mr_darcy's Profile

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Crystal Jade, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco.

"Nearby Yank Sing has nothing to worry about."

Laughable... is he on crack? They may have nothing to worry about, but it's certainly not because their food is better...

Nico [San Francisco]

Ha, maybe they should hire me instead - I'll work for less ;)

Nico [San Francisco]

I've seen some mentions of Nico, but it doesn't seem to have a dedicated thread, so I wanted to start one.

They recently changed their menu format to a 5-course pre-fixe with an option to reduce to 3 courses (of your choosing). They prefer to keep the menu a secret, but they'll let you see it if you prefer.

First course - scallops
Second course - celery root
Third course - trout
Fourth course - duck
Fifth course - citrus with goat cheese sorbet

I really liked courses 1-3 - the trout in particular, was cooked to perfection. I'm not a huge fan of rare duck in general (fully cooked duck is so much better, in my opinion), so I'm not really qualified to judge on the 4th course. Dessert, the 5th course, was pretty fun although a little too sweet to my liking.

In any event, I think it's a steal for what they offer - $55 for the 5 courses. And we got a nice salted caramel with the check. The place was only 75% full on a Saturday night when I went - not sure why!

Pacific Heights and Marina District recommendations please [San Francisco]

I enjoyed my last meal at Nico a lot.

Hakkasan. [San Francisco]


I think if you look on review sites, some of the photos are of the menus (with prices). They have a 3 course pre-fixe lunch for $29 if that helps give an idea.

Favorite Ice Cream 2014

Their Turkish coffee ice cream has a great flavor to it... personally I'd prefer it without the hard specks of coffee bean though ;)

Their chocolate covered strawberry flavor is my favorite.

Favorite Ice Cream 2014


best dim sum Bay Area, late 2014?

Based on my visits, I'd say the best would be Crystal Jade and Hakkasan (though both suffer from a small selection). Sorry, I know you said you wanted cheaper places, but I'd rank those places at the top based on food :)

They'd be followed by Koi Palace. The last couple times I've been to Yank Sing were pretty disappointing. I agree, I think HKFL has gone a bit down hill - Zen Peninsula I think went down hill a bit, then went back up, not sure where it is now. There's a lot of decent places, but no where else that I think would deserve the title of an unqualified "best" since nothing there really blows your mind (at least they don't for me).

As far as best cheap dimsum places, I would agree with East Ocean - the view is good and the food is reliable. The Kitchen is good too as has been mentioned. Hong Kong Lounge in SF (not to be confused with Hong Kong Flower Lounge) is also decent, as was Dynasty in Cupertino (at least it was a couple years ago).

Crystal Jade, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco.

I like Koi Palace a lot, but definitely did not feel that the food at Crystal Jade was inferior to Koi Palace, if you don't take price into account. If anything, Koi Palace is a bit greasier. Not that grease is inherently bad, but it can be a crutch.

But I mostly tried the dim sum items, for which I felt it was obviously superior. Maybe the story is different with the BBQ items.

Crystal Jade, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco.

Tried it out this weekend - some thoughts:

* Beef cheong fun - this one was a surprise in that the beef was not the normal minced beef, but actually thin slices of solid meat. Not traditional, but I far prefer it - you can just tell the meat quality is better.

* Roast pork cheong - along the same lines, the quality of the meat was much better than other renditions I've had (no chewy bits). The noodle was decent quality too - I've had better, but only in Guangzhou.

* XLB - these were great, can't really say anything that hasn't already been said. Clearly more authentic than DTF (at least the one in Bellevue).

* Nuo mi zi (chicken with sticky rice in a bamboo leaf) - the filling was chicken, with mushroom and salted duck egg. The portions are pretty small, but I actually think the amount of meat / mushroom / egg they give you is perhaps almost equivalent to other places - they just put proportionately a lot less rice (which is fine by me). Tasted pretty good, but not too remarkable other than the quality of the ingredients. There is no dried shrimp, which I was totally fine with since I don't like them anyways.

* Shao Mai - these were just ok in my opinion, nothing special, but nothing wrong either.

* Satay skewers (beef and pork) - not traditional dimsum obviously, but pretty good. Juicy and tender - not dry at all, as some skewers tend to get.

* Pumpkin red bean dessert - don't remember much by way of specifics, but this was pretty tasty. I regretted not ordering the combo with the mochi, since we then could have tried two items for just $1 more.

The service was alright - nothing went wrong (probably worked out a lot of the kinks that others noticed earlier on), although I do think it needs more polish to compete at the level they're going for. I think they'll get there though.

The total bill for two people at lunch was $60 pre-tax, which I don't find unreasonable at all for lunch at an upscale restaurant.

I'll definitely be back - I'm personally very happy that there's a new upscale Chinese dining option to join Hakkasan. The unfortunate thing about Chinese food in the US is that the restaurants have traditionally been at the lower price points due to historical circumstances, so a lot of people affiliate Chinese food with low quality ingredients. Hopefully new restaurants like this change that perception!

Crystal Jade, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco.

I understand it's expensive and the portions may be small, but can you really say that Koi Palace has better *quality* ingredients with a straight face?

Need to find green bananas in Bay area!!

That's funny - the bananas I see at the Redwood City and Mountain View Costcos are super green. To the point where I never buy them!

Panda Dumpling in Redwood City

Yea, I was surprised it lasted that long too... seems like they were never able to get traction when they opened, which is sort of a death spiral.

Crystal Jade [San Francisco]

Anyone check it out yet?

Favorite Ice Cream 2014

I just picked up a jar of the white chocolate mint from Marina Market - LOVED it. The texture wasn't icy though (but was light and fluffy) - I wonder if your batch might have been exposed to some unintended temperature changes? Anyways, just thought I'd mention it.

Perdition Smokehouse (downtown Berkeley)

Went there last night (Friday) at around 8:30pm - the brisket was good, but the ribs were pretty dry and definitely not fall-off-the-bone. More like gnaw-off-the-bone. Got the broccoli salad and mac and cheese for sides. The mac and cheese had a slightly tangy flavor that I wasn't expecting (and didn't really like), and I couldn't discern much of a cheese flavor. The BBQ sauces were pretty good though.

As she turned the screen toward me to sign for my credit card purchase, the cashier was also quick to point out that there was an option to tip, which I found a bit class-less and annoying given the quick-service format.

7x7 Magazine Big Eat Oakland - 50 Things to Taste Before You Die

ah good point...

7x7 Magazine Big Eat Oakland - 50 Things to Taste Before You Die

Mindboggling that Fenton's is on the list but not Ici

SF Michelin stars 2015

For what it's worth, I just did a custom menu at Quince last week and it completely surpassed my expectations. The dishes alone were great, but the wine pairing really knocked it out of the park. From what I could tell, the service and food was easily at the level of other 2 stars I've been to. Don't know, maybe they've up-ed their game recently - I know the lounge is a lot smaller now after their recent remodel.

Agree with all the others that Benu probably should have stayed at a 2 - it was my least favorite 2 star dining experience, though I didn't have a tasting menu there, so don't know if that had anything to do with it.

Belcampo Meat Co, Palo Alto (Town & Country Village) - anyone been yet?

Went there a few weeks ago and got their chili dog and lamb slider. Both were pretty good. The chili had a nice amount of meat in it (i.e. it wasn't all beans). The hotdog bun was pretty buttery, which is nice although perhaps unnecessary given all the moisture from the other ingredients.

I later ordered the cheesesteak for delivery - pretty good as well, though it was sort of an upscale version of the normal cheesesteak. It could have been a tad moister with a tad more meat, to my preference.

The meat case looks great - haven't tried anything from there yet though.

Best Asian in San Francisco

True... some good Korean places too, in my experience.

Best Asian in San Francisco

Hmm - Asian food in Flushing is pretty good though, no?

Crystal Jade [San Francisco]

Just saw this posting for a GM on craigslist:


Hopefully a good sign of some activity :)

A "special" dinner in SFBA -- your thoughts much appreciated

Ah I see - guess I'm out of the loop! :)

A "special" dinner in SFBA -- your thoughts much appreciated

I'd definitely agree that if you didn't like AQ, you probably wouldn't like Commonwealth either.

Some restaurants you might look into on the Italian side - SPQR, Cotogna, La Ciccia.

Also, it's not my cup of tea, but I think Benu has an a la carte menu.

Crystal Jade [San Francisco]

For what it's worth, I peeked through the cracks of the temporary wall they put up, a few nights ago. It was dark outside but there were lights on inside, so it was easy to see inside. Things look very far from being ready - I would very surprised if they hit their supposed Fall 2014 opening date. Everything was very much still under construction - some drywall had been put up, but not much else.

ISO Envy Apples

Saw them at the new Los Altos Safeway last weekend!

Little China Kitchen - Downtown San Mateo

Unless the homeless people are Chinese, I think you'd be more likely to find the dishes they ask for at Little China Kitchen. The menu has more dishes that you'd find at a typical Americanized Chinese restaurant. The quality is great, never had any issues.

Little China Kitchen - Downtown San Mateo

I haven't been there for a few months, but I like it. Pretty healthily prepared. I wouldn't recommend it if people are expecting greasy food though.

NEW: Chino in the Mission, SF - Menu has XLB & open daily until 1AM, any reports yet?

We went around 8pm on Saturday... wait was 1+ hours for a table, but we were lucky enough to score seating at the bar (which seemed to be an everybody-for-themselves situation).