Prabhakar Ragde's Profile

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Grocery Outlet May 2015

I'm sipping it right now. Very accessible, but the finish is nonexistent. It just drops off a cliff, as if it doesn't even make it to the back half of my mouth. I'd like a little more acidity and a little less residual sugar. Still, pretty good for $8, and I'm glad that you recommended it. It is brightening up my stay in San Jose.

Grocery Outlet May 2015

The Sriraja Panich was available at the San Jose GO. But I may have taken the last bottle of the Reserve Lot 11 Zin.

San Jose without a car

Re dreaming bigger: I will have at least one and maybe as many as three visits to Japan in the next eighteen months, so I'm sure we will be continuing this conversation in the appropriate forum as soon as my plans firm up.

San Jose without a car

Thanks, all, for the long lists and details. I will have enough to choose from, and I hope this thread serves as a good resource.

San Jose without a car

Thanks - I have certainly benefitted from your posts here and your blogs, which are not only informative, but enjoyable to read. After a four-year student residence and twenty-five years of East Bay visits, I'm excited to be back as a resident in SF itself.

San Jose without a car

I take your point, though the pursuit can be an end in itself - that's the spirit in which Chowhound was founded. And I have an ideological bias in favour of public transit, even as I understand that it's not the best way to get around in the South Bay. (Edited to add:) I'm not desperate for ramen, but it's been disappointing in SF, and I've been dreaming of visiting Melanie's #1 for some time. I really don't get down this way very often.

San Jose without a car

Thanks hhc and bbulkow for the long lists. Much appreciated.

San Jose without a car

Yelp (which I don't trust in this case) suggests that Dalat has had a change of ownership.

I really should visit Japantown. I hope it's better than SF's Japan Center.

Nemea sounds like it might be a good dinner possibility.

San Jose without a car

I think in 45 minutes I can get to Halu and Orenchi.

San Jose without a car

Yes, I saw that, it was depressing, though the historical overviews were interesting. I will walk to Vung Tau, and I had Grand Century on my list (Asian malls are fascinating in general), though it's hard to find specific recommendations.

San Jose without a car

I'm coming to live in SF while on sabbatical, but, alas, my first week will be spent at the Fairmont in downtown San Jose while my partner attends a conference. I'll be on my own for lunches, and am willing to walk or take public transit up to 30 mins each way (45 mins for exceptional opportunities). I've been doing searches but it looks pretty discouraging! Where would you eat under these circumstances? (Dinner recommendations also welcome, though those are less under my control - there will doubtless be others along.)

places for loners Berkeley area

I sometimes eat lunches alone in SF, and other meals while travelling. It can be awkward and depressing if you don't take your mind off it. I don't have specific place recommendations, but I've found that reading on a Kindle or on an iPad makes me feel better than a smaller device, eavesdropping, or just staring at the walls. A real book would probably make me feel even better, but I can't count on there being enough light. Also it's too easy to inhale the food when you're not talking to someone. Eat slowly and savour it, and maybe think about how it can inform your own cooking.

My main problem with eating alone is that I don't get to try more things, especially with menus where one dish is a large quantity and the expectation is that multiple people will order several and share.

Italian charcuterie, pasta bolognese, and duck in sf

Avedano's in Bernal Heights has very good porchetta, a bolognese I have not tried in the freezer case, and both duck breast and duck legs (prepared confit also).

Tycoon Thai -- New Thai/Lao option in the Tenderloin [San Francisco]

I dropped in for lunch today. The space is small but airy and pleasant, with a few low two-tops and four-tops, and three high four-tops. I was by myself, and could sample only one dish, the Nam Kao Tod (rice ball salad). This was not quite as flavourful as the one I had at Champa Garden SF a few months ago, but it had good texture and taste. I accompanied it with a pint of Lagunitas IPA (alas, they were out of Sculpin, which I'd love to have scored at $4!). Service was attentive and friendly. I will definitely go back to try more of the menu.

Has anyone used this mole base?

If by "red mole paste" you're referring to the Mole Teloloapan at La Palma, I like that a lot. It costs $11/lb, but has a nice, complex flavour. I'll try the Las Cazuelas when I'm in SF next and compare.

SF Trip 2015

The bread pudding is really good at Hooker's as well.

Siem Reap Updates?

Thanks for this recommendation. We had the four-course "best Cambodian cuisine" menu at Mie Café tonight, $20, really nice.

patisseries in Bay Area (SF and East Bay) that sell caneles

I've just finished a cannelé from Les Clos, the café and wine bar on Townsend near 3rd. I make it a point to try various versions of this underappreciated pastry (originally from Bordeaux) when I visit France. It is hard to find them in North America, and when I do, they tend to be disappointing, though curiously enough a baker in the otherwise-a-culinary-desert-that's-DESERT-not-dessert of a town where I live most of the time (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario) makes a better version than the ones I tried last time I was in Paris.

Anyway, I haven't had much luck recently in SF (though historically I had good ones at the original Bay Bread and at Patisserie Delanghe), the best being from Le Dix-Sept at the Noe Valley Farmers' Market, costing about $3.50 and being just all right. (I have been to Mission Beach Café two or three times trying to get one and they never have any.) Edit: I haven't had one from Boulette's Larder, but my partner did, and said it was all right but not worth what it cost.

This cannelé from Les Clos, though, was just $2. Though I got it to go in mid-afternoon and ate it after 4pm, and it probably came out of the oven in the morning, there was still enough crunch to the crust, which was dark without being burnt. The interior had good texture and nice flavour, perhaps a bit strong on the rum, though I like rum. Too bad this place is so out of the way (at least for me). The atmosphere seemed nice, and I will go back at some point to hang out and try more of the menu.

Anchor Oyster Bar question... [San Francisco]

Some places have opened up in the vicinity recently which you might want to try out.

Beso is run by the Bizou people, mostly traditional tapas. My experience there wasn't great, but it may be worth a visit (as might Canela). I haven't been to Hecho, but it looks like a good bar with at least competent Mexican-style food (think Tacolicious) that might be a bit too expensive (like most places in this nabe). Hearth Coffee have ambitions food-wise; pastries and desserts are made in-house, and there are fancy sandwiches, two beer taps, one wine tap. They may have happy hour still (I stopped in just after hard opening), which makes selected noshes and tipples affordable. I have had decent Mexican food at Tacos Club, and the people there are nice, but there is almost no seating inside. And I've heard the burger at Hi-Tops is good, but it's a sports bar and not open until 4pm, which means I haven't gotten around to it yet. (Hi-Tops isn't new.)

After living in the Castro part-time over the past twenty months, I still don't know of a local place that you can hang out in and relax and have decent, casual food that doesn't cost too much.

Helping a sweet tooth discover the Bay Area... (Oakland/ Berkeley/ SF)

When in SF, I live within walking distance from Tartine, but I tend to hop the bus to b. patisserie on California near Divisadero. The lines are much shorter and move faster, the service is more friendly and helpful, the seating more pleasant (though starting to be almost as hard to snag), and the selection of what I want to eat is greater. Their kouign amann is amazing, their bostock, brioche tart, and scones are quite good, the filled croissants and plain croissants are good; I have not tried their cakes, mousses, macarons, or bread, but they all look very tempting.

Recommendations for mid-range sushi? [San Francisco]

Thanks. The one dinner I had at Live Sushi was not stellar; the one lunch I had at Tataki on California was better. I will give Domo a try. Someone mentioned Warakubune on Church, anyone been?

Marina O'Laughlin on San Francisco's restaurant scene

I second this opinion of Nopalito, which always makes me feel good about having visited. The Guardian article was a bit rah-rah in places but I was glad to see a mention of El Gallo Giro, which is my personal choice for tacos (I am also glad to see rainfall in this season, but sad that it keeps me from eating at a taco truck).

What is your favorite Indian restaurant and why? How much are you usually willing to pay?

Meh, but that's true just about anywhere in North America for me. I do not have a car and cannot get to the places in the South Bay and the south East Bay. Dosa Fillmore can be nice, though expensive and more "fusion" style. Vik's in Berkeley has some good dishes on weekends and is the best dosa I've had in the area (I did not care for the dosas at Dosa). Udipi Palace and Gajalee are okay. Pakwan and Guddu de Karahi were disappointing. I conclude that the best approach is to make it yourself, time consuming though that may be.

Cafe St Jorge [San Francisco]

I was not happy with the pasteis de nata I had at Cafe St. Jorge. I can't believe that the Bay Area is incapable of yielding up an excellent example of this fine pastry.

are CHILES EN NOGADA available anywhere yet?

If I make it myself, I'll use heavy cream instead. Also drizzled pomegranate syrup, because the seeds tend to wreak havoc with my braces.

I had an inferior version this weekend in Austin that made me appreciate La Torta Gorda's more.

are CHILES EN NOGADA available anywhere yet?

Torn between going back there and trying to make it myself. I think the price has gone up. Also, both times I've had it, it seemed to take forever to arrive. I think I made the mistake of going at 11:45, hoping to avoid a lunch rush, but they are working on standing takeout orders.

Tacos al pastor at Street Taco (Upper Haight, San Francisco)

I had lunch at Street Taco today. The food was good, but, to my surprise, I was not as happy with it as with my previous day's lunch at Tacos Club on Market near Noe. The made-to-order tortilla got soggy quickly, and I had to finish my taco with a fork. Portions are generous. The spicing was a bit muted compared to Tacos Club (no spit, small cubes of meat, doubled commercial tortillas). The horchata at Street Taco was a bit sweeter than the one at Tacos Club, so once again the latter won out. Both were creamy without being chalky and didn't taste of chemicals. At both places, staff were friendly, and the physical space was spare but pleasant.

Tacos Club is, I believe, from the same team who own Talavera in Berkeley, which I ate at and enjoyed about a decade ago. I will return to try their mole and their platanos. Street Taco has more choices of meats, and cheap, tasty eats are hard to find in the Upper Haight, so it's a good address to keep in mind.

What's up with Acme? [San Francisco]

Thanks, Robert. I will look for "long". I used to buy from San Pablo, and pain au levain was my favourite; I will give it another try from Ferry Plaza.

What's up with Acme? [San Francisco]

We have been buying from the Ferry Plaza location. Their pain de mie used to be a good choice for sandwiches, but they seem to have started baking it in open-top pans (the top of the loaf is rounded now), and the dense crumb is gone. It is just plain white bread now. A recently-purchased sweet batard also lacked texture and didn't seem much different from the pain de mie. Is it just me, or are others noticing a decline in quality?

Yank Sing Settlement Labour Dispute [San Francisco]

The details are pretty bad.


The settlement only covers the stolen tips. There's also paying below minimum wage, not paying overtime, and violation of working conditions such as shift breaks.

Glad the employees managed to take collective action.