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Palo Alto search

You won't find sf style namu gaiji places.

Many of the "usual suspects" listed here are pricy.

Cafe Brioche
Local Union 271
Med Wraps
Asian Box
Coupa Cafe
Vino Locale

Da Sichuan
Curry Up Now is cheap at least and slightly amusing
Nola for burgers


Go to MP for
Cafe Barrone

Go to RWC for
Martin's West

Pub Crawl Near the Palace Hotel [San Francisco]

Isn't lefty's kind of generic? It might have some character, but it's a sportsbar in a town where sportsbars aren't particularly popular or lauded.

Pub Crawl Near the Palace Hotel [San Francisco]

You're at montgomery bart. A quick hop down to 16th and mission is a better place to start. But let's say you want to stay near the palace.

Are you talking cocktails, beer, wine; what kind of atmosphere?

How far is a pub crawl for you? That area has historically been a bit of a dead zone, although now we have a few places worth drinking at. And there's a lot of places that post-date my knowledge of the area.

Local Edition -> kind of new but good drinks & overly polished atmosphere for my taste

Trou Normand -> new SF style, gets crowded - very small

The House of Sheilds - Loud an clubish but a bit of an institution

Romper Room -> sounds fun haven't been

Fly Trap ( a serious favorite of mine, grab a bite )

Here's a list to get you started, focusing on cocktails & old places with a touch more "character".... although some are a bit of a walk.

Not that far....
Gitane (eat here)

It's chinatown....
Li Po
Tunnel Top
Tadich ( famous martinis )

Walk down by the water...
Slanted Door ( enjoy the view but don't bother with the food )
Boulevard ( stick to the classics but what a nice bar )

Go inland....
Hotel Utah

If you went to 16th and Mission, you could spend an entire liver at:
Monk's Kettle
500 Club
[ in my personal order of interest ]
And a few blocks away are:
Elbo Room
Southpaw (bourbon flights)
Beauty Bar
The Lex ( straight men will be out of place )
Rite Spot
Doc's Clock

Longbranch Saloon - Berkeley

Maybe a comment on the food would be in order

It's good.

It's that americana comfort menu that it seems everyone is serving, but well executed. Loved the cheese curds, loved the ribs.

Kitchen open until 11:30 on a friday. The "bar bites" menu was going, but that had everything we were going to order anyway.

Beer selection is very, very good. When the "large" breweries are Lagunitas and Drake's, you know you're in for it.

Dim Sum to go in Santa Clara?

Are you also looking for easy in/out parking and pickup, or are you willing to spend a little time?

US geography game : Bay Area restaurant edition

I don't think that's a thing.

Okonomiyaki in South Bay/Peninsula

Likely Izakaya, North 1st, San Jose . Haven't tried it but there are comments here and there on the internet.

Special occasion dinner in the South Bay

I think that's a great choice. I've been there twice in the last 3 months and I think they're doing very decent food.

re: wine, though you didn't ask, they don't do pairings but if you have a good description of what you like, the wine guy will pull some wines for you and give you glasses at different points in the meal. Not 1-1 paired to the dishes. He'll ask for a budget.

Growler fills 'this side' of SF?

I was going to argue, but then I remember the growler filling I saw recently was in a different state. North Carolina might have more "flexible" laws.

Growler fills 'this side' of SF?

Devil's Canyon, San Carlos, looks like they will fill growlers during their business hours during the week. I don't love their beers. But I drink them, they're ok.

Hermitage claims to fill growlers. Haven't tried their beer.

Clandestine says "coming soon" haven't tried their beers.

Anyone know anything about Strike? I worry when I see more marketing people on their page then brewers.

Now... is San Leandro close enough to the south bay? That would be Drake's, and they have great beer at their brewhouse. They fill growlers.

( Smoking Pig BBQ has the denogginizer on tap, and that and some burnt ends and their "wolf turds" makes a fine evening


My favorite SF/Eastbay/southbay beers? Drake, Speakeasy. YMMV.

Smokestack BBQ [San Francisco]

Mixed bag on a visit yesterday

1. Lots of kids! Very kid/parent friendly! I had a kid in tow so this was perfect.

2. Brisket was a very mixed bag. Outside was overly crunchy in a bad way, the fatty part was nice, the lean part was nice. GF said "too tough". Chopped pork could have used a little more flavor. Sausage was pretty good.

3. Hash and soup were very good of the hot sides.

It's a perfect place to stop with a kid or two if you live on the peninsula and are bringing a hungry kid back from the exploratorium or similar. Parking nearby, alcohol for parents, and ICE CREAM.

Still wish the BBQ was a HAIR better.

Best breakfast on the peninsula

I don't eat much pancakes, but brunch spots on the peninsula "by default" might be St Michael's in Palo Alto and Buck's in Woodside (north of Los Altos).

JX Cuisine: santa clara chinese

Ate a meal here. Sort of.

JX Cuisine is at Homestead and Lawrence, catty-corner from the Kaiser, across the street from Orenchi. It's been open since about Nov 1 2014 (thus 5 weeks from when I tried it).

There's a whole nest of chinese places at the Homestead and Wolfe corner, where the 99 ranch is, but I was on urgent business the morning of new year's day finding some down-home comfort food for a friend laid up at Kaiser. Some of that stuff they serve at the hospital just turns your stomach, and their for-pay cafe is closed on holidays.

Although I wouldn't put JX on any "must try of the bay area", for "the place closer to the hospital than the macdonald's" they're doing a decent job. It seems most of the clientele wanted westernized chinese, but the cumin lamb was serviceable, and a simple "house special tofu" really hit the spot for my friend.

The owner was super friendly, spoke good english, was nice even to the people who wanted walnut prawns.

In case I have to go back down there, are there specific recommended places at the Homestead / Wolfe corner ? I think I've been to Joy Luck and Southland Flavor and they were both worth a trip, but a little hard to order at (very chinese!). Melanie mentioned New Port a while ago.


Charlotte Indian Food

SF (silicon valley) eater dropped by for a bite. Blue Taj is close to my aunt and uncle's place.

Rather impressed. Some unusual dishes like Gobi Manchurian, as well as lots of old favorites. Everything was well prepared and high quality. I couldn't quite tell where the owners or chef was from.

I would consider everything under-spiced (just low-impact, I don't mean hot) in general (sampling my companions).

I did get Lamb Vindaloo (which they amusingly spelled Vin D'Alu, don't know what they know), and I asserted to them that I wanted it "proper vindaloo" and they delivered. I've had better, sure, but of the US Vindaloos I've had it would be in the top 5.

Space was a little loud. Price seemed good to me but I'm used to SF.

Jan 02, 2015
bbulkow in Southeast

Dim Sum Club -- XLB worth seeking out? [San Francisco]

1. In a post-christmas day of walking around, R&G, Y&Z, Great Eastern were mobbed at 1pm. Bund was walk-in. I hadn't realized it was no-frills - "bund" sounded classy. I liked the vibe. Seemed to be the tourist trade, places that had gotten written up, but also a day when kids had come into town and were eating with their old-school parents.

2. Dong Bo Pork at Bund was great. We got the "small" which was a little taste and worked great for 3 people as part of eating dumplings.

3. XLB had thin skins but variable (and small) soup factor. I like mine soupier. Some of the individual dumplings were soupier. In my home court, I prefer Su Hong PA's XLB.

4. They have shen jen bao (don't know the correct transliteration) --- the kind with thicker skins and brown bottoms. Smaller size than I've had some places - but very much like Yang's in Shanghai. These were a little greasy but good, also not very soupy.

5. seeing the previous posts about the vinegar, I wonder if I've been doing it wrong all along. Please advise on proper vinegar technique. Sometimes I pour, sometimes I dip, sometimes I just put some of the ginger slices on top. Still looking for the right technique.

east bay burger with short ribs in the mix?

Not the east bay but since you're talking about bacon-mix-burgers ---

Cafe Stritch, San Jose, is just like this. 8 bucks. WITH FRIES.

And you often get live music with no cover.

Any wonder I get up to stuffy, expensive ol' San Francisco less and less?

Muracci's - 2nd location now in Los Altos & open Sat + dinners.

Tried to go to Kobe Curry once, it closes on the early side and it's a little hard to find.

Comparisons to Guru Katsu ?

French Fries: SFBA Dish of the Month December 2014

Go around the corner to Coupa Cafe. Best kept secret in palo alto - the burger and fries - which are excellent. Crisp.

South Bay Dining

I had a very nice meal at Chez TJ a few weeks ago. It's easy to get reservations, the price is right (a tasting menu that big for $200-ish, and the option of half-pours of interesting wine), and a much more cohesive and interesting set of dishes compared to dining there a few years ago.

Maybe we have to stop talking about the chef changes... perhaps under the current chef (Gallagher, from the website... I don't know him or his name, although he came out and had a long and spirited discussion with another table) Chez TJ has really found its stride.

Although Manresa is a real gem, we might start hearing more about Chez TJ.

REALLY spicy food in the Bay Area?

"nearly brought tears to your eyes" ... that's hot?

The single small ball of fried dough was so hot that the triggered convulsions in my stomach ( when the hot hit the stomach ) caused me to stagger, doubled over, into the street, where I vomited my dinner into the gutter.

I had a padrone so hot I was blinded for 5 seconds (Cesar, 2003). This effect is due to pain so intense that your brain forgets you have an optic nerve.

AAachi Appakadi isn't that hot... the spice in the dishes is rich and complex. Big fan.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I'm not crazy about third wave drip but third wave espresso is swank, on a really slow pull where the sour mixes with the crema with a slight bitter kick.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I want my cold brewed coffee on tap, without having to go all the way to Bicycle.

Come down the peninsula. We've got less of all that stuff.

Seeking Harbin Beer

Harbin is a very interesting food place because the city was founded by the russians as the penultimate stop on the trans-siberian ( I stayed in the first building of the city, the russian-architecture hotel ), who brought in germans as engineers, and koreans as workers. The city went Japanese for a while but you'll see little evidence in the city's restaurants --- and now has been chinese for a while.

Most tourists know Harbin for their winter Ice Festival. The railroad runs over a huge bridge over the river there, and in the winter it's the world center for ice sculpture. The place is very northern and very cold.

There are very solid dumpling shops (think Everyday Beijing +++), interesting korean places, and a few russian places still left. The guidebooks say the restaurants are color coded (white, red, blue, I think) .... and those german engineers brought their beer tech.

The sweetness in Harbin reminds one of a Kolsch. It's a very pleasant beer, although I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Wes' description seems spot on.

I try to keep an eye out for it, and I saw it in some chinese place in the last month, but my mind just doesn't remember exactly which place. Sorry.

REALLY spicy food in the Bay Area?

I had an interesting spicy experience this weekend.

Izakaya Ginji, in San Mateo, has a "Takoyaki Roulette", where out of the 6 takoyaki, one is spicy. I had it once before, it was good and fun.

I had it again this weekend --- and it nearly killed me. I'll leave out the graphic details, but it was easily the single hottest thing I've ever eaten. Yes, I've had the old prince of wales habenero hamburger. I make my own hot sauce out of Carolina Morugas. These takoyaki, like Padrones, you end up eating a few and then biting really hard, so you're not gingerly eating.

I'm also getting fonder and fonder of Ginji. They have a broader menu than Kokko yet have better skewers.

Jeffrey's in Menlo Park - now open

Is Jefferey's closed? I drove by yesterday hoping to get a burger and it was dark --- but maybe that was the rain-o-pocolypse fear?

I can imagine their competition with 5 guys is fierce, but every time I go in they have a decent crowd.

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

Most refugees from the Midwest might turn up their noses at something other than the pre-made "tom and jerry batter" they've grown up with. The batter would typically be mixed with mid-grade rum (not brandy) at the relatives I had in the greater minnesota area.

Here's a random recipe for a tom and jerry, notice it doesn't start with nog and allows any dark spirit:

Chef Ma in San Jose for Chengdu, Sichuan Cooking

My best source for chinese tips in the south bay recommends Shao Mountain in West San Jose (Lawrence).

Likely similar to Shao Mountain in Fremont --- my buddy hadn't been to the "old" one.

I haven't seen any mention here on the board of the SJ branch --- thoughts?

Smoking Pig BBQ in Fremont, quite good

I just googled a bit and couldn't find a definition of "full cut". The ribs were very full.

Smoking Pig BBQ in Fremont, quite good

There are a number of threads about Smoking Pig in San Jose but none about Fremont. The fremont location is better situated, has a larger beer selection, is easier to find, and has two MONSTROUS SMOKERS the likes of which I haven't seen (they're about 15" tall).

The location is on Mowery near Paseo Padre. It's a converted other restaurant of some sort (not a denny's per se but something similar). The inside is nicely wood re-paneled, has a huge stage and nice music system, a big square bar with lots of TVs, a seating area away from the stage.

They seem to have music, no cover, either on thursday / Friday, or Friday/Saturday. They do a classic "first set at 8:30, second set whenever we get around to it." The band I heard was an excellent small blues combo travelling from Florida, they've also got people like Ron Thompson in.

On to the food. What I liked about SJ Smoking Pig when I visited and wrote about it was the excellent brisket. Since then, I've travelled to texas eating over 20 different BBQs (although not some of the classic places near Austin), and hit a few of the well regarded places in North Carolina. In the bay area, we've had Smokestack and Perdition and a few other places open.

Based on my sample last night, I think I need to sample this place a bit more --- but I'm encouraged. I think I liked Smokestack and Perdition a bit better - tenderer meats.

The style they're doing doesn't have a lot of smoke. It's not a trail dust kind of place. I didn't get the brisket, which was the star of a previous SJ visit, "off the high side". That'll be the test. It's partially all about the sauce, although the taste of the meat is quite good. But --- the sauces are as good as I've had anywhere. I had the burnt ends, which were more like massive chunks of bacon, and the ribs, which could have been more tenderer but I liked the meat taste.

What I remember about the SJ Smoking Pig was a level of irregularity, like a pulled pork that was quite dried out. I'd like to sample more of their wares, over a longer period of time.

But if I was in Fremont, and wasn't in the mood for indian or chinese, the well appointed location with solid beer list would make a "let's stop by" --- and I'll keep an eye on the music list, even though I'm not a blues fan. The wine list was amusing too --- it looks like Travieso has done a custom blend for SP.

Prices were fairly reasonable - I think it was $55 for two after tax before tip, including beers.

The place is clearly a labor of love by the guy who was clearly the owner, whatever his name was, who greeted many people and was hovering about, passing the tip jar for the band. He literally got me dancing on the small dance floor, which is easily the first time in 15 years that's happened.

Chennai Kings now open in Mountain View

They have two small TVs. When I was there, they were tuned to some rather wobbly channels. You'll have to call, but it wasn't really a rowdy cricket joint.