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East Bay places to sit, eat, and watch the World Series

I peeked in Longbranch. It looks like there's a TV on one side, and not on the other side, so there would be a good shot at not being able to sit and eat and watch the game if it fills up.

East Bay places to sit, eat, and watch the World Series

I can think of many places that will have the game on, but not many that one will be able to sit and eat, not in a crowded bar area, and watch the game from most anywhere.

In fact, the only thing that comes to mind within a reasonable proximity is T-Rex (as you can see the TVs from pretty much anywhere). So, any further suggestions are welcome, as I'm not going to want T-Rex 3 days in a row.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Agreed, completely. As I just received my property tax bill, with so many line items, totaling the thousands, for special assessments, and just looked at the ballot with yet another park tax, and see that there is another way to get revenue in the general fund that will not materially affect anyone's life in the City of Berkeley, it is no trick.

Oct 21, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Further, as most "sugary beverages" are laden with HFCS, the tax is probably no more than the difference in price, were not the HFCS a government-subsidized crop. Plus, you get to drink free Roundup, which means that even when the diabetes comes, you won't be sprouting up unwanted weeds.

K2 Restaurant Group - ruined restaurants in Berkeley?

My periodic (approx. 1x/mo) trips over the past several months have been very good.

Oct 20, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Interestingly, in Mexico, which has a horrible obesity and type 2 D problem, their tax has not generally resulted in a hardship to merchants. Rather, people are purchasing other beverages. Furthermore, the "big boys" trying to fight these taxes own much of the rest of the beverage aisles, so the little violin orchestra doesn't play well.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

As I understand it, this is revenue to the general fund so it doesn't require 2/3. Also, I don't believe that this imposes a reporting/collection burden on the retailers/restaurants, as the beverage is taxed prior to the final sale to consumer.

Oct 18, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

2014 Best Indian Buffet Oakland/Berkeley Area?

That place (Priya) has never been on my radar, despite having passed by probably a thousand or more times. I'll have to check it out. I gave up on Khana Peena on Solano some time ago. It went from decent to ok to so so to I'm never going back.

Oct 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Baker and Banker Closing! [San Francisco]

There's always more to the story, and we rarely hear it. If the business was highly profitable, I doubt it would be closing. One reason for a restauranteur to stay until lease's end would be to avoid a deficiency balance on the lease, i.e., it is better to barely break even or lose a little bit than to be on the hook for a lot more, unless bankruptcy is inevitable.

The only exceptions that I can think of in 2014 San Francisco is someone who holds a full liquor license and can pocket $250K to close up shop, or someone who holds a very under-market lease with a substantial remaining term, and the landlord buys it out, or the remaining term is sold.

"We're quitting to spend more time with our kids, (even though the income to feed them is going away)" is always an odd read to me.

Oct 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

How often do you get a bad meal in the SF area?

Rarely. At worst, a meal is ok. I cannot recall an atrocious meal, save the one meal at Sinbad's last year (but not unexpected), in forever. I have had a few service faults that were so horrendous I've never returned (Ippuku, Five) but the food was good. There have been plenty of restaurants that I'm in no rush to return to, but that is more because there are other things to try in addition to the regular repertoire than anything wrong with the meals.

I don't often realize how lucky we are until I travel. On a recent trip to Paris, my general conclusion (there was no Michelin star dining on the trip) was "we eat at least as well back home ... well, except for the butter!"

Oct 04, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Buenos Aires - Authentic Asado

eatwith.com has some offerings for Buenos Aires. I haven't tried any.

Ottolenghi in San Francisco Oct 2014

When he and Sami had a dinner at Camino a couple of years ago, it was fantastic. I'd put myself on their mailing list just in case he and/or they return.

Sep 15, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay Seasonal Ingredients with Great Wine List?

If I were you, I'd probably head over to Kermit or North Berkeley Wine and pay the corkage. If you're looking at budget busting, you'll drink a whole lot better and have a knowledgeable staff person guide you right to the bottles you are looking for. If you think it will be a 2+ bottle dinner, consider going all out on the Burgundy you bring, and select the second more modest bottle at the restaurant. Corkage is often waived when one buys a bottle.

For top notch tasting Thai food, Sabuy Sabuy II is the place (dinner only). When Bert and/or his son Cocoa are there, just ask for them to suggest what you should eat. They will ask your likes and dislikes, heat level, and also, if they have something that many people might not eat, ask if you like or will try something (such as pig ear salad, etc.) At worst, the food is good. At best, the food is excellent. Super casual, and I suggest you BYO. For the once a year that they're on vacation or otherwise not there, and someone I don't recognize hands me a menu, I don't know what to order, because in the past half-dozen+ years, I don't think I've ordered from the dinner menu more than twice.

Sep 13, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

It is. Their Hayes Valley Espresso, however, might meet Sunnyside's needs.

Sep 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

Have you tried the Blue Bottle Hayes Valley Espresso? This might get you close to "in between Peets and the third wave."

Sep 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Oori - on Solano [Albany]

Sep 08, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Perdition Smokehouse (downtown Berkeley)

Yesterday (take out)
(1) Chicken - was delicious
(2) Ribs - very good
(3) Brisket - very good. They asked "lean or juicy end." (C'mon, saying "fatty end" is fine!) We had the "juicy end" and it was quite tasty.
(4) Broccoli Salad (new) - I liked it.
(5) Cole Slaw - not my favorite, but it is ok.

The concept of price by weight or quantity is great, so we can have a variety without over-ordering, and without having to order plates.

Sep 01, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

If you ever end up at The Stinking Rose ... [San Francisco]

Snob or not, sometimes you end up at a place because, say, it is someone's birthday, or out-of-town guests that insist, and that was the purpose of my post.

Doughnut Dolly, Berkeley

"What is my neighborhood turning into?" Funny, just last night I was saying to someone "I hope it doesn't turn into Rockridge around here." As for the doughnuts, I've had them a couple of times in Temescal, and once at the new location. They are best eaten when freshly filled. I bought the most recent ones on a rather humid day and by not that many hours later, in the box (and each with paper around them), the sugar had disintegrated into the dough and paper. I like Hannah (no relationship other than a happy welcoming face and conversation as a customer), I like her product, and I wish her well. I'm also looking forward to see what sort of sandwiches she ends up serving, as it will make a convenient lunch option.

Aug 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

If you ever end up at The Stinking Rose ... [San Francisco]

... I haven't set foot in there since early 1990-something. I never had any desire to return, but hey, it wasn't my birthday and I didn't choose the restaurant. So, 14 of us descended on the Stinking Rose for a Friday night dinner. These lyrics were even playing in my head: "I had no reason to be over-optimistic, But somehow, when you smiled I could brave bad weather ..."

Tommy must have heard me, because two of us decided to order a large sizzling mussel platter. We had the same some time ago during our one trip to the Dead Fish in Crockett a few years back, and this is a sister restaurant. In fact, after our dinner at the Dead Fish, we decided that we'd have been better off just skipping the main courses and order more mussels.

Between that and the bread and the couple of appetizer varieties ordered for the table, we were full, and our meal was decent. Looking at the others' food, we were quite happy with our decision, although everyone "publicly" enjoyed their respective meals.

Corkage is $0. I wish I had known!

Watching waves of happy tourists enjoy their food, taking pictures, and soaking up the "San Francisco Tourist Experience" made me feel good, as no matter how we may judge such a place, it benefits all of us when people have a great SF dining experience, and for many, it may be their best meal since their last trip to Olive Garden. Baby steps, you know, on the ladder to Perbacco.

My search showed the last TSR comments I could find were nearly a decade old. Clearly the place doesn't get any love around here. It probably doesn't even get a lot of like. But I whole-heartedly give it a "don't mind." In fact, a sizzling platter of mussels and a BYO wine could make for a nice meal.

Great China (Berkeley) still great

For a first timer party of 4, I'd welcome a list of "must haves" and "don't bothers."
Thanks

Aug 07, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Doughnut Dolly, Berkeley

Now open 1313 9th Street (at Gilman)- next to the new Philz
Cute little shop - 4 flavors today, along with coffee. She was very excited to be open and for people to be stopping by on the first day.

Aug 06, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving Take Out in Berkeley?

The Pasta Shop on 4th St. does, too (same food as the Market Hall location, no?)

Aug 05, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

Venga just catered my party last week - 50 some people, and it was great. The guests were raving about it. I like the restaurant paella but I liked the party paella better. His stuffed piquillo peppers are delicious.

Aug 04, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Special occasion vegetarian friendly restaurant in the East Bay?

I have found Bocanova too variable to recommend for an "occasion" but it doesn't stop me from returning. My last dinner there was great, and my last brunch there was meh (both early summer). My prior brunch there was great. My evening food has been variable, but it can be quite good.

I know the "full bar" and no choice is a killer for this suggestion, but for the first time, a few days ago I had the veggie main course at Chez Panisse downstairs as I didn't eat the regular item, and it was outstanding.

Jul 28, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Buenos Aires?!

San Telmo - El Baqueano is my favorite restaurant in the city.

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

You also have the "everyone's a critic" component that didn't exist during most of the restaurant's history, and further, everyone's a critic that can publish his/her thoughts on a whim, and more frequently, when bitter than when pleased.

Furthermore, after time, a restaurant goes from "I hear there's a great new place" to "I have been wanting to try that place for awhile" to "I've been waiting a decade to go there" to what my dinner there will be tomorrow with a family member that has been wanting to go there for decades, and tomorrow is a special occasion and she's visiting. So, she has probably been wanting to eat there for upwards of 25 to 30 years. She'll likely love it. Her husband will wonder where the food is on his plate, and that it wasn't worth the money, not that either of them have to worry about the check.

Jul 23, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

How is it a "victim" if it is always full, and always charging a price that it can make a good living at, treating its workstaff with decent wages?

It is a great restaurant if you take it for what it is. I also find the service to be great if the server knows what your occasion is, i.e., we're out here for dinner in the neighborhood. My last dinner there (a couple of weeks ago) was just delicious decent food. Not "meal of a lifetime" taste, nor even my best meal there. But one of the 4 of us thought it was one of the best meals he'd ever eaten. Our server, when she saw we were just out to have a good meal and drink good wine was a lot of fun, and didn't need to play into any expected pretense. I also find the wine markup to be very fair.

Back to the OP, if you never go, you'll always still want to go. The potential upside is a lot more than the potential downside, because the potential downside is that you'll have still eaten a decent, if not memorable, meal, and your wallet won't be dry. Contrast this with some of the hot tasting menus, where dinner for 2 with some wine can cost you just shy of a grand, and the potential for disappointment is huge.

Jul 23, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Belli Osteria in Berkeley?

I went when the restaurant was fairly new, enjoyed it, but then never returned (except the one time we tried to drop in and it was packed). When I saw a Groupon a few days ago, I bought it. On the one hand, i was sorry to see that it was slow enough that they needed Groupon (but it is summer). On the other hand, it was a very good deal (1 item from each section of the menu, plus 2 glasses of wine). We had:

Cucumber, tomato & roasted bell pepper gazpacho with grilled gulf shrimp - delicious

radicchio, belgian endive, mozzarella and aged smoked ham with roasted tomatillo vin - delicious

pappardelle with sliced beef (special of the day) - delicious, and the noodles were especially great.

niman ranch rib eye steak, purple potatoes, carmelized onion purée & herbed butter - great. A generous piece of meat, ordered medium-rare (came out pretty rare, which was fine).

We both enjoyed a glass of white by the glass, and then we ordered a bottle of Barbera for the second half of the meal. The balance of that bottle was our dessert.

I made a reservation (good thing) and it was packed when we arrived, but there weren't many people when we left. For this food and these prices, that is a shame.

Service was wonderful.

Jul 13, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

you go away for a week, and the food you miss most is....

Fresh vegetables. Also, sometimes a plate of potentially-cramp-inducing Mexican food. But mostly, vegetables. A big fresh salad.

Jul 04, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area