t

Torina's Profile

Title Last Reply

Smitten Ice Cream Oakland Rockridge location opened Tues 4/1/14

Ha! We were at Trader Joe's and were wondering who was standing in line on such a cold evening to get ice cream. Now we know :) ... will try it on a warmer day.

Apr 03, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Authentic, Exquisite Dim Sum and Chinese Bakeries?

Cooking Papa in Foster City has a great assortment of cheung fun, including the kind with yau tieu inside - a personal favorite. It's not strictly a dim sum place, but lots of very Hong Kong style plates. Good clay pots. Puffy, eggy donuts dipped in sugar are a perfect end to a meal there!

Mostly Chinese faces inside. Good value.

Mar 20, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Gelato di Bufala Dairy and Creamery [Petaluma, Sonoma County]

Sounds wonderful! I never order gelato in restaurants, but will have to try it at A16 Oakland. Thanks for the update, Melanie.

Feb 07, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

What's the best supermarket beef in the Bay Area?

Especially an aged ribeye. Pricy, but the furthest thing from flavorless! I, too, like a tender steak and a lot of grassfed (non aged Marin Sun for example) I find to be a bit tough.

Feb 07, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Best East Bay Bakery

We go to La Farine with regularity; love the baguettes, the laminated dough treats (frangipane croissant!), cakes. I got a delicious princess cake there.

Starter Bakery Kouign Amann, but they're almost too buttery.

Feel Good (Alameda) bakery epis. Bonus, they are all organic.

Anyone a fan of Fournee? http://www.fourneebakery.com/#!menu/c5a2
A friend likes it, but La Farine is our habit.

Jan 29, 2014
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Authentic chiles en nogada - any in the Bay Area?

I also loved the version at Tamarindo, and yes the filling was studded with dried fruit and nuts. Unbelievably good. So much so that we returned later in the week to have it again, but they weren't serving it that night to our great disappointment. Oh! and it was also served with a white square on the side, which we *think* was candied jicama, but we couldn't be sure. It was very fibrous.

Tamarindo, if I recall correctly, do not fry the chile.

Dec 12, 2013
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Julia's at Berkeley City Club ... Anyone been?

I waited too long to reply to myself, so I have forgotten what we ate. It was passable, but not in any way exciting or unique. Service was fine. Basically, you go for the fascinating building.

They are definitely working on it; I hope they succeed but I think they are struggling with turning it into an attractive restaurant for non club members and a younger demographic while continuing to meet the expectations of their primary clientele, which are the club. Tricky situation.

Dec 12, 2013
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum Chowdown at Hong Kong Lounge II [San Francisco]

In Mexico City, there are Chinese bakeries that are renowned and serve these kinds of buns -- custard inside, "pineapple" topping on the outside. My Mexican guide explained to me that Chinese immigrants brought them to Mexico, where they are imitated. (I am Chinese and was fascinated to see them there.)

Chinese are everywhere! :) And "fusion" cuisine is really old ...

Sep 14, 2013
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Julia's at Berkeley City Club ... Anyone been?

Gets good reviews on opentable.com, but am interested in input from East Bay chowhounders.

Hasn't gotten a lot of love from the press, but that doesn't mean too much to me.

thanks!

Sep 03, 2013
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Yucatasia, Mission @ 17th/18th San Francisco

Just wanted to share with my fellow SF'ers that this place, next to Southpaw BBQ on Mission, has delicious Yucatecan snacks.

My partner and I are devotees of the Yucatan and have visited four times in the past few years. These panuchos are like the ones you might get sitting at one of the shops in Parque Santiago in Merida. Pavo, turkey, is what you would normally get, but Yucatasia also offers cochinita, poc chuc, etc on the panuchos and salbutes. Very tasty, sizeable, and $2 a pop.

We'll be back to try more soon. Poc Chuc torta was very tasty, although not necessarily like anything I've eaten in Mexico. While we can't get the entire spread of delicacies we enjoy in Yucatan, we will definitely be back for more panuchos at least.

Dec 18, 2012
Torina in San Francisco Bay Area

Nacho's Grill (cuban) in Orlando a find ...

Sorry for the double post. Site gave me an error message.

Dec 31, 2007
Torina in Florida

Nacho's Grill (cuban) in Orlando a find ...

For an Orlando tourist after a long day at Universal and a quick trip to the "premium" outlets off of International Dr, we were tired of park food and dying for something good and local.

I happened to spot Nacho's Grill in a little strip mall across from the premium outlets (not right on International Dr, but just off of ... it is close to the Outback) and was so pleased to enter and find a sweet Cuban/Mexican place with good food and very pleasant service. It feels very "homey" inside, is decorated with pictures of their favorite celebrities, and it is clean.

We started with a shrimp ceviche and the "maduro relleno". I had gotten the feeling that this was more a Cuban place than a Mexican place, and these suspicions were borne out. The maduro was *excellent* -- beautifully caramelized plantains served as a bed for a layer of picadillo habana (ground sirloin slow cooked with olives) and topped with melted Emmenthaler. All three elements worked in gorgeous harmony together. The shrimp ceviche was enjoyed by my husband but was not rated as highly as the madruo (I am not a shrimp eater).

My husband ordered camarones enchiladas as his main (from the cuban side of the menu), which came with no tortillas embedded, but did have large shrimp in a tasty tomato-based sauce. I didn't try it, but hubby relished every last drop.

I ordered Chicharrones de pollo, which were small pieces of chicken breast dredged in flour and fried, then topped with a "mojito" sauce, which consisted of sauteed onion, citrus, and cilantro. Delicious sauce. My only complaint is that the chicken was a bit overcooked and therefore dry.

Both entrees were accompanied by white rice (perhaps cooked in a salted broth?), black beans, and sweet plantains. All the food was very "clean," no extra grease was added, and flavors were spot on.

Cousin ordered the beef nachos, which again confirmed that this was a mainly Cuban place -- it was topped with the same picadillo as was used in the maduro relleno! Very tasty, he finished every last chip.

We skipped dessert, since we were full, and because they had run out of everything but tres leches. I would've tried the flan had there been some left. It is a small, family run place, and they make everything from scratch daily (or so said the daughter/our waitress) and it shows. Lots of spanish-speakers in the restaurant when we entered, so it passes that test.

Anyway, I was so pleased to sniff this place out, and wanted to share!!! I will certainly be returning next time I am in Orlando! Enjoy.

I found the address using google maps:
Nacho's Grill
8249 Vineland Ave
Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 239-2634

and the menu:
http://www.allmenus.com/menus/36983/N...

Dec 31, 2007
Torina in Florida

Debate: tea at your workstation?

If you stir the tea into the water and then cover your tea with a plate or lid (asian stores sell mugs with lids), the tea leaves will sink to the bottom.

Nov 14, 2007
Torina in General Topics

Debate: tea at your workstation?

Haha, I think this is still a biased sample.

I do drink tea at my desk all the time. I go so far as to bring canned milk and keep it in the office fridge for myself (I love to drink Hong Kong-style "nigh cha", or milk tea). I keep cheap english breakfast and masala chai tea bags for that purpose. Also keep green tea (loose or tea bags depends on what I've purchased recently).

Nov 14, 2007
Torina in General Topics

2 great eating experiences in Washington.....

Mitsitam sounds fascinating. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

Additional reviews:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/20/AR2005102000621.html
http://www.indiancountry.com/content....

Nov 14, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Avant-garde Thanksgiving recipes?

Sweet potato biscuits are soooo good.

If you like making bread, how about a twist on the old brown-n-serve rolls? You can make brioche knots and put out honey butter if you want to go sweet, or if you want to go savory, you could make jalapeno cheese rolls.

I guess bread and butter might not be construed as an appetizer. For appetizers, I'm thinking fish ... you could also do salmon mousse on slices of cucumber or crostini, or smoked trout with horseradish cream garnished with watercress.

For dessert ... how about a pumpkin pie or cake decorated with a spicy pumpkin seed praline or brittle? So many fun options.

Nov 13, 2007
Torina in Home Cooking

What's "the" food where you're from?

It must be noted though that the best Italian cuisine in SF is California-Italian -- Italian style cooking that is unique to the area due to the ingredients available.

Really great authentic Mexican is part of the region too -- lots of Oaxacan and some great Yucatan.

Not traditional of course, but the ubiquitous "California cuisine" spawned by Her Aliceness.

Nov 13, 2007
Torina in General Topics

Uni Pizza? [moved from Manhattan board]

In case you decide to go for it and you're afraid of brand confusion ... sea urchins are called "i ricci di mare" in italian :) Maybe you could expand a little to specialize in seafood pizzas or raw seafood pizzas ... I can totally see "pizze di mare" or "pizza cruda".

Nov 12, 2007
Torina in General Topics

Any suggestions for enjoying these specialty items?

Maybe you could modify a mousse recipe to use the cherries (I think that would be delicious). Then eat on its own, with dark chocolate, or with white cake.

Could be good just on plain vanilla ice cream as well.

Nov 12, 2007
Torina in General Topics

Bistro Du Coin

I love the apple caramel tart at La Chamiere, and they do some things well (Boudin Blanc). But last time I was there, I ordered Cassoulet, which was overboiled, overseasoned, terrible stiff texture in the beans, inedible meat and sausage. To their credit, they allowed me to order another entree without additional charge. However, the second dish that I ordered (moules mariniere) came out smelling like a road apple ... I went hungry that night and it broke my heart.

I will go back for that tart, and for the cozy dining room, but never again a full meal!

Nov 09, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Vidalia menu recommendations

Make sure you get the Blenheim's Spicy Gingerale ... wonderful stuff, and very difficult to find!

Nov 08, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Shelled Chestnuts

You can buy shelled Chestnuts at any Chinese grocery. They come in little vacuum sealed packages and are relatively inexpensive.

I know for a fact that they carry them at the Kam Sen grocery in Annandale.
4316 Markham Street
Annandale, VA 22003

Nov 07, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tiny Bubbles

Are you sure you know the meaning of bloated? Needing to burp isn't being bloated ... not being able to fit into your clothes is.

Nov 05, 2007
Torina in Features

What is in season at Christmas in Italy?

Panettone, awesome christmas cookies at that bakery just off of Campo San Stefano.

Nov 02, 2007
Torina in Italy

Osteria? Trattoria?

If you find yourself near Piazza del Popolo (at the edge of Villa Borghese) and get hungry, go to I Fratellastri on via Flaminia. Not touristy at all, we were the only non-locals, excellent carbonara and other Roman specialties. The interior is very nice and modern, and service is professional and "gentile".

Near Campo de Fiori, we had a lovely dinner just off the main campo at "da Pancrazio" -- octopus salad with pesto was delicate (NOT overdressed with pesto), tender and delicious -- and excellent pastas. Excellent service and caffe. The restaurant is built on the foundations of the Teatro Pompey, and they claim that ancient roman senatorial meetings often took place after shows at that theater, and that in fact it was *there* that Caesar was stabbed!!

In general, I find Italian treatment of cooked meats to be a little tough, even in the places recommended by the Italian Slow Food guide (not as much of a problem in excellent American Italian restaurants). Although I am more of a "carne" person than a "pesce" person, I found the pesce and frutti di mare more delightful.

Nov 02, 2007
Torina in Italy

Dan Dan Mian

LoveFood, I did check out the recipe -- unfortunately this is one of those seasons of life where I don't have that much time for experimenting in the kitchen -- I have ferreted it away for another time.

The pigs ears are chewy, and the flavor of the ear is subtle, dominated by chili and cilantro. The dish is mostly about the texture.

I have not had good experiences at PF's in the past, but next time I am stuck at Tysons Galleria and starving, I will check out their Dan Dan.

Nov 01, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Le Tire Bouchon- FFX City

Is Rue 123 any relation to Bistro 123?

Nov 01, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dan Dan Mian

Sorry the Dan Dan Mian wasn't what you were looking for! Definitely let us know when you find it, as I would love to try the version you like as well. BTW, which noodles did you get? I always like the hand-pulled, chewy wide noodles.

I agree with you about the sesame biscuit, I find it underwhelming.

If you return, do try the bean curd with mushrooms and the pigs ears. There is also a really good cold gluten dish (don't remember exactly what it's called though).

Nov 01, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Visiting Silver Spring/DC - Need Recs for Great Places to Go

If you like latin american food, you should try Samantha's in silver spring.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-...

Despite what the Post says, it is Salvadoran cuisine, not Mexican. Try the fried yucca with chicharron! And all the pupusas are awesome. For fish lovers, the trout is excellent.

Nov 01, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore

Good Peking Duck and Shark's Fin Soup?

First, you're going to have a hard time finding quality versions of both in the same restaurant because Peking Duck is a northern dish (from Beijing), whereas shark fin soup is a southern dish (from Canton / Hong Kong).

There's a great Peking Duck place in Tyson's Corner: Oriental Regency.
8605 Westwood Center Dr Ste 100
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 827-9066

Unfortunately, their other dishes are not that great, but it's worth going for the duck.

Being Cantonese, I grew up eating Shark's Fin -- it's actually rather bland. I think most people order it for symbolic reasons rather than for the flavor. You should be able to find it at any Cantonese restaurant that is large/fancy enough to host banquets. If they have tablecloths, you can probably find it on the menu.

Also, not sure if this matters to you or not, but just to put it out there
... from a health perspective, sharks bioaccumulate mercury, so if you're concerned about mercury don't eat it, and please don't feed it to kids
... from an environmental/humanitarian perspective, the shark fin hunting is cruel, cutting off fins and dumping the fish back into the water to die (not even utilizing the other meat). This practice is illegal in the US, but it's hard to find out where restaurants are sourcing their fins.

Nov 01, 2007
Torina in Washington DC & Baltimore