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Dog friendly dinner near the Russian River?

Hello, my partner and I are taking an impromptu trip out to the Russian River valley this weekend, staying in Monte Rio. We're looking for a good place to have dinner on short notice on Saturday evening that is dog friendly, as we'll have our well-behaved Husky with us.

Would anything nearby fit the bill?

Sofrito ingredients in SF

I'm hoping to make some homemade sofrito for Cuban dishes, and as I live in SOMA if I can find the ingredients here in the city I'd love it. Can anyone recommend where I can find the following in San Francisco (or elsewhere in the Bay Area), or equivalents if you think it's not available:

- Cubanelle peppers
- Ajíes dulces
- Recao

Alternately, if there's a source of high-quality sofrito somewhere I'd love to know about it.


TBD has gone way downhill [San Francisco]

I'm not sure who exactly left the kitchen at TBD, but we had a meal tonight that was thoroughly disappointing.

TBD's concept was quite good - concentrating on foods that took advantage of the huge wood fire, with smoky and earthy flavors throughout, it quickly became one of my favorite restaurants in the city. It didn't hurt that TBD was located 4 blocks from where I live.

I'm not sure when, but some time in the last 3-4 months it completely changed. The menu looks completely different tonight, and upon asking our server why, he mentioned that "a chef" had left the kitchen. I can absolutely say that whomever left was the heart of this restaurant. The meal was entirely devoid of the smoky, earthy component that characterized its food before now. There was a consistent attempt at incorporating multiple flavors, especially sweetness, much like at a Thai restaurant, that fell completely flat.

Not to mention that the winelist, particularly the huge variety of sherry, has been completely gutted.

All in all I was completely disheartened by the changes and TBD has gone from one of my top 5 go-to restaurants in SF to one I will try one more time, but if it is a repeat of tonight I'll never be back.

My fiance's first trip to SF...Bar Tartine, Aziza, Fable or Baker & Banker??

Bar Tartine. It's excellent.

Also, a brilliant brunch location that is never terribly busy, if you're into non-traditional brunch flavors.

SFNewEats - A list of new restaurants in SF

This is a great idea. Thank you! I hope you keep it going & updated, I will definitely use it.

bergerac - great new lounge/restaurant [San Francisco]

I live right around the corner from Bergerac - it's usually pretty quiet early in the evening, but of late they've had a DJ in the room spinning House (not exactly fitting the decor/ambiance) and the dance club upstairs gets extremely loud on the weekends.

One night in Portland, from SF - Where to dine?

Ahh yes, food carts of course, thank you! Though for now I was looking for recommendations for a single sit-down dinner.

Jan 29, 2013
khelvan in Metro Portland

One night in Portland, from SF - Where to dine?

Also, I should note that I have been to Tanuki several times in the past, and absolutely love Jan & her food, so no need to recommend that place to me. I haven't been to many other places in PDX though (which speaks to how much I loved Tanuki, in both of its iterations).

Jan 27, 2013
khelvan in Metro Portland

One night in Portland, from SF - Where to dine?

Hello all, if I had one night in Portland to experience something wonderful and tasty that Portland has to offer, what would it be? Perhaps recommendations on both a moderate and unlimited budget. I am from San Francisco and enjoy all different kinds of cuisine, especially when it is more adventurous (such as Atelier Crenn), and may be visiting Portland soon.

The restaurants I have been interested in after reading this board are Castagna, Le Pigeon, Beast, and OX, but I don't know which of these (or if anything else) offers things that are more "unique" to Portland than I could find in San Francisco.


Jan 27, 2013
khelvan in Metro Portland

$1 oysters

Mission Street Oyster Bar, which just opened near 19th & Mission, has $1 oysters every day from 3pm-6pm. I just happened to walk by it tonight. Apparently the chef came from Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro, and it shows. I thought I was walking into a new branch. Everything appears similar, though they state that they are not associated.

I can't comment on the oysters or food as I didn't try it. I may head there for happy hour tomorrow. Oh, all draft beer is $2.50 as well. Enjoy!

Vancouver & Whistler for a few days?

Well, scratch that idea then. Also, I should note that I would have a car, and would be willing to drive a reasonable distance.

Nov 20, 2012
khelvan in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Vancouver & Whistler for a few days?

Greetings from San Francisco! I have been considering a trip to Vancouver for a few days, with a side trip up to Whistler. The general idea is to have a great time - 20-something, party atmosphere with a nice meal or two thrown in.

For Whistler, I was considering Bearfoot Bistro for dinner. Is there a decent ski in/ski out lunch spot? For fun & drinks if not the best food? Any recommendations on fun places to visit after dinner?

For Vancouver, are there any particular areas to enjoy wandering around during either the day or night? Those of you who are familiar with SF will recognize areas I like such as the Mission-Valencia corridor, Polk Gulch for nightlife, maybe Hayes Valley for shopping (along with Valencia of course). Unique areas that aren't that touristy but offer a sense of fun & adventure, perhaps?

Finally, again if you're familiar with SF one of my favorite restaurants in the area is Commis in Oakland. Are there any can't-miss spots in Vancouver at that price point or under for a wonderful splurge meal on a weekend? In addition, I was considering the Richmond night market one evening (I assume it's not open during the day?). Anything else that could fit in with the general theme of this potential visit?

Thanks in advance!

Nov 20, 2012
khelvan in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

SoMa StrEAT Food Park Grand Opening Tonight!

So I live one block from this, and I have to say, having had numerous chats with the owner/operator, they're definitely doing things the right way. Hopefully business keeps improving. I know that for lunch they're set, but dinner, and especially late night, they need some more business to keep the trucks rolling in. The post-2am fare didn't last long, the cops asked them to shut it down.

Being a 2-minute walk from it, I'm getting spoiled....

Where to find fresh (non-processed) dates in SF?

While living in Sacramento, Corti Brothers grocers had organic, fresh, unprocessed dates from local growers for sale. They were Medjool dates that were incredibly moist and easy to chew; the explanation the grocers gave me for their texture and taste was that most dates undergo a process to pull out some of the moisture, increasing their longevity, but of course this makes them more hard & sticky. The unprocessed ones had to be refrigerated, but were by far the best dates I have ever tasted.

I'm curious if this type of date is to be found in San Francisco? I live near 10th & Harrison (Rainbow doesn't have them, I've checked), but am willing to travel to find them.


Brew on Premise

I think Hoppy Brewing Company might allow this, up in East Sacramento.

Recs for: Near LVCC, Mexican, and one splurge meal

Report: My girlfriend and I had the signature menu at Sage, and we were...underwhelmed. It was just good. The presentation was first rate as was the service, but the taste was just above average. At $40+ per plate I expect excellence. We didn't get it, sadly.

We also took our friend to Studio B, and while a good deal at $25, the food was also unspectacular. Though we did all enjoy the Asian dishes. The other cuisines were ok at best. The buffet at Wynn is much better, but of course is much more expensive.

Lotus of Siam was excellent as always, and I was happy to see that they've expanded since we last went there.

Thanks again for all your help!

Jan 18, 2012
khelvan in Las Vegas

Recs for: Near LVCC, Mexican, and one splurge meal

Thanks for all the suggestions! We have two dinners and one lunch with our friend, one of those meals will definitely be Lotus of Siam.

Is there a sub-$30 buffet that includes alcohol (or one that does something like unlimited sparkling wine for a bit more) worth tasting?

It is much more about the food for us than ambiance. Thanks again!

Edit: This was meant to be a general reply, sorry!

Jan 09, 2012
khelvan in Las Vegas

Recs for: Near LVCC, Mexican, and one splurge meal

Hello, my girlfriend & I are visiting Las Vegas for CES, and will often be at the Convention Center around lunchtime with a desire for a decent meal within walking distance. Price & cuisine don't matter, we just want something more edible than the cafeteria food we have had at LVCC in the past.

In addition, does anyone have recommendations for the best Mexican restaurants in the city? We will be taking a friend out to eat after the convention is over, and will have a rental car at that time. We would prefer not to spend more than around $20-$30pp, not including drinks, on that meal. If there are no good Mexican restaurants in the city, alternative recommendations (not seafood-centric as our friend won't eat seafood) would be appreciated.

Finally, my girlfriend and I would like to have one splurge meal, and are willing to spend $100pp or more for the right restaurant. Reading this board led me to e by Jose Andres (we love molecular gastronomy), but it is booked solid. What are some excellent alternatives? We have tried both Cut & Alex in the past, Cut was not worth it for us , but Alex was a pleasant surprise. It can be on or off the strip.

Thanks in advance!

Jan 08, 2012
khelvan in Las Vegas

Downtown/Midtown Sacramento Restaurants

I actually preferred Mulvaney's the most out of all three, but I do agree that they are all worthy choices. The nice part about Mulvaney's is its extremely reasonable lunch prices.

Dec 25, 2011
khelvan in California

This foodie just moved from NYC area to Sacramento and needs help!

Not sure if it has been mentioned so far, but Palenque Cocina Mexicana at Fulton & Alta Arden has some pretty tasty Mexican food, particularly their Cochinita Pibil (make sure you get the habanero salsa to go with it, it matches perfectly and despite it's name is not very hot).

Also worth trying right near you is Thai House, right off of Fair Oaks. The guys do a great job there and we went there often enough that they knew us by name. You can get cheap, good halal offerings from the deli in the back of International Market, and don't miss Cafe Rolle on J or H for some great sandwiches and dishes that reminded me strongly of my time in Paris.

Another local favorite for us was OneSpeed on Folsom for creative pizza that was good to very good at times. When we wanted take-out we'd often order a whole rotisserie chicken to go from Bandera and eat some veggies with it. Not too bad for the price and really convenient. Cafe Europa on Howe surprisingly has very, very good Greek food.

When we traveled just a bit away from our pad at Watt & La Riviera we'd often grab El Pollo Feliz for excellent, cheap smoked chicken & Mexican food, Quan Nem Ninh Hoa in Little Saigon for their unique charbroiled pork rolls & lemongrass chicken, Shoki Ramen House for very good ramen, and either Magpie Caterers or Fat Face Cafe inside of Bows & Arrows for more unique offerings or when we wanted to connect with our inner hipsters. When we felt like going vegetarian we often went to Andy Nguyen's on Broadway, and Queen Sheba nearby serves good Ethiopian food.

For more upscale, our first choice was probably Mulvaney's B&L, and we had some good experiences at Waterboy and Ella. On the other end of the spectrum, for a real hole-in-the-wall feel there was a little Mexican place on the southeast side of Sac that served -excellent- ceviche, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of it.

Bandera Restaurant
2232 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95825

Waterboy Restaurant
2000 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814

Ella Dining Room & Bar
1131 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Mulvaney's B & L
1215 19th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Thai House
527 Munroe St, Sacramento, CA 95825

Shoki Ramen House
1201 R St, Sacramento, CA

OneSpeed Pizza
4818 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95819

Dec 25, 2011
khelvan in California

Christmas Day meal in Sacramento?

Are there any good restaurants which are open on Christmas Day this year? We can't seem to find any other than the restaurant at the Hyatt. They would need to be able to handle a party of about 10 people, and budget is not a concern.


Dec 04, 2011
khelvan in California

Corti Brothers [Sacramento]

Corti Brothers is amazing. I used to avoid shopping there for produce and such because of the perception that a specialist grocer has way higher prices, but I've found their prices to be far better than, say, Whole Foods.

Now I give them my business whenever I can, and love every minute of it. The employees really know their products, as well.

Corti Brothers
5810 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95819

Sep 15, 2011
khelvan in California

Unique to Sacramento/only in Sacramento Dinner?

We ate at the Fat Face Cafe inside of the Bows & Arrows vintage clothing store last night, and it was quite good, with a unique vibe. Of course, coming from San Francisco you'll have places like Canteen which blow the mind, but it's certainly something that seems worth visiting.

There was a "100 things to eat in Sacramento before you die" thread floating around, which will give you a good idea of the best that Sacramento has to offer. Unfortunately, aside from the hamburger-with-cheese-skirt you find at Squeeze Inn (and having it is more for the experience than the taste), there isn't much that is unique -to- Sacramento.

Having been to countless Vietnamese places, I have never had nem nuong (charbroiled pork) the amazing way they make it at Quan Nemh Nin Hoa. But then again I haven't fully explored the depths of San Jose to see if something similar exists there.

Squeeze Inn
5301 Power Inn Rd., Sacramento, CA 95820

Sep 03, 2011
khelvan in California

Sacramento Restaurant pretty close to airport?

Natomas shouldn't be too far away from the airport, closer than Woodland I would imagine. CF Cheng has excellent food (and I agree, request the Chinese menu!), and Tuk Tuk does great Thai.

Tuk Tuk Restaurant
4630 Natomas Blvd Ste 150, Sacramento, CA 95835

Sep 03, 2011
khelvan in California

Single (budget) dinner in Portland + drinks afterward?

Hello all, my girlfriend and I will be in town tomorrow evening, arriving late (probably around 8pm - I see many recommendations for happy hour, but we can't make it), for just one night, leaving in the morning. We're basically just passing through. We were hoping to find a single can't-miss dinner while in PDX, but are hoping to spend around $20 or less per plate.

Afterwards we'd love to find a bar that has a really great beer selection, both domestic and imported, with a fun or unique vibe. We're staying near the airport but have a vehicle and don't mind driving around (within say 10 miles).

We're a late 20's couple who love all types of food, any cuisine, especially things that are adventuresome or unique. We love to try -anything- at least once! And the same goes for our beer/wine/drink choices.

The last time we were in Portland we stopped by Tanuki and had an absolutely amazing time, shutting down the bar, but sadly I hear they've closed...

413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Aug 23, 2011
khelvan in Metro Portland

Salad with a cilantro base? (Afghani?)

Hello, I ate at an Afghani restaurant a while ago that served a salad in which the green base was cilantro, and it was excellent.

Does anyone know what the name of this salad is, and/or have a recipe for similar ones?

Apr 14, 2011
khelvan in Home Cooking

Looking for some things unique to New York

Wow, that is a LOT of information, thank you!

Regarding Scarpetta, we used Opentable and got a reservation this week. I hope that is adequate?

I will definitely try the RGR tour, that sounds awesome!

I know there is no way to see everything we want to see. We'll just have to come back to NYC sometime. We might even try to fit a Rangers game in at MSG, since the last few games of the season will be held this week and they're my favorite team playing my favorite sport. Tickets are expensive, though.

Thanks for the recommendations, again. We have definitely revised our "must visit" list based on them.

355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Apr 05, 2011
khelvan in Manhattan

Looking for some things unique to New York

Hello, my girlfriend and I will be in town tomorrow through Sunday morning, and we are looking for some places to eat that would be hard to find outside of NYC. We are from Sacramento and travel to San Francisco quite often, so we do have access to a variety of great restaurants. While in NYC we're looking for some local flavor, things that are either unique to NYC or unique in general. We're staying near the Empire State Building but don't have a problem walking, taking the subway, or even cabbing it if need be. We love places with character, and being young and open to anything we look for things that are adventuresome.

One concern is budget, as we know Manhattan can be an expensive place to dine. We have room for one splurge/dressy dinner and were considering Scarpetta. For most of our other meals we were hoping to keep prices per dish to $20 and under (is this possible?). In addition to wanting to taste food from a variety of ethnic cuisines, the price is another reason we love hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants.

Some places that had caught our eye based on recommendations: John's of Bleecker for pizza, Traif, Pylos, Roasting Plant for coffee.

We were planning to hit some of the usual spots to do touristy things/take some pictures, such as Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Met, MOMA, Union Square, explore Greenwich Village, perhaps Chinatown, maybe SoHo and/or Chelsea, Central Park, and of course the WTC. Recommendations for those areas would be especially welcome.

Thank you very much!

Roasting Plant
81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Apr 05, 2011
khelvan in Manhattan

French confiture in Sacramento?

My girlfriend and I are pining for a breakfast made of demi-baguettes, confiture, and beurre (if we can find the real French stuff in the US).

One thing we're not really able to find is the confiture. Though suggestions for real French bread and butter are also welcome.

Any ideas?


Mar 14, 2011
khelvan in California

Roseville and Sacramento areas

Some restaurants to consider:
El Azteca in Roseville for Mexican
Sol Cubano in North Highlands for Cuban
Golden Dragon in Rocklin for Sichuan
Mehfil in Roseville for Indian (the lunch buffet is fresh & tasty, check out their Tandoori chicken)
Anatolian Table in Rocklin for Turkish (they may be just a tad beyond your budget, depending on the dish ordered)
El Pollo Feliz in Carmichael for the best cheap smoked chicken barbeque + Mexican you'll probably ever have

A little more expensive:
Bamiyan in Citrus Heights for Afghan
Stolichniy in North Highlands for Russian

More into Sacramento:
Quan Nem Ninh Hoa for a Vietnamese place that stands out in a sea of other restaurants (it isn't called Little Saigon for nothing) for its unique and incredible nem nuong (charbroiled pork), especially in the spring rolls
Vientienne in West Sacramento for Laotian
Tres Hermanas for Mexican
New Hong Kong Wok for Cantonese
Queen Sheba for Ethiopian
Shoki Ramen House for ramen, but if you're working you won't like the wait

That's all I can think of that are relatively inexpensive but good off the top of my head. I hope it helps!

Tres Hermanas
2416 K St, Sacramento, CA 95816

New Hong Kong Wok
5019 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95822

Anatolian Table Restaurant
6815 Lonetree Blvd # 105, Rocklin, CA

El Pollo Feliz
4715 Whitney Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608

Dec 10, 2010
khelvan in California