Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

tipsybaker's Profile

Title Last Reply

Burmatown in Corte Madera (Marin County)

I tried it the other night and loved it. Although it features a very good tea leaf salad, it's not exactly Burmese as it also serves kimchi potstickers, a Malaysian flatbread, bao. I live in Marin and I haven't been to a restaurant in the county that I liked this much in ages. (I also really liked Shwe Myanmar in San Rafael where I went a few weeks ago, but that's another category of restaurant. That's ethnic lunch and Burmese tea. This is wine and dinner.)
Anyway, we had the Burma Town bao, filled with beef and some kind of salad -- you had options on the fillings. These were fantastic. When I go back, I'm ordering them again for sure. The tea leaf salad, as I mentioned, was very good. The entree of shrimp with basil seemed a bit short on the shrimp, but the spicy sauce ladled on the accompanying coconut rice was delicious, as were the perfectly cooked green beans. We didn't have room for dessert, though the list, which the waiter recited, was short and really interesting, made with Asian ingredients like young coconut. I wish I could tell you exactly what was on it, but I'd get something wrong. I'll just say it didn't include flourless chocolate cake or fruit crisp or any of the usual suspects. I should add here that the service was terrific -- everyone seemed totally engaged in the enterprise, really interested in the food and what they were doing, which you don't see a lot in Marin. Great place and I hope it thrives. That location has not been kind to restaurants.

Martha Stewart kale salad recipe- a revelation!

I second your love of this salad, Balabanian, and I think it could be taken in other directions. I keep thinking some sesame oil would be a great twist. The recipe does make a ton of salad, but the next day I ate it cold from the refrigerator for lunch and it was possibly even tastier. Dressed kale holds up in a way dressed lettuce doesn't.

Oct 27, 2010
tipsybaker in Home Cooking

November 2008 COTM The Art of Simple Food: Pasta, Bread & Grains

We've done a lot of experimenting with biscuits and the Alice Waters biscuits were wonderful in their way, but you're right, Carb Lover. Scone-like. And even with active baking powder, they didn't rise. They were like lovely little cookies.

Nov 10, 2008
tipsybaker in Home Cooking


Le Garage is wonderful. I ate there last night for the first time and was happy with everything. The green salad -- dressed up with cheese-stuffed figs and fresh plums -- was terrific. The salmon was lovely and the panna cotta one of the best I've eaten. My aunt ordered a pesto ravioli appetizer and the entree vegetable tart, and liked both very much. I've never tried the Spinnaker but you can't go wrong with Le Garage, especially on a sunny day.

Dynamo Donuts

We stopped by Dynamo this morning (Saturday.) There was a line of maybe nine people ahead of us, and the wait was five minutes. They had three kinds of donuts, and we tried them all:

-lemon pistachio ($3). Quite good, a bit like lemon birthday cake. The frosting had a very sharp lemon kick. Pistachios didn't add much flavor , just crunch. What distinguished this donut -- and Dynamo's others -- was its texture. It had a little bit of a crust, yet inside was extremely tender.

-caramel fleur de sel ($2.50). Damp with the caramel topping; salt came in little tasty grains. Liked this as well.

-chocolate spice ($2.50). My husband's favorite. It was very, very moist and rich, but not quite brownie like. I'm not a huge chocolate fan, but this might have been my top pick as well.

I'm glad someone is doing boutique donuts in San Francisco and I wish them well. This isn't our neighborhood so we probably won't be back anytime soon. But I was impressed.

Dynamo Donuts and Coffee
2760 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Tony Tutto Pizza in Mill Valley

That's funny, Balabanian. I started to wonder if I didn't understand pizza crusts given that I actually preferred Tony Tutto's to Picco's wood oven variety. I've decided that it doesn't matter that much to me how a crust is BAKED. What matters is the flavor of the dough, and I thought TT's was almost perfect. I love the idea of bossy but supportive postcards. Also, maybe if he gets a lot of business he can afford to hire more helpers.

Anniversary Dinner at Orson last night

Unctuous is a good word, isn't it?
I forgot to mention in my original post that we also had the farro side dish with crescenza cheese. It was fabulous. I keep thinking about it -- fresh, yet hearty.
And I completely forgot to mention the chocolate pizza with red pepper and olive oil. When I saw it on the menu, I knew I had to try it. Though I would probably not order this again (it sort of killed my appetite for dessert) I was not disappointed. It consisted of a thin pizza crust -- plenty big -- drizzled with melted chocolate. There was a little pepper bite in there, softened by olive oil. It was half-savory, half sweet. Unusual. Very good. But extremely filling, and, like I say, steals dessert's thunder.

NEW: Lollipop (dessert place), Mill Valley - any reports?

Yes, my children had been avidly tracking the progress of the Lollipop project for months, as we live fairly nearby. I have only walked in and examined the impressive candy selection and some homemade ice cream (or is it gelato? I can't remember) that I would one day like to sample. I think there was black raspberry, which is unusual around here. Independently, the kids have enjoyed the ice cream -- my daughter reported on really good sorbet, I think it was mango. My son was on the fence about his cupcake, but I'm not sure he likes cupcakes as much as he thinks he does. It's a pretty, airy space -- though no room for sitting and eating on site, except a small window seat. I hope it's around for a while, as Mill Valley needs all the little bakeries and snack shops it can get.

Anniversary Dinner at Orson last night

I too was at Orson last night. I wondered at first if you were part of the couple next to me, but based on what you ordered -- no.

I agree with your assessment. First class and surprisingly reasonable. The appetizer snack mix was one of the greatest bar nibbles I've ever had -- ate three bowls of it.
Hamachi appetizer was good, but it was just hamachi. What blew me away was the short rib, dredged in vanilla and espresso and cooked sous vide. The waiter explained what that meant -- the immersion in warm water for many hours, sealed in a sack. The resulting meat was like nothing I've eaten before. Not fall-apart tender like most short-ribs but firm/tender (does that make sense?) and intensely flavorful. It was incredible. Served with potato foam that operated more as a delicate sauce than a starchy side.

I thought the apricot ice cream was a little too unctuous. But the bacon ice cream -- mmm. Wow.

Recently I haven't loved my "fancy" restaurant experiences. Everything is sort of the same, overpriced, overdone, following a formula. Orson is something different and special. I want to go back now and try the pig.

The 5 best EVER dessert cookbooks?

I also find Rose B's "Bible" books too technical. Pies don't need to be that fussy. I've made some of her cakes and they were great, but for a fancy cake book I prefer The Art of the Cake by Healy and Bugat.

I've had a lot of luck with Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts.

Everything I've made so far from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert has been wonderful. (But most especially the sour cream ice cream.)

And I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the late Bill Neal's Biscuits, Spoonbread & Sweet Potato Pie which is full of Southern homestyle desserts, many of them old-fashioned, like the Osgood pie. His apple dumplings are AMAZING.

Jul 21, 2008
tipsybaker in Home Cooking

Chinese Restaurant in Marin

I live in Marin and my advice would be to just drive back across the Bridge and go somewhere in the Richmond. I've tried all the places listed in these posts and they're okay, but no match for what you can find just 15 minutes away. (I'm measuring time it takes to get from Mill Valley to Clement Street.)

Tony Tutto Pizza in Mill Valley

Very excited about any new restaurant in Mill Valley, I went to Tony Tutto's last night.

First the good: I thought the pizza was AMAZING. We ordered two -- one that was basically a margherita, another that was white with ricotta salata and rosemary. I woke up thinking about the pizza in the middle of the night and went down and had another slice, cold. (I never do that!) The pizza was even better than I remembered. There's something about the crust -- it has flavor and character. I will definitely be back for more.

Also, the guy making the pizzas (Tony?) was lovely and friendly. He grows his own basil in pots out front alongside the picnic tables. When we realized it was cash-only, he said that if we lived in the neighborhood we could do an I.O.U. I think that might be a lifetime first. (We did eventually come up with the cash.)

Now, for the worrisome: There were only two people working there and the wait for our pizzas was extremely long. I didn't check the time, but my companions became restive and when they went to check how things were progressing, were told our pizzas had not yet gone into the oven. It wasn't ultimately a disastrously long wait, but it was close.

Another issue: They have a deli case for salads, cakes, whatever, and they should start using it. We would have ordered salad if it had been available which would have been both enjoyable for us -- and profitable for Tony Tutto. And after just one visit I do very much want to see this sweet place and its delicious pizzas survive.

May/June 2008 Dessert COTM: PURE DESSERT - All Recipes

I made the sour cream ice cream -- it is FABULOUS. I've tried dozens and dozens of ice cream recipes and this is a standout.

May 30, 2008
tipsybaker in Home Cooking

Beggar's Chicken

I recently cooked a beggar's chicken (an exhausting all-day effort that, fortunately, paid off in a big way) and decided I wanted to eat one prepared in a restaurant. Tried the dish at Shanghai 1930 a few nights ago -- very rich, delicious, though encased in bread dough, not clay. I was wondering if there are other SF restaurants that serve beggar's chicken.

Lunch near the Presidio

Last summer I had a really lovely lunch at La Terrasse, inside the Presdio. I think I had a bistro salad (frisee/lardons) and my mother had, as I recall, trout.

Favorite Wineries in Glen Ellen, Sonoma, Santa Rosa (Free Tastings, No Appts)

In Sebastopol (very near Santa Rosa) Taft Street and Graton Ridge offer free tastings. No appointments. Lovely scenery, too, especially this time of year.

Mill Valley Cheap/Ethnic

This is a tall order indeed. I am not crazy for Punjabi Burritos, and it's more of a takeout place anyway. Next door, however, is my favorite Mill Valley restaurant, Small Shed Flatbreads. It's very affordable; they serve a variety of delicious flat breads (aka thin crust pizzas) and salads. Not as dull as it sounds! Thep Lela in Strawberry Village offers pretty good Thai food if that's definitely what you want. ( But I'd go with Small Sheds and do my adventurous eating elsewhere.

Funky Crab?

You really might have "funky crab" -- but in my experience with Dungeness crab, it often has greenish stuff inside and sometimes smells a little funny. But I would have to see the green stuff in question to be sure it isn't something truly foul and different.