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New Shanghai Dumpling King? Less than a block from my house? [San Francisco]

SJB are steamed and fried in the same pan. The oil in the pan provides for both the steaming and frying actions.

Mar 24, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Hawker Fare in the Mission [San Francisco]

I think Lers Ros, Zen Yai, Kin Kaho, Hawker Fare, Tycoon, Kyu3, all contribute to the rising profile of Thai cuisine here in SF across different Thai regions and price points.

That said, SF is not better off than LA by any means in terms of Thai cuisine because LA has a density of excellent Isan/Isaan restaurants that just doesn't exist in SF yet and even in the Bay Area - and I think that's the best of measure of maturity of Thai cuisine in a US city currently.

For example, while Zen Yai on Ellis offers boat noodles on the not so secret menu, and another menu in Thai, Pa Ord in LA offers these items openly, in English, with pictures.

That's a small example of the contrast between the maturity of the LA and SF Thai cuisine scenes, for example, in my opinion.

I'm hopeful for the future of Thai cuisine here though with the opening of places like Tycoon and Kyu3 that offer Thai regional cuisine that's not yet commonplace here.

Feb 28, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowhound search broken?

Search is broken again, either no results, or when narrowing the boards, gives all results in that board.

Feb 10, 2015
avial in Site Talk

Tycoon Thai -- New Thai/Lao option in the Tenderloin [San Francisco]

Went this past Thursday with a coworker and enjoyed what we ordered, nothing exotic but a tasty meal, and an significant improvement over King of Thai, which is the closest Thai to my office. We ordered everything medium spicy, which turned out to be more like mild spicy, slightly regrettable in the end.

Yum Ma Ma - served on a plate, this dish resembles a small portion of pork larb w/o the rice powder, add some gently boiled shrimp and calamari, then served on a bed of some thin and wavy egg noodles, add larb dressing et voila. Definitely comes across as a comfort food dish using known flavors using noodles to absorb extra sauce and add body to the dish. Probably better served in a bowl to make it easier to mix together.

Gang Om Gai - a soup, or stew more so, of chicken, mushroom, eggplant, dill, lemongrass, and long beans. Definitely something worth getting on a rainy or cold day, the layering of flavors is not mind-blowing but spot-on in terms of seasoning with the dill providing an interesting contrast to the lemongrass, vegetable and chicken flavors in the soup.

Pla Tod - a whole tilapia, skewered on one side to keep it straight, then fried and served with a small dish of lime chili dressing/sauce. I don't get this often but my coworker was jonesing for it. Not all the small bones were crispy enough to eat and the meat was a bit dry - endemic to preparing tilapia like this? That said, it was still tasty with application of the chili lime sauce, the fish itself was meaty and the fry job did create some chicharron. Not bad for $10 I suppose?

The water that they serve is pandanus flavored, like many Thai restaurants will offer, I enjoy that but could be a YMMV for others.

Definitely will be back to try some of the more interesting Lao dishes on the menu.

Feb 08, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Tacos El Ojo de Agua? [San Francisco]

I stopped by on Tuesday for lunch around noon on the 2nd half of a mini taco truck tour (first stop was La Fisheria).

Got the al pastor and the cabeza, $2/ea, served on 3" tortillas, with a lemon?! wedge a single whole pickled jalapeno, ~2" long.

Al pastor was worthless, some pork that they diced up roughly, marinated/coated in a sauce and then heated on the flat top at time of order.

The cabeza was excellent though, very tender and sitting in a small pool of gelatinous jus.

Both came served with a lighter colored red salsa, not delivering much spice but maybe just enough of a foil against the unctuous nature of the cabeza.

Confirmed that they are the same folks as the Oakland one, M-F 10-3, Sa 10-2.

Number printed on side of truck is 415.871.4900

Look forward to going back and trying out the other meats.

Jan 15, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Tacos El Ojo de Agua? [San Francisco]

My wife stopped by on the way to work and grabbed a steak burrito, which she found tasty.

Hours are 10-3 daily apparently. May have to do a mini taco tour between La Fisheria and El Ojo de Agua.

Jan 12, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Tacos El Ojo de Agua? [San Francisco]

Good to know that they're from the same ppl, the pictures of the menu for the one on 3rd and the one in Oaktown seem very different.

Jan 11, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurant for a smallish post wedding dinner - 4 children included

Cockscomb will do 'private' dining for parties of 9+ with a minimum $/pp of ~$100 or so. They basically put together a whole bunch of two-tops in the upstairs dining room. So you will be surronded by other dinners at their own tables, but you're the center of attention. They have an elevator which might help with getting the kids in and out but the bathroom is downstairs.

I just had a city hall wedding and went there for my wedding 'reception' dinner - originally it was going to be 10-12 ppl but ended only being 8 so they sat us at 8-top table next to the wine case. Great view of the restaurant, especially the oven and grill area which also provides a nice source of warmth.

Jan 11, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Tacos El Ojo de Agua? [San Francisco]

I've read several threads here about the El Ojo de Agua in Oakland and have yet to find it in Oakland.

Imagine my surprise when I was walking down 3rd St yesterday around 1pm, headed to a sports bar for the game and saw a truck titled El Ojo de Agua parked in front of the Shell gas station b/t South Park and Varney.

I didn't have time to scope it out which turned out to be a poor decision as it was not there today around 3:30pm. Some quick research showed that this truck has been at this location since at least 2011 according to Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/tacos-el-ojo-...

Based on the photos for the Oakland truck on Yelp, I would say this truck is not from the same folks.

Has anyone ever eaten here? Any thoughts opinions?

Also, anyone recent reports on the location and schedule of the Oakland truck?

Jan 11, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

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

Late response to this, ended up in Chinatown at Lee's Market, corner of Stockton and Vallejo. Had actually gone into Little City first but they didn't have bigger cuts like I wanted, only smaller cuts in the ~2lb range@~$8.50/lb. Additionally, when I asked the butcher about bigger cuts, he made an offhand remark about the poor quality of meat at the Chinese markets - I didn't appreciate that comment and walked out and straight across the street to Lee's.

At Lee's, the butcher there happened to be cutting up pork belly so I asked for ~6lbs with minimal skin but to leave the fat on. The butcher went about it quickly but the pieces was a bit uneven so the skinning was a bit uneven. However, at $2.50/lb, I didn't care.

Also to note, the slabs are not super thick, this is not 7-8 layers of meat and fat, this is like 3-4 layered belly and is only ~1.5-2" thick at best so if your recipe depends on that for portion sizes, cooking times, presentation, be prepared to adjust.

This all went down just shortly after 9:30am on a Friday morning in October.

Personally, I would get it again from Lee's though not before I tried another market in Chinatown to see if they have thicker cuts readily available.

Jan 07, 2015
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowhound search broken?

Searches will return the number of results for any given query but not the actual results. The blender animation appears very briefly. Almost like the displaying of the results is being short-circuited.

Jan 07, 2015
avial in Site Talk
1

Cockscomb - SF

Been seated in the upstairs dining room twice now, one long banquette that runs along the windows.

Rest of room is configured depending on if there are any group dinners taking place. Last Friday, there was a group of maybe 18-20 ppl sitting at one long stretch of 2-tops in the middle of the room such that they could still seat people at tables along the banquette, on both sides of it.

So 30-40 seats is probably the right range, depending on configuration.

Dec 18, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations on osechi (ryori) jubako to take home/give as a gift?

after calling a few places, the prices and timeframes I got back were:

Katagiri - not in yet, after xmas, prices indeterminate
East - make a reservation now, $275/set, $10 extra for delivery
Sunrise Mart - available 12/30-12/31
Nippon - ~$400, make a reservation

I am probably going to go with East, though I may hold out to see what Katagiri offers, also, I didn't get a chance to write down the prices while I was on the phone with these places, the only price that I'm not 100% sure of is East, it's either $225 or $275

Dec 18, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Restos/Bars serving Tom and Jerry drinks? [San Francisco]

Have yet to find a Tom and Jerry yet, but PDT proprietor Jim Meehan posted their recipe for their spin on it, a Tom and Ginger:

http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_det...

Recommendations on osechi (ryori) jubako to take home/give as a gift?

I'm looking to get some good friends a high end osechi jubako set from one of the 3 or 4 places that offer them to take home - Nippon, East, Katagiri, and Sunrise Mart (and Mitsuwa, if that falls within scope...).

I've read that each of these places offer different price points but it's hard to find online, exactly what the offerings are for a given price level.

Additionally, I'm now in San Francisco and not able to go to the said stores and look at them. I do plan to call the establishments but I think osechi have an important visual element as well. Short of hiring a TaskRabbit to run around the city and do this for me, I'm wondering if anyone here has experienced/consumed/purchased the osechi from the above noted establishments and what the general opinions of those are.

I also assume that they're already available at these locations and not something that you can only find the week leading into New Year's...and that it's not too late to order/reserve/pick up a set...

I've read these articles from previous years and some of the prices are eye-popping, but it's for some great friends.

http://www.japanculture-nyc.com/2013/...

http://www.ediblemanhattan.com/magazi... (anyone got a lead on a Nippon Club member?
)http://nancymatsumoto.blogspot.com/20...

Much appreciated!

Dec 13, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Restos/Bars serving Tom and Jerry drinks? [San Francisco]

Tom and Jerry is very different than nog, much richer and thicker and as noted by some here, involves a batter.

As such, it can't be done without some planning on the part of the bar, if they're serious about it.

Dec 10, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Restos/Bars serving Tom and Jerry drinks? [San Francisco]

Any bars or restaurant bars in San Francisco serving this drink? Was pretty rare in NYC and Boston, wonder if any places do so out here? I did see Melanie's post about the barrel-aged egg nog being served at the hotel, but wondering if anyone has seen it on an menu anywhere in San Francisco.

Dec 09, 2014
avial in San Francisco Bay Area

Cockscomb - SF

I went Wednesday with the SO and Thursday by myself and had a really satisfying experience both times - something that I've been looking for here in SF, since I relocated - I knew it was out there, but between work and other life events, just hadn't gotten to finding that experience yet.

Wednesday night, we walked in at about 8pm w/no reservation but was seated at the counter next to the expedite station and Chris was expediting. The view definitely elevated our experience as we got to watch the restaurant hustle up close, but the service was on-point, friendly, and not intrusive.

Thursday night, by myself, I ended up at the high-table behind the bar. The space is a little crowded if the bar seats are populated and there can be some initial confusion on how to order - bartender comes out from behind the bar and gets your order. Once that was squared away, I enjoyed downing a cocktail, polishing off a salad (green goddess), a bowl of tripe stew, and watching the restaurant ebb and flow.

As for the food, I enjoy the hearty and rustic style that still has some attention to detail paid to it. Not ready to describe the food in writing yet, want to go through more of the menu - need another visit or three (one coming up tmrw night actually). Definitely want to get a pig's head as I've had the chance to do so at Cannibal in NYC several times - though from the ones we saw on Wednesday, they are a little leaner - the meat/tissue from the bottom of the jaw was already missing. Not sure if that was broken down for something else, bad butchery (probably not), or something else.

In terms of how many pigs heads they can do a night typically - 8 - so 4 piggies go to the market and don't come back.

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

Abalone?

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..
)Avedano's
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'.

[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