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Valladolid trip report

Very nice report! My SO and I love Valladolid and often cap a trip to the Yucatan with a last couple nights there before departing from Cancun. We also stay at that hotel :) and I agree, the courtyard is lovely.

Did you try the marquesitas in the plaza? So much fun to eat them while enjoying the evening stroll.

I must admit that our best meal in Valladolid was a random corner stand, a block off of the main plaza, that only seemed to be open for an hour. As soon as the proprietor set up shop, it was swarmed by locals, so we had to get in line. We were rewarded with a torta of meltingly tender and flavorful pork. The lechon of my dreams ... And then the next time we walked by the corner, it had vanished!

Feb 20, 2015
Torina in Mexico

Looking for a private dining space for 50 people in Berkeley

Is the food paramount? Or the space?

The Berkeley City Club is really beautiful (a Julia Morgan building) and has its own catering. The food is fine but not truly special.

If you are open to Oakland, I can heartily recommend Flora on Telegraph. I recently did a lunch buyout there for 60 and food and service were both excellent. The GM is very helpful. And the space is beautiful.

Feb 20, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Trip 2015

I agree on scratching Piccino, simply not all that impressive.

Feb 18, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Trip

La Ciccia > Cotogna . Do not miss the famous spaghetti with bottarga.

Feb 18, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

I tried the paratha at Camber too. It was a lot darker in color than Rangoon's, and I wouldn't really call it flaky. Too dense and oily for my taste. Agreed that the curry was good with a decent hit of heat.

I will try to find and post on the Camber thread too, but incidentally we ordered "medium" spicy on our other dishes and it was mouth-searing. Maybe good for those individuals who like "thai spicy." I would compare the medium level spicy at Camber to "desi hot" at Curry Up Now, and maybe even hotter. Hopefully that can help people calibrate.

Jan 31, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

Wanting to ensure that I tried at least one new roti canai during January, I went to Rangoon Super Stars last night to try the palata. I ordered it with the chicken curry.

I thought the chicken curry sauce was great. Quite a few chunks of tender, moist chicken in a typical burmese coconut / yellow curry sauce. Not spicy at all, but thick and rich and flavorful.

The palata seemed fresh, and was crisped nicely, but was also *very* oily. It does not have the same kind of chew as the malaysian roti.

Still, I prefer this curry sauce to the thinner style, so I would certainly order it again, even though I wish the curry had a little more kick and the palata were less oily.

Jan 29, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley: Current favorites for flavors and ambience?

I like Ippuku a lot for an intimate dinner, but it wouldn't necessarily be good for a business meeting because some of the two tops are side-by-side.

New Oakland Safeway complex in Rockridge. College @ Claremont... Critiques?

Actually, TJ's yogurt selection is really good too.

Jan 25, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

I couldn't help going to Chilli Padi again for this DOTM, and I insisted (rightly!) on having a whole order for myself. Sooo good and fresh.

Jan 25, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

Back-a-yard (two locations: Menlo Park and San Jose) has goat curry on the menu (and it is great! my favorite dish there) on Thursday/Friday/Saturday and by special order. Note that this is a west indian (Jamaican) style curry.

The Growlers' Arms in Oakland recently featured goat in a Lancashire Hot Pot dish, and it was fabulous. They change their menu frequently, so call ahead.

ETA: Kingston 11 in Oakland (Jamaican) also has goat curry Thurs-Sat.

Jan 25, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Pavlova, Eton Mess or other meringue-based desserts in SF or East Bay

Yes, I've had it, it's their take on Eton mess. I think the fruit is seasonal; for the winter citrus, they also included some candied zest. Very tasty.

Jan 21, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Food Enclaves in the Richmond and Sunset [San Francisco]

Aziza is at Geary and 22nd st.

There are a number of Russian shops and restaurants near that area as well including Gastronom, Cinderella Bakery & Cafe, and a bit lower in the avenue's, Katia's Tea Room.

Jan 16, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Box and Bells Eating House - Oakland

I liked it too, and even have a reservation with them for restaurant week :( (auto-cancelled?). I will say that sometimes it could be difficult to piece together a balanced meal there, though, since so many menu items were ultra-rich. I speculate that that aspect may have hurt them.

Jan 16, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

US geography game : Bay Area restaurant edition

Sneaky's BBQ (no brick and mortar; popups at Vinyl Wine on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and deliveries on Fridays) is Carolina style bbq.

Jan 16, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

lunch rec for East bay between hwy 92 and skyline Blvd.

I live in Montclair and would be most likely to recommend sandwiches and fizzy drinks from AG Ferrari's in the village. It'll be freshly made and easy to eat in a picnic type location.

Alternatively, there is a new Laotian place, Camber, that I've not yet made it to but is getting some positive buzz on the Y*lp. Some people have recommended Amba for falafel before on this board.

The village is one further exit from Joaquin Miller, and you can go up another one of the canyon roads to get up to Skyline from there (probably Shepherd's Canyon would work best to get to the archery range).

Have a great time! Redwood is beautiful if you have time for a little walk from there.

Jan 12, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for good pain de mie in the South Bay (preferably) or elsewhere in the Bay Area

I really like the Pain au Lait from Fournee, and it's strong enough for a BLT. Pullman loaves. Very rich, though.

Jan 08, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Rustic style wedding reception venue on a budget

Montclair Women's Club is also pretty pricy.

Jan 06, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Oakland Restaurant Week coming soon: Jan 15-25, 2015

You can still see the restaurants for reservations on opentable (and the level of prix fixe) but there aren't any menus listed.

Jan 02, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Cake recommendations?

I have ordered a Croquem for 50 from Culinary Excellence in Oakland! It's $300, so not really "budget" at $6/slice, but it has to be constructed on the day of ... They assume 3 puffs per person, filled with vanilla custard (option of adding grand marnier).

I will report back after it is consumed.

Jan 02, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Halal butcher in San Fran

Salama Halal is on the corner of Geary/Jones. I've gotten whole leg of lamb and merguez there and it was high quality.

Jan 01, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

That sounds like it might be based on West Indian / Carib roti rather than roti canai. Also a delicious dish!

Jan 01, 2015
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month (Jan 2015) - Nominations/Voting

Thanks for remembering!

Helping a sweet tooth discover the Bay Area... (Oakland/ Berkeley/ SF)

More stuff in the east bay ...

Casa de Chocolates
A special Mexican chocolatier in Elmwood (on Ashby within a block of college). Very beautiful decorations on the chocs, and interesting flavors in their truffles.

La Fournee (on Domingo (Claremont) in Berkeley) makes amazing laminated pastries and choux pastries. Eclairs to die for. My favorite is their seasonal croissant. In the summer, it was custard + fruit (blackberry!), in the fall it was caramel apple.

Morning coffee service at Boot n Shoe includes a chance to grab nice pastries. Mr Hallowell seems to hire really good bakers. My favorite last winter was the kumquat marmalade twist.

There's a Miette in Jack London Square, they have good macaron.

Show up late in the evening on a weeknight to Chez Panisse cafe for a crack at their dessert menu.

Recent dessert at Camino was really delicious too: Jaggery ice cream, walnut meringue.

Oh! And let's not forget all the fun Mexican paletas shops. If you are up for going to fruitvale, I believe it is Nieves Cinco de Mayo that is highly regarded.

And if you plan to take her to dim sum one day, go to Legendary Palace in Oakland and get some of their "pineapple buns" which are filled with loh sah custard.

(yes, I have a sweet tooth too.)

Dec 28, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine with Regional Mexican

Ok, you convinced me, Robert!

Many thanks again to all who replied. This is an area where I need all the help I can get! :)

Dec 26, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine with Regional Mexican

Thanks for all your suggestions! & Merry Christmas!

For red, I ended up ordering 2011 Pierce Ranch GSM Rhone blend based on moto's reco for a rhone-varietal. Pierce Ranch is central coast -- southern end of Monterey County.

For white, I contacted Uvaggio and found that Berkeley Bowl carries a recent vintage of their Vermentino. Haven't picked it up yet, though, and may order the Leo Steen Chenin instead to consolidate.

Dec 25, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Crab season is upon us

Did you get the chili and fennel crab from last night?

If so, I was there too and also enjoyed it :) . I just wished there was a little more sauce on the side for light dipping.

We added an extra half-crab to the fixed price menu (upcharge of $15 from the $44) and ordered a couple other appetizers. I think this is a nice way to do it if you're there with a partner or close friend. Camino seem to have sheepsmilk ricotta on the menu most nights, but change the accompaniments, and last night's was truly excellent with watermelon radishes (some slightly pickled), beets, and poppy seeds.

The dessert that was included with the Crabby menu was also delicious: walnut meringue with pomegranate sorbet, grapefruit and pomelo, and soft whipped cream.

Dec 23, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine with Regional Mexican

I'm serving Chile en Nogada and Tamales with Mole Amarillo for a dinner; what moderately priced California wines (preferably available through K&L) would you pair with it? An $18-24 price point would be ideal.

I would love both red and white suggestions. Some guests will always choose either red or always choose white regardless of what is served. Don't worry; we'll have tequila too.

Many thanks for your suggestions!

Dec 23, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

Did you see the thread/press about Mister Jiu?

http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

I am really looking forward to this restaurant's opening.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I would also love that that, but you can't sustain Cam Huong prices or "look" in Rockridge ...

My local coffee shop is also TERRIBLE. Can anyone tell I live in Montclair? haha. So I would welcome some craft coffee to the nabe.

Dec 19, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Cake recommendations?

Good thought ... I called and said they will not do a full size because "it needs to be created on site to get a cone shape", but suggested that they could do a St Honore with the caramel ... 11" diameter round, 2-3 puffs high.

Dec 14, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area