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Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

Your's looks so yummy. I wonder if they had a different chef when I went. Ours looked anemic overall in regards to toppings. Shrimp were decent sized but I had to hunt for the chorizo. It was chopped up and I think mixed in. Clams were tiny and dry and no soccarat in sight.

about 5 hours ago
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

I just had the paella at Coqueta last week. Very tasty, but I don't think would serve 2-3 people (per the menu) as a meal even with a few tapas. Shrimp were tasty but almost overcooked (not quite rubbery) and there were 6 anemic clams. Not sure if I would order this again for $45 and no soccarat. I haven't tried B44 but took a look on Yelp and one person said the paella was good but complained that there was a lot of rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. Soccarat?

Claypot Rice in SF Chinatown?

There's a restaurant on Grant that "specializes" in claypot rice. It's called HK Claypot. There are a few other restaurants that have claypot rice on the menu but I haven't had claypot rice in Chinatown in a few years and don't normally eat there so I can't remember them offhand.

If you're in the Inner Richmond try out Claypot House. In addition to claypot rice they have lotus leaf rice. I like the eel, the pig's tongue with preserved veg and other standards like frog claypot, chicken claypot and preserved meat claypot.

Feedback on New SF app - Go Dish

I've used GoDish since the very beginning and I love it. I don't think I'm the target the restaurants are really looking for as I'm probably not the demographic they're looking for and wouldn't normally go to these restaurants but when I don't have lunch and don't feel like Chinese food this hits the spot but want a deal this hits the spot.

The only caveat is when the deals come up they don't seem to be in any order. It would be great if we could search within a zipcode. I'm at the north end of FiDi and there a lot of scrolling thru SOMA deals.

Oct 13, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Abalone?

When we were kids, we would get canned abalone all the time. They were caught and processed in Mexico. It's been a long time, but it was really sweet although it did have a slight metallic taste. I would think more then than now, since the cans are BPA lined nowadays. I've never seen it in sauce but of course I've never looked. In Chinatown around NY, I did remember they had cans of abalone right by the register but I just assumed it was the standard salt, water and abalone I was used to from childhood.

How expensive is the canned abalone with sauce?

I don't think they cook it before canning for the plain abalone. Cooking is part of the canning process.

Best Asian in San Francisco

Hmm, something to keep in mind for a late night snack. I love my fried foods.

What about dim sum though? We had the ha gow, siu mai, turnip cakes, custard buns (not lava, they don't have those), bbq pork buns and a lot of other steamed dumpling items. I don't remember what else. I just remember the ha gow skin was think and it stuck to the pan and the turnip cakes were mushy.

Sep 30, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Asian in San Francisco

Just wondering about Ton Kiang. We used to love their dim sum about 15-20 years ago even though they didn't have some of the traditional stuff we like (Phoenix Claws, tripe etc.). I remember their dumplings wrappers for the ha gow being so thin it was translucent and very tasty. What is good there now?

We went with family for CNY and nothing was very good. Okay, but nothing to write home about. I would put it about the same as takeout dimsum in Chinatown or lower. My son embarrassed me by saying "it sucks" really loudly.

I haven't been to HK Lounge in a while, but I used to like them quite a bit. They were much better when they first opened and has more unusual dim sum than the last time I went.

Sep 30, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Dinner near Chabot Space?

We were desperate for food one night coming out of the Chabot Observatory and ended up at Sparky's. http://www.yelp.com/biz/sparkys-oakland

It might have been because we were starving, but I thought it was a pretty good burger. I got the 4oz and all the boys got 2 4oz patties. We inhaled them.

Sep 24, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Whole pig dinner similar to Incanto?

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Sep 18, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Whole pig dinner similar to Incanto?

Yes, the special order whole pig for private party.

I'll have to check out Oliveto and Hopscotch.

Where will the new CC restaurant be?

Sep 17, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Whole pig dinner similar to Incanto?

We never had the opportunity to try Incanto's whole pig dinner. Is there anyone else in SF doing something similar?

Sep 15, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

What to do with beef heart?

On the most recent Master Chef the guy from Texas seared a chunk and sliced it. He treated it like it was a chunk of prime rib. The middle was rare and Ramsay and the other 2 raved about it.

Sep 12, 2014
jzc in Home Cooking

4 nights in San Francisco - any recommendations on where to eat?

I would recommend La Fusion. The menu isn't as extensive as La Mar, but their entrees are solid and the ceviche is good and it's not as expensive as La Mar. Arroz con pollo to die for.

Slanted Door gets a lot of love on this site, but I've been several times (not on my dime luckily) and have been disappointed each time. It's been a several years and doesn't have anything to do with the authenticity or lack of. It's more it was noisy, expensive (Slanted Door for lunch for 5 people was around $130-160) and the food was tasteless. The shaken beef sauce was cloying and the beef had the mushy texture and no beef taste, the crab and cellophane noodles had canned crab and everything else was blah. I asked for chili sauce and fish sauce and the waitress was blank.

Has it improved since then? Did I just go when the chef had a cold and couldn't taste?

For Thanh Long be sure to make reservations. We had reservations and still waited 45 minutes. If you're looking for crab, I found PPQ on Clement to be friendlier and just as good although not as fancy.

If you're big eaters I don't think Slanted Door or Thanh Long will fit your budget.

If budget is a concern, I recommend Barbacco for dinner.

Sep 11, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Basmati rice in rice cooker

I use my Tatung classic (water is inside and outside of the rice pot). For me, after washing several times I add water that is 1 more than the amount of rice I measured. Ex. If I measure 3 cups of the rice cooker cups then I add water to the 4 water mark on the pot. I also add water to the 4 for the outer part. For regular long grain rice and Japanese rice I use the suggested measurements on the side of the pot, but for Japanese rice I soak for 30-45 minutes before I put it into the pot and cook it. Soaking time depends on how old the rice is.

Sep 08, 2014
jzc in Home Cooking
1

CSA Reviews

The next time you get a melon, you can test the ripeness before you cut into it. Press the part of the melon that was connected to the vine. If there's some give it's ripe. Also smell the same area. If it's not ripe, leave it on the counter until it's ripe. You can do the same with a watermelon. If they picked it really early it might take a while. I've bought a melon (water, golden, etc.) that was "ripe" but I wanted it riper and left it out for 2 weeks before cutting it open. If it's already really ripe, then if you leave it out you run the risk of it starting to ferment or dry out.

Sep 08, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Anywhere to buy Oatibix in the Bay Area?

Call Fresh and Easy and see if they have it. I saw some British brands there not long ago.

Sep 05, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

CSA Reviews

This is a little off topic. I don't subscribe to a CSA presently, but did pick up a Mariquita Mystery Box yesterday. I subscribed to Mariquita for a while, but there were just too many potatoes for us. We aren't a potato family and it seemed each week there were potatoes. We only subscribed for 9 weeks so maybe it was the season for them.

Yesterday my mystery box contained, about 2 lbs of Gala apples, a container (like 16 oz strawberries come in) of mixed heirloom and cherry tomatoes (so sweet), a 4lb bag (size of the paper bag not weight of the tomatoes) of really ripe mixed tomatoes, 3 purple onions, a huge bunch of oregano, a large bag of orange beets, 1 bunch of chard, a large bag of tomatillos, Bulgarian carrot peppers, bag of Romanian peppers (sweet), a bag of Alma paprika, a 2 lb bag of baby russet potatoes.

Mariquita doesn't usually have much fruit if any in their weekly deliveries and there is only 1 size so I really like their mystery boxes as I seem to get some extras not in a regular box but they only come once a quarter to my neighborhood. I also bought a flat of strawberries for $28 and 12# of dryfarmed early girl tomatoes for $15. I had subscribed to another CSA too and I notice that there doesn't seem to be much green leafy vegetables in any of them.

Sep 05, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Murray Circle recently? [Sausalito]

My hubby and I just had dinner there on Wednesday to celebrate our anniversary. Service was good. Ambiance was good. Staff was friendly overall. Maybe it was just me but I thought the waitress was giving us a bit of side eye when we said we wouldn't be ordering any wine. This was before we ordered our food. After we ordered our food, she was much friendlier. We ordered a dozen oysters (good, but pricey and at $32 not worth it, but hey it was our anniversary), 2 orders of the marrow bone app, a salad, an entrée and I had the 3 course prix fixe. The bread is addictive but I forgot the marrow bone came with brioche (yummy) and orange jalapeno marmalade. My first course was day boat scallops. Seared to perfection and I think the best I've ever had. Very rich as it was swimming in butter. My second course was tagliatelle with confit duck egg, cream/cheese? and duckskin cracklings. Yummy, but with the apps and the bread I only had a couple of bites. Also very rich. I would have preferred a lighter sauce for the pasta. My husband ordered the beef medium rare and it was perfect. Very flavorful and not over seasoned so you could enjoy the beef taste. They even cut the 2 beef medallions into a heart shape for our anniversary. :-)

We would go back again. We didn't get a chance to walk around, but it was very serene with a view of the bridge and the bay.

Sep 05, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

STUFFED VEGETABLES! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2014)

I recently made stuffed hairy squash. I don't know what happened to the picture on my phone. It's a long squash so I cut it into 2 inch sections and the radius was about 2 inches too. I stuffed it with minced pork, minced rehydrated mushrooms, minced wood ears, grated some ginger, salt, white pepper, minced dried shrimp, chopped cilantro and soy sauce. Steamed it for around 10 minutes and made a oyster sauce/corn starch/chicken stock gravy to pour over the top.

My pastor made stuffed papaya. It was stuffed with small cooked shrimp, peas, celery, either a cream sauce or mayonnaise, topped with cheese and put in the oven so the papaya was warm and the cheese melted. It was a great first course.

Khao Mun Gai

Is it the same as Hainanese chicken?

Sep 03, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Asian Noodle Shopping Guide

Fairly comprehensive but left out "nian gao" or rice ovalettes.

Aug 22, 2014
jzc in Food Media & News

Food crawl in Excelsior District this Sunday - all are invited

Darn! I would love to come but have a prior commitment. Next time.

Aug 22, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

I was down in Foster City for a seminar and a friend suggested we go to Cooking Papa. I hadn't been before and jumped at the chance. Meh. Decent but didn't live up to they hype IMHO. Someone ordered the zhong. I was excited to try it after another friend had raved about it. I think it was $5 or more. When it came, we all kind of looked at it and someone made the comment that it looked like it had been dropped before they put it on our plate. It looked like it had been flattened. Maybe they steamed it after taking off the bamboo leaves. The rice was too soft and the grains ran together. I'm thinking they soaked the rice overnight. Flavor wasn't bad. Heavy on the soy. I didn't see any mushrooms or salted duck egg. Lots of lotus nuts (weird to me). After everyone was done I poked through what was left and deconstructed it. There was a chicken bone in it. I think they use the leftover roasted meats in their zhong. There was some roasted duck and roast pork.

In general the food was meh. I wouldn't make a special trip for it.

Coincidentally, I was ordering lunch from the chicken pho place on Noriega on Sunday so I went in and picked up some zhong from 3 Star. They are smaller than last year's but still fairly large. Good flavor. I shared one with my eldest so by the time I got to it, there was only peanuts and rice. I had spotted a nice piece of side pork in it, but don't know if there was a salted duck egg or mushroom. It was $2.50 a piece.

Aug 18, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Recent comparison please, Great Eastern or Bund Shanghai [San Francisco]

My hubby loves goon tong gao 灌湯餃. HK Lounge on Geary used to have the best ones with shark's fin. It's still good, but it's filled with a small whole abalone as well as minced pork and I think rehydrated mushroom and fish maw. I think this was better than Koi Palace's version. We had this recently in Vancouver and it had fish maw (quite a large piece) with minced park and dried scallops. The broth was a "superior" broth with shredded ham.

Aug 06, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best way to reheat cheong fun, leftover from dim sum?

Steaming is best but you have to be careful not to over steam or it disintegrates when you pick it up. Microwave is okay too, but cover it so it doesn't dry out.

Aug 06, 2014
jzc in General Topics
1

Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice - SF Dish of the Month (Oct 2012)

This is the only version I've had so it's my standard. It's always a favorite. The skin is crispy and the sticky rice rich and flavorful. I don't remember there being much meat aside from the leg and the drummette. I think the chicken is incorporated into the stuffing. I had this in May and it went quickly. We were hosting family from HK and they had never heard or seen this dish before. I'm replying so late because all of a sudden I had a hankering and did a search to see if any fellow Chowhounders had attempted to make this.

Jul 17, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Homemade Frozen Dumpling close to Palo Alto?

OT: When I first read your post, I thought a lao wai po isn't a Chinese grandma but an American one. Then I realized I was thinking laowai po instad of lao waipo.

Mandarin isn't my first dialect, would you call all grandmas lao waipo? In Cantonese, we would say popo or lao popo.

No Sundried Tomatoes at Costco??

Is that directly from Bella? I didn't see the 35oz size listed on their site, but it's on the Amazon site. When I enter 6 for my shopping cart it adds $12.46 a jar.

Did you just send an email to them to order?

Jul 11, 2014
jzc in Chains

No Sundried Tomatoes at Costco??

Yes, it's not Amazon. I was trying to see if being an Amazon Prime member would bypass the shipping but no such luck.

It's also $12.46 PER jar not a case. Ridiculous.

Jul 11, 2014
jzc in Chains

East Ocean Seafood in Alameda, state of play?

Since you were at Cal, maybe you meant HK East Ocean in Emeryville? The East Ocean in Alameda seems kind of far if you were in Berkeley.

Jul 09, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area