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Bay Area - I need your help

Oh. It's not the price. It's the cost performance (value?), as I eat incredible food for fraction of the costs in Japan.

Two to three star sushi and kaiseki in Tokyo are about the same or less than Benu or Atelier Crenn. Even kaiseki at three star ryoteis in Kyoto cost less than Saison.

Bay Area - I need your help

Hi Oliver, do State Bird Provisions and Californio's count as quintessential SF cuisine?

Bay Area - I need your help

Will do - thanks!

Bay Area - I need your help

Gotcha. Thanks.

Bay Area - I need your help

Exactly what I'm looking for!

Bay Area - I need your help

I am for sure eating more than one burger, so Citizen's Band is now on the list - thank you!

Also, I should be embarrassed I didn't know of Bar Crudo already. It's been around since 2005 and even if I did move away in 2000, I should've been aware. For shame! Thanks!

Bay Area - I need your help

FInally, input for the North Bay! Thank you so much. I'm ashamed to say I don't really know that area well and know I'm missing out on a lot. Especially in Sausalito and Marin.

MH Bread & Butter looks delicious. I am excited to go. Thank you!

Bay Area - I need your help

Thanks for chiming in re: pho and Bò 7 món. So glad to hear Anh Hong is still good. I've never been to Pagolac so it totally works for me.

I love Cowgirl Creamery! I used to live down the street from Murray's Cheese and they carry Cowgirl. Looking forward to their grilled cheese.

Roam Artisan, Hog Island, Mission Cheese - done and done. Yeah, I'm not really in the mood to stand in line. Appreciate the feedback!

Bay Area - I need your help

I never thought of going to PPQ outside of the chili crab. Curry chicken pho. Yum. Thanks so much!

Bay Area - I need your help

I am the worst - typos are forever cramping my style. Apologies, greyelf.

Happy hour beers and a burger is music to my ears!

Bay Area - I need your help

Believe me, if I could, I would make them at home.

Tokyo's French style bread and pastry game is on point: baguettes, croissants, etc. but sourdough, rye, even regular rustic breads are really bad. They aren't widely available and the bakeries that do carry them are out of the way and the breads are way below average, borderline inedible for someone raised Stateside.

Tartine was supposed to open soon (following Blue Bottle and Dominique Ansel) but apparently the plans got botched. Sad times.

As for cheeses, French (Brie, camembert, mimolette, comté, bleue, the occasional rocquefort, the usual suspects) and some Italian (mozzarella, buffalo, parmesan, et al., again, the usual suspects) that are somewhat available for exorbitant prices in specialty stores. The only cheddar I've found is the 3 or 5 year sharp Irish cheddar available in American supermarkets for triple, even quadruple the price. No thanks.

Tokyo is super behind on their cheese and bread game :(

Bay Area - I need your help

Excellent. Haven't been to any of those places. Looking forward.

Bay Area - I need your help

Done. Ahhh I miss tacos and burritos so much! Can't wait. Thank you!!

Bay Area - I need your help

Amazing. This is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. Appreciate it greywolf!

Bay Area - I need your help

American Grilled Cheese Kitchen - thank you. And noted!

OliverB and soupçon -- I've been abroad for two years and haven't returned Stateside since I left. I go to London a lot but the mac-n-cheese and grilled cheese aren't the same there. U.S. preparations suits my palate more.

Tokyo does many things right. The things I've listed are not them. I'm missing grilled cheese so much, I watch the grilled cheese scene from "The Chef" for a cheese loop and the crunch from the grilled bread fix.

Bay Area - I need your help

Wow, all places I've never heard of! Thanks so much.

Bay Area - I need your help

Hello and thank you for your feedback / input in advance. I am planning a trip to the Bay Area and looking for the latest information on food.

Where are your top recommendations for:
-- carnitas
-- carne asada
-- Mission burritos
-- Tex-Mex (don't judge me, I miss the sour cream + guac + cheese combo. A lot more than I care to admit.)
-- pho
-- Bò 7 món (Vietnamese beef 7 ways -- is Anh Hong still the best?)
-- grilled cheese (nothing fancy, please. Just want a delicious cheddar grilled between excellent sour dough or rye)
-- burgers (I don't need a $60 Wagyu burger, I loved Zuni's burger. Hoping it still tastes the same.)
-- mac-n-cheese (again, nothing fancy. I don't need truffles on my mac-n-cheese.)
-- crab (PPQ and Thanh Long are great but I'm looking for a simple steamed crab with minimal seasoning. Missing the taste of Dungeness meat. Yum.)
-- pupusas if they are still a thing
-- oyster bar
-- raw bar
-- brunch (I prefer savory to sweet ex: poached eggs, eggs benedict, smoked salmon, bacon vs crepes, pancakes, waffles, donuts, etc. American style vs refined French bistro)

...as well as any and all low to mid-range foods and dishes I am unaware of. Food trucks are also welcome. I am eating the Roli Roti porchetta sandwich for sure!

Areas: SF, Sausalito, Marin, San Mateo, Palo Alto and San Jose.
Sadly, I'm not making it out to the East Bay this time.

A few background bits for apt recommendations:
- was raised in the Bay - San Mateo - and haven't been back since 2010? Or maybe 2011ish. I can't remember.
- lived between NY and LA for 10+ years
- currently reside in Tokyo (coming on to my 2nd year)

IMPORTANT: Not interested in fine dining, sushi, Japanese and any fusion style that liberally flavors with soy sauce, yuzu, dashi, konbu, etc.

Looking forward to your recommendations!

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

Smoke as a taste is has always been a part of Japanese cuisine. Aside from binchōtan to cook meats, straw to sear amberjack tuna (katsuo on warayaki) where the chef holds the fish on a rod and cooks in the flame, flames are used to sear fish and meats (aburi) -- in modern times, a flame torch is used. And many other incredible techniques that aren't coming immediately to mind.

I read a little about Chef Joshua Skenes playing with fire and smoke. I picture his technique more like Francis Mallman's (but in a more civilized manner).

As for the price points, I definitely agree it's a once in a lifetime meal and experience as the foods are more creative than repeat foods, if that makes sense (like Alinea and noma).

A huge part of me thinks I should skip fine dining and just load up on burritos, pho and American comfort foods. I really, really, really miss good burgers and grilled cheese.

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

If it's locally sourced, why is it so expensive?

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

Just out of curiosity, why did you choose a José Andrés establishment? Have you eaten at any of his other places? (Bazaar, Zaytinya, Minibar, etc.)

Where did you eat kamatoro in the U.S.? Kamatoro served raw *and* with truffle oil is a culinary crime.

>And also, perhaps let's keep the Jiro SF pop-up separate from Saison's main restaurant. FWIW, I think Saison is a better high-end dining restaurant than Jiro SF is a sushi kaiseki restaurant.

Yes, just used it as an example for rare and or Japanese ingredients flown in, but not worth the $. The location of the popup was just a coincidence.

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

Do you mind sharing your Instagram ID?

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy early summer, June 2015 edition! [Old]

Can not agree more. His knife skills are on a different level. His hand motions are so elegant and soothing. I watch a lot YouTube videos of Fast Food My Way. Love the ten second tips at the start of the show.

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

Exactly -- and not because I live in Tokyo but because it's so silly to assume foods and ingredients taste better because they are specially flown in. Like Masa in NY, totally not worth the $500.

I also wrote this in the Jiro Lin's popup thread: $320 for tasting + sake pairing and the ayu he serves is not okay.

Fresh and high quality ayu should stand on its fins like this ↓
http://www.chowstatic.com/uploads/2/3...
(It's a touch hard to tell but look closely

)

Jeremy Lin's ayu looked like this ↓
https://instagram.com/p/2onoprCdwU/

Great to hear Atelier Crenn is good. I saw them on Instagram too and they are off-putting. The menu makes zero sense and their food (to me) is very reminiscent of René Redzepi's: a tiny protein with a bunch of moss or leaves or flowers.

Benu it is then (if I can book seats). Thanks for the input.

Traveling to Paris and London

Loving that Le Creuset post! Thanks for sharing. His blog completely eluded me.

Jun 23, 2015
MonaNomura in Cookware
1

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Are you serious?! Which airline was this?? That's like a 12 hour flight!

Jun 23, 2015
MonaNomura in Food Media & News

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

That's the one thing I'm terribly concerned about -- feeling ripped off -- especially since Benu and Saison raised their prices.

As for Monsieur Benjamin, though I am sure the food is tasty, I reckon the food resembles Bouchon Bistro or Bar Bouchon so I'm not too keen to try. I'd rather have a Mission burrito, Vietnamese beef 7 ways or even pho -- things from SF I really miss than classic French bistro food...

Adding Commis to the list too. This is great, appreciate the recommendations.

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

This is excellent feedback. Thank you. Bar Tartine is on the list! As are House of Prime Rib, Zuni and Nopa for nostalgia sake (I hope they're still good...) Adding Cockscomb and Kronner.

I'm actually in the Bay Area for a few weeks but looking to have only one expensive meal. Benu it is then!

Traveling to Paris and London

I still stick with my original answer: mustards, bouillons and jams. Even packaged soups -- they're so great. Most aren't sold abroad (I grew up in the SF Bay Area, lived between LA and NYC for 10+ years and moved to Tokyo two years ago).

Cookware / bakeware sold at outdoor markets. They aren't name brands but bakeware especially come individually sized so they tuck into the nooks and crannies of a suitcase. Also reasonably priced!

Jun 23, 2015
MonaNomura in Cookware
1

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Traveling to Paris and London

Okay! Thanks for the clarification!