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NY hound visiting San Francisco. Must Try Foods?

a lot of great advice, so this is how I would summarize. I spent some time eating in NYC and the average level is very high, thus can be a little harder to impress here.
I'd avoid sushi altogether since NYC is better.
Definitely get Vietnamese, though most of my favorites are in San Jose, a nicer ambiance one is Vung Tau
Definitely get some Mexican in the mission
late night, Lers Ros is awesome
NOPA is the only SF place that will give you NYC vibe very late at night, otherwise everything closes relatively early
if one other fine dining besides Benu, then I'd recommend Atelier Crenn (over Saison)
Commonwealth if looking to spend less
Aziza is pretty unique
Ferry Building a must (better than Chelsea Market)
you should check out a swan oyster depot or equivalent, also get Sotto Mare
for ice cream, can't go wrong with BiRite, Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous, Mitchell's, etc

Apr 21, 2012
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

South Bay Area Eats - Need recommendations

for south bay, depends on your restrictions
if in palo alto, try birch st cafe
if in menlo park, try mitsunobu
if in cupertino, try gochi
ramen -- orenchi
sushi -- well, usually go to sushi tomi or kitsho
mexican -- los gemelos
korean -- jang su jang all around but there are specifics for certain dishes
vietnamese -- vung tau all around but there are specifics for certain dishes
kalbi at secret garden
thai -- too bad you have to go to sf, ler ros is the best
isabellas, as mentioned, is good
persian then trek over to shalizaar
i'd go to manresa over baume unless you're into foams

Jan 26, 2012
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Please help us get excited about SF again! (a little long)

hi carbonara,
not worth comparing SF to NYC to LA or HK, Paris, etc. like apples and oranges. so when i compare, i just compare relative to what i can get in the area.
you have eaten at a lot of the famous names, but there is still a lot left.
in terms of the "newer" restaurants
i too really enjoyed last year: benu, saison, atelier crenn, commis, plum, morimoto, marlowe, plow, etc (also still like redd, canteen, ino, kiss, jardiniere)
and found these to be pleasant: commonwealth, sons and daughters, frances, prospect, cotogna, remade bar tartine, etc
anyways, a few places i still go all the time
Lers Ros: smoked pork shoulder, pork belly basil, boat noodle soup, chicken garlic rice, spicy fish, etc
Nopa: only place of this level food to go late night
So or San Tung: chicken wings
sotto mare: cioppino, sand dabs
tartine bakery, mr and mrs miscellaneous ice cream
torta los picudos
roli roti porchetta and 4505 meats
los gemelos tacos: handmade
vung tau: all around vietnamese
shanghai flavor shop: sheng jian bao
sumika: yakitori and oyakodon
back a yard grill: jerk chicken
honeyberry butter roti bun
anyways, come down the peninsula to try Mexican in Redwood City, Indian in Sunnyvale, Korean in Santa Clara, Vietnamese in San Jose, Chinese in Milpitas, etc.
NYC has some holes like Mexican and Vietnamese

Jan 26, 2012
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Here for a week from Miami

from Miami, hmm safe bets based on your request would be: Lers Ros Thai, SO chicken wings, Burma Superstar tealeaf salad/samusa soup, Saigon sandwich banh mi, Anh Hong Vietnamese, Hong Kong Lounge (Geary) dim sum, Sotto Mare cioppino/sand dabs, PPQ dungeness crab, izakaya sozai, etc
fine dining: saison, benu, atelier crenn
oakland: i like plum, commis

Oct 22, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Misoya Ramen, Santa Clara [split from South Bay ramen thread]

misoya is open now

Sep 14, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

The Melt - Fairly Epic Fail

single taste business for me.

Sep 01, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

NY hound seeks new SF gems

commonwealth -- probably fits what you're looking for, inventive for the price
bar tartine -- try chilled sour cherry soup
cotogna is ok, better Italian in nyc
i think you should get some mexican, mayan, vietnamese, burmese, etc. since those are slightly harder to find in nyc i think
i.e. torta los picudos, poc chuc, ppq dungeness / anh hong, usual burmese board recs, etc
maybe you'd like mochica
popular right now for a higher price and worth a visit are saison and atelier crenn
plum and commis are amazing but you'd have to go outside sf

Aug 05, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

sushi in SF for out-of-towners

no one is saying Ino is the best, but it's among the places I go back to.
(SF is not LA or NYC when it comes to Japanese)
Yasuda, Mori, Zo, have been defining meals for me in terms of sushi, so having eaten at Ino, Kiss, Koo, Kabuto (too bad they keep shrinking the foie gras sushi), Tombo, Okina, Kaygetsu, Sam's, Tomi, Kitsho, etc. each can have it's own strengths and weaknesses, and it's not the same league as the Yasuda, Mori, Zo, etc but they are all fine for this area.

Aug 02, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Roti Bun

the tim ho wan cha siu buns have a soft sweet lightly crumbly exterior, very delicate, different from the less crumbly coffee top flavored roti buns
the typical pineapple top buns in the US don't exactly mimic it because the top is finer in HK, and here it's bigger granular sugary and checkered-appearing "like a pineapple."
mexican buns (conchas) to me are drier with a sweet dense sugar glaze, but apparently roti buns were a variation of these...
from what I read, probably same sources as above, they were started by roti boy, malaysia

Jul 31, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Bar Tartine, Nick Balla era [San Francisco]

the chilled sour cherry soup was the best dish we tried.

Jul 30, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations: San Jose?

i'm local and this is where i go

Jul 29, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

sushi in SF for out-of-towners

I have eaten at yasuda, mori, and ino, and I agree with Ken. Ino is SF good, sushi chef is gruff, and heavy handed with wasabi. I like the ankimo at Ino.

Jul 29, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Roti Bun

they have a plain one at Baker's Village in Santa Clara.
have you tried the ones at PappaRich in Pasadena?

Baker's Village
1484 Halford Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95051

Jul 29, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

2 dinners/2 lunches to convince NY hounds to move to SF?

had you eaten at both recently? for me ippudo and totto didn't fall into the much, much better so didn't know if something had changed. anyways, LA japanese is my fave, though i don't get out to nyc as much.

Jul 19, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Review: Atelier Crenn [San Francisco]

I had almost the same dishes very recently: and agree that it was an excellent meal and stands out a bit from the typical SF dining (more artful, more molecular, more creativity but retained mostly great tastes)
*"Broken" Avocado. Grapefruit, tarragon, sourdough croutons and smoky popcorn -- delicious, a must order
*New potato Memoire D'enfance, pea sprouts, peas, Comte chips, flowers -- also very good
*Walk in the Forest," textures of wild mushrooms with pine essence merengue -- super tasty, a must order
*Asparagus with thin bacon, orange, trout caviar, goat hollandaise, and lard -- weakest dish, skip
*The Sea, sous vide arctic char, mussels, smoked oysters, and dehydrated black ink crumbs on top, sturgeon pearls/lemon foam -- good, but usually like my fish not so soft
*Pork and summer beans -- pretty good
*Moss Garden pistachio chiffon like cake over pear sorbet with nitrogen-chilled chocolate ganache -- spectacular dish, a must order
*Carrot cake, chilled pea sorbet, walnuts -- in the style of molecular playfulness, but not the best dessert tasting flavor combination

Jul 07, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

What food/food experience does Hong Kong do better than any other city?

just ate at tim ho wan again. for the price and taste, places in CA can't match.
had a meal at fu sing and was impressed. vermicelli in the sizzling clay pot was deceptively simple in appearance but complex in flavor.
i wish places like lung king heen existed in the US, but high end chinese is best left to hk
also getting a reliable XLB even at a chain such as Crystal Jade is a lot easier and better than CA.

Jun 18, 2011
ankimo in China & Southeast Asia

Your Top 3 in Hong Kong

hard to give a top 3 list that is the most accurate and encompassing for all unless you've tried all the top restaurants in a short time (eating would have to be your full time hobby/job), that being said, everyone should just mention the meals they enjoyed (and probably list a few others for reference so you can understand where they are coming from experience wise, i.e. I'm from US, eaten a lot in SF/LA, tried Vancouver Chinese, Sydney Chinese, eaten at a handful of cities in China, etc.)

last year I tried Tim Ho Wan, LKH, Bo Innovation, Amber, Yung Kee, Tsui Wah, Lin Heung, Lei Garden, King's Lodge, Mak's Wellington, Nathan's Congee, Super Star, Literal, Tung Po, inside Langham Place, HK style mango desserts, egg tarts, another roast goose place (forget the name) and for me the first three stood out as well as Tung Po, oh and HK cha siu
next time gonna focus more on the dai pai dongs, hopefully Sai Kung

Jun 12, 2011
ankimo in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore family seeking help. Please advise and critique my list

cool to have many respected posters on this thread with so much info that I happen to agree with; now only if every new person just reads this one so it doesn't have to be re-posted every time.

I recommend eating at Plum in Oakland, though it might be small for families.
for a steak house, I think you would like Alexander's (Cupertino or SF)
Torta los picudos SF for a torta is a can't miss
if you want to try some Italian in Oakland, another popular one is Dopo
try a huarche in oakland fruitvale area (though it's not my fave dish)
if you're in the area (south bay), I think Dishdash would be interesting for you to try.
if you happen to be around Redwood city on the peninsula, I really like Los Gemellos for hand made tacos.
Vung Tau is my go to for guests. if you're in Oakland, you can also check out Vietnamese at places like Banh mi Ba Le for a quick sandwich

Jun 12, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Humphry Slocombe vs. Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous - If You Could Pick Only One....

very informative and accurate thread with the breakdown of the flavor and texture differences of both. i agree.

May 18, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Ramen Halu -- "Lobster and Dungeness crab Ramen"

I tried it. broth was definitely sea over pork. heavy roasted shallot/red onion. noodles are still great and the highlight of this place. seafood not quite generous (bigger lobster piece) at a $16 price point. usually ramen halu (tonkotsu) for me is porky but too salty and laden with fat bits (not so drinkable for me).

May 13, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Best ice cream 2011

you can get almond pista saffron at Real Ice Cream in Santa Clara if that's your thing.
Queen Bee in RWC carries Marianne Ice Cream (from Santa Cruz like Cowabunga)
personally i like bi-rite for texture/density, humphry slocombe is a bit icier but creative flavors, mr and mrs is the closest for being like bi-rite but interesting flavors (so those are my top 3)
don't forget Ici's cone
romolo's cannolis are great, filled to order

May 11, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Authentic Vietnamese in the Bay Area

so many good choices in San Jose (off Story, Tully, Capitol)

have you tried all these yet:
nem nuong cuon: chao vit thien huong
upscale, banh khot: Vung Tau
fish: Thien Long
well rounded: Anh Hong
southern pho: Pho Y#1 (people usually like Pho Kim Long)
northern pho: Pho Ha Noi
bun bo hue: Bun Bo Hue
banh mi: Thanh Huong, Huong Lan, Cam Hung
che: Thanh Son Hien Khanh
green waffle: Grand Century Mall and others
chicken: Com Ga Nam An
hu thieu: Dalat, Nam Vang
rice noodle sheet: Banh Cuon Tay Ho #8
bo 7 mon: Pagolac, Anh Hong
crab: ppq in sf

May 08, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Please review SFO dining list for NYC Foodie (Researched)!!

I don't think SF chinese is better than nyc, esp. out in Flushing.
try Lers Ros Thai which is one of SF's best eats
Slanted Door is overrated esp. for the price unless you go there accepting that
NOPA is the only late night good dining to give you the nyc feel, otherwise everything closes early in SF
Bi Rite and HS are two sides of the same coin -- both are among the best, but bi-rite has the rich smooth texture and HS has the more unique flavors
the ferry building should be your lunch that day

May 08, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Good Chinese Eats near Palo Alto

if you like Everyday Beijing level of food, then you'll probably have to drive away from Palo Alto to eat Chinese.
there's several good places in San Mateo (including Silver House) and sichuan in San Mateo, also Cupertino Village area, McCarthy Ranch Milpitas area, and Cooking Papa in South Bay.

May 02, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Good baked goods AND good coffee, Southbay-- impossible?

maybe it's too out of the way, but have you tried the bakery/coffee at Hannah?

May 02, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Toronto to SF (yes, I've done my research)

since you liked Publican in Chicago, i'd recommend spending more time at the ferry building eating at Boccalone and Hog Island and 4505 Meats. you can get grilled fish and lamb at Kokkari. Dosa is a safe Indian choice. Cotogna over Quince though the white asparagus at Quince was excellent. NOPA late night pork chop meal always satisfies. for a meal and then hang out after, try 25lusk. Marlowe would give you a great sense of midrange awesome sf dining. Truly Mediterranean is a good falafel or shawarma snack type of place

May 02, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

In Miami (SoBe area) April 23-26th with 3 foodies

a couple years, but i've eaten at bvb, naoe, sugarcane, sakaya last few times i visited, but not pubbelly, gigi, or sustain

In Miami (SoBe area) April 23-26th with 3 foodies

coming back for a couple meals to try the new places -- Pubbelly is my top new one to try.
is Gigi worth it?
where else would you recommend for a lunch and a dinner?

Carneros Inn or Solage??

i'm glad to see you're picking between two amazing places carneros and solage. since it'll be your first time to napa, it's almost guaranteed to be a great experience. i personally liked biking around calistoga. but have done the driving to various places from carneros.
some places i've liked relative to the price...
lunch (or brunch): solbar, ad hoc, redd, bouchon bakery snacks
dinner: morimoto, bottega

Apr 11, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area

Off The grid

if you go in a large group and have each person stand in line for each truck separately all at once, and then share together after, it can be a bit more manageable.

Apr 06, 2011
ankimo in San Francisco Bay Area