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Johnny E's Profile

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Hibiscus in Oakland - Opening Tonight - New Chef and Menu

Menu looks very interesting - this is from their Facebook Page

BTW.... they had me at "shrimp and grits with pork belly".

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hibiscu...

$6 for starters, $13 for entrees, $4.50 for desserts,and $17.50 for 3 courses dinner

STARTERS/FIRST COURSE.

- Fried Oysters with Braised Greens, Sea Beans, and Bacon Jam
- Crawfish Cakes with Sweet Potato Shoestrings, Herb Salad and Piquillo Pepper Aioli.
- Shrimp and Grits with Crispy Pork Belly and Shrimp Butter.
- Rabbit and Sausage Gumbo with Herb Rice.
-Baby Spinach and Watercress Salad with a Poached Duck Egg and Bacon Vinaigrette.

ENTRÉES/SECOND COURSE

- Braised Pork Shoulder and Belly with Roasted Baby Root Vegetables, Brussels Sprouts and Bourbon Sauce.
- Grilled Skirt Steak with a roasted Tellichery Pepper and Cocoa Nib Rub, "Chocolate Gravy", Creamed Spinach and Grilled Leeks.
- Fried Chicken and Bacon Waffles with Roasted Black Pepper/Maple Sauce.
- Bass cooked on the flattop with Ham Hock Sauce and Pigeon Pea Succotash.
- Pecan Crusted Trout with Hushpuppies, Black Eyed Pea Cakes and Pea Tendrils.
- Braised Oxtail with Nettle Dumplings, Roasted Baby Carrots and Cauliflower Maque Choux.

SIDES

-Braised Greens
-Hushpuppies
- Mac and Cheese

LATE NIGHT/BAR MENU

- Rotating mix of southern bar specialities like chicken wings, mac & cheese and fried chicken sandos - all at $7.

OAKLAND - we are here to serve you!

Mar 06, 2012
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Finally went to Wood Tavern - - - now I understand the hype......

It's one of our faves! I took my wife there for lunch on her birthday a couple of weeks ago. We tried the Pork Belly and Fig Salad. Warm crispy porky goodness with cool quartered figs. Dressed with a simple vinaigrette, blue cheese, toasted hazelnuts and water cress. Amazing.

Run, don't walk.

Sep 01, 2010
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Rockridge BART: what not to miss?

I dream about the pastrami sandwich at Wood Tavern daily..... it's scary good.

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Wood Tavern
6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

Nov 12, 2009
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Best fish tacos in the San Fran area!

If you are coming from out of town please go to the Ferry Building!!!!

Then head over to Mijita over by the ferry platform and get their very very good fish tacos. Also get the meatball soup and a mexican coca cola made with real sugar cane. Perfect lunch.

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Mijita
1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94111

Ferry Building
One Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111

Nov 05, 2009
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Mexican food in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, or Concord

I second El Molino. It's great for take out... But stay to get the feeling of being at a real working torilla factory - it's a place I take my son to polish up his high school spanish!. Every single thing is great. Sopas are amazing, tacos Dorado are the real thing, and the fresh tacos with carnitas is as good as any taco cart in mexico. You also need to make sure you have some of the fresh juices or fruit salad.

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El Molino
5321 Hopyard Rd Ste A, Pleasanton, CA 94588

Nov 05, 2009
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Yogurtland coming to Berkeley

We were in San Diego this weekend and hit Yogurtland twice.... There was a line out the door each day. According to my 10 year old " Yogurtland is the highlight of the vacation, dad!" My kids will be besides themselves to know that they have one by Cal. We need one in the Lamorinda area!

May 26, 2009
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Tin's Teahouse Walnut Creek - No More!!!!

Last night we were craving some Sunday evening Dim Sum. Loaded up the car and drove on over to Tin's Teahouse. As we pulled into the parking lot, my son shouted - NOOOOOO!!!! Tin's in out of business!!!! And yes, the sign is off the front of the building and the place is cleaned out.

We are very very upset at the closing of our favorite Asian restaurant in the east bay.

Does anyone know what happened?

Apr 20, 2009
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Are you a Cheesecake Factory lover?

Cheesecake Factory fits the need for places like Des Moines or Oklahoma City because of it's huge (and I mean huge quantities) of every "ethnic" cuisine around. Where else can you get 3 Lbs of potstickers, 4 Lbs of Chicken Parma, and 2 Lbs of Curry Cheesecake.... And if you are in Des Moines this place is great - you get to eat 5000 calories for a fair price!

We are in the epicenter of the best food in the world int he east bay. Even in Walnut Creek you can drive over to Monument Blvd and get incredible mexican. 2 Blocks from the Cheesecake Factory is my favorite asian food in the bay area - Tins Tea House... drive another ten minutes and you are at Bos BBQ in lafayette - amazing brisket.... And there are tons more if you "venture" out into Oakland and Berkeley.

You may not get 4 Lbs of Lettuce Wrapped Chicken at some of the other places, but you will have 15 lbs of the love from real authentic regional cooking.

Mar 11, 2009
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Tacos Al Pastor - Vertical Spit with Pineapple - Anyone in the east bay?

Any restaurants/ carts/ taco trucks in the easy bay cooking up the "real" Tacos Al Pastor? I'm looking for the pork freshly cut from a vertical spit with a slice of roasted pinapple added. Thanks!

Feb 24, 2009
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

100 top items to eat in bay area!

My tops so far this year - some old, some new......

* Seared Tuna Sandwich at Taylors in the Ferry Building.
* Postage stamp ravioli with pigeon ragu at Dopo
* Henry's special - smoky, salty and spicy. You have to sit at the counter - Henry's Hunan on Sacramento
* Glass of wine and a dozen briney oysters at Hog Island
* Fried summer beans with sweet corn dipping sauce at Pizza Antiqua in Lafayette
* Spicy Tripe at Pizzaiolo
* Oceanic dinners at Oliveto
* Warm Carrot and Raisin Muffins at Specialities - addicted.

Nov 03, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Hunan Bacon

Henry's Hunan on Sacramento still serves up many tasty smoked pork dishes. The place is still run by Henry's daughter.The cookbook mentioned below is on the wall near the check out. The bustling counter is the place to eat.

My personal favorite is the henry's special - which is a combo of the smoked ham/ bacon, chicken, hot chilis, and veggies. Always choke full spicy, salty, smokey goodness!

I also have been addicted to the Diana's special meat pie. Two onion cakes filled with spicy mystery meat, spicy sauce and shredded lettuce. It is out of this world.

Jun 26, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

My potential 3 day eating Itinerary

I second the Coi reference - a very amazing experience with remarkable combinations - will be a memorable night for you and the girls. IMO - Mina is getting too touristy and Vegas for me...

PS: Make sure you do the pairing if you go to Coi.

Mar 18, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Is Chez Panisse pizza one of America's 10 best?

on another note.... I've been to Pizzaria Bianco in Phx twice in the last year. Did not live up to the hype... in my opinion. It was good, but my word, a 2 hour wait for pizza? Chez Panisse, Dopo, Cheese Board, Pizziola, even Antica had a better pie.

Bianco was good.... but I wasn't blown away.

Mar 17, 2008
Johnny E in Food Media & News

Mexican in Walnut Creek?

El Molino in the stripmall next to the bowling alley on Monument is a tortilla factory that reminds me the most of La Tolteca in Santa Barbara (IMO the best chicken taco on earth). The sopas, carnitas, and tacos are very very good at El Molino. Amazing tortillas that are coming off the assembly line and onto your plate and then piled high with tender carnitas and a spicy green salsa. The place is small with few tables. You can also buy carnitas and beans by the pound to go.

El Molino 1500 F1 Monument Blvd

Mar 15, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

My Berkeley/Oakland faves, tell me yours

Nice list, Robert!

I'd include every one of yours and add some of my faves:

Oliveto - specifically the breakfast pizza in the cafe on a sunday morning and the sitting at the counter upstairs for a dinner.
Bakesale Betty - chicken sandwich and a cookie.... ahhhh
Koryo BBQ - killer korean bbq with horrific interior and mean waitstaff
Kirala Sushi - fresh fresh fish
Tacubaya on 4th street - menudo that rivals any place on international

Mar 13, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Top Five Restaurants in San Mateo

I can't believe that I didn't see Suski Sam's on this list! We lived in Burlngame 8 years ago and loved this place. Is it still around?

Mar 12, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Foody Date Place in SF?

B44 has been on our "foodie date night" rotation for a number of years.It's located on a very cozy alley in the financial district named Belden Place - right below the BofA bldg. We seem to migrate there when the weather in the City is warm - you can sit outside in the same way that you might sit outside in Europe. Sometime loud and cramped, but still a cool way to spend an evening.

B44 and Plouf are next door to each other. We would hit each one based on the wait - which can be very long on warm nights.

Plouf has great mussels and B44 has the best stuffed squid and grilled sardines.

http://www.b44sf.com/
http://www.ploufsf.com/

Mar 12, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

the best SANDWICH in (San Francisco) period.

no prob! Evenything looks good. I'm looking forward to hearing how you like it.

Mar 12, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

the best SANDWICH in (San Francisco) period.

http://www.gambinosnysubs.com/menu.pdf

I attached the menu. First off, the roll is soft and chewy. Meats of Mortadella,Salami, and Hot Coppa. Besides the roll, the best part of the sandwich is the "east coast or west coast" prep. I've only had east coast - a combo of peppers, vineagar, onions, oil and herbs. Drippingly tasty good. Long lines at lunch because the financial district folks hit the place hard. They are only open for lunch during the week.

I have seen a lot of people ordering the cheese steaks - which look very good. I haven't tried one because I have a hard time going back to work after eating a pound of beef....

Mar 12, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

the best SANDWICH in (San Francisco) period.

Gambinos at One Embarcadero has a tasty sub called the Gambino #11.

Mar 10, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Addison in Del Mar - Short Trip Report

My wife and I were down in San Diego from the Bay Area a couple of weeks ago over presidents weekend. We went to Addison at the Grand Del Mar based on the "top restaurants in the US" review in Esquire. I also read that Jesse the sommelier is from the Napa area and has gotten some really good press lately.

First off, the space is very inviting and sexy. I loved the booths. Yes, booths. Perfect for a special occasion - private and romantic.

The dinner menu doesn't offer a typical chef's tasting menu as I get at Manresa, Fifth Floor or French Laundry. The menu is split up into three courses. You get your pick of one item for each course. There also were two amuse bouche and one chef add during the dinner. At first I wanted the chef to just surprise us with his tasting menu - so I was kind of disappointed... but I got over it and settled in as the first AB showed up.

The entire dinner was great! On par with the best in the bay area. The wine pairing was out of this world - Jesse is amazing - very entertaining and had great stories about each winery and how he came to pair the wines with the dish.

I didn't have a note pad so I have to go off of memory. The Mussels were perfect - taken out of the shell and swimming in a delicate sauce made of lemon verbena. We also had wood grilled Fois Gras which was lightly smoky and luscious and decadent all at the same time. The combinations are all so interesting - every taste gave you layer upon layer of combos (such as the wood grill AND Fois) that worked perfectly.

The desserts were really nice. Same combo moves - lots of sweet and salty. I remember the peanut butter cup as being perfect in all ways. The desserts matched the sexiness of the place.

Really great dinner all around.

Feb 28, 2008
Johnny E in California

Breakfast at Oliveto

The egg and pancetta pizza is amazing. The perfect combo of salty, chewy, and yolky (if that's a word.) Also, one of the better cappuccino's I have had. Great way to start a sunday morning.

Run, don't walk.

John

Feb 04, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Moraga Farmers Market: tamales, kielbasa, and bao... in Moraga?

Nice post. I like this market a heck of a lot more than the Orinda market. The market has a good vibe and energy - lots of families with kids in tow. This fall there was an oyster guy that was BBQing some of his goods. Nothing better than a BBQ'd oyster at 10am!

Jan 25, 2008
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Tamales in Puerto Vallarta? Or small out of the way eateries that will blow me away?

We are going to PV over Thanksgiving. I'm having a heck of a time finding the name of a small Tamale shop in PV.

I had seen a Rick Bayless "Mexico One Plate at a Time" episode (called Go Global, Eat Local) where he visits a little tamale shop in the old town of PV. The tamales look amazing.

Anyone out there - do you happen to know the name of this place?

Also, I'm from the SF bay area and I have some really/good authentic mexican food out here. I want to know if any of you know of any place in PV that will blow me away - I don't care about the view, waitstaff, the decor.... I am looking for real food that is local and amazing.

Let me know what you think.

John

Nov 09, 2007
Johnny E in Mexico

Best Chicken Fried Steak in Dallas

Based off of the responses... I went to Babes in Carrollton last night and was blown away. Nothing like that in the Bay Area. Great CFS - Crispy and tender (but not too tender...) The sides were good. The gravy was like my grandmothers (creamy and bacon dripping tasting)... And the BISCUITS were out of this world. I didn't know about the BYOB. The food needed some beer. But the lemonade was still good.

Thanks for helping me out to find a new/ old place in Dallas!

Aug 29, 2007
Johnny E in Texas

Best Chicken Fried Steak in Dallas

I'm visiting from Northern California - where Chicken Fried Steak is almost non-existent. I'd love to find out where I can find the best CFS in the Dallas area. I am staying out by DFW airport and am willing to drive 15-20 miles.

Thanks and let me know if you ever need any tips for SF Bay Area dining!

John

Aug 28, 2007
Johnny E in Texas

Considering getting some steaks from Lobels.com

I am considering buying some bone-in strip steaks from Lobels.com in NYC for a dinner party I am throwing soon. Any of the bayarea chowhounds used these guys in the past? If yes, how did it turn out?

Thanks,

John

Aug 08, 2007
Johnny E in General Topics

westside road or dry creek road wineries

Agree with Mick on Bella - great location and great wine.

Also, try to head over to A Rafanelli on Dry Creek Rd. You need to make reservations. Easy to do and worth it! Amazing wines!
(707) 433-1385
http://www.arafanelliwinery.com/

Jul 24, 2007
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

What places do you go to because of chowhound?

Nice topic!

I found Koryo BBQ on Telegraph in Oakland because of Chowhound. Korean BBQ with coals on the table, real "burled driftwood" tables, really impatient servers, an enormous amount of special tasty salty sweet fishy cabbagy Korean sides with your meal, and a very interesting Korean "wine" that makes me slur... I take the family there at least once a month.

The meat has been marinating in a spicy Korean BBQ sauces. You plop the meat on the hot grill on your table. When it's oh-so-carmalized, you place the smoky meat in lettuce leaves, adorn them with some of the 47 different types of sides, wrap it up like a taco, take a sip of your "wine", and have bite after bite of pure heaven.

This has turned into one of our favorite family places. Just don't go expecting an atmosphere or service. It's all about the food and the.... "wine".

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Koryo Jajang
4390 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Jul 13, 2007
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area

Your Perfect Wine Country Visit

Whiner - totally agree with you on the Napa Cab comment.

We have been going to the Dry Creek region on Healdsburg for years. Very drinkable and great Zins in that area.

Best thing about the area is that there are few tourists - no "picnic grounds with tour buses". The dry creek region is what the Napa valley used to be like years ago.

My favorites for tasting and buying:

A Rafanelli - (707) 433-1385 Reservation required. Amazing wines. Zins to die for and Cabs that are becoming some of the best in the region. You can buy at the winery.

Bella Wines - (707) 433-1385 No reservations required. Great wines with a beautiful setting - caves and a nice new tasting house that looks like a barn.

Talty Winery - perfect Zins. No reservation required. 707-433-8438

Forchini Vineyards - small winery with very very good Italian inspired wines. Great food wines. 707-431-8886

Ferrari - Carano - 707-433-6700. The most touristy of the bunch. It's a very pretty and grand setting with nice large gardens. But, damn, the wines are great!

Our favorite places to eat -

Cyrus - (707) 433-3311. Possible one of the best restaurants in the USA right now... read the reviews. I can't say enough about this place. Coat and Tie formal.

Zin - (707) 473-0946. Nice location and good food. Casual and easy. Great local wine selection.

Dry Creek Kitchen - (707) 431-0330 perfect for lunch. Very good.

May 30, 2007
Johnny E in San Francisco Bay Area