farmersdaughter's Profile

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Marla baker (mission, SF)

I have had their salt bagel. Pretty good, but not comparable to a good New York bagel. A lot of the other baked goods looked great so I will definitely be back to try them.

Apr 17, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

In an attempt to get things back on track as to the OP's original question, here's my take. Nopa is a bit more casual in feel, has a more "farm to table" style menu that is typical of San Francisco cuisine especially as exemplified in the past 15ish years (maybe more?). Obviously trends in dining change, but Nopa is a solid, quintessential "SF style" restaurant. Perbacco to me feels a little more brasserie-like, slightly more upscale and refined than Nopa. I can't say for sure whether either or both places have tablecloths, but I suspect Nopa does not and Perbacco does, if that helps you any. And also as others have noted, Perbacco is solidly Piemontese, using mostly local ingredients, and executed brilliantly. It's more a choice of what kind of food you want to eat, and what atmosphere you want. If I moved to NY, and was coming back to SF for a visit, I'd choose Nopa, because Perbacco to me is easier replicated in NY than Nopa is.

Apr 16, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Birthday dinner in SF for 18 year old

I think Foreign Cinema would be a fun place for an 18th birthday. Good atmosphere and if it's nice you can sit outside. There's something for everyone on the menu.

Apr 12, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Fresh masa items, made to order

I have always loved the fresh handmade tortillas at La Palma Mexicatessen on 24th in the Mission in SF, but I don't know if they're made from fresh masa or masa harina. But they taste really good.

Apr 11, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

High-end and about average restaurants in Union Square, SF

I really like Claudine for lunch, and think the space is much more pleasant than her older brother Cafe Claude. It's not "high end", but is a nice sit down place for a good French inspired bistro style lunch.

Also for dinner consider The Cavalier for elevated British pub food with a great bar.

Apr 11, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Unsalted pistachios

Rainbow has really nice shelled raw pistachios in bulk.

Apr 09, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Uno Dos Taco [Russian Hill, San Francisco]

I went by this afternoon to try the fish taco. I am very impressed and can't wait to try more of the menu. The fish was crispy and not overbattered, and that tortilla was amazing. I don't like out of season tomatoes but the pico de gallo was flavorful and the rest of the salsa had *almost* the right acid level. I should have asked for an extra wedge of lime, even if I had to pay extra for it due to the lime price spike we're experiencing. The lime that was served to me only supplied about four drops of juice. It needed just a bit more. One of the best Baja-style fish tacos I've had in Northern California.

Apr 06, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Uno Dos Taco [Russian Hill, San Francisco]

Beautiful photo of that fish taco, Melanie. I was a little surprised at the inclusion of pico de gallo in the taco. Most of the Baja style fish tacos I've had do not include it. Perhaps they're taking a little poetic license? In any event, I've got to get over there soon.

Mar 31, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

House made bagels

I had the salt bagel from Marla Bakery for breakfast this morning. It's actually a good bagel by SF standards but doesn't compare to some of my favorites in New York, like Tal Bagel, Ess-a-Bagel, even Russ & Daughters (not sure who makes the R&D bagels). The exterior was too "done" for my taste and was crunchy and blistered all over. To me that means it was baked at too high a temperature. The flavor of the bagel was great, and the internal texture was perfect. The other issue I had with it was that the bagel was simply too flat compared to the other NYC bagels I mentioned. I don't mean that it should be fluffy or cakey, but it wasn't high enough. They served it lightly toasted with dilled farmers cheese and some pickled baby carrots alongside. For $5 as compared to a plane ticket to New York, I'll go back to Marla again, but I can't say it's close enough to a New York bagel to make me completely satisfied. I'm thinking I need to just roll up my sleeves and make my own to see how hard it is to approximate the kind of bagel I'm looking for.

Mar 29, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Is it true that SF restaurants barely make profits?

That is true but it's impossible to generalize that a restaurant that makes 10MM in revenue is making a huge profit. If their expenses are high (for example, a restaurant like Saison I would assume has a high percentage of expenses to its revenue), then profits might not be any higher on a percentage basis than any other restaurant. You have to remember that there are two elements to consider (revenue and expenses) when looking at profitability and you can't ignore either.

And by "cash flow in the millions" are you referring to net profit after expenses, or something else? Not to get too granular, but cash flow has a specific accounting meaning that may or may not be what the general public thinks it is.

Mar 28, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area
1

The pizza shop (24th St., Mission) [San Francisco]

I tried The Pizza Shop today, two slices, 1 pepperoni/mushroom, 1 spinach/ricotta. I think the crust could have used a little more salt, but it wasn't bland. Just the right amount of toppings to cover the pie but not to weigh it down or make it soggy. The crust on both slices was definitely on the browner side of the spectrum once it had been reheated. If you want a soft slice due to your desire to fold it without it breaking, this wouldn't be the pizza for you. I'm a knife and fork gal so folding isn't an issue for me. And note that unlike a lot of NY style slices, these had very little grease, which made me really happy. Much, much better than Rustic or Arinell. And the guy working there was 10x nicer and happier than anyone at Arinell or Rustic ever could be.

Mar 26, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Friday dinner near-ish the Mission or Glen Park bart [San Francisco]

Contigo is quite a walk from BART, about 20-25 minutes. I have not eaten dinner at Local Mission Eatery, just lunch. It's fine, super casual, not a destination. I'd definitely do Locanda or Delfina of the restaurants on your list if you want Italian, or Lolo. I haven't been since they moved to the new location so I can't speak to whether the food has changed or not.

Mar 26, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

3 nights in Napa (foodie trip first wine secondary)

Farmstead is a terrific choice. I was just there for lunch a couple weeks ago. Sitting outside on a nice day is heavenly. The wines at Sinskey are delicious and it's a great place to do a tasting, and they have a nice selection of bites to go with the wines.

Mar 26, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Any Info on Knife Sharpening Classes in SF area

I second Galen at Town Cutler. His class is terrific and he is a super person.

Mar 26, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Recs for a good, convivial, cheap-to-moderate place for a weeknight dinner in San Francisco?

I like Aslam's Rasoi in the Mission. You can always get in, it's not too expensive, and the food is solid. Another good choice would be Schmidt's. They have a new chef and the menu seems to have changed, and I haven't been since the changeover, but it was very good before.

Mar 22, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to take a 16 year old for dinner in the Mission [SF]?

A friend is coming into town with her 16 year old daughter, a high school junior, to look at colleges and want me to choose a place for dinner for the three of us, with some minimal sightseeing before. I was thinking a walk around the Mission including a stop to see the murals in Balmy Alley and then dinner. The daughter is not an adventurous eater. Any suggestions of a restaurant in the Mission that a 16 year old would think was fun? They're from Southern California, so they have plenty of taquerias and Mexican food, but anything else would be fine, I'm just not in the habit of entertaining high school aged people. Entrees $25 and under would be ideal.

Mar 19, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Fish Tacos - SF Dish of the Month March 2014

Stopped into Tropisueno in SF for lunch today (located in Yerba Buena Lane, next to the Four Seasons Hotel). I ordered the Baja Fish Taco ($3.95). Based on the quality of the other tacos I've had here (mostly meh), this was surprisingly better than I expected. Still not great, however.

Details: the fish was tilapia and it was a nice sized filet, and was perfectly fried. Not greasy, nice batter to fish ratio. Unfortunately, the batter itself was bland and the fish should have been salted as it came out of the frier. This meant the entire dish ended up being bland. Two corn tortillas, and the slaw was shredded purple cabbage and a little bit of carrot. There was just a tiny amount of crema and it was bland. And the tomatillo salsa that comes in the taco was also bland. Adding additional salsa and lime didn't help - a salt shaker might have. I really think the key to the fish taco is to have fresh corn tortillas, but not too fresh, so that they stay together, to cook the fish properly, to have the right fish/slaw/sauce ratio, and the crema/sauce component has to be over the top good. This didn't come close.

Mar 17, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area
2

Incanto > Porcellino [San Francisco]

Agreed Ruth, and interesting that they are taking this route given the recent opening of La Nebbia so close by. I hope the neighborhood will keep them both busy. I've been to La Nebbia a few times and it's now part of my regular rotation (as is La Ciccia), but I never liked Incanto as much as I did Delfina or La Ciccia. I'm looking forward to the new iteration.

Mar 05, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Flour and Water vs Beretta vs Delfina Pizza [San Francisco]

Beretta is just not in the same league as the other two. I like Delfina Pizzeria more that F&W. But there are other pizza places that are better than all three of the ones you named - the two that Robert mentioned plus A16 and Una Pizza Napoletana (both of these make Neopolitan style pizzas and have wood ovens).

Mar 05, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Coqueta and/or Cavalier? [San Francisco]

Yes, it's a Barcelona inspired tapas bar. If they have razor clams, get them, because they're pretty close to what I've had in Barcelona. Also love the octopus, the meatballs, and the croquetas. But you really can't go wrong. I've tried much of the menu and have not had a clunker.

Feb 24, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Kin Khao - Thai-style Thai in SF

Oh no not at all! Actually a head to head comparison would be a good idea. I'll give it a shot and report back if the spice level differs.

Feb 24, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Kin Khao - Thai-style Thai in SF

I may have a lower tolerance level for heat than you, but suspect there are two different curry sauces that they use, since I had tofu rather than chicken and the menu indicated that the curry was a vegetarian base and the other a chicken base.

Feb 24, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Coqueta and/or Cavalier? [San Francisco]

I like them both and have been multiple times, but Cavalier more for the bar and the overall atmosphere than the food, which is solid but not groundbreaking. It's just fancied up British pub food, honestly. But the room is beautiful, Rich the bartender makes a mean drink, and it's a fun place to hang out. As sugartoof pointed out, I think the VIP room and the tech connections make it less, rather than more, appealing to me.

Coqueta on the other hand deserves every accolade it gets. Great bar scene, all the food is delicious and pretty darn authentic. I'd pick it over Cavalier any day of the week.

Feb 24, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Kin Khao - Thai-style Thai in SF

I went for a quick lunch today just to try the Khao Soi. Today was their first day serving lunch, so I was prepared for some service hiccups, which did occur. I was seated promptly at a table at noon, and there were maybe 4 or 5 other tables occupied. After me there was a bit of a rush with several tables seated at once. My server was very pleasant, and I ordered the Khao Soi pretty quickly. Then I waited for about 30 minutes before I was served. A couple other tables who arrived later got served before me, so I assume there was an issue in the kitchen. My server checked in with me about halfway through the 30 minute wait and apologized. He also asked me if I wanted some rice while I waited. That seemed odd. Near the end of the 30 minutes I asked him to check on it again. He did and a few minutes later the dish arrived. It was delicious, very hearty and filling (and I had tofu rather than chicken). The curry broth had a great texture but was too spicy. I'd say on a 1 to 10 rating, it was about a 7.5. I'd prefer it a little less spicy, between a 5 and a 6. It's served with a delicious housemade chili oil, as well as an extra Thai chile (and lime and shallots, as well) so it seems to me that making it a little less spicy would make it appeal to a larger group of people who can add chili oil as they wish (as well as Sriracha, which was also on the table). The tofu was cut in random size pieces, some were way to big to eat in even three bites, and some were just right. The noodles in the dish were delicious and had great texture. I forgot to ask whether they were housemade or not, but they were perfect.

Due to the spiciness I didn't finish the dish, and due to the long wait I had to leave quickly as I was running behind, so I didn't get a chance to try anything else. I'll definitely go back, as there were at least a half dozen other things on the dinner menu that I'd want to try, but probably wouldn't order the Khao Soi again unless it were less spicy. Note that the lunch menu has less than half the items on it compared to the dinner menu - not unexpected, but if you want the full range of the menu, you might want to target dinner instead.

Feb 24, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

new lunch places in FiDi / Union Square [San Francisco]

Ramen Underground on Kearny? Terminus on California at Drumm?

Feb 21, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Need suggestions for food in Napa/St. Helena/Rutherford area

I think Farmstead is terrific, especially sitting outside. It's casual, farm to table type food, but all done with interesting flavors and spices, and much of the produce comes from their own lovely garden.

Feb 18, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

bergerac - great new lounge/restaurant [San Francisco]

I like Bergerac as well. Cocktails are well made, and the space is welcoming and warm. Bartenders are very friendly - no attitude. Great alternative to Bar Agricole.

Feb 18, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Kin Khao - Thai-style Thai in SF

Wow, thanks for sharing. That looks delicious. Can't wait for the restaurant to open.

Feb 18, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Kin Khao - Thai-style Thai in SF

I didn't see Khao Soi on the sample menu - or did I miss it?

Feb 09, 2014
farmersdaughter in San Francisco Bay Area

Madrid, Barrio Salamanca: Tapas, Casual Meals and Sunday Ideas

Many thanks, Juan!

Aug 28, 2013
farmersdaughter in Spain/Portugal