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King Tsin Under New New Management - CV Chef - Berkeley

we went to China Village twice after Mr.Ho departed with the closure from the fire, and found the standard of service had noticeably slipped from before. we have not been back there since.

Jul 29, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Winetasting in Sonoma

the tasting rooms are very diverse in size and settings. if you care for pinot noir and don't need vineyard views, small scale where thirty minutes would suffice, consider Paul Matthews. if you want a glimpse of a small working winery with a slightly bigger range of wines, consider Joseph Swan.

Jul 29, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Winetasting in Sonoma

the Dry Creek general store seems limited in its selection of foods and rather touristy, to me. my own preference for picnic stuff would be John's market/grocery in Healdsburg, or for prepared sandwiches, salads, take out pizza, our first choice is always Diavola in Geyserville.

Jul 28, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

great spicy noodles without soup

i.i.r.c., QQ noodle in Milpitas and King of Dumplings in Newark have hand pulled noodles, but you might consider those south bay rather than east bay.

Jul 28, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Bay Area bagels?

decades since my last n.y. bagel, so my nomination goes to the Beigel Shop on Brick Lane in London's east end, established 1855. they and their competitor a block away are open 24 hours.

Moosetta's Russian Piroshki, Sonoma Valley

this appears to have the same address as the Rocket deli/sushi/catering business, near Boyes Springs in the same spot as the former piroshki cafe. is it literally on the back side of the sushi place ?

Jul 24, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Roast Duck: SFBA Dish of the Month July 2015

rotissierie chickens seem to have proliferated in our area, ducks prepared in that fashion are a bit harder to find. C Casa in the Oxbow marketplace in Napa has a decent version, described as herb-crusted, that we've taken home for tacos and salads ($34 for a whole duck, a high tariff compared to chickens or Chinese restaurants that will serve you a duck with two preparations for around that). it is considerably less fatty as one would expect, compared to the Chinese roasted or Peking style ducks or oven roasted ducks. closer to the texture and fat content actually to tea smoked ducks. overall, given the cost difference, we prefer a good version of tea smoked duck when we want something leaner than Peking style.

G&S Farms - Brentwood Diamond Corn

bicolour from Happy Boys farm from my local farmer's market has been my main indulgence in sweet corn this summer, the bicolour from Pinnacle is also pretty good. thanks

Jul 22, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

G&S Farms - Brentwood Diamond Corn

is the corn organically cultivated ? have found the local Brentwood corn, very fresh from the local farmers' markets, the white varieties particularly, from the non organic growers to be sweet and delicate but lacking in savory, 'corny' flavours.

Jul 21, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Another classic bites the dust, La Borinquena. [Oakland]

the family member who has been running the business has worked there for fifty nine years of the shop's seventy one. one simple item, always available there and found in few other places, home style tortilla chips fried in lard.

Jul 19, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Japantown area [San Francisco]

"Japantown" is adjacent to lower Pacific Heights. plenty of interesting eats in addition to the obvious Japanese options in walking distance, including Dosa and SPQR.

Jul 16, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Roast Duck: SFBA Dish of the Month July 2015

pretty sure the Nanjing salty duck at Bund Shanghai is listed as a cold dish and it is the one described by Mr. Soup ; don't think it has the five spice element and coloring noted by barleywino. have had the Peking style duck at Bund Shanghai several times and it is one of the better versions in this area ; we always have a soup course made from the bones and it is a very good complement.

Jul 12, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Fuse Box restaurant Oakland

not very familiar with Korean food, but Fusebox's food is not very typical to the three or four Korean places we've tried in northern Calif. maybe Korean-influenced would serve as a description. they have very good panchan, lighter and more delicate than the usual we've had. the small plates with grilled goodies remind me of similar dishes in izakayas, but couldn't say whether Korea influenced Japan with this style or the other direction.

Oakland Coliseum (2015) - A's game

the variety and options in the beers at the O-co. is quite impressive for the otherwise bedraggled-looking stadium. on my last visit the vendor allowed me samples and the 20 oz. of the german import Adventius was worth the eleven bucks. we brought in food from downtown and chinatown which included tandoor lamb wrapped in naan and bao, pistachios from t-joe's.

King Tsin Under New New Management - CV Chef - Berkeley

enjoyed the best Chinese meal in years at 'King Tsin' this Sunday. Ho Chi Yiu is the manager's name, formerly head waiter and factotum at China Village and last seen by us at Ancient Sichuan. he informed us that his partner was the executive chef at China Village before the fire, and the fellow whose tenure overlapped his at Ancient Sichuan was the no. 2 guy.

the actual Chinese name has nothing to do with King Tsin. "Yi Pin Tian Xia ", literally, first rank under heaven, or prosaically, 'world's no.1'.

there were a dozen or more dishes listed on the specials board, three with the caption "must try" -- hot fried chili with clams, sliced rib eye or lamb with gold broth, and steamed fish head with chili paste. we chose the fish head, another of the specials, five spiced pork shoulder with spicy sauce, plus Shanghai style rice cakes with pork and greens, and spicy charred cabbage. corkage for our bottle of Drappier signature cuvee champagne was only 8.50.

we generally have a variation of the braised pork shoulder once or twice a year. this version surpassed all previous. its spiciness wasn't super aggressive in the palate but perfectly balanced the unctuousness of the pork, neutralizing the sensation of fat. the meat was falling apart tender without being overcooked. the fresh salmon head was fatty in a completely different and equally good way. its sauce was actually light and delicate, the 'paste' in the menu description was a colorful blanket of finely minced fresh sweet red peppers, fresh green chilis (anaheim maybe), and finely sliced dried red chilis. the rice cakes were as good as any we've eaten in a Shanghai-centric place, and the charred cabbage was perfectly cooked.

the complimentary dessert was a piping hot and delicious red bean pancake. the surroundings were nicer by far than either China Village or Ancient Sichuan, one large room, polished wood floor, Chinese paintings and prints, mostly reproductions of larger scaled works from later dynasties, covering the walls. service was at the high standard that China Village once had under Mr.Ho.

Oliveto's Oceanic Dinner, June 23-26 2015 [Oakland]

we haven't dined there in several years, having previously visited about twice a year, with the diminished value a major factor. but if the owners and staff continue to thrive, the prices only serve to filter their clientele to diners who love what they do and clearly have the $$. with this particular dinner, part of the appeal is probably the access to a 'connoisseur's selection' from the Monterey fish market buyer. people who want to have premium sashimi from around the globe might be similarly inclined to pay high prices for their eats.

Jun 28, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Oliveto's Oceanic Dinner, June 23-26 2015 [Oakland]

looked at the menu online, and appreciated how it made the provenance of each ingredient transparent, including how the fish or shellfish or cephalopod was harvested. with the places of origin in many cases literally on the other side of the planet, combined with the Oliveto m.o., small portions for many of the dishes would have been my expectation. the menu made it clear they placed the highest priority on sustainability. with the present conditions of many fisheries (in our own region we have nearly succeeded in destroying the sardine catch), abundance and modest wholesale prices will only occasionally coincide with sustainability, and with Oliveto's menu there was the added factor of distance from the place of origin.

the places in our area that serve generous portions of fresh, sustainable seafood usually focus on the local/western Pacific catch and farmed foods. we enjoy Fish in Sausalito, for example, but it clearly has quirks like the lack of wait service, minimal ambience, and comfort only when the weather is amenable or tolerable, which limit its appeal for many diners.

Jun 28, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

King Tsin Under New New Management - CV Chef - Berkeley

thank you. that is the best recommendation his new place could have. we 'defected' to Ancient Szechuan when he was there, and have never returned to his original employer.

Jun 26, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley to Petaluma via Richmond/SR bridge thence 101 north...midday Saturday 6/27/15, economy to midrange, easy on/off, character(s), Farmer's Markets, etc?

economy option half way between petaluma and rohnert park, just past your described route, Yanni's sausage grill in Penngrove.

Begoni Bistro Cuisine Indochine to open soon in old Kay Cheung Space. [San Francisco]

thank you. have not had another banh xeo equal to those at B.B. with the former chef/proprietor.

Two Best AVAs for Napa/Sonoma Trip (Group with Varied Palates)

Dry Creek is where we take out of state visitors for a single-area sample from the two counties. the vistas from the country roads are one reason, and Preston is always on our own itinerary when we're up there.

Jun 24, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Chef Lau's [Oakland] closed

for a simple and good bowl of noodles we go to the Guilin noodle place. for a full meal, the cooking at Chilli Padi has a prominent Chinese influence and overall a higher and more consistent standard than the other places in the 'hood.

Jun 23, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Salteñas? [San Francisco]

Nuri's is a donut shop, so your listings might be for the same place. even with a car, Redwood City isn't that close by. Bolivian food just isn't found as easily as Peruvian or Brazilian or the similar Argentine empanadas. we've had much better luck in Orange County, if you happen to visit down there.

Jun 16, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Salteñas? [San Francisco]

good luck in SF. a sure thing is calling ahead to Nuri's in Redwood City, tell her when you're coming to pick up the order, and they will be fresh baked and minutes from the oven when you arrive.

Jun 16, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

French Fries: SFBA Dish of the Month December 2014

haven't had many fries better than the beef tallow fries at Clove and Hoof, 40th and Broadway (about mid-Korea town) oakland.

Jun 11, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

The History Of San Francisco’s Chinatown In 10 Dishes (from Food Republic)

booze has had a very prominent role in Chinese eateries in SF from the earliest 19th century days.

Jun 10, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Mi Pueblo Home Style Chips ( Estilo Casero )

la Borinquena (across from the estacion de la policia) are definitely homestyle, fairly thick, and one of the few you can find that are fried in manteca (lard).

Jun 04, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Are there any excellent (and authentic) Italian restaurant in the bay area?

it is definitely difficult to find tripe like Diavola's if you're not in Italia.

Jun 01, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Best DanTat in SF Chinatown

we made it to Garden Bakery on Jackson this afternoon. with the memory of AA's version still fresh, a very subjective comparison, both sampled in mid afternoon -- AA's were still warm, and from the texture and consistency of both the pastry and filling, more recently out of the oven by several hours. if delicate, flaky pastry is a high priority, they're worth trying. Garden's seemed more home style to me, and more satisfying for me maybe for that reason. baked deeper than AA's, Garden's had a small blister on the custard, and the filling was firm and eggy. AA's filling was lighter, flaccid in comparison, and to me it seemed to have just a touch of artificial flavoring.

May 27, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Best DanTat in SF Chinatown

Garden and Wa Li (Stockton nr. Broadway) are two sources on my next sampling visit. Wa Li is known for their zong zi.

May 22, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area