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Thai Noodle represents sugary, flavorless Americanized Thai food at its worst

yes, that is exactly what happened to me. I should have stuck with the fried rice...that is a hard dish to render inedible. I was so cold and so excited about warm coconut milk though! And yes, berkeley is amazing in terms of food selection, but after 9:30 everything closes! Are there any places that are open late that AREN'T horrible college food? Because I might end up ravenous after a long bike ride in downtown berkeley at night again, and I will never go back to Thai Noodle!

Feb 04, 2011
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

great mole in san francisco?

I know, i know its not in SF, but La Hurache Azteca on International and 38th in E. Oakland has the most incredible mole. They have a mole sampler, where they will give you 3 kinds of mole, really delish beans and a fat stack of warm, handmade tortillas. Its so incredibly good. If you like mole, I would HIGHLY advise a trip there. As good as any I ever had in the D.F. in Mexico. Its also BART accessible, just don't go after dark if you are walking. In the daytime though, its perfectly safe and a really wonderful experience. Fruitvale in general has such excellent Mexican food :)

Feb 04, 2011
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

Thai Noodle represents sugary, flavorless Americanized Thai food at its worst

um, not really. Cause i went to Yelp and there were all these people who were like "5 stars! My favorite Thai restaurant ever! I LOVE THIS PLACE"

I'm wondering exactly WHAT anyone could enjoy about Thai Noodle

You ever been?

Feb 04, 2011
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

Thai Noodle represents sugary, flavorless Americanized Thai food at its worst

Yesterday, I went to two Thai resturants. The first was an intentional trip to Ler Ros Thai, which as many chowhounders know, is the most amazing Thai resturant with incredible, complex flavors and commitment to authenticity.

Unfortunately, I also went to Thai Noodles yesterday as well. This was not planned, but a long bike ride after dark turned out to be longer than expected, and we got to Berkeley past 9:30 and absolutely starving. Thai Noodle was the first place we saw that was open, and I remebered reading favorable Yelp reviews and decided to try it.

I ordered the pumpkin red curry. It was absolutely horrible. It was obviously extremely watery, and when I first tasted it, it was overwhelmingly and disgustingly sweet. It was like sugar water with a bit of coconut and yellow coloring. I asked for fish sauce, and through the liberal application of dried chili, fish sauce and vinegar I was able to make it edible. Keep in mind, I had just finished a 30 mile bike ride and was absolutely ravenous, and it still tasted horrible.

Once I got the flavor to a decent (though not good) point, I then tried the pumpkin. It was barely cooked. I couldn't eat it. The bell peppers were essentially raw. And sadly, the pork was overcooked. I don't understand how you can create a dish that is simultaneously undercooked and overcooked, but they managed it. I would have sent it back but I was too hungry to wait so I just doused it all in sambal olek and ate it. The rice luckily was edible.

I also tried my companion's dish, he got thai bbq over rice. It tasted like bad Chinese food.

Overall, I would say that this place represents everything that is bad about Americanized Thai food. I would never, ever go back here. I also don't understand all the positive reviews on Yelp. I guess Americans love bland, sugary food.

Has anyone had a positive experience here? This place should be avoided at all costs if you are a foodie!

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Thai Noodles
1936 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Feb 04, 2011
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

HOW TO COOK A GOOD STEAK WHEN THE GRILL ISN’T AN OPTION

THIS IS THE BEST THREAD EVER! I just made really, really delicious steaks for the first time using the sear and broil method :). I used a freshly ground black/white peppercorn and salt mixture, rubbed it on room temp steaks and then put copious amounts of butter on them when they went in the oven. SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS. The boyfriend was extremely happy

Feb 01, 2011
wokwok in Home Cooking

Ropa Vieja Cuban Lunch Special at Mikey’s in San Rafael (and ex-Mambo’s Cafe chef found)

Woohoo! That sounds amazing! I'm cuban, and definitely am going to go check this place out. I also lived in Peru, so a place that serves both of these cuisines sounds like heaven. FYI, the sandwich with pork and ham is a Media Noche, not Cubano, sandwhich! glad you are all enjoying delicious cuban food :)

Jan 31, 2011
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

Sweet Fingers review: Jamaican in San Leandro

Oh man! I'm a new poster on here, I definitely mean Sweet Fingers in San Leandro...oops! Looking into fixing that

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Sweet Fingers
464 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94577

Dec 05, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

Sweet Fingers review: Jamaican in San Leandro

After soliciting chowhound knowledge on the best Jamaican/Cuban spots in the Bay, I tried Sweet Things tonight. I only tried two dishes, as I went with one other person and they didn't have patties, which was kinda sad.

I ordered the goat curry, my companion got the jerk chicken. Both plates came with a side of red beans and rice and plantains.

The goat curry was...everything I hoped it would be. Tender, slow cooked goat, seasoned very well. I adore goat curry and this was definitely as good as anything I've had in Florida. The goat curry I had in Jamaica was superior because it was fresh butchered goat, so I'm not comparing it to that. Very satisfying dish, though I did wish it was a bit spicier.

The jerk chicken was also very good. Tender, juicy, falling off the bone. Complex and rich flavors in the sauce. Very enjoyable. Also could have been spicier, but I'm a total chilli freak so I bet it would be better at the spice level it was for most.

The plantains were very good. But its not hard to mess up plantains. The side of red beans and rice was solid. Not thrilling, but a solid back up for the very good dishes.

Overall, I was very satisfied and am planning to trek out there again to try the oxtail and lamb stew. I would recommend this place to anyone hoping for an authentic Jamaican experience.

Has anyone else tried anything here?

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Sweet Fingers
464 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94577

Dec 04, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

Its not heretical at all to make at home! Especially if you want to actually enjoy good cuban food here. And yes, the way the pork is cooked makes all the difference in the world!

Dec 04, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

why haven't i spent time in oakland's chinatown before? new gold medal, shanghai, and yuen hop noodle co.

Does anyone know where to get a Thai stick rice steamer in Oakland? I've been to four or five grocery stores/kitchen ware stores and haven't seen one. I've mostly gone to the Vietnamese/Thai markets over in East Oakland, has anyone seen this in Chinatown? Or anywhere? I need sticky rice!

Dec 02, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

Hum yes and my grandmother is Cuban/Puerto Rican so I've had the best of both worlds my whole life. Thats why I turned to chowhounders...i can't stand sub par food when I can just make it WAY better at home!

Dec 02, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

I think I might pass on the Cuban places, I am just so spoiled by grandma's food and the level of restaurants in Florida that I will probably be happier if I just satisfy my cravings at home. Judging from the feedback on this thread, i don't know if any of them will satisfy me.

I have heard great things about Sol in San Rafael. As far as the Jamaican, I am going to investigate this weekend and post back. I am not nearly as much as an expert on Jamaican cuisine, but I have had a lot of VERY good Jamaican food so i think I can critique it to a certain extent.

Dec 02, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

You don't NEED a sandwich press. It helps, but my grandma made cuban sandwiches that were incredible over a camp stove in a frying pan. I think a lot of it is the bread, Cuban sandwiches are supposed to be made with Cuban bread, however you can't really find that outside of the East Coast. Its very different than a bagette for instance. That and it needs to be the right kind of pork if you are making the traditional Media Noche, it has to be Lechon Asado which is made with a mojo marinade.

Dec 02, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

Wow. Peruvian/Cuban/Puerto Rican food ALL IN SAN RAFAEL? I think I am going to have to pay a visit. Thanks for the tip!

Dec 02, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

Ohhh I biked by there the other day. The S.O. really wants to try Jamaican food so I will try this out. And then maybe post a review :)

Also, I love chowhound! I'm new to the site this is awesome!

Dec 02, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

Sadly it seems that you are right. I guess I will just focus on the amazing food we DO have here and get my fix in Florida! I wanted to make one last attempt to find good food before giving up!

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

And as for Paladar is SF....I checked out there menu and don't see myself getting there before 3pm on a weekday. Their Saturday menu seems to be composed of Cuban inspired California fusion food for the well-heeled Financial District crowd...a lemon shallot vinaigrette is NOT authentic Cuban! Has anyone tried this whole in the wall on 24th St past Capp in the Mission? The menu says they have Puerto Rican and Cuban food, but I wanted to ask someone before I tried it

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

If they changed owner and chef then I will try it out. I will also post reviews on the Cuban and Jamaican places I try, as I have had very good authentic Jamaican food on the island, at great restaurants in Florida and in my friend's houses.

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

Hum I will check it out. The star anise is probably a Havana invention due to the large Chinese presence there. I'm fine with a small menu if what they have is good.

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

What's missing in SF?

paladar you say. How good is it? Will it satisfy a very picky and discerning Cuban who has been spoiled by my abuela's food my whole life? Also, have you had Cuban food in Miami to have something to compare it to? What have you had there? Thanks!

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

What's missing in SF?

there is NO DECENT CUBAN FOOD. I'm cuban. From Florida. I cook. My grandma cooks. I don't even want to TRY a place out of fear. What places have you tried? Is there anything good out there?

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

I just got jerk chicken and plantains at that spot in Berkeley under its old name. As I mentioned bad plantains and the jerk chicken...honestly it tasted like some stuck chicken legs in a crockpot with cajun seasoning.

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

I'm going to search the board now. Do you know if the restaurant changed hands? Flavah Island Cafe? Cause that is the bad place that I went to

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

I actually tried the place on San Pablo, at that point it had a different name. i don't know if the new name means better food, but apparently bigwheel042 liked it. I don't know if I would try it again, plantains are so basic and easy to make well that if a restaurant's plantains aren't good, then I don't trust anything else they have.

And sadly, the Cuban sandwich or torta, that many of you are familiar with in the bay as a staple of Mexican resturants is in no way, shape or form Cuban food. I don't know why its called that. I had never seen one in my life before coming out here!

Thanks though! And yes, the Bay is MUCH saner than South Florida. That's why I am here!

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

Hello fellow food lovers. I moved to the Bay Area from Florida, and LOVE the food options out here. However, there appears to be almost NO Caribbean food here. I'm Cuban, and have eaten a LOT of very good Jamaican food, and so I am wondering if there are good restaurants that serve these foods in the Bay Area? Preferably in the Oakland/Berkely/Emeryville region or in SF?

I really don't want to be disappointed, which has been my experience with Jamaican food here and I haven't dared try Cuban because my standards are really high. The one Jamaican place I went to was so bad...the plantains were very dry and obviously old....that right there is a crime in my opinion.

Is there anything out there? Or should I just wait for visits to Florida and keep cooking at home?

Thanks!

Dec 01, 2010
wokwok in San Francisco Bay Area