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Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

Binh Minh in San Jose is a "hole in the wall" Vietnamese joint that specializes in Goat. I went there for their off menu duck blood dish, but I did have some very tasty BBQ goat. The goat hot pot seems to be one of the go to items. This is the kind of place where groups come to drink beer and snack for extended periods of time (and they do a brisk to-go business for peoples back yard beer parties).
Don't be put off by the reviews about it being kind of sketchy, I went with my wife and felt very welcome and we were chatted up by other diners.

Just to give you an idea check out the pictures on yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/binh-minh-res...

Jan 24, 2015
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Coq Au Vin, Traditional recipe with fresh blood anywhere in the Bay Area?

I'm thinking there is a chance that a smaller French restaurant in the north bay might be a likelier candidate to find Coq Au Vin made traditionally, with the fresh chicken blood. I'm very curious to try this as it seems kind of wrong to miss such a crucial ingredient.

Thanks!

Jan 11, 2015
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Fermented Fish Soup @ Bun Mam Soc Trang in Oakland

I got there around 2pm today. Must have seen you there. (Tall guy short girl couple) I've been getting the anchovy sauce from the weekend special on the side to dip my meats/shrimp from the Bun Mam. Pretty great that way!

Jan 11, 2015
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

Not sure if it happened since then, but things are sounding more definite. But I suppose we should just wait till Dennis announces via email...

Nov 22, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

Just want to let folks know that I hear they have a place lined up already for re-opening. Not sure of the details but it's sounding positive!

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

My favorite thing in the last few year or so is the sour leaf fish soup. Unique to Burmese Kitchen its a real healthy feeling soup with a unique flavor. The sour leaf salad is great too.

Nov 13, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

Unless anything has changed in the past months, the Mohinga was gluten free (using chickpea flour to for the chickpea fritters). Burmese is pretty great for the gluten free folks (except the wheat noodles, palata and samosas). I know at BK they don't even use soy sauce.

Nov 13, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

Pretty sure he mentioned to me that it was an increase in rent with the new lease. That block isn't exactly full of successful businesses (except BK) so I don't see who is going to move in there and pay a significantly higher rent.

Nov 07, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Burmese Kitchen closing, another victim of the out-of-control hi-tech economy. [San Francisco]

I talked to Dennis for a while last week, and he seemed quite positive (or put on a good positive face for me) that he would be able to find another location in the city. We told him it would be great to see him out towards the Richmond (just for selfish reasons) and he said he was indeed looking at some places on Geary.
I've been going to his place since almost day one (I think someone on chowhound might have pointed out the side business in Burmese dishes) and would be pretty devastated if he couldn't find a way to re-open.

Nov 07, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Blood Sausage / Morcilla

Thanks! I stopped by there today. Couldn't pick up any sausages but did get some sidra and vermouth, so that was fun!

Oct 12, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Blood Sausage / Morcilla

Thank you. The Tiet Canh sounds pretty wild. Looking forward to trying that place out.

Oct 12, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Ngoc Mai back as Tuyet Mai, bun bo Hue as good as ever. [San Francisco]

The daughter made it sound like mom would be around for 3 more years. I could have heard that wrong as that seems a bit premature for the name change in that case.
Still... so glad they are back. Apparently they had a paper on the door saying they'd be back in 6 months but it came down pretty quick.

Oct 12, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Blood Sausage / Morcilla

I was in Spain recently and had some really excellent blood sausage. It was black and really funky and had no rice in it. Most blood sausages I've had in San Francisco are real mild in flavor and just don't have that rich taste I'm after. I had some at Schmidt's that had the look (black, crispy outside, almost creamy interior) but still was quite mild.
Anyone have recommendations. Spanish/French/German for a good strong flavored blood sausage / morcilla / blutwurst

The last time someone posted about this in 2005 people were talking about the Fatted Calf. Based on the picture of the raw sausage I'd venture to guess it is fairly mild but I am still curious.

Thanks!

I've attached a picture of the excellent Barcelona morcilla.

Oct 12, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Spain on a budget.

I'll be in Spain for 2 weeks, starting 2 weeks from now.
I've been going through tripadvisor, but as you probably know, it's not the most reliable source for restaurant recommendations.

Most of the discussions I've seen on here seem to focus on a higher level of cuisine than my wife and I will be able to afford on a daily basis while traveling.

Here are the locations I'm looking for help in:

1: Madrid / Alcala de henares. This part we might be ok for as we have family friends in Alcala... but I'm sure they won't be able to show us around the whole time. We will be wanting to do short day trips from here, for example to Segovia or Toledo.

2: Barcelona... especially daunting, and I half expect to just take our airbnb hosts recommendation for at least first nights dinner. We are only staying 2 nights as we are spending more time in the countryside.

3: Basque Country /Pyranees generally but more specifically we are travelling from Barcelona to Alquezar (near Huesca). Staying there then heading a short distance through Sabananigo to a monestary outside of Yesa (near the lake on the A21.
We are then going to head to a small town probably near the coast between San Sebastian and Bilbao. We are staying there for 3 nights. (not sure which town yet. This is where we really need some advice.
I know there are tons of great high-end places and possibly affordable pintxo places but if there any Cidrerias or other inexpensive fixed-menu type restaurants I'm all ears.

4: From up north we are heading straight down to Granada and for several days will be there + a day trip to Malaga on the coast.

As you may gather we are going to have a car with us.

Thanks for any tips you all may have!

I used to post more in the San Francisco and HK boards, but it's been a while.

Aug 18, 2014
kairo in Spain/Portugal

Shandong Deluxe, San Francisco

Definitely understand why you'd say that, but I'm pretty diligent with my Chinese restaurant info (or was especially then... had to cut back on noodle/dumpling because of a gluten intolerance diagnosis.)
It was probably just some strange coincidence that the Dong Bei / Shandong House guy was hanging out at Shandong Deluxe but since he was at a back table where the staff were prepping dumplings, it seemed like he was involved business-wise.

Jun 15, 2014
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Best brand of Cooking Michiu (rice wine)

I had no idea that was what the "not for sale for drinking" meant. That is really good to know.
I'll give Linchen a try.

Jan 23, 2014
kairo in General Topics

Best brand of Cooking Michiu (rice wine)

I realize that is a rule for western wines... maybe it is also true for Chinese Rice Wine... if so, do you have a recommendation for a drinking quality Chinese Rice Wine?

Jan 23, 2014
kairo in General Topics

Lap cheong and preserved duck.

Thank you everyone for the tips!

Dec 23, 2013
kairo in General Topics

Lap cheong and preserved duck.

I tried looking around for an answer to this, but didn't find one specific enough.

I purchased some Chinese Sausage and some other preserved meats (duck thigh and some kind of pork)

In the market none of this stuff is refrigerated so when I brought it home, I just put it in the cupboard.

How long do you think I can keep it in a dark cupboard? It's been out for 3 days. I just realized that the lady at the market told me to cook the sausage first, implying that it isn't fully cooked... so it sounds like i should have put it in the fridge.

Don't want to poison any guests.

Dec 23, 2013
kairo in General Topics

Best brand of Cooking Michiu (rice wine)

Looking for some tips on what brand of cooking michiu to use. I have the Lily brand right now, but, the fact it says its not for sale for drinking kind of scares me. Also, the only other review I found of it says it tastes like industrial alchohol. The ~$2 for a big bottle price point is a little off putting as well. I wouldn't want to cook with really crappy white wine, so why would I want to use crummy michiu. I live in SF, so I think I have access to fairly good selection.

Thanks!

Aug 17, 2013
kairo in General Topics

Seeking an unusual wine...

Trying to do a little research on Orit Tej and I found your post here from a number of years ago.
Did you end up finding it?
I found some in a grocery store in Oakland California.
Forget the stores name but it was at Perkins and Grand.

Jun 16, 2013
kairo in Wine

Oliveto's Whole Hog Dinners [Oakland]

This won't help for you since we went on the same night, but here's my two cents:

Affetati Misti: aka the antipasti plate. I went several years ago, and that plate was definitely better. Tasty "salamis" and 2 prosciutto type cuts, one of which was 99% salt and the other less so. I love fancy salami type meats so I was perfectly happy with this, but the overly salty prosciutto and lack of any little dabs of spreads as they've had before made this not worth the price tag.

Charcoal Grilled Pork Liver: This came with slow cooked onions that somehow tasted like sauerkraut, but that wasn't a bad thing. The liver was pretty great, it did not taste like pieces metal, and was not pasty or granuley like cheap liver can be. The rarer pieces were extremely smooth and melted in my mouth, the end piece i got had a great texture and seemed smokier. This was a sizeable portion of liver for such a rich meat. I would recommend this if you have more than 2 folks, or if someone loves liver. It was a bit too much for 2 people. Good bang for the buck here.

Warm Terrina of Trotter and Tongue. This was also great. Loved all the different textures of meat, loved the soffrito. Definitely a hit.

Crispy Pork Belly: I was getting full by this point, and this is a reallllly rich dish. One decent sized cube of pork belly. minimally seasoned, but of such high quality that it was quite easy to eat even for someone who isn't normally ok with such large amounts of fat on his meat. I love japanese/chinese pork belly where they cook the fat down so much that what's left melts in your mouth... but this was not that preparation. All the fat was their, but it tasted great. The celeriac and apple had a vinegar dressing on it that really helped cut the fat, but I wish there had been more.

Spit-roated pork leg. Once again the main entree was a pretty big miss for me. 3 slices of ham-like pork. With a meager portion of kale, and some tasty molasses-braised beans. The meat had some sinewy bits that occasionally made it hard to chew. Minimally seasoned, and it did have a nice smokey flavor, but it just wasn't special enough to warrant the bigger "main" price tag. I saw the Porchetta at a table next to me and I wish I had done that. I also wish i had done the boudin noir instead.
The waitress had said the leg was a big hit that night, and it did sell out right after we ordered (sorry whoever was that next person). Maybe our last slices didn't live up to earlier portions.

The "three little pigs" cocktail sounded far more interesting than it tasted. It was fine, but probably would have been better served by just ordering a straight drink.

Please excuse the stream of conscious style.

Feb 21, 2013
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Pho in SF?

Pho Clement II has been gone some time now. Now called "Good Noodle Restaurant". I believe after their legal problems they changed the name, but I think I've heard the staff is the same. If that is true, than I second them cause they were pretty great.

Feb 20, 2013
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

El Paisa [SF] - La Lengua Chronicles Part 30

I'm a fan of the bistek mexicano, a chicken stew dish (which includes green banana, not sweet plantains), and the fish soup with or without coconut milk.
The fish soup with coconut milk is really hard to eat, but really delicious. All the little bones are completely hidden in the milky broth which tasted like a bisque. Fried stuff definitely seems to not be their strong suit. OH and i forget the name but there are more than 1 skewered meats option. those are pretty great too.
I love the green banana, which is used like potato. Sometimes a dish will have that, and sweet plantains. Good tamarindo too.

Feb 08, 2013
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Ayutla Mexican Restaurant in the Mission, SF - any reports?

It sounds like this is the renamed Casa Sanchez. I wonder if it's different staff/cooks. They always seemed a bit hit or miss to me.

Jan 13, 2013
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Tea Leaf Salad - SF Dish of the Month (Nov 2012)

Went to Donut Delight this past Saturday. Got the Mohinga and some fried Red Bean "Cakes". The Mohinga was pretty outstanding. They didn't have the fried chickpeas you usually get and Melanie had a picture of (from them). Instead they added fried zuchini as a topping. They also added a little fish cake as well. I was expecting small portions for the $5 for everything menu... but the stoup was equal in size to most other places I've been.
Ties with Little Yangon as my favorite Mohinga.

The Red Bean Cakes were pretty insane. For $5 I received 7 large dense fried discs. I think they had a lot of lemon grass in them. They were nicely spiced, but served with a big side of hot sauce that i had to skip due to my inability to eat spicy food.
I really thought they had made a mistake when I received 7... but sure enough 5 dollars. no tax. 7 of them.
on flickr is a pic of the soup and an slightly blurry one of the red bean cake and a scary close-up.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10201385...

The place was real busy, both with dimsum customers, donut customers and Burmese folk. I was alone so the proprietor and a customer started chatting me up about Burmese food which made the experience all the more fun.

A little far from SF to go back too often, but I'll have to at least go back with my wife and or friends to try more things.

Oh and bonus points for having one of the best Wife Cookies (melon cookie) I've ever had. I've tried maybe a good 2 dozen versions of Wife Cookies. These were extra thick, but had a lot of actual melon pieces inside and were light in density. I hate dense wife cookies. My other favorites being Shen Kee's which are thin and light. These were A LOT less oily. I also got a "honey cookie" but i started getting worried that the brown filling was made using condensed milk which I don't want to be eating for lactose reasons. It was tasty and seemed to have a dash of salt along with the sweetness.

Nov 19, 2012
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Shandong Deluxe, San Francisco

That is really odd that she denies the connection. All 3 times I've gone (I eat out too much) the owner of those other two restaurants has been seated at the back table talking with the staff and drinking tea. Maybe he's no longer involved with Dong Bei and San Dong. He was at one time really friendly with me so I should just ask him about it.

Got the Beef Pancake again. Not quite as "crispy" as last time... a bit chewier, but still pretty good and too my tastes, fairly unique. Lamb and squash dumpling was fine and fish dumpling a bit too mild. Favorite still is pork and chive.

Nov 03, 2012
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Shun Tak (aka Shunde) Cuisine at San Francisco’s Jade Garden and $4.95 Lunch Plates

Had to try the whole stuffed fish so we went tonight. Like it says... it's a whole fish, and all the inside removed and stuffed back in the form of a type of fish cake. I believe there were mushrooms, pickled veggies, oddly corn, and who knows what else. The flavor was only remotely comparable to steamed dace balls at dim sum. The fish was covered in a "gravy" that wasn't all together flavorful. Unnecessary strips of pork strewn on top. The skin, as a result of being cooked with gravy was moist in a fairly unappealing way. It was definitely not horrible. I like fish cakes/balls of all kinds. They are all kind of good to me. However I was really hoping for a dry fried rendition with crispy skin like I had at a home in HK.
I've attached a pic of the fish and a close up of the cake inside.

Also got the house special steamed pork dish Melanie mentions. Loved this... though a bit salty for some people I am sure.

They had a soft blue crab special on the chinese dry erase board. That was tempting. The waitress was super nice and was able and willing to translate the specials for me. Saw a group with one of the largest soup tureens I've ever seen.

I'll be back for sure since it's in my neighborhood.

Nov 03, 2012
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Shun Tak (aka Shunde) Cuisine at San Francisco’s Jade Garden and $4.95 Lunch Plates

Has anyone had the opportunity to try the "stuffed dace fish". I am very curious about this one.

While living in Hong Kong a few years ago I got to eat a friends grandmothers house a few times and this was one of her specialties. I had no idea how much work went into it until my friend explained the 3rd time. The version she made had no sauce like in that video and was almost deep fried in texture. Like a rough fishcake with skin on the outside.

Since I live a couple blocks away I should probably just give it a try. I noticed a lot of yelp pictures had really good looking red braised pork belly. I didn't see that on the menu Melanie has on her flickr.
(The "nipple" picture on yelp is both hilarious and a bit disturbing since it clearly isn't a nipple... then what is it? )

Nov 02, 2012
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area

Shandong Deluxe, San Francisco

That seems like a typo on their part. I was there just on Friday night.
Most likely they are closed Monday and Tuesday at some point.

Oct 30, 2012
kairo in San Francisco Bay Area