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lmnopm's Profile

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Buenos Aires?!

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

about 6 hours ago
lmnopm in Latin America & Caribbean

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.

about 7 hours ago
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.

about 9 hours ago
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

Ethnic in Berkeley Area

Everest Cafe and Hamro Aangan are both very good for Nepali food (which have similar flavor profiles to Pakistani). Sabuy Sabuy II is the best Thai in the area - just ask them to make you food, letting them know your likes/dislikes, and they'll make you a feast. (Dinner only)

Jul 04, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria (Geyersville)

No. It is just south of that. There are now several wine rooms in that area, starting (north) with Route 128 (entry through the parking lot), then Meeker, Local's, Mercury and Ramazzotti.

Jun 28, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria (Geyersville)

It was one of their heartier reds - I don't recall specifically. They share a front door with Mercury Wines - two very cool places with super nice owners, and even if everything you taste isn't all your style, you'll have a great time visiting.

Jun 27, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria (Geyersville)

I just went for the first time last Sunday.
We shared the Charcuterie plate (much more substantial than we expected) as well as a pasta and a pizza. We left with some pizza. Delicious. I didn't even look at the wine list as we brought a bottle from the Ramazzotti's tasting room next door.

Jun 27, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

What's up with the Public Market in Emeryville?

A bit of gym traffic, and the new housing should be opening soon, no?

Jun 25, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

OP didn't ask for fancy. OP asked for "price and location not factors."

Jun 21, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

I'd probably choose Zuni as a quintessential San Francisco meal. It isn't fancy (but it is nice), it isn't "one of the top restaurants in the US," and for me, it doesn't present super high expectations that could only lead to disappointment. It represents a great summary of what and how we've been eating in these parts since I've moved up here, nearly 30 years ago. So, for a single meal in SF for someone not from here, that would be my first pick.

Jun 21, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Albany - Jodie’s – “soulful, simple and home style”

No, but sitting in that tiny space helped make the place what it is.

Jun 07, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area
3

Post-wedding Saturday lunch in SF

In decent shoes, La Mar isn't a particularly long walk and they might enjoy the walk. That would be my first choice, given your OP.

Jun 07, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Nontypical wedding food

I'm going to have paella cooked on site for a party next month, with some apps passed around while the paella is cooking.

Jun 03, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Sushi Banzai RIP 1989-2014 [Berkeley]

Hide and family had a wonderful sendoff to his wonderful non-descript, not exciting neighborhood gem. Yesterday was his last day in operation and today was a private party for his customers. He didn't disappoint. Even Bert from Sabuy Sabuy brought over trays of food. Always a great place for good conversation, great sushi and sashimi, and Hide's sense of humor, even if you didn't always understand everything he said, the 'hood will miss you, and wish you a happy retirement. Anyone who ever came here looking for a fancy roll with flavored mayonnaise goop sauce left disappointed. For the rest of us, we kept our orders simple, and left happy. Alas, no more. Domo arigato from the once humble 'hood.

May 24, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurant with river/bay view along 160/4.

Avoid the Riverview Lodge. It is one thing not to be high end. It is another thing to be rear end.

May 24, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area
2

Pizza Moda - Berkeley

I've been twice. The first time the crust was one of the best I've ever had. The second time, I don't know if it was underbaked, the oven wasn't at proper temp, or whomever was making the pizza wasn't experienced enough, but the crust wasn't even close to visit one (and we had 2 pies). I'll probably return soon and I figure that visit 2 was a one-off, given the above report.

May 22, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

"Breakfast for Dinner" in Oakland or Berkeley, esp waffles or pancakes

I did notice that Lama Beans is serving breakfast all day. I haven't been since it was Jimmy Beans. I don't think they have waffles, but they have pancakes and french toast. You'll have to check re: what syrup is available.

May 20, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Plum > Ume [Oakland]

I would not be surprised if the departure of the Punchdown had an effect of diminishing revenues at Plum and Bar. The only times I've ever been to Plum Bar were after visiting the Punchdown, and the only reason I was there in the first place was to visit the Punchdown. The successor place has already closed after a run of "months."

May 20, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

The Bacon Bacon Truck

The first visit (opening day of the North Berkeley BART OTG - raining and not crowded), the food was delicious. We got chicken sandwiches and porky fries, and everything was still hot when we got home. It was so good I was tempted to hire them for a party.

The second visit, we tried the burgers. They were "ok" but nothing great, and the porky fries were drowning in oil at the bottom, and not very crisp.

The third visit, we re-visited the chicken sandwich. They were out of porky fries, so we got the parmesan fries. The chicken sandwich was meh, and the fries were uninspired, without much flavor. We looked at each other and said "we're over this."

I don't know if their reopening of a restaurant has anything to do with this, but was our first visit a delicious fluke? Or were the last two unfortunate and out-of-character visits?

May 14, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area
1

East Bay Wine Shop with Wines that will age

The first two places I'd consider are Kermit Lynch and North Berkeley Wine (mostly French and Italian).

May 14, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area
2

Best local balsamic vinegar?

Amphora Nueva is definitely worth a visit.

May 13, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Chronicle Top 100 2014

Not sorry to see Michael Mina leave the list. The only way I'd return is if I was someone's guest, (s)he insisted, and picked up the check.

May 10, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Rijstafel in Bay Area

I take that means "she didn't love her meal?"

May 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Decline in the food truck craze?

I'm thinking that maybe the Westbrae Biergarten will be the "future" of food trucks. I'm much more likely to go there (not to mention the convenience to home) where I know a truck will be there for a couple of weeks, I can sit at a table, I can get an adult beverage, etc. than somewhere that I'll be eating on a sidewalk after waiting in line, juggling my food, spending as much as I'd spend in a similar sit down place, and either waiting for my dining companions to get their food from other trucks, or eating mine when it is cold (or vice versa). OTG has become the truck mafia and their cut has made it difficult to make a living slinging even higher priced delicious hash out of a truck.

Apr 29, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Hamro Aangan -- Indian/Nepalese [Albany]

The current East Bay Express has a review of Tashi Delek (El Cerrito) and then review summaries of Indian, Nepali, and Tibetan.

Apr 16, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Nepali (x2) in Berkeley ?

Good point on the lunch - Himalayan Flavors is a lot better for dinner, and Everest Cafe is great for lunch - they have a nice variety of substantial thali at reasonable prices.

Apr 12, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Nepali (x2) in Berkeley ?

I also like Everest Cafe on Solano. (I've not been to Taste of the Himalayas.) A Nepali Uber driver from the Sacramento area recently said that Aangan (San Pablo Ave.) is his favorite in this area. I've never been.

The mango chicken at Himalayan Flavors, when it was on the specials, was one of the tastiest dishes I've had. When they made it (not as a special, and not on menu) it wasn't as good because I'd expect the sauce didn't have a chance to develop.

Himalayan Flavors has an ample off-street parking lot. Everest Cafe has relatively easy street parking (some metered, some not). Aangan may have a few spaces in the Bev Mo parking lot - otherwise fairly easy street parking.

Apr 12, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

The Punchdown - Oakland "natural" wine bar

I haven't heard positive comments from those who have been. As much as it isn't similar at all, for those who want to try a variety of interesting wines, I'm really liking the Barrel Room in Rockridge (near A16).

Apr 03, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area