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Chowdown Report: Lucky River and Marco Polo [San Francisco]

Lucky River makes the news for sidewalk meat prep:


Longbranch Saloon - Berkeley

Cool that they are bringing the name back from this famed Berkeley nightclub form the 70's:


Crane Melon Barn Open. [Santa Rosa]

Open for the 2014 season, 99 cents a pound. Go to the Expo and stop here on the way back.

National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa

Go. It's fantastic and runs through Thursday. 11 to 7 each day, just go. Call in sick if you need to.


Real Doner in Petaluma going veggie?

I'd send either back if they used mayo. Just not right to treat Baba this way. Extra tahini would make it more creamy.

Food + morgue [San Francisco]

You definitely need a reservation, people are dying to get in.

Resto-preneurs, great locations available in Petaluma

So you've got that New nordic/soul food/Thai fusion idea that you want to make a reality and you need a bricks and mortar location? Boy are you in luck! Many great places are suddenly available in Petaluma. The Tres Hombres in theatre square is dark and needs a good eating joint to move in. Former Sea Thai on the Boulevard just south of downtown would be a killer location for a neighborhood breakfast spot. And DeSchmire is uncertain, they've been closed for several months with a "Suspension" notice on the front window.

Bring it!

But I must stipulate that no valet parking is allowed in this town, unless its for cargo bikes. We just roll that way.

I'm not a realtor and have no interest in any of these properties.

Anyone been to De Schmire in Petaluma recently?

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

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.

Where did the prawns come from?

Jun 10, 2014
Andrew H in Food Media & News

Bodega Bay Oyster Company [Petaluma]

Now open Wed thru Sun 10 to 5:30pm


Bodega Bay Oyster Company [Petaluma]

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

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.

Most immense porcino everr

Next to an imperial.

Most immense porcino everr

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

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.

Why cooks are leaving SF?

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

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!

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:


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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Best Indian in the bay?

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

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!