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SFBA vs. LA Chinese --- any advantages?

I think the proximity, density of Chinese communities in the LA area provides a lot of advantages to LA, e.g. SGV.

I pulled off a 5 hour dumpling tour two months ago (using the Lucky Peach article as a template), hit up 9 different restaurants, and tried 4-5 different styles of dumplings (dim sum, XLB, jiaozi, and a few 'pies'). Would be totally down to replicate up here though.

I'm not sure the same would be as feasible here, though I haven't explored the many mini-strip malls in Fremont/Union/Newark areas.

Aug 14, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Young thai coconuts, cases?

Looking to buy a case or two of young thai coconuts for a get together, the ones that are shaved down into a stubby conical cylinder, come individually shrink wrapped, often sold on Chinatown streets and probably elsewhere by folks with machetes.

Since moving out to CA, I've found that places like 99 Ranch will sell cases of 9 for ~$12-20. While I lived in NYC, I don't remember seeing cases of these things out on the supermarket floors in Chinatown or Flushing, likely due to space restrictions, so I'm wondering if anyone has bought cases anywhere.

Aug 11, 2015
avial in Outer Boroughs

Cholo Soy, mini mall for $5 ceviche in the Mission, SF?

Went a few months ago with coworker for lunch and it was everything he hyped it to be, bright flavored ceviche that's a steal at $7, not a huge serving but enough to share for two at lunch, especially considering the size of the lunch entrees. Those range from $8-11/12 and as noted previously, rotate.

I did try to go back last Saturday at 3pm, and they were already sold out.

Also closed on Sundays sadly.

Petit Crenn opens Aug 11

yeah, just went through day by day, slot by slot, mostly for tables of 1 or 2, sometimes it offers you a 'find next available', so that's an easy way to figure things out.

as of now, there are some 1-tops available next Saturday, and 2-tops available the following Wed/Thu

Petit Crenn opens Aug 11

looks like only tables of 1 left sporadically through end of August, wow.

Aug 06, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO: Sanbitter

If retailers can't sell it, distributors won't bother with it. Have you checked any places in North Beach or Marina?

Last I found it was in Seattle circa March 2013, in a shop in or by Pikes Place Market

Jul 30, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Uyghur Taamliri -- Xinjiang/Kazakh Food comes to the Sunset. [San Francisco]

How big is that population? The Portuguese populations in Ludlow, Somerville, and New Bedford, MA resulted in a healthy smattering of Portugeuse restaurants in those towns/cities.

Jul 30, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Whisky & Spirits @ Wingtip (San Francisco)

how were the prices? get a sense of the markup or do they only carry rare bottles?

Jul 12, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Whisky & Spirits @ Wingtip (San Francisco)

oh, I misread, you're talking about spirits for sale at retail.

There's a member's only club on the 10th floor that has a nice bar: http://wingtip.club/

Jul 11, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Whisky & Spirits @ Wingtip (San Francisco)

Are they no longer requiring membership to get into the bar? Last I checked, there's a ~$1K-2K/year commitment (granted, that can go to purchases in the retail store)...

Jul 10, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Ninebark - Matthew Lightner Comes to Napa

I really enjoyed my first and only meal at Atera back in 2012, also excited to see what he will bring to bear.

Jul 07, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

New Yorkers Seeking the Good Stuff

GGB may be closed now that the 4th has passed. On Friday, they were opening and the ppl were a-queuing. If you can make it though, definitely worth it.

Jul 05, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

New Yorkers Seeking the Good Stuff

Doesn't sound like you'll need to, but do not try to take the 10 or 12 during rush hours, you will be sad because of the traffic jam that is 2nd at Howard/Folsom/Harrison. Like trying to go crosstown on 57th in Manhattan.

I used to bike up 2nd to work and would get stuck in that stupid traffic even. Thankfully, I realized that 3rd St. was much more efficient.

Best bars in San Francisco to get sloshed at?

In the same stretch as these on 16th is ABV which has food as well.

Jul 04, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

New Yorkers Seeking the Good Stuff

Salumeria Biellese at 8th+29th in Manhattan comes to mind as a place that makes their own meats and makes sandwiches from them.

Finding a sandwich with italian cured meats, disregarding provenance of said meats, is pretty much finding a deli in the neighborhood and asking. For example, this search shows 130K menu items for sandwiches with Italian cured meats, which on the east coast is simply called an italian combo: http://foodfinder.net/find?q=italian+...

I'm sure the bread is not up to snuff, but if you want Italian cured meats between two slices of bread, you don't need to try too hard.

Based on threads here, it's seems that it's also just as hard to find shops like Molinari's here in SF though?

Jul 02, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

New Yorkers Seeking the Good Stuff

How are Italian cured meat sandwiches hard to find in NY/C, forgetting the differences in style?

Jul 01, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Solo Dinner in San Francisco

I believe these all have bars, and in no real order, if I were visiting regularly from elsewhere, and maybe had per diem:

Mourad
Huxley
Kin Khao
Tosca - Italian-ish, some what like Coppa - pigtails make for an amazing dinner w/cocktails (as a former Bostonian who lived off of the ones at Drink circa 2009)
Coqueta (I think this is what JonDough meant)

Nopa
Rich Table
Mr. Benjamin
Hawker Fare
Namu Gaji
Lolinda
Foreign Cinema
Ichi
Bar Tartine
Monk's Kettle
Chino
Marlowe
Locanda
Absinthe

I'm not as familiar with what tasting menu places allow solo diners but never hurts to try. At a minimum, I know that Atelier Crenn allowed this last fall.

Californios is an affordable tasting menu that has a bar and will definitely take solo diners - you definitely cannot get that type of cuisine in Boston, though you could in New York.

Jun 26, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Dungeness Crab Prices 2014/2015 Season

6.99/lb at 99 Ranch Berkeley last Sunday.

Jun 26, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

As an aside, I often walk by Saison on the way home - and on today's way home, saw a chef carrying 4 small cans of Nestle brand condensed milk or dulce de leche.

Jun 24, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

NEW: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, SF w/ PIC

I think the Instagrammer was "responsible" for making them as big of a deal as they are.

I've seen 30-40 person lines at ~8:40am on weekdays right before they start selling, they are supposed to be longer on the weekends.

TLT BBQ (San Mateo)

I went back last Monday night with a few friends and enjoyed just about everything except for the tendon which were surprisingly gamey/barn-yardy (in the words of Andrew Zimmern). Some pieces were tough, some were soft and tender.

The single seasoning/spicing did start to wear on me a bit though, and that's where side dishes like the cold salad helps to break it up a bit.

Jun 17, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

La Taqueria & Special Place for Cocktails? [San Francisco]

Full name of the rooftop is El Techo de Lolinda, a serving of the chicharrones is never horrible, the granulated sugar dusting is overdoing it a tad but worth sharing still with drinks.

Jun 09, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Soylent: the protein powder Silicon Valley's techies just can't get enough of

Get used to Soylent while you have the luxury of doing so before growing nations' demand and buying power outstrips that of the US.

2 other thoughts:
More for us that want to eat
Where's the PETA-branded version of this stuff?

Jun 09, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Cockscomb - SF

An average solo diner or a 'hound? I find Cockscomb pretty tough when I go alone.

Jun 09, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Cockscomb - SF

I live ~2 blocks away and pass it on the way home from work. Sadly, I have only walked into a seat at the kitchen bar once since they opened. More recently, have only been able to get a walk-in seat at the upstairs bar - this works out better since I've gotten to know the bartender that's behind that bar.

I stopped into Cockscomb last Thursday w/the SO and also had the n'duja toast, tripe and clams, octopus, and the zampini, and would echo most of what Robert noted. Solid meal and I think it's reliable for a nicer, more indulgent dinner. I did have a meal there in February that was very mediocre save for the mussels - most of the fail was around the pie which was a waterlogged mess.

To contrast though, I also ate at Chi Spacca this past weekend in LA and thought that the food there was better than Cockscomb. I think these two restaurants are comparable given the price point, decor (open kitchen w/bar), and neighborhood?. Chi Spacca has a tighter focus though on meat meat meat. Perhaps, given the LA setting, they're not afraid to be more masculine about their approach to food and may even need to be to survive - massive hunks of meat grilling front and center. A meat board with a jar of pig 'butter'. Anchovies on toast served with a curled slice of butter, and then an anchovy filet on top. A portion of cauliflower that dwarfed the portion that was served at Cockscomb on previous menus. But again, different economics, people, place.

I know that I will go back to Cockscomb at least once a month or maybe more as I like what Cosentino is doing with the food but I can't shake the feeling that he's holding back sometimes.

Jun 08, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)

Ah, didn't realize that the lighter colored bits from your post about la chao la (辣炒辣) were not chicken bits - http://www.chowstatic.com/uploads/3/7... and missed the part re: fresh chilies.

Jun 01, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)

anyone care to comment on how 'la si ni' or 辣死你 is different from a dish like chongqing la zi ji (重庆辣子鸡)? I've never had the former dish but given the description, it sounds very similar to the latter - lots of red chilis with pieces or chunks of chicken stir fried, sometimes crispier, sometimes not.

Jun 01, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Californios [San Francisco]

I went the 2nd week they were open and thought the meal had some highs and lows, some great flavor/texture combos. I remember leaving feeling satiated. I also remember getting tacos at some point in the same night but that may have been after getting drinks at ABV after Californios.

I am happy that I only paid $55pp though because for the number of courses and the quantity, I'm not sure I'd be happy at $75pp as it is now. Granted, I've been burned by a very meh experience at Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare where many of the courses were similar in style/execution to the dishes at Californios - piece of fish, dressing of some sort.

May 15, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowdown Report: Little Shanghai in San Mateo

Thanks for your comparison. I recently moved from Manhattan and currently live in SoMA after a month stint in Nob Hill. In that time, the only Shanghainese restaurant that I've had the chance to eat at repeatedly is Bund Shanghai on Jackson nr. Kearney. I find it to be solid for when I need my fix, which I'd say is increasing in frequency. Will comment in other thread but it seems that the runaway favorite there is also Bund Shanghai.

I can't shake it but Shanghainese food always feels more home-y to me than many other cuisines, Chinese or not, yet still incredibly delicious and fulfilling. I have not gotten around to trying high-end Shanghainese cuisine while in China (whether in Shanghai, Beijing, or HK) so I'm not sure what that might be like, nor have I tried Jai Yun here in SF.

To circle back on the experiences of some of those present for this chowdown though, I think the flavors of Shanghainese cuisine can be pretty boring when compared to other cuisines - Chinese or otherwise. But there is definitely still room for finesse in execution.

May 15, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowdown Report: Little Shanghai in San Mateo

Would you guys who attended contrast this a meal at another Shanghainese restaurant in the area, recent or not, for example, the meal at Bamboo Garden discussed here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009...

Also, two things that come to mind as I read these descriptions of dishes are:

1.black mushrooms may refer to wood ear mushrooms, especially based on photos such as this: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/little...

2.shanghai fried pork buns, based on photos like this:http://s3-media4.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphot... look like a failure in that the dough is way too leavened and thus too thick. These should be much thinner like a soup dumpling while still being crispy on the bottom and a bit thicker/doughy at the top.

I had tried to go about a month ago but they were closed for vacation apparently so I'd like to know if it's actually worth going or not, when compared to other area Shanghainese restaurants.

May 13, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area