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Roast Duck: SFBA Dish of the Month July 2015

Had Peking Duck at Cooking Papa FC for lunch today.

Okay, but skin not as crisp as it should be and WAY too much unrendered fat on the meat. I assume this is the "faux" peking - roast duck fried up?

Jul 17, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

? wrong thread?

Jul 14, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Regional Chinese roundup 2.0

Well if inedible meats (are lamb and beef supposed to taste like overcooked leather?), assorted inedible other "goodies" and a mushy shrimp is the real deal then I guess this is one cuisine that is not for me :(

Jul 03, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowdown at Boiling BeiJing [San Bruno]

Thanks to hyperbowler for organizing this and tm for starting the thread!
Really great to meet such interesting people (and the restaurant kindly turned down the overly loud music so we could talk!).
Everyone had different favorites (and we were unable to order some things since they were out, a chef was out sick and/or in the case of the duck apparently the oven was broken)
My favorites were:
the dumplings in hot oil - wrapper wasn't to my liking but the filling was quite tasty - mostly (all) vegetable with nice texture and sprinkled sesame seeds on top added nice texture and flavor.
Shrimp hot pot was described as quite "numbing", but that was not my experience. This was a great dish but quite a bit less spicy than I expected
Knife shaved noodles - really good flavor, but very sparse veg and meat-don't know if that is the style, but I would have liked a bit more of each to create a better balance
Braised pork - really rich and delicious, but strangely (for me) there were largish pieces of potato which were a bit of a challenge with chopsticks
Hope others share their experiences,

Jul 02, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Regional Chinese roundup 2.0

Went there for their opening (they had a few special days where you could "pay what you want". Really nice people, but totally unimpressed.
Had their ?sichuan hot pot (can't remember it was a few weeks ago) which was described as quite hot (spicy).
Well, it is served already cooked (to death) and was so spicy it was almost inedible. Not just my opinion the couple next to me (asian) also felt the same way.
Perhaps I was mislead by the appealing photos showing uncooked hotpot ingredients with beautiful photography, but sadly the product was nothing like that.
The other problem is that it is served in an individual pot was sterno burning underneath - and the smell almost made me ill. I had to ask the staff to put it out (which they did).

Jul 02, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Declining quality at Costco?

Maybe just lucky but I've had some of the best asparagus ever from costco!

As for other persons comments about short dated greens, THEY'RE GREENS! They go bad in a few days if not treated with chemicals. Really hard to keep them fresh for long

Jun 24, 2015
estnet in Chains

Another SF food trek - June 25 - anyone interested?

Would have liked to but I'm 8000 miles away! Sorry

Jun 21, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Beijing Duck House (Cupertino)

How much is the duck?
Did you order 2 different styles, are the fried bones part of the normal presentation?

Jun 08, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Duck pate

Don't know if you mean local, but D'artagnan (NY mail order) has good products - don't know about wholesale prices

Jun 07, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

SF birthday dinner for a 7-year-old

Well, except for the crowd issue (which I think would be a problem) what about Pier 39 (if the seals are there), there is an aquarium, lots of fun dessert type places and you can eat in a place overlooking Alcatraz and see lots of boats - but I haven't been for a few years so might be a bit different now?

May 08, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

When a menu is not a menu

I'm with you. clearly the chef has to make decisions a few hours ahead of service - so what is the big deal with typing up a menu on the computer to offer to those who would like it? Granted you still wouldn't know ahead of time, but I'd sure prefer this.
I went to Baum once and had such a poor experience that I'd never go back - so that one is easy for me to ignore.
Manresa - not so much, especially since IMHO I don't think the menu is entirely new EVERY night. Given the complexity and detail surely the staff has to be trained and I'm willing to bet (but more recent visitors can confirm or deny) that there are a lot of repeat dishes in a two or three week period. Things like the tide pool or into the garden that are sort of signature might be on most nights?
Anyway I'm with you on my comfort level :)

May 07, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

I think my dinner was around 180 - website says dinners are 120-150 plus tax and service charge.

Apr 10, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

Due to the kindness of a chowhounder I was gifted a reservation last week so here are some thoughts after mulling it all over I'm still conflicted about the meal

It's an interesting concept and I'm impressed that they are able to sell out so quickly for 2 servings a night BUT while I enjoyed the "community" aspect of dining I also felt it was a bit off putting.

Canapes are served in a small upstairs room along with drinks (purchased) as well as a complimentary rum punch (that not everyone seemed to receive). Most were similar to those previously reported. I found the noise level and small space difficult and it was awkward to talk to people because of the seating.

After this, people were led downstairs which again was awkward because if you met someone and wanted to continue the conversation that was not possible.

As for the food - they do provide a small book listing the menu (as well as verbal explanations) for each course. Much to my surprise my favorite courses were the onion soup and the rhubarb dessert (I didn't even know I liked rhubarb!)

The onion soup had an egg yolk (the second or third item with egg yolk of the evening) which I didn't like as much as the broth but had an interesting story. Because of the texture I asked how it had been prepared and was told that it was dropped into oil, the the oil was placed in a water bath and slowly heated. The yolk could have used some seasoning and had a somewhat gummy custard like texture.

The lamb course was described as the "best lamb" the chefs had ever tasted, but sadly for me I got a tiny piece and my neighbor got one 4x the size. Sadly she didn't like lamb so only had one bite.. This course was served with a blood orange and vanilla sauce which I found disturbingly sweet, but people around me thought it "made the dish" this dish is pictured but I don't know how to add text around the picture or even if the picture will post (sorry about that)

All the food (well, maybe except for the "bread" course) was presented artfully with (sometimes) too many things going on on the plate so flavors didn't "sing" or got confused/muddeled.

Lots of innovation, but all in all I prefer to have more control over my food I guess. Having had tasting menus at many high end restaurants I find the ability to peruse the menu and make individual requests more my style. The "cafeteria" style service doesn't seem so much like fine dining to me.

As for the "service charge" - it is clear that the servers do a lot of work (and I found mine to be pleasant if somewhat overwhelmed) with so many courses but since it is mandatory I don't really understand why they don't just adjust the pay rate and include the charge as part of the cost.

Would I go back? Probably not - for the same price (well what it would be if I hadn't been gifted)I could have meals at many places I would find more satisfying.

Am I glad I went - definitely.

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

what is there to drink if you don't do the pairing? Water, I assume?

Mar 12, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Costco To End Relationship With American Express

The costco amex offers 1% back on purchases and higher for gas - not clear what they will do when they (presumably)change the conditions when no longer associated with Costco. So you'd need to evaluate when that is announced
As you said, for any non Costco amex you'd still get whatever benefits you've always had - so I fail to see the angst so many are expressing about loss of ability to use amex ;)

Mar 07, 2015
estnet in Chains

Chaya uni tasting menu [San Francisco]

any idea of cost and number of courses? (and I'm not familiar with the area - can I street park on a Sunday?)

Mar 06, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

Haha....when I read the title I thought it was referring to a plan by Manresa to institute a dress code - which I found shockingly incongruous. This makes a lot more sense :)

Mar 06, 2015
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Costco To End Relationship With American Express

YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET WHATEVER CARD THEY ACCEPT TO SHOP!

You don't want to give up your amex and get a new cc? Use your amex to buy costco cash cards online - then use them to make your purchases at costco. You get you miles/points on your amex and don't have to get another card. Yes, you lose other benefits that came with the card, but for those who simply don't want another card this is a simple solution!

Mar 06, 2015
estnet in Chains

Lasarte - lunch?

Has anyone been since they reopened? I think it was closed for redecorating - is that right?
Also does anyone know if they still have a lunch menu that is a special price?

Jan 15, 2015
estnet in Spain/Portugal

Costco returns?

Guess I can't edit so....
I think there is a difference between spoiled wine and buying too much. My guess is if there is something wrong they will take it back, but not if you just buy too much.
This is a good thing, if true b/c they do sell some pretty pricey stuff :)

Dec 26, 2014
estnet in Chains

Costco returns?

Don't know where u live but can't return in California

"Cigarettes and alcohol: Costco does not accept returns on cigarettes or alcohol where prohibited by law."

Dec 26, 2014
estnet in Chains

Costco returns?

In california you cannot return alcohol

Dec 24, 2014
estnet in Chains

Recommendation for a moderately priced champagne/sparkling wine? [San Francisco]

I like Roederer Estate Anderson Valley - which can sometimes be found on sale for around 16 or 17, but now closer to $20. It, is, however perhaps overkill for mimosas

Dec 23, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Crab season is upon us

Thanks, that's pretty much what I thought. I've had some that is really good, but the chance of getting some that isn't "off" seems IMLE to be about 1 out of 10 - just wondered how a restaurant could offer it is not something that can be counted on (altho I guess they do enough volume that they can pick the good ones)
Usually if it is a lighter color - like the pictured ones it is good, but if it is darker brown - then bitter and acrid tasting (but this is a limited sample)

Dec 23, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Crab season is upon us

When I try the crab fat from crabs I've cooked myself and bought live (both from the dock and at ranch 99) I find it is often bitter and not edible.
Is there a secret I'm missing?

Dec 19, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

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

Had one at Ame a few years ago (pavlova) but it was horrible so even if they still have it I wouldn't recommend.

Oct 06, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Little China Kitchen - Downtown San Mateo

I don't find LS greasy, but was asking more about the quality of the prep - I'm buying for a group of (homeless) people who are asking for their favorites I know the quality of LS, but (at least on yelp which I can't evaluate) people are complaining of small portions and more important overly salted or otherwise bad food.

Aug 29, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Little China Kitchen - Downtown San Mateo

Any updates? I'm buying food for about 10 people and was going to to to Little Shanghai (which I know), but someone suggested this place, but from the reviews here (old) and yelp (which I don't trust) doesn't seem like I should try this place.

Aug 29, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

Paid Food Testing Event - Downtown Oakland

If there is an age criteria (which there clearly is once you waste time filling out the form) you could save us all a lot of time by just saying so up front!

Aug 06, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area

French Laundry solo? [Yountvile]

coi does not accept reservations for singles!

Jul 29, 2014
estnet in San Francisco Bay Area