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Andrew H's Profile

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Anyone been to De Schmire in Petaluma recently?

"Suspension" notice in the darkened front window, guess they got busted by the alcohol police?

Jul 06, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

I am biased towards CP due to many, many fine meals there in the past. I haven't been in awhile but it still sticks out as the only fine restaurant where I've been offered and given seconds on the entre.

Jun 24, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Where did the prawns come from?

Jun 10, 2014
Andrew H in Food Media & News
1

Bodega Bay Oyster Company [Petaluma]

Now open Wed thru Sun 10 to 5:30pm

http://bodegabayoyster.com/retail-and...

May 18, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Bodega Bay Oyster Company [Petaluma]

As of this afternoon 4/29, no it is not open yet.

Apr 29, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Very Good Thai in Petaluma?

Sadly, Sea Thai has closed their Petaluma location. The space is for lease. I always liked their food and service.

Apr 13, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Most immense porcino everr

Next to an imperial.

Mar 29, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Most immense porcino everr

The largest one weighed over three pounds. Giants grow among us.

Mar 29, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Bodega Bay Oyster Company [Petaluma]

The sign is up but the place is not open yet. Located in the same building as the old New Amsterdam place on Valley Ford Road just east of route 1. Not sure if it's going to be a restaurant or just a retail outlet.

Mar 29, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Why cooks are leaving SF?

Has it gotten so bad that the hostesses at the front are forced to smile?

Jan 02, 2014
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Ajanta triumphs once again. [Berkeley]

Had another fine meal at Ajanta this evening. Chicken Bafat was a dish I hadn't tried before. Its from Mangalore and uses a special spice mix, bafat masala. I ordered it medium and that was probably a step above where my comfort level is. The sauce is a deep dark red that reminded me of a Oaxacan mole poblano. When you think about it, moles and curries share more than a few similarities. Perfectly cooked boned chicken thigh meat was present in just the right portion.

The dish also incorporates dried coconut which is often a red flag for me. No ingredient has been so abused as the coconut (coconut shrimp. pina coladas, etc). But in Indian dishes, I find the flavor and texture of coconuts to fit right in.

I hadn't had the kulfi for dessert in a while and it was just as good as I remembered. They use a spice called keora which is an aqueous extract of the pandanus flower. Pandanus is a wonder plant throughout south asia, yielding everything from weavings to hair ornaments. The fragrant liquid is also used in perfumes and cosmetics

A piping hot masala chai topped off the meal.

Thanks to Lachu and his team for another great meal!

Nov 25, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

small affordable olive oil producers

Sylverleaf olive oil is very good. Their trees are in Loma Rica CA, near Marysville. Available at the Marin Farmer's Market and also direct from:

www.sylverleaf.com/shop/

Nov 25, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Sax's Joint in Petaluma

I've been to Sax's a couple of times. Their basic egg breakfast was good but I wasn't a fan of the biscuit. Another time I ordered their spicy bacon cheddar waffle. It has pesto on it which is probably the weirdest combo I've ever heard of. I didn't quiz the server so I can't say they sprung it on me.

OK, but not great. The 50's music they play is a little hard to take. "Rock Around the Clock" gets old after awhile.

Nov 18, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Is the SF food scene running out of gas due to high rents & tech bubble?

I think "more edgy things" is part of the problem. The constant quest to be just a little more "out there" than anyone else results in an ADHD-like burnout. The feverish competition amongst so many new restaurants has it's limitations. Fresh food, simply prepared, without pretense, will never go out of style.

And yes the City bureaucracy does wonders to inhibit new enterprise, food or otherwise.

Sep 26, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Crane Melon Barn Open. [Santa Rosa]

Haven't tried them this year but I can say the trip up to the barn would not be a waste of time. Last year I had one around the house for a few days past optimal and mold was blooming on the vine end. It looked kind of gross and the skin was soft and mushy. I hated to see a good Crane go to waste so I sliced it open and it was the best melon I've ever had. Unbelievable flavor and sweetness.

So don't pass up the mushy ones or the ones with split skin. They are often the best!

Sep 17, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Indian San Francisco

I agree. Lachu's menu is always good. And he does not overload the dishes with heat which makes some feel the dishes are lacking. The curried goat I had a few months back was outstanding.

Jul 11, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone been to Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael?

Sorry to be so long in replying, Malcolm. The Terrapin Family Band is usually just Phil's sons and a some others. The TFB does not include Phil most of the time.

Jul 08, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Comal - Berkeley

A friend and I went again last night. We were sort of pressed for time and let the server know. We got seated immediately during the height of dinner hour, got drinks, tizers, and entrees and were out of there in 25 minutes. The food was as excellent as always but seriously, this place has the best service of any resto I've ever been to.

I had the chicken tamale, it was great but I wish I'd gotten tne the turkey enchiladas.

Starting a restaurant? Go to Comal and see how they do it.

Jul 04, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Dinner Before Oracle Arena Show on Sunday [Oakland]

Remember that parking at the OrCol will run you at least 35 bucks. BART will be crowded but you may want to consider it rather than drive your "Beast of Burden" to the show.

May 03, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Lagunitas Brewing Taproom [Petaluma]

This is a very well run company and their beer sanctuary is very popular. Did you notice the staff hanging around in the parking lot scoping out people returning to their cars? They watch for obvious drunks and have definitely prevented many many DUIs. Lagunitas is first in line whenever there is a fundraiser or community event. They are the poster bros for good community relations.

Mar 10, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Chez Panisse Fire

When asked about the source of the fire, officials said simply "Local and sustainable".

Love the place, had my first morels there, hope they get back open soon.

Mar 08, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area
3

Best Indian in the bay?

I'm very partial to Ajanta on Solano in Berkeley.

Jan 23, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

spare the air

Civil bear is correct, the citizens can freeze but the fennel, raddichio, raspberry compote wood fired pizza (with sea urchin foam) must not be hindered,. Selah!

Jan 18, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Badami Murgh dish at Ajanta - Berkeley

Lachu recommended low medium, which I found to be just right. The dish is subtley spiced and too much heat will overpower the flavor.

Jan 08, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Badami Murgh dish at Ajanta - Berkeley

I had been missing going to Ajanta lately so I went in late last night and had the most wonderful meal. Lachu Moorjani introduces new entrees once a month and the addition this month was out of this world. The dish is from Mumbai and incorporates almonds, many spices, and boneless chicken thighs. Visually, the dish is sort of beige, but one forkful and you'll be seeing colors. Truly one of the best dishes I've ever eaten at Ajanta. The accompanying sides include a fantastic baby basmati rice (Kalijira?) that is very delicate with a small piece of fried onion on top. The apricot chutney goes especially well with this dish but I wouldn't recommend teasing it up with any achar (spiced pickles), the flavor is mild and needs very little to accent.

As usual the service at Ajanta was exceptional, and I never had to ask for water refills. I skipped the appetizers this time but their tandoor portobello and the new crab cakes are always excellent. A fine masala chai topped off the meal.

So if the winter's chill is getting to your bones, head over to Solano and treat yourself to one of the best restaurants in the whole bay area. It may be a few rupees more than your average curry house, but the quality and preparation are off the charts. I view it as the Chez Panisse of indian restaurants.

www.ajantarestaurant.com

Jan 08, 2013
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Pub Republic - Petaluma

Went there with two friends tonight and it was full with 5-6 parties waiting for tables. It's still in the honeymoon phase so you may want to try mid week. It's pub grub, nothing fancy, but they didn't miss with any of our orders. Good sweet potato fries, not greasy or limp, are a rarity. Pub Republic does them right with a good chipotle sauce to dip. The burger was well cooked. Good selection of micros on tap, and pretty efficient servers. A sports bar basically with better food. Enjoyed it, will return.

http://www.pubrepublicusa.com/

Dec 01, 2012
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Twiinkies ...... going fast!

Has anyone done an "artisanal" twinkie yet? Say creme anglais inside Victoria Sponge?

Nov 16, 2012
Andrew H in General Topics

Fieri - best. takedown. ever.

Nov 14, 2012
Andrew H in Food Media & News

Fremont Diner open for dinner [Sonoma]

I posted a peeved WTF post about this place awhile back. I must retract it. I went there the other day and everything was flawless despite a big crowd.

Now Bauer has reviewed it so give it a few weeks to cool off. But it rocks seriously.

Nov 02, 2012
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area

Anybody been to the Crane Melon Barn this year? [Santa Rosa]

Went yesterday, great melons! Another week at most. Get them now or wait till next year.

Oct 22, 2012
Andrew H in San Francisco Bay Area