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Ruth's annual birthday dinner dilemma -- 2014 edition

Another vote for A Cote- had a great meal there recently- solid cocktails, lots of variety in the menu, more interesting things and homey classics. Didn't have dessert this last time but in the past it has been good.

Maybe Sidebar? Their co-owner is the pastry chef, so the desserts should be good.

I also recently went to the House of Prime Rib for the very first time. I was a little skeptical (I'm a chef/foodie...), but the experience was awesome. Delicious meat and sides, and great value. Fun atmosphere. Had a decent creme brulee! The only thing on the menu is prime rib, though.

Mar 03, 2014
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

What's the best inexpensive scotch out there?

We love Lismore- we buy it at Trader Joe's for like $20 or maybe even less. Very smooth. WAY better than you'd expect for the price. Pretty bottle for gift giving.

Nov 13, 2013
kmah in Spirits

Mexican catering in Oakland - small group

Cactus Taqueria has a catering menu
http://www.cactustaqueria.com/catering

Sep 22, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for improving a mint chip ice cream base: fresh mint vs. extract

First off, do try adding extract to the base, and see how you like it. Sometimes a finished (frozen) ice cream will taste a little different from the unchurned base- put a spoonful in the freezer to get the best idea.

If it's too strong, you can also make more plain ice cream base and add it to dilute the herbaceous flavor (and probably add more extract too).

Your ice cream base should last a few days, refrigerated, while you figure out what you want to do with it, and you can even freeze it unchurned if you need to (just defrost and churn when you are ready to adjust it).

Jul 28, 2013
kmah in Home Cooking

east bay restaurants open on 4th of July?

I think Brozheit Lokal, the new sausage/beer place in Jack London is open.

Jul 04, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Grocery Outlet June 2013

We just ate the Niman bacon/chipotle meatloaf- pretty good!

Also picked up a 6 pack of Clif Mojo bars- Chocolate Almond Coconut for $3.49 (?- but they're usually at least $1/each).

This was at Oakland.

Jun 11, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Birthday dinner 6/8, looking for the best ever fried chicken

I had some pretty great fried chicken at Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa (kinda north-east bay). Nice place for a special occasion meal.

Jun 03, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Chez Panisse Alternatives for tonight?

Went to Bull Valley last night and it was awesome--but not a lot of veggie options for you, if I remember correctly. Definitely an interesting excursion- solid food and cocktails, nice atmosphere.

Mar 08, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Chinese New Year Lo Han Jai (Buddhist vegetarian stew)

Apparently there's a shortage of black hair moss. I'm sure there's more info out there, but wikipedia has some info as to why. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_choy

Feb 28, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Upscale Lunar New Year Food & Drink Gifts?

Masse's in Berkeley has special new year cakes/pastries. http://www.massespastries.com/Lunar_N...

Feb 10, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Thoughts on Mission Bowling Club [San Francisco]

Their cinnamon crunchy toast dessert is the best! Also we had great service, especially since we were just getting snacks/dessert.

Jan 12, 2013
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice - SF Dish of the Month (Oct 2012)

I just had Little Hong Kong's this past weekend. About $30, ordered Thursday for Sunday. They were really nice, really prompt (I was picking up to-go). Delicious as always. I have a vague memory of this dish coming with a sauce, but there wasn't one, maybe because it was for take-out.

Oct 03, 2012
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Linzer cookie [Garibaldi biscuits / raisin biscuits]

I've heard them also referred to as Sunshine Golden Biscuits. I occasionally make a homemade version at Pizzaiolo.

Aug 07, 2012
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Rockridge/Oak/Berk Area-What is the best taco truck?

My work got the taco truck that parks at the Hotsy Totsy in Albany to come to our work party at the Albany Bowl (albeit only a few blocks away). So tasty! Tacos El Autlense.

Apr 14, 2012
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

where to buy mushroom popcorn?

I'd like to find a place to buy mushroom popcorn, preferably in the east bay.

I don't mean mushroom-flavored popcorn- it's a variety that is supposed to pop into a nice ball shape, perfect for making caramel corn.

Alternately, does anyone know of a brand or source of unpopped popcorn that is good (read: sturdy) for caramel corn? I usually order it online but don't have time to have it shipped this time.

Thanks!

Mar 07, 2012
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Chez Panisse Family Tree

I remember a magazine article that had a diagram- radiating circles or similar- that showed many of the chefs/restaurants that originated from Chez Panisse.

Can anyone else remember this or know where I might find it??
Thanks!

Jan 11, 2012
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Dude demands a booth...

Maybe Absinthe? I have (foggy) memories of a cozy dinner for 2 in a comfy mini-booth or banquette corner.

Dec 20, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Quince at farmers' markets?

Full Belly Farm (Berkeley Tuesday Farmer's Market) had some last week. If you can still get them they're lovely.

Nov 16, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Pizzaiolo 2011

The current baker's name is Davey.

Nov 08, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Cheap but tasty passion fruit puree in the Bay

Mi Tierra in Berkeley is a Mexican grocery store- I'm sure you could find it in the Mission in a similar grocery.

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Mi Tierra
2096 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA

Nov 02, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to get Japanese style bamboo shoots?- "menma"

I just bought some at the Berkeley Bowl (Oregon St.)- they were vacuum packed in the produce section near the chiles.

I also saw them at Tokyo Fish, again in the produce section, on the far left.
At 99 ranch they're in the refrigerated section next to the frozen area, with the lop cheong, fishcake and pickles.

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Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

Nov 01, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Range, Prospect, or elsewhere?

Both are awesome, I especially like the desserts at Range. I would say that Range is more intimate, and perhaps a tiny bit cheaper that Prospect. Prospect is a lovely big modern space, closer to downtown.

Oct 18, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a Chinese banquet restaurant near UC Berkeley.

I believe Great China has an upstairs private room- 20 might fill it in a nice way. Still not the nicest atmosphere, but at least it's private.

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Great China Restaurant
2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

Jul 01, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Need to find a place to get married!

I went to a lovely wedding in an outdoor amphitheater at the UC Berkeley botanical gardens. The reception wasn't there but I know they do have a building there that they rent out. Not sure on the price though.

May 02, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Vik's Chaat House recommendations?

By tomorrow do you mean Monday or Tuesday? Because I believe they're closed Mondays.

Apr 25, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Does Frances take walk-ins?

I've walked in and gotten a seat, but it was a TINY seat at the bar. If I go again I'd definitely get a reservation. Great food though.

Apr 18, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch & meeting spot on College Ave, Rockridge

Had a lovely simple and very quiet lunch with a friend at Uzen.

Mar 10, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay restaurant supply stores

There's also a new place called Rocket Restaurant Supply in Berkeley near Ashby and 7th. Looks smaller, haven't compared prices to East Bay yet.

Mar 07, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Annual birthday dinner dilemma

Frankly I don't get out much, and often don't order dessert (I'm too full or it doesn't interest me). That said, I always love the desserts at Range. I love the caramel pudding with perfect cookies at Flora. I've historically had really nice desserts at A Cote, although their cheese plate often distracts me. Had some lovely profiteroles at Sidebar. (I'm East Bay.) I'd love your dessert suggestions as well. On my short list of desserts to try are Aziza's, one of Emily Lucetti's restaurants, and Plum's (I believe both opening and current pastry chefs looked interesting).

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A Cote
5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

Mar 06, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area

Annual birthday dinner dilemma

Perhaps Prospect? I went for dinner over the holidays and had a really great meal. Yes it's a little expensive, but portions were good (no you've-got-to-be-kidding-me sized plates), and aside from waiting a little for our reservation, service was excellent. The room is large and spacious with lots of room between tables- it felt luxurious compared to most other places. I think I remember some booths and round tables that would fit a party of five. And I don't remember it being noisy. And even though it was the holidays and still very popular, I had no trouble getting a reservation on Open Table. Also, my boyfriend is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and he really enjoyed his meal. Their menu is large enough to suit different tastes, very creative and tasty. Everyone in my party was impressed with the food. As for desserts, I thought they were interesting and well-executed. I'm a pastry chef so I'm kind particular and they weren't really my 'thing', but definitely worth tasting, beautiful, and nicely-sized. And for your final question, it's at the foot of the Bay Bridge- we drove over easily and parked down the street (on a weekday night) and would've BARTed if it hadn't been so cold (it's 3 blocks away). Good luck!

Mar 06, 2011
kmah in San Francisco Bay Area