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North Beach Restaurant

I KNEW if I posted this, that others would share their own horrible experience. For some reason, this place has really insulted me. It is a discredit to North Beach, to Italian food, to the entire city of San Francisco. But I digress...

North Beach Restaurant

Just posting this for anyone who might search here wondering if they should go to the North Beach Restaurant. For the love of God, NO!

Late, late lunch. Starving family. Car was parked a few blocks away. Moose's turned out to be closed for a recording session. Walked around and, somehow, forgot about Rose Pistola. Unfortunately walked into the conveniently located North Beach Restaurant. The only nice thing I can say about the entire experience is that at least the bathroom was clean. The waiter was surly, the menu was dirty, my order was screwed up, the carpaccio was old, the pasta was overcooked, the sauce was bland...

I'm sure other commentors will agree and perhaps someone else will benefit from my mistake and go somewhere else. ANYWHERE else.

Lunch at FISH - Sausalito

Gotta agree with Waterboy.

I followed the advice of Patricia Unterman's book and went to FISH this weekend. Crab roll was bland. Burger was overly charred. Nice fries. Decent flavor to the chowder. Excellent tuna sandwich. Ice tea and a tiny little beer. $60.

Beautiful setting on a glorious day.

To sum up, I should have read the reviews on this site first. Disappointed (for the first time) in Unterman's book.

do you love your refrigerator . . . dishwasher(s)?

I have the Maytag Ice2O, french door with the bottom freezer and it is the best of all worlds. I haven't had any problems with it. I may someday change brands - who knows - but will never have any other style.

Mar 16, 2007
jimctgc in Cookware

Lunch Marin County

I'd suggest staying in the downtown area (Mill Valley), so I'd suggest Piazza D'Angelo. It's solid. Not spectacular, but a good choice for salad/sandwich/light lunch.

Anchor Steam Brewery

That really is such a good blog. And in this case, it is definitely everything you ever wanted to know about the Anchor Steam Brewery tour.

Second date in SF, my turn to chose..

I just had my second really good meal at Globe (Pacific and Battery). Had a great time a couple of months ago so I suggested it for a group dinner this week. I can recommend the oysters, any of the pizzas, the spaghetti (I know, sounds stupid, but it's REALLY good spaghetti). Had a wild nettle risotto last time that would have been perfection if it had been hotter. Small but decent wine list. The osso buco looked good but nobody at my table would share and they all cleaned their plates. The most discriminating diner at my table said, "this was very, very, very, very good. This is a special restaurant."

PF Chang's opinions?

There's no need to get either snobby on the one side or defensive on the other. This is easy to figure out. (Apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

If your typical evening meal involves more than one course from the microwave, you’ll probably like P.F. Chang’s.

If your idea of dinner theater means watching the crowds at the shopping mall food court, you’ll probably like P.F. Chang’s.

If you think Taco Bell serves ethnic food, you’ll probably like P.F. Chang’s.

If you buy more than one of those fundraising coupon books because you used the last one up before the year was over, you’ll probably like P.F. Chang’s.


If you refuse to even heat water in a microwave, you probably won’t like P.F. Chang’s.

If the idea of eating dinner at a theater makes you wince, you probably won’t like P.F. Chang’s.

If you’ve ever discussed the differences between regional Indian cuisines, you probably won’t like P.F. Chang’s.

If the idea of eating at a restaurant that takes coupons makes you shudder, you probably won’t like P.F. Chang’s.

Mar 07, 2007
jimctgc in Chains


Joanie - here's a link to menupages, which has a Zuni menu. And I won't even attempt to answer the question on why they - or any restaurant - wouldn't have a website.


1. I always recommend going to Zuni.
2. It is as good as ever.
3. No website, but they're on opentable -

Slanted Door report

Exactly! I just had lunch at SD on Monday and was considering posting my review. However, your review, and the comments after, sum it up perfectly. It is a great setting with excellent service. As for the food, while I enjoyed everything, I kept thinking about the various hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese places I have enjoyed. I will note, however, that the quality of many of the ingredients - the shrimp in particular - is better at SD.

Epicurean Cutting Boards - Slippery as hell?

That foamy shelf liner from BB&B can do anything! I bought some for our new house the other day because I figured it was better than that old sticky stuff. It's amazing and WOULD be ideal for the cutting board issue.

Feb 15, 2007
jimctgc in Cookware

Solo dining near Palace Hotel

Second Kyo-Ya rec. If you're looking for a nearby "Institution," walk down to Boulevard at 1 Mission.

Best Dim Sum In SF

"If you wanted the place to be within city limits, you might start a Chowhound fight...." -
Pei Aug 08, 2006

Boy, were YOU right.

Best Dim Sum In SF

Well, as I posted previously, I've always found the dim sum at YS to be excellent. Maybe pricier than some, but definitely cleaner bathrooms than some as well.

But I forgot that the primary reason I like YS is that I can have dim sum AND xlb at the same time. Heaven.

Best Dim Sum In SF

Iagree with Robert. I got back from a trip to Hong Kong and quickly went into Dim Sum withdrawl. Went to Y Ben and thought it was just okay. Still had a craving and went to Yank Sing. It was awesome. I don't care about the percentage of Asian/Caucasian. Fact is, the food is great.

san francisco foodie wannabe...

I too love Chowhound, (at least I did in the old format), but it's best with specific questions. For large topics such as "where to eat in San Francisco", the format breaks down. Go pick up a copy (or go to Amazon) of Patricia Unterman's Food Lover's Guide to San Francisco. It is not only the best guide to SF restaurants, it's the best city restaurant guide in the country. Large. Comprehensive. Well-written. It's categorized by neighborhood, with indexes by cuisine, price, etc. Armed with this book, you'll be able to dine like a well-informed local.

Chris Kimball/America's Test Kitchen

I agree he writes well and his column is often the best part of the magazine. I agree with the posts that note the recipes always work out well. And I also agree that the magazine can be annoying and the recipes uninspired. How can they work out and be uninspired at the same time? Because it's recipe development by committee. The "some tasters thought..." and "others said.." reasoning means that every recipe hits somewhere in the middle. Kinda moist, kinda firm, kinda crunchy, kinda soft, kinda spicy, kinda bland, flavorful but not overpowering. It makes for respectible and successful recipes, but not exciting.

Jan 13, 2007
jimctgc in Home Cooking

Baker in Fresno

It's not just you. I don't get the Eddy's thing either. And La Boulangerie is always a good choice.

Oct 06, 2006
jimctgc in California

Fine Dining Fresno Area

Gotta echo the comment on Flemings. I admit I had low expectations (SO, SO tired of all the chain restaurants), but we were quite pleased. Excellent steak, best service I've had in Fresno in quite some time and a huge list of wines by the glass.

Oct 03, 2006
jimctgc in California

Baker in Fresno

I have had cakes from De Bakkerij Bakery and they were truly astounding. Not just beautiful, but addictively tasty.

Highly, highly recommend.

Oct 03, 2006
jimctgc in California

Bad Food, Great Review

As usual, I agree with almost everything Mr. Richman has to say. The best comment, however, is his comment on the shortness of the articles in magazines. The CHOW staff should take note. Unlike print magazines, they don't have space limitations, layout crunches or increased paper costs if they write longer articles. Yet all of the articles on this beta site are absurdly short. The superficial country ham article is the worst offender in taking a rich subject and just passing over the surface.

If the online format is to have value it must not only take advantage of its potential to cover a wide range of topics, but also of its ability to delve deep.

Sep 05, 2006
jimctgc in Features

Down-Home Prosciutto

I've eaten many country hams but never made that connection that perhaps it could be eaten raw like proscuitto. The article did a great job of raising that question but then completely fails by not giving the reader an answer.

Sep 05, 2006
jimctgc in Features

Cookbook - R.R.?

Call me crazy, but I'd go with "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home."

The point being that for a newbie bride you want to inspire as well as instruct. The recipes are easy to understand with lots of beautiful and instructive pictures and, as a bonus, it clearly shows that there is no one way to cook. Cooking is an art with different interpretations on everything.

From a simple roast chicken to a holiday meal, this is hard to beat.

Aug 31, 2006
jimctgc in Home Cooking

Brinkman Charcoal Smoker -- Any Warnings for First Time User?

Two top suggestions:

1. Go get Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Bible. He's amazing and really did his research. Great recipes for things like sauces and rubs (I make up regular batches of his Memphis-style rub).

2. I'd also suggest a good electronic thermometer where you can stick the probe into your meat and close the cover. I just picked up a cheap one that has a remote unit so I can wander around my house knowing the exact temperature of my pork butt (insert joke here).

Jul 12, 2006
jimctgc in Cookware

Houndworthy Barbecue in Fresno?

Stopped in at West Coast Barbecue in the gas station at Blackstone and Barstow yesterday.

I've never found any quality barbecue in this town, but this wasn't bad. They appear to be using a foodservice smoker from Southern Pride instead of the big beast they have parked outside, but it's okay. Had a pulled pork sandwich. Meat was tender, sauce wasn't cloying, slaw was good. I would have preferred more spice and a true 14-hour low-heat smoke, but I'll probably go back.

Any other Fresno hounds tried it?

Jul 12, 2006
jimctgc in California


Nice job Kitchenguy2.

Ditto L'Auberge. Ditto Marinus. Haven't been to Sierra Mar but I hear it's good and you're right about the drive.

I've had a good meal or two at Fresh Cream, but it's not on par with French Laundry.

Jul 12, 2006
jimctgc in California

What NEW condiment should I try ... or not?

Definitely Three Crabs fish sauce. I also picked up some XO Sauce at my local Asian market after having it on a few dishes in Hong Kong last year. Just a little adds a nice zing to stir-fry or seafood.

Also, a dash or four of Sansho pepper adds a nice spiciness to lots of dishes. There are lots of different versions in the markets.

Jul 11, 2006
jimctgc in General Topics

seattle: lunch near the westin + dinner recs

Palace Kitchen is a solid recommendation, but I'd actually suggest another of Douglas's spots, Lola at 4th and Virginia for a yummy lunch or dinner.

For dinner, Campagne at 1st and Pine is always great as is the more casual Cafe Campagne downstairs.

Jul 11, 2006
jimctgc in Pacific Northwest

Fresno-Thai Noodle Express, Downtown Stop

NOT a fan of Star of Siam. Toom Thai was the best Thai in Fresno, but he recently sold to new owners so I don't know how it is now. As for Star, I was not impressed with the food and I was horrified by the attitude of the owner. Pushy, arrogant, bad Karma.

Jul 03, 2006
jimctgc in California