a

Amy G's Profile

Title Last Reply

Namu - Mixed Review

The ramen at Namu is not good. However, the nightly soupy stew in the stone pot (not the bim bim bap) is worth the hefty price tag because it serves at least 4 people and has always been delicious.

-----
Namu
439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

Dec 09, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Flour & Water and Pasta Made In-House

Also, in addition to those already mentioned Quince's new sister, Cotogna, is doing pasta in house and SPQR does all of its pasta in house including extruded pastas. Both are excellent.

-----
SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Dec 09, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Truffle Season

SPQR has been shaving truffles over simple house made pasta or over a large ricotta stuffed pasta packet with a fried egg on top with very generous 4-6 ounce portion. The pasta plus truffle is $50. Quite a good deal considering they are not stingy with the shavings. SPQR will have them through the rest of the season or until their supplier stops having them. I always enjoy Delfina's truffle menus. Olivetto usually does a truffle menu too and I believe Poggio is doing one this year too.

-----
Delfina Restaurant
3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Poggio
777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

Nov 08, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

English tourist..first time in US...visiting San Francisco...after advice of good places to eat

One thing to keep in mind is that the Bay Area does not do regional American food (BBQ, Soul Food, etc.) well. So ask yourself if you want mediocre examples of Regional American food, or great California cuisine? For great Regional American you will need to travel to the South and Mid West. As far as Contigo, for what it is worth, other than imported Spanish hams, their food does not taste like anything I had in Barcelona last December specially the salads and entrees, but I understand that it may be too close for you.

San Francisco has a Mediterranean climate and other than Sand Dabs, Geoduck Clams, Salmon, Halibut, and Dungeness Crab (all when in season) we don't have much native seafood.

Again, I suggest you read up on California cuisine or you will end up eating mediocre food instead of embracing what we do well.

Other than that Mexican may be good for you since it is better than what you will in England although not nearly as good as what you would get in Southern California or even in Chicago which has a bigger Mexican population.

-----
Contigo
1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Aug 08, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

English tourist..first time in US...visiting San Francisco...after advice of good places to eat

By stating that you do not want takes on Mediterranean cuisine you are writing off California cuisine which is the best thing you will find in this area. The San Francisco Bay Area is known for using local ingredients (which are some of the best in the world) and simple cooking techniques and flavor profiles of Southern France, Italy, Spain and North Africa. Your statement is as absurd as an American going to London and stating they only want British food like Steak and Kidney pie and not going to St. Johns or the Fat Duck because those guys use French techniques.

So if you want to try our regional cuisine go to places like Chez Panisse (invented California cuisine in the 70's by melding influences from Provence with local ingredients), Incanto (local ingredients with an Italian flavor profiles), Nopa (pan med flavor profiles with local ingredients), Contigo (local ingredients with Catalan influences), Aziza (local ingredients, modern techniques, N. African flavor profiles), SPQR (local ingredients, modern techniques, Italian flavor profiles), Namu (local ingredients with Korean flavor profiles), Bar Tartine (pan med flavors with local ingredients). There are many more, but these are some of my favorites.

The best Chinese food is had outside of Chinatown in the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods were current Chinese immigrants tend to live and not in China town. There are various regional Chinese restaurants but you may have similar regional differences in London.

Other local specialties and favorites are: burritos which is a unique take on a N. Mexican dish as well as taco trucks. Search the board for recommendations as it is a contended topic. And Hamburgers--ditto on searching.

-----
Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Nopa
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Namu
439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

Bar Tartine
561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Contigo
1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Aug 08, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations for Interesting Upscale/Mid-Range San Francisco Restaurant

I disagree with A16 over SPQR. While I like A16 because of the atmosphere and the wine list, the food is much more pedestrian (e.g. wood fired pizzas and simple oven roasted meats) than the food at SPQR under the new chef. I think the new chef of SPQR, Matthew Accarrino, is doing some of the best food in SF, particularly his housed made pastas such as his tortelloni stuffed with straciatella with artichokes or his buckwheat spaghetti with suckling pig ragu. In fact, the pastas at SPQR rival Quince's for half the price.

I would change Piperade for Contigo as there are too many Italian suggestions already and for high end dining Coi is the best of the lot.

-----
A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Piperade
1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Contigo
1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

May 11, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Tony's Pizza Napoletana Restaurant Review, San Francisco

You have been arguing with me on this thread about Tony's association with the VPN and you have been wrong. The link from the Chronicle mentioned that Tony's could certify students via the VPN. That is simply not true. I did not say that non VPN places don't have off days. I said you generally know what to expect. Tony stated to my companion when he inquired about the lack of blistering that he does not like to blister his pies and considers it a mistake of putting cold dough in a hot oven. Well every Neapolitan pie with blisters that I have had starts with room temp dough. So this is what he intends and his response was plain wrong.

Every pie I have had in Naples is swampy/soupy in the center. Let it cool and it subsides. Overloaded is not excusable and definitely not a good pie sign.

Mar 30, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Tony's Pizza Napoletana Restaurant Review, San Francisco

While Una Pizza Napoletana and Motorino are not VPN certified yet top notch in my book, overall at least you know you will get a decent product with VPN certification (or at least a product that meets certain characteristics). Tony's was one of the worse wood oven pizzas I have had in recent memory. So to the extent people have come to associate VPN pizzas with a certain style, I think it is important that people know

Mar 29, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Tony's Pizza Napoletana Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Hate to break it to you but the Chronicle did not do their research. Surprise surprise. Tony's has nothing to do with VPN and you can get VPN certification in Marina del Rey. I understand that you relied on the erroneous info given in the Chronicle, but there is not point in perpetuating it.

Mar 29, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Tony's Pizza Napoletana Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Here is the link to the Pizzafest which is the VPN sanctioned competition. Been to both. Pizzafest is much better.

http://www.pizzafest.info/2008/home.htm

Again, Tony's has nothing to do with VPN. He is a member of the Societa Italiana per Pizzaioli.

Mar 29, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Tony's Pizza Napoletana Restaurant Review, San Francisco

That is a separate competition. The VPN competition is called Pizza Fest and is in September and only judges Neapolitan pizza. The championship you mention is in May and judges other styles such as Roman and also has a pizza tossing competition. Used to live in Naples while stationed with the Navy....

Mar 29, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Tony's Pizza Napoletana Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Oven was definitely cold and the pizzaiolo was very tough with the dough twirling it in the air. Dough had lots of springback. Not to my liking at all.

Tony's school does not prepare students for VPN certification. He is not a part of the VPN nor did he win the VPN competition. He won World Pizza Cup not the VPN event. The Pizza Cup has pizza acrobatics and is not just about Neapolitan Pizza as they judge various categories including Neapolitan.

http://www.worldpizzachampions.com/te...

The only place in the U.S. where a student can get VPN certified is Pizzeria Antica in Marina del Rey.

http://verapizzanapoletana.org/vpn_fr...

Mar 29, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Tony's Pizza Napoletana Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Did your Neapolitan Margherita have any blistering? Mine was a pale golden throughout the crust with no blisters and the bottom was dried out and cardboard like which was impossible to eat with a knife and fork. It was more NY style than Neapolitan with the pizza spending close to 3 minutes in the oven. Also note that contrary to your earlier post, he is not VPN certified but certified by the Italian Association of Pizzaiolos. From my travels in Naples VPN carries much more cred.

-----
Pizzaiolo
5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Mar 29, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Moving to Bay Area - What SF neighborhoods rival Berkeley in good, cheap eats?

Rainbow Grocery is very close to the Mission and comparable price wise to Berkeley Bowl. The tolls and extra gas will make up for the $400 in rent savings, not to mention all the time in traffic.

-----
Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

Rainbow Grocery
1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Mar 20, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Moving to Bay Area - What SF neighborhoods rival Berkeley in good, cheap eats?

The Mission or Inner Richmond. In the Mission, you have Tartine, BiRite Market, Pizzeria Delfina and much, much more all within 18th street and 5 blocks. The Inner Richmond has some of the best ethnic food in the Bay Area. From Pizzetta 211, to simple Chinese places. Easier commute from the inner Richmond to Pac Heights. Cheaper option would be the border between Nob Hill and Tendorloin which also has good ethnic eats like Bodega Bistro and Ler Ros and fun bars like Rye. Pac Heights itself has improved lately with Pizzeria Delfina, SPQR (my current crush), and DOSA. Lower Pac Heights which is South of Bush is much cheaper and still walking distance to your job. Nearby would be Divisadero. Berkeley is great from a distance to quality ratio. SF has equal good stuff in spades but it is spread out. Not worth the commute given the hours you will be facing. You can eat as well within city limits and avoid the hassle.

-----
Bodega Bistro
607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Pizzeria Delfina
3611 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Pizzetta 211
211 23rd Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121

Mar 19, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurant suggestions for Pac Heights (near the Landmark Clay, on a Saturday night)

SPQR has a bunch of bar seats and chef counter seats for walk-ins Have not had a problem going there after 8:45 pm. I think they are doing the best stuffed pastas in the city right now. Dreaming about the duck ravioli or rabbit cappelletti just writing about this. Dosa or Pizzeria Delfina are good alternatives.

Mar 12, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Kokkari has indeed gone down hill

My point is that modern Greek and food found in a little taverna in Athens are BOTH real Greek food and yes you can be taught to do any kind of food, even "down home" food. (Is food by Arzak less Spanish than Pintxos simply because one is modern?) All you need is immersion into a culture and a language. See my example of Rose Gray. She cooked down home Italian regional cooking. Stefan Terje was cooking great Italian food in the same vein he does now very early in his career. So in sum, what Kokkari does is just as valid as what a little place does. Mezze in the Marina is owned by Greeks and the cooks are Greek. It is good but the food is not as well prepared as Kokkari. Seeing that whole lamb roasting in the fireplace evokes so many powerful memories of home for my husband that I cannot even begin to explain.

Mar 08, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Kokkari has indeed gone down hill

These types of comments seem rather provincial. A person's nationality or prior cooking experience has nothing to with their ability to channel the culinary culture of a nation. Are you going to tell me that Rose Gray (RIP) from the River Cafe was not able to cook very authentic regional Italian cuisine because she was British? If so, you have no idea of what you are talking about. My husband is of Greek origin and he was in fact born in Athens and arrived in the U.S. when he was two. We have gone to visit family many times (last time 2 years ago) and modern top restaurants in Athens are cooking in a styles like Kokkari. I have not been to Kokkari in about 12 months so can't say if it is a good today as it was then, but assuming that service and food consistency has remained the same, then the I agree with Zach that food and emotive style that Kokkari conveys is more reminiscent of what we have had an like of modern Greek cuisine. Saying that Greek food has to stay stagnant and be like "down home" restaurants in Chicago or New York is no different than saying that Incanto or La Ciccia are not valid expressions of Italian food because they are not doing red sauce Jersey style Italian. How many of the top Italian chefs in America (White, Canora, Consentino, Batali, Stoll, etc., etc.) are born in Italy rather than the U.S.? That is right zero!

Mar 07, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

2 Dinners in San Fran - where to eat!?

Italian is a strong area in SF: Quince and SPQR have the best pastas by far (but price is quite different so depends on whether you want fancy or casual atmosphere). For Pizza, Delfina, Flour and Water (too much attitude and mediocre service for my taste) and A16. Other solid spots are Perbacco, Delfina, Incanto and La Ciccia. You really can't go wrong with any of these in terms of food and wine.

Mar 03, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

DC Hound looking for quirky, fun eats

Some of my favorites in order of most recent visits:

1) SPQR: The most inventive Italian food in SF at the moment (prefer it to Quince, Delfina, A16, Perbacco, and all the other top Italian spots right now). The house made pastas are just incredible such as tortellini stuffed with sunchoke puree and served with black truffle butter or triangle shaped chestnut flour pasta stuffed with chestnut puree with a burnt orange butter sauce. Unusual Italian wines, vibrant atmosphere with no dish over $20.

2) Range: California cuisine with a GREAT bar program. Food is sophisticated yet comforting at the same time. One of my favorite date spots.

3) Fraces: A bit more upscale food wise than Range, hot and new.

4) Aziza: New Moroccan which has become much more refined and experimental over the years. Cocktails are fantastic.

Feb 26, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Meat Class Itinerary Suggestions

During lunch on Wednesdays and Thursdays, A16 butchers a large whole pig or a whole lamb right in front of customers at the chef's counter. Call ahead to make sure they are doing it this week. I am a bit squeamish, so avoid going there during lunch but a friend of mine loves the "show".

Jan 31, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Ordering strategy at Lers Ros?

So went there recently and ordered dishes that I like at Champa and Thai House, e.g. braised pork leg, fried rice with thai sausage, and also ordered the boar with basil and garlic, and green curry. All the dishes seemed flat, e.g. watery broth in the pork leg which was also lacking salt. The fried rice seemed a bit bland and needed chiles and garlic. The curry was outstanding and the boar good but not great. The curry shows they can cook so the question is what dishes are they really good out. The menu is so big that we were overwhelmed. I have read posts but it is hard to find a pattern from them on what are CH's favorites.

Jan 13, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

House made pasta in SF

Second SPQR. Their fresh stuffed pastas are the best I have had in SF.

Jan 13, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurants offering wine suggestions

Her whole sommelier staff is great. Was worried during a recent splurge at SPQR because she was not there, but the bartender/sommelier totally took care of us. She does a great job at replicating herself via well trained people.

Jan 12, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Liberty Duck in SF?

Bi-Rite Market sells Jim R's ducks whole, just breasts, or just legs. They have exactly what you want.

Jan 11, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Top 10 Tastes 2009

1) Eggplant with sun-dried yoghurt, walnuts and fried onions at Zare/Flytrap. I don't think this restaurant is getting enough praise. Really original flavors and well executed dishes.

2) Braised pork ribs during Sunday izakaya at Sebo

3) Fried boquerones at Contigo

4) Raviolo stuffed with ricotta, egg yolk, butter and white truffle at SPQR

5) Giant clam with yellow chives at R&G

6) Vitello "tonatto" at the new Quince

7) slow cooked egg with sea urchin at Saison

8) Ricotta and new olive oil pizza at A16

9) Tuna sandwich at Pals takeaway

10) chestnut stuffed pasta with spigariello at SPQR

Jan 01, 2010
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Are chefs in the kitchen Dec. 30-Jan. 5?

Most restaurants prohibit taking vacation during the holidays since it is one of the biggest times of the year revenue wise. When I worked at a top restaurant as a server during grad school, not once did the chef owner take off during the holiday season. In fact other than taking Monday off and taking a week vacation during tax week in April, the man never missed a day of work. From what I hear that is quite typical of the industry, celebrity chefs excepted since they are hardly in their kitchens as they are out filming TV and doing promo events.

Dec 21, 2009
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Sushi/Omakase recs? (visiting SF from NYC)

Sushi in the Bay Area is not nearly as good as NYC or Vancouver or Los Angeles. Don't bother eating sushi in San Francisco. It is a waste of time compared to eating at Yasuda or Sushi of Gari. If you have to do it, then go to either Sebo or Sakae, but be prepared to be disapointed with inferior rice, fish, and knife work.

Dec 16, 2009
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

NYCHOWCHOW looking for some good ramen in SF

There is no good ramen in SF proper. Either go to San Jose or San Mateo or don't bother. NYC has much better ramen than SF. Ippudo kills anything we have. Focus on seasonal, ingredient driven restaurants that cater to a neighborhood crowd and you will be happy with your SF picks.

Dec 08, 2009
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area

Truffle events/ dinners in the bay area?

Yes, the $30 included the house made pasta AND the truffles which as mentioned the shavings were more generous than I have normally seen as it covered the whole top surface of the dish. Table next to us also ordered the dish and same amount on top. When I mentioned to the waiter that it seemed like a great bargain, she said that the restaurant is not making money on the truffles and sees their offering as a gesture off good will given the reopening.

Nov 18, 2009
Amy G in San Francisco Bay Area