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Mid-Scale Veg-Friendly Dinner needed near Santa Clara

I need a "nice" (budget is $40/person) non-Indian place that can accommodate both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, takes reservations (and is open on Mondays), is <= 15 min drive from Montague@101 in Santa Clara. I've been looking into all the south bay threads, but all the choices are either too casual or too far. Ideas? THANKS!!!!!

Taste Good Beijing Cuisine - Milpitas

i'm surprised about the lack of discussion on this restaurant, considering the amount of discussion on beijing (alemany, sf), and i think i like taste good better. we got stir-fried pancake (garlicky goodness), stir-fried chicken innards, stir-fried tofu strips -- all very flavorful and homey. also good (but not as good as the others) were the cold silver noodles, mushroom soup casserole, and lamb skewers. part of their menu reminded me of beijing, with the dumplings, beef/pork pancakes, and flour balls, altho we didn't get a chance to try any of those here. they also sell beijing yogurts, which remind me of fage, but i've been told that they taste like the real deal by people who grew up in beijing. and they take credit card now.

Top 10 Tastes 2009

unordered, not all of them new (but new to me):

1) sushi sam's edomata: butterfish nigiri
2) la ciccia: squid ink risotto-like pasta
3) range: clam with chorizo appetizer
4) sahn maru: black goat stew
5) serpentine: polenta with runny eggs, chorizo, and rock crab
6) kingdom of dumplings: shrimp + chive dumplings
7) globe: sopressata with egg sunnyside up pizza
8) tacos los gemelos: aporriadillo tacos (altho i had a really hard time picking this over the carnitas tacos from el novillo and the chorizo+potato tacos from el huarache loco; the handmade tortillas pushed it over its competition)
9) scream sorbet: citrus fennel sorbet
10) aziza: celery cocktail (with sage, agave, gin)

totally cheating, but here are some of the runner-ups that i didn't have the heart to cut:
-- gitane: stuffed squid appetizer
-- roli roti: porchetta
-- boccalone: nduja
-- mama's: dungeness crab benedict
-- adesso: deviled eggs appetizer (free at happy hour)
-- champa garden: kaow soy noodle soup
-- la furia chalaca: anticuchos appetizer
-- indus village: paalak aloo
-- boiling crab: shrimp with the whole-shebang sauce
-- rosamunde sausage grill: andouille sausage
-- sketch: lavender ice cream with olive oil and sea salt

Advice Needed: Non-Lamb Dishes at Evvia

I've always ordered the lamb chops at Evvia, but I'm going there for dinner with someone who doesn't eat lamb/goat. I remember their fish being very unspectacular. Are there any good options? Thanks!!!

Lunch at Ferry Plaza Thursday Farmers Market

i had roli roti's bistecca arrosti sandwich today with a side of corn. the corn salad was really enjoyable, fresh tasting, slightly charred with a little bit of avocado and jalapeno vinaigrette (but the jalapeno was hardly noticeable). but even tho the meat looked medium rare, it was really hard to chew, and i ended up having to eat my sandwich piece by piece. i chose the option to add a piece of lingua to the sandwich, and that was quite tender and flavorful. the line at 1p didn't look that long (~10 people), but it still took 20+ minutes to get through.

i also had scream sorbet for the first time -- fennel citrus. it blew me away. the combination just worked. lots of flavor w/o being overwhelming or trying too hard.

Looking for kickass Szechuan food

My favorite Sichuan in the Bay Area is South Legend in Milpitas.

South Legend
1720 N Milpitas Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035

Cafe Biere, Emeryville

another positive vote for this place: low-key, good food, great beer.

both the "roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes" and "bacon, blue cheese, cream" mussels were good, but i have to agree that the latter stood out more. they came with grilled(?) bread with a great smoky flavor that was great for soaking up the sauce.

the fish stew had a thin but well-flavored, spicy tomato base.

the beer list was extensive and very reasonably priced (e.g. a chimay blue was only $6). it was also the only place around here that i've seen carry achel.

Quieting the Monkeys in Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and Redwood City)

also for cakes, try the raspberry chocolate mouse from la baguette and strawberry shortcake from satura.

Satura Cakes
320 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

La Baguette French Bakery
170 Stanford Shopping Ctr, Palo Alto, CA

Quieting the Monkeys in Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and Redwood City)


644 Emerson St Ste 110, Palo Alto, CA 94301

The Refuge
963 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070

Trend Restaurant
400 Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA

Mayfield Bakery & Cafe
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

Cafe Brioche
445 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA

Quieting the Monkeys in Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and Redwood City)

memorable bites in the peninsula are hard to come by (so i'm extremely interested in other people's feedback too), but here are a few more suggestions:

trend (mountain view): you can't go wrong with most of their sichuanese and northern dishes. i can't find a menu online, so i'm going off my memory (and translation), but try the spicy chicken gizzard appetizer, the spicy fish soup, and scallion pancake? (btwn the scallion pancake and the pulled pancake, i remember one being great and the other being bad). the only thing i've ever really disliked from there is their double skin (the flavor is ok, but they make it out of beancurd noodles instead of mung-bean skin and still charge you lots; go to great china in berkeley for a great version of that).

cafe brioche (palo alto): cornmeal crusted oyster sandwich; french toast special of the day.

mayfield (palo alto): their version of the eggs florentine and the warm star shaped baguette that comes for free. they make a big deal about their coffee but i wasn't too impressed.

fraiche: i also prefer the regular. my favorite topping combinations are shaved chocolate + strawberry and mochi + dried figs.

refuge (san carlos, ok i know this is stretching the geography a bit): pastrami sandwich and belgian-style beers.

if you're willing to go up to san mateo, that opens up a few more good options.

Help me satisfy my night-time sweet tooth: chocolate cake to go in the East Bay?

not really a cake, but the adult brownie bites from the downtown berkeley andronico's were surprisingly good, esp after you reheat them in the oven - very dense chocolate flavor and not too sweet.

Alexanders Steakhouse in Cupertino

i know that a lot of people love this place, and i've only been here once several years ago, but this is one of the very few places that i vow never to revisit even tho i LOVE steaks (my favorites are peter luger in ny and grill 23 in boston).

first, i'm a steak purist. i like the natural flavor of the beef. alexanders' steaks seem to all come with an overpowering sauce, and sometimes too sweet of a sauce for my taste. but that's my personal preference, not something i'll really "fault" the restaurant for.

i went with my parents, and between a rare ribeye, rare t-bone, and a beef 4-ways, everything was so tough that we could barely even cut into them, let alone bite into. i mentioned this in passing when they were clearing our plates. first, we get a lecture about not having said anything earlier. but they didn't really come to check up on us after the steaks were served until much later, plus we usually feel bad for sending things back and we figured that the chances of the steaks coming back better were slim considering that *none* of them turned out right in the first place. then, we get a huge lecture about how they only use the finest cuts of beef, blah blah blah.

Healdsburg recommendations?

i loved the wines at a rafanelli -- much better than the wines at michel-schlumberger and bella, but i'm not a wine expert and i like dry wines.

i haven't been to cyrus for dinner, but their cocktails are great (fresh fruits and/or herbs) & they also have absinthe.

i went to willi's and zin and thought the food at both places was good but not great.

i liked bovolo for a casual lunch.

New in Berkeley - seek advice from local hounds

oh and cook-it-yourself kalbi from sam won (oakland)

New in Berkeley - seek advice from local hounds

there are already a lot of good things covered here. here are my current favorites (in no particular order):

-- great china (berkeley): peking duck and double skin (and almost nothing else)
-- pie in the sky (berkeley): son of sky and sky
-- everett & jones (berkeley): ribs
-- genova (berkeley): any italian meats sandwich with the extra fixings
-- champa garden (oakland): appetizer sampler (and almost everything else)
-- wally's (emeryville): beef shawarma
-- pyungchang (oakland) / seoul gomtang (oakland): seafood soontobu
-- gregoire (berkeley - gourmet takeout)
-- daimo (richmond - late night homey cantonese food)
-- sketch ice cream (berkeley): everything!
-- masse's (berkeley): blood orange chocolate mousse cake, mango mousse (and almost everything else)
-- sweet adeline (berkeley): tomato and ricotta galettes, bread pudding (and almost everything else)
-- crixa (berkeley): chocolate rum cake
-- cole coffee (berkeley): drip coffee

Best Dim Sum in the Bay

grand palace also has the best roast pork (the cantonese bbq kind with the crispy skin) i've had in the bay area. but also the most expensive (i think $15 for the small plate). the rest of the dimsum is also above average.

Chinese Home Delivered Meals

I was wondering if there are any Chinese restaurants in Manhattan that offer weekly packages of home delivered meals -- something cheaper, and maybe even healthier, than individually ordered takeouts. Thanks!

Dec 17, 2008
wahbahdoo in Manhattan