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Ridge's Profile

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Napa report Feb 2015

Glad you like Michael Warring. I always highly recommend it. You are right about the tasting menu. The place is experimental, especially the first course or two and sometimes they work better than others. But on the whole the meals are always excellent .

Apr 22, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Blue Bottle swallows up Tartine.

I haven't had BB in a while because lately I have been getting beans from Temple coffee (a great roaster in Sacramento). But I was working in Berkeley when BB first started and used to get beans from them at the Berkeley Farmers market. Back then it was only the founder Freeman and I thought he was a very nice guy and very enthusiastic about coffee. I wondered back then if they would be successful and I am happy they are.

Tartine is the best bread I have tried in the US. Maybe i am secretly a hipster who wants to wait on long lines at trendy places but i have to say I absolutely LOVE Tartine bread. And for those who don't know: you can order the Bread over the phone a day or 2 in advance. This allows you to bypass the lines. You just go to the front, give your name and pick up.

Apr 20, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Blue Bottle swallows up Tartine.

Good for them. They are just trying to be successful. I don't understand some of the vitriol. There are worse things in the world than BB coffee and Tartine Bread. Give them a break!

Apr 20, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Weekend Raclette at Cowgirl Creamery's Sidekick Cafe | San Francisco Ferry Plaza

Wow I definitely need to try this!

Apr 19, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

3 days in San Francisco

A new place for Dim Sum in SF that is good is Dragon Beaux.

http://www.dragonbeaux.com

I love walking around the area around the Cliff house. The ruins of the Sutro baths are on one side:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutro_...

And Ocean beach is on the other side where you can take a walk and hear the soothing roar of the Pacific Ocean. You can walk as far down the beach as you like. Another option for a beach walk is Fort Funstun which is the same stretch of beach but at the south end of SF. It's less crowded and the fossil studded cliffs are stunning.

I have never actually eaten at the Cliff House (it's not known for its good food) but we sometimes go to the downstairs bar which has huge windows and a stunning view and have a relaxing cocktail.

A combination of walking around the Sutro baths, ocean beach and then having a pre-dinner drink at the Cliff house would make for a relaxing afternoon.

Apr 17, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Bay Area Food Festivals and Events, Spring 2015

I found out about it listening to the cheese podcast someone had recommended on the cheese board. I don't think I will be able to go to any of the events because I am supposed to go to dim sum for a friends birthday (3rd weekend in a row of dim sum, can't complain about that).

Apr 16, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Raw milk cheese appreciation day April 18

This Saturday (April 18) is the first annual raw milk cheese appreciation day:

http://www.cheeseofchoice.org/#!appre...

Apr 16, 2015
Ridge in Cheese

why cant americans make cheese ?

Wizchee,

Try this and report back:

http://www.jasperhillfarm.com/winnimere/

Apr 16, 2015
Ridge in Cheese

Bay Area Food Festivals and Events, Spring 2015

April 18 is the first annual Raw milk cheese appreciation day. They are having special tastings at the Cheeseboard in Berkeley, Cowgirl creamery in the Ferry building and Bi-rite in SF. See the complete list here which lists all the events in the US:

http://www.cheeseofchoice.org/#!appre...

2 Days in Berkeley

I have never liked the fish tacos at all. The breading, the preparation, the salsa. They are maybe the worst fish tacos I have ever tried. Weakest item on their menu.

We always tend to order the same thing: carnitas tacos and chips and guacamole and are always satisfied.

Apr 04, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

2 Days in Berkeley

I may need to give Comal a second chance. Maybe we went on an off night.

The nice thing about Picante is that it's very affordable (within a students budget) compared with other places and high quality. And FWIW the chips and guacamole is better there than the one we had at Comal.

Apr 04, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

2 Days in Berkeley

Well the food at Vic's varies. But I went a couple of weeks ago with friends and everything we ate was spot on and delicious. Certain things we ordered, like this ground lamb pancake thing, I forget the name, were much better than on previous visits, so i think there is variability in the QC at times.

Apr 03, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

2 Days in Berkeley

I agree with the recommendation of Ajanta.

I wasn't that crazy about Comal the 1 time I went.

Picante in Berkeley is a reliable standby for good guacamole and carnitas tacos.

If you want a good meal in Oakland go to Duende for tapas and spectacular paella:

http://www.duendeoakland.com

Apr 03, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

McDonalds collaborates with Bay Area chefs

It's true I tell you! They are going to do all sorts of innovative things: the apple pies will be made with heirloom orange Sunshine pears from Yasgur's farm in NY. Egg McMuffins with guanciale and Mendocino Uni. Imagine the possibilities.

McDonalds collaborates with Bay Area chefs

This is a weird development. McDonalds has been trying to turn around slumping sales by hiring chefs to update their menu and make them more chic. They have achieved a recent coup by luring famous Bay Area chefs Thomas Keller and Alice Waters. Keller will help design fast food versions of signature FL dishes like Oysters and Pearls. Waters will work to incorporate small organic gardens in every McDonalds restaurant. What do people think of these developments? Would you be willing to try Oysters and Pearls at McDonalds?

Cutting the Curd, Heritage Radio podcast program

Cool program! Thanks for the suggestion.

Mar 30, 2015
Ridge in Cheese

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

The California style sandwich on Long Island sound hideous. I am always surprised when I see California pizza kitchen there. Talk about unclear on the concept.

Mar 30, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

If you are in Davis, Village pizza & grill makes a mean BLT. It's my favorite sandwich in Davis. They are associated with a great bakery (Village Bakery-makes an awesome Persian flatbread) so it's made with really good French bread and generous good quality bacon. And Bernardo's makes a good Salmon BLT.

Mar 30, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Yes, it's weird isn't it? The components are here but they just can't get it right. I used to work in Berkeley and don't remember ever eating a sandwich there I liked except for the mini pre-made sandwiches at the 4th street market. Now I work in Davis and there are actually some good sandwiches here.

Mar 30, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Not taught it schools but clearly they need to add it to the curriculum in California! (along with driving but don't get me started)

Mar 27, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Interesting thread. I am always surprised how what I consider basic sandwich making knowledge is lost in California. Got a BLT last year at Berkeley Bowl. Disaster. Who on earth makes a BLT with mustard? Who puts sprouts on pastrami? Maybe we need a sandwich basics college for Californians.

Wonderful --- a Hunan restaurant in Millbrae

I am curious, is the food heavy on salt or is it also heavy on MSG?

Mar 27, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Al's place in the Mission review [San Francisco]

The tasting menu was $60 PP. You have the option of vegetarian or pescetarian. We choose the latter. A good deal considering the quality of the food.

Mar 24, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Going to Yank Sing for the first time [San Francisco]

I agree with you Melanie. To me Yank Sing is like the emperor with no clothes.

Mar 23, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Al's place in the Mission review [San Francisco]

This weekend we tried Al's place in the Mission. This is a new restaurant started by Aaron London who was the chef at Ubuntu in Napa after Jeremy Fox left. We really loved Ubuntu and were sad when it closed. Al's place is vegetable heavy but not vegetarian (Ubuntu was vegetarian). We felt that the vegetarian options at Al's place were the highlights of the meal and reminded us of Ubuntu. All in we really enjoyed it and felt like it was another good dinning option in the mission. We tried the family tasting menu.

Here is what we ate:

french fries, smoked apple sauce. Pretty good, but not excellent French fries.

garden fritters, fennel mayo.
Excellent. They seemed part falafel part fritter. Flavorful and moist inside, crunchy outside.

An excellent mixed salad with bitter greens.

mixed brassicas, sudachi, pickled radish, wild mushrooms. This tasted like something from Ubuntu. Really delicious brassicas with umami packed maitake mushrooms. Excellent.

tonarelli, green garlic, bergamot, botarga. Our least favorite dish. The texture of the pasta seemed off, very al dente but at the same time lacking toothsome texture and chew. The bottarga came off as fishy and the green garlic seemed harsh. All in all off balanced.

Cured trout with crunchy potatoes, a quince broth and some kind of foam. The potatoes and trout were excellent but the quince broth and foam seemed unnecessary and didn't add anything to the dish.

Grits with mushrooms and peas. Ubuntu used to make similar dishes. This was excellent. The umami packed mushrooms perfectly complimented the creamy grits. Vegetarian food doesn't get much better than this.

There also brought out an additional complimentary savory course when we told them we wanted another savory dish. This was a delicious bean stew with big crunchy breadcrumbs.

The dessert was an round chocolate cakes with peanuts and peanut butter ice cream. I am extremely picky and often unsatisfied with desserts. But this one was spectacular. Deeply chocolaty and not cloyingly sweet. The crunchy peanuts and ice cream were perfect accompaniments and enhanced the dish.

All in all we really enjoyed the meal and will definitely come back. Compared to Bar Tartine which is also in the mission and which we also love, the food was less experimental and more vegetable focused.

Please tell me your favorite dim sum and favorite sushi in San Francisco?

I know many here love Yank Sing but for the life of me I don't know why. My experiences there have not been good.

Please tell me your favorite dim sum and favorite sushi in San Francisco?

Dim Sum- my favorite and the one I find most authentic is Koi Palace
Sushi- my favorite is in the east Bay: Sushi Sho in El Cerrito

Frozen organic Thai coconut water in Bay Area?

Mystery solved. Thank you FDA for taking away yummy French cheese and my favorite delicious coconut water and leaving us with antibiotic fed meat.
http://www.bevnet.com/news/2014/raw-c...

Mar 21, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

Interesting review! The pictures brought back memories. The thing that sticks in my mind from Taipei the most were the Shumai which the reviewer liked but not as much as the XLB:

#78 - Steamed Shrimp and Pork Shiaomai (10 pcs) [NT$330]

This version is more like a hybrid of XLB and Shumai.

I hope the branch they open in the Bay Area will be as good as the better locations. Sounds like a future Chowdown in the Fall.

Mar 15, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

I was in Taipe a couple of years ago. Thought the DTF and street food were fantastic.

Mar 14, 2015
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area