Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

Dustin_E's Profile

Title Last Reply

Fresh Soy Milk and Fried Dough in SF Chinatown?

Does anyone know a place that serves these?

Most of the spots on Broadway serve only congee with their fried dough. :-(

Italian charcuterie, pasta bolognese, and duck in sf

Any suggestions?

(Besides perbacco. I'm aware of perbacco.)

Nothing but Forgettable Fancy Tasting Menus at Bay Area French Influenced High End Restaurants - RANT

Demographic shifts -- high labor costs, democratization of "high end" dining experiences, popularization of the food network perhaps -- likely deserves much of the blame.

Nothing but Forgettable Fancy Tasting Menus at Bay Area French Influenced High End Restaurants - RANT

You are correct, and it is stupid.

I think it is the case for a number of reasons, but it isn't strictly Bay Area, and has almost nothing to do with Bauer:

1. Chefs like cooking in this style because it shifts the focus from ingredients and technique to their imagination and creativity.

2. Less sophisticated diners like it because they get a memorable meal they won't have any desire to repeat for a long time.

3. People think El Bulli is neat.

It is more pronounced here than other great food cities (paris, tokyo, hong kong) because the Bay Area has far less of a culinary tradition to preserve.

And Vegas and LA focus more on importing culinary tradition than developing their own.

Foie Gras Is Legal in California Again!

there is no way foie gras is more cruel than chicken mcnuggets.

Where to buy Foie gras in East Bay?

I think "supposedly illegal" is another term for "illegal but not enforced"

"it's illegal. Period." generally means "technically illegal but lots of people don't respect or follow the law. But i do and it is an issue i care about."

Where to pre-order Osechi for Japanese New Year?

I'd be pretty surprised if Nijiya isn't the largest supplier of Osechi boxes in the bay area.

I think they're even open (and selling a few leftover ones) on new years day.

But regardless you definitely want to preorder.

Crystal Jade, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco.

I'm surprised prices are that high. At the Hong Kong branches i've been to (ifc and kowloon), prices are pretty reasonable (full lunch easily < $10usd), and the whole feel of the place is way more downscale than Yank Sing, not to even mention Hakkasan.

Super Mira Market in San Francisco Japantown

Ten Don
Katsu Curry
Sesame Fried Chicken

Are the things i remember having that i'd for sure get again.

The Mont Blanc from the dessert case also wasn't bad.

Super Mira Market in San Francisco Japantown

early. i've never been too early for the tables to be well stocked.

Super Mira Market in San Francisco Japantown

I eat here all the time. It's fantastic.

Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee reopens

This is the best source of pictures of their new dishes i've found:

Can't wait to hear some first-hand reports.

Oct 16, 2014
Dustin_E in France


Wow Vincent -- you're quite the canned abalone expert!

Do you normally consume as part of a larger meal? or just on its own?

Do you drink wine with it? or something else?


I believe the canned abalone at Koi Palace is ~$50 / can.

I doubt prices in Sheung Wan are too much different, but i'd be interested to hear for sure.


So what is it about dried abalone that makes it exponentially more expensive?

The drying process is very labor intensive or something?


I thought canned abalone was low-quality dried abalone that was reconstituted, cooked in a brown sauce and then canned, no?


very interesting. thanks.


did they say anything about where they get it from?


oh really -- wow, interesting.



Yeah, I'd suspect a lot of places use (dried) abalone from the can. R&G likely does this, as I doubt they sell much abalone there.

In Hong Kong the fresh abalone i've seen / had was served in claypot with ginger and green onion. I haven't seen this around here. And I've only seen live abalone in the tanks at markets in chinatown (or various chinese restaurants) a few times.


It is almost certainly dried abalone at R&G lounge.

Dried abalone can come in a wide variety of qualities and prices.

I don't believe fresh abalone is ever served with "Supreme Sauce" like the R&G dish is.

I also don't think anything about the dried abalone served at R&G is unique to California. I would be extremely surprised if the abalone isn't imported from Asia.

As a special request, I suspect you can get a very similar dish at chinese restaurants around the country. It is sort of a cantonese classic.

I think Boulevard often has an abalone dish on the menu. I'm pretty sure this is fresh (or at least not chinese-style dried; could be frozen) and local abalone.

I think i've had it and i think I remember it being not worth going out of my way for.

North beach restaurant also has abalone for $75 on their menu. Most likely frozen, unsure if it is local. Haven't tried it.

Peking Duck or Tea Smoked Duck in SF or Daly City? For this Friday...

I don't remember if the Pipa duck had buns or crepes. But it did have plum / hoisin / whatever sauce.

but the duck preparation is the same as peking duck.

Peking Duck or Tea Smoked Duck in SF or Daly City? For this Friday...

I'd guess this works out to ~$120 for the equivalent of a whole duck at yank sing, give or take.

At Hakkasan i'd guess you pay $40 for the equivalent of a third of a duck.

So roughly similar prices.

Duck at Hakkasan is probably a little bit better, imo.

But neither are worth the extra price over z&y or r&g, imo.

SF: What's Left to Do?

When was the last time you were at Capp's Corner?

Peking Duck or Tea Smoked Duck in SF or Daly City? For this Friday...

I think Koi Palace Peking Duck is good, but not great.

As part of a set menu (maybe Sun-Thurs Only; don't remember) it is a very decent value, though.

Hakkasan and maybe Yank Sing have the best Peking duck, but with prices to match.

Peking Duck at Z&Y is very good. R&G lounge is similar in quality, but at a higher price.

Where to buy Inaniwa udon?

Nijiya in SF sells it, alongside all the other noodles.

Tomura kaiseki restauarnt in Tokyo

my pics from a visit to tomura in june 2013.

this was the highest priced menu at 42,000jpy. no idea what the difference between this and a lower priced menu was.

Sep 19, 2014
Dustin_E in Japan

Favorite sushi in SF right now?

definitely report back on how sf sushi compares to tokyo!

Favorite sushi in SF right now?

Maruya is at least twice as expensive as Sushi Sam's. at least.

Favorite sushi in SF right now?

By "price / quality" i mean "both price and quality".

Sawa is good if you want huge cuts of top-quality fish, served with sometimes good, sometimes less good sauce, and a personality of the chef to go with. but there is nothing either traditional or elegant about sawa. And it is definitely unique. sort of a korean approach to sashimi. Also, you can actually also bring young children here (believe it or not) and sit at a table.

Maruya if you want very traditional, very good sushi. it is very similar to a lot of places in tokyo, imo.

Apart from both being expensive and serving very high quality raw fish, though, there really is no similarity between the two places.