Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

twocents's Profile

Title Last Reply

AL's Place Named Best New Restaurant In The U.S. By Bon Appetit; Rintaro Also Makes Top 10

Midweek arrived at 5 pm; there were six or so people ahead of me but several had companions who subsequently arrived. I got on the waitlist at 5:30 but I did not get the call for a walk in table until 9pm but had already moved on.

St. Vincent 2.0 [San Francisco]

Had some drinks and apps at the open this week- foie gras torchon was very well done and had a very nice red peppercorn "sauce" that was a nice contrast to some fruity preserve. Beef tartare was of the non-traditional style common now- no mustard, some capers and herbs. Nice. (current menu says pickled mustard greens, may be what I had). Duck terrine was superb, a distinct but not overpowering black pepper note suffused in the prep. The aroma of the sansho/preserved lemon wings was fantastic but I found the lemon a bit harsh; would have been perfect with a lighter hand. Will think of returning for a full meal.

AL's Place Named Best New Restaurant In The U.S. By Bon Appetit; Rintaro Also Makes Top 10

Thank you.

AL's Place Named Best New Restaurant In The U.S. By Bon Appetit; Rintaro Also Makes Top 10

Anybody have a sense of the pre-opening line up right now?

ABC Restaurant Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe wanted

I have no experience with either, but it sounds like they are related somehow. I feel like you could afford to fool around a bit in the kitchen with the dressing and figure it out, unless there is a missing key ingredient. Good luck.

ABC Restaurant Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe wanted

San Francisco SECOND wave independent coffee houses

I felt Seattle was still predominantly 2/2.5 vs 3. It seemed like Stumptown was the biggest Third Wave; I thought Vita, Victrola, Lladro, Herkimer, Zoka were 2.5; distinctly darker than Intelligentsia/Blue Bottle et al. This was from 2 and a half years ago.

The 10 Best Thai Restaurants in Los Angeles

Boat Noodle Soup was in the picture I saw. It is common to most of these restaurants (not all). Sapp Coffee Shop, Sanamluang, Hoy Ka, and Pa Ord are all good in my experience.

Aug 13, 2015
twocents in Features

Great spicy noodles without soup

I don't know how they make them, but I had them recently and they tasted like ramen noodles to me, just green (and texture similar to a hard cooked ramen noodle). I had versions of the dish at other Thai restaurants on the same trip that were not green, and didn't feel like they were very different. The meats and composition were very nice.

Great spicy noodles without soup

Didn't Ran Kanom San Pablo close down?

I used to like the cold Korean spicy chewy buckwheat noodles Bibim Naeng Myun. Jong Ga House on Grand, and some other places but it's been years.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

I will also support the recommendations for Ippuku and Kiraku- excellent food in both. Kiraku is more casual but also more social, and there are more non-traditional adaptations on the menu. Ippuku is more serious but it can be nice to stand at the bar and have a drink.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

Oasis Grill (Oakland) might refer to the newish place on Grand Ave. at Perkins, near the lake.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

Some other Berkeley suggestions:

Handlebar (984 University)- I haven't been but sounds like it might be worth considering.

Townie (1799 University)- Also haven't been.

Longbranch Saloon (2512 San Pablo) Next to Paisan which was mentioned here. I had drinks once and dinner once soon after they opened. Drinks were decent, food was good though service was a bit scattered, could have settled down. Beer prices seemed high as I recall though I've gotten jaded recently; maybe wouldn't seem so high anymore.

Solo lunch rec needed before bachelor party weekend [San Francisco]

Do you mean Trou Normand as opposed to Trou Gascon?

Where to go out in Berkeley?

Yes I agree- sorry if it sounds misleading. It's not at all an older crowd. I think I was going to write that it has something of a beer-garden vibe because of it's patio, but there are no kids.

Also no kids: Biergarten SF on Octavia, young crowd. Annoying line situation though.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

I've found your question and this thread very intriguing for what it suggests about the demographics of the area and the economic factors that shape these sorts of things, especially in contrast with smaller cities with decent economies in other states. Anyway, I've been thinking about possibilities and have the following suggestions:

Didn't realize you hadn't been to Ramen Shop yet- it's one of my favorites in the area and definitely has a younger median than most without straying far into the "Family friendly" area. The food is so tasty and you really feel like you're paying for quality.

Honor- Kitchen and Cocktails
Skews younger and has a really energetic, social vibe. Most of the places in the area do draw some older folks like me from the businesses around but this one stays young. I like their food, too.

Prizefighter if you haven't been is a serious cocktail place with an adult vibe since it's 21 and over only. -Clientele heavily 20's-early 30's.

Branch Line: This place is only a couple of weeks old. I remembered seeing it pre-opening recently so dropped in to check it out. Quiet on a weeknight it was about half full and I was one of the oldest people there. Everyone else seemed 21-35 until I left when a one or two older folks came in. Drink was well made and they have a short menu of snacks and larger plates that seemed ambitious (octopus anyone? seems to be having it's moment around here, not that I'm complaining). I heard the charcuterie is all in-house.

Grange Hall: Also very new. In the old Barlata space. I had a very nicely executed burger. Menu has a few sourcing indications but not everything is so. Foie gras offered as an appetizer or on the burger or steak. The bar looked pretty serious and they had a decent list of liqueurs and amari. What stuck out was the extensive collection of cocktail glassware that they had, vintage or vintage-y looking. Reminded me of the beer geek pubs in Belgium that have 30-40 different glasses dedicated to different producers and brews. Clientele seemed very young.

Regarding previous comments about Pizzaiolo nearby and it's sister restaurant in Oakland, Boot & Shoe, I love both but don't really feel Pizzaiolo is what you are looking for in the social sense. But do try it- it's my benchmark favorite restaurant in style and execution (I'm not big on fine dining). Boot & Shoe maybe fits, but especially early can have families but less than you'd think since it's so loud. Penrose across the street, run by the same people, is much younger skewing (I haven't been since their first few months), but I don't think it's as good as the others, and a little more expensive.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

Second Club Mallard as possibly worth a try- I used to go a lot 10 years ago but haven't been much since then. It was just a bar with pool tables and vaguely tiki. No food at the time and the cocktails were more dive bar-y than craft.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

A lot of them can't afford it either... you hear so many stories of gainfully employed young people tripling up in $3000-4000 apartments in Noe Valley just to stay in the city. Saw an instagram the other day of a 20+ person line for an apartment open house off of Church... It's crazy.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

I don't mean to be defensive at all about the difference in age, but thanks for saying so. Really, I think the kind of places you like, out here in Berkeley/North Oakland and probably SF/Peninsula too just naturally draw a lot of older people _as well_ since here "we" have more overlapping tastes with the "youth" than in many other places in the country.

It isn't a problem with attracting young people, it's that most of these places also attract a good proportion of older people too, and given the relative distribution of age and money in the area, you just don't get many places that read younger overall. I totally get what you're asking for, I just can't think of too many places like that.

Zut Tavern [Berkeley]

I ended up going this past week in hopes of getting the risotto, or something in a cheese wheel. In the picture I was immediately reminded of a pasta dish I had 20 years ago at the now-shuttered Sapori D'Ischia in Woodside, Queens when they first opened, similarly finished in a large wheel of aged cheese. But it wasn't on offer. Beef tartare was good, lighter than an old-school steakhouse tartare, less dressed and with flaked cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino. Corn fritters were very nice, with a prominent turmeric flavor and a soft texture. The grilled octopus was excellent, perfectly seasoned and tender, with olive oil, potatoes and pimenton. Pork cheeks with beans and fried oysters was very tasty, but I didn't really get the match with the oysters. Cocktails were good and balanced, not too sweet or sour. In particular I liked the Jules.

Regarding the cheese wheel thing, can anyone tell me if this is a thing in Italy, common or traditional or "known" in some way? Other than the aforementioned NYC experience I've not seen it before, or read about it.

Cockscomb - SF

I'm gonna say that if you thought Incanto oversalted, you'll have the same problem here. Regarding "less Italian", it's not really that Italian at all. It actually reminded me of St. John Bread & Wine if you've been there, but more American and a lot more masculine. I've not been to Animal (it's on my list) but definitely the menus rhyme now that you mention it.

Where to go out in Berkeley?

I went to Zut! Tavern this week around 7 and enjoyed the food- was kind of impressed at how well executed everything was for being open one week. I am in my early 40s and I am going to venture that given the tone of OP's original post that there are basically no places in Berkeley proper that really fit her definition of a "young" crowd. The simple fact is that restaurants/bars around here with the drinks and style implied in the post are going to be full of people in their 30's to late 30's and beyond, and I am sorry to say they are going to seem 40+ to a 22 year old from back east.

To the OP, I would think that Uptown Oakland places really are your best bet- maybe Make Westing and Dogwood in terms of younger crowds, but there are really few places in the Berkeley/North Oakland where the younger crowd seems dominant.

The only place I've been to this year where the youth seems prominent is Mikkeller Bar in SF- I would think there are tons of places like that in the city.

Bay Wolf to close after 40 years in Oakland on Piedmont Ave.

Actually that sort of plan might work. I keep thinking about opening a coffee roasting business, but I can't seem to grow the beard.

Bay Wolf to close after 40 years in Oakland on Piedmont Ave.

BrewBurger is planned for the space. It will serve 30-40 craft beers, half Californian, and a burger-focused menu of sustainably sourced but not necessarily chef-driven recipes. There will be a limited third wave coffee and pastry service in the mornings; possibly roasted on-site depending on permits, and with baked goods source TBD. There is also consideration for a late menu depending if the appropriate liquor license can be obtained, in which case there will be an ambitious craft cocktail service in the works. Sorry, I am just joking.

Cockscomb - SF

Well to add color to that- I may have been a little misleading with my phrasing. I went to Incanto about three times over the years it was open and never left feeling excited to go back. It's been a long time but I seem to recall feeling like the flavors lacked punch or brightness- many things undersalted, tomato sauces a little dull, seasonings a little muted. Does this sound crazy? Based on a lot of what I read about Incanto I was always a bit puzzled. Cockscomb is different- less Italian and perhaps a bit more "masculine" if that makes sense.

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles - Oakland Chinatown

I had the beef + beef tripe rice noodle soup recently which had sliced brisket and tripe. The broth is like a cloudy pho, rich and a teeny bit thicker than pho is. I thought it well seasoned, though it started getting salty towards the end. I suspect the soft beef is the same soup but with sliced beef flank cooked wet (the brisket was roast hard and sliced, like in some of their other dishes). An enjoyable meal.

I think I will go back to the lao you fen- I'm not wild about the spaghetti-like guilin rice noodle itself. I like the little side dishes. Tried yuba this time which seemed like it had been fermented a little, or the dressing including some fermented, funky element. Their hot sauces are very good too.

Cockscomb - SF

Based on this review, visited for the first time recently- I liked this much better than I ever liked Incanto- Octupus a la plancha was excellent; Beef heart tartare was decent- would not order again only because I prefer a normal tartare (i enjoy cooked heart) and many other things to try. Tripe and clams was a standout, the lemon and herb sauce brightened the tripe flavor and I liked the bits they used with striations of muscle adding to the texture. Halibut spicy crudo was good, a little fishy in the way halibut can be. Vegetables were a standout including escarole and anchovies, and roasted turnip in some kind of meaty glaze. I am forgetting one other dish. We were seated upstairs in some kind of Asian ghetto (I kid, a little) but very pleasant and quieter than downstairs.

Anyone seen this brand? Sze Chuan chili Paste from Taiwan

I found the canned "bean sauce" and "Hot bean sauce" from this brand at Hometown Grocery (Oakland Chinatown 10th street, by Guilin Classic Rice Noodle), but they didn't have the chili sauce only version. Haven't tried them yet.

KronnerBurger - Oakland

Sounds like you're getting some kind of brewed vinegar instead- "white wine" "rice" "sherry" or "champagne" vinegars- all common, especially for use in dressings depending on type of restaurant. Some are even "seasoned" with added salt or sugar.

Distilled vinegar is not a common condiment here, it's true, probably malt vinegar is your best bet. If you have to ask, specifying "distilled white vinegar" from the kitchen might yield better results.

KronnerBurger - Oakland

We also have Heinz distilled white vinegar at 5%. Do you use something different then that?