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Best place for dinner, Petaluma?

Sorry to not reply in time for your visit. Our experience is at par with what your friends have said. Some of their items are great...while others need work. An example, ordered a steak and half the items the menu listed that would accompany the dish (think roasted artichokes, tomatoes, etc) were missing when the plate arrived. A bit strange if you ask me. Even though the menu is less interesting, we go to Graziano's when we crave Italian food. At least we know it will always be good there.

Mar 11, 2008
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Best place for dinner, Petaluma?

Just wondering...have you been to Gohan recently? We felt in the beginning they were a little inconsistent, but have had great meals there for the last year or so. I'm wondering what you order there b/c my meals have always been huge...even their tuna entree is huge enough to take half home...

Mar 11, 2008
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Chinese restaurants, Mountain View or Sunnyvale

my favorite place for general chinese food is hunan chili in mountain view. they do authentic dishes and some really original ones as well. my favorite dim sum place is in cupertino and is diagonally across the street from the ranch 99 center. TK Noodles is a good and cheap chain for noodle soup, taro and daikon cakes. I lived in Sunnyvale for 17 years and really didn't find any Chinese places there that were great, and went to San Jose, Mountain View and Cupertino for better eats. Hope that helps. Just ask if you would like more specific types of cuisine.

Oct 19, 2007
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Staying in Kailua on Oahu. Would love recs for Kailua as well as surrounding towns/area!!

thank you everyone for your suggestions. we couldn't quite make it everywhere, but will certainly try to hit more spots on our next visit!

our first stop was sidestreet inn for dinner with my in-laws when we arrived. i hadn't realized it was in honolulu (oops :) ). it was a game night, so it was packed...but we were able to order the pork chops and fried rice that i've been hearing about forever. the pork chops were not as great as i had expected, but the fried rice was yummy and a great deal at $10...it was too much to feed 4 of us! we also had the chicken gizzards (super) and the kal-bi (good). not sure if it was worth the fuss, but good food.

we were saddened that boots & kimos was closed the week we visited, but big city diner was pretty good for breakfast. the loco moco was good (the onions really made it stand out) and so was the kim chee fried rice.

keneke's had crazy big plate lunches...the pork gigantes (i think that was how it was spelled) was yummy and different...everything else was pretty standard, but all of it was good and was a great value!

we frequented k&k drive in on our way to the beach (it shares a parking lot w/island snow and the kayak rental place off kailua rd)...it's a little hole in the wall plate lunch place that is packed at lunch...the garlic shrimp there is super (not similar to the shrimp truck garlic shrimp), as well as the chinese-style spicy fried chicken. i tried the war won ton mein too and it was pretty good. not only was this place convenient, but it was cheap (under 8 bucks for most combo plates and under 5 bucks for minis) and the people were extremely friendly!

we did make it to pah ke's in kaneohe (can't go wrong with anything from raymond's menu)...that place is wonderful and the owner also pointed out masa and joyce's okazuya down the street for bentos and musubi. we went there twice...yummy california hand rolls, yakisoba and musubis!

while on a venture through north shore we hit up romy's shrimp truck. the garlic shrimp were wonderful and fresh and the hospitality was definitely nice...not sure if it was worth the 20-25 minute wait for our order though!

our one day in honolulu/waikiki we made it to mariposa for dinner. the food was still good, but i was not wowed by much of it. even the monkey bread was just ok. it was a little disappointing, considering that on my last visit the service was really superb (it was a little off that night, but i do want to say our server, jessica was wonderful...it was the support staff that needed some polishing) and the food was all amazing. for a friday night (with the added draw of fireworks) at 7 there were only about 20 tables seated (it looked like it was only about 1/3 full). has this place lost it's splendor?

we were treated to roy's in hawaii-kai earlier in the visit and our waiter (who used to work at mariposa's...maybe he left with good reason?) helped us select a great dinner. our table ordered everything from the short ribs to the meatloaf. everything was good, and the flavors were great.

our in-laws suggested helena's to us and we happened to make it there at one point during our trip. the staff was warm and the food was delicious! the ribs were some of the best i've had and the fried butterfish collar is a must have!

of course after dinner we drove around the corner to liliha bakery and tried the coco puffs...good, but so rich! we also tried a lilikoi (and maybe passion fruit?)-filled malasada. the filling was perfect, but the malasada it filled left much to be desired.

though we had not planned on it, we were able to try both the malasadas at agnes' bakery as well as leonard's. the ones at agnes' were good, but after we had our filled ones at leonard's, we realized there was no competition! besides the wonderful haupia and chocolate fillings, the malasada itself at leonard's had a better taste and was the perfect chewiness!

thanks again to everyone for the suggestions! i hope my little report back helps a bit!

Sep 25, 2007
lj2899 in U.S. Elsewhere Archive

Staying in Kailua on Oahu. Would love recs for Kailua as well as surrounding towns/area!!

Thanks, Yoshio. Sounds like some great advice! In regards to dim sum, is it typical that it's only served on the weekends or do they serve it at lunch as they do at some places here in SF?

Sep 14, 2007
lj2899 in U.S. Elsewhere Archive

Staying in Kailua on Oahu. Would love recs for Kailua as well as surrounding towns/area!!

thank you so much for the recs! :)
fine dining is not necessarily what we are looking for, so no worries. we will be visiting mariposa's in honolulu, so the rest of the time we just want to have GOOD food! any ideas for dim sum without heading to honolulu?

Sep 14, 2007
lj2899 in U.S. Elsewhere Archive

Staying in Kailua on Oahu. Would love recs for Kailua as well as surrounding towns/area!!

Hello! My husband and I are staying in Kailua for 8 days and were hoping to find some help as to where the good places to eat are! We've been once before and loved Boots & Kimos (pancakes w/mac nut sauce, fried rice omelette...both amazing!) as well as Teddy's.

Our in-laws are taking us to Side Street Inn (I think that's the name) one night...any other casual, but great places like that in Kailua or surrounding towns? We're open to all types of food, but specifically, we would love to find some good dim sum, saimin and plate lunch. Is there any good dim sum on this side of the island, or will we have to go to Honolulu/Chinatown?

Thanks for your help!

Mahalo!

Sep 14, 2007
lj2899 in U.S. Elsewhere Archive

Richmond – Pacific East Mall - 168 Restaurant, stinky tofu & Taiwanese buns

Well, just went again last Friday. The "XLB" were not very good in my opinion. The oyster pancake there is pretty spot on (gooey, chewy, and crispy on the edges), but did not have very many oysters (though for the price, it was still a super steal). We also had the glutinous rice-filled intestines, which were probably the best I've had in years. Think of a rice sausage from the south, but with peanuts and soy-sauce flavored rice instide. It comes with a very strong garlic dipping sauce, that I would warn to use sparingly (even though it is so great!). We also had the beef noodles soup, which was blah and I would not order again there. Let me know if you need any more insight into any specific dishes there!

Aug 23, 2007
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Richmond – Pacific East Mall - 168 Restaurant, stinky tofu & Taiwanese buns

Just a tip for eating the Taiwanese Meat Balls...we typically "tear" it into 4 pieces (they are usually cut open four ways, but not all the way through), which allows for easier pick-up with chopsticks. Also in regards to the tomato sauce...every place you go does it differently. I've had the meat ball there before and the sauce is just so so, but definitely was not dumbed down for you. Everywhere I've had this pink/orange sauce in California (whether over a Taiwanese Meat Ball, oyster or shrimp pancake, or with fried glutinous intestines), it has always been different each time, and still a little off from what the real stuff tastes like...either too sweet or not sweet enough, no garlic or too much. I applaud you for being so adventurous!

Aug 16, 2007
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Very Good Thai in Petaluma?

We've been to Sea a few times and love it! It's more pricey than some of the other places around here (for instance most of their curries are about $15, but are at least twice the portion offered at other places), but the service is great and the food is yummy! If you like curry, they have a great selection. The most interesting is a seafood curry with lychee and I think pineapple in it. They also have a good brown curry. We haven't been to any other place since we've tried Sea. I heard that they are opening another location in Santa Rosa in Montgomery Village. Oh, and I don't recall if it is air conditioned...sorry!

Jun 20, 2007
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

What would be considered not prime times? Would I have a better chance hitting it up on a weekday?

Jun 08, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

i must say, from what i've heard, i will probably not put too much time into the chinese food in ny. we have great chinese food both here in sf and in houston (where my mom is coming from)...my only thought would maybe have some casual dim sum as a snack one day. thanks for saving me the trip!

Jun 07, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

just the type of recs i'm looking for! these sound great! thank you!

Jun 07, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

i hear little italy is the place to go for noisy but casual dining on any given night. any places to beware of?

Jun 07, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

sounds like a great place to hang out for the evening! thanks for the suggestion!

Jun 07, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Flipper's Gourmet Burgers coming to Petaluma?

Bummer...just say yesterday that it's now open.

Jun 06, 2007
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Thanks for all the great recs, jinet12 (and others I haven't responded to!)...two questions: do most places only serve brunch on the weekends? and two: i need reservations at balthazar? i probably misunderstood and thought it was a really good neighborhood fave, but not the type i'd need a reservation for...your thoughts? thank you! :)

Jun 06, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Flipper's Gourmet Burgers coming to Petaluma?

Yesterday we drove by what used to be the Eastside Grill off of Sonoma Mtn. Parkway and it looks like all the signs have changed to "Flipper's Gourmet Burgers". Couldn't find much out there about this...is this the same as the one in SF (never been, just heard of it)? It sounds like Julian's will have some burger competition (sharing the same parking lot!).

Anyone have any insight on this? Should we just stick to Julian's or will this place be worth a try?

Jun 05, 2007
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Is Joe's Dairy a market or deli type of place? I LOVE fresh mozzarella...

Thanks for the info on Kee's...we love good chocolate!

Jun 05, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

July vacation to SF- advice?

sed231,
Looks like we are switching places in July...me in NY, you in CA.
If you are interested in Chez Panisse I say try to book a resi now and then take a look at the menu the week before to decide whether you actually want to dine there. It is across the bay though, so quite a trek. I definitely think you should visit the Farmers' Market...just so interesting! If you have the time, I'd say take a stroll through the Marina and take your time window-shopping, but also maybe stop into one of the more casual restaurants etc. for a bite. There is a good organic place called Lettus Cafe that does good salads and paninis...also up one of the side streets is a cute little shop called Kara's Cupcakes. Cute, expensive, but they try to use local ingredients, which is cool. Hope you have fun!

Jun 05, 2007
lj2899 in San Francisco Bay Area

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

well so much for that...thx anyhow.

Jun 05, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Wonderful! Thanks for the "inside" tip! Non food-related suggestions are totally welcomed as well! Thank you!

Jun 05, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

oh man, maybe we'll have to do katz's another time...b/c i don't want to lug around a sandwich all day! lol

we are staying in soho, so maybe snack would be perfect for a quick bite! thanks for all the info!

Jun 05, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Great ideas...maybe going to Katz's to grab a sandwich etc. and heading to the park? And Aburiya sounds yummy! I love good tofu...and Snack Taverna...do they offer full meals or is it purely snacks? Thanks! :)

Jun 04, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

This is exactly what we have in mind...thanks for the great rec. Hope to go there and give you a great report back!

Jun 04, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Thanks so much! Wondering...do we need to order tix in advance for the ferry? What else is around the terminal that could help us round the day out? Pizza and Italian ice sound so good right now! I hope to hear more about your second trip, as I won't be going for almost a month!

Jun 04, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Wonderful, wonderful! Can you elaborate on what Japanese pub food may be? These all sound so fun and right up our alley!

Jun 04, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Kathryn - yet another great suggestion. What makes the NY steak stand out from what we would have here in the bay area? People? Service? Decor?

Jun 04, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Glad we were able to help you out in SF! What kind of noodles are served at Noodle Bar? Chinese? Vietnamese? Japanese? I really appreciate the break-down by neighborhood! For those of us with no clue, this definitely assists in mapping out the week!

Jun 04, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

Wow, thanks...even more great ideas! Please do share if you think if any cheap sushi! And what about expensive? Any place offer anything special or to die for? How about any places for happy hour? Some place to just sit for a while and people-watch?

Jun 04, 2007
lj2899 in Manhattan