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Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

The mass-produced mystery-meat logs are an American thing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/din...

about 14 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Bar Tartine, Nick Balla era [San Francisco]

Tried a couple of new-to-me dishes. Schmaltz with paprika is a great spread on regular Tartine bread, kind of like ajvar. Chicken liver and buckwheat dumplings in paprika sauce, couldn't taste the chicken liver but it was delicious, not very similar to anything I've had before.

about 15 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Maruya on 16th, best sushi in SF?

I think if you get the Masa Hide omakase you can ask for anything you want from the list I photographed. Or maybe you can just order a la carte, period, I didn't ask. Note that I split the list into two photos to make them readable.

I think the botan ebi were the only item I got two of. The fried heads were another highlight.

about 16 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

best meat carved from a vertical spit in SF

Shawarma, gyros, al pastor ...

My favorites are Tacqueria San Jose by the 24th St. BART station and Truly Mediterranean.

about 17 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Tasty Falafel sandwich at Sabra Grill

General discussion of where to find the best falafel:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/29912

Only one mention of Sabra, lots of Oasis Grill.

about 17 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

falafel?

My new favorite is Mediterranean Wraps in Palo Alto.

about 17 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

Standard wine markup here is still 3X wholesale = 1.5X undiscounted retail, just like it was in 2008. (Markups are often lower on >$100 wines and older vintages.)

The New Yorkers who bought Tosca are trying to get away with NY markups, we'll see if they have any better luck with that than Nieporent did.

about 17 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

They're celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, so they've had a lot of time to accumulate bottles.

about 17 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Tasty Falafel sandwich at Sabra Grill

If I were going there I'd tell them it was my first visit and ask for the combination plate.

about 18 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Tasty Falafel sandwich at Sabra Grill

Sabra Grill probably gets cut some slack since it's the only kosher restaurant in SF except for a vegan Chinese place in the Richmond.

about 18 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

I thought gyros = shawerma and souvlaki = kebab.

about 18 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Maruya on 16th, best sushi in SF?

I had a great meal last night. Ordered the Masa Hide omakase, which has a few set items from the kitchen and as many nigiri as you like. Standouts were super-fresh Mendocino uni, a cured fish something like saba, and something seared with a blowtorch just before serving.

I sat at the counter right in front of the chef so had the optimal experience. He said he gets 80% of his stuff from Japan and was talking about how important it is that the fish is killed properly and eaten after the optimal amount of time for the species.

They have an "orange" Vermentino by the glass that goes really well with sushi. Ten pieces and three glasses of wine came to $165 before tip.

I haven't been to enough of the top places to rank it, but it was some of the best sushi I've had. I'll have to go back and ask him for a more esoteric selection.

about 18 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

When I go to Italian places here with my NY friends they always remark on how much lower the prices are.

When Drew Nieporent closed Rubicon he told Michael Bauer one reason was that San Franciscans wouldn't accept the steep wine markups he gets away with in New York.

http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

about 18 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Chez Panisse: Lunch vs Dinner?

If you eat everything that's put in front of you, downstairs is the best value among high-end restaurants in the area.

If you're a vegetarian or gluten-free or whatever, go upstairs. It's also one of the nicest places for lunch in the East Bay.

about 18 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

I'm not recommending Perbacco only because of one dish. The salumi platter and cheese plate (one of the main reasons I go there) are the best in town, they're great at pastas, seafood, vegetables, and braised meats, they have great wines by the glass, and service is correct. You can get similar meals in NYC, albeit without the Piemontese focus, but they'll cost you a lot more.

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

To me, shawarma and gyros are as different as Greek coffee and Turkish coffee.

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Bay Area Check Please: Perbacco, SF; Old Skool Cafe, SF; Federicos Tapas & Wine Bar, Union City

The menu at Federicos sure is all over the place.

http://www.federicostapas.com/tapas-m...

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

This seems like a good deal for any restaurant that consistently turns away walk-ins at the relevant times. If Table8 sells a reservation, they get $10 pure profit on top of whatever the party spends.

I'm curious how last-minute they really are. Do they release the tables 15 minutes before? An hour?

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

That's Oasis Food Market. The house-made pita are the best I've found short of being made to order, sometimes they're still warm. The shawarma is pretty good and 100% lamb instead of the bland lamb-beef combo most Greek places do.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6482...

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

The best souvlaki I've had in the Bay Area is the al pastor at Taqueria San Jose. You'd have to bring your own pitas.

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

The point isn't to define anything, just to decide where to eat. When I'm traveling I go out of my way to get dishes I can't get at home.

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

Acquerello's list is a couple of orders of magnitude longer. Perbacco's by the glass menu is better, but you might get some special old wines as part of the pairing at Aquerello.

http://www.perbaccosf.com/menus.html
http://www.acquerello.com/wine_list/w...

about 19 hours ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

Maybe they do it occasionally, but there's no mention of it on salumeriabiellese.com or biricchino.com, or any trace of it that Google can find besides that one old NY Post mention.

There may not be enough New Yorkers who aren't freaked out about raw pork to allow anyone there to offer it every day.

1 day ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Ran Kanom Thai Noodle - San Pablo

The change of ownership is from Straw Hat Pizza, the former tenant, to Ran Kanom.

2 days ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

That was at the branch in Parma.

2 days ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Pathos in Berkeley makes pita fresh to order. Kokkari might.

Bread made to order is common at Indian, Pakistani, Persian, Afghan, and Turkish places.

2 days ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

When I'm in NYC I seek out regional Chinese cuisines that are not available here. The wide variety of regional Chinese cuisines that are available here just makes me that much more eager to fill in the blanks.

2 days ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

Wrong region.

2 days ago
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

I don't think either Perbacco or NOPA is particularly original or only-in-SF as regards atmosphere.

Apr 16, 2014
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

To me, NOPA is fairly similar to Zuni, only more casual (not that Zuni is formal), more of a pub-like atmosphere, maybe a younger crowd. Classic California cuisine in the Chez Panisse tradition Daniel Patterson was railing against before he opened Coi:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/06/sty...

Apr 16, 2014
Robert Lauriston in San Francisco Bay Area