Peter Yee's Profile

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New Bay Area French bakery chain: La PanotiQ

It opened yesterday (1/19/2015). I stopped by today coming back from an eye appointment and it had a well-stocked case with assorted pastries, breads, and sandwiches. I tried a croissant and pain au chocolat. The croissant wasn't as buttery as I might have liked, but it was also definitely not one of those bready, fake croissants that many places sell. The pain au chocolat was also not as buttery as I liked, but the chocolate was a good consistency -- not too dense and not runny. As point of comparison, I prefer Alexandre's pain au chocolat. My son tried a giant, runny caramel macaron which he reported to be excellent.

New Alexander's patisserie venture, downtown Mountain View

I'm rarely downtown, but was walking around waiting for the dilation drops to wear off from an optometrists visit. I'd sort of given up waiting for Alexander's to ever open. I guess I was sort of lucky despite my lack of patience! Reading through other comments below, I can see I nearly missed out because of the initial lack of capacity.

I did stop by on the 17th to pick up some macarons as well. That's all they had (8 varieties). Tarts were in the process of being piped as quickly as they could.

New Alexander's patisserie venture, downtown Mountain View

Alexander's Patisserie opened up for business about an hour and a half ago. They'll be open daily from morning to night, with later hours on weekends. Today they were offering 7 different macaron (pistachio, lemon, passion fruit, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and coffee) and 4 tarts (chocolate, lemon, coffee, and vanilla). The tarts were nearly sold out when I got there around 4:30, while the macaron flavors were all still available.

I tried all of the macarons except coffee. The shells are delicate and not overly chewy, although care is needed to extra the individual macarons from the boxes in which they are placed after selection. These boxes have an insert to hold the macarons individually so they don't crush each other, but ironically when full make it difficult to extract the first macaron without crushing those around it. You've been warned. :-) The fillings were not greasy like some I've had, so you don't end up with that tongue-coated-in-oil feeling. The flavors are true but a wee bit muted -- Seve's (in Lyon, my gold standard) had brighter flavors. I liked the cocoa-y flavor of the chocolate, the bite of the passion fruit, and the mellowness of the vanilla. Only the pistachio disappointed on the palate, although it did give off a nice pistachio aroma when you bit into it.

Hopefully they will be expanding their offerings. I failed to ask the nice young lady at the door. There's seating inside if you want to consume your purchases on site and they serve coffee and espresso drinks as well.

Smokehouse 10 BBQ & Catering in Martinez

It's my sad duty to inform you that Smokehouse 10 is no more. I stopped by there today and there was an undated letter posted on the door indicating that the owners were regretfully shutting it down. And I was hoping to get one of those beef ribs I never got to try. :-( There's even a review on that other site just yesterday for Smokehouse 10 and there's no current indication on either that site or Smokehouse 10's own website that they are out of business. I ended up eating at another BBQ joint in Martinez as a consolation prize. No beef ribs there.

Okonomiyaki: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2014

Yume-ya (Sunnyvale) serves a single variety of okonomiyaki with seafood.

For those who haven't seen the dancing bonito flakes, I offer the following video taken at Okan, Brixton Market, South London:

I seem to recall Yume-ya's bonito flakes being finer than Okan's.

Juhu Beach Club to open brick 'n mortar in Temescal [Oakland]

Indeed, I'm embarrassed to say that I hadn't been back sooner. I meant to. It's definitely a destination for me when in the area. I did go back for dinner intentionally so I could have the chicken leg, but of course I found myself lured away from that choice by another temptation. Next time!

Juhu Beach Club to open brick 'n mortar in Temescal [Oakland]

I consider myself one of the lucky beneficiaries of your chance pairing of the two. The duck salad was really satisfying on many levels.

Juhu Beach Club to open brick 'n mortar in Temescal [Oakland]

JBC got a nice write-up in yesterday's Chronicle:

That was rather timely for me as I had just eaten there on Thursday for dinner. I enjoyed the lamb kofta (a meatball/duck egg concoction that will make you think of something akin to a Scotch egg) curry which was nicely hot. My son went with the three meat pavs of which he thought the lamb and chicken were the winners. He started with a special-of-the-day appetizer of zucchini fritters, while I started with the fava leaf duck salad because I'm a sucker for ducks and beets. If they hadn't had that, I would have gone for another of the special appetizers which was an assorted tomato salad. Both appetizers were excellent as well. We shared the desi jacks which I had enjoyed on my last visit. The sassy lassi was refreshing, although the menu doesn't note that it does have spices in it beyond the listed description. Having had the nimbu pani before, I wasn't surprised at the flavor and did find it better than the swill found at most Indian places. I still need the try the JBC chicken leg which is on my list of things to get to, if only I were in the East Bay more often.

Chobani passion fruit yogurt?

I believe it had to do with inspection of the factories and certification that they met USDA or FDA health standards for food preparation. Perhaps similar to the issue that arose with importing jamon iberico.

Chowdown Report: Rodney Scott in Exile Tour @ 4505 Meats BBQ in SF

Seemed to be cucumbers, onions, and vinegar. I'm not sure what was giving it the yellow color, but I don't recall thinking "mustard".

Chobani passion fruit yogurt?

As far as I know, the Petits Suisses didn't disappear at any of the usual sources. Perhaps because they are considered cheese products? Or the factory that produces them has been approved for export of products to the US?

Chobani passion fruit yogurt?

It can be hard to import foreign yogurts. Le Village (Brisbane) and later the Gourmet Corner (San Mateo) used to import Mamie Nova yogurts from France. I believe Gourmet Corner had to suspend that owing to USDA inspection requirements. I loved them while I could get them and do enjoy trying out interesting flavors while overseas.

Chowdown Report: Rodney Scott in Exile Tour @ 4505 Meats BBQ in SF

I wish I'd tried the hog with Scott's spicy vinegar seasoning. The pork I had was rather sweet. The brisket was quite good and didn't require any of the three sauces that were on the table.

The weather sure didn't put anyone off. Lines got pretty long it seemed. Great to see other hounds enjoying the BBQ for a good cause.

Btw, there were also pickles on the plate. Here's a picture of mine. (I got there early, so initially they were only handing out plates with brisket and fixins on them.)

4505 Meats to take over the former Brother In Laws/Da Pitt BBQ at 705 Divisadero [San Francisco]

Any idea what the different tickets indicate? There are Pit Patron ($20), Pit Believe ($50), and Pit Master ($100) tickets. Are these just different donation levels and all get you a plate of pig?

Mountain View for Two Weeks

Their website says they are temporarily closed awaiting patio seating. (In this season?) Peering through the windows, it looks more like the interior is being renovated, so it might actually be a goner. I guess there's always Muracci's in Los Altos for a curry fix.

Mountain View for Two Weeks

The last location of The Workshop in Palo Alto also seems to have gone under as well. It was papered over when I walked by on Tuesday. I guess the Mountain View location shutting down was just a preview of things to come.

Mountain View for Two Weeks

Presumably that's the Masa Sushi from San Antonio Rd.? I haven't checked, but I could see them wanting to move out of that building what with the fire that pushed Dittmer's out.

Any place one can buy Kouign Amann in SF?

Now that's a thing of beauty. Looks like I'm going have to try some other places to see how good they can be without actually having to fly to Paris or Brittany!

Any place one can buy Kouign Amann in SF?

I tried one at Chromatic yesterday and found it to be dry on the inside as well. If gooey on the interior is expected, I'm guessing they switched suppliers or I need to get there earlier than 2:30 p.m. to make sure they haven't dried out.

XLB and SJB at Shanghai Dumpling in Cupertino

Went there a couple of nights ago. The SJB had a very lightly browned crust on them. Nothing like the dark brown crust I got from street vendors or an awesome place near the World Expo in Shanghai, but acceptable. They're larger than the ones I got in Shanghai.

Steamers @ Tokyo Fish Market, Berkeley

Thanks for the tip. I used to bring them back with me when I returned from business trips to the Boston area, but the TSA has put the kibosh on that.

Arinell Pizza - big disappointment (SF Misson)

There's a certain nostalgia for Arinell's from Cal students who remember it as the place for a quick bite on the way from BART to campus. Heck, I started eating there at the age of 8 when I would get a slice while waiting for Humphrey Gobart to take me to the Lawrence Hall of Science.

My suggestion: double sausage and then doctor the slice with garlic powder, oregano, parmesan, and black pepper. Happiness. :-)

Cijjo: Gastronomic small plates, downtown Mountain View

I ate there the other night. I had the sweetbreads (yay, a restaurant with sweetbreads regularly on the menu in Mountain View!), burrata, and the pork belly. I enjoyed the sweetbreads which were served fried and plated over a stripe of a chunky tomato sauce. The tomato sauce was somewhat mild, but I was told they are experimenting with livening it up. The burrata was served over sliced, roasted beets and a slash of pesto. The combination was dynamite. The pork belly came with a cantaloupe puree and pickled carrots and daikon over frisee. This was the only dish that I thought didn't gel as a combination of flavors -- it was a bit bland as separate components and it was difficult to get the elements into my mouth together to enhance the complexity. The staff and the owner were wonderful about soliciting my input on all of the dishes and communicated my thoughts to the chef. I'm impressed by their attentiveness and interest in improving the menu.

I'm definitely going back -- the flamme, marrow bones, and oxtails are on the top of my list of things I want to try.

Smokehouse 10 BBQ & Catering in Martinez

I think I overheard you putting in that order while I was sitting in the corner wolfing down my brisket. I agree with your preference for the pork ribs. Sounds like I'll have to come back several times despite the drive!

Smokehouse 10 BBQ & Catering in Martinez

The didn't have the beef ribs on Saturday, although I did call them ahead of time and I could have sworn they said they would. No matter, the brisket was mighty fine eating. I barely used the BBQ sauces they provided (Competition and Spicy), the meat was that good. Collard greens were also tasty (and I had them as both of my sides). The plate came with a slice of bread (didn't eat) and a pickle quarter (did eat). Not busy at around 12:20 p.m. when I arrived.

Smokehouse 10 BBQ & Catering in Martinez

I didn't specify either lean or fatty brisket. Mine was mostly lean meat, but had a fat cap on that was juicy. The brisket was indeed moist, although perhaps not quite the melt in your mouth type that I had Mueller's (Taylor, TX). Next time I'll remember to specifically request slices from a fattier part.

I too had the pecan pie and it was cold from the fridge. The filling was fine, the crust nothing to write home about.

Smokehouse 10 BBQ & Catering in Martinez

I wish I had thought of that while there was time to call them. I know the Texas BBQ places actually hate to make them -- the margins are low and it's a pain to get consistent ribs. If only those pesky customers would stop demanding them. ;-) Hey, if they don't have them today, it's a good excuse to go up on some random Thursday. There's always room for good BBQ!

Smokehouse 10 BBQ & Catering in Martinez

Definitely will call. My fingers are crossed. :-)


Smokehouse 10 BBQ & Catering in Martinez

Any chance of beef ribs since that's generally the Thursday special?

I'm dying to try some good local beef ribs having sampled Pecan Lodge's and Mueller's last month.

Gyu-don / Gyudon / Beef Bowl in San Francisco?

Sadly, the Nijiya here in Mountain View does not carry Yoshinoya packets. They do have Ajinomoto gyu-don which comes with rice in an 11 oz. serving for $3.99. As if to make it up for that, the deli in the Mountain View Nijiya does have their own "beef bowl" with a side of miso soup for $4.50. Surprisingly, that's closer to the Japanese Yoshinoya flavor than the US Yoshinoya restaurants. A bit drier than Yoshinoya and Nijiya's red ginger was actually salty. So close, yet so far. ;-)