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The best San Francisco sourdough?

in the time of my SF sojourn, learned which days the two closest small grocers received their Larraburu deliveries -- the SF sourdoughs each had their distinctive characteristics, but for me L crumb had the best taste and flavour.

about 12 hours ago
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Sebastopol and Santa Rosa: Village Bakery - organic Danish breads, princess cake, fig anise bread, challah, sourdough, and lots of stuff with cardamom

thank you for the local's tip, but as an occasional visitor to your fair portion of the county, can't tell which grocery you refer to nor its location -- Sebastopol ? found two in S.Rosa, are there others.

1 day ago
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Has anyone been to California Bakery in the Tenderloin? [San Francisco]

the shanghai gourmand has an exceptional metabolic rate and/or endocrine/digestive organs.

Aug 13, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Help a pressed for time NY Hound find the Asian food of her dreams?

the general reader (neither you nor Master Chan) might not know that Chinese immigration (particularly against women) was not prohibited in the 1870s and 1880s, which is why they were visible not just in the western states and territories but wherever there was cheap rail or water transportation access, including the southeastern states. the effects from the prohibitions in effect until 1965 were still apparent in many regions into the 1970s, and normalization between the countries in the mid/late 70s accelerated the demographic changes further.

Aug 12, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Help a pressed for time NY Hound find the Asian food of her dreams?

since Master Chan, as close to an authority we're likely to see here, noted that those beef rolls don't really originate from Shandong, that name probably is probably not the ideal moniker for wide spread standardization.

Aug 12, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Lost & Found Beer Garden - Oakland

we tried L & F for brunch, first visit to the place. as a beer cafeteria with a nice patio area, not bad. overall pub (or quasi-brasserie like the Linden "Dock") experience, no better than C+. the popular 'Thai flavour' popcorn tasted like it was made the day before. if it's made with freshly popped corn, consumed in its first few hours, might be very good. their small plates are truly small bites, fresh ingredients, but with no creative or exceptional characteristics. the best thing we ate was the braised pork sandwich. the kitchen gave me the impression of leaning to the institutional/profit grinding, rather than soulful, which is probably intentional with the focus on the beers. virtually no hospitality or service beyond very friendly counter attendants[as a customer, should not wonder if tipping .15 is too much, but it did cross my mind]. they provide nice cloth towels for napkins and discourage utensils ; disposables are by request.

Aug 10, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for dinner in Healdsburg area

the most original and creative cooking from locally sourced foods in your immediate vicinity will be at Mateo's Cocina on the chef's specialties menu.

Aug 10, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Help a pressed for time NY Hound find the Asian food of her dreams?

are you interested or not in Lao or Burmese food ?

Aug 08, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot now open in the TL. [San Francisco]

sure, and brewery tours had unlimited free brew as well, but was thinking in terms of eateries, cafes, hof braus. were you out in Nassau county, or in one of the boroughs of NY ?

Aug 08, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot now open in the TL. [San Francisco]

was good enough for you to take xiao yang as your moniker. were there still places that had unlimited free beer even in the 50s of our childhood in the U.S. ?

Aug 07, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Musing in Fremont

Millbrae and Foster City both have above average Chinese eats ; Koi P. in Daly C. has the big reputation but until you try a few places for yourself ....

Aug 06, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving Take Out in Berkeley?

haven't visited that branch -- they have pasta making equipment and set up there, but do they have a full sized commercial kitchen too ? dinner stuff might indeed be made in the same kitchen, or the identical recipes and ingredients in two different kitchens.

Aug 05, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving Take Out in Berkeley?

not in berserkley, but near the border in Rockridge, the market hall offers prepared dinners for various holidays including t-day.

Aug 05, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Shakewell - First Visit [Lakeshore, Oakland]

we shared three small plates, a normal sized salad, and the bomba (comparable to a individual entree-sized paella pan in quantity), plus the cocktail and corkage for our red; the total was about 70. with a few bites to take home. their small plates seemed to be 3-4 huge bites, and not the literal small plate that is difficult to split for two people. one couple sitting next to us had one of the heartier bombas and they didn't finish it, so it would appear that eating and drinking reasonably (though consuming an entire bottle from their list would have increased our bill $30-40) for $40 p.p. or so is realistic.

Aug 04, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Shakewell - First Visit [Lakeshore, Oakland]

we too enjoyed our first visit to Shakewell. apparently they chose their name to emphasize the cocktail menu ; mi querida esposa enjoyed one after dinner composed of scotch, campari, vermouth, with a nice accent from the scorched citrus peel garnish. it was quite concentrated and very cold, the oversized ice cube nearly inert, and for my wine/ale- calibrated palate just a couple of drops of plain water brought it to where it could actually register on my taste buds. very interesting 'cause it was not sweet, the bitters of the campari and vermouth with the citrus prominent. with virtually no cocktail background, won't evaluate it.

the name reveals nothing about the food. it might prove to be an adequate replacement for the Spanish tapas at the expiring Bar Lata -- each of those we tried were well executed, with a more delicate touch than Bar Lata, the freshness of the ingredients highlighted. the grilled romaine salad featured perfectly charred, salt and oil spot on, fresh greens with the counterpoints of acid from the onions, fat from the boquerones, avocado, manchego. the octopus was invitingly tender, quite good. enjoyed the seasonal tempura squash blossoms, stuffed with soft, creamy cheese and a light sauce of barely rendered sweet cherry tomatoes. we also had the squid ink bomba, a very distinctive interpretation unlike the dish of that name we had in an old San Juan cafe or any paella or risotto in my experience. the grains of rice were loose and separate, in a fair amount of liquid broth not absorbed into them, and the dominating taste was not briny squid ink, encountered in other versions, despite the deep, dark coloration. flavor accents mainly came from the barely cooked, sweet onion and red peppers, and lemon peel. easily the lightest in consistency of any similar dish we've had, and mi querida esposa preferred it to other variations.

the wine list is very well matched with the food, as was the bottle of ten year old Chateauneuf we brought ($15 corkage). the default wine glass we were given initially was a narrow tumbler completely unsuited for any wine with aromatics, but the small stem glasses we received on request were adequate enough.

Aug 03, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Okonomiyaki: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2014

thanks much for the description. their menu lists the Korean sweet potato ('mountain yam' in other nomenclatures) as an ingredient, so the pancake itself is probably a form of sweet potato pancake, if that makes sense with your experience of it.

Aug 01, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Okonomiyaki: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2014

the Namu Gaji version seems to be very highly regarded. what was your impression ?

Aug 01, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Musing in Fremont

when Dungeness crab season comes back around, do try Yum's Bistro. if you're from the southland, getting across the Dumbarton or S.Mateo bridges won't seem that distant, and your dim sum options and other regional Chinese foods expand greatly. hyperbowler created a sprawling thread about regional Chinese spots, quite a few just on the other side of the water from Fremont.

Aug 01, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Eating out in Healdsburg

if you decide on Mateo's Cocina in Healdsburg, his creativity in combining Iberian (trained w. f.adria ), Yucutan (his personal heritage), and calif cooking with immaculately sourced local foods really comes forth in his chef's specialties, though you'd probably find the more conventional items very good representatives of those dishes as well.

we quite enjoyed our lunch at Cafe Lucia in Healdsburg, Portuguese-calif foods with offal and seafood prominent, good selection of Portuguese wines that don't usually make wine lists.
congrats on your degree.

Jul 31, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Vignette, Sebastopol

thanks for reporting. my suspicion, a heavy ladle with tomatoes or tomato sauce is a concession to the americanization of pizza. Diavola is our all around favorite, SF and Alameda counties included.

Jul 30, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Pub to sample California Microbrews

if your spouse can tolerate you taking a solo trip, hog's apothecary is about a ten minute walk on flat ground from a BART station. as noted, their list is calif exclusively.

Jul 22, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

M. H. Bread & Butter in San Anselmo

welcome to Calif, Stefan. the local tomatoes have just begun to hit their stride, along with the stone fruits. thank you again for your hospitality. let us know via e-mail if there's something we can help you find in the area. au revoir.

Jul 12, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Unique to SF or Cal - Must eats for out-of towners

when in season, the local lobster is quite good in Santa Barbara. ripe ollalieberrys are softer and more fragile than many of their similar cousins, like blackberries or marionberries, and if a food can't travel well it won't be served fresh in a wide geographic area.

Jul 07, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Swedish Food? Where?

thank you again, xiao yang. sausage and mashed potatoes combined in a flat bread wrap w. a salad -- sometimes it's shrimp salad apparently -- sounds like another variation of the 'new Scandinavian cuisine '.

the tunnbrødsrulle appears to be well engineered for a hand held food that includes plenty of carbs, protein, fat, even veg, that people who drink all night (long nights up there in Sweden ?) can count on to keep them going.

Jun 30, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Swedish Food? Where?

thought it was clear that my description and impression came from fictional portrayals of folks in Sweden, but o.k. if you wish to think that differentiation is beyond my feeble means.
met chef Terje at a benefit for the tsunami disaster, enjoyed his food very much.
only mentioned Samuelsson because he was fairly unique in NY in the late 80s and quite successful -- and his success might have encouraged others, because there seems to be more places with 'new Scandinavian cuisine' now, Plaj possibly one of them.

Jun 29, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Swedish Food? Where?

my limited understanding of Swedish culture comes from reading Mankell and seeing some television programs produced and filmed there. the Swedish people portrayed therein don't seem particularly attached to their own foods -- popular choices portrayed include sandwiches, pizza, Thai and Indian foods.

what is their cuisine noted for ? pickled fish, or is that in the other countries in the region ? the noted chef Marcus Samuelsson started his U.S. career auspiciously in NY, the youngest chef at the time to get three stars from the nytimes, at Aquavit, but it appears his restaurants here after his debut stayed away from what he termed 'new Scandinavian cuisine'. of course that might also be different than what you're searching for.

Jun 29, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria (Geyersville)

for the folks who aren't familiar with the Dry Creek region of Sonoma County, or ignored the signs on the way to the casino, the name of the town is Geyserville.

Diavola is probably our favorite calitaliano place in the state. thorough farm to table approach, everything made from pork or offal is top notch.

Jun 27, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

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

again, tried to keep things succinct and didn't clarify that the reinforcement of one's identity or 'hipness' doesn't have to come from recognition from the staff or others -- the sanctuary, whether c.panisse or the favoured watering hole, becomes a reflection or projection of how one feels about oneself.

you have clearly observed and understood the diversity of food obsessives. the mind is quite powerful, and there really is no objective,standard criteria that fits all, in terms of 'the food sends them.' if .88 of respondents say c.panisse's experience is not to be missed, we have no standard to distinguish how many were influenced by their dining companions or waters' reputation. there's also a sampling bias at work -- someone who goes there once or twice, enjoyed it in moderate proportion but wasn't sufficiently moved to comment one way or the other, or was left indifferent, simply doesn't register.

Jun 26, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

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

cioppino has versions with and without Dungeness crab, probably the most notable native edible arthopod, but those are out of season and you'd be eating stuff from Alaska or frozen. there are probably good non crab versions around, it is such a popular local dish.

vibrantly fresh seafood, simply prepared, no table service, right on the water, Fish in Sausalito. about 20 min. north of SF (plus the time you need to get through SF itself to reach the bridge, itself a tourist attraction.) most other seafood places will serve a mix of local and non local stuff.

Jun 26, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

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

didn't intend to imply that every regular customer of revered institutions keep going to have their self worth burnished, should have made that clear. but of those who do, some aren't self aware sufficiently to see it, or be able to admit it. if person x is proud to consider itself a food cognoscenti, it is probably also convinced of its objectivity -- most of us don't see all of our own biases.

some folks go drink at regular watering holes though they know another spot has a better mixologist, or serve the same booze at better prices, but their regular provides reassurance and psychological benefits.

Jun 26, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area