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Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

Marketing as in branding and packaging and submitting for consideration to various tastemakers. Twitter accounts. Lots of flashy names and crazy looking images/logos. Lots of weird attempts at added flavoring.

Of course the locals do marketing! Who doesn't?

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

The modern state of US craft beer is there are a lot of different and interesting style IPAs as you say, but a lot of the rest (esp the porter/stout segment) are a bunch of marketing with a subpar product. More about the name and packaging than anything else.

I mean don't get me wrong, wine is the same way at your average store or bar, a bewildering choice of subpar bottles all trying to be marketed as elegant or girly fun.

It's just the interest in beer, I would say, has outstripped the evolution in the product. Tons of beer places now, but very few with a unique point of view. Wine the stuff is out there it's just often expensive or hard to find. Beer there's probably 20-30 revelatory ones and then you kinda are done. I have my Ballast Point IPA, Pliny when other people have it, a few types of Belgian beer and I am pretty satisfied with my exploration.

Or that may be just me. So I think beer producers still have a lot of room to develop and create, but I don't think x new beer place in SF is going to have much different to offer from what already exists elsewhere.

Recs for grabbing a quick bite in/around the Dogpatch? [San Francisco]

Stopped by Umi the other day. Fish and rice were far too cold, rice didn't have any character or flavor, fish was also flavorless though the cuts were visually appealing, there was a small fish bone in one of my nigiri. Price about $30 pp.

At the sameish price point, Sushi Tomi, Akane and Sushi Sam's on the Penninsula are much much better. The 4 star rating to me on yelp is puzzling.

An analogous sushi restaurant in LA is Hide on Sawtelle, a few years ago Hide was better than this, but it's been a long time since I've been to Hide.

Muracci's - 2nd location now in Los Altos & open Sat + dinners.

Sad. Their curry is noticeably 1 to 2 steps better (more going on in layering and spices) than say Curry House in Cupertino.

Recommendations for dining around NYE/following weekend. [San Francisco]

Yeah I'm decently sensitive to acids, so they can quickly overpower any of the other warming/savory flavors. Fair point that for many that is not the case.

I'd add that it's more like the acids of plain real yogurt without any sugar, not say my favorite plain yogurt from my childhood Mountain High =) Or non added sugar cranberry juice.

Approaching Wine at the French Laundry???

Here are various ways you could go and stay in budget:

" we aren't big drinkers, So we won't be doing the pairings, but we are really excited by the wine list! Could you suggest a glass of sparkling, a glass of white, and glass of red for me to have have through the meal? My wife also needs help picking a glass of x" no matter what glasses the somm suggests you should be in budget.

Another option

"We are really excited by the wine list, but not the biggest drinkers. We'd both like to start with a glass of x, and then split a half bottle of y, what would you suggest?" This should also keep you in budget. If it spills over just ask him or her to suggest a less pricier bottle.

Another option if you really don't care to direct at all and have a longer conversation:

"We are not big drinkers, but we don't want to miss out on this excellent wine list, what would you suggest we do if we want to spend under $250"


Wine Pairing help for Christmas dinner party


For the pasta: It should be a brighter red wine. A tempernillo based red wine could work. Maybe a nice chianti. I'd do an old world wine from central or southern Italy or from Spain, most new world red wine doesn't have the acid structure for tomato and capers.

If the gumbo is very chili hot you may want to switch to a Riesling, sparkling, cocktails or beer. If it's mildly spicy, stick with a bright lighter red ( again tempernillo based or chianti) maybe you could do a California Pinot or a Grenache based wine.

I wouldn't go too pricey on the wine, the food profiles sound pretty aggressive and without being able to open a few bottles and taste them with the food beforehand, the food is probably going to overpower the wine. You wouldn't want to spend 50+ per bottle on wine that's just going to disappear into the food.

Dec 19, 2014
goldangl95 in Wine

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I see some middle ground in this. Food prices have gone up and outside the dollar menu, a fast food burger after tax is about $4? Maybe $5. Chipotle is about $ 8-9, and any sit down meal with a waiter is going to set you back + $12.

Now if you around the poverty line to 150 % of poverty line than yeah chipotle is a big splurge on your budget. It's about 2x what you want to spend on your big meal of the day ( which is often your only substantive meal of the day). Of course with how subsidized food programs work dollars spent at different places don't cost the same but ignoring that.

So using that factor of 2x as a splurge, there are plenty of middle class people who spend $8-9 on their big meal of the day that are outside the top 10% tech/finance etc world. For almost anyone save the top echelons spending $16-20 pp on your big regular day meal adds up painfully ( unless a company is paying for most of your meals)

Recommendations for dining around NYE/following weekend. [San Francisco]

It's safer at least for CAlifornianss, lots of salt, Unami, spicy (not chili spicy but cumin etc) and char to flavor the food. Acids used to brighten not so much as an independent taste. Food comes out as expected when reading the menu (Bar Tartine does things like highlighting what is typically a side ingredient and taking what you'd think would be the main ingredient and make it the side ingredient - textures are different too)

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?


Recommendations for dining around NYE/following weekend. [San Francisco]

It can be really really sour or bitter or'green' for some, it doesn't have a lot of the crowd pleasing sweet and Unami favors. It's polarizing not because of sophistication or unfamiliarity just based on flavor you either really like it or really don't.

Pacific Heights and Marina District recommendations please [San Francisco]

These recs aren't walking distance ( necessarily) but are on that side of SF.


Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

There is a lack of trendy food outside the cal/French/southern/British genres. I realize trends go in cycles, but I was hoping we'd go from Italian inspired to exploring other influences and areas of the world, instead of revisiting these well trod areas.

I realize if you want to do more local producer/sources it's easier to just buy what is widely available then to encourage producers to start experimenting in growing and producing more 'exotic' stuff, and I realize making all the sauces from scratch with say some East Asian cuisines is problematic. But I wish for it to happen.

South Bay Dining

Interesting. Do you know how long he's been there? I went about a year and a half ago and found it pedestrian (standard high end ingredients cooked in standard ways). It reminded me of a meal from the pretty old now French Laundry cookbook, without the playful aspects, (and thankfully without the outdated food tower/column presentations).

Christmas Day early dinner/buffet suggestions on Peninsula, please help

I would do Madera @ Rosewood or maybe Lure + Till.

Recommendations for dining around NYE/following weekend. [San Francisco]

Bar Tartine is not for everyone. Many dislike the flavor profiles. It is unique .

Recommendations for dining around NYE/following weekend. [San Francisco]

Where in SF? Did you look at this thread?


New Years Eve and Nob Hill [San Francisco]

Great! Please do report back if you can, feedback on how restaurants hold up on NYE is always helpful.

New Years Eve and Nob Hill [San Francisco]

if you do decide to walk to Kin Khao I would not take leavenworth to get down there. Walking to mason and then walking south from there would work much better. Leavenworth is quite dicey for walking as you get towards Kin Khao.

New Years Eve and Nob Hill [San Francisco]

It's a long very hilly walk - but yes it is possible. I find Kin Khao great, not all their dishes are excellent but their flavor balance is so different from most generic Thai places, that it's a very unique experience.

New Years Eve and Nob Hill [San Francisco]

Generically Japanese and probably has a some sort of ridiculous NYE menu is Roka Akor - which is good food but just Japanese food via Vegas. It's not walking distance but at least it's the same side of town and not in a huge party area (like the Marina or North Beach or right on the Embarcadero or certain parts of the Mission).

Russian River/Sonoma Coast Wineries and Restaurants

I don't think that much has changed in the last few years, these posts cover the russian river valley should answer your questions, if you have more do let us know!:


I'd add that mateo's cucina is a nice break from all the cal cal cuisine places.

New Years Eve and Nob Hill [San Francisco]

I would be wary of booking a reservation all the way across town for NYE. Things can get chaotic and getting a cab or uber may be difficult or very expensive.

Dosa on Fillmore has nice atmosphere and cocktails, but the food may not be for everyone (I really like it).

Other more generically new american/californian in the area are: 1760, stone's throw and verbena. Of those three, I think 1760 is the most pleasing to all audiences, and verbena may be my favorite taste profile wise.

Verbena on Polk, SF

I really like Verbena, the flavor profiles are very reminiscent of a favorite of mine in LA: Gjelina. Everything feels light and fresh with most of the flavor coming from unami, smoky and assertively spicey (though not chili hot) components. I think Melanie's characterization above is spot on, though I enjoyed this meal and would go back again before going back to say Stone's Throw or Lazy Bear.

Service is competent and the space is airy and well designed.

We found about 4-5 of the smaller plates plenty for two people. With drinks and coffee, we got out at $50 pp which is certainly in line with other mid-range places in SF.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

But are any of them good? I would welcome a really good properly smoked bbq

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I can't speak for Cole Coffee vs. Peets Coffee.

But I know in my area I will go to a Peets or even Starbucks if:

- I am in a rush and not familiar with the area. Or I am familiar with the area and the closer Peets or Starbucks is faster/more efficient. Some of the craft coffee places take a long time.

- I have giftcards

- I want oatmeal, yogurt etc. along with my coffee

- I don't want coffee, but want tea or some other type drink

- Every once in awhile I like a Frappucino the way I like a baskin robbins ice cream cake. Some combination of nostalgia and ridiculous calories. (McDonald's fries also fall in this category)

Recommendations for mid-range sushi? [San Francisco]

If you ever feel like branching out from Sushi Tomi, try Akane in Los Altos.

Seeking food pairing for garnacha

I find red wine tannins very harsh on my palate - if it's a young wine sometimes I can't taste anything except the tannin. The fat (whether it's a fatty meat or cheese or cream) helps soften the wine for me. Garnacha for me is decently acidic and tannic while young. So if I really wanted fish, a oven roasted trout with a fair amount of oil and warm/deep flavors would do the trick, or if I wanted to be vegetarian a mushroom risotto would work nicely.

If the puckering, mouth coating aspect of red wine (the tannins) has never bothered you, don't worry about the fat/oil aspect - just make sure the dish has browned elements and has some unami flavor.

Dec 15, 2014
goldangl95 in Wine

French Fries: SFBA Dish of the Month December 2014

I like the fries at Southern Pacific Brewing as well! If they are in front of me, I can't stop eating them.

Seeking food pairing for garnacha

I would recommend an item high in fat (tuna or salmon are good suggestions as are mackarel or maybe trout) to help with the acidity/tannins of the wine. Either a very fatty fish or a vegetable dish with added cream or cheese. Mushrooms are always nice with red wine.

Whatever item you cook I would grill/roast/broil/sear e.g. brown or char it in some way - it brings out a heartier flavor that helps with bigger red wines. Poaching, blanching or gentle baking are not your friends in this case.

Dec 15, 2014
goldangl95 in Wine