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Who has good Fish 'n Chips in the Eastbay?

hope you shared your experience with them.

Dec 14, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Who has good Fish 'n Chips in the Eastbay?

Hapuku fish market in the Rockridge Market Hall. they'll offer you a choice of what they have fresh.

Dec 14, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

3G's Cafe in Palo Alto: Bolivian: salteñas, Cuñape, pan de arroz

we prefer the salteñas at Nuri's Donuts in Redwood City. the owner there does make some other non-donut specialties, but not cuñapes. 3G did have an interesting peanut soup when we were there last summer.

Dec 13, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Marina O'Laughlin on San Francisco's restaurant scene

Nopalito does not truly feel like a Mexican eatery, but the food justifies the visit. the freshness and quality of the ingredients are matched by only a small handful of places in this area in the genre. el Nido in Oakland might be more to your liking. agree that the overall experience at la Torta Gorda has a unique depth and resonance.

Dec 12, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Christmas Day Whole Crab

check with vendors in Chinatown if they're open that day. it depends on your preferred prep -- if it's simple chilled, cracked steamed crab you can buy the day before, cook it after your roast bif and chill it for the next day. there are also very good warm crab dishes like cioppino in which a lightly steamed crab done a day ahead will work perfectly well. if your famiglia insists that it has to be cooked live, moments before serving, you might consider switching the roast bif to the 25th. the Italian feast of the seven fishes that often features crab where appropriate, like here on the west coast, is a pre-25th meal, anyway. but the yorkshire pudding tells me that is not your famiglia's tradition.

Dec 11, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Romantic/Special Occasion Dinner Healdsburg-Santa Rosa

Cafe Lucia on Healdsburg Ave. near Spoonbar is the most comfortable and least noisy place where we've had a meal in town, with very good cooking (some of the best fresh baked rolls anywhere). but a very different scene than Spoonbar. have not tried Partake.

Dec 09, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations for best NYE dinner in Oakland Chinatown

if you can go about ten miles south to Daimo in downtown S.Leandro the food is pretty good, or go downtown in Oakland (Franklin St. nr. 20th) to the Bay Fung Seafood House.

Dec 04, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

are CHILES EN NOGADA available anywhere yet?

you are probably aware of it, but 'nogada' refers to the nut sauce. the original version of the dish probably reflected some French influence in its creation, so even the traditional version could be said to be 'French tasting' relative to other regional styles of Mexican cuisine. without the nuts, the dish you had might be disqualified from adopting the moniker -- and you did not mention pomegranate. at the very least, the dish should reflect the national colours.

Dec 01, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Pupusas : SFBA Dish of the Month September 2014

for Thanksgiving lunch we had pupusas with some of my spouse's friends at Lupita's (Foothill nr. 35th in oaktown). after trying a couple of other spots these are still our co-favorite (the other is literally just a portal into a small kitchen, no indoor dining space, just off Venice beach in west LA). different than most others, because the pupusas aren't oily or greasy at all, the crust not quite as crisp/crunchy as the trade-off, but overall a more delicate rendition. the nixtamal in the banana leaf wrapped tamales is likewise on the light and delicate side. they serve by far the freshest and most vibrant (both in color and flavor) curtido of any we've tried -- visible slices of carrots and jalapeño chili -- with a bit of heat.

Nov 30, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles - Oakland Chinatown

after having pupusas and Salvadoreño tamales with my spouse's friends for lunch, the two of us went for a light supper of Guilin noodles on Thanksgiving. we were the sole diners in the place that evening. both of our medicinal soups (served in reddish colored cylindrical carafes) were quite good. tried the lao you fen, enjoyed it, but found the condiment combination resulted in the broth becoming a little too salty and concentrated for my taste. added a bit of broth from my first course (peanuts/chicken feet) and it was just right.

Nov 30, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

New Malaysian in Oakland Chinatown

sometimes quantity can become the equivalent of quality. for my purposes yelp is somewhat more useful than the more insular realm of the 'hounds, and the generally profuse photos are a big reason -- reading many of the reviews there is time wasted. the pics of the foods at Chili Padi have me interested -- the curry crab particularly.

Nov 27, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Dungeness Crab Prices 2014/2015 Season

at the S.Jose ranch 99 market, the 2+ lb. specimens were sold for 6.99 per lb. today acc. to mi querida esposa ; the one she brought home just fit into our wide, shallow stock pot. cooked to the bare minimum, delicate and sweet, it was finished in a sofrito made from stuff found at today's farmers market, which included two kinds of sweet red peppers, two large one dollar bags of very ripe heirloom tomatoes, and a very fragrant bulb of fennel, among other things.

Nov 22, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

September~November at Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant [San Francisco]

we had a very good meal there last week, thank you again for the information about their gluten-free tempura. the chef/owner's daughter informed us about the lease expiration next May. everything we had was delicious(hijiki salad, hamachi kama, shiso tempura w. uni, eggplant, a roll), and prepared with great care.

Nov 22, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Wine with lamb curry?

have enjoyed Chateauneuf du Pape with lamb curries, or a northern Rhone, or a Calif Petit Sirah (often part of traditional zinfandels in the field blend genre). zinfandels too, and some Calif syrahs -- both are very diverse in styles so generalizing has very limited value. generally we drink these wines with eight years or more of bottle age, so can't attest to how the more tannic versions would do when they're younger.

Nov 20, 2014
moto in Wine

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

thank you for the information on BK, that will probably be the next Burmese spot we sample.

Nov 15, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

gentlemen, thank you for your descriptions of the dish. the pieces of fish we had a Little Yangon were definitely coated, and my inquiry about the ingredients brought out the cook who kindly informed us that he used a packaged tempura mix, has been doing so for years, and it contains wheat flour.

Nov 15, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

sagacious elder, have a question about this dish. in the version we had at Little Yangon, the catfish was coated in a tempura-like batter and deep fried before immersed in the soup, its coating thickening the soup. unfortunately this meant mi espousa querida could not try it, since she's avoiding wheat until her intestinal flora is analyzed. is preparing the fish in that manner the norm among the versions you've had ? thank you.

Nov 12, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

The Growlers' Arms [Glenview, Oakland]

'spotted dick' is a very traditional pudding -- are Roundheads (a.k.a. 'puritans') alive and well in Glenview.

Nov 09, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Aveline or Abbot's Cellar??? [San Francisco]

we ate there on a mid-week evening, and it wasn't loud at all, about .70 full at the peak. we enjoyed all we tried, ranging from lamb to pork to beef, good, fresh ingredients in the salads, complemented perfectly with a bottle of 1999 Chateau du Pibarnon Bandol we brought with us.

after dinner, would recommend Dandelion Chocolate immediately next door.

Nov 07, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Fremont Diner Report (Sonoma)

it appears breakfast is the meal to have there -- a more intriguing menu compared to lunch. we tried them for lunch on the weekend ; it was certainly decent but not really noteworthy. they didn't take the time or t.l.c. to develop any depth or distinction in the chili -- was like something someone who could barely cook would manage -- and saw lots of semi-burned toast getting served.

Nov 07, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

all souls' day : supper, Porcellino ; dessert, Dandelion Chocolate [San Francisco]

this was our first visit since the make over from Incanto. had three of the evening's specials, a butternut squash soup with drizzle of chili oil (requested the croutons served separately to keep the soup wheat-free), preserved tuna heart over pasta (substituted their fresh, house made gluten free rigatoni) with an egg yolk, and the grilled radicchio with pomegranate, plus the porchetta plate with fennel and escarole salad.

enjoyed every dish. unlike most gluten free pasta, their fresh rigatoni was not noticeably inferior in texture and flavor to conventional pasta, probably not as chewy, but in no way detrimental to the dish. the porchetta maybe not the best we've had -- a slight edge perhaps to Fatted Calf's version, but that wasn't in a restaurant setting -- very satisfying, the greens an excellent complement. most of the courses could be susceptible to too much salt, but each was prepared very accurately. the cost, after $18. for corkage [Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino ('normale' selection) 1997, delicious with every course, all of the virtues of sangiovese with a subtle, intriguing citrus note like orange rind. originally paid less for it than the Caprili 2011 Rosso di Montalcino on Porcellino's list, and their closest comparison was on the reserve list, Caprili Brunello di M. '08, for 89.], before tip, tax included, $70. impressed me as the most reasonable one could find food of this quality and quantity in an SF restaurant.

around 6 on a Sunday to a bit past 7, the place was never more than half filled. revenue-wise, other than the lower cost to eat there now compared to Incanto, the noticeable difference was the absence of wine before most of the other diners. can't imagine food better suited for wine, and their selection is all about compatibility with the food, but to each their own.

was our first visit as well to Dandelion Chocolate (Valencia nr. 19th, immediately next door to Abbot's Cellar). the air one breathes on entering the shop is pretty much unadulterated cocoa -- the processing, cooking, fabricating is all open and visible from the sales, service, consumption areas. there are self service tasting samples out for 6-8 of their single origin bars, cane sugar the only added ingredient, 70-100 % cacao depending on the specific variety. every one was worth trying, the standouts perhaps were the 'Maya Mountain' from Belize, very balanced and archetypal, while the Papua New Guinea seemed the least typical. they have literally too many tempting confections and creations to choose from, and we decided on the 'chef's tasting' with five miniature versions ($14.), each about two small bites in size. a cacao spritzer (Mantuano), a s'more (Papua New Guinea, individually toasted with a small blowtorch), red velvet beet cake (Liberia), pb&j cup (Madagascar), nib infused panna cotta (a thin shard of chocolate balanced on it, Camino Verde). every source of cacao has its own story ; for the Liberian chocolate, the grower is rehabilitating and employing former child soldiers.

the weak element of our dessert was the pour-over (ground fresh immediately before infusion) Four Barrel coffee, much too thin and flabby, though its fans would probably say its delicacy won't compete with all the nuances of the chocolates. they have a number of options for drinking chocolate ; according to one of the servers, what they term 'European style' is in the Italian manner. to get a better notion visually of the range of Dandelion's temptations, there are numerous pics on yelp.

Nov 03, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Update on Karina's in Petaluma (Tlayudas, Pan de Muertos, Chapulines, Tres Leches, Tamales)

Lolita's in Petaluma had a couple of mole pastes available on our last visit -- pretty good after boosting it with a few items, chocolate, spices, and thinning with broth.

Oct 28, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Glaze Donuts (Excelsior District, San Francisco)

the place is called 'Top of the Hill Cafe', some pics of their stuff is on yelp. you're the only person to explicate the technical detail about those high heat broilers in donut making -- sounds like a finishing process after the frying.

Oct 27, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Glaze Donuts (Excelsior District, San Francisco)

impressive sampling, shanghai gourmand. in the next district west of Excelsior where Mission terminates, think it's called 'hill top' in Daly City, there's a donut shop sharing the same block as Little Yangon, the Burmese eatery. have you sampled anything there -- the selection looked impressive, even late on a Sat. afternoon.

Oct 26, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Uptown or Old Oakland restaurant with tv(s)

reasonable. we stuck to the Lao dishes, which were fairly similar to the other places we've tried in Oakland, but we haven't tried Vientiane yet. it's not unusual around here to find Thai, Vietnamese, or Chinese dishes in the places that are also serving Lao or Cambodian foods.

Oct 24, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Uptown or Old Oakland restaurant with tv(s)

Camber on Telegraph. asian influenced food, including Lao.

Oct 23, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

one of my favorites in the Mission district is la Torta Gorda, an old-school diner in appearance and ambience that does Puebla (Poblano) regional foods at budget prices. pretty good chile en nogada when they're in season (fall-winter), a number of dishes with nopales including a fresh squeezed juice (they're known for a mixed juice called 'vampira' from its color, a blend of beet, carrot, orange), hearty Mexican breakfasts (open at 6.30), a variety of good quesadillas including huitlacoche, and a large selection of what they're named for, tortas. if the filling of the torta sounds interesting and good, it probably is (medium is usually < $7, large <$9).

Oct 23, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Claypot Rice in SF Chinatown?

thanks for the tip on the chicken feet. what are the ingredients in it ? trying to avoid soy sauce, because of the wheat content.

Oct 22, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

ok, how about good areas in Oakland?

where in oaktown Chinatown do you eat dim sum, or are you comparing them strictly with SF Chinatown, not the whole city of SF. even for SF Chinatown, there are probably couple of places, at least, more reliable than any in oaktown.

Oct 17, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Sonoma by Bike

Ravenswood, if you pay a little extra for the vineyard designate tastings, in a separate wine bar unless they've changed things since my last visit. they are owned by a mega-corporation though and won't be like the small, family run estates. be sure to put on obnoxiously visible warning colours -- traffic is a very mixed bag and highly variable, with a fair amount of tourists plus local commercial drivers with their priorities elsewhere when they're cruising around or working.

Oct 15, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area