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Bar Ama not what I hoped it would be

We have eaten at Bar Ama twice now, both times feeling REALLY hopeful that the place would become a favorite. We've had the puffy taco, the queso, the jicama salad, pork shoulder molcajete, roast chicken and the chicharron. The only standouts were the drinks, particularly the old fashioned. I think this place has too little to stand on conceptually. I'm not a fan of porkbelly served soft ,and that is what their chicharron turned out to be: two watermelon-rind sized portions of belly, slightly fried, fat about 3/4 inch thick, no crunch to speak of. I'd even asked the server beforehand if they were crunchy chicharron or meaty/chewy, she couldn't answer. The chicken was okay but would have been better with the sauce on the side.
We left after the second time feeling like chumps. I absolutely agree that this was Malo-quality at Baco prices.

Jan 24, 2013
TheeAce in Los Angeles Area

Figaro Bistro downtown... is it open? Anyone been?

Space is so large as to be stupid, screams style-over-substance like the Vermont location.

Jan 23, 2013
TheeAce in Los Angeles Area

Any good Mexican food in Silver Lake?

This is indeed very odd! Handholding burritos I associate with SF MIssion-style, now co-opted by Chipotle (I'm ok with that). French-fry containing burritos from __berto's Taco Shop I associate with SD :)

Sep 18, 2012
TheeAce in Los Angeles Area

Brooklyn Girl- early review

We went for the first time yesterday, for lunch. Had the littleneck clam/brussels pizza, watermelon/steak salad.
I had their version of a whiskey sour which was wonderful, service was great and that's about it. The salad tasted ok but the greens were slightly jilted and wilted (not on purpose) and the watermelon cuts were gigantic and not well-chosen (mealy). The pizza...geez. The clams were rubber bands (I've had a lot of clam pizza in my time, these were the most difficult to chew) but the amount of cheese on that pie was obscene; there were mere hints of brussel sprouts and the crust resembled - in both texture and level of underdone-ness - one of my own failed attempts at making crust at home with a inadequately hot oven. I could almost tell that the dough had dried out and gotten a slight skin to it before they rolled it out...
And don't get me started on the decor, which made me think about the name of the place, which all together just seemed kind of tacktastic.

Aug 14, 2012
TheeAce in San Diego

Had any great salads around town lately?

Panzanella at Craft & Commerce hands down best of all..nice and vinegary, not sweet in the least.

Jul 26, 2012
TheeAce in San Diego

For Josh: Welcome to SF

La Palma mexican deli on 24th & Florida (hot cheap wonderful antojitos)
Philz Coffee 24th & Folsom
Bi-Rite Market for creating picnics or to get inspired or for delicious sandwiches 18th & Guerrero
Tartine at 5pm when hot bread comes out, get in line
Taqueria Poncho Villa or Vallarta
Smuggler's Cove for serious rum beverages (get there when they open) at Gough & McAllister
Suppenkuche if you have a group in town..schnitzel and boot steins
Ferry Bldg do I even have to mention, no but there is a serious pizza truck there on Thursdays...
Head up to Tomales Bay this summer, if you like oysters or even if you do not, get to Hog Island Oyster Co for a picnic (bring your own beer/wine, they have an ice bucket) by the sea in heaven.
Della Fattoria in Petaluma

Man there is so much more. Live it up!

Jul 26, 2012
TheeAce in San Francisco Bay Area

I will not be eating or drinking at Searsucker, Burlap, Gingham, Herringbone, Gabardine

Good god, I just got back to SD from 2 weeks in SF/Peninsula/Marin. I feel as though SD is another country in comparison. Pretty depressing. I apparently am finding that I am not one who is able to accept sunshine in lieu of great food... I mean on 18th and Guerrero, you have Bi-Rite around the corner from Tartine, need I say more? Eat a hot blue corn huarache with cheese and zucchini flowers from La Palma on 24th for me, man and get a coffee from Philz.
Sigh.

Jul 26, 2012
TheeAce in San Diego

Any good Mexican food in Silver Lake?

As a former Silverlaquera who now lives in San Diego, I'm reading these replies and thinking y'all are a bunch of spoiled kids! When it comes to SD, there is an inverse equation at play: the closer you are to the border, the shittier the Mexican food; french fries in burritos, 'rolled' tacos covered with grated cheddar...it's food for people who don't think about food, and yes there is a time and place for that....Re: Silverlake, of course Alegria is shit and so is El Conquistador - sorry but a strong margarita doesn't buy me off, while we are in the general vicinity, it of course goes without saying that Mexico City on Hillhurst is dog's dinner; El Compadre is also crappy but falls into the familiar/neighborhoody category that makes it safe from uber-ridicule.

Still, though not at the level of Cacao or Guelaguetza or Mexicali, I can't tell you how often I long for midnight lengua tacos at TacoZone, the chilaquiles at Tacos Delta, or the pibil burrito at Yuca's.

Signed,
SD Jealous

May 04, 2012
TheeAce in Los Angeles Area

Local Hero, Tender Greens

Pluto's on Irving in SF! I still maintain they do the best tofu for a salad add-in next to the Whole Earth cafe from back in my UC Santa Cruz days.

Feb 02, 2012
TheeAce in San Diego

Yummy, casual places like Urban Solace that are new to me?

We went for the first time a couple weeks ago and underwhelmed is a very kindly adjective to describe our impression. I mean, if you are going to do sandwiches, how about *good* sandwiches? SD *does* need more great sandwiches. Everything we ordered tasted dry or was otherwise lacking in flavor. Leaden, underseasoned sweet potato chips, punky arugula in a salad with fried goat cheese...I had the Autostrada; in retrospect, who in god's name would think to make 'housemade' mortadella and then put it on a panini press? Would you do that to Oscar Meyer bologna? Tastes very similar. Hot bologna.
Why they didn't just get some Molinari salami from Mona Lisa, we will never know
I actually didn't finish my meal. That never happens.

Jan 28, 2012
TheeAce in San Diego

Tiger! Tiger! Any early reviews?

It's sad yet comforting but then again, sad, that the only place I can come to find consolation and likemindedness when it comes to comprehending San Diego is this here board.
I work with people who seem to appreciate what I can only term as the Douchousie of this place, and nothing more.
But thank you all for existing, it does make everything feel a little better. Hopefully we can meet one day for intense rounds of geek trivia night, if that ever gets off the ground here (working on it!)

Nov 10, 2011
TheeAce in San Diego

Tiger! Tiger! Any early reviews?

After reading those Yelp reviews, are any of us surprised that SD is a bitter hard place for a new concept to take root in? Herein we have people complaining about Tiger Tiger because of "hipsters on fixies"...so 2008!
There are so many reasons I have fierce disdain for Yelp...but this is the first time I've seen a Yelp reviewer who is angry about poured concrete floors.

Looking forward to some sour beers and a po boy despite it.

Nov 09, 2011
TheeAce in San Diego

Mona Lisa Deli

Sandwiches so good, if you like sandwiches that drip with vinegary oily goodness. Add on some artichokes. Call ahead (619-239-5367) so you dont have to wait in line. They have Molinari salami too, and some fairly priced wines.

-----
Mona Lisa Deli
2061 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Feb 17, 2011
TheeAce in San Diego

Help! Need upscale Mexican dining near downtown

Ahh pues...Bayless' is tastier, by far. And yet the stiff, congealed variety is what you'll actually get in Mexico. Hate it when that happens.

Jun 29, 2010
TheeAce in San Diego

My parents are visiting Vancouver from the midwest...

Touche, man. Moxie's, Cactus Club make me embarrassed to be from Canada. It's 1993 all up in those places. Besides, it isnt what Vancouver is about.

Jul 04, 2007
TheeAce in Western Canada Archives

My parents are visiting Vancouver from the midwest...

Oh, take it back! White Spot is white food for white people....lots of other options for basic good fare.. Feenie's has great burgers, Joe Fortes', even Milestone's or Earl's before White Spot.

Jul 04, 2007
TheeAce in Western Canada Archives

Best Pizza in YVR?

Incendio!

Jul 04, 2007
TheeAce in Western Canada Archives

vancouver for 3 days -- must eat?

1) Vij's
2) Szechuan Chongqing on Broadway near Granville for ginger beef, hot & sour soup, eggplant hotpot, dry fried green beans (and good dim sum any morning)

Jul 04, 2007
TheeAce in Western Canada Archives

Breakfast in Vancouver

Provence for brunch! In Yaletown, walk to it via the seawall. Even just coffee and pastry at Urban Fare is nice.

Jun 11, 2007
TheeAce in Western Canada Archives

Chilaquiles in Silverlake

PRO: I get the chilaquiles verde with scrambled eggs at Loteria. It is a problem, them being so good. The portions are massive, they come with a side of black beans I pour over the top, lots of crema and cotija. Extremely tart, so be prepared. A day's meal.
CON: 12 dollars.

Apr 16, 2007
TheeAce in Los Angeles Area

Vancouver Sausage carts?

I think the sausages you are specifically referring to are what the Canadians call "Smokies". When we moved to Canada, the term "Smokie" eluded us. But now I understand it and nope, you wont find it here. Could the Smokie be - along with Poutine, Nanaimo bars, frybread and butter tarts - one of the only truly Canadian foods? Talk amongst yourselves.

Feb 10, 2007
TheeAce in Los Angeles Area

Enough of the praise ... what's the 5 WORST of LA?

Dude!
Dona Rosa. Definitely. I have given that place four tries. They have NEVER gotten an order right. They seem to be snickering behind the counter. They are rude. Their salsas are ok but what was that black sauce they put on my mojado burrito? THey insisted it was green.

Aug 25, 2006
TheeAce in Los Angeles Area

Great food near downtown Fairmont Vancouver

For Japanese, you're likely going to be lucky with sushi. It's everywhere and it's cheap. the big thing right now locally are the many izaka-ya (Japanese small plates) places on W Robson, particularly Guu with Garlic and Hapa Izaka-ya. Shiru Bay is supposedly izaka-ya too but it's in Yaletown. Gyoza King is rad, it's open late and the gyoza are wicked. There is a great ramen house with a line outside on Denman and Robson, forget what it's called. Yoshi's at Georgia and Denman used to be the shiznit for straight up sashimi, still a classy place. Then there is En, on S Granville at Broadway. French influenced Japanese, not too pricey, understated and perfect. A local treasure. You can hop on a southbound bus on Granville downtown (a couple blocks east from the Fairmont) and get off at Broadway to go En or any S Granville restaurant. This way drinking is possible! Yay drinking. Plus I think taking public transport makes you feel like part of the city when you are a traveller (LA excepted of course).

Generally near the Fairmont:
Cafe Artiggiano: best latte's on earth, seriously. On Hornby at Robson across from Art Museum.
Bacchus at the Wedgewood Hotel for divine club sandwich-type lunch, also on Hornby just south of Robson (dark blue awning).
The Crepe Place on Robson near Burrard has some wicked sandwiches. Oh, and Crepes. With a walk-up window.
People will tell you to go to Cin Cin on Robson for italian. It's generic. Truly nothing interesting.

Have fun.

Aug 25, 2006
TheeAce in Western Canada Archives

Just a few more Vancouver Reports: Imperial Chinese Seafood (surprisingly good) and West (surprisingly disappointing)..(long)..

Also, please consider:
Provence. I think it's the best brunch in Vancouver, but fabulous dinner service as well without stuffiness or the self-conscious Vancity crap that goes on over at West (the atmosphere of which I speak, not the food).

VIJ's. EVERYONE AND THEIR MOM HAS TO GO TO VIJ's. 11th and S Granville. He wears a nehru jacket guys, come on! Amazing everytime.

Aug 25, 2006
TheeAce in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where do you buy your Mexican groceries in Canada?

It seems easier at times to find Spanish or Portugeuse ingredients than truly Mexican ones. I know for a fact that cotija cheese is illegal to import into Canada to be sold at markets due to pasteurization issues, all a charade. In Vancouver there is a little market at the Lonsdale Quay that has some canned goods from Mexico and other Central and South American countries. That is about it.
We moved to Vancouver from LA and it was hard going without tomatillos. You order a burrito at a Cali style mexican (so not really authentic anyway) restaurant up there (sometimes all there is) and they serve you an enchilada. Someone should open up a roaming fish taco roach coach. Maybe that will be me in my autumn years.

Aug 25, 2006
TheeAce in Ontario (inc. Toronto)