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SFBA Dish of the Month Nominations (June to December 2015)

LOCAL SEASONAL STONE FRUIT

May 21, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast near le Meridian? [San Francisco]

A long time ago I had breakfast at the hotel, the corned beef hash with eggs was excellent. This isn't a dish I eat regularly, but it still stands out in my memory as my favorite version.

May 13, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Peony has them, three per order. They are large, with lots of pork and cabbage filling. Wrapper was not too thick, had good texture, filling was on the sweet side. I would say there are no major problems with this dumpling, which places it above average in terms of dumplings I've tried at restaurants. I would eat it again (I usually avoid them at restaurants). Joy's version is still better but it's in a different style and league.

May 09, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

I buy frozen dumplings at Tian Jin Dumpling in Oakland Chinatown. I boil mine but it is possible to pan fry them, I haven't tried them pan fried but perhaps someone on this board has.

May 09, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for Best Yogurt in the Bay Area

I gave Noosa a try. Fruit is very high quality, which I really like. The yogurt itself is a little thinner a not as smooth and rich as Liberte, so for me I still prefer Liberte. The available flavors at the local Whole Foods has really decreased. It's down to strawberry, blackberry, coconut, and vanilla.

May 07, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Khao-man-gai in San Francisco?

Hawker fare has a location is SF. Haven't had one at a restaurant that was better than homemade.

May 03, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Papaya Salad: SFBA Dish of the Month April 2015

The one time I had green papaya salad in Vietnam, it had the little beef jerky bits and the sauce was made from sugar and fish sauce. It was not spicy at all, had no herbs, and the shape/texture was very different because the papaya was uniformly shredded into angel hair size pieces. I was planning on trying the green papaya salad at Tay Ho (Vietnamese) in Oakland, but both times I went in April, it didn't fit in the context of the meal.

May 03, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles - Oakland Chinatown

Soft beef rice noodle soup?

May 01, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles - Oakland Chinatown

I noticed they've expanded their menu yet again, they now have a beef noodle soup and a chicken/mushroom noodle soup. In the picture the beef looked like thin slices, like the kind you would use for hot pot. One mushroom was clearly enoki but I'm not sure if there are other kinds that weren't visible in the picture.

There are also some rice dishes too...

Apr 30, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month (April 2015) - Nominations/Voting

I'm wondering if there's a sampling problem that needs to be addressed.... 2-5 nominations each month with a handful of votes to win.

First of all, I'm grateful to hyperbowler for organizing each month and do not want to create any additional work (or pretend that I know what will work better). One suggestion, which you can take, leave, or tweak, is to vote for DOTM every six months or every year. Everyone can propose as many dishes as they want and cast as many (or few) votes as they want. Top 6 (or 12) dishes win. Or you could say that any dish receiving more than 15 votes (or whatever threshold you pick) wins and are the next DOTMs.

Chowdown at Grocery Cafe, Oakland [Burmese]

Wow, what a feast. Three hours of steady paced eating, it was like Thanksgiving.

Tea and ginger salads were good, I would order those again. Great texture, although not as bright or as herbal as other versions I've had.

I generally stay away from mohinga because I dislike the thickness and uniformity. This version was brothy with little chunks of fish, noodle, etc. it was like a mini bowl of fish noodle soup, yum!

Samusa crust was light, filling was flavorful and tamarind sauce was perfect. One of my favorites.

Pork and lamb were both good but were not revelatory simply because there are similar dry curry dishes at other SE Asian restaurants.

The catfish was excellent, another favorite. Great texture, perfect chili sauce.

The only dishes I wasn't too fond of were the seafood with opo squash and the oxtails. The spice combo of the oxtails didn't work for me, and I didn't like the texture of the squash even though opo is my favorite squash. I prefer it silkier, the texture was a little coarse.

The small fried fishes in chili (part of the small little plates of appetizers at the beginning of the meal) were great too. Spicy, dry, and a little sweet, perfect for snacking.

Apr 08, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Best HK Milk Tea SF?

I am not a milk tea drinker per se, but I am a fan of tapioca milk teas. Of the tapioca places I've tried in the Richmond and Chinatown, my favorite milk tea is the shop at the corner of Broadway and Grant. Their tapioca was so-so but their milk tea was pretty good, the richest I've had. The caveat is that I've never had milk tea without tapioca (and ice) so my knowledge of milk tea is limited and skewed.

Apr 06, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Hopscotch (Oakland)

I finally had a chance to try it, and after all the raves both on this board and off this board I was underwhelmed. Black cod was no better than we make at home, and one dish was too salty. Whatever the organ meat terrine was was too sweet. They also didn't have white rice. Even though they are not exactly a Japanese restaurant, it's odd that they would spell tempura correctly and not have a pot of white rice in the kitchen. On the positive side their dishes are interesting, just the execution was lacking.

Mar 30, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Sliced Meat for Hot Pot in East Bay or SF?

Yes, sacha/satay.

We cooked everyone's egg whites in the broth with the noodles at the end.

Mar 30, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Sliced Meat for Hot Pot in East Bay or SF?

I don't usually shop at Won Kee but I will check it out. They have our favorite sesame crackers so it's likely their selection is bigger than some of the other stores. I'm not Cantonese so I suppose the style of hot pot I'm used to is slightly different. Growing up we had fish balls and shrimp dumplings that look like tortellini. Sauces really vary too I have discovered from going to various restaurants. I like a raw egg yolk, soy, and satay paste. My dad used to add greens onions and ginger but I thought they were too overpowering.

Mar 28, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Haven - Oakland

Best incarnation yet. The food was very sophisticated, well executed, interesting and delicious. Breaking bread course consisted of at least 8 different items that were 1-3 bites each. All were good and most were excellent. Favorite was the pate. Main course and sides also impressive. I enjoy eating so many different dishes in one meal.

Weakest course was dessert (not surprising). Despite this, looking forward to returning.

Mar 27, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Downtown Oakland Lunch Spots [split from Stag's Lunchette thread]

My pizzas had a normal amount of cheese but it's possible their food is still uneven since they haven't been open for very long. I like the food at Desco but rarely eat there because it is full service, more expensive, and my favorite items (pasta) don't fill me up. I can get takeout from the places at Swans market, including Hen House. Haven't had the pizza at Desco yet since I am a sucker for fresh pasta.

Mar 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Downtown Oakland Lunch Spots [split from Stag's Lunchette thread]

A few updates to this thread:

Hen House is now in Swan's Market and their pizzas are quite good. I've tried the crab pizza and the mushroom pizza. Lunch special side salad for $2 extra is tasty and helps balance out the meal.

Tay Ho, one of my favorites dine-in places, has started offering takeout banh mi for $5. They make their own aioli and I like theirs better than BC Deli's.

B-Dama is discussed in another thread but I thought I'd mention it here for completeness.

Mar 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Roli Roti’s Porchetta

LOL. Growing up I was not exposed to fine dining, and thought that the chewier cuts were *better* than others. To me it was like getting a bonus piece of chewing gum in a superior flavor.

Mar 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Sliced Meat for Hot Pot in East Bay or SF?

Thank you for the update! The nice thing about ranch 99 is that you can find the packages of frozen shrimp or cuttlefish dumplings, which IMHO are just as important for hot pot as the meat. Haven't seen them in Chinatown, Oakland or SF. Have you?

Mar 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Roli Roti’s Porchetta

Porchetta is now available at the Friday downtown Oakland farmers market. I can't handle the line at the Ferry Building, the line in Oakland is much more manageable.

Mar 24, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Foie Gras in the East Bay

After not being able to have foie gras for some time, I would really like a seared version, served hot. Robert, it's not showing up on the Lliason menu, is it a special? Anywhere else in the Oakland-Berkeley areas? I'm surprised I haven't seen it menus.

Mar 24, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Birthday Dinner: Ame, Acquerello, or Benu [San Francisco]

Haven't been to Acquerello, but have been to Benu and Ame twice each. Benu is in a different league than Ame, I'd put it up there with Crenn. However I definitely did not feel full at Benu, the first time I went to Coi for roasted white chocolate and the second time I went to Zare for goat cheesecake.

Mar 23, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Dole Royal Hawaiian Pineapples on Clement Street (SF)

I was buying an average of one pineapple a week from BB for 6 months and stopped because half of them were brown and fermented on the inside.

My local Chinese market in Oakland had Hawaiian pineapples that were ok.

The best one I have had was from CJ Olson, sweet and sour and pineapple-y. It was also Hawaiian.

I don't use them in cooking so I seek out the low acid varieties. Maui Gold used to be the best but more recently other brands have been good or better.

Mar 17, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Tianjin preserved vegatable ...Any suggestions ? it's very salty

One easy thing to do is mix it up with ground pork and form a patty, cook it, and serve it over white rice with a side of veggies.

Mar 17, 2015
felice in Home Cooking

Guilin Rice noodle

It is possible it is related to the one in Oakland. A few months ago one of the owners told me they were opening up a South Bay location. She said the South Bay location would be different, but didn't elaborate on what the difference would be.

Mar 13, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Char Grilled Oysters Over Real Wood?

Oh yes, twice per trip! The last friend I introduced to the oysters texted me a picture a week later of her trying to replicate them at home. The friend before that insisted on getting a second round of oysters before our entrees arrived.

Mar 12, 2015
felice in New Orleans

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

I couldn't agree with you more on the Fifth Floor and Bazirgan. Even though we had the tasting menu both times they were memorable meals, excellent tartare and the most tender poached lobster I've had. I would rank it above La Folie, and well above Quince and Manresa. Speaking of tragic closings, I was really sad when I learned of the closing of Baraka, one of Bazirgan's earlier restaurants.

Still, the lack of choice doesn't bother me, I trust that the chef will put forth his/her best dishes in a tasting menu and if the meal is not memorable I won't return. My dining companions usually prefer the tasting menu as well. Whether it's the chef's ego, their philosophy, or the economics of the restaurant that drive this trend, I am ok with it. Overall I've had more memorable tasting menu experiences than memorable a la carte menu experiences.

Mar 12, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

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

I'd like to separate the "forgettable" part of the discussion from the "tasting menu" part of the discussion. A meal can be forgettable whether it's a tasting of many small courses or a more standard 3 course meal with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The forgettable-ness is really about the food on the plate regardless of the portion size. It is about the ingredients, the chef's ability to compose a dish and the kitchen's execution.

Portion size makes a difference for certain dishes that are only good as a one bite appetizer or an entree (like the guinea fowl or florentine steak), but I don't think it's a defining difference.

The tasting menu part is about choice, and for me I make my choice when I choose the restaurant, not when I arrive and look at the menu. I've only been to Cotogna for their Sunday night prix fixe because it's easier to get a reservation on Sundays, and I go to Ad Hoc about half the time I go to Napa. I've had memorable meals at both (as well as at high end places), and I think it's because they are good restaurants. Gary Danko offers a lot of choice with their menu format but I'm not sure that a meal there would be any more memorable.

I agree that there are a lot of not-worth-my-time-and-money high end French-influenced restaurants in the Bay Area, regardless of format.

Looking for Best Yogurt in the Bay Area

I second Liberte. I introduced a CH friend to it and he kept depleting the stock whenever there was a sale. It's harder and harder to find my favorite flavor, peach/passionfruit.

Mar 10, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area