o

OliverB's Profile

Title Last Reply

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

I was being facetious.

Muslim dining?

Yemeni's in the Tenderloin would be my pick. Everything I've had there is delicious. It's good, inexpensive, homestyle cooking with friendly service. For what it's worth, most of the patronage seems to be people of Muslim and Middle Eastern descent.

Edit: per Yelp - "The owners of this restaurant are Muslim and have confirmed its halal status."

Iron & Steam Closed? [San Francisco]

My wife just called and said there's a sign in the window thanking it's customers and saying that this past Sunday was it's last day. We actually stopped by on Sunday for an espresso which I'm thankful for, but I'm really sad that it's closed. Does anyone know if there are plans to reopen elsewhere?

Tatsuru Rai of Hokkaido’s Rakuichi Soba

I came upon this video this morning and thought it might be of interest to the forum:

http://madfeed.co/post/96981375005/ta...

Sep 10, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Perfect! Thanks Yabai; my wife loves korokke so that coupled with the broccoli salad and maybe some rice and sake sounds like it'll be a perfect lunch!

Sep 10, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Osaka menu specific questions

Thanks for the tip!

Sep 10, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Understandable! We'll definitely order something for her, even if it's just an appetizer. Assumably they serve sake as well, right? I can help her with whatever she orders if she's not partial to the tonkatsu, otherwise we could always take it to go - or is that done with leftovers in Japan?

As I understand it, Butagumi is table seating, not counter. So it's not as if my wife would be taking someone else's spot as we'd occupy the same space whether I was eating there along or with her, right?

Sep 10, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Thanks as always, looking forward to it!

Sep 09, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Osaka menu specific questions

I should note that apart from the above, we do have reservations at Kahala (despite recent criticisms from Gargle I'm interested in trying this kappo and appreciate both the history and setting) along with Kani Douraku Honten. I'm waiting on confirmation for a reservation at Fujiya 1935 later this month.

We currently have only one evening with no reservations planned and based on Gargle's advice in a separate thread, I'm leaning towards booking at Manger for tonkatsu. Tempura at Ippoh is another option, though we're having enough of it in Tokyo and with Osaka being such a colorful and unique city for food, it seems like a boring pick and I'm not really keen on it. Koyoshi was also on the short list for an evening walk-in but I've read some pretty poor reviews of it on the board. I've got 3-4 other backups that are mostly upscale and need no mentioning as they've been covered extensively on the board, but I'd rather stick to casual places and if we don't end up at Manger for whatever reason, I'm considering just leaving this night open to no reservations and finding a place at random.

Sep 09, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Osaka menu specific questions

Ganso Ajiho - best casual walk-in latenight option for takoyaki or touristy and overrated?

Daruma Kushiage Honten - supposedly one of the oldest kushiage restaurants in the city. what do you recommend? should we focus on any menu items of just go for the set menu? this is a lunch option btw.

Harijyu, Dotombori - for sukiyaki & shabu shabu. recommended? if so, what are their strengths with regards to menu and what imparted wisdom should we adhere to when ordering for most rewarding experience?

Kuro-Chan or Mizuno... or both?? is it worth doing a luncthime okonomiyaki crawl and sharing one at each place? would this be frowned upon behind the counter due to limited capacity and seats? what do you suggest ordering at either or both places; are there any highlights?

Kamatake Udon - yay? nay? if so, what do you enjoy and recommend?

Kinryu-Ramen - same questions as above!

Osaka Ohsho, Dotombori Honten - I've read that this place is nothing special and the gyoza are nothing more than servicable for a latenight post-drinking snack. I don't think we've planned for any other gyoza "samplings" on this trip as it doesn't seem like the most exciting or destination-worthy of foods. what are your thoughts on this place; did I nail it with the first sentence? is it worth a quick stop on the way back to our hotel after drinks?

Admittedly (if it wasn't obvious) I watched the Bourdain Osaka episode, ha! Coupled with several travel blog entries that I happened upon and seemed interesting, I strung together a short list of some casual lunch and latenight places to try. Equal parts for food and character (local flavor/ambiance). I just wonder if I'm steering in the right direction and I'd very much appreciate some suggestions for your favorite "go-to" items at each of these spots, if you have any.

Sep 09, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Our concierge confirmed that but I'm going to try and convince her to try tonkatsu; she eats chicken afterall so hopefully she'll adopt a "when in Rome" attitude... otherwise, we'll pick something up for her before or after. She's not too picky and there'll be no shortage of tempting stops along the way.

It looks like Manger in Osaka will have more options. I see there are some delicious looking rock oysters on the menu. Hopefully other non pork/beef options as well.

Any idea if you need reservations at Manger for a Friday evening?

Sep 09, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Gargle, are res needed for Manger/Manje?

I see that it's open 11:30~14:00 but could you please tell me whether they're open daily for lunch and if you'd recommend lunch versus dinner for atmosphere? I didn't notice days or closures mentioned on Tablelog.

Lastly, are there any non-tonkatsu options for the missus or will I have to do a pre/post dinner run for her? :)

Thanks so much!

Sep 09, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

We do have time, Gargle, and we definitely will!

Thanks so much for the tip!!

Sep 08, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Wonderful! She'll be more than set with this info, thanks again!!

Sep 08, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Thanks so much; you've been a huge help and judging by the photo you posted, she'll be very happy! :)

Assumably the moyashi, yasai, and takenoko don't come with noodles, right? Would you mind posting the Japanese-English translation for the egg noodles pictured above; what should she ask for when ordering that?

Thanks again!!

Sep 08, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Thanks so much for your help!!

She has no problem with the soup broth itself; it's not really (technically- it's complicated!) an ethical issue for her so it doesn't matter if the base or stock is meat or pork; as long as it's not filled with mostly meat. She'll even eat or pick around something with meat but she just won't eat the actual meat itself. Are all of the other options topped with pork? I suppose we could use Google Translate to simply ask them not to put any meat on top of her noodles. Is it the kind of place that would be accommodating or would that seem like a strange request? Is there anything that she could order other than the stewed egg noodles (and preferably that's recommended taste-wise as well) that would be easier to avoid meat if it's included?

Thanks for posting the hours too, I really appreciate it!

Sep 08, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

My wife doesn't eat meat or pork (although stock/broth/base is fine) but she's strictly into seafood and chicken, incl. all fowl & poultry. I understand there's no English menu available. We're planning on going for lunch. Buta Kakuni with Tsuke Soba for me! Could you please offer suggestions for my wife, given her personal food restrictions? Also, would anyone be so kind as to post opening hours and closures?

On a separate note, I was somewhat bummed to learn that Tonki is not open for lunch; strictly dinner according to our concierge. We have reservations at Butagumi though, which is supposed to be the benchmark. I really like what I've seen of the no-nonsense utilitarian timewarp atmosphere of Tonki though. I guess we'll have to save it for a future trip...

Sep 08, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Even avoiding Chinese in Nagasaki, where they seem to have interpreted much of their regional cuisine?

Sep 07, 2014
OliverB in Japan

First time to Nopa [San Francisco]

I don't remember; I probably made some cheesy jokes and also mentioned that my brother in-law was visiting and we were regulars. She put our names on the list for the next seating.

First time to Nopa [San Francisco]

I once called when they were fully booked and only taking same night walk-ins and the woman I spoke with was so sweet that she offered a res for 3 people (within the hour) on a Saturday night because I was apparently, in her words, so polite and friendly over the phone. There was at least a 2 hour wait judging by the line snaking out the door onto the street. They have the best staff and front of house in the city.

Edit: to clarify, she had originally shot me down suggesting no chance of anything but walk-in with no guarantee due to long wait list but after chatting for several minutes on the horn, we had a res within the hour!

Sausalito - San Francisco (anniversary trip)

Do you have plans for those 3 days in Sausalito? I only ask because unless you're using it as a base to explore Marin or elsewhere (or you sail I guess) Sausalito is good for a couple of hours worth of interest at best in my opinion. I can't think of any restaurants as described either. Sausalito is pretty casual and laid back. Not the strongest food scene. You can try Murray Circle at Cavallo Point nearby, but I can otherwise only recommend 2-3 places in town and they're better suited for lunch; certainly not romantic anniversary dinners. You'd get far more milage in San Francisco.

Tapas Molecular Bar

Well in that case, based on his own assesment... and of this picture of a guy inhaling passion fruit nitrogen oxide "puffs", I would still say you can do better: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bonequi...

Sep 05, 2014
OliverB in Japan

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

I like Iron and Steam on Polk St, but then I don't go for fancy Ethiopian roasts or anything like that. I just want a good strong classic lungo. They have a gorgeous 1950's Gaggia and it's close to my apartment.

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

Well Yee's didn't work out after all that... by the time they picked us up (approx. 8:45) and I pulled out my phone to verify the address on yelp, I noticed that the restaurant was closing within 30 minutes, so we ended up at Dongbei Mama instead. Meh. It was cheap but in all fairness, nobody ordered right. I tried to steer them towards the sizzling hot pots that all the Chinese people were eating (the lamb smelled really good) but in the end they ordered a cashew and kung pao chicken, d'oh! Neither were any good; not surprisingly. I went for the sliced beef pancake which looked great in photos but was not great in real life. That was a wash. My wife fared the best. She went for the salt and pepper tofu which was actually very good, along with the braised green beans in garlic and ginger. I ended up sharing with her. It was cheap and it was passable, but I wouldn't run back... if I did, I'd be more prepared with ordering. I'm sure Yee's would've been more rewarding. No big deal, we had a nice time and my wife ordered more than enough for the both of us!

I should've remembered Taishan Cafe! That place is dirt cheap and the food is always excellent, especially their snails in black bean sauce which can easily feed two. Their claypots are excellent also. I'll have to remember that the next time these friends visit. I'm still set on trying Yee's but I'll plan for lunchtime. FYI it actually closes at 9pm every night, so it wouldn't have likely worked anyhow.

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

So it's 8:15 and they're running late... we likely won't get to the restaurant until 8:45. Someone mentioned the BBQ not being the freshest in the afternoon. The restaurant closes at 10:45, approx. 2 hours after we arrive... should I avoid all BBQ (and anything else?) given past reports and considering it'll be nearing closing?

Tapas Molecular Bar

I would say that based on your own personal assesment above, you should indeed cancel. While I don't know the first thing about your trip, I also can't really understand the incentive for dining at a tapas restaurant in Tokyo. Considering you'll be in Spain at some point next year, it seems like a no brainer that you can do better with your time.

Sep 05, 2014
OliverB in Japan

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

Thanks for the warnings!

How's the char siu? Has anyone tried it? Looks good in Yelp photos...

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

Not too late, we're leaving in 20 minutes. Still reading up on the menu at Yee's and getting hungry!

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

Thanks for all the tips... Yee's is the undisputed winner and I'll be sure to report back! Going to get ready now. Go Chowhound!

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

I don't know but I may order that for myself because the roast goose (and Peking duck) looks amazing!

I guess I could've just kicked in for their tab wherever we went but I'm saving for a trip to Japan right now and didn't feel like doing that. I have no qualms about ordering that duck for myself though, haha.