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Food at terminal I at airport

JetBlue is on the A side (as opposed to the G side), and like goldangl95 says, there are only a few restaurants post-security.

Food at terminal I at airport

Just to clarify for folks reading along that JetBlue is in terminal I, not terminal 1. It's one of the wings of the international terminal. Beyond security, the options really aren't great unfortunately. I personally always bring stuff from the city. Others might have ideas of good places that are pre-security.

Pho King - Oakland - Quick Report

I ate at Pho King for the second time this weekend. The place was full at 1 PM on Sunday, but it wasn't a very long wait.

We shared Chao Tom Cuon (sugarcane shrimp rolls), Pho (not pictured), and Mi Quang.

Everything was good, and I particularly liked the broth of the pho. This was my first time trying the dish mi quang, and while I liked it, I wasn't totally wowed by it. I think this version sort of lacked flavor, and it might have benefitted from extra fish sauce or something else to augment the flavors of the various ingredients. My DC, who is much more familiar with the dish, agreed that he's had better versions elsewhere.

That said, we both liked this place, and I'd definitely return for pho or to try other items (lots of tables had bun bo hue).

Traditional Korean in SF?

I picked up a takeout menu from My Tofu House yesterday to look at prices for April 2015.

Sundubus cost $11.99
Bibimbap (all varieties) cost $16.59
Pancakes cost $22.58

We actually ended up eating two non-BBQ items at the Wooden Charcoal Korean Village BBQ a few doors down. We ordered a spicy beef and vegetable soup (large and really good, with lots of veggies and egg with strips of beef), and the kimchi noodles (made with lots of kimchi, tofu, glass noodles, and rice cakes). Both servings were huge, so this was way more than enough for 2 of us, especially since they served 10 different panchan. Total bill for this meal was $36 before tip, and we had a full lunch's worth of leftovers. Service was friendly, no wait. Prices are a little bit cheaper than My Tofu House for comparable items...i.e. I think the pancakes are about $18 and the bibimbap was about $12 or $13. And unlike My Tofu House, there is no wait!

New location in tenderloin for Ha Nam Ninh [San Francisco]

Went here again the other day. Service was much better on a Saturday evening and it wasn't too busy. Really good fresh spring rolls, packed with lots of herbs. Banh xeo again was excellent and they still have the best mint and basil. I really think this is the best place currently for banh xeo.

Hu tieu nam vang was excellent as usual. Also ordered a vermicelli dish which was just okay.

Overall, very satisfying meal.

Korean for Large Group in SF w Some Vegetarians?

I've been to large group dinners at Han Il Kwan, and while there are some veggie options, they are somewhat limited. I don't know if they use fish/shrimp in the kimchi and soups. I actually like the veggie japchae there, and there are probably a few other things, but it's definitely more meat focused.

Manna (in the Inner Sunset) is a small place and would not work for a group of that size.

Hope this helps!

Hawker Fare in the Mission [San Francisco]

Ate at the Mission location last night for the first time. My only other experience at Hawker Fare was at the Oakland location in 2012, and I really liked it. Unfortunately, I am not so positive about the Mission location.

The food itself was the highlight. Everything tasted good, and a few things tasted very good. Most of the rest of the experience was not my cup of tea.

We made a reservation on OpenTable, and were seated on time. It's a big space, decked out with uncomfortable chairs/stools. I get what they are going for, though. I suppose that the reservation process was another positive.

A waiter came over after we had been seated for about 4 minutes to see if any of us wanted any drinks. We ended up ordering drinks and food at the same time.

About 5 minutes later, out came the beef short ribs, which I expected to be more of a main dish. These must have already been on the grill before we ordered them, since there is no way they could have cooked them that fast. They weren't super hot, either. Served with a very nice satay sauce and some run-of-the-mill cucumber salad.

Next to arrive, right after the short ribs, were the peanuts. These were nice, but $5 for a big bowl of these felt strange next to the rest of dinner. I think it should have been a complimentary snack. Or portioned smaller and sold for $2.50. I guess they'd be fine if you were just at the bar, though.

We also got our rice at this point—one regular white rice and one sticky rice. These ended up being cold by the time we got the rest of our food.

About 3 minutes later, we got our drinks. One DC got a beer Lao, which was good, and I had a Singapore Sling, which was fine but nothing special.

A bit later, all the rest of the food came out at once. Fried egg salad, grilled pork chop, fried chicken, Chinese broccoli. The fried chicken was awesome, and this is really the only dish that I'd return here for. Thanks Candice for the recommendation! Fried egg salad was a big disappointment. Non-ripe tomatoes were in large chunks, the whole salad was way too wet (oil? water?) and the flavors didn't really gel. Chinese broccoli was pretty good, lots of umami flavor. Grilled pork was served with a fish-sauce dipping sauce, and was pretty unremarkable, especially at that price point ($17 IIRC)

Three of us finished all of this food relatively easily, and had room for dessert (which we ate elsewhere). Price before tip for the food, plus the two drinks, was $94. I agree with others that at this price point, I expect better pacing of food and better service. The experience just wasn't all that fun or special.

Reading through this review, it's hard to pinpoint why I don't feel more positive about this place. Maybe it just feels like it's following a trend of hipster-Asian-food in the Mission, which is something I don't really like that much (see my opinions on Mission Chinese).

But if you ever need a good place in the Mission for a cold Beer Lao and some fried chicken, this is the place.

PHOTOS: The beef short ribs, the Chinese broccoli, and the fried chicken.

Xinjiang style skewer roundup

House of Pancake on Taraval in SF has a skewer section of the menu. Only tried them once, but when I ate there the other day, I saw them on another table and they looked/smelled good.

Considering the relatively small menu at HoP, I feel like it should be included.

Lanxang Kingdom - Laotian Pop-up at Tenderloin Turtle Tower [San Francisco]

Thanks for the reminder!

Also, I like the ice in your beer :)

Dragon Gate - New Taiwanese Food Venue in Oakland

Ate here a few weeks back and I liked this place. The best thing I tried was the beef noodle soup, which soupçon describes well as being "truly remarkable and satisfying." The bowl is huge, though, so I don't think I would be able to eat a whole one myself unless I was quite hungry. It's worth trying this place just for the soup, though.

Three cup chicken had pieces of chicken on the bone, and the basil gave it a nice flavor (but it was also quite salty). Dried radish omelette was really nice, and oyster pancake was good too (although some of my dining companions did not like the style, which includes lots of mayo topping). Fried tofu with onions and pepper was good but I was hoping they'd have the type of Taiwanese crispy tofu that I have had in Boston and New York: tempura-like outer layer with a very soft interior. The Dragon Gate version had a much thicker shell, and was more like salt and pepper tofu. Stinky tofu seemed to be a hit amongst the people who like it, which does not include me. Butter cabbage in claypot was nice, but very rich from the butter and bacon. Shrimp bacon skewer was unremarkable.

The interior of this place is really decked out, plus they have karaoke rooms in the back. If the awesome beef noodle soup makes you want to break into song, then they have you covered.

Best HK Milk Tea SF?

I think ABC would be worth a try, though I haven't had the HK milk tea there. I did have the lemon tea, though, and it was made with super strong black tea, similar to what you'd want to see in a HK milk tea. So that is why I think it could be a good choice. Food there was kinda meh, though. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/930504

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Just after reading this last week, I tried this sandwich. Agree that it was really good! Got the potato puffs too which were awesome.

Hue Restaurant (Paloma Plaza, San Jose)

Bumping this thread because I paid a visit to this plaza yesterday on a brief visit to San Jose.

We had a nice meal at Hue Restaurant. Four of us arrived early (around 6 pm) and secured a booth before it got too crowded. We shared:

Banh beo: rice flour pancake topped with dried shrimp. Served with fish sauce. I liked this, though it wasn't much better than the takeout versions I've bought at other places in San Jose. Had definitely been made ahead of time, since this came out super quickly.

Banh bot loc: Also came out quickly, and tasted good, but nothing super special in my opinion (other than the fact that this dish is not really available, to my knowledge, in San Francisco).

Banh ram it: This was something I had never tried before, and I really liked it. Similar to banh lot loc, but with a rice wrapper instead of a tapioca wrapper, and served over crispy fried rice dough (almost mochi-like). This was freshly prepared and I really liked it. Seems to be popular amongst the Yelp reviews, too.

A fourth appetizer was rice noodle rolls (sort of like banh uot) wrapped around dried shrimp, served with bean sprouts and mint and a different, sweeter fish sauce. Also came with some of the fancy pork. I thought this was only OK.

We also shared three noodles dishes:

Bun bo hue was really nice, and one of the best versions I've tried. The broth was lighter and the whole dish didn't feel overly heavy. It was spicy, but not overpowering. Came with various meats and blood. I thought the serving of actual noodles could have been a bit bigger, but this was the regular version and not the large version so I guess it was fair.

Crispy noodles with vegetables was a vegetarian dish with lots of veggies and tofu. Nothing special, but a solid preparation.

Bun with grilled shrimp was nice—especially the shrimp themselves which had great flavor and were not overcooked.

We meant to order Mi Quang too, but forgot to order it. This bummed me out a bit, because two people next to us ordered it and it looked really good. This made me want to try Mi Quang now, and I am happy to see they have it in Oakland at Pho King. Anywhere else have it?

Total bill for this meal for 4 people was $47 before tip, which is quite a good deal!

After dinner, we roamed around this plaza for a bit. It's interesting that there are so many Vietnamese places in this part of the city, way southeast of Little Saigon. It seemed like there were at least 4 boba places, plus various restaurants (including those mentioned in this thread already). We wanted to eat che though, and had asked the waiter at Hue Restaurant where to go. He told us there was a place that people wait in long lines for during certain hours, so we wanted to find it. We had to ask two other people before finally finding this place called Duc Phoung Tofu (see Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/duc-phuong-sa... which has relatively few reviews). Anyway, we got che there, which I really liked. You got to choose what you wanted in the cups, and they were not too expensive. I got jackfruit, some little mochi, some aloe jelly, some pandan jelly and some mung bean, topped with shaved ice and coconut milk. Total price for two orders of che, plus some pandan jelly dessert (to go) and some fried crispy rice w/ Chinese sausage (to go) was $10.50.

San Jose continues to be a great spot for Vietnamese food adventures. Looking forward to my next visit.

Anyone else have an odd craving for bananas today? Just curious.

Just ate one for breakfast and thought of all of you. :)

Craw Station (Inner Sunset, SF) - Report

I do not know where the crawfish are from.

Craw Station (Inner Sunset, SF) - Report

Ha, I never realized the pun either until you wrote this!

Craw Station (Inner Sunset, SF) - Report

I have walked by Crawstation many times but had never eaten there, so I was happy that I finally got the chance on Friday. Two of us were able to walk in without a reservation at about 6:45 PM, and we had a pretty good meal.

We sat in the back, which is bigger than I thought it would be, and to drink we both had the special mango-pineapple juice (one with soju, one without). This drink was very sweet, and actually tasted better with the soju, since it helped cut down the sweetness.

Al's place in the Mission review [San Francisco]

Thanks for the report and the great pictures.

How much does the family tasting menu cost?

Lanxang Kingdom - Laotian Pop-up at Tenderloin Turtle Tower [San Francisco]

Hmm, strange. The downloadable PDF menu is missing the noodle soup section. I see it on the picture they posted to FB though.

Lanxang Kingdom - Laotian Pop-up at Tenderloin Turtle Tower [San Francisco]

What about silk worms and red ant eggs, which are also on the Facebook menu?

Interesting that the menu doesn't include any soups.

Help me brainstorm options for dinner in SF?

Ended up at Tuba and it was a good choice. I liked the appetizers much better than the main dishes. One exception was the manti, which I thought were really nice. For appetizers we had haydari, stuffed grape leaves, cevizli ezme, eggplant and white beans, and I thought all were good. Nice homemade bread served with everything. Lamb stew w/ eggplant and veggies was just okay (lamb was somewhat tough and flavorless, maybe too lean a cut?), mousaka was also just okay, and falafel salad and shrimp salad were mediocre. The actual falafels and shrimps were good, but it was mostly just greens in a bland dressing.

Desserts were quite nice, though. Signature künefe was excellent, and rice pudding was creamy and cool.

Thanks again to folks who suggested places. I had thought about Kin Khao too but it was too late to get a reservation.

Dave MP

Had a great time at Vientian (Vientiane) Cafe [Oakland]

Visited today for lunch and had the Khao Poon with fish. They use tilapia, and there were very small chunks scattered throughout the soup—no big pieces. Lots of bamboo shoot and bean sprout and some pork blood (you can order it without this), in a slightly spicy coconut broth with round rice noodles. This soup was really good. I'm unfamiliar with khao poon, but this version reminded me of laksa. Generous serving for $7.95

This was my first ever visit to Vientian Cafe and I definitely plan to be back.
http://www.vientianecafe.com/

Dave MP

New hot pot place coming to Inner Sunset? Former location of South Sea Seafood Village (Irving @ 14th Ave) SF

South Sea Seafood Village, formerly in the Inner Sunset, has been closed for a while now, but when I biked by this location yesterday (1420 Irving St), I noticed new signage and maybe some construction. I don't think it's open quite yet, though I'm not sure. Anyone know any details?

Help me brainstorm options for dinner in SF?

Here are the specifications:

-- I can make a reservation (or be sure I can walk-in) for a party of 6 on Thursday evening around 7:15 (i.e. in 48 hours from now)

--Within a 5-10 min walk of one of the downtown or Mission BART Stations (Embarcadero thru 24th)

--Has good vegetarian options

--Casual, but still a real sit-down restaurant (i.e. you sit and place your order when the server comes to your table)

And obviously good food, especially something that would be interesting to visitors from the east coast. One place that immediately comes to mind is Old Jerusalem, which I really like. But any other places that could be good? How is Tuba for Turkish? Another possibility is Angkor Borei for Cambodian? The latter is a place I've been to many times, including quite recently, which is a reason it's not a top contender right now.

I feel like there must be lots of great places that could work, and I'm hoping my initial suggestions will help trigger some ideas in others? Probably less interested in standard pub/burgers/pizza type places.

Thanks very much in advance!
Dave MP

Boiling Point - So-Cal hot pot chain hits Fremont

Can't comment on the Fremont branch, but I wasn't too impressed when I ate at Boiling Point down in LA. If I'm having hot pot, I prefer to share it with others (instead of having my own individual one), and I definitely prefer to put in my own ingredients as I want to cook them. At Boiling Point, the hot pot comes out with everything inside it already, and each person orders their own.

I didn't try the desserts when I was there. I do remember that they had good passion fruit green iced tea, though.

Dave MP

Korean BBQ in SF ?

I went to Um Ma Son on Friday after reading about it here. It was actually my second visit—I didn't remember my first visit until I arrived and recognized the room (which is very sparse). We shared a dumpling/rice cake soup and a dolsot bi bim bap. Panchan were simple but good, kimchi serving was tiny (we asked for seconds, and they brought out another tiny portion). By tiny, I mean that I could eat the entire thing in one bite. The food was pretty good. There is nothing special about it, but it was well-prepared. When we arrived at 7 PM on Friday, it was nearly empty (bad sign?) but it was about half-full when we left.

Two women appeared to be running the whole show—serving, cashier, cooking, etc. They were great, but I can see how service would slow down a lot if the restaurant were full.

I think I still prefer Shin To Bul Yi on Taraval to this place when it comes to simple preps of Korean dishes (non BBQ). I also think Manna has better food, but Manna usually has a long wait.

Bay Area Burmese Restaurant Roundup 2.0

Thanks for the heads up! I'll hopefully try it someday soon.

Dave MP

Duck Leg Ho Fun @ Hai Ky Mi Gia, SF

Looks good! Although I still always order it dry-style with wide egg noodles :)

Casserole House in Oakland (Korean in Temescal)

I ate at Casserole House last night for the first time in many years. It was a cloudy evening, so I was craving some sort of soup or stew. Arriving around 6:45, the restaurant was nearly empty, though by the time we left at 8:00, the main dining area was mostly full.

There's an existing discussion about this place here, though it hasn't been updated in a while: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/515982

Three of us shared two items:

1) A medium-sized beef dumpling casserole, which costs $35. It was enough to fill four large individual bowls, so it was plenty for the three of us. The beef dumplings are big and round with a soft filling (couldn't really tell what else was in there besides beef). The stew also contained clear noodles, some rice cakes, various veggies (onion, pepper, cabbage, bean sprout), and mushrooms. Broth was slightly spicy, but not at all overpowering.

2) Seafood pancake. This was definitely freshly fried and really good. I wouldn't say it was packed with seafood, but the overall flavor was nice and the crispiness made up for everything else.

Panchan were plentiful and there were some less-common items: sauteed eggplant, marinated fried tofu, steamed broccoli, kimchi and radish, an omelette sort of thing, bean sprouts, and maybe 3 or 4 others that I'm forgetting. Our meal came with a bowl of rice for each of us.

Total bill for all of this was $56 before tip, and this included one coca cola, but no other drinks. They serve some hot barley tea at the beginning of the meal, which had added ginger, which was a nice touch. Complimentary sweet rice drink for dessert.

This felt like a good deal for the amount and quality of food that we ate. We ate almost everything, but all left very full. I've had the goat stew before and remember it being great, but I'm curious if folks have other stew suggestions. Looking forward to returning soon.

Dave MP

Where to get chocolate writing on cake

I know that Whole Foods (at least the one at Dolores/Market) will custom-decorate cakes at their bakery department. I wonder if you could go there, and ask them to write on a piece of chocolate (which they would either have, or you could buy?) and then you could stick the chocolate on the cake? Or maybe they have some other solution. This doesn't really entail having the writing be in chocolate, but it could maybe work.