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Good o-toro Sushi in South Bay area?

The otoro I had at Sushi Sam's was pretty awful. Waterlogged and mushy and flavorless. YMMV.

Otoro is expensive. I would frankly doubt any otoro that costs $8 is genuine. Supply is low, demand is high. And most consumers don't know any better.

Pizza Margherita: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2015

I actually like the wetness. I feel it improves mouth feel and lets the ingredients coat your tongue and mouth. Pizzas in this style are absolutely meant to be eaten with knife and fork though; it's hard to pick up a slice. My primary complaint with a lot of Neapolitan style pizzas here (Delfina, A16) is that they're too dry.

Bon Appetit's 50 Best New Restaurants List (2015 Edition) Has 6 in SF

I went a few months ago. To me it seemed an average izakaya. Chicken skewers were a tad overcooked and underseasoned. Karaage was unmemorable. Less creative than Sozai, not as good (or expensive) as Ippuku.

SF Sushi news: Ino retiring, Koo sold, Hayakawa-san from Koo taking over Ino space

Great to hear. Was never a big fan of Ino's style. AFAICT it's a much smaller kitchen/space though. I assume the menu will be smaller, or they may even just go sushi only.

Koo omakase -- first of what will be many visits. [San Francisco]

I sat at the bar. I didn't catch his name but it was one of the older gentlemen. Maybe because I was early (ate around 6) it wasn't as optimal as a meal later on. The pacing felt a bit rushed as well since he wasn't really prepping for anyone else.

Koo omakase -- first of what will be many visits. [San Francisco]

I stopped in for an early meal at Koo tonight. My experience was a bit mixed. I opted for a 10 piece omakase. Overall the fish was fresh (although the tuna belly was noticeably mushy and watery). The fish was very cold unfortunately and some pieces were absurdly over sauced. The hotate was ruined with an overgenerous squirt of citrus and salt. It's also annoying that he seasons some pieces but expects me to dip others in soy sauce. For $50 though it's a pretty good value.

Highlights were the hirame, tai, uni, and anago.

Good food and beer for a visitor and new residents?

The Willows has a pretty big rotating draft selection and a decent if stereotypical food menu.

If you decide to goto Monk's Kettle you should show up very early, like around 5 or so. It gets crowded fast and AFAIK they don't take reservations.

Food bucket list - 1 day in SF

Japantown is honestly filled with mediocre restaurants. A few blocks south are State Bird Provisions and the new Progress. If you can get a bar seat at the Progress that's worth a visit.

Food bucket list - 1 day in SF

Orenchi doesn't have much of a line these days. Should be fine on a week night.

Ramen Shop is in Oakland but is easily accessible by BART at Rockridge station. Worth a visit for a unique Cali twist on ramen.

I don't think any other ramen place is really worth a detour.

The Ramen Bar opening 6/30/14 & Pabu opening 7/1/14, SF 101 Calif Street

Finally tried the omakase at Pabu tonight. About 16 pieces (mostly nigiri) for $105. I have to agree with the sentiments that the pieces were small. Fish I thought was fine but with such small pieces it was hard to discern flavor or texture. Rice a bit on the wet side; the slightly slimy texture was a bit off-putting. Seasoning was inconsistent: sometimes I got a blast of wasabi, sometimes a piece was drenched in ponzu, sometimes it was perfect. Overall it was a good meal but for the price it's hard to recommend this over Kusakabe.

One big miss was the shabu shabu course. I feel like shabu shabu is best after an hour when the broth has reduced and the flavor intensified. With a personal sized serving this does not happen and the overall impression is weak.

Dessert course was rather nice: orange sorbet with fruit and almonds.

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

I wouldn't worry. It probably depends on the night since they change up the menu. While you won't leave feeling stuffed, your appetite should be sated. There are typically multiple meat courses that are like 3-4 ounces each, plus bread, plus salad and soup, plus amusee, plus multiple dessert courses.

Looking for a fishmonger in SF (or greater Bay Area if necessary) to buy Monchong/Pomfret from

I'm pretty sure I've seen pomfret at Sun Fat in Mission.

Hoffmann's Grill and Rotisserie on Guerrero [San Francisco]

I've been multiple times as well. It fills a certain niche in the 24 st/Guerrero area for reasonably priced American cuisine. Probably the best burgers in the area, very good rotisserie chicken, decent pasta. The menu isn't terribly creative. I'm not sure it's worth a trip but for a neighborhood restaurant it's great.

Mission Impossible ? Good Japanese in the Mission District . [San Francisco]


Safe SF bar crawl for newly-minted 21-yr-old?

I can't imagine a 21 year old enjoying the bar scene in Soma or Fidi. There are very good bars there, but they cater to the professional crowd and so the average age skews closer to 30 than 20. The drinks are priced accordingly.

16 St/Valencia is much hipper and and as long as you don't walk down dark alleyways at 3 AM is safe. It's well serviced by BART and Muni and there are always taxis and Ubers driving by. There are an absurd number of bars in that area ranging from upscale cocktail bars to craft beer and burger shops to grungy macro brew only dives so it won't be hard for her to find something she likes.

Lazy Bear res for January? [San Francisco]

Bauer gives Lazy bear 3.5 stars only 3 months into their brick and mortar. I know most of us here don't take Bauer seriously but it's pretty impressive nonetheless. Anonymous Michelin reviewers seem to like Lazy Bear as well.

Ramen Underground [San Francisco]

I visited the Kearney location and had the shoyu. While I agree that this ramen has a lot of flaws I thought the broth to be flavorful and well seasoned. The chashu is a bit on the tough side and nothing like the buttery pork you might get at better places, but at least it had a good balance between meat and fat.

I think it's better than Ramen Bar so I'd prefer to come here for lunch if I wanted ramen in the Financial District.

Iza Ramen Pop-up at Blowfish Sushi in San Francisco

I had the tonkotsu and thought it was good. The broth had a strong anchovy/kelp element that you don't find too often in ramen here. I saw other people eating the tsukemen and it didn't look too good; the dipping sauce is supposed to be thicker.

Some more notes:

Yuzuki Japanese Eatery (Mission District, San Francisco)

I like this place a lot. If you want to try Japanese cuisine outside the typical sushi/noodles vein then this is a good introduction to it. I really like the kakiage here and the various prepared rice pots where they steam the rice with high quality ingredients. The flavors are subtle but well seasoned.

Hapa Ramen -- What price ramen? [San Francisco]

The ramen they serve out of their Ferry Building stall certainly isn't worth $16. Chashu made with big chunks of pork shoulder simply doesn't work IMO. It was like biting into ham.

Although looking at their menu I guess they switched to pork belly. I'm still pretty skeptical of this. I generally don't think pork belly works well in ramen.

Paprika -- 24th St just off Mission [San Francisco]

I've only had the sausages but they were decent. Well seasoned. I generally prefer the beer selection at Rosamunde and they also serve sausages so I rarely have a reason to visit Paprika.

Trip report: Parks BBQ and Shunji

Was visiting from SF for a concert over the weekend and I somehow managed to convince my friends to check out these two places which come highly recommended on Chow.

Parks BBQ: We ordered the Prime Ggot Sal, Parks Galbi, and the Seasoned Pork Belly. Really good quality meat. The marbling on the ggot sal was gorgeous. Surprising variety of banchan. But overall the experience wasn't quite what I was expecting. No rice, ssamjang, or lettuce unless I asked for it. Very limited kimchi selection (no kkakdugi? are you serious!?). Overall the focus was on sweet stuff, not so much spicy or savory stuff. Between two people, we couldn't even really eat the pork belly after finishing the beef. I still loved the meal though so no complaints. I think I'd like to try out a more traditional KBBQ place though.

Shunji: Disaster. Allergies hit me hard and I couldn't find any Benadryl in time for my meal. I was really looking forward to this to compare it to sushi in the Bay Area. But now my sense of smell was shot and I was blowing my nose all the time. So I'm going to avoid making comparisons about flavor. Also it should be noted that Shunji himself was out of town during my dinner.

Overall I loved my meal but I would not call it a perfect experience. We all got the full omakase menu sitting at the bar. The otsumami were hit or miss. Some of them were too cold. Some of them were too large and so I got bored of them halfway through. Some of them (the truffle oil squid ink egg yolk one) were total misses. Favorite bites probably include the persimmon, the ankimo, the shrimp boiled in matsutake broth, and the steamed wagyu in that sukiyaki type presentation.

For the sushi, I'm ambivalent about the shari. It was on the wetter side and very loose. I think I prefer mine a bit drier with toothy grains of rice. Can't really comment on the flavor because of the allergies. The neta was very good. Some of them almost had a snappy quality which I guess is owing to freshness? One thing I did dislike was the usage of salts. When that small ball of salt hits your tongue, the distribution of saltiness is completely off and it detracts from the fish.

So after this one trip, I'm not convinced yet LA has better sushi than SF. The research project shall continue however...

Nov 11, 2014
ajyi2012 in Los Angeles Area

Lazy Bear res for January? [San Francisco]

I dined at Lazy Bear on Halloween night and in my opinion it was my favorite meal of the year. I detected no issues with technical execution with any of the dishes. The ingredients were delicious, and I think the preparations were simple enough that I could tell if I was eating crappy scallops or duck.

I would agree that it's not as creative as Benu or Crenn...but IMO it makes up for it by simply being more tasty. It's hard for me to remember individual courses from Crenn (and the ones I do remember tend to be based more on their elaborate presentation rather than the flavor). But at Lazy Bear, the bacon infused scrambled egg amusee, the matsutake broth, even the Benu-inspired salmon/ikura/foam dish that tasted like a breath of the sea, all of it sticks in my memory because of how good it tasted.

What I loved most about Lazy Bear is how Barzelay consistently plays with textures. Lots of crunchy or crispy or chewy elements. Something a bit sweet in a savory dish, or something bitter in a sweet dish. Oh, and really, really good butter.

It does remind me of SBP in a lot of ways. It's SBP if the chef could control every minute of your experience so you don't accidentally end up with one of the weaker dishes from the carts that may have been sitting around for half an hour.

One Day in SF

Oh you've been to Alinea so I can tell you nothing in SF will really match that experience, regardless of Michelin stars. I consider Alinea my gold standard dining experience which is why I was not terribly impressed with either Benu or Crenn, especially for the cost. Presentation, creativity, taste, service, ambiance, everything was inferior.

I was joking about the truffles but you are coming in at an interesting time. I'm not sure if white truffles will still be available when you visit but that is one thing I'd be willing to splurge on since the flavor and scent is so unforgettable. I know Acquerello offers a truffle tasting menu ($395 if you wanna go HAM) and I enjoyed my one dining experience there.

One Day in SF

What do you mean by high end though? Just $$$$? Molecular gastronomy? Service? Expensive wine list? Rarefied ambiance? $100 white truffle upgrades?

One Day in SF

I like Benu and Crenn but if I honestly were to recommend a restaurant for a visitor I'd point them to State Bird. Cheaper, less rarefied, and a more fun experience overall. I consider Lazy Bear to be in the same vein. What a place like Benu does better is more elaborate presentation and better service, but in terms of pure enjoyment I wouldn't say one is better than the other.

YakiniQ Grill in Japantown, San Francisco

I remember eating here and thinking the galbi and bulgogi was far too sweet for my liking. The gyeran jjim (steamed egg) was bland, as you said. The kimchee was surprisingly good, sour with a bit of bite. But overall it didn't leave much of an impression.

Tokyo for new year 2014

Question: so I understand most sushi/seafood places will be closed, but what about stuff like ramen or kushiyaki or izakayas?

Nov 02, 2014
ajyi2012 in Japan

Orenchi Ramen, San Francisco [Orenchi Beyond]

I think the curds you saw was emulsified fat and collagen from the pork stock.

Orenchi Ramen, San Francisco [Orenchi Beyond]

Went today. Had the Beyond Ramen. Really good. The broth, the noodles...San Francisco finally has a great ramen-ya. And $12!!! Tempted to go every week. If they just expanded their beer/sake/shochu selection Orenchi would be a half decent izakaya too. They had a huge food menu.

Wait wasn't bad at all but I did show up 40 minute before opening. Turnover seems pretty fast and there are a decent number of seats.