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lmnopm's Profile

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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

Another Whole Foods coming to Berkeley

I think they used to be whole pies only and switched to slices available.

As for the WF, I've been a few times. It is extremely convenient, as I will never have to park in that atrocious lot. My tentative verdict(s):
(1) If I need something on Sunday, or late on other nights, it will be my most convenient open option;
(2) If it is something that Tokyo Fish carries, I will buy it at TFM;
(3) They have appealing sale items, and I've already bought a few (including a 4 pack of Rubicon Bakery cupcakes for what, $2, and they are tastier than most of the fancy overpriced cupcakes I've had around the area);
(4) The prepared foods are variable, to wit:
(a) The whole chicken (on sale for $9.99)was ok, but not great. I'm much more likely to get a tastier Mi Tierra chicken and save $7 or so from the regular WF price;
(b) The pre-made (refrigerator case) pizza and chicken wing deal ($9.99 for the large pizza plus a nice sized tray of wings) had a pizza we'd never want to eat again, but very tasty wings (and if $6.99 was the regular price of them, I'd get them again)
(c) The pie ($2.50 a slice on sale) - we tried cranberry and pumpkin, and they were very good. In fact, it seemed like if you got the crust fresh out of the oven, it would be a very good crust.

I cannot see paying extra for Acme bread for the convenience of not walking a few more blocks (or if I'm paying a premium, TFM will get it) nor buy the "local this and local that" propaganda plastered everywhere.

I am probably glad my house value is worth more than it was a week ago. I'm also glad that at some point in life, when driving becomes something I shouldn't do anymore, that I'll have a full service market so close to home. Hopefully the retirement funds will allow me to shop there.

And finally, dear Contra Costa County residents on your way home from work, please spend your money here, leave sales tax revenue here, and maybe some soda tax revenue here, too. And drive safely on Gilman.

Only one dinner in Buenos Aires

Mine, too. But I don't know if that is an 'encapsulation" of the heart and spirit of Buenos Aires. It is an excellent meal, and I try and go there on at least one or two of my three to four visits a year.

Only one dinner in Buenos Aires

Heart and spirit? Are you looking for a big sizzling parrillada? A more upscale meat experience? Or something different?

Buenos Aires in January

Adventurous? El Baqueano in San Telmo has been my favorite place in the city a few years' running. Interesting (and good to excellent) food, with great service. Tasting menu only. Native meats/

I like it a lot more than my 1 visit to Aramburu, where I found things to be more show than necessary and service was very polite but amateurish.

I haven't been to Pura Tierra in quite awhile. The consensus among those I know is that ordering from the regular menu is better than the tasting menu. I have enjoyed my few visits there, but not in a 'wow" sort of way.