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De Afghanan Kabob House is Baaaaaack! (SF)

+1 on the chapli kebab. Great combo of flavors, though the saltiness and charring stood out for me more than the spicing.

The Sabzi Challow, spinach dish with lamb shank served with Challow (white rice), is really good. Lamb was tender, and not too fatty or gamey.

They have two condiments. The red one seemed to be generic chili garlic sauce. The green one is a house made mix of cilantro and jalapenos. The latter is the base of a chickpea and dish I'd recommend (it's not listed on their website, but was on the restaurant menu).

about 8 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

US geography game : Bay Area restaurant edition

about 13 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

SFGate: What does San Francisco smell like?

There are many food smells that make living in SF wonderful. But the smells I most identify with SF are urine, eucalyptus, and the fennel along the shores.

Jai Yun 2015 report

Yeah, there was some confusion over the "Cilantro or celery with pressed tofu cubes" dish. The server didn't recognize the name "malantou" when I said it, and told us it was celery (she confirmed when I showed her the Chinese character for celery in Pleco). But it didn't taste like celery!

soupçon, have you found out http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1008604 where to purchase "ma lan tou?"

It was $100 per head + tax/tip and there were seven us. That included the pork shoulder.

I wonder what the critical mass is for the larger dishes? Last year, for $100 and 10 people, we got the pork shoulder and a whole fish. For a party of 14, he did the pork leg and a braised duck but no fish http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...

Pizza Margherita: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2015

Fresh mozzarella is a requirement, right?

If so, menu descriptions might be a better clue about what constitutes a Margherita compared to the use of the name, "Margherita." The cheese on Cinnecita's margherita, for example, had the look, taste, and composition of shredded low-moisture mozzarella. Elsewhere on their menu they list a "Gustosella," which uses fresh mozzarella di bufala but doesn't have basil. The latter seemed more in line with the thread.

Pizza Margherita: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2015

@ Melanie : Il Casaro is still not listed http://americas.pizzanapoletana.org/m...

@ Robert Is the diner supposed to cut it themselves?

Another margherita which suffered the sog problem was at Farina: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9869...

Pizza Margherita: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2015

A younger guy made the pie, no theatrics.

A VPN sign was outside still.

Pizza Margherita: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2015

North Beach showdown - Rome vs. Naples

= Cinnecita =

Cinnecita does what they call 'Roman style.' The square shaped margherita pizza is baked on a pan for 7-9 minutes, and its bubbles got tapped down once or twice while it cooked. The bottom of the crust had lots of brown bubbles, big enough to shame matzah.

The tapping down of the pizza foreshadowed the deflated crust, which had a top layer that stuck to the toppings, a layer of air, and a brittle bottom layer which dieters may choose to peel/crack off. The crust had little flavor overall, less so in the darker parts. The topping were fine, and to their credit, they added basil after it cooked. The toppings were uniform--- I prefer some inconsistency in to vary the flavors of each bite.

I wasn't a fan of the thinness of my last Margherita at Baonecci, see upthread, but at least their Roman style crust had complexity in flavor and the toppings were impressive.

= Il Casaro =
Moving to a Neapolitan style, I went to Il Casaro's pizza-- they are VPN certified and have the same owners as Vicoletto.

The outer crust had good flavors, kind of a cross between NY style pizza and naan. Topped with some Calabrian chili oil, it's a great snack.

The toppings were the margherita's downfall. Before I could snap a picture, I could feel that the center was saturated and limp. The pizza spent a little over a minute in the oven, and that was enough to blacken the basil to the point where it gave off an acrid taste. That, and possibly dislodged ash from the stove, made the middle of the pie unpleasant.

Thin, al-dente Asian wheat noodles, "dry" style

There are a few different type of Malaysian noodles, so I'm not sure which ones you ate. Also, local Malaysian / Singapore places are at the whim of locally available products. "Mee" is a general term that applies to yellow wheat noodles (similar to mian). Whether the yellow comes from egg or alkali depends on the type of noodle.

I don't know how Thai bamee correspond to Malaysian noodles. According to one source, they use egg and alkali (e.g., see http://www.krol.com.arwww.aibonline.o... ). However, if you look on youtube, you'll see recipes that just use egg. Whether the lack of alkali it to accommodate the home cook I don't know.

Thin, al-dente Asian wheat noodles, "dry" style

It sounds like you're looking for bamee, which use a high gluten flour, egg, and akali salts.

NEW: ShakeDown Ice Cream, SF - Interesting flavors & Buckwheat Cones w/ PICS

Apparently they do use a root beer extract, and a very good one.

Pizza Margherita: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2015

I shared a margherita (and two other pies) a few weeks ago. The crust had a good flavor and the toppings were stellar, but the crusts thinness was an exaggerated version of what I've enjoyed there in the past. The crust was like a dry cracker, thin and with no elasticity to support the toppings when I folded the slices.

Beijing Duck House (Cupertino)


A hound who enjoyed a meal here a few weeks ago told me off-line about a terrible meal here a few days back. I wonder if there is a shake up in the kitchen?

Jai Yun 2015 report

I met up with a group of six people at Jai Yun this past weekend. Excellent meal overall.. Twenty-two dishes were the same as I had at a Chowdown in Spring of 2014 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974516 , and seven were new (indicated with asterisks).

= 14 cold dishes =
Chinese broccoli
Pickled cabbage/ginger salad
Cucumber salad
Lotus root salad
Gong cai
Water chestnut salad (mistakenly called loofah) with bits of bitter melon
*Match sticks of bitter melon
*Slices of five spice beef shank
Sliced beef tongue
Slices of some kind of charcuterie
Radish salad
Cilantro or celery with pressed tofu cubes
*Vegetarian Goose
Book tripe on seaweed

= Middle courses =
Crispy fried mushrooms
*Celtuse with ginkgo nuts
Wheat gluten with vegetables
Green soybeans and tofu skin
Crystal (?) Shrimp
Deep fried taro ball with spare ribs
Crispy orange peel beef
*Okra with jalapenos and lily buds
White fish and corn and peas
Chinese-style bacon with mung bean noodles

= Final courses =
*Wintermelon with spicy minced meat AKA Hubei Winter Melon
*Chicken (?) with red Sichuan peppercorn powder
Celery with (wavy cut) Five Spices Dry Tofu
Braised pork shoulder
Crispy fried eggplant

Compared to my first meal at Jai Yun, this one had a more pronounced use of chilies, mostly red and pickled. These appeared in moderation in the cold dishes, and the heat built throughout the meal, and peaked with the "Hubei winter melon." That dish contrasted a spicy ground meat sauce to cooling winter melon and seaweed. It had chilies, no Sichuan peppercorns, and someone likened it to a Chinese Bolognese,

Some dishes had a playful match of texture, shape, and/or color. For example, the okra dish interwove slices of green jalapenos and crisp okra, and you'd have to pay attention to realize which ingredient you were eating in a bite. The white fish and corn dish had chunks of water chestnut or maybe daikon, that were cut in the same shape and had the same color as the fish, but a crunch that could be mistaken for corn.

There were a few misses, and all were from repeats of dishes I also had in May 2014. The orange peel crispy beef was a disappointment last time as well, and tasted more of frying than beef. I was pleased with the quantity and texture of the abalone, but the egg white overpowered its flavor. The gluten had some tough bits, but was otherwise light and good. There's nothing wrong with the preparation of white fish with corn and peas, but the combination of corn and peas hearkens too close to my memories of school lunchroom fare to be enjoyable.

I really liked the use of celtuse to tone down the ginkgo nuts.

The deep fried taro ball with spare ribs may have been prepared differently compared to last May, my memory and/or my report from last year may be faulty. I'd remembered the ribs last time as being sweet and sour spare ribs in zhenjiang vinegar. These seemed closer to Wu-Xi style, with a redder color and more char-siu like flavor.

Book tripe was a gateway tripe dish. It was placed on top of seaweed salad and the textures lined up--- the tripe was sliced to the width of vermicelli and crunchy

Lucky Peach has an essay about Chef Nei Chia Ji's philosophy http://luckypeach.com/the-price-of-po.... I can't say I fully relate to his vision, but I like eating at his restaurant.

SFBA Dish of the Month Nominations (June to December 2015)

Pizza Margherita is the August 2015 DOTM. Thanks to pamf for choosing the DOTM and leading the discussion! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1020769

OK Noodle in Newark

Did the vegetables have a texture in between daikon and jicama? If so, that would weigh in favor of potatoes--- they're prepared in a crunchy manner both for hot and cold dishes.




OK Noodle in Newark

Oh, nice find-- those are sour saozi noodles, a specialty of Shaanxi. They're better known as Qishan saozi noodles. How were they?

Gary soup has a nice description:


OK Noodle in Newark

Translates as mixed flower vegetable or mis-translates as "mixed cauliflower". From the looks, it mighy be potato shreds:




great spicy noodles without soup

Do you know how Sapp makes their Jade noodles? Jade Noodles incorporate spinach/kale/greens and egg, and in some recipes, alkalai water.

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Yat Sing 2 in Menlo Park has a sign on the window boasting "the best pot stickers in town." That may be true, but they're a little fish in a small pond.

They're greasy from top to bottom, and the slickness stayed as they cooled. Filling (cabbage and pork) didn't hold together. Wrapper was on the medium-thick side and uniformly so--- probably pre-made skins.

great spicy noodles without soup

Shandong's menu http://sd.222.to/p-223 lists three spicy noodle dishes that aren't soup :

SPICY MEAT SAUCE NOODLES - 炸醬麵 (zha jiang mian-- I don't recall their version being very spicy, so follow Civil Bear's advice for them to amp it up)

Sesame Paste Noodles(spicy) - 麻醬麵 (sesame paste noodles)

SZECHUAN NOODLES (SPICY) - 擔擔麵 (dan dan mian)

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

Aha--- I think he may have said "Jianshui" , a county in Yunnan mentioned here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossin...

Volunteers for SFBA Dish of the Month Coordinator (June to December 2015)

Any takers for August?

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

Maybe! He said it was a Hong Kong based chain that had about 10 stores in the US.

Yeah, Jiangxi didn't make much sense, but he agreed with me when I got perplexed and repeated it back to him in. You're probably right though.

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

Hong Kong chain 100% Sweet Cafe, which also has a place on Clement in SF now has a Yunnan mixian noodle menu. The man at the front said the noodles are Jiangxi [ed. Guangxi?, Jianshui?] style, and imported from Hong Kong. He said the Yunnan soup broth is the "cilantro and fish" but there's also a Sichuan, Thai, and vitalizing herb.

100% Sweet Cafe
205 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

Mango Garden in San Mateo makes theirs to order. The dough is crisp and translucent. Great overall, and only a bit behind Banana Island--- suffers only at the folded seams, which are rubbery. Curry sauce has complexity (toasted chilies or shallots?).

great spicy noodles without soup

Imperial Tea Court in the Gourmet Ghetto has wide, hand-stretched noodles (the only ones in the East Bay besides OK Noodle in Fremont). They're really good. Consider asking them if they can leave out the soup in their spicy pork variation--- people on y*lp complain that there's very little soup anyway so it might not impact the dish


NEW: Chino in the Mission, SF - Menu has XLB & open daily until 1AM, any reports yet?

Tablehopper reports that they are closed until August 10th and the chef is changing to Ron Pei. She says that Pei's father ran restaurant Cafe Yulong in Mountain View and will provide some guidance.


Cafe Yulong was well regard by 'hounds for their noodles http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595465 and Shandong fish dumplings http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844746

I'd be excited to see Chino up their dumpling and noodle game, and am glad to read that they're tweaking their xiao long bao. I'm disappointed that they'll no longer have the Korean rice cakes--- last Friday, a server said they're no longer serving that dish and attributed it to problems with sourcing (maybe that was a cover for the chef change, which may not been announced yet).

great spicy noodles without soup

What's Spices 3's zha jiang mein ("mandarin noodle with meat sauce") like? It's listed on their menu as spicy http://www.beyondmenu.com/27181/oakla...

Spices 3's cold sesame noodle is good, but it's more a side dish than a meal. It's uses a chili oil and sesame sauce, plus some greens.

(useful topic, btw)