Ruth Lafler's Profile

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to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

That's why I said "MORE people."

Anyway, I was responding to the query "can someone who thinks chez panisse used to be really really good, but now thinks it is not elaborate on the ways it has changed?"

Obviously, if people used to think it was good and now they don't, there are more people being critical. I responded with the theory that it's not the restaurant that's changed so much as that people's perceptions have changed because the whole food culture has evolved in the last 40 years. Unless you want to argue that CP has changed for the worse over the years, you need to come up with some other explanation for the fact that its reputation is not as unassailable as it was.

about 2 hours ago
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

Victim in the sense perceptions about it have changed and many more people now ask questions about whether it's that good or whether it's "worth it."

about 3 hours ago
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

My take is that it's a victim of its own success. Basically, some people find the style of the restaurant passe -- it's not that the restaurant has changed so much as that the food environment around it has changed. It's style of food has been so widely copied that it's no longer unique, and ditto the availability of top-flight ingredients (one can quibble about whether CP has the best of the best ingredients, but most people can't tell the difference between 90th percentile and 99 percentile).

about 4 hours ago
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

To quote myself: "There are many chemicals that are beneficial -- even necessary -- in small amounts that are toxic in large amounts, including water, salt and some vitamins."

A specific example would be vitamin A, which is toxic in large amounts (and not only in amounts not so ridiculously large that no one could consume them) but necessary to your health and commonly added to some foods.

1 day ago
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Food crawl LES/East Village

I agree. However, I've been lurking on this topic and appreciated the responses.

1 day ago
Ruth Lafler in Manhattan

vietnamese [Oakland]

I've only had one dish at Sidestreet Pho, but it was excellent. In the Park St. area of Alameda there are also Pho Sinh and Dragon Rouge, both of which are open later than the some of the places in Oakland. Dragon Rouge is a little more Americanized, but the setting by the water is nice and they have a full bar.

Jul 20, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Four Days in San Francisco-- Please Critique (apologies for the long intro)

LOL. Yes, I was confused as to why a Vietnamese restaurant had a Spanish name until I learned it was from "bo" (beef), "de" (?) and "ga" (chicken) in Vietnamese.

Jul 18, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Four Days in San Francisco-- Please Critique (apologies for the long intro)

Excuse me for jumping in, but we've had visitors from NY who raved about La Ciccia and certainly implied there was nothing like it in NY.

Jul 18, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine country central location

If you're in a vacation rental, though, you can spend the day foraging and eat at home. I rented a place up in Russian River for a week. My friend said "we should talk about what food we need to bring" and I said "you don't take food to Sonoma County -- that's where the food comes from!" He got totally hooked on Wild Flour -- we went there three times!

Jul 17, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Wine country central location

I agree, but it sounds like she was more interested in restaurants. On the other hand, staying in the Sebastopol area also opens up possibilities for heading out to Bolinas, Pt. Reyes Station, etc.

Jul 17, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine country central location

Do you mean for both Napa and Sonoma? Because the only place I think of that's relatively centrally located for both is the town of Sonoma (which is a fairly quick and easy trip through Carneros to the Napa Valley).

Jul 17, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area
1

authentic chinese restaurant with good ambience for a first date?

Actually, that's a good way of weeding out the non-chowhounds before you waste too much time on them.

Jul 16, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Ethiopian Injera Made Only with Teff in Oakland

Plus, I would note that the 100 percent teff is being requested for medical reasons, so they use it to line the platter as well as in the basket.

Jul 16, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

authentic chinese restaurant with good ambience for a first date?

I think Z&Y has a better atmosphere than San Wang.

Jul 16, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Thin sliced bread for tea sandwiches

Very helpful! Thanks!

Jul 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Butternut squash

Do you have a microwave? You can use that to precook the squash and then puree it or add it to your side dish.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking
1

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

Good advice, except the Biogenic isn't living in some third world beach town, but in a city with some of the best water in the US. Asking the local water agency is a good suggestion, except the Biogenic has already implied that he thinks their data is falsified.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

I looked at that study. It said that some -- but not all -- studies of children in China showed that high levels of fluoride in water was associated with about a seven percent decrease in IQ. However, the summary I saw did not say what levels of fluoride caused the effect, and the difference was between high levels and low levels, not fluoride/no fluoride. No where did I see any suggestion that the amount of fluoride in municipal drinking water was considered harmful. Nor did it suggest, for example, that people stop using fluorodated toothpaste, which is a much more concentrated source of fluoride.

There are many chemicals that are beneficial -- even necessary -- in small amounts that are toxic in large amounts, including water, salt and some vitamins.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

Actually, I often leave my water out overnight because I find that it tastes and smells better (as bigwheel said, chloramine dissipates with air). You can believe what you believe, but it's not backed up by science.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

Please, don't confuse people with facts and science! They're going to believe what they want to believe.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Good Gruyere Cheese (Quickly) Gone Bad? [moved from Home Cooking]

Now that it's been four hours, does it still smell bad? Sometimes cheese that's been shrinkwrapped just needs to breathe for a while.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Cheese

Love my new immersion blender

I use mine to beat eggs. Not egg whites (although I suppose I could), but whole eggs. Completely smooth in about five seconds (no globs or icky white bits).

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking

Coi or Crenn [San Francisco]

If you look at reports on this board, Jardiniere has been mediocre (among restaurants of its status) for a long time. I get the impression that des Jardin isn't putting much effort into it, what with her TV career and other projects (according to wikipedia she is "chef/partner of Public House, a sports pub serving local, sustainable classic pub food near AT&T Park in San Francisco; chef/owner of Mijita, a taquería located in the San Francisco Ferry Building and at AT&T Park; and chef/partner of The Commissary in the Presidio of San Francisco.")

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Picking Cheese?

Napa Spy is correct: hard cheeses should travel fine (cheese was invented millennia before refrigeration!). A lot of people vacuum seal cheese for travel, but that causes the wetness (from condensation) that Napa Spy noted. Cheese does not have to be vacuum-sealed to travel. Cheese travels best wrapped in cheese paper inside a loose plastic bag so it can breathe.

If you're planning on buying from Whole Foods I suggest you ask them, since there are a lot of variables (do you want a locally made cheese, for example). You can even taste them and see if you think your family will like it.

Finally, don't forget to check the policies of the country you're going to for bringing in food products.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Cheese

Help picking Wine?

Does Navarro sell their wines retail now?

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

Well clearly he knows because the published data is obviously a lie. I can tell you that I've been drinking copious amounts of EBMUD tap water for over 50 years with no ill effects. Is that enough evidence for you?

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

Bad tasting water is one thing (l lived in Santa Barbara for four years, where the water had so many minerals I used bottled water to rinse in the shower). But the environmental cost of delivering water is not negligible, and there's nothing wrong with the tap water in the East Bay that would justify it.

Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to eat on Webster St in Alameda other than Otaez or East Ocean?

I'm glad it worked out for you.

Jul 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Feel Good Kitchen (Alameda)

I was complaining a while back that Alameda needed a good bakery cafe, and suggested that Feel Good should open one. Well it turns out they did: Feel Good Kitchen has opened in the little strip mall behind the Encinal Market (3215 Encinal Ave.).

It's open Tuesday-Sunday 8-2, serving baked goods and brunch-type fare (note that some items are considered "breakfast" and are not served all day).

Jul 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Ny'ers 1st time itinerary. Feedback welcomed

I'm unaware of anything that could be considered a food-court (or "food-court type setting") in Alameda. Can you give me some more indentifying information?

Jul 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area