I had seen a full bar at a buffet, although it remained empty throughout our meal. Many items still represented the more common buffet problems - the morning's scrambled eggs were atrocious, bread pudding was scary, sushi looked plastic and un appetizing.
  9. rdailey


    For the level of food and service that Piperade offers, I have not found a better value and enjoyable evening. Their wine list has some incredible Spanish wines at extremely reasonable prices. They even have lots of free street parking!!!! [edit for grammar]
  10. Bistro Jeanty and Bouchon are both great choices. I recommend them, as well. Oh, how I wish I could have Jeanty's rabbit terrine and one of those big bowl of mussels for dinner tonight!
  11. rdailey

    Per Se

    Ah, the mysteries of Per Se! Can you clarify what you ordered, and what it cost? You've listed two different fifteen-course tasting menus. My impression is that the "regular" menu offers a single nine-course tasting menu every day. However, if you ask for it, you can pay more for what's variously been described as a 1x1, a 2x2, or a VIP menu. What did you do? It was recently referred to by our captain at FL, as the "extended Chef's Tasting Menu" with wine pairings.
  12. Um, that's 29 percent higher, not 29 cents. Got it...thanks. Sheesh, I guess I should have said 37 cents as that is the 29% difference per half gallon versus the national average and my local supermarket. Only 8 cents off...
  13. I generally don't think about the cost of things like milk, bread, eggs, etc when I'm at the store. Is it really a cause for concern to pay a 29 cent difference from the average per/.5gal? I hate to get screwed by the man, but I'm more worried about paying my mortgage, property taxes, etc. My food costs are so minimal compared to other things. Of course, I would add that our milk tastes better in California. I pay for that too, everytime I cross it. Its been a few months, shouldn't GGT be raising the toll again... [edit for clarity]
  14. rdailey

    fingerling potatoes

    Duck fat sounds great. I'll have to try that since I love fries cooked with duck fat. However, I like to do them with some bacon, and oddly enough, some fava beans. Sounds weird, but tastes great.
  15. In each of my four visits, they did call. This is spread out over the last four years so unless this changed recently, like no longer allowing walk-ups to make a reservation, they should call. But then, I always call as close to 48 hours of the reservation as possible. This means I usually call at 5:30pm two days before hand. And not knowing where I'm staying two months ahead of time when I make the reservation, I give them my home phone number. It's a nice little treat when you come home to listen to that voice mail, something to reflect upon. Hmmph...Not sure what their actual policy is... I've been 4 times, and I went twice in the last couple of months. They have yet to call, and each time instructed me to call and confirm with the confirmation number. I live locally so perhaps that has something to do with it. I know I would not want to risk not confirming two days prior and counting on them to call... To important to risk.
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