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

Yes, if you eat too much of it, it apparently can be an issue. But a few slices of sashimi has never caused me or my DH any trouble... and it sure is a delicious fish.

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

That looks so awesome...

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

Hmm, now you have me wondering if sometimes I was eating grandma style when I thought I was eating Sicilian.... I need to ask my in-laws what they were actually ordering when we get a "thick pie" for take out.

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

I haven't tried Golden Boy, but clearly I should. It sounds awesome... regardless of whether it is really Sicilian or focaccia.

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

Yes, I mean the American Sicilian style pizza

Sicilian Pizza anywhere?

Reading the recent pizza thread got me thinking about styles of pizza.... I love Sicilian style pizza, but I have never seen it out here.
The last time someone asked if you could find Sicilian pizza in the bay area was 2002, so I think it is worth asking again.
Has anyone stumbled upon Sicilian pizza anywhere? And if so, is it good?
And if not, someone should opened a restaurant or food truck with good Sicilian! It would do great!

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

It is a shame you got the standard 4 cheese at Delfina. They are know for there pizzas with panna (cream). I always get pizza there with strange toppings (like what Robert mentioned), and I am always very impressed. Delfina's is my favorite in the area and better then most pizza I've had in NY (although it is such a different style, it is hard to compare).
I should note that I am extremely picky about pizza and find Amici's inedible (their cheese doesn't qualify as cheese IMO)... it is a good thing you didn't go there.

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

So I live in downtown San Mateo, and while I love Sushi Sam's, I don't think it is the best in town.
I really do think Dash is better (Dash is ~2 blocks away). Just stick to the orange menu (they fly the fish in 3 times a week from Tsukiji). Lately I find the fish at Dash to be higher quality than my last visit to Sam's, and they don't have the tendency to over sauce as Sam's sometime does.
I am hesitant to post this, as unlike Sushi Sam's, I can get into Dash without planning days in advance or waiting for hours.

Dash is the same price as Sushi Sam's but doesn't include desert. Last time I was there (a few weeks ago), we each got a 5 piece omakase nigiri ($20 each) and then we added a few more items off the orange menu that we didn't get with the omakase. Everything was fantastic and fresh. Also, we always get the escolar sashimi off the regular menu. I don't know why I never see escolar sashimi often... it is an amazing buttery fish.
If you really need dessert, you can get some homemade cheese cake or go nearby to Dessert Republic (which you should do if you haven't been).

I'd be curious to hear what all the Sam fans think of Dash in comparison. I also think that nearby Sakae is great (maybe even better than Dash or Sam's), but it is so pricy that we have only been once.

Looking for Best Yogurt in the Bay Area

It is funny to see that this thread has popped back up. It has been 4 years since I started this thread, and I am still regularly eating the full fat organic european-style yogurt from Trader Joe's (that is actually Straus's yogurt) as recommended by Melanie. Even though it is more liquidy than I'd like, the yogurt taste is great. I add fruit and sometimes flavored balsamic vinegar.

I do love Straus's greek yogurt, but it is often low or no fat (and Iowfat was sooo 2011... I don't do that anymore) and it is so much more pricy than the regular. I will have to try some of the new suggestions that have appeared.

A review: Windy City Pizza in San Mateo

Wow, I am always passing this place (as it is next to my bank), but would never think to try it. I think the fact that they do pizza and BBQ scared me off. Thanks for the review.
Do you like it better than the Blue Line that is nearby in Burlingame?

Chowdown Report: Little Shanghai in San Mateo

Tonight we ate at Little Shanghai in San Mateo. There were 9 of us.
What we ate:
Fried Puff Bean Curd with Black Mushroom - Too sweet.
Pig’s ear with 5 spice sauce - Great; you can’t go wrong with pig’s ears IMO.
Steamed Meatballs (Reservation Required) - Not impressive. I don’t know why this is an advanced order dish as it seemed super simple and bland.
Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs Shanghai Style - Great complex flavor. I wished my pieces were fattier, but a really good dish overall.
Crucian Carp in Onion Sauce - Pretty good although not memorable.
Jiao Hua over Chicken (Reservation Required) aka Beggar’s chicken - The vegetables were amazing, but the chicken was unremarkable and of low quality.
Salted Pork w/ Bamboo Shoots Casserole - This was a basic soup. I forgot it as soon as I ate it.
Shanghai Fried Pork Buns - This dish seemed incorrect… like they fried some xiao long bao instead because they ran out of the buns. It was ok.
Gi Chai w/ Bean Curd Sheets - Unremarkable
Sauteed Loofah w/ Bamboo - Also unremarkable, but then we are rarely impressed by Chinese veggies.
Radish Pancakes - This was our favorite dish at Little Shanghai prior to this dinner, and it is still our favorite. It was very good as always with a nice hot pastry with a savory radish filling and toasted sesame seeds on top.
Pan Fried Noodles w/ Eel - Most of the noodles were soggy from the sauce… good flavors, but once again, nothing special.
Shanghai Style Rice Cake - These were nice and chewy and had a good char. I’m a sucker for chewy and carbs, so I really liked this dish a lot.
Red Bean Paste Pancake - Crispy and flavorful. We will get it again.

Overall we were not so impressed. Nothing was bad, but nothing was amazing either.

Thank you Hyperbowler for organizing this. Even though we weren’t really wowed by anything, we had a lot of fun. It was awesome talking with so many real serious foodies. Normally when we talk to people about food, we come off as a bit crazy (and sometimes a lot crazy)… but tonight our food craziness seemed normal :) .
Also, we went the whole dinner with out talking about work, startups, or any of the normal Silicon Valley stuff that dominates our lives… it was so refreshing. Thanks!
This was only Mike and my second chowdown, the last one being a whole hog dinner years ago at Incanto. We definitely hope to do more of these in the future.

Finally, thanks to Vincent Lo for the delicious longans, grapes, and the nice white wine.

I am sure others will soon post picture and more reviews.

Robin (with a bit of help from Mike)

best Kaiseki in Bay Area?

Your 2013 is looking like my 2012... we went to Wakuriya in the summer (July) and then to Japan in the fall!

1st Napa trip need help

Good to know... some of what I heard did come from people who worked there or knew people who worked there, so there could have been a bias or special treatment.

MUST-BUYS at the ferry building farmer's market? [San Francisco]

Acme's Cinnamon Currant Bread w/ walnuts is very very sticky and one of my favorite baked goods on this planet. They often (but not always) have the mini ones at the ferry building. They have giant ones at the Berkley bakery.

1st Napa trip need help

You won't go through Sonoma if you are driving from SF to Napa.

1st Napa trip need help

My standouts over the last the last few years are Ad Hoc, Redd, Solbar, and Etoile.
Oenetri is great and I've heard good things about Redd Wood but haven't made it yet.

Mustards over hyped for sure.

best Kaiseki in Bay Area?

Hmmm, if it was during the day, I'd say go to Fioli gardens, but they close at 3:30pm.
San Mateo is a great town to live ( cute town with great food, japanese markets, farmer's markets, etc..), but if I am looking for a special/romantic cultural thing to do, I go to the city!

The ocean isn't really nearby unless you want to stop in Pacifica... and there are lots of nice hikes in the mountains near San Mateo, but your wife may be wearing heels and not want to do too much walking around.

Also, you will be at dinner until ~9:30; there will be nothing open then.
Not much help... Sorry.

best Kaiseki in Bay Area?

It cost us ~ $300 with one sake tasting and a plum wine.

At Kappou Gomi I loved almost everything we had... I was my first time there. It was peak asparagus season, so asparagus was in everything in some fashion.

My favorite dish of the night was an uni crab salad like dish that was amazing... Unfortunately I can't remember the name of anything. I also loved the vinegared seaweed salad with a quail egg (it was the slimiest thing I've ever eaten so probably not for everyone).
The natto with Hamachi, an ankimo dish, and tempura pike eel were also great. The macha and homemade mochi we ordered for dessert were great too. The only thing that I was a bit disappointed in was the very very expensive japanese bonito that they seared (to my dislike)... it was ok, but not worth the price.

Michael Bauer's top 100 2013

I looked up Lighthouse Cafe (I was excited to think that there is another restaurant like Plaj in the area), and it looks like it is diner food with a Danish twist...(actually the one in San Rafael is called Lighthouse Diner not Cafe). Maybe it is a fantastic diner, but unless Lighthouse has a secret fine dining menu, I don't see how you could compare the two (although i will bookmark Lighthouse and give it a try since I love good diner food).

The trio of house cured herring and the poached lobster dishes we had at Plaj were exquisite. There is room for improvement as the venison dish was just ok... The bread, Danish beer, and house made aquavit we had were fantastic. I can't wait to go back (and stick to the seafood dishes).

best Kaiseki in Bay Area?

Wakuriya... no contest.

Although not really a Kaiseki, I really loved Kappou Gomi when I went there a few weeks ago. Beautiful presentation... the food was very reminiscent of a lot of the meals I had in Japan on vacation last fall.

Red Hot Chilli Pepper, Desi Chinese, San Carlos

I tried this place for the first time a few weeks ago. All my Indian coworkers love this place, so when one of them had his last day, he chose this restaurant for his farewell lunch.

I ordered the gobi manchurian, and I loved it... I am not an expert on this dish, but I do order it regularly in Indian restaurants, and this was the best version I've had yet. Crispy and very flavorful.... I do wish it was a little more spicy (I love spice).

I also got try some of the other dishes that my coworkers ordered. All were good, but the only other one that stood out was the vegetable coins/cakes in manchurian sauce. Nothing I ever would have thought to order from the description, but wow was it flavorful.

Is it the best Desi Chinese around? According to my coworkers yes. If anyone knows of some place better, I'd love to try it. The only other Desi Chinese I've been to is Temptations in Mountain View... and it was quite awful (goopy cloyingly sweet sauces).

Stand-outs at Aziza? [SF]

Ah Passionfish... now there is a place where the food was not good when I went... dry, flavorless fish.

Stand-outs at Aziza? [SF]

I went last weekend and I still love it...
My cocktail was the concord grape (concord grape, elderflower, peat smoke, laphroaig, scotch)... definitely one of the best and most interesting cocktails I've ever had. Smelt like smoke; tasted like grapes and scotch.

We also had the basteeya and flat bread which were great.
For entrees, at the advise of our waiter, we got the sea bass (which is no longer on the menu) instead of the sturgeon and also the lamb loin. Both were great. The sea bass was moist with perfectly crispy skin and the lamb was cooked perfectly (rarish).
Dessert was a little weird... we had some strange off menu sunchoke dessert. I didn't dislike it, but it wasn't something I'd get again.... it wasn't sweet enough for dessert. However the great mignardises that were brought with the check made up for it (esp. the chocolate truffle).

I agree that the portions are small (which is what I come to expect from a michelin stared restaurant), but I thought the quality was there.
I will admit that I did like Aziza a bit more before they got their star... the portions were bigger and the food was more hardy and just as tasty.

Eating at the bar in Napa/Yountville

Since the weather is so nice, my SO and I decided we should do a day trip to Napa tomorrow...
And since this is very last minute most of the better restaurants are booked for the times we want. I was wondering what good restaurants can we walk in and eat at the bar (around 6:30ish tomorrow)? It is hard to tell on the internet what restaurants have good sized bars with full menus/good bar menus...
Restaurants I am specifically interested in are:
Ad Hoc (my favorite)

Or I could get a standard reservation at Bouchon, Brix or Reddwood.

Btw, we ate at the bar at Redd one of the last times we were up there and it was great; it made me wonder what other restaurants have that option...


Dungeness Crab Prices 2012

They are up to $4.99/lb at Maria now.
Got four big lively ones yesterday morning for thanksgiving. Very good (although a few missing legs on each).

Dungeness Crab Prices 2012

Any sightings yet? I'm ready for some crab!

Best calzones in the SF Bay Area?

Yes... The 2 of us easily get 2 meals each out of one (we normally get the clam appetizer too)...
Since you can easily pay $30 pp at most SF restaurants, it is definitely worth it.

Best calzones in the SF Bay Area?


SF Dish of the Month (Sep 2012) - Cucumber Pickles

I'm surprised that no one's mentioned Jerk'N Pickle in San Mateo yet... I like everything I've tried from their FM stand. If you go to the College of San Mateo Market on Saturdays, you can try all 7 kinds of their cucumber pickles... I especially love the tarragon chips and my DH loves the barrel fermented...
Although off topic a bit, I really love their picked green beans too (the picked beets are great as well).
Btw, Pickles are the perfect diet food... I stock up anytime I need to loose weight, so my fridge is currently filled with pickles!

San Francisco's Best Ice Cream

@bmorecupcake: I would be shocked if any of these places did NOT use a real ice cream base...
Most of these shps use organic local milk and pride themselves in using high quality (as local as possible) ingredients .... that is the culture out here
I haven't tried all of these places yet, but Humphry S. is my current favorite... love their candy cap mushroom ice cream.

Jul 19, 2012
lrealml in Features