Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the SF Chowhound community.
There are beautifully decorated gelatin cakes to be had from Princesse Bakery, says S U. Each layer is a different flavor–cream, espresso, chocolate–and the flavors are whispered essences, bold enough to satisfy, yet delicate. A bouquet of perfectly-formed gelatin flowers adorn the pretty cake. rworange likes the mango flavor, with a sweet, perfumy mango layer contrasting with a white passion fruit layer. Also: the gelatin is made from agar agar, so it’s vegetarian–enjoy. Princess Bakery also stocks loaves of soft white bread that comes in plain, cream cheese, or dried pork flavor.
SumoSizeMe reports that the beautiful cakes from Princesse Bakery are actually made off-site, somewhere in San Jose. Cam Huong makes their own, but rworange finds them to be totally tasteless and crude. The only thing minty about the mint gelatin cake is the green color, she says. Egg tarts, however, are pretty good and cost 45 cents.
Delicieuse Princesse Bakery [Downtown]
317 13th St., Oakland
Cam Huong Cafe [Chinatown]
920 Webster St., Oakland
Oakland: Princess Bakery Gelatin Cakes
Dave MP likes Creations Dessert House for the #52, sago with fresh mango juice and coconut, the perfect mochi dough, and the sweet balls with peanut and sesame paste, served warm. Hounds enthusiastically recommend the dish known as “glutinous rice ball with mixed fruits in 2 juices.” The desserts, and the nice black tea with a hint of lychee flavor, are much easier to enjoy now that they’ve installed real chairs and tables in place of the horribly uncomfortable furniture they used to have, says nsheth.
Creations Dessert House [Richmond]
a.k.a. Hui Lau Shan
5217 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
Creations Dessert House Report
The buffet at Turmeric Restaurant is totally respectable, says Soup, especially the fish curry and the goat. The goat is beautifully gelatinous, with big pieces of bone from which to dig out the marrow. The dishes reveal complex flavors and are not at all stewed to death. The heat level is very controlled, and gives the food a sense of sophistication. Also: the dessert fruit salad contains pomegranates.
Turmeric Restaurant [Peninsula]
141 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale
SF for 4 days
Nami Nami an izakaya-style restaurant, the kind of place to drink sake or beer and eat Japanese drinking snacks, which are some of the best bar food in the world. snewdl likes the beef tongue, topped with finely shaved raw onions and tiny threads of red pepper. The cod is also excellent, broiled until the skin is crisp and served snowy-white on a bamboo leaf. Tasty garnishes include dried persimmon and mysterious red pickles. Also good: duck breast with mango and a salad of chrysanthemum greens with tofu skin. Happy drinking!
Nami Nami Kyoto Style Japanese Cuisine [Peninsula]
formerly Kamei Japanese House
240 Castro St., between Dana and Villa Sts., Mountain View
nami nami in mountain view
shnigglebob loves the gai don go, or egg sponge cake, at Golden Gate Bakery. It’s a vaguely cone-shaped yellow cake wrapped in parchment, light and soft and almost sticky. If you’re not in the mood for the textural orgasm produced by a warm, fresh, meltingly soft Golden Gate Bakery egg custard tart just out of the oven (uh, never?), try a lovely gai don go instead. Or in addition.
Golden Gate Bakery [Chinatown]
1029 Grant Ave., San Francisco
Golden Gate Bakery Mystery Puff- HELP!
Hounds like the pie at Mission Pie, a brand-new pie-and-coffee shop. The apple pie has a great flaky crust and big chunks of tart apples, says asherandeva. It’s satisfyingly bright and tart, not overwhelmed by cinnamon, says augustiner, though those who like super-sweet apple pie might find the filling too lemony. Other offerings include an Italian dessert tart made with chard, raisins, rum, and lemon, and a savory pie filled with veggie curry.
Pies are made from ingredients grown at the Pie Ranch, including sustainably raised wheat for the crusts–and it’s staffed by the Mission High students who work on the farm. Stop in for some organic, fair-trade coffee and interesting pie–and be patient and smile, the servers are new at this!
Mission Pie [Mission]
2901 Mission St. (entrance on 25th St.), San Francisco
Mission Pie Open
Teance Tea Room sells high-quality teas, predominantly Chinese teas, for brewing at home, but the real draw is the tea bar, where you can taste a variety of teas for a nominal cost. It’s perfect for helping you decide what to buy and take home. The staff is very enthusiastic about tea, and happy to educate novices. Morton the Mousse thinks it’s easily the best tea house in the East Bay, if not the entire Bay Area–even better than the highly regarded Imperial Tea Court. “If you love tea, or if you are interested in learning more about it, you must visit Teance,” he insists.
Teance Tea Room [East Bay}
1780 4th St., Berkeley
Imperial Tea Court [Chinatown]
1411 Powell St., San Francisco
Imperial Tea Court [Embarcadero]
at Ferry Building Marketplace, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., #27, San Francisco
teance in berkeley–fantastic,or what?
Agent 510 likes Berkeley newcomer Bobby G’s Pizzeria for the nicely charred crust and high-quality toppings on their New York-style pizza. Slices cost $2.25 plus 50 cents per topping.
Toppings range from the usual pepperoni, garlic, and olives to the unusual, like soy cheese and smoked oysters. rworange notes that Bobby G’s takes the Hawaiian pizza (Paradise Pie) to a new level by topping it with a swirl of mango puree.
Bobby G’s Pizzeria [East Bay]
2072 University Ave., Berkeley
Bobby G’s Pizzeria–Berkeley
Judith loves the warm, casual feel and great food at Cafe Artemis, located in the Pruneyard. Everything is of high quality, from the house bread, served with a smokey, peppery spread, to the mussels in red sauce, to the lamb kofte. For dessert, try the chocolate ouzo cake, which turns out to be a dark, molten chocolate cake, served with a scoop of very good vanilla gelato.
taco belle is also a Cafe Artemis fan. “It pains me when I walk by and see it empty, knowing that Buca, Rock Bottom and Outback are probably packed,” she says.
1875 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell
Cafe Artemis, Pruneyard, Campbell, it’s a must
Pier 15 looks like a nondescript bar in a rundown industrial neighborhood. However, it was recently bought by one of the owners of Mama’s, and many of the excellent breakfast dishes served at Mama’s are now served at Pier 15. Offerings include prosciutto Benedict, adored by rworange for the delicious prosciutto and rich, golden, house-made Hollandaise. House fries are nicely browned and flavored with herbs, and the coffee is good, as are the spicy bloody Marys.
Mama’s makes French toast out of delectable brioche, and that same bread is in evidence at Pier 15. French toast dishes include Swedish cinnamon, cranberry orange brioche, and apple dore, featuring gala apples in lemon butter. Breakfast is served daily until 5 p.m.
Mama’s On Washington Square [Washington Square]
1701 Stockton St., San Francisco
Pier 15 Restaurant & Bar [Marin County]
formerly Frank’s Pier 15
15 Harbor St., San Rafael
San Rafael–Pier 15 Restaurant & Bar–Mama’s SF breakfast in Marin & Orsi’s house-made prosciutto