Prabhakar Ragde's Profile

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Perdition Smokehouse (downtown Berkeley)

Was pretty impressed on my lunch visit today. Their website doesn't mention that they have a weekday $10 lunch special. Had Hampshire pork shoulder, cowboy beans, slaw, cornbread. The pork was moist and smoky (probably the best BBQ I've had in the Bay Area since Flint's went south), the cowboy beans were terrific (I could see having just a side of this and a beer for lunch), even the slaw was notable (red cabbage, carrot shreds, vinegar dressing, and actual bits of green herbs). Only negatives were the cornbread (tiny muffins, somewhat dry and oversweet), the slow counter service (dozen people in line in front of me, took a half hour for me to get to the front, friendly but somehow really amateur), and the noise level (loud even when only a few people present, must be overwhelming when full). Tap selection is pretty good and prices reasonable (except for the Mikkeller selections, why do they cost so much?). I am definitely going back.

Kyu3 in the TL -- Thai Noodles, Japanese BBQ and Squid Ink Fried Rice [San Francisco]

I want Kyu3 with Tycoon Thai's beer selection. Though I did notice that Hopwater Distribution is within walking distance, so maybe a "progressive dinner" is called for.

Arsicault Bakery in San Francisco

I don't care for Tartine's plain croissant, but I don't know of a better local chocolate croissant. (I wonder why b. patisserie avoids them?) I stress "local". It is a not a patch on, say, Pierre Hermé or Eric Kayser at their best. SF is not much of a French pastry town, but it's a long way from France, and has other charms to compensate.

Arsicault Bakery in San Francisco

No, I don't prefer a breadier croissant. And I didn't have the plain croissant at Arsicault; I had the almond chocolate and half of a chocolate. The interior of the chocolate croissant was too moist; the crunch zone on the outside was very thin, and beyond that the dough had a tendency to resist rather than give. I will go back and try the plain croissant.

Arsicault Bakery in San Francisco

I originally commented in the thread linked below (hence Melanie's reference to me in this one). Yes, the pastries do look great.


Fresh Ramen Noodles?

Have you (or anyone else) tried the fresh noodles at Nijaya packaged under their name? I saw them right next to the fresh Sun Ramen packs.

Arsicault Bakery in San Francisco

I was there fairly early in the morning and the sweet pastry selection was about the same (looks like you missed the plain croissants). They're starting out modestly in terms of selection, which is probably good. I hope they tune the recipes a bit, because this place has promise but is not quite there yet.

Help to find Indonesian restaurants in SF area

Jayakarta in Berkeley serves Indonesian food. I had good meals there when it opened but I have not been there for a few years now. Perhaps other Chowhounds have more recent experiences.

Best shop for Loire goat cheeses in Mission/Noe

There's a reasonable selection at Rainbow.

Are there local/domestic cheeses comparable to an aged Crottin de Chavignol? I find most of them too young and mild.

Best bars in San Francisco to get sloshed at?

Lucky 13. Pliny the Elder and Dogfish Head 90 on tap, great soundtrack, okay with bringing in outside food - and Taqueria El Castillito is just around the corner with an al pastor spit. I was considering asking if they had a room to rent upstairs.

Any Shishito peppers sightings?

Happy Boy Farms had them (first time this season) at the Castro Farmers' Market on Wednesday. Whole Foods on Market had Capay shishitos for $10/lb. I also saw them at Capay's Ferry Plaza stall.

Pizzeria Delfina

This just for you? Is a lot of food. I have not had the tripe, but the arancini and pizza are quite good. Which location are you hitting?

Best Bakeries/Patisseries for pastries/croissants in San Francisco

Dropped in this morning. Small space, small selection, slightly awkward transaction (which is rather refreshing, actually). Short hours, 7-1, closed Monday. Kouign amann in a more traditional style, with harder caramelized top. Good, but I prefer the one at b. patisserie. Chocolate croissant was too soft. Not bready, very buttery, but interior was too moist. Tartine is the gold standard here (any others in town worth having?). Almond chocolate croissant was way over the top, with the butter from the laminated dough, a generous amount of almond paste, and oozy chocolate. I ate half and felt as if I'd had my saturated fats for the week. Not nearly enough dough to contain all that richness. I will be back to try the regular croissant and morning bun, but I don't think this will be a destination for me (though it is a nice addition to the area and a good address to know if one is in the vicinity).

Exotic fruits(esp mangosteen) in the Bay Area?

Second this, but be warned that you're at the mercy of what they have and how it's been handled, and you have to read up on what to expect, whether to refrigerate or keep on the counter, when they're ripe, and so on. Sometimes when I buy fruits in North America that I've had closer to the source, they're such a distant echo that it's depressing. And sometimes they bring back memories. It's a crapshoot.

New Yorkers Seeking the Good Stuff

How big are these? They look small in the photo.

They also cost about three times as much as they do in Toronto but I guess delivery is included.

Best bars in San Francisco to get sloshed at?

Thanks for this list. I live in the heart of the Castro, so all of these are within striking distance. I've been to a show at Cafe du Nord, so probably have had a drink at that downstairs bar (unless they have two basements). Will check out Aatxe at some point. And some of the others you've listed also.

Best bars in San Francisco to get sloshed at?

Thanks - this is closer to me than Toronado and looks great.

Any Shishito peppers sightings?

I saw them at TJ's Stonestown yesterday. But I had bought two bags on an earlier trip, and I was not happy with them. Too large, not tender enough, and with more hot ones (probability increases with size, I think). I'm going to wait for the farmers' markets.

Bibimbap: SFBA Dish of the Month June 2015

This is hwe dup bap and it is great. I have had it once in a hot bowl (dolsot) in NYC and that I would not recommend.

Most underrated restaurants in San Francisco

I haven't even heard of half of these! I live a few blocks from Dinosaurs and would rather hike to Saigon Sandwich or Cafe Bunn Mi. But it is okay for a no-energy lunch. I've only eaten at the old Lolo location; again, I liked the concept, but the execution was somewhat lacking. With the move onto Valencia, I imagine prices and popularity are up, and I would like to hear something about the food from a reliable source.

Most underrated restaurants in San Francisco

Can I ask what the Hakkasan items cost? There are no prices on their online menu. Thanks.

Most underrated restaurants in San Francisco

I've gone to Amphawa and Kyu3 recently on Gary's recommendation, and I'm definitely going back to both.

Trip Report: San Francisco with my Foodie Son...

Thanks for this lengthy writeup. As a Canadian living part time in SF, I have to say that I'm still getting used to the mercurial climate - though the absence of "way too cold" and "way too hot" is welcome. (And, at the risk of TMI, I've had a similar cheese experience...)

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

The happy hour at Waterbar is in the bar, and you don't get the best view there. That said, it's a pretty comfortable and pleasant place to get dollar oysters.

Farmers market Sunday

There's a small one on Grove near Divisadero in SF. Probably not worth a long trip but if you're in the area for other reasons or want to combine it with something...

Heart of the City at Civic Center is better on Wednesdays, but it's still pretty good on Sundays.

Amphawa Thai Noodle (SF)

I had the sukhothai today, also with wide rice noodles, and while I ordered it "medium spicy", I was in a sweat by the end of the bowl. It was sweeter than I would have liked, but otherwise tasty. There was a large and relatively young party speaking Thai to the server. I'm going back for the khao soi and maybe the khao kha moo (and I will try the sukhothai at Kyu3 also). I wish these places had better beer.

[San Francisco] Central Kitchen or Tosca for dinner with in-laws?

My comments on Range were based on eating there when Rachel Sillcocks was in the kitchen. If you end up there, please report back on what you think of Phil West's work.

Kyu3 in the TL -- Thai Noodles, Japanese BBQ and Squid Ink Fried Rice [San Francisco]

We dropped in for an early dinner tonight - everything is 15% off from 5-8pm. We were the only customers in the place the whole time. It's a nice space, spiffed up from the Ha Nam Nimh days (though I could have cheerfully strangled the soundtrack of insipid '90's alt-pop). Only draft beer is Sapporo, but they have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in bottles. (It is a measure of how far we've come that SNPA used to be my desert island beer and now it represents the lower end of what I'll order in a restaurant.)

I was mostly there to try the Squid Ink Fried Rice, which I got with crab meat ($3 supplement), but it was somewhat disappointing. It tasted fine, with good presentation, but I wanted more squid ink. I was spoiled by squid ink risotto in Venice, I suspect, where they don't stint on the stuff.

Much better were the Boat Noodles, which I don't have to tell Gary:


I think these are better than the famous ones at Zen Yai Thai - a more balanced bowl (broth is a touch too sweet at ZYT), with more interesting ingredients (pork shoulder, pork liver, crispy pork belly, pork meatballs, very thin slices of crisp-tender Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, cilantro). Very generous on the protein, and a large serving.

I am not normally a fan of pan-Asian menus, but this place has promise, and there are plenty of things on the menu that I'd like to try, as well as chalkboard specials (though I really wish they'd give us the original names in both places, instead of just near-generic English translations).

[San Francisco] Central Kitchen or Tosca for dinner with in-laws?

Blue Plate definitely takes reservations.

[San Francisco] Central Kitchen or Tosca for dinner with in-laws?

If you do three courses plus cocktails and wine at Range you'll be pushing $120 p/p all in. I know you're looking for a place that's on the boring side but I don't know that Range is worth it. I had a better meal for less money at Blue Plate, and it's quite accessible. There are probably other neighbourhood-style places of similar quality.