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

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

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

I tried Presidio pizza company's grandma pizza again this weekend. It lacks the loft or charring typical of Sicilian style pizza, but it is delicious. Good flavor in the crust, even brown spotting on the bottom. The sweetness of the sauce didn't jump out at me, but either acidity or too much red pepper induced a burning sensation on my tongue. I don't know if this is standard for the grandma but I asked for it with no pesto and it was studied with roasted garlic, which was a nice touch.

I take back my recommendation for garlic knots. The garlic was not chopped small enough for the amount of time it was cooked, so it was like eating raw garlic.

Incidentally, and I mentioned above that I don't care for it, they list their Sicilian pizza as "focaccia style ". Perhaps that makes it not a true Scotsman… er, Sicilian ;-)

about 22 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

Kitchentown (San Mateo)

The former Anna's Danish butter factory has an adjoining bakery and cafe open from Tuesdays-Sundays from 9am-4pm. They sell various baked and prepared goods from small producers, and also still sell Anna's cookies.

On Thursday, they had lots of pretty looking empanadas. I'd already eaten, but scored a slice of Nuri Rivera's banana cream pies. Wow. Nuri's dough is flaky and a bit puffy, and is the logical transition after biting into the cream and banana layers. She used to work at Tartine, but I don't know if her recipe relates to, or improves upon, the well-regarded Tartine banana cream pie.




1007 Howard Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 458-8080

Huli Huli Hawaiian Grill, SF Bayview-Hunters Point - Any reports?

Some of the best dishes I've eaten this year have been at Hawaiian or Hawaiian-inspired meals: dinner at Liholiho, weekend brunch at Aina, and now a weekday lunch at Huli Huli. I'm impressed because my exposure to Hawaiian/Samoan food prior to this year had not been encouraging-- low-end Hawaiian BBQ and a "well, that was interesting" steam plate Samoan place.

I stopped at Huli Huli for the barbecue chicken that smatbrat recommended, but the Thursday "Big Uce" special listed on the wall enticed me: for $10, I got a plate of Samoan turkey tail, corned beef, rice, green banana in coconut milk, and chop suey. The laminated menu had the same special, only with BBQ chicken instead of turkey tail. This was two meals worth of food.

The turkey tail has juicier meat than you'd imagine coming from a turkey. But the meat isn't the star here-- the portion is mostly fat – – wonderful, smoky, custardy fat that can hold its own against pork belly. One of the best things I've eaten this year. For health reasons, Turkey tails were banned in Samoa for several years: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2...

The corned beef is procured by Roberts. The fat is tender, not at all siezed up, and the meat is juicy. I liked the saltiness of this, but YMMV.

Thank goodness--- Hawaiian chop suey is more similar to Korean japchae than what my mother would heat from a La Choy can. Less oily than most japchae I've eaten.

They have shave ice. How does this compare to the shave ice at Pineapples in Mission Terrace, the new Hawaiian cafe that serves Hawaiian coffee and some other Hawaiian things http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1011274 ? Come to think of it, there's another active thread on shave ice in Cupertino : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1012511 . I've never had the stuff. How is Hawaiian shave ice different from Chinese (Taiwanese?) shave ice?

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

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


Anar: Persian in San Francisco

I had a decent meal at Anar shortly after they opened so take my comments with a grain of salt. Excellent tahdig (not on the menu IIRC) and eggplant appetizers. Fesenjun was not too sweet, which was good--- their version uses boneless meat. Grilled meats were dry, but rice dishes, I believe one had barberries, were very good.

Not the place to order wine--- I believe they were selling two buck chuck for $32/bottle! No wine listed on current online menu

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

It is disappointing to hear that they used to have more char. Currently,Delfina's margherita and Napolitano tend to have more char than some of the other pizzas.

They still have the amatriciana as an occasional special. It can be good, but it is inconsistent enough that I stopped ordering it

Ligura Bakery switched from olive to canola oil?

It's still possible they use olive oil in the dough, to grease the pan, and/or for brushing the top of the dough.

The last time I was there, April 2013, the bread was disappointing compared to what I'd remembered. It reminded me of oily white bread and paled in comparison to the house made focaccia I had later that day at L'Osteria Del Forno. But it tasted of olive oil, so I didn't get too concerned about the big jugs of canola or vegetable oil visible in the food prep area.

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

Does Liguria still use olive oil? The last time I was there (April 2013) I noticed big jugs of a different type of oil in their kitchen area (vegetable or canola). I gave them the benefit of the doubt and figured it was to prep a topping rather than the bread, but curious if anyone knows more.

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

Here's a story on the difference between Sicilian "sfincione" and NY-style "Sicilian pizza" : http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

sfincione sounds interesting. In NY, there seem to be only a handful of places that make it so I'd guess it even less likely to appear here since Sicilian food is more scarce.

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

As far as I can find, Reinhart's book doesn't say anything about how NY Sicilian style pizza differs from focaccia -- he says, "the main difference between [pizza and foccaccia] is that true pizza (Neapolitan) has a thin crust, while authentic focaccia has a thicker crust."

Toppings aside, I don't see a fundamental difference between Reinhart's focaccia recipe and, say, Serious Eats, NY Sicilian-style dough: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

The Grandma slices I've had on Long Island weren't sweet. Sweetness in NY pizza is something I normally pick up on, but I may not have noticed at Presidio since I'd already eaten a Neapolitan slice, which I agree is too sweet.

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

I wasn't partial to the Sicilian at Presidio Pizza Company, but their grandma slice (upper left in attached photo) was great-- less greasy and fresher tasting than the grandma slices I've had on Long Island (I would request no pesto). If you check out a Sicilian slice elsewhere in SF, this could be a good dessert.

A better picture and description of their Grandma Slice:

More background:

Pineapple Whip near Balboa Park BART [San Francisco]

I tasted pineapple in the juice but not the soft serve at Love Berry in Stonestown. Something must have gone wrong that day.


That taken into consideration, I preferred the Dole Whip at Pineapples--- its not as smooth as frozen custard or Strauss soft serve, but I liked it. It didn't taste artificial and wasn't too icy.

Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)

Ah, I remembered another place where I had the raggedy ones before-- Joy Restaurant in Foster City http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6113...

Heh, Full House's noodles were like an exaggeration of the style at Joy and I wish they were biang biang---- biang biang are soft and chewy-stretchy whereas knife-shaved are tougher and more chewy-gummy like Shanghainese rice cakes. I added a report of Full House here:

Peninsula commuting todo list (obscenely long...)

Ha, I'd forgotten about your post but stumbled upon knife shave noodles at 5A's replacement, Full House!

They come in a seafood or a mu shu style. The mu shu style was very salty-- they claim they don't use MSG, so the mu shu sauce must have over-seasoned with hoisin or whatever sauce they use. The noodles themselves very thick rafts and not evenly cooked. They are thick, long, and asymmetric, with a smooth edge and a ragged edge, kind of like someone cleaved fluted lasagna down the center.

About half of the xiao long bao leaked soup, so I can't recommend them. Soup was tasty and fatty though.

Shanghai large wontons were really good-- they're filled with shepherd's purse and the broth is flavored with seaweed.

Smoked fish had lots of meat, but no bones, and was wetter and plumper than the versions I've had at other Bay Area restaurants (my photo looks similar to a version served in Shanghai though). I guess this was okay-- the sauce was kind of a generic Shanghai-style braising sauce.

Best DanTat in SF Chinatown

I have limited experience with Chinatown Dan Tat, but I've liked the ones at Eastern Bakery last May and a year earlier..

Do any places, in SF Chinatown or elsewhere in the Bay Area, use lard in their dough?

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

LATIN AMERICAN EMPANADAS (including Mexico, Caribbean, Meso America and South America)

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

Please volunteer to be a Dish of the Month (DOTM) coordinator for one of the months between June and December! Your responsibility will be to choose a dish from the DOTM Nominations list
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1014340 and create a new thread for the community to eat and discuss that dish. That's great if you eat ten versions of that DOTM, but you'd be coordinator rather than eater, so one or more will suffice :-)

When your month approaches, you get to pick the DOTM from among the highest ranked items. You can choose your favorite dish, a dish that's very different from the last DOTM, or something that struck the community's interest at that moment. Ultimately, you choice will be a dish you want to eat in that month and learn more about as other Chowhounds eat it too.

To volunteer, say below "I will volunteer for ..." and specify which month. June is 10 days away, so I'd appreciate that position being filled!

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

For the rest of the year, we're going to use a new system for Dish of the Month (DOTM) nominations/voting. This thread is a list of foods you want to eat as DOTM, and learn more about as other Chowhounds eat them too.

You can nominate as many dishes as you like, either by mentioning a new dish in CAPITAL LETTERS or "liking" a dish that's already been nominated. A volunteer will choose the dish of the month from one of the higher ranked items (e.g., highest ranked, something lower scored to prevent there being three Chilean DOTMs in a row, etc.). The volunteer would agree to try at least one version of the DOTM. You can volunteer for a specific month at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1014343 .

You can always add new items-- this thread will be open for the remainder of the year, and I'll bump it from time to time.

Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)


Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)

Boiling Beijing recently opened in San Bruno. The name implies hot pot, and they've got that, but the two Beijing and Chengdu (Sichuan) chefs cook a full range of dishes worth seeking out, including hand-pulled noodles, knife-shaved noodles, jian bing and other Chinese pancakes http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892914

I've been seated early and late enough to chat with the helpful servers and a chef (owner?) during down times. The chef (owner?) is friendly and used to work at Old Mandarin. He said that they'll soon be importing traditional hotpots, the kind with the tall round thing in the center and ornate designs on the side. They gave good advice on what to order, both to me and the other tables that don't speak Mandarin.

Here's the deal with the menu. The current menu lists items that they're not yet preparing, but as business picks up, they'll become available. The "Chef's Specials" are more elaborate and expensive preparations (whole fish, hot pots, Beijing roast duck with duck soup), the "Specials" are traditional dishes (braised pork, Chonqing fried chicken), "Stews" seem Sichuan, "Clay pot" dishes hail from all over China, "Soups" are Cantonese or Chinese American, "Delicacys" are mostly cooked in a wok, starters and street food are in the "Cold dishes" and (hot) "Cuisine" sections, "Flour specials" list pancakes, noodles, and two types of boiled dumplings. Sections such as "Pork" and "Seafood" are Chinese-American food.

The dishes I've eaten on my two visits were carefully prepared and there was not a dud in the bunch:

= hand tossed lamb with bone : a generous amount of meat attached to hacked up bones. Tender and not gamey.The pleasant broth, lettuce, and goji berries gave off a healthy vibe, but there's potatoes and carrots to bulk it up. This must be cooked slowly to melt the collagen-- the leftover cooking liquid gelatinized in my refrigerator.

= special braised beef tongue : sliced, tender, eastern-European homey, in a meaty gravy.

= jian bing guo zi aka Beijing street pancake : mung-bean flour pancake filled with a chinese doughnut (you tiao), pink pate, hot sauce, and a fermented bean sauce. The doughnut was fried to order and crisp throughout. It gave a crunch as satisfying as the deep fried wafer used in Beijing Restaurant's jian bing.

= hand pulled noodles beef ramen (Lanzhou la mian) : beef slices and wheat noodles in a good broth and garnished with cilantro. The noodles have the same even round thickness as rice noodles in bun bo hue. A server showed me video of the chef making them--- he wraps them around his hands, pulls sideways, folds it in half, and repeats the process several times to make them thinner. Minus the spinning, it's similar to the technique used by MY China or Ark in Alameda (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8900... and http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800801 ), Available in two soup dishes.

= sliced noodles (dao xiao mian, soup and fried versions) : excellent Shanxi hand-shaved noodles-- I got the fried version. Not charred, but crisp and flavorful, cabbage is put to good use as the bold ingredient here. The noodles are sliced thin, a couple of inches long, and their haphazard shape adds texture to the dish. Killer as leftover breakfast. There's another version of knife shave noodles available in the Bay Area, for example at Full House in Burlingame, that are thick, long, and asymmetric, with a smooth edge and a ragged edge, kind of like someone cleaved fluted lasagna down the center. Please chime in if you know how the technique differs-- I prefer the style at Boiling Beijing.

= pickled pepper fungus : house pickled chilies are vibrant and a little sweet. Wood ear mushrooms had a larger percentage of the flat than cup-like variety.

= spicy shredded potatoes : nailed it. Crisp, but not raw, more charred chili flavor than heat. Garlic adds savory flavors. No detectable use of MSG in this or other dishes.

= dessert, not on menu, deep fried mochi-like glutinous rice ball, stuffed with sweet lotus or red bean paste, something fruity, and peanuts. The crisp translucent skin is a bonus. Much better than their fortune cookies.

Some notes:

Next time I go, I'll forage through their Sichuan dishes:
- they said they don't use ya cai (a preserved vegetable) in their Sichuan green beans or dan dan noodles, so other dishes might be a better place to start.
- Sichuan Beer Duck with Taro is listed as the Chicken with Taro stew (they'll correct this in future menus)

Beijing observations:
- They began pickling their cabbage months ago to prepare for the opening.
- A dish that's listed on the menu, but not ready yet, is "Simmered yellow fish with pancake"--- it uses a tiebingzi (a baked corn cake).
- Beijing sweet and sour pork is on the bone. Sweet and sour pork is boneless.
- the menu has a Chinese American "mu shu" section. There's also a Beijing style mu shu pork, which is a more traditional preparation.

Shanghainese observations: a few dishes dishes historically from near Shanghai are listed, some as "Beijing" dishes (Dongpo pork shoulder in ginger sauce, Beijing braised lion's head, Beijing braised pork (belly, I think)). The chef showed me some of the seasonings he uses for the pork shoulder. He uses more spices than I've seen in Shanghainese recipes, but I don't know if that reflects a regional style or cookbook simplifications.

Some random observations:
- they've got the insanely hot dish, la si ni , http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785368 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9032...
- ground chicken soup requires one hour notice
- fresh soy milk
- they've got a few opening deals, such as a $5 coupon if you spend more than $50


Boiling Beijing
649 San Mateo Ave (two blocks from Caltrain
)San Bruno, CA 94066
(650) 952-3388

Chronicle top 100 2015

That's surprising Great China hasn't been reviewed, considering its location, the press about the fire, and its extensive wine list. I could be charitable and speculate that restaurants outside of SF don't get written up unless they're in the spotlight and resulted in favorable meals.

It's not a review with stars and whatnot, but you should check out Kauffman's recent piece on Anjappar Chettinad et al. if you haven't already:


Chronicle top 100 2015

Terra Cotta Warrior would fit the criteria of a destination-- interesting, consistent, relatively focused menu, nice decor, no language problems with servers. Jonathan Kauffman of the Chronicle wrote a good piece on them last year. There's no good reason for that not to be on the list, but Barbacco and Gialina get on there, despite being inconsistent in my experience and undistinguished among the already long list of Italian places.

On top of Yank Sing and Hong Kong Lounge II, the Michelin Guide has recognized a few Chinese places for Bib Gourmand: Z & Y, Great China, China Village, Sichuan Home, Fey, Chino (fusiony), and MY China. Z & Y's sister restaurant was reviewed by Janny Hu and didn't have enough stars to be competitive with the rest of Bauer's list http://www.sfchronicle.com/restaurant... . I've not been to Great China since it re-opened or to HKL II, but those other Bib Gourmands have enough faults that make them not competitive.

Related topic from Bauer's previous Top 100 list: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9006...

Does the Chronicle still do bargain bites? I couldn't find a 2014 edition.

Chronicle top 100 2015

<crickets chirping>

Saltenas at Nuri's Donuts [Redwood City]

(This thread got liberated from the Beans n Bites thread, so the B&B I mentioned above is Beans n Bites)

I didn't taste lard in Nuri's dough, but the flavor and thickness were uniform throughout. Beans & Bite's dough had some spots that were a bit tougher than others, but it was still all good. Filling-wise, I'd need to compare them side by side.

Saltenas at Nuri's Donuts [Redwood City]

On Friday mornings, they're in the display case at Nuri's so no pre-ordering required!

The saltenas come in chicken and beef varieties and they're more compact than the ones at B&B. At 7:30, they were still warm. Crust delicate, but sturdy enough to hold the saltena vertically and eat it like a juicy ice cream cone. Good flavors from meat and olives and cooked perfectly--- the peas were almost as crisp as freshly steamed ones.

Advice appreciated re: Chinese Food 101 class for HS students

Lexdevil, how were your meals? Any new tips?