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Eating in Noe Valley & the Castro

I would second La Ciccia for excellent Sardinian style fish dishes.

The best fish and chips at Anchor & Hope

Last weekend we braved the traffic and the crowds for a little bargin hunting at Union Square.
Parking was hell as expected and serendipity led us to a parking lot at Minna alley right next
to Anchor & Hope. Having heard good things about this restaurant, we decided to try our
luck there after our shopping without having any reservations. The place was almost full around 7 pm but the hostess was kind enough to squeeze us in for a table although she warned us that she would need the table for a reservation later.

We were starving after a full afternoon of shopping and ordered 3 appetizers - fries with
eyes (deep fried Smelts with Remoulade Sauce) , Clams in curry sauce, and the Calamari,
as well as a side of ribbon fries. I have never been a fan of little fish served whole with
bones but the Smelts were so tender and the batter was so crispy and light that i found
myself going for a few more. The Calamari was the best of the bunch - they were so tender that
my two year old who never eats chewy food ate half a plate. The clams were a bit disappointing - the curry sauce was IMO lacking in balance and I liked a similar dish at Fog City Diner much better.

The highlight of the night was the "fish and chips" main course. I have had too many "fish
and chips" in my life, was this was a revelation on what this could be when done perfectly
right. It was by far the best fish and chips I've had in my life - the cod was so tender and flaky
it reminded me of seabass in texture and richness. The batter was very thin and crispy yet it stayed on the fish when cut. The missus was not in the mood for seafood that night and
she ordered the braised short ribs which was very well executed but not spectacular. She
mentioned she'd stay with the seafood side of the menu next time. The wines were reasonably priced and the bottle of dry Riesling went superbly with the dishes. Service was friendly and casual and the waitress was very attentive.

Overall, we had a wonderful dining experience and will go back there in a heart beat.

Meals near San Mateo Marriott

The Marriott is pretty close to the 25th avenue area of San Mateo where there're a few
authentic chinese restaurants. Just go south on Delaware , go under Hwy 92
and make a right on 25th avenue. You'll have Little Shanghai and Shanghai East
on 25th as well as Silver House on El Camino to choose from. If you're into ramen, Santa Ramen is not far on El Camino in the strip mall by Hwy 92.

Hainen Chicken Rice down in Silicon Valley?

The chicken rice at HK Saigon can be great when they cook the chicken just right - the chicken is tender and almost silky. I've had the chicken rice there about two dozen times and the chicken is overcooked about 60% of the time.

Chef King San Mateo now Sheep King (Mongolian/maybe hot pot?)

Little Sheep's broth is all MSG and garlic ( i counted over 40 cloves in
our pot). I miss the broth at Sheep King which has a lot more complexity.

Chef King San Mateo now Sheep King (Mongolian/maybe hot pot?)

We went to Silverhouse last weekend and saw that Sheep King is closed and
the place has been gutted. Casualty of hotpot wars?

Bread at Perbacco

We had a wonderful meal at Perbacco last week . The tagliatelle with pork sugo
was to die for -even better than the pasta I've had at Incanto, Oliveto, etc.

However, they served us two kinds of breads - bread sticks and dinner rolls - and
both breads were very dry and tasted like day-old supermarket bread.

Did they just have an off-night for the bread ?

The dinner would've been close to perfection if not for the bread. We're looking forward
to going back for the amazing pasta.

the GOOGLE company /employee cafeteria

Michael Bauer's blog on some of the google cafes:

Turmeric in Sunnyvale – Wins the Bollywood Oscars for Best Buffet and Best Non-Buffet Meals

My Indian/bangladashi friends told me that K&C's goat biryani is excellent
but they only make it on certain days. I have not been fortunate enough
to try it last couple of times i went there for dinner.
Any other biryani spots that are your favorites?

Turmeric in Sunnyvale – Wins the Bollywood Oscars for Best Buffet and Best Non-Buffet Meals

i can't agree more. We love Amber in Mt. View but the lunch buffet we had last time at the Santa Row location was a disaster. The chicken was dry and the salad looked sad. Service was almost non-existent even though there were only 3-4 tables at the time. We'll stick with the original.

Turmeric in Sunnyvale – Wins the Bollywood Oscars for Best Buffet and Best Non-Buffet Meals

I like Tumeric and frequently take my customers there for the lunch buffet. However, I think the quality of naan and tandoori at Kebab and Currys' buffet are much better. K&C's buffet has only 6-7 items compared to a dozen or more at Tumeric but K&C's prices are also lower - $8 for lunch buffet. You're certainly not going to impress any customers with K&C's decor although they might get a kick out of a restaurant in the middle of a quiet suburban residential neighborhood.

Paella in S. F recommendations

I had a pretty good paella at B44 in Belden Lane , but that was over a year ago.

Thai food in and around Cupertino?

Krung Thai is probably the best one in the area. They have two locations and we like
the old location better. Just be careful when you ask for extra spicy - they have often
made the food so spicy that my taste buds took an hour to recover.

Anyone tried Orson recently?

We love the desserts at Citizen Cake but the food was a bit disappointing. I figure
I'd wait a bit till they work out the kinks at the new place. Any recent experiences there?
The bourbon and beacon dinner looks interesting.

Gelatos at La Ciccia

We also had the trio of gelatos at La Ciccia and they were defintely the highlight of
my meal (I'm not much of a seafood fan). The figs and pecorino were there along with the
Saffron which had really refreshing taste. The third gelato was made with Saba -
grape juice slowly cooked till syrupy - and was the sweetest of the three. Each flavor alone
might not be so remarkable but i loved the interplay of scents and flavors together.

Anyone try Little Shanghai in San Mateo?

we went there a couple of times before the management change and I'd say the XLB and vegetable buns are as good as Shanghai East's. They have a lot more non-Shanghainese items on the menu. I had a craving for twice cooked pork for one visit and it was authentically greasy and smoky - but a bit too greasy for my taste. The lunch specials on the menu are pretty standard but the portions were huge. Hopefully they have not cut back on the portions after the management change.

Good Chow in San Carlos

I'd add Kabul Afgan to the list - the best chicken kebobs I've had in the bay area
and the portions are larger than Shalizaar's.
Avoid any Chinese restaurants on Laurel - you're much better off driving 10 minutes north to San Mateo for chinese/japanese food.
Has anyone tried the new Mediterranean place that replaced Sai's Vietnamese restaurant?

Everyday Beijing Recs

any idea what is in the Jia Jiang Mien bean saurce? There's a unique tea-like
flavor that's very different from the versions i've had at other places such as
Shanghai East. I was gonna ask the owner but the baby was fussing so we had to rush out.

Can I score my three must-eats in SF?

Santa is less than half a mile walk from the Caltrain station (hayward park) in San Mateo but you might be able to find something close to that in one of the newer Ramen joints in SF.

Can I score my three must-eats in SF?

Too bad you won't have a car. The fatty pork at Kahoo in Saratoga come closest to the best I've had in Tokyo, Yokohama & Kumamoto. I've been to most of the ramen joints in SF but none
have come close. But then I have to admit that I haven't had ramen in SF for about a year so i don't know about the newer places.

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot coming to San Mateo

There's no personal crusade here. I use MSG sparingly in my own
cooking if I believe that the dish can benefit from it. I'm
simply reviewing my experience at the restaurant.

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot coming to San Mateo

No luck here. MSG scale is way off the chart at Little Sheep-- I was so thirsty and had a big headache afterwards from the MSG.
The prices are also very high compared to other similar places. We spent
about $25 a head and I was still not very full. I like the soup stock at Sheep King on El Camino so much better and Sheep King's portions
are much larger. The pork meat balls at Little Sheep does not
even come close to the homemade meat balls at SheepKing.
I'll not pay a premium for nicer decor and worse food.

Bauer's Top 10 for '07 - whadda think?

We were at SPQR for new year's eve. The food was excellent but I'm not sure
if we'd wait 1.5 hours next time. The place may be more crowded than usual because of
NYE. We opted for the regular menu instead of the special NYE menu. The 5
appetizers for $28 deal is a great deal and we couldn't resist.
It was a bit too much food for two of us
but they were so good that we finished most of the 5 dishes - the chicory salad was
probably our favorite among the 5 - the others being pork sausage, fried pecorino, Broccoli di ciccio. I was not able to finish my beef brisket main course because
I was so full from the appetizers but it tasted great the next day. The brisket was a
bit heavy on salt. My wife's pasta with rabbit ragu was also wonderful and the service
was great if a bit hurried. The chocolate panna cotta was decadently delicious and
the persimmons and walnuts provide a nice contrast to the mousse.
NOPA and SPQR have moved near the top of my list with NOPA having an edge
- mostly because of the wait at SPQR.

Any good Japanese Seafood Ramen Soup?

Tanto (both saratoga and sunnyvale locations) serve delicious little neck clam ramen.