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Brunch @ Navio [Half Moon Bay]

I knew you could order some items cooked to order but I didn't try. My litmus test of any breakfast / brunch is eggs benedict and they were so far off that it was painful. They can't have an off day. Nevertheless, I appreciate your note and I hear where you're coming from. Perhaps I'll give them another try one of these days..

What do you like for brunch other than Navio?

Brunch @ Navio [Half Moon Bay]

Did not try the prime rib or a couple of other cooked meat items.

The best bang for my buck in high-end buffet brunch is Brix in Napa. Buffet-style brunch is Sunday only.

Brunch @ Navio [Half Moon Bay]

Summary: at $108/pp (half-price for kids) it's not worth it.

Stations I tried along with a grade
- Bread: About 5-7 varieties, none warm and super fresh. Grade: B
- Breakfast (eggs benedict, scrambled, waffles, bacon): Fairly blah, they couldn't even get the temperature right. I could do better just about anywhere, really. Grade: C
- Cold cuts: 4 different kinds of salami, ham, head cheese, small combo dishes, trimmings. Apple/pear drink as a palate cleanser - excellent. Grade: A-
- Salad: 3-4 salads, different types of toast/crisp/chips, 3-4 dressings. Toast / crisp - excellent, the rest was good but not great. Grade: B+.
- Caviar: red, black and tobiko. You could justify the cost of the admission by loading up on black caviar but it is fairly low grade. Still, it went quickly and they had to keep putting out a new tin often. Red caviar is not even sushi-grade. The trimmings - small blinis, thinly buttered bread and 4-6 other additions were excellent. While quality of caviar could have been better, together with the accouterments it made for some good eats. Grade: B+
- Sushi/Sashimi: 3-4 varieties of nigiri sushi, a couple of sashimi choices (sake,maguro). Blah. Not even close to what you would get in an above average sushi restaurant in Bay Area, forget top places. Good: ceviche and other mini 'composed' dishes. Grade: C
- Seafood: clams, crab claw, oysters, shrimp, larger shellfish plus 4-5 different sauces, seaweed, a few types of rolls. The oysters were small and utterly forgettable. Only 1 variety. Clams were good, the rest was ok. Grade: B
- Cheese: 5 different kinds, with all major types represented (blue, cow, goat, soft/hard, etc) plus 4-5 different trimmings (dried fruit, nuts,etc). Excellent. Grade: A
- Dessert: the best station overall in terms of variety and quality. 4-5 different kinds of cookies, 4-5 different kinds of high-end chocolate, creme brulee prepared live, 6-8 diff mini desserts (eclairs, tiramisu, green tea mini cakes), ice cream. The only disappointment was creme brulee - it was in the right neighborhood but not great. The rest was excellent to fantastic. Grade: A+

Service: excellent

LivingSocial Coupon for Morimoto Napa

We did the LivingSocial deal. Not only they offer it, they're very much aware of it - the hostess asked when we came in. It was five courses, four were superb and one was ok. Pretty similar to tasting dinner menu but with cheaper ingredients - hamachi tartare at lunch versus tuna tartare at dinner, for example. Free bubbly didn't hurt. Oh and that s'more dessert? Worth the entire meal.

Perhaps the most disappointing part of the whole visit was that they pulled out their dessert store/mini-bar in front of the house and replaced it with a sake store/mini-bar. The mini desserts were amazing...but a sake bar? Blah.

Shrimp and Grits - SF Dish of the Month January 2014

<looking at yelp> Crapola!! I haven't been in a few months. This is sad :( I looked forward to his shrimp and grits every so often.

Shrimp and Grits - SF Dish of the Month January 2014

OB's in Oakland. It's not just shrimp and grits (which are amazingly good and maybe the best I've had in Bay Area) but the entire experience. 'Nuff said

Hutch: hell no, we won't go.

new chef & menu makeover at Plum [Oakland]

We did the tasting menu without wine pairings:

Desco - Regional Italian in Old Oakland

Appetizers - blah, skip it. Drink wine.

Entrees - pasta: yes! Between the four of us everyone had good things to say about casonsei.

Dessert - good. Standard stuff like zabaione, executed with enough decency and moral support.

new chef & menu makeover at Plum [Oakland]

I've been to all versions of Plum. The first Plum was by far the best and it went downhill from there.

The most recent version with the chef from Haven is a step in the right direction, back toward the umm light. The portions are minuscule. You need a microscope and pincers to eat but at least the food doesn't suck.

Worth a visit? Yes. Worth a repeat visit? Not yet..

Oliveto - Tomato dinner

Like someone said, it's about the execution. Always. Historically, the hype has been high but the executioni left something to be desired, at least in my book. Yes over the years and scores of these theme dinners the output was better than average, maybe even much better but this is Oliveto and the bar should be darn high. This time the kitchen was on the level.

Salmon with tomato mousse
Mascarpone ice cream with tomato(ed) caramel and walnuts

In exchange for those, I can listen to Paul talk about consommes for 15 minutes

Oliveto Cafe
5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

Lalime's - the George Morrone era

Just ate there today. Morrone is indeed gone. The menu can be described as Jaramillo-ish with Morrone influences. Some old items are back, some new stuff but overall the 'old' menu is definitely back, not much of Morrone left. Didn't get the name of the interim/new chef but it's not Jaramillo. I am hoping Jaramillo will not be back.

B restaurant Oakland/ been there?

Two thumbs down on this place.

We went yesterday for dinner and it was terrible. The service was slow (in a virtually empty place), the food was worse. We had yukon potatoes/egg/bacon pizza, salmon entree and wild boar sliders. The pizza was burned and I mean BURNED to the point where the base looked like pressed ashes from a house fire. The wild boar mini-burgers were barely warm, the potato chips (billed as some kind of fries) that came with it were waaaay salty and this is coming from a man who likes salt on everything. Salmon was okay. We did not risk trying desserts.

Might be worth it for lunch but I will not return for dinner.

Overrated disappointments

(to the tune of Whitesnake) Gary Danko, here I come again!! Actually I haven't been to Cyrus yet or Ame. Must check the hype :)

Yuzu (San Mateo, sushi) updater -- too steep for Sushi Monster

Great research. How about you do the same thing for SF and East Bay? You can be the Zagat of sushi...clearly a business opportunity waiting to happen :)

Margherita Pizza in East Bay

Another vote for Bucci's margherita. I was also underwhelmed at Pizzaiolo but I will give them another try one of these days now that they take reservations. Oliveto's pizza is the worst in East Bay (even Lanesplitters is better!) and I say that as Oliveto's #1 fan and frequent customer.

Overrated disappointments

"Everyone" includes the public and the press.

Overrated disappointments

By the public and the press; we don't live in a CH aquarium. Virtually all restaurants get mixed reviews on this board.

Having said that, I vow to read CH daily and meticulously track the reviews for all Bay Area restaurants. As soon as I'll see a statistically valid set of positive reviews for a restaurant, I'll know it's okay with you to claim it as worthy of overrated criticism.

2nd Best Restuarant in Berkeley?

Oliveto, hands down. Personally, I prefer it to Chez Panisse. The 3rd would be tough for me. I can't really think of Pizzaiolo or Dopo or Pearl's or a few other excellent restaurants in Broakland as being in the same league with Oliveto and CP.

Overrated disappointments

Overrated: Manresa, Incanto, Gary Danko (except the cheese cart) and that perennial favorite of Berkeley crowd, Sketch (yuck). I am neutral on Michael Mina and I do like Fifth Floor very much so there.

Mr. Smart