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goldangl95's Profile

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Sushi Sam's - My First Time, But Not My Last [San Mateo]

I've had the Koo omakase twice now and both times didn't find it super memorable. A good place if you are in the area but not a destination.

Reminded me a lot of Akane in Los Altos. Solid quality but not particularly innovative or perfectionist.

about 23 hours ago
goldangl95 in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations for quick lunches around the SFO area?

1. SFO is one of the most delayed airports in the country and customs can be long. Expect to have to adjust plans.
2. I would eat at the airport almost all the terminals have food options at departure before going through security. You should eat at whatever terminal she needs to end up in.
3. Don't get clam chowder

about 23 hours ago
goldangl95 in San Francisco Bay Area
2

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

Acme Bread makes a good sourdough and is in the ferry building

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

House of Prime Rib has the old school grand theater going bout it. Red booths, the meat carved in front of you etc. if your son likes that sort of thing, he'll love House of Prime Rib.

Nopa is a great example of trendy california cuisine. If you have trouble getting a reservation there, try Frances, Stones Throw or Range.

Sushi we do better than most places but not as well as LA or NYC. Kusakabe is the current recommendation for the area you are staying in - it's a sushi 'temple' type place. For a louder more Vegas experience there's Roka Akor (though it is a chain.) For somethign a little cheaper that's louder and has fun rolls consider a place like Blowfish Sushi.

Italian I'd say Cotogna or Flour + Water if your favorites are thin crust pizza, pastas and light appetizers. Perbacco or La Ciccia for somethign white cloth traditional.

I'd definitely stop by the Ferry Building (during the farmers market or not) they have a lot of the famous SF purveyors there. Including coffee, ice cream, cheese, mushrooms, oysters etc.

Seafood isn't actually our strongest suit surprisingly. But La Mar (peruvian seafood) and Waterbar (american seafood) are both right on the water.

Persian / Afghan in Berkeley area? Or head to city?

I'd head to Hayward/Fremont before SF if you have a car. Just had really great flavored kebabs at Ghazni in Hayward/Castro Valley (not the most tender I've ever had, but in serious contention for the most flavorful - esp. the spicy chutney).

Ghazni Afghan kabob (Hayward CA)

Came here the other day - perhaps the best flavored kebabs/chutneys/sides I've had. And solid quality meat. Ever so slightly drier than I like, but all in all if you are within a 20 minute drive of the place, it's definitely worth a stop.

- Excellent spices/seasonings. As mentioned, the chutneys are great (the spicy one is really unique and the mint/cilantro one solid). Kebabs have great flavor as does the rice and sides.
- Good quality meat and a good price. Portion size is 1 large serving of meat. If you are a very large eater, you may want to get an appetizer. If you are a small eater, you'll have a couple pieces of meat leftover.
- They cook the kebabs to order so expect ~ 30 minute wait for your food if they are busy.

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

Meh the water shortage isn't affecting pizza toppings at a place like Delfina. Pizza toppings are very light on produce and meat in the Delfina style. Plus while Delfina tries to be local it hasn't limited its ethos to local - they could always go further afield. Most of the expense comes from labor and cheese/dairy. Tomatoes haven't been overly affected yet and many places use canned.

Even if the water shortage gets far worse we'd still have better and more varied produce than everywhere in the country save maybe Oregon.

washington post article on SF

Emphasizes the same places and cuisines as Bauer's top 100. Nothing unexpected or surprising though it's always nice to have such a gushing, flattering write up of the area.

Apparently we need better Chinese and Middle Eastern options (though all he tried was Yank Sing and Aziza he didn't explain what his issues with it were). Kin Khao is briefly mentioned favorably. No mention of Burmese, Indian or Hispanic food.

Also why if we have such supposedly amazing, varied produce do most of our restaurants not use it??!? For example of this listing:

"dandelion, mizuna, nettles, purslane, basils and mints for days, and fig leaves"

Eating out I've never had mizuna or purslane. And I've had dandelion and fig leaves all of maybe once? Basil and mint are everywhere, and cal-italian restaurants seem to have a fondness for nettles.

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

Thanks for reporting back! Glad you were able to try two great local pizza chains. Unfortunate about Cafe Figaro.

The Bimini Twist [San Francisco]

Have not been yelp reviews make it sound like a much better idea for tourists than locals. Communal dinner with oysters, clam chowder, and a crab spaghetti with a side of tartine sourdough. Ice cream sandwich for dessert.

I imagine if you liked meeting strangers and wanted to get some greatest cliched hits it would make sense to go.

Breakfast around Union Square [San Francisco]

I assume this is a weekday? Some places are open on weekends for breakfast but not during the week. Some options:

Farm:table for a california style lighter breakfast/brunch

Homeskillet or Dotties for more greasy spoon type breakfast

Working girls cafe for something quick

Mountain View Advice? Ramen?

Tommy thai has some interesting Cambodian dishes.

My favorite MV Indian is right on the MV/Sunnyvale border - Taste Buds their tamarind fish curry is awesome, as is their lemon rice. Everything else is really good and they start having their gongura recipes in the summer (though this may be too early)

Chronicle top 100 2015

Restaurant critics help shape the dining scene of an area -we have Bauer, LA has Jonathan Gold. The difference shows.

As an investor why would you pour money into a restaurant that you know will have an uphill battle/may get a bad review by the main local critic?

Chronicle top 100 2015

Well sure. If you were just to dump all the restaurants in a 2 mile by 2 mile square radius of SF into a top 100 list there would be some VERY good places listed. SF has a very high concentration of what I'd call highly competent restaurants. That doesn't mean that eating the same thing everytime you go out gets boring.

I've eaten all of the following multiple times in the last couple months in the same combinations. Everything is either raw or briefly pan sauteed/grilled/baked/roasted. All the sauces/gastriques require minimal technique and minimal ingredients. Basically any menu looks like this:

Goat Cheese, Beets, Lamb Chops, Pork Belly/Chops, Farm Egg, Asparagus, Lemon (a lot of meyer lemon), Quail, Scallops, Farro, Kale, Halibut, Avocado, Burrata/Mozarella, Peas/Pea Shoots, Salt, Pepper, Red Chili Flakes, Oregano, Paprika, Basil, Olive Oil, Butter, Cream, Parsley, Green/New Garlic, New/Green Shallots, Fava Beans, Artichokes, Heirloom Tomatoes (just starting), Fennel, Morel mushrooms, Chicory, Bread/Pasta/Pizza Dough

There are so many spices and so many ingredients in the world and yet most of the restaurants on this list cook with only the same 10 spices and 30 ingredients every year. Maybe you're constrained on proteins due to sustainability issues I get that. But spices??? New produce?? New flavor combinations? What's the excuse.

Staying at Le Meridian downtown [San Francisco]

Also adding Hakkasan. Though again beware that prices on drinks, appetizers and desserts have gone up such that it is easy to blow by $50 a head in SF these days.

Chronicle top 100 2015

It's a boring list but I am reconciling myself to the fact that this is what most people want: cal, cal-french, cal-Italian done with fresh hi quality local ingredients in the 50-200 pp range. I am frankly having greater and greater ennui to it. Because:

1. Very few restaurants are doing truly creative combinations of flavors. With the restriction to local sourcing, that means everyone is serving the same ingredients with roughly the same taste profile at the same time of the year.

2. To keep margins up, the drink lists have gotten super pricey with surprising little of them exhibiting true creativity or connections to the local industries. Dessert has also gotten pricey even though very few have pastry chefs and most are just doing ice creams, custards or donuts.

3. To keep things economical very few restaurants invest in any menu items that require a lot of labor or finesse. It's all stuff that can be made relatively quickly with prepped ingredients that require very little skill. This also results in a feeling of sameness.

Staying at Le Meridian downtown [San Francisco]

Kin Khao isn't too pricey. If it isnt a professional thing you could do the shared chicken or fish meals (they come with sides) at Mourad. Beware drinks are pricey.

Nice early Sunday dinner in Palo Alto, plus transportation help

Tamarine has several floors??? I know it as one floor some dining room tables share space with the bar but there's another set that's a bit more removed.

Nice early Sunday dinner in Palo Alto, plus transportation help

It is not quiet white tablecloth with murmuring conversation where you can hear the soft clinks of silverware and glassware. (Madera would be a better option for something like that).

It has a bit of a happy hour bar scene but besides, that you can certainly hear other people speaking - they don't play music and they have some sound proofing.

When a menu is not a menu

I love menus and the anticipation that they can create as well as conversation topics around the table as you look it over.

I also liked taking the menu home as a reminder of what we ate that day. Sometimes they'll add the purveyors too and I like having that info.

Finally it's easy for me to understand the item if I see it in print before they place and describe it in front of me. Sometimes I can't really grasp the dish as they are speaking.

The list of ingredients thing is absolutely pointless to me.

When a menu is not a menu

It's not helpful to look at a sample menu online if all they do is list 20 ingredients.

SF birthday dinner for a 7-year-old

This is a good idea! (Though mostly adult atmosphere as it gets later in the night - go early)

SF birthday dinner for a 7-year-old

Meh on tonga room - unless you don't take your daughter out to dinner much. It's a campy/nostalgic atmosphere for those who understand the context.

But for kids I don't think it will register as more than a nice sit down restaurant (which could be a treat if it's a unique experience for her)

48th wedding anniversary dinner in SF

Quiet is the hard part. I'd say Perbacco or Boulevard. Not walking distance but an easy cab ride/uber. Congrats on the anniversary!!

SF birthday dinner for a 7-year-old

Growing up I liked Japantown more than Chinatown. I really liked comic books/oragami/ceramics/kimonos/stuffed animals/cake with fruit and whipped cream frosting etc more than smelly chaotic grocery stores (in my defense we were usually in Chinatown to get durian etc whereas Japantown was to indulge me)

SF birthday dinner for a 7-year-old

Second japantown. It's a bit of a soulless mall for adults but for kids there's a good amount to see and less chaotic than Chinatown.

They close earlyish but there's a great manga bookshop there that I think would be fun, Japanese trinkets, tea, sweet shops etc for a kid. Food isn't bad either.

Another option would be to dim sum but that would be a daytime activity.

Nice early Sunday dinner in Palo Alto, plus transportation help

There are food booths and crafts for sale and there's lots of performances and exhibits. It comes from a good place and tries to bring awareness to authentic traditions.

Nice early Sunday dinner in Palo Alto, plus transportation help

its Stanford pow wow which will make the campus overrun but in a good way! A lot of Native American tribes will be coming in for the weekend.

is there a place where I can find some reliable Sonoma wineries itineraries?

All the Alexander valley recs above should be roughly along your way. No sparkling that I know of.

I've heard that thawed food shouldn't be refrozen, but does that apply equally to everything? Is it OK to re-freeze bread?

There's the food safety part and there's the texture/taste part.

Food safety: If a food item was allowed to substantially warm up over a decently long period of time, to the point where bacteria/mold/rotting can start growing, it's probably best to eat it in the next few days.

While refreezing will stop the continued growth of bacteria/mold/rotting, it won't reverse that process.

If you took something out of the freezer for 10 minutes, change your mind and put it back, you are fine. If you left it out de-thawed for a few days - you're probably not fine and should eat it within the next few days. Between those two extremes what you do is up to you.

Taste/Texture: Animal proteins/fats can change their texture with temperature - and you can't reverse that process. Some people claim to be able to taste and feel the difference of improperly cared/stored meat.

On the other hand, you should be able to pull out and put back infinitely frozen berries for example, and the taste/texture will be the same assuming no freezer burn.

If the bread does contain some animal proteins/fats, the texture/taste may be affected by freezing/unfreezing/refreezing.

May 05, 2015
goldangl95 in General Topics