felice's Profile

Title Last Reply

Buma's (former Marrow, Oakland)

Do you know if there is a delivery charge?

Jan 26, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa is accepting reservations [Los Gatos]

Hooray for new sommelier!!! During our spring 2014 dinner there our pre-meal conversation with the previous sommelier was memorably terrible. I couldn't believe how bad it was.

Jan 22, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Kauai trip report - Jan 2014

A few things to add for January 2015:

Tomkats is renovating their kitchen and has a limited menu during renovation.

Island tacos in Waimea were very good, we liked the shrimp better than the ahi.

The fruit stand across from Island tacos in Waimea had excellent fruit drinks/smoothies. I had mango/passionfruit and my husband had pineapple/coconut/passionfruit and they were both delicious. Perfect ratio of ice to fruit, nicely blended and really hit the spot after Waimea canyon.

Jan 21, 2015
felice in Hawaii

Po' Boy @ The Chef and Her Farmer (Oakland)

Have you had the bistro salad at Miss Ollie's? Exquisite oysters beautifully fried and the rest of the salad plays a supporting role.

Po' Boy @ The Chef and Her Farmer (Oakland)

My opinion is similar to karenfinan's. Great fries, need higher oyster to bread/slaw ratio.

Jan 16, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Red Velvet Cake in SF (or in South Bay)?

My favorite is Cupkates, they have trucks that sell in SF and red velvet is one of their staples. The cake part is really moist, which I think is a challenge for cupcakes since they dry out more easily than a standard size cake.

Jan 14, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

French Fries: SFBA Dish of the Month December 2014

Agreed on the Cafe 15 fries, I always get them.

Jan 13, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

1.5 days in Napa - Please Narrow this Down

I like Terra and am a big fan of Ad Hoc. Ad Hoc's salads have been excellent every meal I've had. With that said, you don't get to choose your food there, so if ribeye steak is on the menu you are stuck with it. 4/5 times the dessert is phenomenal too. The other 1/5 times it just hasn't been to my taste. Entrees are solid but have always involved meat, not seafood. The restaurant is well run, the 10 of us had a three course brunch on New Years days and were in and out in an hour fifteen without feeling rushed.

Jan 08, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

One-month Mark at Spoonbar in Healdsburg: Great Cocktails, Inconsistent Cooking

Yes, that's the name! They must be making a comeback.

Jan 08, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

One-month Mark at Spoonbar in Healdsburg: Great Cocktails, Inconsistent Cooking

Our service was not great either. There were no major mistakes but they fell behind in refilling our water glasses, to the point where our canteen of water was empty and our two glasses were almost empty.

We ordered two desserts and didn't love either of them. One of them was described as a cake but it had the texture of a dense brownie. We ate everything else on the plate and left the cake part behind. The other dessert was much better, and contained a sesame meringue as the garnish for the main component, which I forget the name of, but the waiter described it as a light version of panna cotta. Only this main component turned out to be more of a whipped mousse (yes, I realize that mousse is already whipped, this was even more airy). I liked all the components of that dessert but wish they were present in different proportions - more of the delicious sesame and less of the mousse.

Our favorite dessert of the trip was at neither Meadowood nor Spoonbar, it was at Ad Hoc. A Meyer lemon pudding with Chantilly cream. As an aside, I really cannot keep up with all the names for different desserts. The pudding was actually called something else, which I had to look up on Wikipedia, and I have already forgotten the name of it. These days if I have a question about the menu, 95% of the time it has to do with an unrecognizable dessert. And if the waitstaff can't describe it correctly, then I think I'm ordering one thing and receive something else.

Jan 08, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

AS B-Dama [Oakland]

I sat at the counter and watched them make the agedashi tofu, it looked delicious and thought that I must order it soon.

Jan 08, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

AS B-Dama [Oakland]

I hadn't ever been to the original B-Dama, but the new location in Swan's Marketplace is a hit. Just a few months after opening, they are quite popular during lunch hour. Both times I had the lunch set - the lure of many different dishes on a tray was just too much. But, I've been wanting to try their udon and hand rolled sushi. Any other hounds tried it yet?

The miso soup, salad, pickles (both times takuan) are all well above average, not afterthoughts. The tempura in the lunch set is not fried to order (understandable given the lunch crowd) and served at room temperature. It's the only part of the lunch set that I have mixed feelings about.

As for the main component of the lunch set, I tried the chicken karaage and grilled salmon. Both were excellent. The portion of chicken was huge and it is cooked and served bone in, which probably adds to my perception that the portion size is large.

I liked the food and am grateful for such a solid Japanese option in this neighborhood. And it's a better value in my opinion than most of the other places in Swan's. Can't wait to try the rest of the menu. If the udon is good, they will be getting most of my lunch money.

Jan 07, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurant at Meadowood [St. Helena]

We went in December 2011 and again last month, and the food and wine were considerably better. Back in 2011 the food was unremarkable, and the chocolate ribbon dessert stands out in my memory as the epitome of unremarkable. It was pretty but didn't taste much better than a good chocolate mousse. The savory dishes were well prepared but none of them seemed new. The wine pairing was fine.

3 years later, the food has dramatically improved and the wine pairing was excellent. Most of our courses were interesting and well composed. For example, one of our desserts was an incredibly creative date dish in which the dates seemed to be puréed with cream to achieve a consistency similar to red bean paste. There was plenty of date flavor but the texture was transformed. On the savory side, we had an aji sashimi that was garnished with celery (amongst other things), the celery was perfect for the dish. My copy of the menu is a few thousand miles away, but I'm not one to go into every dish in great detail anyway.

The pairings were not too predictable/canned and complemented the food. Service was excellent. I have no idea what the bill was for the 10 of us, but I'm sure it cost a pretty penny. I would gladly return and next time I'd like to sit at the table in the kitchen.

Jan 07, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

One-month Mark at Spoonbar in Healdsburg: Great Cocktails, Inconsistent Cooking

When our extended family gave us a last minute night off from the baby, it was a mad scramble to figure out where to go. It was a Sunday night, and some of our top choices weren't open or were fully booked. We ended up at Spoonbar, a place we had been wanting to try since watching the chef cook on Top Chef.

The two cocktails we had were the best I've had. Even with the rise of fantastic cocktails in the Bay Area bar and restaurant scene, these cocktails really stood out as perfect. The first was a pomelo margarita, and the second was a citrusy rum cocktail contains passionfruit juice.

The best dishes we had were the sashimi over rice and the beef rib cap with lobster sauce. The sashimi over rice was fantastic because of the grilled yuzu that the diner squeezes over the dish and the green onion soy sauce. I've had so many versions of chirashi with perfect fish and perfect rice, but this version was new and delicious. My only complaint is that the slices of fish were on the large side so I did have to cut a few of them in half with my dinner knife.

The beef arrived atop a lobster sauce that was sublime. I misread the menu and thought I was ordering a surf and turf dish, so was a bit surprised when the lobster arrived as a sauce. But this sauce tasted like the essence of lobster and went great with the beef in a way that can't be accomplished with the traditional surf and turf.

My least favorite dish was the chicken skin cracklings, which was disappointing since it was one of Melanie Wong's top bites do 2014. Our version was garnished with mole and cilantro, which didn't add much to the chicken skin and instead made me wish I was eating chicharrones instead. The dish wasn't bad, it just wasn't very interesting.

Overall we had a good meal with flashes of brilliance and phenomenal cocktails. I would definitely return.

Jan 07, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Cơm Hến, Vietnamese rice with clams. Any place serving it in Eastbay?

Tay Ho in Oakland has it, it is served preassembled. I really like it.

French Fries: SFBA Dish of the Month December 2014

I couldn't get to the place I wanted to go for fries for DOTM due to my work/lunch/vacation schedule, so I am posting about a previous French fry discovery. Back in the early summer when The Cook and Her Farmer opened, I tried their fries. If you've ever ordered the limp garlic fries at the ballpark, you might find that the fries at The Cook and Her Farmer is everything that ballpark garlic fries are not.

Dec 30, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Curry Fried Rice - Thai Taste in Santa Rosa

I suppose this thread is as good any to post a few words about the takeout we got from Thai Taste a few days ago. I didn't see this post previously, so we did not order the pineapple fried rice unfortunately.

Overall I would say the food is not as good as the better places in the city but not bad either. The quality of ingredients was above average, but the dishes weren't as flavorful as I would have liked. And then there's the Americanization (sigh) that is to be expected.

Pad Thai was fine, just as good as anywhere else with large plump shrimp. Probably the best dish we tried. Between the red curry and green curry, both were watered down (or technically coconut milked down) but the red was more flavorful than green. The green papaya salad was the most Americanized of the dishes, with the dressing off to the side instead of pounded into the papaya. They also put the salad on top of romaine leaves. Basil chicken had very little basil and large pieces of white meat chicken. It was fine as a chicken stir fry dish for people who prefer white meat over dark meat, and only as long as it's not called basil chicken. None of the dishes were spicy, which was fine because I did not ask for spicy and the family doesn't eat much spicy food.

The family loved it, which is all that really matters.

Dec 29, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Dungeness Crab Prices 2014/2015 Season

$6.50/lb at Hog Island in Marshall.

Dec 26, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Beat Seafood pizza in the Bay Area?

It's no longer on the menu due to the Drakes closure. Raw oysters are still on the menu though.

Dec 26, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Crab season is upon us

Yes, we were there the same night. We also ordered the fried anchovies, and while they were delicious, I was disappointed there weren't more anchovies. I didn't have dessert but my dining companion thought it was excellent.

Dec 24, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

7x7 Magazine Big Eat Oakland - 50 Things to Taste Before You Die

Souley Vegan is in my opinion the biggest miss on that list. It's a bad example of vegan food and a bad example of soul food.

Dec 24, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Crab season is upon us

Tried it for the first time and it was excellent, as were the sides and the crab bisque that was part of the prix fixe menu. It changed my opinion of Camino.

Dec 22, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

2014 Top Ten Tastes

Jerk shrimp, Miss Ollie's
Gazpacho Morelia, Nido
Laoyou noodles, Guilin rice noodles
Special house noodle roll, Peony
Milk tea with custard and grass jelly, iTea
Ranier cherries, Andy's orchards
Bloody mar, Manresa with guest chef
A walk through the forest, Atelier Crenn
Bone marrow dumplings, Atelier Crenn
Tempura, Atelier Crenn

Worst taste revisit: green tea Kit Kat, they must have changed the recipe, there's not enough green tea flavor and texture is chalky

Dec 17, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

I go pretty regularly. For the past few years they have only had (aside from sandwiches and salads) cookies and strawberry shortcake when strawberries are in season. Then about two months ago, apple pie was available by the slice. Last month they had a few different scones as well. Their cookies, scones, and apple pie are tasty but in my opinion they are not destination worthy. On the other hand I think their strawberry shortcake is reason alone to go.

Dec 15, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Imm Thai, Berkeley

After reading all the reports I felt I needed to get there sooner rather than later. One thing that sets sukhothai noodles apart from tom yum noodles is the sweetness from palm sugar, so I was pretty sure it was the real thing when I saw reports of sweetness.

I ordered the noodles dry style, which meant I was missing out on the delicious pork broth, but it means that the flavors are all the more intense. In Thailand the dry style noodles come with a little ball of sugar and a wedge of lime, but in this version the sugar and lime were already mixed in. I added a good dose of roasted chili powder from the basket of condiments.

Loved it, all the elements were there in the right proportions. In Thailand the flavors were even more intense, but I can forgive that since it saves me a long plane flight.

Kana moo krob was good but I still like Lers Ros' version better because it's less sweet.

Dec 09, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

TAIWAN Restaurant - Berkeley

Sad. There are not enough Taiwanese places in SF/East Bay. I stopped by to pick up half a dozen ba zang (the Taiwanese version of zongzi).

Dec 09, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Imm Thai, Berkeley

Has anyone tried it yet? I'm curious how the sukhothai noodles are. They are spicy and sour and my favorite noodles from my visit to Thailand. It's on my list but unfortunately it will be a while before I can get over there.

Dec 05, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

New Malaysian in Oakland Chinatown

Sorry, I don't know why the pic turned out small and illegible when I can see it perfectly fine on my iPad.
The only item that is a fish soup is a fish head soup not labelled as asam laksa.

Dec 02, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

New Malaysian in Oakland Chinatown

I don't think so but here's a picture of the noodle soup section of the menu in case you want to check it out.

Dec 02, 2014
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

New Malaysian in Oakland Chinatown

Tried it for lunch this week. Roti canai was very good, fluffy with some crispy bits and a tasty dipping sauce. Kang kung belachan is morning glory stir fried with shrimp paste, and was also delicious. They could have gone heavier on the shrimp paste, but that's probably just my personal preference.

Nasi lemak was the only dish I might not order again, not because it didn't taste good, but because it didn't have a large enough portion of peanuts and anchovies and no sambal on the side to make it spicy. It did include a pretty big portion of chicken. If I wanted chicken, I would have ordered chicken.

The menu includes a number of popular Malaysian dishes but also includes Thai dishes like mee Siam and Tom yum soup. That makes sense to me since the SE Asian countries are so close and influence each other's cuisines. I'll be interested to see how strong their Malaysian dishes are compared to the others.