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One night in London--eating alone--where to go?

I have one night in London (a Sunday, so no St. John's) and am looking for a fund place to eat alone without totally breaking the bank. Let's say under £100.

Sep 10, 2014
Kmanlove in U.K./Ireland


I pretty much do what rockycat does. Chop up fat and skin, add a couple tablespoons of water and then render slowly on low heat. Be patient and after a while, all the water will boil out and the bubbles will become much smaller and the fat will become a clear golden color. When this happens and the skin just begins to show any color, I add a sliced onion (1 per 5-8 lbs of fat) and then when the skin and onion are golden brown, I take off heat and strain (preferably through cheesecloth but I don't always bother). It last forever in the freezer and for months in the fridge. And with the onions, it gives a delicious hint of sweetness to whatever you cook. I use it for eggs, potatos, pan basting a steak, brussel sprouts, etc. And the best use is as the secret ingredient in fried matza for Passover. Use it to fry the matza then add an extra dollop right at the end. And of course--save the skin and onions. Gribenes are amazing. If they aren't crispy enough, slowly bake them at 250 until they crisp up. These can also be frozen. Once crispy, they are great on their own or as a replacement of lardons in anything (good on salad, in lentils, in scrambled eggs). Here is a photo of my last batch of gribenes.

Oct 26, 2012
Kmanlove in Home Cooking

How do you keep your schmaltz?

I just rendered 15 lbs of chicken fat to give as gifts! As folks have said, once the water boils out, it can last for a long time in the fridge or even longer in the freezer. I also add onions to the fat which gives it the most amazing flavor (and extra gribenes to boot). I then use the fat for everything: scrambled eggs, searing steak, sautéing veggies and the best: matzo brei. Matzo brei fried in schmaltz is the greatest. I also throw the gribenes into lots of dishes: eggs, lentils, etc.

Mar 09, 2012
Kmanlove in General Topics

Homemade Sausages at Valley Ford Market [Bodega Bay]

Quick update for an old thread. Went here today on way back from Mendocino and bought some of their home made smoked salmon and beef jerky. Both were excellent, especially the jerky. Best jerky I have ever had. Smoky, a touch sweet, not too salty. Even better than Angelo's.

All Seasons in Diamond Heights--really good take out dim sum. How is the restaurant?

For the past few weeks, we have been getting the take out dim sum from All Seasons on Diamond Heights. The restaurant used to be Yet Wah. The take out dim sum is great, much better than usual take out dim sum. Very good Har Gow, stuffed with a few fat shrimp each. Really good beef balls and tasty char siu bao. Has anyone tried the restaurant either for dim sum or dinner?

Yet Wah Restaurant
2140 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

All Season Restaurant
91 Drumm St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Roast Duck Lai Mein (Hand-pulled Noodles) and Wonton Mein @ Mr. Fong’s BBQ and Noodles (Daly City)

On Melanie's advice, I trried this place after dropping off my wife at SFO. Delicious. Had the Roast Duck Lai Mein and pan fried radish cake in XO sauce. I found the noodles had some chew, but by no means an expert on these, so not sure if they had enough. The duck was really flavorful and quite meaty. The radish cakes seemed to have been deep fried, not pan fired and then tossed with XO sauce. While I might have rather them not being deep fried, they were delicious. Nice spiciness and funkiness from the XO sauce. On my way out they brought out a fresh whole roast pig. Too bad I was stuffed because it looked great with a beautiful golden skin. Does that crispy skin stay crispy if you take it home?

Benu reports? [San Francisco]

My wife and I somehow scored reservations for Friday night. We were quite excited to try the place and expectations were high. I can’t really fathom the pressure Corey Lee must have been feeling. Our expectations were exceeded and we had a fabulous meal. Overall, we were pretty blown away. The flavors were interesting, varied, and crisp. Each dish gave us something new and delicious. Perhaps we had a few quibbles here and there, but no dish disappointed and we felt the quality/value ratio was quite high (we did a la carte--3 dishes each plus a shared dessert). We would definitely go back (though perhaps next time for a special occasion and not just on a whim).

The long report:
Before we get to the food, a shout out to the service. Pierson, our captain, was wonderful and answered our myriad questions. Michael, the sommelier, also answered all our questions and spent a good deal of time talking to us, which was nice given we were just ordering a few glasses of wine and nothing too fancy. The rest of the service team was great as well—just enough attention and the right amount of description of the food. You knew what you were eating but didn’t have to sit through a lecture for each course.

We opted to go for the a la carte menu as there were a few items that struck our fancy and the tasting menu seemed like a ton of food. Pierson told us that the portions were small and the menu set up so that each person could order an appetizer, a pasta, a fish and a meat. We decided to each order three dishes instead of four and that turned out to be the perfect amount of food.

The amuse was a dashi broth with a tomato water sphere (the only bit of molecular stuff I saw in the meal) and some tomatoes and cucumbers. It was a really refreshing taste, almost like essence of gazpacho.

For the first course, my wife ordered (we shared everything) the lobster bouillon which had a béarnaise custard, some tarragon, some veggies and a few pieces of perfectly cooked lobster. A spectacular dish. The most lobster-y broth I have ever had and the custard was a great way to make the dish more substantial but not heavy. I ordered the sweetbreads. These were perfectly cooked with a delicious lemon caper butter sauce with some cauliflower florets. We love sweetbreads and these did not disappoint.

For the second course, my wife ordered the risotto with black truffles and sea urchin. This was delicious and rich. There was some corn in the risotto which was gave a nice hint of sweetness. My only issue was that the truffles overpowered the uni a bit, but I therefore just had to enjoy the uni on its own. I ordered the sablefish. The plating of this dish was remarkable. It looked like a miniature forest thanks to the beach mushrooms. The fish was cooked perfectly and the sake broth was delicious.

For the third course, my wife had the lamb, which was 2 lamb chops (1 bone) that were marinated for a day (according to Corey) in citrus, apple and some other stuff and then pan sautéed. They were extraordinary—perfectly cooked, great lamb flavor. It came with nice slices of garlic sausage and some perfect potatoes as well as some succulents--who knew those were edible and tasty. I ordered the beef rib cap. The chef swore this was not done sous vide, but I am not sure how they got these pieces of steak to be perfectly medium rare all the way to the edge with just a millimeter of perfect char. The bluefoot mushrooms on the side were great. My only issue was the beef sausage it was served with was sort of tasteless, or at least overwhelmed by the rest of the dish.

For dessert, we shared the blackberries. I can’t describe this well, but it involved berries, some cream, Douglas fir meringue (which was delicious and the second time pine was used as an ingredient), some cream and a crumble made with buckwheat and candy cap mushrooms. I was quite surprised with this dessert in that many times desserts at a place like this go over the edge of creativity and just aren’t satisfying. This was both creative and delicious. And importantly for us, not too sweet. A nice way to end. (besides the chocolates which were also delicious).

22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

ISO schmaltz

You should think about making it. It is really easy and lasts forever in the fridge. I order chicken fat and chicken skin (for gribenes) from Bi-Rite or another good butcher. Then let melt and simmer till it golden and pretty clear, throw in a sliced onion and let it simmer until the onion and skin are crisp (being careful not to let the onion burn).

Incanto's Head to tail Dinner 2010

I actually thought the whole meal had some italian by way of China aspects. The first dish was like the spicy Yak or beef or mutton/mint dish from Western China. The second dish like congee, the third like some of the cold sliced meats in Shanghaiese cuisine, the fourth like a good Taiwanese fish soup. And perhaps the dessert crust was even like the flaky pork pastries.

Incanto's Head to tail Dinner 2010

To add to Robert Lauriston's write up in another post, here is my take on the Head to Tail dinner:

The first two dishes were definitely the stars. Venison pluck is the heart, liver and kidneys (no lungs anymore--it is illegal to sell lungs). Heart is really one of the best organs, probably my favorite, with kidney being a close second (especially after Sarah and my successful first attempt at deviled lamb kidneys a few weeks ago). The sauce was quite spicy with some delicious onions and a bunch of fresh mint. The onion ash was literally onion ash, and added a nice bitter counterpoint to the dish. Mint is really a great herb to go with strong flavored meats, and is quite traditional in Asian cuisines. Sarah and I had some great Yak sauteed with mint leaves in Yunnan province in China and we are both excited to try the lamb with mint at Little Yangon (Burmese restaurant in Daly City). I wonder why it's such a successful pairing.

I wish I could eat the next dish for breakfast a few times a week. The server said it was an Italian take on congee, and I buy it. A porridge of day old foccacia crumbs cooked in pork stock was topped with a blood mousse, a slow cooked egg ad shavings of the pork liver. Sounds weird, but the combo worked. The pork liver was really amazing as it had this deep smokiness, almost like shavings of bonito flakes. Perhaps Namu should start topping their Okonomiyaki with this. The blood added a mineraliness as well as richness, and is thee any dish that a soft cooked egg doesn't improve?

The terrine was a delicious meaty terrine. Thin sliced on a salad, great flavor, a nice break from the richness of the previous two dishes. I was a bit disappointed that the beef lips didn't add texture to the terrine the way pig ears do to a head cheese (I can't believe I just wrote that sentence). I wanted something with bit of bite or chew.

The final savory dish was a delicious. light fish broth (though a tad over salted) with cod milt (it is the opposite of cod roe), cod tongue (actually more like jowl), and cod stomach. This was my least favorite dish. I liked the milt and the tongue. The milt has a texture like sweetbreads and a nice flavor. The tongue was chewy and meaty. The stomach wasn't to my liking. A bit too gelatinous. It even made me a bit squeamish.

Dessert was a real mincemeat pie--actual lamb meat with raisins and other fruits in a heavily spiced mixture. Think fruitcake with meat. A delicious crust (had to be made with suet) was on top along with a nice scoop of ice cream. A fitting end to a great meal.

The only downside of this meal was how they ordered the dishes. Chris wanted go heavier to lighter, and while changing it up that way was interesting, I think mixing the heavier and lighter dishes would have been better, though perhaps that is just because I liked the first 2 dishes the best. Regardless, a fabulous meal and great company! Looking forward to next year's.

Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

Little Yangon
6318 Mission St, Daly City, CA 94014

New: Great authentic Beijing cuisine in San Francisco

We also had this dish recently. Quite good, though probably won't make it onto the rotation. The noodles were not chewy enough for me.

They also have some new steamed dumplings as a special which were delicious. Ork and either green bean or carrot. We got half and half. These might just make it onto the regular rotation.

For the record, the rotation is:
Jing Dong Pancake
Three Flavor dumplings
Cumin Lamb
Spicy cucumbers
The fish in the red boiled sauce

Little Yangon, Authentic Burmese in Daly City

We just went tonight and also had the Shan noodles. Delicious. I thought of them as a lighter Dan Dan noodles with rice noodles. We also had the chicken coconut soup, paratha with chicken curry and tea leaf salad. Everything was great and the owner is so nice. We look forward to going back and trying other dishes, especially the lamb kebab. Also, the roasted pepper condiment they have is amazing. I hope they start selling that.

Golden Mall update - interesting lamb soup at Xi'an stall and a good zha jiang mian at lanzhou stall

My wife and I made it here last week. The soup was great! Reminded me exactly of the soup I ate in Xian.

Jan 04, 2010
Kmanlove in Outer Boroughs

Golden Mall update - interesting lamb soup at Xi'an stall and a good zha jiang mian at lanzhou stall

So excited to hear that soup is available at Golden Mall!! I had that soup in Xian and loved it. The squares are actually pieces of bread. In traditional places, you would rip it up yourself, unless you are white, in which case they assume you have no idea what to do with it (correctly) and rip it for you.

Dec 27, 2009
Kmanlove in Outer Boroughs

Outer Mission taco win!

On a lovely walk from Glen Park to Bernal Heights, we walked into a supposedly no name Mexican butcher (Yelp says it is called Carnitas Sandoval) at 3723 Mission St. The awning says Carnitas and Chicharrones, which is what peaked my interest. In the steam case was a delicious braised beef dish, so we got a single taco for $2.50. I think at least half a pound of meat was piled on two griddled tortillas and it was delicious! The beef was rubbed with a thick tomato and chile sauce and then they put some spicy salsa on it and that was it. Definitely going to head back for some carnitas and some of the other meaty goodness they had in the trays (no idea what it all was).

Shanghai Ming Zhu - Balboa Park

Sarah KC and I went the other night. Had crab and pork XLB, Dan Dan noodles and Homestyle tofu. All in all, we were not so impressed but I want to give it a few more tries. The XLB had some good crab flavor, seemingly from some crab butter or roe given the bright yellow of the soup. they were quite juicy, but just not flavorful enough. Will need to try just the pork next time. The Dan Dan noodles were different--more soupy with a very thin noodle. Good flavor though. The tofu was good, nothing special. I would like to try some o the Shanghaiese specialties, especially the eel dishes.

So far, Beijing Restaurant is head and shoulders better from what I ahve tried, but willing to give it another go. Would be great to have more authentic Chinese in the neighborhood. Now all we need is a great Sichuan place nearby,

Where can I get good challah bread in San Francisco???

If you are in GP, I highly recommend trying the Destination Bakery challah. IMHO, much much better. I do like Canyon's other breads though. (And their tortilla chips!)

Destination Baking Co
598 Chenery St, San Francisco, CA 94131

Shanghai Ming Zhu - Balboa Park

Wow! "seriously tolerable" XLB so close to home! Thanks for the report. Can't wait to try.

Where can I get good challah bread in San Francisco???

So glad you like it! I think it is one of the best I have had in the U.S.

Where can I get good challah bread in San Francisco???

Destination Bakery in Glen Park makes a truly incredible challah. It has a perfect texture and taste: just the right amount of chewiness and sweetness. And it is pareve (no butter--some bakeries like Noe Valley cheat and use butter). Every once in while, the challah is a bit dry, but I would say 90% of the time it is fabulous. (And pick up a great pie when you are there)

Inexpensive canning jars [Moved from Home Cooking Board]

Does anyone know where you can get Weck canning jars?

Where can I find steamers?

Thanks for correcting me chefj! You are right--we want those soft shell clams. Wikipedia says they are invading beaches in the Pacific--but is anyone harvesting them? Might have to go mail order.

Great Al Pastor at Chavez Market in Sunnyvale

Had to get a smog test today so used it as an excuse to actually get lunch away from my boring corporate cafeteria. Had a Al Pastor quesadilla at Chaves Market on Fair Oaks in Sunnyvale. The meat was delicious and the real thing--vertical spit right there in front.

What other qood taquerias are around there?

Rye Bread in San Francisco

Unfortunately can't report on any of these great suggestions, because my parents brought some from Boston. But thanks for all the tips!! I definitely want to try some of these russian bakeries.

Rye Bread in San Francisco

Something that resembles the Rye at Langers in LA would be perfect!

Burritos in Ingleside/Mission Terrace/Excelsior

Went to Guadalajara. It was great. Had carne asada and cabeza. The cabeza gave it this great real meaty flavor. Might go just cabeza next time. They also have this spicy carrot and onion slaw that went really well with the burrito. Oh yeah, and the burrito was enormous. Still have half of it left.

Burritos in Ingleside/Mission Terrace/Excelsior

I have recently moved a bit south from my former home in the Mission, so I need some new taquerias. I am sure there must be some good ones around Ocean or Geneva, but just not sure which ones. Any ideas?

Broken Record--the bar/restaurant, not me repeating myself

Now I will start sounding like a broken record. This place is great. Had another brisket sandwich, as well as the buffalo wings and collard greens and biscuit. Everything is delicious. The wings were big, crispy and spicy. The collard greens were the best I have had. I can't believe this place isn't more popular for the food. It should be on everyone's cheap eats list. Can't wait to return more times. Hopefully the stupid zoning laws won't hurt their chances of survival.

Broken Record--the bar/restaurant, not me repeating myself

So I guess I didn't search enough:) It has been mentioned a few times. Anyway, it is great and people should go there. And the bartender says he makes a great Sazerac, so even more reason for me to return. Now, what else is great in the Excelsior? (And do you call it "The Excelsior" or just "Excelsior"?)

Broken Record--the bar/restaurant, not me repeating myself

After tips from Yelp and Tablehopper (where was chowhound?!?), we went to Broken Record in Excelsior last night. While mainly a bar with an incredible selection of whiskeys, ryes, scotches, etc., there is a kitchen in back knocking out some great bbq sandwiches and other delicious food items.

We had a pulled pork sandwich and a bbq brisket sandwich. Both were great. I am sure some bbq sticklers will call fouls all over the place, but whatever, the sandwiches tasted great. The pork had a really tangy slaw (they even call it "tangy slaw") and a nice vinegary sauce. The brisket was cubed, not chopped and had a nice red sauce on it. The rolls are even homemade. We also had brussel sprouts and mac and cheese, both of which were very good (the brussel sprouts were better then the mac n cheese). Finally, we had vanilla bean pudding with pecan pie bits and bruleed bananas. Yum!

The kitchen is run by a young couple who have had previous stints at Boulevard, campton place, Firefly, Range and some other places. they also have oyster po boys, various sausages like rabbit, wild boar and alligator, and a few other things. We can't wait to go back and try the rest of the menu.

Broken Record
1166 Geneva Ave, San Francisco, CA