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Is Brandy Ho's Hunan Going Downhill?

I don't think it was a bad day. I think BH's has changed, and the change is for the worse. I've lived here since 1991, and I've been to BH's probably 15 times. The last three times, however, were not nearly as good. In fact, the last time -- in December -- my partner and I decided that we were "done" with BH's. The dumplings were thick and starchy and needed a ton of chile sauce to make them taste like anything and the chicken was rubbery and flavorless...nothing like it used to be. We both vowed that we were "done" with BH's as a result, and we haven't been back. Henry's is less convenient for us, but we've been going there more now. And, it is delicious and spicy and fresh...consistently.

Where to find a good tuna melt in SF?

Bi-Rite market makes a delicious tuna salad, and they grill paninis all day long. Just tell them you want their tuna salad sandwich on foccacia grilled with some provolone (they don't offer American cheese for sure). Ask them to add lettuce and tomatoes, too, if you want. It's not a classic tuna melt, but it's tasty and the ingredients are all very high quality.

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Bi-Rite Market
3639 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

San Francisco Restaurant Recomendation...

Oh, I disagree. Going "beyond the hype" is surely "a" point of Chowhound. But it's certainly not the "whole" point. Unless you're a Founder of this site, I just don't know how you can assert what the "whole" point of Chowhound is.

Everyone uses this site for different reasons, and every poster posts based on different experiences. I've read OP's who want a list of the current "hip" restaurants, or the most "trendy" cocktail lounges. So, for some people, the point of Chowhound is to get the hype and then experience the places. It's not my purpose of being here, and it's clearly not yours either. But it may be for some people.

<< "Since it's so well known, it doesn't need to be touted on Chowhound." >>

Just because a restaurant is well known, then apparently it's not supposed to be given compliments and praise here on Chowhound? Huh? Whose "rule" is that?

San Francisco Restaurant Recomendation...

I don't post except on "personal experience." That goes without saying on all my posts. Sorry that wasn't clear. Do some people post without having a personal experience with the restaurant? Wow. I don't.

And I didn't "dismiss someone's experience." Please re-read my post. The poster, who is not a local, made the blanket statement that Boulevard was "a waste." And I disagreed with that, and pointed out that Boulevard just won the James Beard, and I urged the OP not to discount it entirely. That's all I said. Nothing more, nothing less. Pointing out a contrary point -- namely, that Boulevard just got a James Beard nomination -- is far, far from discounting his experience. It's simply another point of view. Discounting his experience would be saying, "You're wrong. Your experience didn't happen." And I never said that.

"Why would one visitor's meal be less valid than one local's meal?"

It's not that a local's opinion is more "valid." It's that a local's opinion is likely not based on a single encounter. Because I live here, I've been to Boulevard probably 20 times over the years, at all phases in the restaurant's growth. I've heard "the hype," and I've tested "the goods" against the hype many, many times. It's simple statistics -- with this many encounters, there's less risk of an "outlier" experience (either reallly good or really bad) that would skew the result. So locals (or others) who have multiple encounters with a restaurant have more data on which to rely, and that makes their experiences more representive of the "norm," which in turn tells a reader what his/her future experience is more likely to be like. That's a law of statistics, not something I made up, and that's why it's relevant.

I have lived here since 1991, and in my opinion there are very, very few restaurants that have maintained such a presence in this town for as long as Boulevard. Certainly Zuni...and Masa's....and a handful of others...but Boulevard is, without question, in very rarefied company. And the James Beard nomination is yet further evidence that Boulevard is an institution that shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand. That's the minimum that the nomination says, in my opinion.

That was my only point -- to tell the OP that James Beard had a contrary point of view to the poster's, and to suggest to the OP that s/he not dismiss Boulevard so quickly. I'm sorry that you felt I dismissed the poster's experience. That was not my intent.

Where to go in SF? I'll be back again. List of questions

<< What good restaurants are there in Pacific Heights? >>

I would check out Spruce. I've two excellent meals there in the past month. Equally as good as the food is the setting -- very comfortable and sophisticated. Great for a meal at the bar if you're solo too.

<< Where is great Indian food? >>

The problem here is with the requirement that it be "great." Dosa is sometimes good and sometimes not-so-good. But usually very crowded. Indian Oven is probably your best best for consistently good Indian.

<< How's Canteen currently doing for dinner? >>

Very well! You should definitely consider having dinner there.

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Canteen
817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Dosa
995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Spruce
3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Indian Oven Restaurant
233 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Restaurant Recomendation...

Of course I'm not ignorant of the "mixed reviews" here. And of course I'm not saying that Boulevard is perfect and that everyone who goes there has a life-changing experience. That's not my point. Instead, my response was in reply to a self-identified "tourist" who said to another would-be visitor, flat out, "don't go there." And my point was this -- wait a minute, Boulevard has been part of the food scene here for a decade plus, it's internationally known, and it has just been nominated for the prestigious James Beard for Outstanding Restaurant. You can quarrel with the nomination, of course, or the qualifications of those who choose the nominees. But a non-local can't flat out dismiss a restaurant that has been so good for so long and just got a James Beard nomination. It would be foolish to do that. You may choose not to go, of course, but you can't just dismiss it without appearing, in my mind, to be unaware and/or biased.

San Francisco Restaurant Recomendation...

Umm...yesterday Boulevard was nominated for a James Beard Award for outstanding restaurant. It's one of only 5 nominees in the entire USA. You may have experienced it on a bad night, and it may have been a "waste" to you. But the fact is that Boulevard is a world-class restaurant and it's very much on top of its game right now.

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Boulevard Restaurant
1 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105

3/22/08 Yank Sing , DimSum: It's Still Great, but.....

The seabass was not cooked to order. But it was larger than dim sum. It was brought around on a tray like everything else. It was a full-size portion of fresh sea bass, about 4-5 ounces, drizzled with a slightly sweet glaze and topped with a cilantro sprig. Given the size, it had to cost at least $10. I didn't see the check, so I don't know. I saw the "regular" dim sum sea bass -- it was fried.

DC for the weekend. 1st time there. Your top 5?

I understand, and I don't mean to be difficult. You are free to do it your way, of course. But then you have to live with the less-than-perfect answers you are getting. Truly, I'm trying to be helpful. If you want really good recommendations, you have to give some more perameters.

The problem with your request is that most hounds can't give you their "5 tops" without qualification. There's the "5 tops" when it comes to fine dining when cost is not an object. There's the "5 tops" that you take tourists to when they come to DC. There's the "5 tops" neighborhood restaurants, "5 top" ethnic restaurants, "5 top" cheap eats, "5 top" restos near DuPont Circle, "5 top" restos for late-night dining, etc.

Do you eat red meat? Do you not like Ethiopian? What about a car -- will you have one? Does it have to be located near your hotel or the Smithsonian, or are you willing to do the suburbs? Are you a wine fan -- does the restaurant have to have a liquor license? There are literally dozens of questions like this that skew the answer to "What are your top 5," yet your only qualification is that the recommendation "has to be yummy."

With that as a guide, many hounds won't respond because they don't know what you mean by "yummy." We don't want to waste our time, or yours, guessing and writing what our interpretation of that is. So you end up getting very little accurate information. And you miss out on recommendations that might have been right on point and very helpful.

Delicious Mystery at The Front Porch!

We live in Bernal, and we love The Front Porch! Their fried chicken is very, very good. The place has a great vibe and is often very crowded. The best part of the experience, in my view, is their housemade hotsauce. They bring a bottle of this orange sauce to the table with your food -- and it's smokin' hot and absolutely delicious.

Best Of SF (need tips)

I'm sorry I "horrified" you, Carrie 218. Six months is not usually out of date around here. I'm sure you've posted here based on experiences far older than that. Still, somehow, I'm "horrifically" out of date. Please accept my apologies. In my defense, however, please note that when it was pointed out that there was a concept change between my last experience and my post, I quickly acknowledged that and re-posted.

Surely it takes more than that to qualify as "horrific," don't you think? Maybe starving children or mutilated corpses...or something like that? Your post is dramatic to be sure, but decent or fair...not so much.

DC for the weekend. 1st time there. Your top 5?

This list shows many people's "top 5's," and it shows why your request is too broad:

1789
Acadiana
Ben's Chili Bowl
Bistro Bis
Bistro du Coin
Breadline
Brasserie Beck
Butterfield 9
Central
Charlie Palmer's
Citronelle
City Zen
Corduroy
Hook
Etete
Jaleo
Kinkead's
Komi
Le Paradou
Matchbox
Obelisk
Oyamel
Palena
Pesce
Rasika
Source
Vidalia
Zola

Birthday Dinner in Napa

You might check out this thread -- http://www.chowhound.com/topics/491880

3/22/08 Yank Sing , DimSum: It's Still Great, but.....

Sure, Yank Sing is more expensive than most dim sum places. But you don't have to spend $100 there to have an outrageously delicious experience. On Easter Sunday, my partner and I walked in to the Rincon Center location at 11:45am and got a table. We ate for an hour and a half. Our bill, including beverages, was $65 and we were so full we could barely walk. And we even had an order of the special sea bass, and that had to be $10 of our $65 check. So while it's true that you'll pay more at Yank Sing, it's not that much more. And their quality and freshness are unsurpassed, in my opinion.

Best Of SF (need tips)

I was last there about 6 months ago, with some friends. And that was my third and worst visit. Each time it got progressively worse. So, if the change occurred recently, I haven't tried the "new" menu.

Best Of SF (need tips)

Yes, I would recommend Coi. But I don't think of it as classic "fine dining," which is why I didn't recommend it. But if you can work it in to your schedule here, you should definitely go to Coi. But only after you go to either The Dining Room at Ritz-Carlton or Masa's!

Best Of SF (need tips)

I was reading your post, thinking about answers, and then I saw that you were considering Fifth Floor! And that's when I decided to start typing. Don't do it! It's way past its prime. There are far better fine dining meals in the City, for example Masa's and The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton immediatley come to mind. I've been to both in the past year and had world-class experiences there. You might also consider Gary Danko, Michael Mina and La Folie. All are far superior to Fifth Floor, in my opinion.

As for Mexican, don't rush back to Farolito's. Instead, try Tommy's, Don Ramon's or Tres Agaves. If you want the best burrito-shop taco in town, run straight to La Taqueria on Mission (at 25th). Order a carne asada crispy taco "with everything" and then sit back and enjoy the ride. Be sure not to steal the bottle of green sauce on the table! It's housemade and it's the best hot sauce you'll find in SF, in my opinion. If you're an authentic crispy-pork carnitas fan, you'll need to head over to Oakland. Dona Tomas has some of the world's best carnitas, and some of the most delicious new-Mexican food in the Bay Area.

For brunch, I'd recommend Canteen hands down.

For dosas, you might try Dosa on Valencia. The place is always crowded and many of my friends swear by it. I've been a few times and though it's so-so, but it could be that I've ordered wrong.

I don't feel that I can offer you a true "best of SF" option on your other categories. So I'll leave that to others. Have a safe, fun trip!

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Tres Agaves Restaurant
130 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Canteen
817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

La Folie
2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

Dosa
995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Gary Danko
800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Tommy's Mexican Restaurant
5929 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

The Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton
600 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Michael Mina Restaurant
252 California St, San Francisco, CA

Masa's Restaurant
648 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Don Ramon's Mexican Restaurant
225 11th, San Francisco, CA 94102

Breakfast/Brunch in Union Square, SF

Stack's thinks of itself as an "upscale Denny's" but the experience is far more like Denny's then they are aiming for. I'd avoid it -- there are probably 50 better options for brunch in the City.

See some reviews at http://www.yelp.com/biz/stacks-san-fr...

Brunch at Pasta Pomodoro on Irving?

Wendy's owns 30% of the company, so that tells you just about all you need to know about Pasta Pomodoro.

Spruce or Gary Danko

Masa's. In my mind, Masa's is the best and most consistent special occasion restaurant in the City. There's a reason it's been at the top of the list for so long...and that's because it delivers an outstanding dining experience. And you can walk there from the Clift.

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Masa's Restaurant
648 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Brunch at Pasta Pomodoro on Irving?

Pasta Pomodoro is disgusting...whether for brunch, lunch, or dinner. They use pre-made stuff and heat it all up on a stove and serve it to you. Why would anyone eat at Pasta Pomodoro when there are so many legitimate restaurants in this City?

I could be wrong, but here's my prediction -- they'll be gone within the next 12 to 18 months, or at least they'll be forced to fundamentally change their concept. Have you noticed that they're already changing their name to "Pomodoro" (dropping the word "Pasta")? I've also been told by several friends that their portions are now noticeably smaller. Sure signs of a brand in trouble, if you ask me...

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Pasta Pomodoro
816 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

ny hound - has one night - Great food & scene?

Zuni, hands down.

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Breakfast/Brunch in Union Square, SF

...yeah, but the OP stated that they will be "in the area" at 10am on Sunday. But The Rotunda doesn't open until noon on Sunday. So likely not an option.

Can O% Fat Yogurt , Actually be Yogurt?

Yes, Yogurt is defined by having active cultures, not by fat content. Of course, it won't taste as creamy and delicious if it's non-fat. But it's technically yogurt so long as it has active cultures.

Mar 16, 2008
foodiesf in General Topics

Bistro Don Giovanni vs Zuzu vs Mustards

Check out this thread --
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/491880

Bistro Don Giovanni vs Zuzu vs Mustards

Mustards any day, given these 3 options. I had a business dinner recently at BDG and found the food and service to be unacceptable. But I agree with the other folks who suggest that you don't limit yourselves to these options.

Breakfast/Brunch in Union Square, SF

Here's the link...

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Canteen
817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Breakfast/Brunch in Union Square, SF

I disagree that Dottie's is "by far the best option." That title belong to Canteen, without quesiton, in my mind. Canteen is possibly the best brunch in the City, and it just happens to be near Union Square.

2 Canucks, 3 Great Days in SF

The best dim sum in the City is not in Union Square -- but its close. Go to Yank Sing in Rincon Center. It's about a 5 minute cab ride away. You'll find the freshest, highest quality dim sum there. It can get very crowded, so call ahead and make a reservation.

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Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Foody Date Place in SF?

Terrific! Please report back -- I'd love to hear your feedback.