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Good restaurant for birthday dinner in the inner East Bay?

Level II - looks boring, but it is a steakhouse.

I used to like going to Townhouse in Emeryville or even Trader Vics to be silly, but have not been lately for update on quality.

Other places recommended to me Marica and Wood Tavern, but I haven't been yet (I have a steak loving friend, but we have been trying the SF places - I was underwhelmed by Bobo's).

Feb 05, 2014
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Is it just me or does this list sound very upmarket and possibly not really reflective of what's great to eat in SF ?

Again - I love sauerkraut and I'm Irish/Danish and grew up eating bean burritos - thanks to my red headed freckled father who grew up in East LA.

Feb 05, 2014
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Is it just me or does this list sound very upmarket and possibly not really reflective of what's great to eat in SF ?

Sausage and Sauerkraut - always good together.

Cardamon and orange are hardly weird. Both are great in rice puddings, so bread (kouign amann) would likely be great with a cardamom/orange syrup.

Chickpeas are a staple in many rich indian dishes and a fatty beef would be a good compliment (but that would need to be a Pakastani restaurant...). Really hard to mess up oxtail with anything (lots of fat). And I love barley - always have preferred it to rice - much healthier with great texture. My grandmother used to make me barley pudding. Its just a great grain - and grains are a strong trend everywhere....

Feb 05, 2014
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Corporate Group Dinner near Union Sq. - last minute! [San Francisco]

I have not checked if they have availability but One Market once came to my rescue on the same day that I had a large party planned for the Cypress Club and the Cypress Club had its assets seized! Panic time....

Sens also has a lot of space but the menu is very similar (and not as good) as Kokkari.

For such a big group ($$$) a lot of places might accomodate that would not be obvious on open table. Zero Zero has a fun vibe and very different than Kokkari's as well. Good luck!

Jan 08, 2014
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Christmas week in Sonoma, need restaurant and winery recs!

The recommendations are all great, but with three or four free days you can probably occupy yourself in one area for the whole trip (or make one day trip to Healdsburg). The drive from Sonoma to Healdsburg can be scenic but you could probably eat two meals and visit three wineries tops after accounting for the drive. Safari West is also a fun little non-food activity.

I like Gundlach and Bartholomew, Buena Vista is also pretty.

I generally stop at Fremont Diner and tour around Carneros area when I have guests. Artesa, Hess, maybe the DiRosa Tour

http://www.dirosaart.org/

Toward Santa Rosa I like to hike at the Jack London State Park -wild turkeys and the ruins of Wolf House + a neat little Jack London Museum. Near there, you have some terrific Glen Ellen and Kenwood Wineries including Chateau St. Jean and Benzinger. Mayo Family also does a wine/food pairing by appointment.

seeking suggestions for office lunch in/around Fremont

For Asian you could try Sala Thai (Hub area) or I second the vote for Asian Pearl (Auto Mall) they have decent dim sum and some creative Chinese dishes. I used to work down there and we often went to Spin a Yarn - which is fine but very 1970.

Dec 19, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Are there any restaurants in the Bay Area with kid play areas?

Once you are a parent - these places are amazing! We need a break sometimes.

Not local (at all) but if you ever head down 101 from Santa Barbara to LA (Disneyland!) we always stop at the Padaro Beach Grill. We and our friends kick back with beer and fish tacos or burgers under the sunbrellas while the little ones play in a huge sandpit (toys included) within eyesight of every table and/or lounge chair. Great spot and we never caravan down without breaking at this location. Kids get all the "sick of driving" out of their systems and can have chicken fingers and a milkshake.

Dec 19, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Croissant in SF/Bay Area?

In the name of science, I skipped my Yuzu Pistachio fix and tried the almond croissant at Rustic Bakery. Tons of almonds encrusting the entire croissant, carmelized bottom edges, heavy, and the filling was deliciously different. Plenty of almond paste with a slightly custardy mouth feel with no grit. I was going to eat half of it - and now the whole thing is missing! So much for today's calorie count.

The ginger scone is another favorite if you stop by.....

Any place one can buy Kouign Amann in SF?

I see that this thread continues. I noted that Rustic Bakery (outlets around Marin) sells KA everyday. Have not taken a taste test at this point.

Dec 19, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Haunted Bay Area Suggestions?

Just wanted to mention my favorite Halloween spot, the Fat Lady in Oakland's Jack London Square; they go all out with cool decorations that change every year and have a good brunch or drinks appetizers at night if you have another trip or lunch to fill....

Oct 29, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Fish Tacos near Hilton Garden Inn San Mateo?

I can't specifically vouch for the fish tacos, but Kingfish in downtown San Mateo is lively and open until 11PM and they have fish tacos on the menu. This place usually does the basics okay and I've had mussels there that were quite good.

Rubio's is on 4th St. if you want decent "fast food" fish tacos :)

Oct 29, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Zero Zero or Town Hall for early dinner - Guests from DC and LA [San Francisco]

LA and DC have good food. I need to take out two co-workers for an early 5:30-6PM dinner tonight and it would be nice if we don't spend $$$$ (on the company tab) because I know they like their cocktails and have to save some budget for that....

And we should be able to hear each other speak.

Last they are staying SOMA near 2nd and Howard area so I don't want to get to far from SOMA/Financial District.

Oct 29, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Kenwood Winery help - Doing a eat/drink loop from Marin through Kenwood

Thank you, I wanted to try something better than Nick's but it is on the way home and open early than some of the other options on a weekday. I have to get home by 6 :(. I'm going to look up some of these suggestions.

For wine, I like Millat (not a photographers dream...) and we've been to Chateau St. Jean, which I do like for a picnic, but want to try something new.

Oct 28, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Kenwood Winery help - Doing a eat/drink loop from Marin through Kenwood

Ok - I have to create a special birthday this week for the DH. I was thinking of driving the 30 minutes to Fremont Diner (its a weekday) for early breakfast by 8AM. Then fitting in a little hike (Quarryhill perhaps) followed by a couple winery stops in Kenwood.

Looking for romantic/pretty/or wow factor for photos more than the best wine on this trip (though I love a good zinfandel). Was thinking of Ledson or Imagery...as we have never been to those two .... I usually stay in Sonoma proper for tastings.

Then I thought we would circle back home on the coast having a late lunch/early dinner at Nick's Cove.

A lot of driving, but I'm out of cool ideas and we went to Fremont Diner once during a peak time, and we've never been to Nick's.

Any suggestions appreciated, even ideas between Kenwood/Nicks - I don't know Petaluma/Tomales area too well.

Oct 28, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Need a "less cool" recommendation for out of town visitors/jazz lover/cocktail drinkers [San Francisco]

I did send them the Yoshi's link - my only thought was that combining meal/jazz would be better time wise....but looking at options, I would agree with you. Le Colonial just does not feel like someplace I would go in San Franciso.

And I think casual is fine for them as long as they have some space and a DJ is not breaking beats (fun visual for me).

Oct 24, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Filipino Food - Cherry Garden - Fremont

Reading the "jumped the dining shark" post, made me think of this past weekend when I joined my filipino friends at Cherry Garden in Fremont.

Sometimes, a pile of pork in various forms will reawaken tired taste buds.

If you have never been, the Cherry Garden has every form of filipino breakfast baconsilong, tapsilog, longsilog, adobsilog, bangusilog etc etc.

My friends ordered the "Platter" a mountain of meats and grilled eggplant that was quite tasty and included lechon kawali, crispy pata, fried chicken + "unlimited rice" you could eat as much garlic fried rice or steamed rice as you wanted until you burst.

Check it out if you are in the area:

39206 Fremont Blvd
(at Mowry Ave)
Fremont, CA 94538

Oct 24, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Need a "less cool" recommendation for out of town visitors/jazz lover/cocktail drinkers [San Francisco]

Ok my boss and hubby will be in city on their own for three days. He loves jazz, but is not one that likes a lot of walking or anything too trendy/loud/young.

I thought of Bix or Cafe Claude or even Le Colonial (theme - city) as they are staying in Union Square, but don't want to sacrifice a "can't miss" meal for jazz if there are better places.

They are from LA, so Asian/Mexican galore...

So, looking for some guidance on places with:
-Good food
-Relaxed ambience
-Comfortable for the over 50 year old crowd
-Not typical LA ethnic
-A good time for someone that has not been in SF for 15 years
They like German food, Jazz, and martinis...

They have one evening out at the Exploratorium and are at Cal Academy Saturday afternoon. Otherwise they are based in Union Square.

Oct 24, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Indian in Fremont with nice quiet atmosphere

Was hoping to get some good ideas myself- but looks like it can't be found. Have you thought about trying something slightly different? I recently ate at Salang Pass. It is Afghani Food. The restaurant is NOT fancy inside, but there are tables where you can sit on floor pillows, and larger groups were lounging there for quite some time having tea etc...

I found the food to be very tasty and it was so fun to try new things -plus the service was friendly and welcoming. http://salangrestaurant.com/

It was not crowded (so you could lounge) and the dishes -- especially the appetizers were ample. This is not a pretty facade type place or the nicest part of Fremont, but don't let that deter you. Maybe try it out first - it is "Indian-Like" and a fresh experience if you have not had Afghan Food.

I ordered an appetizer, maybe called Bolani? I ordered it spicy (I love spicy food) and I recevied a massive pile of spicy potato stuffed crispy bread pancakes. It was enough to serve as an appetizer for a table of six! I also had Ashak - a meat dumpling that was good with a slightly sweet taste. But I had already gorged myself on Bolani and could not really eat anything else.

Mar 14, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

5 food industry folks in San Fran from Boston for 3 days - how we doing so far?

I love Flour and Water...and you probably want to try some foods unlike what you could get in Boston (but I'm not sure what that would be?).

Regarding the sports Bar I just watched an episode of "check please" where all three people raved about a sports bar in Oakland - Grand Oaks - in the Grand Lake district. They loved the Bar set up, TVs, and the food. Not sure if anyone on Chow hound has been there??

While in Oakland there are a few other cool places you could try....

Jan 19, 2013
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Which recipes (and ingredients) are, in your opinion, over hyped?

I love wilted argula on prociutto pizza. Heaven! oops I'm supposed to complaining. ... I don't really care for Risotto either, but that is a dish...

Aug 11, 2011
myst in General Topics

Which recipes (and ingredients) are, in your opinion, over hyped?

I love Fennel, I have a recipe with swiss chard and fennel that is so delicious...I have to find it....

Aug 11, 2011
myst in General Topics

ISO Pecorino near FIDI?

I want to buy some good cheese for carbonara and was hoping to get some at lunch time (walking) so somewhere in FIDI or North Beach would be best.

Aug 09, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a cake

Many years ago I babysat for an Estonian family - on a rare occasion they made Dobos- with seven layers, but it seemed a task. So commercial baker may well make something similar, but less delicate and time-consuming......

Good Luck finding something close!

BTW I love Crixa's Lemon cake......

Aug 08, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a cake

Sounds like a Dobos Torte?

Aug 05, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Chicken Parmesan Oakland/East Bay

I like the one at Pasta Pomodoro. I rarely order it myself, but I've tasty it and the cheese has always been very crisp (and lots of it....).

Aug 05, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Barbara's fishtrap in Half Moon Bay..

I usually take my touristy self to Sam's Chowder house. I love sitting on the deck eating all the cliche chowder house favorites.... and I must say that Sam's Chowder and Lobster Rolls are better than Phil's in Moss Landing, but I love Phil's location (no view, but a real beach just steps away...)

Aug 05, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

REVIEW w/ pics: Dinner at Patio Filipino

My favorite thing here is usually the sisig and the Halo-Halo which at Patio Filipino is served with Ube Ice Cream in a coconut shell. You can scoop the young coconut from the shell as you eat.

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Patio Filipino
1770 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066

Jul 20, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Going to Yank Sing for the first time [San Francisco]

If you like the seabass try going to Alameda's East Ocean for dinner. While not cheap either you get a much larger portion of I think Black Cod -- it is pink on the outside like Char Siu, but does not taste like it. It melts in your mouth.

Jul 20, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Burger and Fries in SF, $10?

Irish Times Pub

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Irish Times
500 Sacramento St, SF, CA

Jul 13, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area

Burger and Fries in SF, $10?

I've been to Grumpy's too and the Irish Times both are better than Bistro Burger.

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Irish Times
500 Sacramento St, SF, CA

Jul 13, 2011
myst in San Francisco Bay Area