Overheard on the San Francisco Bay Area Board

"We ordered three dishes: Pepes Ikan, Ayam Penyet (fried chicken with spicy shrimp paste), and Soto Betawi (mild beef curry stew). As already noted, the fish was excellent. The chicken was very good as well. The chicken was fried nicely and would have been tasty on its own. The shrimp paste gave it an unusual (and spicy) kick. The stew was similar to a mild, and thin, Thai or Malaysian curry." – clamdining on Bayleaf Restaurant in Sunnyvale

"I picked up a 6 lb. point cut corned beef (spicy) at Roberts Corned Meats this morning. $4 per pound. The crush will start in earnest next week but today there was only one other customer. The counter [person] went in the back and brought out the hunk of meat on a hook to show me, twirling it around. I liked the looks of the fatty layers, nodded my acceptance, and then he sealed it with some brine for me. He said it would easily hold for two to three weeks in the refrigerator." – Melanie Wong on Roberts Corned Meats in SF's SOMA District

"The mapo tofu with crab is deliciously full of absolutely silken tofu and crab, which is very messy to eat, spreading chili-laden, oily sauce everywhere. Since I get it for the tofu, mostly, though the crab is good, if I want to come out with my clothing unstained, I get mapo tofu and ask them to add ground pork. Adds a lot of flavor." – rccola on China Village in Albany