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Fresh masa items, made to order

I've been asking SF pupusa places whether they use fresh masa or masa harina. Salvadoran places, including La Santaneca, Los Planes de Renderos, El Zocalo, Los Panchos, and Los Yaquis, use masa harina rather than fresh masa. I haven't been in a while, but Balompie's menu says they use masa harina. I didn't ask specifics at most places, but La Santaneca told me they didn't use Maseca brand.

Two places that use fresh masa for pupusas are Mexican-- Espigo de Oro (cited upthread) and La Palma Mexicatessen, both of whom sell fresh masa by the pound. La Palma's cheese pupusa is excellent and not just for the masa-- it's flatter and wider than any pupusa I've seen in the Bay Area, nearly the diameter of a paper dinner plate. The cheese version is filled with a delicious salty cheese and chopped chilies. The dough is very pliable and I can imagine some people preferring a firmer texture. See pic below.

Surprise Trip to San Francisco

Congratulations! How long will you be here for, or more importantly, how many meals are you here for?
In what part of town will you be staying and do you have any time constraints?

Chowdown Report: SF Excelsior Food Crawl Part I (Aug 2014)

We had made a reservation for the Kamayan meal a few weeks ago, so I'm not sure if it is normally served on weeknights. It is worth giving them a call-- they are very friendly.

Chowdown Report: SF Excelsior Food Crawl Part I (Aug 2014)

Thanks to Thomas Nash et al. for organizing!

I lived pretty close to the Excelsior in 2013, so it was fun to revisit some places with a group and do more exploring (some of my previous Excelsior reports are at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888067 ).

Here's what we ate:

+TY Sandwich : Good banh mi. I like the ratio of veggies to bread in all the sandwiches, and the chicken filling the best. They don't put on any Maggi or soy sauce on the bread, and this umami push was noticeably absent in the fried shredded tofu banh mi. They close at 8pm--- I'll be when I need a quick bite.

+Kadok's: Good Shanghai lumpia. Small, greaseless, and crispy throughout.

+Los planes de renderos : Their corn pupusas hold together, the filling reaches almost to the sides, and above all they taste good. Rice pupusas can have a tough shell, but their's had enough play that I could appreciate the rice flavor. The curtido was fresh, and we learned that no one at the table likes the strong oregano flavor that's typical of this Salvadoran slaw.

The golden brown Salvadoran empanadas were really tasty. According to a few recipes I looked up, the mashed up plantains are mixed with rice flour to form the outer part. The inner milk custard and the texture of set Jell-O and didn't carry a strong dairy flavor.

+Royal Bakery supplies the bread to La Torta Gorda on 24th St, and it's good for homemade tortas too. I've been munching on their seeded breadsticks for days-- Stella Dora eat your heart out. A banana bread I got there a month ago was very oily.

+We stopped by Hilda's, a Filipino bakery, at around 2 PM. It is best to get there early – they were out of nearly everything and that's typical of their popularity.

In terms of Salvadoran and Mexican food, there's plenty in the Excelsior, but Tortas Boos Voni is the only one that bests my favorites in the Mission. Filipino is a strength--- there's lots of competition.

===
Some other recent neighborhood experiences:

Hawaiian drive-inn : not that there's a dearth of spam, but there's too much rice compared to the amount of spam in the spam musubi

Pampanguena Cuisine : soupcon, your eating tips were very helpful--- I came here last night with a big group and enjoyed the meal. I'll make a separate report when I get a chance.

Murray Circle recently? [Sausalito]

Nice! Looking at the receipt, we got a queen historic without a view. It was some kind of winter deal. A friend who got a smaller room a few months earlier with a better view didn't get as many freebies. The lack of view wound up working out well--- the weather was inclement enough that we couldn't even see the bridge from the grounds!

Does your deal come with free breakfast? If so, I've been curious about their house made bagel (sorry, probably not Montreal style :-)

Ah, it looks like the CP's classes are mainly on Saturdays. It would be worth checking the calendar as the day approaches in the event that something pops up.

SFBA Dish of the Month (Sept 2014) - Nominations/Voting

FRENCH FRIES

SFBA Dish of the Month (Sept 2014) - Nominations/Voting

PUPUSAS

SFBA Dish of the Month (Sept 2014) - Nominations/Voting

Dish of the Month is an activity where we collectively try as many versions of a dish as possible, reporting back with details and photos. Now is your opportunity to vote on or nominate the September dish. Feel free to include a sales pitch with any nominations!

Click the recommend button to vote for existing nominees. You can change your mind up until the deadline. You can also nominate a new dish by replying to this message, in UPPER CASE, with its name.

Voting ends Sunday, August 31st at 8pm.

Murray Circle recently? [Sausalito]

I had a good experience with the locals deal in February. Our room was huge so we must have gotten a free upgrade--- it came with tons of "freebies" like a 1/2 a Mt. Tam cheese, expensive crackers, etc.

You would need to make dinner reservations for Murray Circle--- there was a 90 minute wait when we were there, so we opted for room service. We played it cheap and got the burger and bavette steak from the room service menu. The burger and fries were good, but the bavette steak was overcooked. The full Murray Circle menu is available upon request via room service.

BTW, the cooking school up there might interest you. I had fun at the Shanghai cooking class.

China North Dumpling on Noriega [San Francisco]

They use handmade in all the the wheat noodle soups, but the server told me the Shanghai Style Chow Mein was the only type of fried noodles that are hand made (or handcut, I can't recall).

Looking over the menu, there are a few noodle dishes that are neither fried nor soup, and those probably use fresh noodles (minced pork noodle with soybean paste (zha jiang mian) or the da lu noodle)

China North Dumpling on Noriega [San Francisco]

Oh, my bad--- not enough coffee :-) I got confused because they list a "salt and pepper fish" on the menu as 椒盐魚. Based on the characters, I'd expect that to be more the Cantonese preparation.

Sungari Dumpling house -- Northeastern chinese in Excelsior (SF)

If someone does stop in soon, some news:

There's a Chinese signpost on the street saying something about "20 dumplings." I *think* they're advertising frozen dumplings. Either way, I was able to convince the owner of selling me some after a minute of miming. The chef grabbed 20 frost-covered dumplings and tossed them into a bag for me. These were around eight bucks whereas an order of cooked ones in the restaurant is seven dollars and comes with 15 dumplings.

They've also updated the translation of the take-out menu. Most of the remaining mysteries are covered above.

China North Dumpling on Noriega [San Francisco]

The first item on the meat section of the menu is listed in English as crispy salt-and-pepper chicken and I am wondering whether it is prepared the same way as the fish. The Chinese characters indicate it is lazi ji (chicken with chilies) which is sometimes called Chongqing chicken, and the server assured me that it's different then the Cantonese salt-and-pepper chicken. The boneless version if lazi ji around here tends to have some type of coating like Melanie describes for salt pepper chicken and is pictured for the salt and pepper fish above, and the bone in version such as chicken wings tend not to have a coating. Come to think of it, the coating may be browner than your typical Cantonese salt-and-pepper chicken.

For the chicken, here is a more complicated and simpler version from Dunlops :
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/a1095668-7d...

Mexican in the Mission [San Francisco]

Lunch or dinner and how far are you willing to walk?

Food crawl in Excelsior District this Sunday - all are invited

In addition to those chains mentioned, the area as a whole has some additional chains such as produce market Casa Lucas, Goldilocks Bakery, Taqueria Guadalajara, Taqueria Vallarta, and, on the other side of Geneva, the only existing location of El Pollo Supremo.

The Chinese bakery with lugaw is Good Orchard.

Chowdown Report: SF Excelsior Food Crawl Part I (Aug 2014)

In search of eats in the Excelsior District, mostly the Mission Terrace neighborhood, a group of six hounds descended along Mission St. and Persia Ave.

See announcement thread and further discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/986750

OK Noodle in Newark

I can't recall how individual strands were created, but the preparation of the dough involve some degree of pulling rather than kneading:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9813...

2014 regional Chinese roundup

I remember having a good meal there a decade ago.

Looking over the online menu, I don't see any dishes you couldn't find at non-Sichuan restaurants these days. I think we could be more lenient on variations that are less common then Sichuan, but based on a quick look at their menu, I think putting them on the list would open the floodgates for dozens more.

Best one-stop supermarket?

If it's the quality of produce rather than it being organic per se that you care about, you might find this thread of interest: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9195...

Best one-stop supermarket?

Also, make sure to take into account the size of your residence before going to Costco and getting a year's worth or paper towels!

2014 regional Chinese roundup

Right, and the big caveat is that even if a chef is from the place where they specialize, specializing in a cuisine doesn't mean the chef is good at all dishes (or any). For example, I'd prefer to go to Cantonese Yank Sing and M.Y. China for xiao long bao than most Shanghainese places.

2014 regional Chinese roundup

That's a good point. I wouldn't want to mislead anyone. I'll keep places under the general categories unless there's evidence otherwise (e.g., Sungari has some dishes associated with Liaoning so it'll go there, but in my limited undersanding anyway, I don't see anything from Liaoning at Michelle's pancake so I'll categorize them under general Dongbei).

I'll get rid of the wishful thinking categories (e.g., "Hebei maybe"). For Yi Yuan, I'll put it under "Lanzhou hand-pulled noodles" with a note about chef from Hebei, and I'll put it under Sichuan as well with no note since that doesn't say anything about Sichuan food.

2014 regional Chinese roundup

Heh, how did I miss Taiwan Restaurant (S.F. Richmond) and Taiwan Restaurant (Berkeley)? (I got Dragon Gate though :-) )

2014 regional Chinese roundup

Thanks, I'll add a comment about Tianjin Dumpling. I think that's the only place on the list that isn't a full-service restaurant.

Would it be worth calling the thread instead "Non-Cantonese Chinese round-up" and keeping the ethnic & prefecture sections in anyway? The subtleties of Cantonese cuisine are way out of my league, so I'm open to whatever makes sense.

2014 regional Chinese roundup

Update time. After I get comments, I'm gonna create a Version 2.0 thread so no one gets confused by the discussions of closed down places, etc.

== SHANXI AND SHAANXI ==

= Shaanxi / Xi'an (all have hand-pulled noodles, rou jia mo, and liang pi) =
OK Noodle (Newark)
QQ Noodle (Milpitas, Cupertino)(no liang pi)
Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
Terra Cotta Warrior (SF Outer Sunset)
Thousand Tasty (Milpitas, Shaanxi)
Xi'an Gourmet (SF Richmond)

= Shaanxi biang biang noodles =
Imperial Tea Court (Berkeley)

=Shaanxi scissor cut noodles=
M.Y. China (SF Union Square)

= Shanxi knife shaved noodles =
Ancient Sichuan (El Cerrito)
Five Happiness (SF Inner Richmond)
Five Joy (San Mateo)
Sichuan Fusion (Richmond)

== TIBET ==
Cafe Tibet (Berkeley)
Nomad Tibetan (Berkeley)
Tashi Delek (El Cerrito)
Yongewa Kitchen (Cotati, Sonoma County)

== NORTHWEST / UIGHUR / XINJIANG ==

Some dishes available at:
OK Noodle (Newark)
Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
Terra Cotta Warrior (SF Outer Sunset)
Xi'an Gourmet (SF Inner Richmond)

= Langzhou hand-pulled noodles =
Ark Restaurant (Alameda)
M.Y. China (SF Union Square)

= Lagman hand-pulled noodles / Xinjiang Ban Mian =
Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
House of Pancakes (SF Parkside)

== NORTHERN ==

= Beijing =
Beijing Duck House (Cupertino)
Beijing Restaurant (SF Excelsior)
Everyday Beijing (San Mateo)
House of Pancakes (SF Parkside)
Taste Good Beijing Cuisine (Milpitas)

= Islamic Chinese =
Chinjin Eastern House (West San Jose)
Darda (Fremont, Milpitas)
Ma's (Cupertino)
Old Mandarin (SF Outer Sunset)
Shinjin (San Jose)

= Hebei (maybe) =
Yi Yuan (Millbrae, a Sichuan restaurant, but chef from Hebei)

= Henan (maybe) =
Spicy Legend (SF Outer Richmond, a Sichuan restaurant, but chef from Henan)

= Tianjin =
Golden Garlic (San Jose)
House of Dumplings (Union City)
Tianjin Dumpling (Oakland, Chinatown)

= Other Northern and Jiaozi (could be Shandong, Dongbei, Beijing, etc. ) =
North China Dumpling (Outer Sunset)
Dumpling Empire (South San Francisco)
iDumpling (Redwood City)
House of Xian Dumpling (SF Chinatown)
King of Noodle (SF Inner Sunset)
Kingdom of Dumpling (SF Parkside)
Michelle's Pancake House (Cupertino, So-Cal chain with owner from Liaoning)
Panda Dumpling (San Carlos, Redwood City)
Tianjin Dumpling (Oakland, Chinatown)
Town of Dumpling (San Mateo)
Xian Gourmet (SF Inner Richmond, dumpling maker is from Shandong)
Xiao Long Bao (SF Inner Richmond)

= House made bing =

see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892914
Beijing Restaurant (SF Excelsior
)House of Pancakes (SF Parkside)
Michelle's Pancake House (Cupertino)

== SHANDONG ==
(Shandong owner and/or food, with no direct nod to Korea)

Ark Chinese Restaurant (Alameda)
China Village (Berkeley, owner of Shandong heritage, Shandong dishes mainly by special order)
Great China (Berkeley)
Hung’s Kitchen (San Ramon)
Palace Chef (Fremont)
Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
Shandong Restaurant (Oakland, Chinatown)
Tong Dumpling (Cupertino)
Tsing Tao (Campbell)
Xian Gourmet (SF Inner Richmond, dumpling maker is from Shandong)

== SHANDONG &/or CHINESE KOREAN ==
(Shandong dishes with Hangul on the menu. All have black zha jiang mian)

Chef Wang (Millbrae)
Chef Yu (Oakland, Temescal)
China Way (Santa Clara)
Koryo Jajang (Oakland, Temescal)
Nak Kung (Santa Clara)
San Tung (SF Inner Sunset)
San Wang (SF Japantown)
Tong Soon Garden (Santa Clara)
Yu Yu Restaurant (Dublin)
Zazang Korean Noodle (SF Pacific Heights)

== NORTHEAST / DONGBEI ==
Bamboo Garden (Mountain View)
Chef Xiu (Mountain View)
Dongei Mama (SF Inner Richmond)
Guan Dong House (Cupertino)
Little Shen Yang (Union City)

= Inner Mongolia =
Little Sheep Hot Pot (Cupertino, Union City, SF Tenderloin, San Mateo)

= Liaoning (maybe) =
Michelle's Pancake House (Cupertino, So-Cal chain with founder from Liaoning)
Sungari Dumpling (SF Excelsior, chef from Liaoning)

= Shenyang =
Made in China (SF Parkside)
North China Dumpling (SF Outer Sunset, dumpling maker and/or owner from Shenyang)

== SHANGHAI / JIANGSU / ZHEJIANG ==
Bamboo Garden (Mountain View)
Bund Shanghai (SF Chinatown)
Dumpling Kitchen (SF Parkside)
Five Happiness (SF Inner Richmond)
Happy Cafe (San Mateo)
Jai Yun (SF Chinatown; the chef is from Nanjing and only offers a multi-course menu)
Lily's House (Lafayette)
Liou's House (Milpitas)
Little Shanghai (San Mateo)
Lulu's Kitchen (Concord)
Melin House (Milpitas)
North China (SF Inner Richmond)
Old Shanghai (SF Inner Richmond)
Panda Dumpling (San Carlos, Redwood City, Shanghainese chef with a few items)
Rice Valley (SF Sunnyside)
Sha Bistro (Fremont)
Shanghai Bistro (Millbrae)
Shanghai Delight (Milpitas)
Shanghai Dim Sum (Cupertino)
Shanghai Ding Sheng Restaurant (Milpitas)
Shanghai Dumpling King (SF Outer Richmond and Sunnyside)
Shanghai Dumpling Shop (Millbrae) / Xiao Long Bao Kitchen (South San Francisco)
Shanghai Dumpling (Cupertino)
Shanghai Family Restaurant (Cupertino)
Shanghai Flavor (Fremont)
Shanghai Flavor Shop (Sunnyvale)
Shanghai Garden (Cupertino)
Shanghai House (SF Outer Richmond)
Shanghai Restaurant (Oakland, Chinatown)
Shanghai Winter Garden (Millbrae)
Su Hong (Palo Alto, Shanghai & knife shaved noodles)
Top Noodle (Milpitas)

== SICHUAN (SICHUAN and CHONGQING) ==
Ancient Szechuan (El Cerrito)
Chef Ma (San Jose, chef from Chengdu)
Chengdu Style Restaurant (Berkeley)
Chef Zhao Bistro (Mountain View)
China Village (Albany)
Da Sichuan (Palo Alto)
Dongbei Mama (SF Inner Richmond)
Dragon Garden (Cupertino)
Fey Restaurant (Menlo Park)
Grand Hot Pot Lounge (SF Inner Richmond)
Happy Sichuan Restaurant (Millbrae)
Little Sichuan (San Mateo)
Little Sichuan Restaurant (Newark)
Little Szechuan (SF North Beach)
Mandarin Garden (Berkeley)
Mama Ji's (SF Castro)
Mandarin Gourmet (Palo Alto, chef from Chengdu)
Pepper Bros (Newark)
Sichuan Chong Qing Cuisine (San Mateo)
Sichuan Fortune House (Pleasant Hill)
Sichuan Fusion (Richmond)
Sichuan Home (SF Inner Richmond)
Sichuan House (Walnut Creek)
South Legend Sichuan Restaurant (Milpitas)
Spicy Empire (San Mateo) / Spicy King (SF Chinatown) / Szechuan Cuisine Uncle Cafe (SF Chinatown) / Newark Cafe (Newark)
Spicy Legend (SF Outer Richmond)
Spicy Town (Fremont)
Yi Ping ( San Ramon)
Yi Yuan (Millbrae)
Z&Y (SF Chinatown) / Chili House (SF Inner Richmond)

= Taiwanese Sichuan =
Spices / Spices II (SF Inner Richmond)
Spices Fremont (Fremont)
Spices III (Oakland Chinatown)
Spices IV (Foster City)

== HUNAN ==
Chef Yu / Hunan Gourmet (Sunnyvale)
Chili Garden Restaurant (Milpitas)
Chili Palace (Milpitas)
Henry Hunan (SF chain/institution with a few Hunan dishes/ham, but mostly Chinese American stir-fries)
Made in China (SF Parkside)
Shao Mountain (Fremont)
Wonderful (Millbrae)

== GUANXI ==
Guilin Noodles (Oakland, Chinatown)

== CANTONESE subsets ==
See KK's Regional Cantonese primer at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8102... . Some scattered Shunde and Zhongshan Cantonese dishes in Millbrae at Gourmet Village, The Kitchen, and Champagne restaurant (San Mateo/Millbrae).

= Chiuchow / Chaozhou / Teo Chow / Chinjiew =
Menkee Wonton (SF Outer Sunset)
Teo Chew Noodle Shack (Fremont)
Ying Kee (Oakland Chinatown)

= Chaozhou / Vietnamese =
Hai Ky Mi Gia (SF Tenderloin)
Lam Hoa Than (SF Outer Sunset)
San Sun (SF Chinatown)
Thai Nghiep Ky Mi Gia (SF Outer Sunset
)Thanh Ky (Oakland Eastlake)
VH Noodle (Richmond)
Vien Huong (Oakland Chinatown)

= Hakka =
Dragon river (SF Outer Richmond)
Hakka Restaurant (SF Outer Richmond)
Ton Kiang (SF Outer Richmond)

= Macanese =
T 28 (SF Parkside)

= Shunde =
Jade Garden (SF Outer Richmond)
Yum's Bistro (Fremont)

= Zhong Shan =
Zhong Shan Restaurant (SF Parkside)

== TAIWANESE =
Ai Noodle (Cupertino)
China Bee (San Mateo, Taiwanese)
Dragon Gate (Oakland Jack London Square)
Five Happiness (SF Inner Richmond)
Grand Harbor (Fremont)
Joy Restaurant (San Mateo)
Liou's House Chinese Restaurant (Milpitas)
Mama Chef (Santa Clara)
Mama Chen's Kitchen (Cupertino)
Southland Flavor Cafe (Cupertino)
Taste of Formosa (SF Outer Richmond)
Taiwan Café (Milpitas)

= Sichuan/Taiwanese "military dependent's village cuisine" =
(See for reference this closed place http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/712585

)

Liang's Village Cuisine (Cupertino)

= Taiwanese Sichuan =
Spices / Spices II (SF Inner Richmond)
Spices Fremont (Fremont)
Spices III (Oakland)
Spives IV (Foster City)

== OTHER ==

== Chinese Vegetarian (notables) ==
Jai Yun (SF Chinatown; the chef is from Nanjing and only offers a multi-course menu)
Jyun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant (Ukiah, associated with Buddhist temple)
Sogo Tofu (San Jose, Taiwanese vegetarian, tons of freshly made take out items)

== Chinese Vegetarian ==
Enjoy Vegetarian (SF Chinatown; SF Inner Sunset; SF Outer Richmond)
Garden Fresh (Palo Alto, Mountain View)
Long Life Vegi House (Berkeley)
Loving Hut (Oakland Chinatown; SF Chinatown)
Lucky Creation (SF Chinatown; lots of take out gluten items by the pound-- great for a picnic)
Royal Greens Vegetarian (San Jose)
Shangri-La restaurant (SF Outer Sunset)

== Indian Chinese =
Red Hot Chilli Pepper (San Carlos)
Spice Kitchen (Newark)
Wang's Kitchen (Milpitas)

Pierogies 2.0

Pierogies, delicate boiled Polish dumplings at best, gut bombs at worst, are appearing outside their usual territory. I don't foresee pierogies overtaking the prevalence of squash filled ravioli any time soon, but this might be the continuation of a trend mention in 2012 by Carolyn Alburger http://www.7x7.com/eat-drink/californ...

Some recent run-ins:

Okonomiyaki: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2014

Great job! Reading your experience and the recipes you linked, it seems like what you do with the noodles in modern yaki may depend on regional variations. My personal preference would be to have the noodles fried like hell.

BTW, I love the idea of making a companion Home Cooking thread for DOTM's. For Sept., I'll put a note to create a spinoff thread on the home cooking board should anyone want to make a home version.

Food Souvenirs from San Francisco

On that note, fortune cookies from Golden gate fortune cookie factory or Mee Mee.

Those little fennel seed flavored dried sausages that are sold most gourmet shops.

2014 regional Chinese roundup

Some new info:

Town of dumpling and I – skewers are closed.

Two Tibetan places:
Nomad Tibetan (Berkeley)
Yongewa Kitchen (Cotati, Sonoma County)

There are Shaanxi dishes at Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
Spicy Legend (SF Outer Richmond, a Sichuan restaurant, but chef from Henan)
Michelle's Pancake House (Cupertino, So-Cal chain with founder from Liaoning)
Panda dumplings owner is from Shanghai

Later in the week I will incorporate everyone's comments into a revised post that I'll add to this thread. Please let me know if there is anything else you can think of before I do that. Once I get comments on that, I'll create a new post of version 2.0 that will stay up until summer of 2015

What's up with Food-News

This week's tip, coverage of an event that happened a year and a half ago:

Aug 20, 2014
hyperbowler in Site Talk