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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

Best DanTat in SF Chinatown

the pastry crust of the tarts from AA on Stockton St. were flaky and quite good, not sure if they were lard-based but they probably were. was less than 100% satisfied with the filling, but still a respectable interpretation, and they were still warm and very fresh. the nature of Chinatown geography would suggest that a stroll of under an hour would yield a sample of five or six candidates. the busier spots probably have them quite fresh from 10 or 11 a.m through the early afternoon. Eastern is certainly reliable and consistent.

May 21, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

KronnerBurger - Oakland

my impression from your critiques, the style/demeanor of the service and the physical remodeling of the former burger/cali-mex joint didn't suit you. curious, have you tried the remodeled former neighborhood pharmacy, now Clove and Hoof, on Broadway and 40th. it's well-lit, minimalist, and the butchers are very pleasant to interact with.

May 19, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

KronnerBurger - Oakland

sounds like you went to the brand new Ba Bite, who serve an assortment of very fresh mezze-style salads, variations of hummus, and a couple of other eastern Mediterranean dishes. a very pleasant couple run the shop ; they expanded their catering business, and the woman is the chef. high quality vegetables in the salads and excellent olive oil, specifically sourced from Nazareth, i.i.r.c. from what the gentleman told me.

May 19, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Wor Won Ton SF

we're probably in the same first generation a.b.c.'s, Mr.Chinn. most of the Cantonese in our parents' generation in the bay area came from either the Jiangmen prefecture (five counties including Tai Shan a.k.a. Toy San) or its immediate neighbor to the east, Zhong Shan (its modern name given to honor Dr. Sun of course).

Wor Won Ton SF

old school, Chinatown, below street level on Jackson near Grant. New Woey Loy Goey. this will be the 'retro'(traditional to old bay area Cantonese) hearty style, not the modernized delicate style. they're one of the few places that offer the hung tao variation with fried wontons. if you don't like Chinatown, you might try the places that are ostensibly Vietnamese but serve plenty of southern Chinese foods. it could help your query if you specify where you've gone already, and what was faulty with their versions.

May 05, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

hand cut, beef tallow fries [Oakland]

Clove and Hoof, Broadway at 40th St., Oakland (edge of Temescal, across from Mama's Cafe). skin on, of course. some of the best fries we've had in a long time. everything we sampled was very good to excellent. top notch pulled pork, with the meat, not the smoke nor the dressing the highlight. for my spouse's wheat intolerance, the bun (listed as a potato bread) was on the side, perfectly toasted and an excellent complement, with the pork and fresh, tangy slaw heaped in a bowl, and a small, simple side salad of fresh greens. also had a salad with chicories, hazelnuts, sultanas, and a glass of mellow, tangy, sour cherry mead (there was old milwaukee for two bucks and two or three microbrews on draft for a bit more). all of the greens and slaw tasted very fresh. the fries came with a fresh pickle mayo, and the other available condiments included sea salt flakes, ketchup, mustard, and a very good roasted jalapeno salsa. the storefront was an old school drug store for a long time, and the space is pleasant in a low key, minimalist way with good light from its corner exposure. a good selection of meats in various cuts and whole, pastured chickens were displayed in the butcher's case for home cooking ; we picked out a pork steak with the tail attached, plus a tied sirloin roast from the same section of the pig.

Apr 17, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Saltenas at Nuri's Donuts [Redwood City]

if that area is your geographic milieu and you fancy saltenas, try them at Nuri's donuts in Redwood City. best to order ahead with a pickup time, and you'll get them fresh baked. for us PA is farther away and the parking in that section of downtown can be tight.

Mar 24, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Yahoo Says Best Chinese "Restaurant" In California is Something Called The Chairman Truck

the Chairman hasn't let me down for reliable, fresh, good eats. not surprised they'd be favored if they were being compared to generic, middle of the road, fare. the generic, no frills Chinese eatery almost always has to impress with being a good value with big portions, low tariff, so the quality of ingredients by necessity is variable. the Chairman could only be regarded as a decent value in the artisan sandwich category.

Mar 18, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Fruit Pie Oakland/Berkeley?

there's an old post here asking about Pietisserie. she has shop over on the east side of Oakland, 2nd. ave near Foothill now. her goods are comparable to no-compromise home(expert) baked pies.

Mar 14, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Los Angelino from San Gabriel Valley ISO Best Inexpensive Dim Sum Palace

if monosodium glutamate doesn't bother you, you could find the moderate priced stuff around here acceptable. the overall level for Cantonese cooking isn't that great in the east bay -- somewhat higher in a place like Saigon Seafood Harbor just off the freeway in the city of Richmond.

Mar 05, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Nothing but Forgettable Fancy Tasting Menus at Bay Area French Influenced High End Restaurants - RANT

strongly doubt if bauer enters into the minds of the international elite chefs one iota. things like investment threshold, operating costs, sustainability in a somewhat provincial outpost (bauer is more a symptom of the provincial aspect, rather than the cause) are probably big factors that discourage your favorites from taking on an SF venture.

Looking for a fishmonger in SF (or greater Bay Area if necessary) to buy Monchong/Pomfret from

when you do locate it, bear in mind it won't be the 'local catch' here. there are a handful of our local fish that can compare (in quality, not in distinctive and unique characteristics) to the fresh catch in the islands, but monchong is not among them.

Feb 23, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Mission Impossible ? Good Japanese in the Mission District . [San Francisco]

on our last visit the owner's daughter said their lease runs through May. no sign they were out of operation when we walked by the other day, but it wasn't during their open times.

Feb 14, 2015
moto in San Francisco Bay Area