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Blue Bottle swallows up Tartine.

I don't think Freeman has much to do with the day to day ops anymore, and don't even know if he has control of the company.

Whatever ends up happening, this (and Philz) will end up being interesting case studies in what happens when someone has a business dream, and big investors with play money "buy" the enterprise and treat it like a marionette.

Nevertheless, the simple fact is that BB and any other "small" specialty roaster is only going to be able to source and QC a certain quantity of particular beans before the sourcing and QC starts to go down the proverbial toilet.

Even Alice Waters had enough of them, and the short-lived BB on her menu is no more. What is also most ironic is that a company with this reputation has the ability to spend all this play money to expand around the world, but not pay its Oakland production crew a living wage.

Ferry Building Surprise/Sinbad's

Sounds like they think they have an oyster farm :o

Apr 24, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Chef Sophina Uong currently at Revival/Berkeley

We ate there on Easter Sunday and had a thoroughly delicious dinner.

Apr 10, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Moving to North/East Bay

For home cooking, eating out, and schools, and keeping the kids away from snooty, Albany is probably tops. For commuting, Albany isn't bad, because not only is there BART, there are the AC Transit Transbay express buses, which if you are going at actual commute hours, can be better than BART. I've lived less than 2 blocks from Albany for 9 years now, and the every-increasing abundance of things to eat and drink (except for late night) is almost embarrassing for anyone that visits from elsewhere. Even on Sunday, the only time I'd ever end up in Andronico's or Safeway, I can now go to Monterey Market (or Whole Foods if absolutely necessary). There are far worse things in life than having Tokyo Fish as one's neighborhood "I only need a thing or two" grocery store, or Acme as the "we're out of bread" default.

The Punchdown - Oakland "natural" wine bar

Great news.

Mar 07, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Is Philz Coffee That Good?

Is it good? Si

Is it "that good?" No

Feb 28, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley: Current favorites for flavors and ambience?

Agreed. We've been a couple of times and have thoroughly enjoyed our meals, and it is an easy place to carry a conversation.

Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

I have bought goat chops at Local Butcher - it has been awhile since I've been in, so I don't know if it a regular item.

Jan 26, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

The Nepali restaurants that I go to in Berkeley/Albany either all have goat on the menu or as a "special" most of the time -
Aangan (San Pablo)
Himalayan Flavors (University) - closed for a short renovation until next week
Everest Cafe (Solano) - name and I believe partial ownership change going on.

By the way, are you sure the birria mentioned above isn't lamb all or some of the time?

Jan 24, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Cozy, quiet, comfortable place with good pizza in Berkeley-Oakland area?

That was my first thought, although I haven't been in awhile. How is the pizza (and food in general) holding up at Nizza la Bella?

Jan 24, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Graduation Dinner in Berkeley/Oakland

Revival looks like they have a small private room back past the bar. I've never had a full meal there but we've enjoyed our drinks/wine and bar snacks.

Jan 18, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

New Japanese place coming to old Zaki space - Albany

Since Banzai closed, we don't have a homey sushi place that we really like nearby. As much as I love TFM, the sushi counter isn't my favorite (the stuff pre-made). I frequently buy sashimi for plates at home. It doesn't look like this will foot the bill, either (i.e., homey sushi place) but hopefully it will be ok enough for the occasional take out. Perhaps some others here have experience dining in one of Yo Sushi's other locations.

Jan 16, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

New Japanese place coming to old Zaki space - Albany

Looks to be a branch of this:
http://www.getyosushi.com/index-4.html

Jan 16, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

New Japanese place coming to old Zaki space - Albany

Saw a 'coming soon' sign - no ABC liquor license app for the address.

Jan 15, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Abbot's Cellar closing [San Francisco]

If there is any debt service on the build outs and liquor licenses, it is almost impossible to charge enough to make it. Also, for places with full liquor licenses that might be struggling, they can continue to struggle (and often end up with SBE, IRS, etc. issues) or clear in excess of $200K and walk away.

Jan 05, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Brown Sugar Kitchen uses quick grits, wholesale vendors [Oakland]

This reminds me of the
Let's eat Grandma v. Let's eat, Grandma.

That item certainly needs an asterisk, or a better esplaining.

Jan 05, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Brown Sugar Kitchen uses quick grits, wholesale vendors [Oakland]

Do you mean generally, or BSK specifically?

Jan 05, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Brown Sugar Kitchen uses quick grits, wholesale vendors [Oakland]

And a lot of places say the lingo "local, organic, sustainable when possible" (or similar) to which I've been quietly saying "when the price is right."

Jan 04, 2015
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Anchor Oyster Bar question... [San Francisco]

If you get to Anchor early and you still have a wait, you can head across the street to Swirl on Castro - a wine store with a little wine bar in the back where you can enjoy a nice glass - people do it all the time, and I've seen the restaurant staff come over to fetch people when their tables are ready.

Brown Sugar Kitchen uses quick grits, wholesale vendors [Oakland]

But if Pican averages less than 1 cocktail per table, Pican is way ahead.

east bay burger with short ribs in the mix?

I believe T-Rex may have started doing this. They recently got a new meat grinder and burger taste has improved substantially.

Dec 25, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

I've now been twice and like it. The second time I ordered bacon, which was very good. I wouldn't get these 'to go." They are plenty juicy (even though cooked to medium/medium rare-ish) but if they sat for bit, I don't know if they'd hold up very long. I like it a lot better than In-n-out, someplace I patronize maybe once every 5 years. I thought it was a lot tastier than my 1 trip to Farm Burger.

Dec 14, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

"Worst of 2014" nominations

Early this year, Sinbad's in SF had a Groupon. How bad could it be? What was lurking behind the doors of that place one will pass a thousand times and never goes in, but never goes out of business? Here is my Open Table review:

On 02/19/2014 you wrote
Possibly most atrocious meal ever

From the service to the lackluster and uninspired food, this was probably the most atrocious meal I've had in 29 years of Bay Area living. The actual piece of fish under the sauce wasn't bad, but pretty much everything else was a disaster. Even the bread, which arrived after asking for it at least 3 times (and it came after the salads were almost done) was like those partially-baked breads found in the freezer case, and you complete the bake at home, except they never baked them. Doughy cold goodness! Bah. Somewhere a Costco is missing a bag of cheap lettuce greens. My mother may have once said "If you don't have anything nice to say ..." so I will say that the carnations on each table were beautiful! Probably left over from Feb 14.

Dec 06, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Source for rosewater?

Perhaps Zand in Albany?

Dec 03, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

Are Boss Burgers cook to order specification? And being so thin is there a hope of a medium rare burger?

Nov 29, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch Ideas for Tomorrow (Wednesday) in Oakland or Berkeley for Mixed Group of Adults/Kids

I don't know if Stella Nonna (San Pablo near Gilman) is convenient but they have decent wine and beer and is kid friendly.

Nov 25, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Mockingbird [Oakland] needs your help!

"Axelrod explained that while it was technically true that the space is covered by the building’s overall alcohol license, the particular nature of the license also dictates that the restaurant itself is prohibited from profiting off of alcohol sales — not even through a corkage fee. And because the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control doesn’t typically give out multiple licenses for a single address, resolving the situation won’t be as simple as re-entering the liquor license lottery."

This is very different than the "facts" spelled out in the OP. The situation could have been obviated (as in possibly leasing elsewhere) by having proper counsel reviewing the lease and license arrangement at the outset.

RL raises an interesting point. Perhaps the ABC, which doesn't generally give out multiple licenses for a single address, counts all the food for a single address as one. And, perhaps not.

Nov 18, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Farm Burger, Berkeley

Worthy of its own thread, for better or worse.

The concept of a $7.25 high quality burger these days is really appealing. All local grassfed beef, local high quality produce, and the like. The space is decent enough. The staff seems to be "well-oiled" already in taking orders and getting them out, and are very polite.

I decided I wanted to keep it simple, to taste the meat and the bun, etc. There are quite a number of free add-ons to the basic burger, as well as a number of $1 and $2 add-ons. They also have some pre-set burgers du jour.

Burger, medium rare, FB sauce, lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic, and onion. (These were a portion of the available free add-ons.) FB sauce is some sort of mayo-pickle-paprika (I don't recall the list of things she mentioned).

It was one of the most tasteless burgers I've ever had. I took a piece of meat out and ate it alone and it seemed to have almost no seasoning. Furthermore, medium rare ended up being barely lukewarm.

We actually both ordered almost the same thing, and felt the same way. You could tell the ingredients were good, but the execution was meh.

We also got an order of FB fries, which were sort of a provencal style. They were overdone yet not hot enough nor had all what must have been their original crisp left. I wonder if they are once-fried and not dried well enough. Tasty enough and a generous portion, and we took the rest to go.

So, dear Farm Burger, when I return in a month or so, I want it to be a lot tastier. I want you to be a great burger joint so close to home. You have the right ingredients, the right staff, and the right concept. Maybe you need a bit of salt and pepper, maybe you need a higher temp (and shorter cooking time) for a better crust on the meat without overcooking it. Maybe we just had a one-off, on day two. And this is coming from a cook who has a very light hand with the salt.

I did find it odd that in a place full of wall decor and other information regarding fresh, local, grass-fed, healthy, etc. etc. that there were stacks of boxes of Coke and Diet Coke along the wall near the door.

I hope further reports from others here show a different and more flavorful experience.

Nov 13, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

I like Zut's burger. I give it a "very good." Off to try Farm Burger tonight.

Nov 13, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Where are you buying your turkey?

I've gotten my bird at Magnani in Berkeley for quite a few years running. They have a large selection of farms available.

Nov 12, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area