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Good place for lunch Union Square/Nob Hill?

Katanya- Great ramen. Geary right across from the ACT.
Sanraku- Good Japanese dishes. Sutter & Mason
Canteen- fantastic brunch. More Tendernob than Nob Hill, but more than worth a visit. Sutter & Jones

Aug 07, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House [North Beach, San Francisco]

I thought their dosas were tasty. However, this was a little over a year ago, so maybe it's changed since.

Service is definitely terrible though.

Jul 16, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Bubble Tea in SF

I like Chai-yo on Polk Street, near Bush. They have a wide variety of flavors, the tapioca beads are a nice consistency (slightly sweet and not too hard or too soft), and it's not sugary.

As for places I'd stay away from-- I can't remember the name of it, but there is a tea&smoothie places two stores down from Good Luck Dim Sum on Clement that was wayyy too sugary. It's the only time I've had boba tea that was so awful that I couldn't take more than two sips.

Jul 11, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Ethiopian in San Francisco

I really Assab on Geary, as well as Massawa on Haight.

The only Ethiopian place in the city I've tried that I wouldn't recommend would be Axum-- I found all the dishes to be oddly bland.

Jun 25, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Fresca on Fillmore

My last couple visits at Fresca on Fillmore were also disappointing...

I've been to the one at West Portal once (excellent) and having been visiting the Fillmore location for about two years now... They seem to have be going downhill. Their bread has changed (no longer fresh), their sangria has changed (it used to have this lovely crushed ice that made the entire thing more homogenous-- drinking something with ice cubes and no straw is such a pain), the steak salad I ordered was soggy, and the pork dish my sister got was really dry... Ceviche is still good though.

May 06, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Cold soba?

There are certain things that hot weather makes me crave... salads, watermelon, banh xeo, ice cream... And after a trip last summer to Japan, I can now add cold soba to that list! I absolutely loved the noodle stands there, and cold soba seems like such a staple in Japan, but I rarely see it offered at Japanese restaurants in the states. I know Mifune is one option; can anyone recommend any others?

Thanks

May 05, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Cuban sandwich

I don't know very much about Cuban sandwiches, but I often order one at the Grove Cafe on Fillmore. There's no lettuce on it, but plenty of pickles which gives it a nice tart flavor.

Apr 24, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch in Oakland near Fruitvale and 580?

I am meeting an old friend for lunch near her school in Oakland, and would appreciate any recommendations. Any type of food is fine, as long as it's not too pricey. Thanks in advance!

Apr 24, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Strait's in Palo Alto

Banana Leaf in Milpitas at the McCarthy Ranch shopping center. Amazing roti, good curries... It's been awhile since I went, but I remember all the dishes were well done.

Apr 19, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Hot Chocolate in SF

I love the Chai Hot Chocolate at Bittersweet-- the spices are subtle, but really complement the chocolate. It's also nice and creamy without being overly sweet.

Grab a cup to go and bring it over to drink with cookies or pastries at La Boulange just down the street.

Apr 10, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Really, really good lowfat mac and cheese?

This isn't from scratch, obviously, but I always add cheese to whatever boxed version I make (such as Annie's Organic, or Trader Joe's). If I'm trying to be healthy I will cut down on the butter, use soy milk or 1%, and then add lowfat cottage cheese. The cottage cheese will melt and add a lot more to the dish (and of course a ton of protein).

Add a side of steamed broccoli or asparagus and it's the perfect healthy comfort-food meal.

Apr 03, 2007
butter in Home Cooking

Best restaurant in the Tandoorloin?

I'm heading out to a comedy show tonight around Mason and Market, and am wondering if anyone has recommendations for Indian restaurants? I usually go to Chutney, have eaten at Shalimar, but am in the mood to try something new. I've heard of Sultan, Lahore Karahi and am wondering if anyone knows the differences between the two? Are there certain dishes that are better at once restaurant as opposed to the other?

BTW, the friend I'll be eating with is picky, so the cleaner the better.

Thanks!

Mar 31, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Dessert Only: SF Restaurants

I second the desserts at Cafe Grattitude-- especially the mudslide pie. Amazingly rich and creamy, but not overly sweet or heavy.

Mar 30, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

How to prepare frozen beef tendon for pho?

It's a part of the broth, which should take anywhere from 4-8 hours to simmer.

Mar 21, 2007
butter in Home Cooking

Pho Broth - starting with Swanson's - ideas?

Depends on your idea of "acceptable"-- IMO, no it would not be acceptable.

It's not about "authenticity"-- it's about flavor, richness, depth. Store-bought broth is usually low in fat, thin, sterile-tasting. Home-made pho isn't even quite broth-- it's stock-- as in gelatinous when refrigeratred (from all the marrow, etc. from the bones yum), rich, deeply-flavored.

My mom stopped bothering to spend the 6-8 hours it takes to make a decent bowl of pho years ago... so now whenever we want pho, we just go to a restaurant. Easy as pie.

Mar 21, 2007
butter in Home Cooking

Thai House Express. new pork leg dish-yum

I just had it the other day-- it's excellent, a really homey, comfort-type dish. I actually prefer it far above the stew with rice version. The bits of crackling make the fatty flavor shine through, but the dish overall is lighter due to the broth, and brightness of cilantro and beansprouts. mmm, will definitely have it again next time it rains

Mar 03, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Michael Mina mediocre experience

I ate at MM last week and was also underwhelmed... in some ways the menu was creative (i.e. seared duck or filet mignon three different ways-- or more like on top of three different sauces) but the food was not particularly memorable. For the price, there are other restaurants creating much more excting dishes, and I entirely agree about the service! I thought our main water was slightly creepy, and the other servers reciting their lines about the dish sounded robotic.

Feb 27, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Farmer Brown Report

Had a decent but overall disappointing meal tonight at Farmer Brown. Service and atmosphere were good, but here's the breakdown of the food:

- Jalapeno cornbread mufins with whipped honey butter: excellent, flavorful, light yet crusty and substantial.

- appetizer of Friend Okra: the batter was a bit soggy, though the accompanying sauce was excellent and the okra was not at all slimy

Entrees:
- Fried chicken: I've had much better before... it was not as chicken-y or juicy as an order at Popeyes. The skin was lacking oomph. The accompanying dirty rice also did not have any distinct flavors.

- Seafood jambalaya: bland, my friend observed that it tasted like mung beans, and lukewarm at that. Especially funny considering that the waitress warned us--several times-- to be careful because the plate was hot, and yet the food wasn't.

- Cornmeal crusted catfish with candied yams and sauteed spinach: not crisp and also bland, with a lot of water from the spinach. The candied yams however were excellent-- good texture and sweet without being too much.

Overall, not that great-- even with a good dousing of their excellent housemade hotsauce, the food was just not well prepared. Won't be back.

Feb 08, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Ngoc Mai

Mangosteen on Larkin also has a pretty good version of Bun Bo Hue. (Definitely better than their pho.) Nice, clear broth. I can't remember if it has the coagulated blood (which I actually really enjoy)--but, it did have shredded, curly banana? leaf in addition to the sprouts and herbs, which is hard to find, and adds another dimension of texture and a mild flavor.

Jan 15, 2007
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

My personal Mother of All Banh Mi posts, and a note about papaya salad with dried beef

The "shredded stuff" is actually called bi (accent mark down) and is seasoned tofu. It's much more labor intensive than just fried tofu, which I don't like in sandwiches. It's traditionally used in a lot of vietnamese vegetarian food, but is best either in spring rolls or with broken rice dishes (com tam bi), since then it comes with sauce

Dec 05, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Thai in SF?

I'm also a big fan of Mekong Delta-- their dishes aren't necessarily unusual (except for the fact that they have a lot of vegan versions), but their curries are really flavorful and fresh.

Bang San is also a favorite-- their noodles have a great char to them, and it's unique in that it's Halal... Not the best place for ambiance though-- it's tiny, and the kitchen is open so it's inescapable that you leave smelling like smoke and oil.

Nov 27, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Best chili cheese fries in SF?

Going away from the hot dog conversation, is anyone else a big chili cheese fries fan? I used to like the version at Slider's, but the last time I went it was completely underseasoned, and tasted less like chili versus hamberger with kidney beans and tomatoes! A good rendition is not so easy to find, if anyone has found it (nice, crisp-but-mealy fries, flavorful chili with just the right amount of onion, and high-quality cheddar versus "cheese-sauce"...)

Nov 21, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Good Pho in the Tenderloin?

I second Hung Ky. I actually find the noodles to be very similar to TT, but the broth better. AND-- it has the added benefit of herbs and sprouts! Another plus, it's definitely less crowded than TT...

Nov 09, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite dish at Swan Oyster Depot??

I am finally heading to this SF landmark! Never wanted to brave it on the weekends, and I finally have some time off to go in the middle of a weekday. That said, any specific recommendations? I'm actually not even a fan of oysters-- all other seafood though, yes.

Nov 09, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Vietnamese Around 16th & Val/Mission and Church & Market?

No-- it's completely different. Much lighter, and it should just be shredded carrots and radish, pickled lightly in vinegar. Other things that a good bun dish should always have: roasted peanuts, and sliced cucumbers.

Nov 09, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Civic Center SF dinner

Unfortunately, Turtle Tower closes at 7:30 however.

A couple of stores up is Pagolac-- also great Vietnamese food. If you feel like Thai food, Mekong Delta is just a 10 minute walk from the Bill Graham and is one of my favorites.

Oct 04, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Dinner suggestions for diverse visiting friends in SF near BART route

I second Binh Minh Quan-- the food there is excellent and authentic.

And also, Limon for peruvian cuisine.

Sep 28, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a large birthday dinner in the city?

Ahh I hate planning these things. Here are the factors to acommodate everyone:

- vegetarian options- preferably more than just 1 or 2 dishes on the menu
- not too pricey
- decent parking or paid lots close by (there will be some people driving up from the South Bay)
- good for larger groups, 8-12 (as in not the size Antica Trattoria. Or Range. Too bad, my favorite restaurants in the city)
- and of course: good food!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions

Sep 25, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area

Pho Ga Dac Biet in SF?

Coming down with a cold and am having a serious hankering for a bowl of pho ga-- and not the wimpy, shredded-white-meat variety. I'd like something spicy with a rich broth, pieces of chopped hen bone-in (I prefer dark meat), with all of the fixings (basil, sprouts, liver, blood...)

Something comparable to Pho Kim Long in San Jose, without the 45-minute drive. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Much thanks

Sep 12, 2006
butter in San Francisco Bay Area