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Bay Area resident spending July in Ottawa

Thanks everyone!!

Bay Area resident spending July in Ottawa

Except for a few places in Barrhaven, I haven't eaten out in Ottawa for ages.

What's new and not to be missed?

I'm particularly interested in Japanese, Indian, Italian, seafood and regional dining. I'm not a huge meat person, so steakhouses aren't at the top of my list.

It would be great if at least some recomendations don't break the bank:-)

Many thanks.

Belmont, Burlingame best bets?

I have not had a good experience at Shalizaar, but Divino on Ralston is consistently excellent.

Best Sushi in San Francisco?

Has anyone tried Ryoko recently? I used to go often a few years back when I lived in the city and loved it...

Please help support a local RWC gem

An update for Casablanca fans...

They have started to serve an $8.95 lunch buffet M-F from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm.

They are also serving a more savory version of the slightly sweet lamb tagine, featuring lamb shank, potatoes and the vegetables of the day (carrots, peas, peppers, artichokes). I had a version tonight with diced potatoes and peppers which was homey and delicious.

Please help support a local RWC gem

On Broadway, literally by the Northbound Caltrain tracks...

Please help support a local RWC gem

I am SO happy to hear that you enjoyed yourselves. Since it was lunch, you may have been served by the owner/chef, Amina, who is wonderful.

Happy holidays.

Best South Indian or Middle eastern or Morrocan: Pennisula/ S bay

Check out Casablanca on Broadway in Redwood City. It's a homey Moroccan place that's very kid-friendly.(The chef has a four year old son herself.)

They also have belly dancing Friday and Saturday nights, and kids love it. Everyone is encouraged to get up and dance.

2421 Broadway St
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 299-1300
www.restaurantcasablanca.net

Please help support a local RWC gem

I like the kofta tagine - meatballs in a very good tomato sauce. They also have kofta kabobs in addition to chicken and lamb offerings, but I love the kofta tagine so much I usually stick with it:-) And they have terrific harissa.

Their soup is great, and I have heard very good reports on the seafood bastilla. They also have a lamb tagine that's very good - on the sweetish side rather than spicy. I agree that the couscous is always excellent.

And, yes, they do have hookahs.

Thanks for the heads up re Yelp. I'll pass that on.

And I'll get them to post their hours.

best burger in Palo Alto?

Jeffrey's Hamburgers, also in San Mateo...

Please help support a local RWC gem

I have been a long-time supporter of Casablanca, a Moroccan restaurant on Broadway in RWC. Run by a hard-working young female chef, the restaurant has tons of potential but suffers from being too close to the train tracks and not adjacent to the new movie theater complex and the Fox Theater.

The food is good, homey, full of spice and flavor and so perfect for these chilly winter nights. They also have belly dancing on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm.

Give it a try, and give them your feedback. They welcome their customers' input.

Thanks and Happy Holidays.

Restaurante Casablanca
2421 Broadway St
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 299-1300
www.restaurantcasablanca.net

Jin Sho -- new top-tier sushi in Palo Alto

My God - Higuma has fallen from 3 to 9?? I am anxious to see the new listing...

Peninsula-Persian/mid-east. recs for vegetarians

I haven't, simply because I'm not a big calamari fan. But I expect they would be as wonderful as everything else:-)

Peninsula-Persian/mid-east. recs for vegetarians

I'd like to put in a good word for Restaurante Casablanca, on Broadway in RWC, right next to Sequoia Station. The food is excellent (my favorite is the kofta tagine with a heavenly tomato sauce), there are vegetarian options, and there is belly dancing Friday and Saturdays at 8pm.
I like to support female chefs, and Amina is working hard to make the restaurant work. Unfortunately, not enough people have discovered the place, and I find myself the only diner there some evenings. It deserves better.

Mandaloun in Redwood City

Thanks for reinforcing my impression that they have stopped caring and are sitting on their laurels as one of the only upscale restaurants in RWC. I was a weekly diner there, loved the food early on, and had a great rapport with the staff. But even that welcoming vibe wasn't enough. In my last two visits there, both times bringing guests who had never been before, we had to send back half of our meals because they were inedible. And no one seemed particularly apologetic or concerned. That was the biggest disappointment.

Mandaloun in Redwood City

I'm happy to hear you had a good meal there - I personally have had very mediocre dinners there over the past few months and simply stopped going.

What did you eat? Maybe it's time for me to give them another try...

Has anyone tried the new Rioja restaurant on Castro in Mountain View?

Just west of Villa, on the north side. It shares space with the Monte Carlo Club.

By the way, I did end up having dinner there with some friends this week. Great bread, terrific wine, nice desserts, underwhelming entrees.

Has anyone tried the new Rioja restaurant on Castro in Mountain View?

A co-worker and I stopped there once for drinks and appetizers. Our feeling was they hadn't quite got their act together yet.

That was a good six weeks ago, and I hve not been back to try their entrees. Any experiences to share?

Thanks and Happy New Year.

Divino in Belmont

Well, I've been twice now. If you search on Divino, you'll find my reaction to my first meal. A few weeks ago, I returned with a friend, and she posted a review. We were underwhelmed. And they really have to work on their service.

Disappointing, considering the price.

Dinner at Divino - A Mixed Blessing

This past Wednesday evening two of my friends and I finally went to Divino, the new incarnation of the Ralston Ave location in Belmont that was previously Bellago and (for those with longer memories) the Lemon Tree. Michael Bauer gave the place a pretty positive review last weekend.

Our visit was proof that even a good Bauer review can be a curse, if the management isn't prepared for the consequences.

It all started with the reservations. We had originally booked a table for 7:15, but when I realized I'd be on a later train, I had my friends call the restaurant at around 6 to let them know it would be 7:45. They were surprised to hear that there would be 'no problem' for us to be late. We quickly found out why. Earlier tables were still waiting to be seated. People were literally lined up out the door, and were being placated by glasses of wine.

Obviously, Bauer's review had done wonders to fill the place to capacity, but it appeared that a combination of poor planning and greed had resulted in massive overbooking. We waited more than an hour to sit down. And it also became clear that reservations didn't matter. They filled tables as they became vacant, with no regard as to who was there first.

The number of wait staff was not sufficient to handle such a large crowd. After we were seated, it took another 15 minutes to get our (mediocre and overpriced) wine, and appetizers on the table. We had a nice baccala and an heirloom tomato bread salad that suffered from too much olive oil and not enough vinegar. And when it was time for our main courses, our hapless and harried waiter came out with our dishes and realized that he hadn't cleared off the appetizer plates. We had to pile our own plates neatly, so he could whisk them away - on the shelf of the (unmanned!) reservation desk, on top of the phone book. We weren't impressed with that move.

The mains were more successful than the appetizers, but also uneven. One of my dining companions had a rustic pappardelle with a lamb ragout, which he called good but basic, and my other friend had a veal scaloppini with mushrooms that she described as OK. I lucked out with the fish of the day - a huge piece of halibut in a light but flavorful tomato sauce with olives and capers.

We didn't consider dessert, since it was almost 10 pm by the time we finished our meals. By then, of course, the place was less than half full.

We decided that we would probably go back...but not for a while. The kitchen is promising, but Divino has a lot to learn when it comes to coping with success.

any new reports on Divino in Belmont?

Thanks so much. Didn't get there last night after all, but looks like this week sometime. I'll report back.

Too bad about the wine list...

any new reports on Divino in Belmont?

I've only seen a few references, and I was thinking of taking some friends there tomorrow night...

What's the verdict?

Mexquite in RWC

I've gone a few times for drinks, and I like the friendliness of the staff and the general atmosphere...but I haven't eaten more than a salad there so far.

What's the consensus on the food? Should I be setting my sights elsewhere in that neighborhood for better Mexican?

Thanks for the input.