stravaigint's Profile

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French Laundry solo?

There are some great alternatives suggested in this thread, but just in case you want to try anyway:

"I understand that the restaurant requires tables of 2 or 4"

I'm not sure that's a hard policy - I was there recently with a party of three (we booked over the phone). And there was even a single diner, tucked away in the far corner. So it is possible. Call them up and see if they can help you.

about 4 hours ago
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Porcellino, Bi-Rite, Kin Khao (San Francisco: Day One)

Hey, we tried - that's 8 dishes in four hours, not counting the ice cream and a side of sticky rice!

Jun 03, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Porcellino, Bi-Rite, Kin Khao (San Francisco: Day One)

Says the guy who had to do laps at Georges...

Jun 03, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Porcellino, Bi-Rite, Kin Khao (San Francisco: Day One)

I had a feeling this would be up already :)

You left out the salumi platter, but then it was half gone by the time you arrived *whistle*

Jun 02, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area
1

YALAHAFA (Yet Another L.A. Hound Asking for Advice) on Great Eats in SF Proper (Muni accessible, non-high end)

Depending? Possibly? What is this I don't even...

May 30, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Hung's Kitchen in San Ramon

I just asked some friends who live in the area, and apparently they love the place...but hadn't told me =.= No detailed descriptions, but they like the XLB, sea bass chive dumpling, scallop dumpling, spicy beef tendon, salt and pepper fish and the mantou. If I can guilt them into a meal I'll report back.

Apr 18, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Malacca, Malaysia - Good Nyonya lunch at Nancy's Kitchen

Agreed, welcome back!

Apr 14, 2014
stravaigint in China & Southeast Asia

Kansui Ramen in San Jose [Goat Pastrami, Pumpernickel Noodles, Willow Glen]

Those pumpernickel noodles look fantastic! #16 is very impressive given its location outside of the ramen-ya hot zones. I really hope they offer a dinner service soon.

This is also the first time I've noticed how highly you rank Ajisen, which is nice, because I thought I was the only one crazy enough to go to Warm Springs for ramen of all things...

Apr 10, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Some new things in downtown San Jose

They've taken down the Arepa Swing sign. Hrm.

I finally tried Loteria Taco Bar - so disappointing. Will stick to the breaded halibut at Dia De Pesca

Apr 10, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

san jose recommendations

Yup, Owl's Howl.

Apr 10, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Liquid Bread Gastropub - Campbell - deserves a try

They have a variation of the burger on the bar menu. It comes without the Béarnaise sauce, and I think without the Cowgirl Creamery Seascape, but it does have the pickled onions and some crumbled cheese. And it's utterly, fist pumpingly fantastic. Like, plate licked completely clean fantastic. If I hadn't already had the kale salad, and eyed up the dessert board, I'd have had another. Loosely packed, properly seasoned, and dripping into the bun, which soaked it up without falling to pieces. I want another one. And I'm going to write to the Metro and tell them to shove their latest burger list, because Liquid Bread should have won.

Apr 07, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Blue crab hand rolls only, wow.

"so that the warm, loosely packed rice that Nozawa is known for stays warm"

I can safely cross that off the list then.

Apr 04, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Are the following restaurants all okay for lunchtime walk-ins with assurance of seating?

Silverjay has already given the best answers to your questions, but since I promised to post his card, here it is.

Mar 26, 2014
stravaigint in Japan
1

Any Info on Knife Sharpening Classes in SF area

Galen at Town Cutler does sharpening classes. He's a good guy and he knows his stuff.

http://towncutler.com/event-registrat...

Mar 26, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Shandong Mutton Restaurant in West San Jose

I found this completely by accident - I happened to roll through the plaza and spotted it. A quick check on CH revealed nothing, but y*lp showed that it's been open for about six months. Pictures of cute lambs on the menu sealed the deal.

FOOD:

Northern Chinese, obviously, with most of the menu comprised of lamb dishes, split between boiled/fried and soup/noodle based. There's also an appetizer section.

Father and daughter (I think) were busy behind the counter making lamb skewers, so I ordered a plate of those. They asked if I could handle spicy, and I said I'd try. Dad rushed into the back to work his magic, while daughter invited me to snap a pic of the uncooked skewers.

A while later four gorgeous skewers arrived, showered in spices, but not actually very spicy. I will need to be more assertive next time. But they were so well cooked I didn't care. Thoroughly tender on the inside, pink but not at all chewy, and nicely seared. I think this is going to be a regular order of mine. Several plates thereof.

I also ordered the lamb sesame bread and the lamb noodle soup. The bun did not have a lot of filling, and by itself was very dry and bland, but it made a perfect accompaniment to the soup, so I just pulled the two halves apart and dipped it. The soup started out a little mild in flavor, but as I mixed it and worked towards the bottom it got much richer. Noodles were somewhat chewy, but not in the same league as QQ/Shandong Oakland. I did not ask if they were hand pulled/cut. Little chunks of lamb sprinkled throughout.

They have ZJM on the menu too, but with all the lamb dishes it's going to be a while before I try it.

LOGISTICS:

It's in that weird limbo between Cupertino and San Jose, in the Orchard Farms shopping center where the Safeway is. It's on the southern most end of the plaza, by the dance studio.

It's not very big. They can seat perhaps 20 people. I had a four-top to myself, but it was 4:30pm and I was the only customer. It's really pleasant inside, with the afternoon sun streaming through the windows.

Staff were really happy to see me and very helpful.

This dummy did not snap pics of the menu =.= Head on over to y*lp.

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Shandong Mutton Restaurant
6184 Bollinger Rd, San Jose, CA 95129

Mar 25, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Any good cafes in Roppongi?

Bump for a real gem.

I had some time to kill on a recent Friday afternoon, so I stopped by Pointage based on your recommendation. I got there about 3:30pm, and there was no line and a free table, so I staked my spot. Ordered a mocha, which arrived in a decidedly non-new-wavey style (which was a nice change, given all the coffee shops I'd already hit) and a really crispy, flakey pear danish. Spent a very pleasant hour there, before window shopping in Azabu.

At one point I looked up from my book and the line was out the door. Must have been croissant/baguette time.

Mar 25, 2014
stravaigint in Japan

Are the following restaurants all okay for lunchtime walk-ins with assurance of seating?

Nakaji-san's policy might be different for lunch, but based on my dinner there I don't think he takes walk-ins. He has set seatings (temperature of the rice, as he'll explain...). You can call and ask, he and his wife both speak a little English. Or I can dig out his business card for you, and you can email him.

As far as (very good) high-end goes, you can try walking into Daisan Harumi in Ginza. There were unreserved spaces at the counter the last time I went.

Mar 25, 2014
stravaigint in Japan

Paleteria y Neveria Las Michoacanas in Salinas

I was stuffed from brunch at Eva's Cafe, but a tour of the Steinbeck Center opened up some space and as it was a warm Spring day I figured a paleta would hit the spot.

For some reason I was expecting a smaller store, but it extends pretty far back, with most of it open space. The area with the couch by the window is lovely, it sits right in the sun.

There must have been at least thirty different flavors in the cooler. I went with a safe pistachio de leche, for $2. Lovely bits of real pistachio throughout, but the ingredients list also confirms pistachio flavoring. Not overly sweet or intense, which is a plus.

It did hit the spot.

Photographed against black, it looks much brighter than it really is. Don't let that put you off - it's really a much lighter, more natural shade, as are most of their offerings.

Would be nice to go with a group, so as to try more flavors.

Mar 24, 2014
stravaigint in California
1

Mexican breakfast in Salinas?

Another excellent recommendation!

Eva's Cafe was packed at 10:am yesterday except for a stool by the door. Plonked myself down, took a quick look at one of the pretty blue take-out menus on the wall - with English and pictures! - and ordered the huevos con chorizo and an horchata.

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the pace is definitely more leisurely. Folks are more relaxed, but it's also because everything is made from scratch. I could hear them patting tortillas in the kitchen.

A larger space opened up by the till and the kindly gentleman behind the counter invited me to move up. He speaks excellent English and was incredibly welcoming.

I was thankful for the extra space, because a lot of food arrived: plate of huevos, side of fresh tortillas, salsa, guac, mug of horchata.

Chorizo was mild and not the least bit greasy. Nicely mixed in with the eggs, and well-seasoned. Beautifully fluffy rice, which I stuffed into bits of warm, thick tortilla with beans and sauce. Nothing was too spicy, just a nice, warm glow.

Despite being busy, I was never rushed. Which is good, because I could hardly move. I had to decline their kind offer of extra tortillas, otherwise I'd have had a nap attack right on the counter.

I saw several orders of the menudo go by.

Mar 24, 2014
stravaigint in California
2

Any place one can buy Kouign Amann in SF?

I just had another one, but remembered to snap a cutaway for you this time. Just look at that thing...come on Cali bakers *shakes fist*

Mar 18, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Finally! Righteous Q in the South Bay [Smoking Pig, San Jose]

Opening tomorrow according to their twitter account:

"Big news! Wednesday at 11:00am Smoking Pig BBQ Company Fremont will FINALLY OPEN. Soft opening, but OPEN!"

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3340 Mowry Ave, Fremont, California 94538

Mar 18, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Is mori open for breakfast sushi (this may just be a mistake)

I was at Tsukiji last week and made a point of trying Yachiyo thanks to your post. So here's a pic of the mother of all shrimp plates, the kuruma furai, just for you.

I got the weirdest looks from the tourists waiting for Dai to open...

Mar 17, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Some new things in downtown San Jose

I went back into the SJ store a couple of weeks ago, saw a sign for snacks, thought Hey, I'll report this! and then realized that SF Weekly had already mentioned it =.=

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2014...

But here's a pic anyway. Have yet to try them.

Mar 17, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Nozawa Bar in Beverly Hills

And six blocks from Q, which makes three high-end sushi-yas in the area (I'm assuming it'll be high-end, whether he's moving or opening a new joint). Thanks for the info!

Feb 27, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Yelp Top 100 (LA edit)

And the strawberry banana bread.

Feb 27, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Nozawa Bar in Beverly Hills

Did anyone else notice this yesterday?

"It's unclear what, exactly, this means at the moment, but Kazunori Nozawa — Los Angeles' OG sushi king of the shuttered Sushi Nozawa and mastermind behind beloved warm rice chainlet Sugarfish — is back in biz."

http://la.eater.com/archives/2014/02/...

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KAZU-NORI, 421 S Main St Los Angeles, CA 90013

Feb 27, 2014
stravaigint in Los Angeles Area

Habit Burger now in Walnut Creek

Ahem...obligatory photo...

Feb 25, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Habit Burger now in Walnut Creek

Since then they've appeared all over the bay, with the latest one in opening in Fremont just a couple of months ago. It's in the shiny new part of Pacific Commons, between the movie theater and the Target.

I got a BBQ bacon charburger, add cheese (American). Patty was a bit on the flavorless side, but the bacon was nice and crispy, and the fries were great. For four-bucks-something, not bad, although it's not going to put a dent in my In-N-Out rotation. Friend had the tri-tip, to which he added a patty (!!!), and he really enjoyed it.

Reports on y*lp indicate a "secret" Santa Barbara item with avocado and sourdough, which I'll try if I'm back in the area.

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The Habit Burger Grill
43830 Pacific Commons Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538
http://www.habitburger.com/

Feb 25, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area

Chef Ma in San Jose for Chengdu, Sichuan Cooking

There were three new (to me) waitresses on Saturday night, with my usual waiter nowhere to be found. Apparently he's still around, but on different nights. As always, it was quiet, except for takeout orders.

Tried the "fresh chili fish noodle" soup. Their translations are about as good as my zhongwen, but I guessed it to be like a shuizhu with flat rice noodles. It's marked as ** on the menu, but my waitress described it as "regular spicy". Alrighty then.

Like the other dishes I've had, it's really meant to be shared. It's a massive bowl of broth, topped with large, tender bits of whitefish and a smattering of chili. Not much in the way of peppercorns floating on top, but I did hit pepper with a mouthful of soup, and it caught on the back of my throat, which resulted in much coughing. My waitress was amused. It wasn't overly spicy, but I was mopping my brow by the end. I cleaned out my bowl.

Like the shredded potato, the rest of the "small" appetizer portions have been crossed off the menu. I ended up with a large plate of the jerky, half of which I had to take home - it's very good after marinating in the fridge overnight.

Feb 25, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Finally! Righteous Q in the South Bay [Smoking Pig, San Jose]

Passed by the new joint on Friday afternoon and it looked like it's either open or about to open. Unfortunately I wasn't the one driving, so I couldn't stop to check.

Feb 23, 2014
stravaigint in San Francisco Bay Area