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Keesey's Profile

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New thoughts on the Tenderloin? [San Francisco]

I saw a sign for meatball and this may be more of a special order but you can get just pate with butter (too rich for me!).

Aug 07, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

New Ramen Joint in J-Town (Waraku) [San Francisco]

Looks like they are the same owners of Raijin Kitchen (another ramen parlor) in the Parkside District. It opened in the Spring, but it never really operated with consistent hours. I pass by it on my daily route and as of 8-05-13, the space is already up for sale. I'm going to chalk that up for poor location.

Aug 06, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

New thoughts on the Tenderloin? [San Francisco]

Even more hole-in-the-wall bahn mi shop is Sing Sing Sandwich Shop. It's a peculiar "cafe". They have one tiny counter and the lady makes maybe 2-3 types of bahn mi behind that counter. There is also one pot of coffee to go with your sandwich. The clientele is almost all Vietnamese, especially in the back room. The bahn mi is decent, completely different than Saigon Sandwich.

Jul 30, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for humanely priced ramen? Help may be on the way with Raijin Kitchen on Taraval [San Francisco]

I pass by that place nearly every day! Had no idea it was a ramen place. I'll give it a try soon.

The location may be an issue. I hardly saw any one when it was a HK style snack shop.

May 02, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Chinese Pancakes in San Francisco

Seriously? This is one of their signature dishes. It isn't very obvious the way they list it on their menu. I cant believe they'd take it off.

Mar 06, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

French Laundry reservations

I would check OpenTable every hour every day for last minute cancellations. I obtained a weekend dinner reservation that way... perhaps the odds may be a bit better for a Thursday seating. Tables won't really appear until the week of your birthday, but I'd definitely have a plan B restaurant reservation as well. Have your hotel's concierge check too. Sometimes they can pull some special strings.

It's Mon 2/25 and I see a Sun, 3/2 7:30pm as of right now, which is a prime seating I'd say. So there are definitely cancellations as days go by.

Feb 25, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

New Chinese.. "House of Pancake" 937 Taraval bet 19th and 20th [San Francisco]

This is so not out of my way! I am walking distance and keep forgetting to look this place up after passing by it all the time. I will make a trip soon and report back.

Also, what an unfortunate name choice. It will get lost in searches, especially with IHOP.

Feb 15, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Which deli has fantastic sandwich bread/rolls?

I love Semifreddi's! Fell in love with them at a small cafe in SF called Wooly Pig.

Feb 15, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Rooftop Bars or Bars with Views in SF

I am going to throw out Jones Bar, which is almost walkable from where you are staying (about 10 blks away). It has no real view, but it is a rooftop bar with heated lamps for typical SF cold weather. Vibe is very chill with a youngish crowd. I believe it is cash only.

Feb 07, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Ricky Bobby (formerly the crew at The Broken Record), San Francisco

They changed their burger, which I thought was their signature dish at Broken Record, and it tasted completely different. The biggest difference was that it comes with two patties. I have no idea why. That bacony taste... not as defined, but it was still plenty salty. They also include two slices of cheese. For me, it was a bit too cheesy, especially when they don't include lettuce and tomatoes.

The crawfish grits was outstanding! Loved the spiciness of the shrimp broth. Crawfish was perfectly cooked. Pork belly put it over the top. Good hearty portion.

We also had the chicken drums. Nothing out of the norm, but still a well-made chicken drumstick.

They've since obtained a beer + wine license. I'd love to go back to try their desserts. And I've had their sweet potato tots before, and please be aware it is good for the entire table, like 3-4 people! Addicting!

Cons: Difficult parking, fairly noisy, crampt picnic table style seating.

Jan 25, 2013
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopalito, Chocolate Lab, Marcella's Lasagneria, SF report w/ pics

Great write-up! Thanks for the tips about Chocolate Lab (sounds like dog breed, no? hehe) and Lasagneria. Both on my to-do list now! I really haven't explored too much of Dog Patch/Potrero area, but it seems to be the latest up n coming!

Dec 30, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Ticket sales for Le Dîner à San Francisco - October 19, 2012

I was completely enthralled by this idea last year when I heard it hit US soil for the first time. Then I saw SF (and several other cities) had an unofficial movement. I think it's officially recognized by the real LDEB this year, but it has lost its charm on me. It's supposed to be this amazing French exclusive secret. Now that it's spread to 5 continents w/ 12 cities in US, it's just another flash mob to me. Not silly, just not as special?

And correct me if I am wrong, but did the original Paris movement charge or provide tables/chairs? I thought people just stormed a landmark and set up shop. Just seems less magical when it's more commercialized.

But the first time I saw photos of LDEB in the Louvre Courtyard, it was like a movie come to life! Nothing can beat a backdrop like the Louvre or Notre Dame!

Have fun! Hope weather cooperates. Any guesses as to where in SF this year?

Sep 14, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Pretzel Sausage/Hot Dog Buns?

This bakery supplies them to several farmer's markets http://www.esthersbakery.com/buy.htm Give them a call if they sell Pretzel Rolls.

Sep 14, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Brit chef visiting California! wanting to buy cool stuff to take home.....

How about a bookstore all about food? Omnivore Bookstore sells a lot of hard to find, vintage recipe books and general books about food. They sell new titles too, of course!

http://omnivorebooks.com/

Sep 10, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

LA Hound looking for SF Chinese Restaurant recs

Dong Bei Mama in the Inner Richmond (an easy bus ride from J-town, take the 38) is a hidden gem. North Eastern Chinese cuisine. They have several brothy, hot pot dishes served piping hot with burners underneath.

The online menus aren't reliable (NO, they are not a kung pao chicken type of place), so here are a few recs that I enjoyed. Beef pancake roll, napa cabbage & pork belly stew (delightfully sour!), the cold pig head appetizer (found in the back counter). Their dumplings were fine, but that region isn't so well known for dumplings really.

If you can communicate in Chinese, I hope it's mandarin because they don't understand Cantonese at all. A lot of mainland China tourists stop by here... seemingly they pre-order for the huge bus group. May be good to check out what they're eating and follow suit.

Also another favorite is San Tung for Korean-Chinese cuisine. Long lines, everyone loves their dry fried chicken wings.

Sep 07, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurant Recommendations for First Time San Francisco Visitors

All good suggestions by goldangl95 and most I would recommend myself.

For Brunch:
Brenda's French Soul Food (expect a 40min wait, but it's good stuff!)
Zazie
Prospect (good for dinner too)
The Butler and the Chef (their croque madame/monsieur is insanely good!)

Aug 28, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Dong Bei Mama update [San Francisco]

Did they say why? I really liked their pressed pork head cold dish. Sort of like head cheese but not pickled nor does it have that gelatin.

I'm still fond of their pork & napa cabbage dumplings but do remember to order them steamed and not boiled! The skin bloats so it becomes too doughy.

May 18, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Del Popolo Pizza Truck -- Anyone Tried It?

Had it recently at the Sidney Walton Square location (Jackson & Front St.), which I hear will be one of their regular spots.

The $7 price is their "beta" price... sort of like a trial period. I am guessing they will up the price soon as they officially launched on May 15th.

I thoroughly enjoyed the very fresh ingredients... their mozzarella was exceptional! Sauce was a bit standard but still of good quality. They don't skimp on the basil, which I love! Crust, well... it's really a matter of preference, but Del Popolo's crust is chewy, doughy. Not a crispy part on my pie. I think I would have appreciated a 1-2 more minutes in their amazing wood burning oven. The size -- frisbee size. Good portion, barely finished 3 slices, gave 1 slice to a co-worker.

There was hardly a line but I still waited about 10 minutes. Not horrible at all, but I cant imagine how much longer it'd take if there was a line 20 people deep. There are 2 cooks rolling out the dough constantly and a 3rd guy on the lower level (yes this rig has 2 levels) taking orders.

The truck itself is a sight to see... really cool how they outfitted one side with all glass... it really is like a mini chef's table, but all they make are pizzas. :) Heard it cost $180K + to build!

May 16, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot & Grill, San Mateo

Goji berries, jujube fruits, ginger, garlic, & a dried date. This usually would help a hangover. Haha

Dried goji has a bitter taste to it, but when cooked for longer it gets more and more so. Usually dumping in the meats and vegetables sweeten up the broth for me. Should have asked for more broth refills to dilute it. The Spicy is good! Really good kick to it! They also sell Little Sheep broth (in both flavors) at 99 Ranch if you want to have this at home. It comes as powdered form and you just add water and all the other fixin's.

Feb 01, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Xiao Long Bao options in the City?

I remember Old Shanghai being the only restaurant in SF that made true XLBs until all these other ones popped up. They were quite large and needed a few bites to consume one dumpling. They were very good flavor wise, but I forget how the skin fared. Stopped going there because I thought their prices were too high.

My fav is still Shanghai Dumpling Shop in Milbrae.

Feb 01, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

30th birthday dinner help! need hip trendy and fabulous food!

How many people in the party? Prospect fits the bill too, and I've seen a large party of 10+ in the back space. Food is above avg, drinks are very well crafted.

I've never been to 25 Lusk but have heard the same as everyone.. mediocre food with a swanky interior. I'd consider that as a post-dinner drinking spot instead.

For seafood, try Anchor & Hope

Jan 31, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for lunch only M-F restaurants

Little Skillet, chicken n waffle place by AT&T park (though they are open for Sat lunch too)

John's Snack Deli is ookay... you probably heard of their Korean Burritos, but the textures of the filling is all weird for me. And they don't steam their tortillas so they come out dry.

Jan 31, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Superbowl Sunday

Ace's is a NY bar. Reading the Yelp reviews and it seems they offer free BBQ on gamedays!

Jan 31, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Xiao Long Bao options in the City?

Kingdom of Dumpling or King of Noodles. Same owners so same XLBs. The latter having hand pulled noodle options.

Jan 30, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

unique uni

I loved SPQR's twist on carbonara. Smoked fettuccini, sea urchin, smoked bacon, & quail egg. Creamy and the uni flavor is very prevalent throughout the dish. A real wow factor between me and my dining partner.

Jan 13, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Cocktail Bars

Totally recommend Smuggler's Cove as well. It is unassuming from the outside. It's not really a speakeasy, but the exterior has large blacked out windows with a red light in the entrance. When you enter, you really do get transformed into a pirate ship.

Drinks are unique and carefully blended! It made me a rum converter that's for sure.

Jan 13, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Cocktail Bars

The main room that requires reservation allows you to sit and enjoy your drinks in a more private setting. You get your own booth or table and even a cocktail waitress to take your orders. I found the library to be crowded, loud, and you can only get your drinks at the bar on one end of the room. And generally it is 3 people deep!

I'd also recommend B&B's bar within a bar called Wilson & Wilson. Another speakeasy, reservation type of place. Even more quiet than B&B's main room and they serve a prix fix menu of drinks. Ala carte drinks can be ordered too of course! I'd say they serve the same menu as B&B and likely a few more unique drinks too.

Jan 13, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

cocktails near Le Méridien

Rickhouse - crowded financial district type of bar. Dark, dim, trendy. Great, well-made cocktails... sort of the type where you call the bartenders mixologist.

I will second the Aventine rec. A lot more casual and hidden.

Jan 06, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

What's the word on Kirimachi Ramen on Broadway? [San Francisco]

I went yesterday and was quite smitten at the whole setup of the restaurant. Kirimachi and Easy Creole have a nice joint venture here. They both share a fairly small kitchen and each have their own side of it, that includes sides of the stove top too! Both had equal amount of customers, but felt Easy Creole did a better job at "selling" their food by providing samples and chopping it up with those standing in front of the counter in the midst of deciding.... Do I feel like Asian or Southern? (though fair to say it is impossible to provide samples of ramen hehe)

Anyways... I ordered the tonkatsu ramen ($10) and had to wait 10-15ish minute for it. I felt that was rather long time to prep a bowl of ramen. It comes with 2 chunks of cha siu, wood ear mushroom, scallions, fish cakes, bean sprouts, and a soft boiled egg. Pros: The noodles had a good bite to it, meaning not soggy and limp (like you'd get from your typical dry packaged ramen). This alone makes it an exceptional bowl of ramen. The soft boiled egg is perfection... the white was firm and springy, but the yolk was still completely runny, which I loved! Mixed in with the broth, it gave it an extra richness. Cons: Wasn't overly thrilled about the cha siu... a bit overcooked. The tonkatsu broth was clean, but felt it could have used a bit more porky flavor. I think I would have enjoyed the Sapporo because I like a rich miso broth. And overall it was slightly underseasoned.

All in all, a fine bowl of ramen. Better than most in SF, but certainly not as good as the San Mateo joints (Santa, Dojo) and no where near as exceptional as the San Jose ones (Orenchi, Santouka). I'll go back to try the Sapporo and report back if that fairs better.

Jan 06, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area

Outer Sunset: What to Eat and Where?

Cajun Pacific

Gene's Liquor, your usual corner liquor store, serves really great subs! Think Submarine Center, but w/o that awesome bread. And this is kind of random, but they guy who makes the subs makes it really, really neatly.

Polly Ann Ice Cream. Spin the wheel!

Jan 04, 2012
Keesey in San Francisco Bay Area