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Essvee's annual b-day dinner quandary

I took my husband to Keiko for his b-day a couple of years ago and we enjoyed it. Have been meaning to go back but have not made it back there yet. Here is a link to my review of the B-day dinner:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8395...

about 11 hours ago
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

No doubt over consumption of dairy is very unhealthy. Studies suggest that something in dairy, maybe the sugar galactose, is linked to poor health when over consumed. But I don't think it's over consumed as much or is as big a contributor to the nations poor health as soda. And unlike soda, there is nutritive benefit to moderate intake of dairy.

about 15 hours ago
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Essvee's annual b-day dinner quandary

Have you been to Bar Tartine yet? It's controversial here I know but if you have an adventurous palate and are tired of the same old, I have a feeling you will have a memorable meal.

Best Fried Rice in SF

The best one I have had in recent memory was at Koi Palace, not in SF itself but in Daily City, just to the south of the city. They have a seafood version that they make fresh table side. It's remarkable to watch them make it and is really a delicious version.

Oct 28, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch near Ferry Building tomorrow?

I recommend Cane Rosso in the ferry building itself, especially if you like really good egg salad sandwiches.

http://canerossosf.com

SFBA Dish of the Month (Nov 2014) - Nominations/Voting

HOT AND SOUR SOUPS

Could be limited to Chinese or expanded to include all hot and sour soups (Things like Sopa de Lima and Tom Ka Gai)

I know Chinese Hot and sour soup is a somewhat clichéd sometimes mundane typical dish at Chinese restaurants that many foodies would turn up their nose at. But I absolutely love good versions of Hot and sour soup. The combination of umami, sourness, spice (from chile, black pepper, Sichuan pepper) and silky mouthfeel is deeply satisfying. The best version I ever had was at San Xi Lou, a Sichuan restaurant in Hong Kong. It was sublime with heat from white pepper, Sichuan pepper and chile and sourness from high quality black vinegar.

I love non-Chinese hot and sour soups also.

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place... Kusakabe a disappointment...

Od_sf,

Didn't have any hikarimono Saturday. I don't recall if I have had hikarimono at Sushi Sho. I have had the saba there in the past, and remember it being really excellent.

Oct 27, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Ajanta October 2014 [Berkeley]

We went to Ajanta Friday night with relatives visiting from out of town. This is a regular haunt for us and we like it because new specials are added on a monthly basis so you always get to sample new regional Indian curries. Friday nights dinner was excellent. Here is what we ate:

Lamb Shaami Kabobs- this was a new appetizer special. It was the only dish of he evening that fell flat. Not particularly kabob like. It was just ok and I would not recommend it.

Tandoori Scallops- this is always an outstanding appetizer. Juice fresh scallops with tandoori seasoning.

Tandoori Chicken Chaat- a vibrant dish that reminds me of an indian version of laab. Outstanding.

We tried all three of the new specials. All were excellent:

Murg Mumtaz Mahal

A fancy chicken curry featuring boneless organic chicken simmered in a rich, creamy curry sauce made with onions, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, cashew paste, yogurt, and cilantro (Delhi)

Outstanding

Nilgiri Gosht Korma

Boneless lamb, cubed, simmered in a sauce made with onions, coconut, ginger, garlic, tamarind, and spices, including white poppy seeds, peppercorns, and coriander (South India)

Very good but maybe a notch bellow the chicken

Lobhia aur Khumbi

Black-eyed​ peas and organic shiitake mushrooms cooked in a sauce made with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices, including coriander, turmeric, and paprika

Delicious spicy curry. Excellent

Lamb Rib Chops

Marinated in yogurt and spices, grilled in tandoor

These are allays a reliable dish. Excellent and addicting.

We usually don't order dessert here but since we were with guests we shared two of the gelatos, the Saffron Pistachio Gelato and the mango gelato. Of the two I really enjoyed the mango but thought the Saffron pistachio was not as good.

Oct 26, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Sushi Sho El Cerrito October 2014

One think I forgot to mention, they have implemented a new reservation system that makes planning to eat there much more convenient than in the past.

Oct 26, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place... Kusakabe a disappointment...

We went to Sushi ho last night. It was off the charts good simple sushi. I posted a more detailed review as a separate thread:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/993465

Oct 26, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Sushi Sho El Cerrito October 2014

We went to dinner last night at Sushi Sho in El Cerrito. Sushi Sho was located on Solano in Albany for many years but moved to San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito a couple of years ago. Chef Aki is a serious sushi master and his wife is a gracious hostess with a kind soul.

Last night we ordered all simple nigiri. Everything was excellent. The sushi was very fresh and high quality. Here is what we ate:

Buri (Hamachi)- tasted very fatty and rich for Hamachi. At first I though perhaps it was the albacore torro we ordered.

Hotategai Raw scallop from Hokkaido island Japan –Very supple and richly flavored

Sake Reikun Cold-smoked salmon –Aki makes his own smoked salmon. It’s out of this world. Very soft, smokey and rich.

Hirame Fluke or halibut- This was fluke if remember correctly. Fresh and delicate

Ikura Salted salmon roe- Rich and savory. Excellent

Karashi-Mentaiko Special Spicy salted pollock roe roasted medium rare- Imported from Japan. A new item on the menu. Aki said this may no longer be available because his source has stopped importing it. That’s a shame because it was out-of-this-world delicious.

Bin-Toro Albacore tuna belly -Excellent
Oh-Toro Bluefin tuna belly – Excellent. Better than the last time we ate here.

Botan-Ebi Raw sweet spot-prawn – One of the most memorable Ama ebis in recent memory. Very deeply flavored

Anago Grilled cooked marine eel- Excellent

Oct 26, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Pasta?

I too am interested in an update on Albona. I have had some amazing meals there but have not been back in maybe 10 years. Was thinking about going back.

Oct 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place... Kusakabe a disappointment...

Sushi Sho has a very good selection of nigiri, but they may lack the variety and more unusual options of some high end larger places. They have their menu on their website:

http://www.sushi-sho.com

BTW, I am going on Saturday night at 5:30 for dinner and welcome the company of other Chow hounders.

Oct 22, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place... Kusakabe a disappointment...

od_sf,

Can you explain what you mean by neta? I am not familiar with this term.

Oct 22, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Recent research on the health effects of drinking soda:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/drinking-...

Oct 21, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place... Kusakabe a disappointment...

I think you will like Sushi Sho. Alki is very serious about his Sushi and his wife is the super nicest person.

One thing people should note about Sushi Sho- they accept reservations on opentable now. It makes planning dinner there much easier.

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place... Kusakabe a disappointment...

It's true they do have a lot of creative preparations but they also have a specials menu with choices of fresh simple sushi.

Oct 21, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place... Kusakabe a disappointment...

I can give you recommendations in the Bay Area but outside of the city of SF.

If you are wiling to drive to the east bay, Sushi Sho in El Certito is excellent. Chef Aki San is a sushi master. We have been recently and it was excellent as usual.

If you are willing to drive to the North Bay there is Sushi Ran. This place is expensive. We have not been in about a year but it's always been excellent when we have eaten here.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Actually soda is worse than all the other things you mention. Ice cream and donuts at least have fat to make people feel full. Candy might have chocolate which has polyphenols and flavonols that have health benefits. Same is true of fruit juice. Frapachinos are bad for you but again at least they have fat (unless you are delusional enough to get a non-fat one) and fat makes you feel full. Soda is just an extremely quickly absorbable form of concentrated sugar with no nutritive benefits and no bulk to make you feel full. It's loaded with calories but stimulates your appetite so you eat more. No mater what you think of these ordinances, sweetened soda is one of the most horrible things you can put in your body. Soda is poison. Donuts are not health food but they are not poison in the same way soda is.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

I am on the fence on this one but I am generally leery of nanny-state approaches. There are tons and tons of studies showing sugar is harmful and makes people obese and diabetic. Rather than place a tax on the junk why not slap on a detailed warning label like what's on cigarettes? Educate people about how toxic this stuff really is. And then let them decide.

Oct 20, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

K2 Restaurant Group - ruined restaurants in Berkeley?

Any recent reports on Lalimes?

Oct 20, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for November Cheese of the Month

Good idea. In the past 20 years or so Brie has evolved into this goto generic unusual fancy French cheese for the masses and can be found in all supermarkets. Most of them are dreadful. But some Bries are exquisite. This summer I had one that floored me it was so delicious. I certainly look forward to digging I to the artisanal Brie world.

Oct 16, 2014
Ridge in Cheese
1

Cantonese DIm Sum Recommendations for Bay Area

Chemicalkinetics- have fun & let us know your impressions of current SF dim sum. Oh and give the XLB at KP a try, I have always loved them and hope the bad reports are flukes.

Oct 09, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Cantonese DIm Sum Recommendations for Bay Area

Koi palace. Heavenly XLB. Just go.

Oct 08, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Distinctive in SF for E. Coast [Portland, ME] foodies

Koi palace is in Daly City, about a 10 or 15 minute drive south of SF. It's the only Bay Area Dim sum I have tried that comes close to the level of Dim Sum I have had in Asia. I think it's worth the drive just to experience the high quality of the dim sum.

I don't think Yank Sing is as authentic overall, and the last time I went there I was disappointed with the food.

Oct 08, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Distinctive in SF for E. Coast [Portland, ME] foodies

I suggest Koi Palace for dim sum, Bar Tartine for really unique and creative seasonal cuisine, Dosa for a fun Indian dinner in a nice setting with excellent cocktails, Kokarri- upscale delicious Greek, Z&Y in Chinatown for spicy Sichuan, also Terra cotta warrior for Xi'an/Shaanxi Chinese cuisine.

Oct 08, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Bar Tartine Fall 2014 [San Francisco]

I feel like I don't have anything else to add to this discussion. Everything I have said has been taken out of context and misstated and I have been called ill informed and not component enough to judge restaurants. So I am signing off. Good bye!

Oct 05, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Bar Tartine Fall 2014 [San Francisco]

I said I HAVEN'T been to Verbena. I'm not in a situation in life where I can taste all the fancy restaurants in SF and be up to date on everything that is supposed to be hot, does that mean I not entitled to an opinion? Or perhaps should not post on CH? Are you the CH police of something? I just said compared to the ones I have been to been to (Frances, AQ, Altier Cren and several others over the years) I thought the way the chef used herbs in combination with spices was unique, very successful to my palate and not something I had encountered done as sucesfuly at other restaurants on SF.

I still contend that some people go to a fancy restaurant expecting a certain palate of flavors and techniques. If those expectations are challenged too much some people call the food unbalanced and unrifined. That's my theory about BT and I am sticking with it.

You may disagree but allow me to have an opinion even it it differs than yours. I like BT, you don't. People have different tastes. Let's agree to disagree.

Oct 05, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Rind anatomy?

I think you can eat the rinds of hard cheeses but they may not be very palatable. They tend to be too hard. With soft cheeses yeasts and molds in the rind raise the pH and soften the cheese from the outside in.

Oct 04, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

Bar Tartine Fall 2014 [San Francisco]

Seems like you are dinging them for being derivative when really all restaurants are derivative at some level. I could say I have had better Thai food in Bankok, better Italian food in Rome etc. that's not a particularly fair criticism.

Have not been to Verbena and thought AQ was good but not as different or Vibrant as BT. I was making the point that the flavor combinations were more impressive to me than I have had at other restaurants including AQ. I definitely would say AQ is more refined than BT. But I like rustic and bold and perhaps that is why some people love BT and others not so much. I am not a particularly refined person to begin with so I really dig what BT is doing.

Oct 04, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area