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Everything posted by tanabutler

  1. Since you are on the east coast, you can get European wines cheaper than I can, out here in California. One wine I've had that really stood up to spicy foods is the Austrian Gruner Veltliner. It's a white wine, very minerally and flavorful (generally), and by golly, it's got a spine. I've had several different labels, so can't guess what you will have available to you locally, but ask at your wine shop.
  2. Um, this is in San Francisco, on Sutter Street.
  3. I won't stone Samgiovese: I like him! Like I said we might have had a bad meal. Valley Fair is just renamed to Westfield (in tiny letters: Valley Fair) Something Something. I didn't say 280 was out of the way, just that I didn't know which direction "Cambrian Village" (there is not actually such a place, says Bob who grew up in San Jose) lay.
  4. Amber of India has the great food; the décor and ambience are very nice. It's a beautiful space, and it also has Santana Row to recommend it. There is an enormous Crate and Barrel there, which my daughter refers to as my "mothership." Barring that, I would want to try the place that Chef Hemant Mathur, formerly of Amma in NYC, and now of Dévi, opened: Tumerik. They have a wine list with over 100 choices, too. There is also Dasaprakash, in Santa Clara. Bong has eaten at both and they are two of his favorite places. My preference of the two would be Turmerik, because I am a tandoor fan. I'm thinking of changing in my log-in name to "tandoorbutler." Sorry about being the bearer of bad news about Manresa.
  5. Maybe we just had a bad meal there, but I think Original Joe's is gross, I'm sorry. I mean that the food was greasy and tired. It tasted like industrial grease.I'd choose Il Fornaio in a heartbeat over it. Downtown does have some options, though they're not great. At the Fairmount, the Grill on the Alley only serves until 10 PM, though perhaps they serve the bar menu until 11 PM. Gordon Biersch serves until 11 PM. AP Stumps serves until 10 PM. ("If Jules Verne had designed a restaurant, this would be it.") E & O Trading has a 9:45 table. E & O Trading web site Maybe there are others?
  6. In the words of the late Herb Caen, beloved columnist of the San Francisco Chronicle, "Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a pool." Who are they kidding?
  7. Not too far off Highway 280, which you presumably will be traveling, is the exit for Stevens Creek Boulevard and (formerly) Valley Fair Mall, and where you will find the very attractive Santana Row shopping/living complex. Serving until 10 PM are: Consuelo's Mexican Bistro: I enjoyed both of the meals we had there, very much. They make your guacamole table-side, to your specifications; they've got great mojitos; the food is fresh and good. Our waitress was from Guadalajara, and she was great. More details from Open Table - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Amber of India: supposed to be very very good indeed, say my foodie friends who've been there. That would probably be my first choice, if I were going to be very generous. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Left Bank Bistro More details from Open Table - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Those are three places conveniently located. If you can zone in more on your hosts' location (just give me the name of a store or something nearby so I can Google), there are certainly other options. The nice thing about Santana Row is that, unlike many places, it really has a late-night vibe. If the weather is nice, people sit on their little balconies in the condos above, watching the shoppers/window shoppers below. There is often live music in the little parks there. Nice atmosphere. For San Jose, it's a real destination.
  8. You do know that Manresa is closed on Monday and Tuesday? I'll be back in a bit with some late night recs, though some kind of street name for Mapquest purposes would be helpful. It's a mighty big area.
  9. Guess what? I've never made larb laab larp, never eaten it, and I've seen exactly ONE single episode of Seinfeld. Vote me off the island now, or tell me what I'm missing. (Not about Seinfeld. Mean-spirited. Not interested.) Would someone (who considers me a friend) care to define this food item for me? In a friendly way?
  10. I had forgotten I had one of these maps, which are truly helpful. Detailed insets of: Benicia Calistoga Healdsburg Napa Petaluma St. Helena San Anselmo San Rafael Santa Rosa Sausalito Sebastopol Sonoma Tiburon There are very detailed maps with icons for: Breweries, cideries Campgrounds, RV Parks Casinos Colleges and Universities Fairgrounds Ferry Services Gardens Golf Courses Golden Gate NRA Lake Berryessa Lake Sonoma Marinas & Boat Launches Mt. Tamalpais Muir Woods Museums, Historic Places Napa Valley Wineries Parks & Recreation Areas Philip Burton Wilderness Pt. Reyes National Seashore Shopping & Antique Malls, Outlet Centers Sonoma Coast State Beaches Theaters & Performing Arts Trails: Hiking & Biking Visitor Centers Wildlife Preserves (yum, preserves! ) It's the best $6 you will spend, believe me. The lists of wineries includes URLs, phone numbers, addresses, and sometimes, special information such as: "Turnbull Cellars (Oak.) 8210 St. Helena Hwy (CA 29/CA 128) Award-winning architect Wm. Turnbull designed the redwood winery, and was once a partner in this establishment. Rortaing black & white photog. exhibits. Daily tasting (minty cabernet is a good choice) & sales; by appt. only." Which wineries have picnic grounds? They're listed. My map is a few years old, though, and doesn't include some of the names already suggested. Still, it's a great thing. I am assuming the newer version is updated (Jan. 2004). I'm a map geek, and I love this map.
  11. I had a great recipe for crab risotto, made with clam juice and saffron, but I cannot find it anywhere. Mmmm, risotto!
  12. Well, could you be a little more helpful?Never mind, I'll Google. ← I'm sorry, tanabutler. I was responding to doc's I meant to say that Nobu's omakase ("chef's choice", typically reserved for the sushi bar), which includes cold and hot dishes, is not sushi. ← Thanks, Jogoode. Gotcha. I just didn't want to go into a sushi bar and say, "Can I have an order of the omakase, please?"
  13. Sorry, Tony, I tried. My ex father-in-law, a (native) resident of DF, has traveled the world on his belly (no small feat). The man went to Antarctica, presumably to eat penguin sushi. He couldn't cough up a single new name of a Mexican chef. That's how good this crowd is. Let me know when you're doing a piece on surfers, though. I got chefs and farmers, yah.
  14. Bam! "Let the chef decide! Astonish me!" But how that distinguishes itself from sushi, in a sushi bar, requires further Googling. I see other meanings: "Please choose for me." "Your menu will be the chef's choice." So, chef's tasting at a sushi bar. Yes? Seemingly. With other additions, presumably. Still sushi, though. At least, not NOT sushi?
  15. It's also not sushi. ← Well, could you be a little more helpful?Never mind, I'll Google.
  16. Did you get some? It's at the Safeway for $4.50 a pound (on sale with a Safeway card). I wish we had local lobster. --sigh--
  17. Tana, that most certainly is possible. When it comes to this level of Sushi dining I am a newbie. ← You're a newbie? I don't even know what omakase is.
  18. tanabutler


    Our ever-present oyster bath is a variation on the one that Hog Island Oyster Company calls "Hogwash." Rice wine vinegar, minced jalapeños (and a little of their brine), minced cilantro, and fresh lime juice. You'll pucker your shoes off. We never want anything else on 'em!
  19. Well, you could be posting in the Dinner! thread, couldn't you?
  20. Doc, is it possible that your two "toro" shots are different cuts of the same creature, and not different prep? Jogoode, I think Milla's saying $6-$7 per piece of fish. I can't imagine he'd stop at six pieces of sushi!
  21. Thanks. I'm taking the gentleman to the dinner I won.
  22. Which is the cowboy and which is the gentleman? I need to give one to my daughter to wait for her 21st birthday (2009).
  23. Isn't Hanna in Sonoma? Alexander Valley? Someone at another food forum was mentioning it in conjunction with Sonoma. (And yes, the wines are good.)Mulcahy, don't miss the Niebaum-Coppola Winery. The memorabilia from his movies fills the place (and it's a castle, really), and the wines are fine. Some other favorites are Robert Sinskey, Joseph Phelps, Rombauer (the Joy of Cooking family), and what used to be S. Andersen and is now Cliff Lede (which makes me nuts, them throwing away a perfectly good name they'd spent decades building) They specialize in sparkling wines—wonderful sparkling wines. Frog's Leap is a WONDERFUL winery, with some of the nicest people I've ever worked with. Actually, it's fun to spend a day on the Silverado Trail, off the main drag. But when you're on the main drag, hit the Oakville Grocery for sandwiches and cheese and make a picnic, even if it you have to eat it in your room. Buy condiments! (Stonewall Kitchen's Vidalia Onion sauce, or Maple Chipotle Grill Sauce, for example.) Cool, look what I found: some coupons for $ off tastings. Nearly complete listing of wineries in Napa. Other wines I've really enjoyed: Acacia, Cakebread Cellars, Far Niente, Green & Red, Grgich Hills, ZD Cellars. Tasting on Main looks cool, as does Wineries of Napa Valley, and there are 2-for-1 coupons on the tasting fees (gosh, prices have gone up in the last two-three years). Hope that helps!
  24. Adult content ahead: Oysters are as close to the flavor of sex as it's possible to have without buying cheese. Perhaps closer, as they are actually alive. They are hermaphroditic in this regard, and despite the chill of slurping them cold, briny, and straight from their shells, it is not possibly to have a more sexual gustatory experience—at least not in my book. I'm not afraid of the microbes, either.
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