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Visiting SF Tomorrow...Need Recommendations (Dim Sum, Chinese, Seafoods, Breakfast, and Others)

Thanks for all of your help so far.

Here are some more questions:

1. If I want to taste "Californian" cuisine (all I had was national franchise, like Cheese cake factory, Wolfgang pucks, J. Alexander's, etc.), which one would be the best. I found Houston's (it's also franchise...and little expensive side).

2. Any coffee shop, bakery, pastry shops I must try?

3. Swan Oyster bar would be the best bet? Any other alternatives?

4. Which Chiinese restaurant would be considered as best seafood (plus, good dumplings) in Richmond area?

Thanks again for your help.

Jun 12, 2009
kthan in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting SF Tomorrow...Need Recommendations (Dim Sum, Chinese, Seafoods, Breakfast, and Others)

A Chicago chowhound will visit SF tomorrow for 2 days and looking for the best restaruants for my criteria. I am sorry I couldn't do my self-search (in the middle of west coast trip...internet time has not been allowed). I will drive a car (So location wouldn't be a matter). Here are the details of my preferences.

1. Dim Sum: I haven't tried dim sum at SF yet. I was quite impressed at San Fernando valley (LA area) in the past.

2. Chinese: My focus would be seafood, noodle soup and dumpling. I ate one restaurant in a suburb (don't know the name...but many big chinese restaurants are there in a street) 3-4 years ago.

3. Seafood: I ate Swan seafood before and quite impressed. No fancy, high-end style. Just like the style of Swan. I want to taste crab, oyster, other shellfish and chowder (my best chowder is Splash Cafe in pismo beach....hopefully, one can beat them)

4. Breakfast: Haven't eat breakfast at SF. But, my friend heartly recommend Mama's, How would you think? Let me know if there's other contenders.

5. Other: Solid Japanese (sushi, udon/ramen, and tonkatsu), Italian maybe, or other Asian (Thai, Vietnamese), or Californinan (we love Houston, J.Alexander here in Chicago).

Thank you very much for your help in advance.

Jun 11, 2009
kthan in San Francisco Bay Area

Japanese recommendation (udon, ramen, tonkatsu, etc) in Torrence

I am heading to LA tomorrow and looking for a good authentic Japanese option in LA. I heard Torrence area would
be the right place, but couldn't decide which one to go. So far, I found these two spots: Kotohira, and Sanuki no San.

My preference is to find a place that can serve better udon, ramen, tonkatsu and other dishes in one place. If not, I guess have to choose either udon or ramen. For reference, I ate santoka ramen in chicago but was not impressed (too authentic...didn't like strong pork smell...). This is for lunch. I appreciate your kindly help in advance.

Jun 10, 2009
kthan in Los Angeles Area

Help me to choose the resturants in San Diego

Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions so far.
Yes. I have a car (not bounded by the walking distance/public transportation range). Here are some additional questions.

1. I want to know how you would compare between Blue Water Grill and Point Loma Seafoods in terms of food quality (fish, shellfish, etc.) and menu variety (I have two boys...they are not the fans of seafood).

2. As for fish tacos and Carne burrito, I intend to taste them at San Diego, where there are some better Mexican foods than other cities. I am not looking for 'pure authentic', which needs an acquired taste. I'd rather prefer to find the place to serve more attractive dishes (i.e., freshest fish and best quality tender beef/steak, plus delicious taco/burrito & sauces). It would be the best if one place serve both dishes quite well. If not, please let me know what places would be right for me.

Jun 08, 2009
kthan in San Diego

Help me to choose the resturants in San Diego

San Diego is the first destination of my family's west coast trip (will go next Tuesday for two days and go to San Francisco for three days via LA <half-day>). I am from Chicago.

Here is my list of the dishes and the best restuarants I found so far.

1. Fish Taco: South Beach Bar & Grill, Marisco's German (truck 3...different?)
2. Carne Burrito <skirt steak burrito>: Lolita's Taco Shop
3. Seafoods: Point Loma Seafoods, El Pescador Fish Market
4. Breakfast (nearby Omni hotel, not upsacale/fancy, best value, mexican influenced menu?): The misson (which location?): ??
5. Lunch at or near San Diego Zoo (not sure if there's decent lunch spot at or nearby the Zoo

For reference, I will try some others in other cities (Japanese Don-Katz & Udon/Ramen: LA, Clam chowder: Splash Cafe at Pismo beach, Dim Sum, Chinese, Seafood <seafood>, maybe Asian/italian: San Francisco).

As you immediately know, my research is way too basic. Please let me know your comments and other restaurants to suit my needs (just want to try the best restaurants in each category). Also, if there's any other dishes/categories I must try at SD, feel free to let me know.

Thanks for your kindly help in advance.

Jun 07, 2009
kthan in San Diego

Best Seafood Pasta in Manhatthan

I am currently at Manhattan by next Thursday. One of the dishes I want to explore (but didn't accomplish from last four Manhattan visits) is seafood pasta (like linguini clam or linguini frutti di mare). I haven't found any better seafood pasta than Cunetto House of Pasta in St Louis (Hill...little italy), though I lived in Chicago more than 10 years. Can anyone recommend the best seafood pasta (family style...large portion, can taste freshness of seafood along with tasty sauce) in Manhattan?

Thanks for your help in advance.

Aug 16, 2008
kthan in Manhattan

Buffalo Wing: Anchor Bar, Duff's or else?

My family will visit Niagara Falls tomorrow and want to try original buffalo wings. There are different opinions on which one are the best. What you guys think? For me, I do care on the taste of chicken with or without sauce, first. Then, sauce need to be harmonized with the wings (not like "swimming in the sauce" style).

May 15, 2008
kthan in New York State (exc. NYC)

Niagara Fall/Buffalo "must eat" spots (breakfast/lunch)?

I will visit Niagara Falls wih my family tomorrow for only a day and half. But, we still want to eat "good meals" (not caught at some tourist traps). I want to get any recommendations for "good meal."

First, I need to find a good breakfast spot. All I found is Amy's place in buffalo. Any other (better/closer to nigara falls) spots?

Second, is there any other "must eat" spots good for lunch?

Btw, I plan to visit Anchor Bar for original Bufflao Wing on the way to falls tomorrow.

Thank you for your advice in advance.

May 15, 2008
kthan in General Tristate Archive

Seneca Casino Buffet...really good?

My famiily will visit Niagara Falls (US side) tomorrow and stay at Crowne Plaza hotel.

I heard that their buffet is better than those of Canadian side. Is it true? Which meal (lunch or dinner) would be better (compared to price/quality ratio)? The only discount I found was $2 off (from player's card). Is there any coupons or discounts I can find?

Since there's no much time left, I hope I can get your advices soon.

Thank you in advance.

May 15, 2008
kthan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Detroit (Southfield): Any good breakfast spot (The breakfast club or else)?

I will be staying at Westin Southfield this Saturday. I am wondering if there's any good breakfast spots available nearby. I found that "the breakfast club" in madison heights are pretty good, but little far (10 miles?) from the hotel. If there's simiilar or better spots closer to the hotel, I'd go there. If not, is it really worth to drive there for breakfast? Any long wait expected Sunday morning? What to order (their specialties)? Same questions I need to ask for an alternative breakfast spot(s) you might recommend.

Thank you for your help in advance.

May 15, 2008
kthan in General Midwest Archive

Detroit (Suburb) Japanese: Ajishin or elsewhere?

Based on my brief research, Ajishin is a right spot for our family (we will stay at Southfield Westin on Saturday and looking for a dinner spot...hopefully japanaese...b/c my parents loves authentic japanese food...not just sushi, but other hot dishes, like udon, tonkatsu, etc.

Given the preferences, what would you think? If you think there's better place, please let me know. If not, give me some tips on what to order at Ajishin. Since we are party of 6, I am wondering if we expect long wait around 5-6 pm on Saturday?

Thank you for your advice in advance.

May 15, 2008
kthan in General Midwest Archive

Dim Sum Recommendation

I will visit LA tomorrow and try dim sum on Saturday lunch.
About 5 years ago, I visited one restaurant near Monterey Park (I guess it's Empress Pavilion or Ocean Star because we went somewhere near Monterey Park and went upstairs (2nd floor). They have a big, big space and people took the dishes from the carts. I was impressed by the variety of foods and the quality (you can image....I am from chicago...so not sure it's top quality in LA sense...But, they were much better than the dim sums I ate in Mott st, NYC).

I tried to revisit that restaurant (I assumed Empress Pavilion or Ocean Star), but found many bad/medicore reviews here and there. I guess they went down hill from my last visit or there were originally not top class dim sum restaurant (but, if then, I am wondering why people are so crowded in this big restaurant).

Can you comment on this and recommend great dim sum restaurant? My preferences are cart-based (not off the menu), variety of different foods (hopefully, excellent dumplings & fresh seafood), traditional or new style..(doesn't matter). Which restaurant truly gives the most pleasing dim sum experience can provide for me? How about NBC, Sea Harbor, Din Dai Fung (only dumpling? no variety?)...?

Since we have only one day to decide, I hope I can get your valuable advices soon.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Apr 17, 2008
kthan in Los Angeles Area

Which French Bistro to choose?

My wife and I are looking for a good French Bistro in the city and thinking some mentioned here (Le Bouchon/Sardine, Mon Ami Gabi, Cafe Bernard, Cafe Matou, Chez Joel, etc.).

We had some preferences to choose one on the list:

1. kids: I know it's bistro but we can't exclude our two boys. Kids menu preferred. If not, at least, want to find another party with kids (don't want to be embarassed by their noise). high noisy level is perfectly okay for us.

2. prix fixe menu: my wife particularly like this type of full course dinner and I found many had three-course meals on select weekdays (except Mon Ami Gabi... but we don't exclude Mon Ami Gabi. If they are superb and fit our other preferences, we would definitely go). Which one had the best fixed-menu deal (not trimmed menu, same size portion and better taste at a good price)?

3. We have not been a fan of French food and did not have "acquired taste." When we visited Kiki's bisto and Bistro Margot some years ago, we found that the dishes are not suite to our taste (especially, sea bass at kiki's were very bland with our taste). We just want to have some excellent dishes (onion soup, mussels, steak fritte, fresh seafood, may try Bouillabaisse). In terms of our menu preferences, which one would be the best?

Thank you for your helpful comments in advance.

Nov 17, 2006
kthan in Chicago Area

best prix-fixe deal in Chicago?

How about Osteria Via Stato ($36 per person)? There are mixed reviews on this restaurant.

Nov 17, 2006
kthan in Chicago Area

best prix-fixe deal in Chicago?

I have enjoyed Marche/Opera prix-fixe three-course deal couple of times. Now, I am looking for another deal for upcoming Saturday (I knew and will try Roy's, though). My wife particularly like this type of full-course dinner.

Here are my preferences:

1. We prefer to find a deal under $40 per person.
2. We can't exclude our two boys. So, the restaurant has to be, at least, kids-allowed.
3. Don't have any preference in cuisine type, but prefer american/continental/italian/pan-asian over others.

Thank you for your help in advance.

Nov 16, 2006
kthan in Chicago Area

Help to choose Chinese (seafood & noodle) restaurant

I will visit Seattle this weekend and want to try a good Chinese restaurant. I searched a bit and found some of the names (Seven Stars Szechuan Restaurant <crab>, Hing Loon <the Shrimp Won Ton Soup>, Ho Ho seafood <crab>, Szechuan Noodle Bowl <noodle soup>, Szechuan Chef in Bellevue, etc.).

I prefer to taste a fresh, tasty crab and other seafood dishes as well as Chow Fun (my kid's favorite... cripy verion on the edge of noodles) and other noodle (soup) dishes. Which one would be the best bet for us? It seems like every restaurant has its own specialty foods, which I need to order out of them. Also, I prefer a restaurant always crowded, the unchanged rule & tip to find a delicious restaurant anywhere in the world. We will stay in downtown, but doesn't matter to travel if I can get better food.

Nov 09, 2006
kthan in Pacific Northwest

Tamarind Tree or Green Leaf?

I found these two are the most famous and reliable Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle. Since Vietnamese foods are bad here in chicago, I want to try a decent vietnamese resturant when I go to Seattle this week.

Which one would you recommend? I am not a fan of Pho (but my wife is), but I like their satay beef (skewed grilled beef). We prefer less greasy, no MSG. Also, please recommend some dishes (not adventurous ones) we must try (I found some recommend vietnamese pancake here in the board). Thanks for your help in advance.

Nov 09, 2006
kthan in Pacific Northwest

best restaurant for $25 promotion?

I (a chicagohound) will go to Seattle tomorrow and stay for three nights. I am searching some places to eat and found that there is $25 (three course prix-fixed menu) promotion on some of the restaurants in Seattle during November.

Which restaurant would be the best? I am thinking Etta's, Flying Fish, Oceanaire (these are the names I found good, didn't explore others in the list, yet). I found one reviewer here that Etta's deal is great because they offer full-size (no small portion) and all menus (no trimmed menu). I don't know the other restaurants.

I want to try some of great seafood there, like salmon, crabs, mussels, etc (please recommend any dishes I might like). Also, which time (lunch at $12.50 or dinner at $25) would you prefer? Any differences in portion and menu between the two?
BTW, I just found I have to go to dinner because it is good only Sun (dinner only) - Thur.

Nov 09, 2006
kthan in Pacific Northwest