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frontzNskrontz's Profile

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Top pho in the Tenderloin (SF)?

Pho tan hoa on jones below ofarrell. I think it's the best in SF, hands down

When a menu is not a menu

have to agree. there are many different restaurant experiences. these 10 places we keep talking about aren't for refueling, or even ordering what you want. they are mostly about submitting to the experiences and expertise of the chefs, the surprises of the meal, the wonder, etc. its a small enough demographic and is what I like most about these types of places. when I want pizza, ill go to pizzialo, when I want Spanish, I will go to duende, and when I want a more interesting night, I will let the chef of one of these places show me a thing or two

Auberge du S, Meadowood or Sobar-Solage [Napa Valley]


State Bird, Bar Tartine, A Cote, [something in Berkeley - any suggestions?]

second on ippuku (well all of the above, but I particularly love ippuku)

Jeremiah Tower v. Michael Bauer on FB

the difference here being that there is definite accepted definition of a working sink and a non working sink. is there an accepted recipe for mole poblano that makes all other null and void? in a recent review of Liho Liho yacht club (a restaurant that is for all intents and purposes a personal statement by the chef)the reviewer states that the dishes that invoke Hawaii (where the chef is from and draws a lot of his inspiration) for HIM (the reviewer) weren't present and therefore the chef and restaurant come up short. your direct analogy of a plumbers job is slightly incorrect. a better analogy would be if the plumber came, fixed your problem, charged you a fair price, but something was lacking from his emotional response to your plumbing needs. maybe not enough plumbers crack, nor the wit of the fed ex guy and he was wearing that cologne I don't care for, granted in small amounts, but I could still detect it....2 stars...

Jeremiah Tower v. Michael Bauer on FB

as far as chefs being bothered by critics...why would chefs be any different than, say, people? aren't you bothered by criticism? a chef works long hours to make food for people. presumably they take their job/lifes work seriously. when criticized (as taste is a matter of opinion, opinions on the same thing can run the gamut), there is no knowledge requirement to criticize. I am always confounded by people who cant understand why chefs may take criticism personally. try critiquing your plumber or dentist or lawyer. then you can ask them why they are so thin-skinned. or, open up your professional life to critiquing from people outside of your chosen profession. I think because every one eats, or even makes food for themselves, they feel more liberal in their critiques. but chefs receive scrutiny that in most cases isn't erudite or helpful, and is given more freely than to other professions. not to say you shouldn't get what you pay for, or be accommodated in a restaurant, but read yelp for restaurants and read it for gardeners or shoe stores or nail salons and the vitriol reserved for restaurants is on another level.

Oso Restaurant, Sonoma

pretty good spot. basic, well prepared menu of smaller plates from a limited kitchen. (equip wise) think it stands out in sonoma because it shoots for a bit of hipness that is contrary to the quaint sonoma eateries. nothing to travel for, but it won't let you down

Take-Out Recommendations on Piedmont Avenue [Oakland]

^slicer for sure

Etoile, restaurant that helped launch Napa Valley food scene, is closing

Just to be fair, Commis is nothing like, no does it aspire to be, these restaurants. Commis isn't your bag, no biggie, but it's a different category

Saison vs Coi and other ideas [San Francisco]

saison, without doubt. no snub at all to coi.

Saison or The restaurant at Meadowood

in my opinion the two best in the greater bay area at that level. probably depends on where you are staying because they aren't close to each other. factor in the transportation/lodging and judge which makes more sense as they are of equal can't-miss-delicious-brilliance. setting also. do you want your evening bookended by sites of vineyards or harrison street? either way you are in for a great experience...

Spots for large group meals in Sonoma County?

glen ellen star is nice and definitely not too exotic, mrs. frontznskrontz and i like their pizza/vegetables. the new kenwood is a good option, the outside is quite beautiful and they have quite the varied, changing, local menu, available all day. the fig cafe in glen ellen is safe, not too gourmet and close to you. cafe citti, a little further up the road is way more casual (no waiters) italian american fare.
enjoy your time in sonoma

Sushi Sho El Cerrito October 2014

Went there last week for anniversary dinner. Hadn't been since he moved. It is possible it has gotten even better. Got the ankimo, 2 akadashi miso and two 'C' omakase (70 per person-16 pieces per)) and it was all perfect. Aki san is a true master who cares about and for tradition. Our dinner was 3 hours (for the first half, we had the place to ourselves) we share a large beer, a bottle of fine sake and a glass of finer sake to finish. I could eat that meal, note for note three times a week (but then id die of mercury poisoning, broke). Let the naysayers naysay, ill be back soon.

Restaurant suggestions at Sonoma Valley

Glen Ellen star is deIicious and fun. My wife and I like this place. Il molino central and Fremont diner are great breakfast or lunch places. We always stop at one, or both, when driving up that area. For a pre honeymoon dinner, harvest moon is nice. Or The Kenwood has a beautiful patio overlooking the Kunde and Deerfield vineyards. Pretty nice at sunset. If you are up that way, spoonbar has a 'famous' chef, and the food is fun. Ditto for zazu. Pizzeria rosso is delicious. Whatever you do, the area is beautiful, have fun, and congrats.

Bar Tartine review [San Francisco]

I soo wanted to love bar tar tine. really. i had been dying to go there forever. i loved that it was husband and wife. i love that somebody. finally. was doing something other than italian. i love the fermentations, and i love tar tine bread. when my wife and i sat at the bar, the bar tender was someone we know from a different time. since we were hungry we ordered a ton, and since we had a friend behind the bar, we got extra attention. the whole experience fell flat for me and i was so sad. one dish tasted like eucalyptus, only. a few other dishes felt unbalanced and/or missing something. loved the chefs food when he was at Nombe. the menu reads awesome. maybe i went on an off night? it was a monday, not very busy and both chefs were present. ima chalk this one up to my shortcomings, but i wish i had the experience i keep hearing about...

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

i know it doesn't have a policy serving locals only. restaurants are reflections of the place they reside. berkeley people love it. not by decree, or restaurant policy. because it is a restaurant in berkeley, an institution, it tends to be dear to their hearts. maybe more dear than it is empirically. thats my take, but I'm in the minority. yes, the chefs you mentioned were the chefs over time, but you'd never know it (unless you care to explore) because alice loves the credit of 'changing the way americans eat' (in quotes, because i cannot agree with this hyperbole as absolute truth, because rarely, if ever does one person have that much influence)

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

In the minority, but I have to say that as much as i love their ethic and want to love their restaurant, it just didn't do it for me. Yes, they source locally and from the best, absolutely. After five visits upstairs and two down, I am totally ok with not being head over heals. Mr. Moto brings up valid points when he tries to point out the various reasons we like restaurants. I think that Chez is a Berkeley thing. It offers the intangibles that resonate with its clientele, which is also the job of a restaurant, so that isn't meant as a derogation. Alice Waters is a chef like guy fiery is a chef. They aren't. they own restaurants that have their own chefs. Her 'mystical faux french hippy doyenne persona' actually kind of turns me off. their zealous declaration of local only is awesome, but oddly incomplete (wine? cheese?). they talk about product as tho they have some connection we don't/can't which is also a turn off. how about using your bully pulpit to promote the availability of these products, not the exclusivity of them. in the end, it should be about the food. (sometimes, like in every magazine article, good morning america appearance or countless books, it seems to be about alice) once, downstairs, i had clam chowder (thin, and wrongly prepared with quite firm potatoes-an ode or variation of clam chowder, not a real.good.version.) as part of my 'four star' coursed meal. followed by turkey paillard. hmmm. calling chez a four star restaurant is like saying roger clemens is the best pitcher in base ball. that may have been true once upon a time, but it seems like they are being judged on their body of work. there are many places i have gone to so often i find it hard to really distance myself and judge it apart from my overly biased opinion. pointing out also, that i do not think food has to be molecular or architectural to be good, or four stars. there are more than a few restaurants who buy amazing product and do more thoughtful things with them. please, enjoy chez, but i feel like you'd be missing out one of the so many other meals you can enjoy instead (i would go to ippuku ten times out of ten over chez.)

Lunch in Sacramento

i don't live in the bay area anymore :( thus my *need* to reconnect with some good food. i am headed to 11th street to file some papers. thanks for the recs. ill be with my wife. junes sounds really nice. any favorite dishes?

May 03, 2014
frontzNskrontz in California

One day in Sacramento, looking for best lunch I can find, prefer Asian


May 02, 2014
frontzNskrontz in California

Lunch in Sacramento

will be in sacto on monday and will need lunch. looking for the best authentic asian (pho, soon tofu, szechuan, thai, whatever).
i live in a very ethnically homogenous area, and need my fix! if there is nothing in this vein to recommend, NY style pizza or awesome mexican/latin american will work. thanks!

May 02, 2014
frontzNskrontz in California

One day in Sacramento, looking for best lunch I can find, prefer Asian

Looking for a little help from the experts. Headed to Sacramento for the day on Monday. I, of course, will need lunch. Currently staying in an ethnically homogenous area. I need either a great bowl of pho, or killer soon tofu, or authentic szechuan food, thai, etc - something that isn't american! wouldn't mind great NY style pizza, latin american food, etc. if there is none of the above. thanks everyone

May 02, 2014
frontzNskrontz in California

Napa & Sonoma Mother's Day Weekend

The chronicle has a Sonoma feature that this past weekend. Doesn't seem that you have lots of time for straying from your plan. In Kenwood, where you are staying, he really like Mayo (you may have to reserve for the food painting which looked delightful, and inexpensive) and the Kenwood restaurant. Haven't been to either. Yountville is fun, if a bit 'foodie theme park' which at peak hours can be a bit much. Oxbow would be my choice, more substance.

40th birthday in Sonoma with 20 friends

Red Grape is a good rec. not amazing, but good, clean, not too pricey and accommodating .

40th birthday in Sonoma with 20 friends

Personally I think the Vineyards is pretty terrible. Spain by way of Mexico with sashimi, sliders and pizza. Last time I went there were moldy, out of season blueberries in my salad, and I was the only one there. Took 10 minutes to flag someone down to get a replacement. I would be hard pressed to recommend to anyone.

Happy Moose Juice, SF in the Mission - who's tried it?

best juice ever, truly. ive tried all of their flavors. usually averse to cutesy names, the pharmoosey is awesome.but they are all really really good. as well as flavor the cold hydraulic press produces a velvety mouthfeel. expensive, but well worth it

THE One Best Place to Have Dinner in the East Bay?

ippuku is the best experience in the east bay

Need a meeting place in the Mission [San Francisco]

20 spot. Great vibe, relaxed space. Really fresh tasty food. It's almost never busy, which i like, but I'm sure they feel otherwise...

Is the SF food scene running out of gas due to high rents & tech bubble?

hard to debate that the sf food scene is in an 'ebb' phase rather than a 'flow' phase.
it seems there are fewer exciting new concepts than a city of this size, with this food population, than there should be. and valencia being 'google's cafeteria' is hysterical in its accuracy. while there are things like dandelion, craftsmen and wolves, and others, things like tacolicious, curry up now, mau, and the ridiculous beta brand 'clothing; store. in three years, valenica will be an outdoor suburban shopping mall.....

Another shout out for La Ciccia, and Range hits the spot too [San Francisco]

leave out frascati...

SF Dish of the Month (Aug 2013) - Voting

the roasted potatoes with rarebit pork and onions at 20 spot.
i have eaten this three times in july, and i am pretty sure i will surpass that in august.