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Best Cocktail Bars

I was wondering where he'd pop-up at, I found it odd that he took the mantle of 'ambassador' for the Barbara Lynch Gruppo - I mean, is she opening up something out here or is he now recruiting for her out here? That scenario just didn't make sense, yet.

Oct 11, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Best butcher shop for 3-6lb slab pork belly in Chinatown or SOMA? [San Francisco]

thanks for the recs, will give Chinatown a shot tomorrow morning, tried today but sleep got the better of me. Now how to properly transport it back to cold storage...

Oct 02, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area


Maybe check w/some korean hot pot or stew specialists (not tofu chigae though). Back in NYC, there was a place in Queens that had a live tank of abalone for the seafood stew w/abalone option - Sik Gaek - http://www.sikgaekusa.com/.

The stew was meant for 4 and came in at $99.99, not sure about the provenance of the abalone but it must have been somewhat fresh?

Oct 01, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Best butcher shop for 3-6lb slab pork belly in Chinatown or SOMA? [San Francisco]

Looking to make a momofuku pork belly for this weekend and struck out at the city Costco and the SOMA Safeway, sad about the former, not surprised about the latter.

Reading thru some older but recent threads like http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839332, it seems like my best choices in the area are:

City Market on Stockton
Olivier's Butchery
Fatted Calf ($8/lb according to the website for heritage pork belly..
4505 Butcher Shop

Has anyone here had any experience with the pork belly from any of these shops? Were they willing to provide a custom cut? I'm hoping to save the skin so I can make chicharrones with it. Is $8 the going rate for fancy shops like the ones I listed above? Is there a reliable chinatown butcher shop that has whole slab pork belly?

Oct 01, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

3rd and Townsend (SF)?

Got it, will only write / read CH after 9am...

Sep 26, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

3rd and Townsend (SF)?

I just moved into that 'hood so I'm curious as well, don't have favorites yet but there are donuts, fried chicken and sandwiches on the north corner of 3rd+Townsend.

I did like Victory Hall and Parlor on Ritch between Townsend and Brannan which has a food pop-up? called the Little Skillet, passable selection of beers and cocktails. Not sure what game crowd is like as they do have TVs.

Weekend Trip Report Day 3 and 4 (Maven/Frances/Bar Tartine/The Cavalier)

This an amazing thread for a 'hound like me to read, having just moved from NYC 2 months ago, and having spent much time reading the NYC board.

FWIW, I met Eudoxus about 2 months ago shortly after I moved here when he was looking for CH'ers to go to SBP w/them during their last visit to SF. I was not present at all the meals that Eudoxus wrote about - only at Monsieur Benjamin, then at Brass & Tacks, and finally at Zuni.

I then met them after they finished at Bar Tartine to discuss it as I enjoyed the two or three items that I had there about two months ago w/someone else.

interesting comments to me:
(moto) you expect for your $$$ here compared to east coast - perhaps deserves its own thread to see how others feel in general on this topic, I would be interested certainly in the discussion of this.

orthodoxy - I feel that every CH board has an orthodoxy, especially the active boards with a small core of active 'hounds - this goes for NYC, SF, Boston, LA - the boards that I read most frequently - and I think it goes for any community. Sometimes, approaching that orthodoxy with respect is valued, sometimes it is necessary, and sometimes it shouldn't be at all.

For me, there's a lot of history to go through on this board before I can appreciate and understand where the regular 'hounds are coming from but this is not a thread that you quickly forget. It is also interesting to see some regular 'hounds participating and not others as this is a pretty active thread.

Lastly, this thread is reminiscent of the bar fight that our group got into at Brass & Tacks, small things snowballing into something completely unnecessary. BTW, the TL;DR of that fight is, drunk guy tried to push in the buckle on my Chrome bag, I called him out on it, he slapped me, another friend then pushed him out of the bar but got beer poured on him, but drunk guy got kicked out. Drunk guy's friend apologized later and said that drunk guy proclaimed 'Me 1 Hipsters 0'.

Sep 26, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

[San Francisco] ISO young thai coconuts

Ended up bribing a friend to drive and went to ranch 99, $10/case of 9, but of varying sizes and quality.

Friend went the next day to get more and they were gone (or my friends couldn't figure out where they had been moved).

Sep 25, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

[San Francisco] ISO young thai coconuts

Anything closer to the city? Maybe this Q&A thing was not the best vehicle for this...

Sep 16, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

[San Francisco] ISO young thai coconuts

Where in SF could one get the best pricing on young thai coconuts, looking to buy 20-30 for a party in two weeks...assuming they come ~12 to a case so I'd be looking at maybe 2-3 cases?

Willing to travel out to any area accessible by public transit, will probably end up taking a suitcase to transport or bum a ride from a friend...

Sep 15, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Dining with a tall Building & Great View

Lolinda in the Mission has a rooftop bar/restaurant next door - El Techo de Lolinda - that has rooftop views from the Mission (5th floor I think), which is higher than majority of the surronding buildings.

Views are mostly of the valleys and not of the water, probably better during the day as a result.

Sep 03, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Begoni Bistro Cuisine Indochine to open soon in old Kay Cheung Space. [San Francisco]

Quick note, it's Fa not Pa, taken as a whole, indochine is surprisingly succint translation of 法式东亚风味.

Aug 30, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Need Serious Help - Party of 10 for Tomorrow Night

For a business-oriented crowd, Bluestem on Market isn't far from Moscone, nor is Hakkasan...

Coachman can probably pull together a table big enough but menu might be too limited and focused gastropub-wise.

Call Nopa on a long shot.

Aug 12, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Any Hounds interested in meeting up for State Bird tonight?

got a bounce back when I emailed you, interested but not sure I can make it to line up for first seating. Will know by 3pm.

Aug 09, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Oyster Happy Hour at The Elite Cafe in San Francisco

I've switched to just taking the pre-tax amount, dropping off the last/right-most/least-significant digit to get 10% and figuring it out from there.

so for $25, you know that 10% is $2.5, 20% is $5, 15% is $3.75, done!

La Vie en Szechuan a la Keens

There should more cumin everything in this world...

Re:Boston-area versions of cumin lamb - I really liked the version at Zoe's which was super thin so it was crispy and tender, served in a cast iron pan, and loaded with cilantro - at least the version at the Brookline incarnation of Zoe's at Harvard+Aspinwall, I think.

I do find it odd that there were peppers in the cumin lamb, I feel like a more traditional version would be just lamb, cumin+spices, lots of cilantro and onions perhaps. I find the addition of peppers, to be jarring texturally in this dish, especially if they're not cooked down enough.

I always link the presence of peppers with the onion and pepper heavy version, 'cong bao' yang rou, 葱爆羊肉 instead of 'natural' lamb - 自然羊肉.

Jul 31, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Miracle Fruit in Boston

I think your best bet would be to call the Florida grower and ask if they sell via distribution or other retail channels and if so, if there are any in Boston.

The fresh fruit is doubtful since it has to be kept cold and even then has a short shelf life, but the powder and the tablet are probably what you should aim for since they are shelf stable...

Jul 20, 2014
avial in Greater Boston Area

Flushing Chinatown "Jian Bing" Street Vendor

Late to this thread - I think jian bing can use innovation - especially in the area of the crunchy cracker filling - I was thinking baked kale chips (seriously) or chicharrones.

Wonder if the time to cook can be brought down further by pre-mixing the egg like delis do for breakfast sandwiches, 34 seconds for a single serving beats the pants off of just about any cooked American breakfast item, that I can think of at least.

Jul 19, 2014
avial in Outer Boroughs

Recos for late dinner @ local joint near Marriott Marquis

Sake Bar Hagi nr. 49th+7th, is my go to for TSQ non-chain food, the wait can be bad, especially on a Friday night at 8pm

Oceana for something nicer and pricier

the Serious Eats map is great, just be aware that some spots are not open at night such as some of the food trucks/carts.

Jun 06, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Taberna de Haro, awesomer than ever!

Will is helping Ted Kilpatrick from No.9 w/the Rooftop at Park South, said he'd be there for the summer at least.

May 31, 2014
avial in Greater Boston Area

Upscale Chinese in Chinatown??

I see/hear a lot of mainlanders in here when I get takeout from these guys during the weekdays, seems like a strong businessmen crowd, lots of leather murses in sight...

W 55th b/t 5th+6th

May 03, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Upscale Chinese in Chinatown??

Red Farm
Decoy for duck
Wong for duck dinner (it's Singaporean/Malaysian-ish)

May 02, 2014
avial in Manhattan

dinner in the west 30's near 8th and 9th ave

9th b/t 41st+42nd:
Tehuitzingo for mexican, cozy space, but great food - also, tables only seat 2 or 4...
Shorty's for pub grub + philly steak or roast pork subs

Apr 24, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Daruma-Ya Izakaya : fantastic

Sounds awesome, though doesn't Sakagura aim for the higher end of the spectrum as well? The last time I was there, it definitely was not loud. Just find it weird to lump Sakagura and Decibel together ... I guess both are below ground?

Apr 18, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Where's the Happening Midtown Sichuan Right Now?

Agreed on the too much salt issue, totally forgot to mention it. Both times I've been, I've noticed that it seemed a tick too salty, have yet to try the original EV location but wonder if the same issue plagues them as well.

Apr 14, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Where's the Happening Midtown Sichuan Right Now?

I went to Hot Kitchen during their soft open (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/969001) and went back again two weekends ago for dinner.

On my second visit with my DC, we got:
1. hot+sour soup, large $5 - did not have the white pepper kick it had on our visit, and more noticeably, was served in a much smaller bowl, we each only got one full bowl

2. Steamed Pork w/Preserved Mustard Greens w/gua bao buns $18 - 10-12 slices of fatty pork belly, each about 1/6" thick or so, each 4" wide, all on a large bed of stewed+chopped mustard greens, comes w/4 bao. The fatty portion of each slice was perfect, meltingly soft and tender. The meat portion was a dry but in combination with the fat, was still quite good. Went well inside of a bun.

3. Assorted Spicy Wok $28 - they take every type of hot pot ingredient that they offer basically, and boil it for you - they said it was going to be stir fried but given how the proteins and vegetables looked and tasted, it was definitely boiled. Plenty of food but nothing I'd ever do again

4. Sauteed Cured Dry Bean Curd w/Garlic Shoots $14 - fairly smoky tofu 'gan', lots of garlic sprouts cut into short 1.5" segments, and likely using a more grown size as the pieces were about 1/2" wide flat, relatively mild though. Thought this dish was very tasty but also nothing to be impressed over.

There's still a lot of menu to go including the Northwest section of the menu which I have yet to touch except for the cumin lamb.

Will try to post some pics of the takeout menu tomorrow since the updated menu for this location is not online yet and it is reflective of the full menu except for dessert which they only offer western desserts like tiramisu and creme brulee (if memory serves).

We also noticed that they seemed to have trimmed the prices a little bit, a dollar or two at most on random items based on memory from the previous visit.

Apr 13, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Hot Kitchen opens in Midtown East - 53rd b/t 2nd+3rd

Per Eater on Thursday: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/03/...

Went with the SO to see how their first night of soft opening was and because we've never went to the original in EV - we have our fill of Sichuan here in Midtown East with LoP and Grand Sichuan, for better or for worse.

The space is seems bare yet fully decorated assuming they're not going for that Chinese kitch look. Space is broken into two sections, the front area has the bar on the left and tables for hotpots on the right. Other aspects of the restaurant are still in progress - no liquor yet for example, not too surprising. No formal menus yet but they have a stack of printer paper menus that they're handing to diners for now, owner/manager indicated that the final menu will mostly be the same but they will have more northwestern dishes at this location - and there is a menu section of ~10 items to that effect. Maybe 10% of the items on the menu were not available tonight, indicated by a handwritten X next to the item.

In terms of food, we weren't sure where to start as the menu feels very different than menus from Grand Sichuan and LoP, etc. and in a good way. As a result, we just went with some of our standbys from our Sichuan takeout/delivery rotation - tongue+tripe, dry fried string beans, cumin lamb, and hot+sour soup for the SO.

tongue+tripe - typical execution, both tongue and tripe were clean, oil/sauce not that spicy, no ma la, but a generous portion.

dry fried string beans w/preserved veggies - these were great, simple dish but the wok hei really showed in the blistered skin of the string beans but not blackened while the interior beans still had a bit of a snap and tasted really fresh. They do have an option to get it with ground pork which I assumed was going to be the default but it came without. We didn't mind as it made the dish lighter probably. Hard for us to say if this is better than those found at LoP, Grand Sichuan, and the other nearby Sichuan joints as we typically get takeout or delivery and by the time this gets to us, it's been steamed a good deal, I imagine.

cumin lamb - serviceable, decent amount of cumin flavor, lamb not as crispy as I would like, served with loads of cilantro stems and onion chunks (squares? petals? pieces?). I feel that this dish should always be served on an cast iron plate or cast iron wok so it doesn't cool down so quickly which this did despite our best efforts. The last time I saw it served that way was north of Boston at Fu Run in Malden.

hot+sour soup - flavor was a bit more bitter/earthy, peppery (black/white), and packed a surprising but nice heat that lingered a bit. Texture-wise, a bit thicker than normal.

Did not ask if they had dessert as we were pretty full and didn't see it on the menu when we were ordering.

Look forward to going back and exploring the menu a lot more, especially the hotpot section. Glad that there's another option in this part of town.

Mar 15, 2014
avial in Manhattan

1 night alone in NYC

How about:

Crave Fishbar on 50th+2nd
Salvation Taco 39th b/t Lex+3rd

Mar 12, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Large Mixology Bar - 8 People on a Thurs

Raines Law Room can fit 8 in their curtained couch areas

Middle Branch downstairs standing room.

Bathtub Gin possibly if they put seats on the outside edge of the booth

Freemans upstairs definitely has space

Mar 11, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Large Format / Group bachelor party dinner for 20? (Cross-posted from Manhattan)

cross-posting here to cover ze boroughs, Manhattan thread here:http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967993

Working to plan a bachelor party dinner for 20 heads in NYC in late May and wondering if I'm missing any great options. Help!

Not as familiar with borough large format/group dining options except usual suspects like Chinese banquet or Russian banquet. Anything in the Korean vein?

Mar 07, 2014
avial in Outer Boroughs