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Vosges Chocolate bars

Vosges sightings:
1) Lulu Rae's cafe, 6311 College Ave, Oakland (Rockridge)
2) Chocolat, 1485 Solano Ave, Albany

Feb 09, 2008
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Hanazen, Orinda

FOOD: Very good
My husband visited this past Sat & ordered:
Salmon Teriyaki entree served with poached green beans with a light sesame sauce, shredded cabbages, with miso soup, salad & rice on the side
Agedashi tofu
Avocado & cucumber rolls
Asparagus spears with salmon roe (special)
Uni nigiri (special)

The salad was fresh and crunchy with a light dressing. All the sauces were well-balanced and well made (on salmon, agedashi & salad). The food was thoughtfully arranged and nicely presented on interesting, unusual ceramic ware (Diablo mag says co-owner Coco studied ceramics) that did not detract from the food. The light fresh vegetables served with the salmon teri entree balanced out the rich teri sauce. The uni was the best I've had in my life. So fresh. (I've had it in various good restos around the country and even tried catching/tasting them once myself.) I enjoyed the freshness of the ingredients and simplicity of the food (which I suppose is due to Chef Kenji's training in Kaiseki cuisine as mentioned in Diablo mag).

SERVICE: Attentive. Well paced. Co-owner Coco was our server and gave us personalized service (along with husband Chef Kenji) and took time during slow periods of the evening to chat with us. A cozy, family-run place.

COST: Reasonable for the high quality.

DECOR: Tasteful, clean, unpretentious. The place has a nice, relaxing intimate feel. Nice jazzy music playing softly in the background.

Thank you Coco-san & Kenji-san!

Jan 24, 2008
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Vegetarian sushi Palo Alto/Menlo Park

Homma's is the best. I used to work at Stanford & was a regular. Pick it up and go on a picnic. (The resto is very plain inside with plastic chairs.) Don't let the plain appearance fool you. the veggies are very fresh and the brown rice is tender. My husband enjoys it too. He is a vegetarian. I had the fish there a few times in rolls and it was very fresh! I was surpised to find delicious meals in a little place tucked inside of an alley. I observed that the chef cares about his job and does it well. Thank you, Homma! I hope a brown rice sushi place like this opens in the Berkeley area some day. :)

Jan 16, 2008
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Wagashi - San Francisco ?

Yes, true. Got their business card.
It's called
Kissako Tea
Kinokuniya Bldg.
Japantown mall, SF
(next to Suzu noodles on bottom floor)

Chikara is one of their suppliers according to the package of wagashi I bought. Very good. Recommended.

Jan 16, 2008
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone Been to Kissako Tea in Japantown?

FOOD: Excellent. Best, freshest wagashi I've ever had. Was just there again this past weekend. Excellent green tea from Kyoto. Very flavorful, balanced quality matcha. My matcha latte was the real deal with hand-whipped matcha tea in a very nice bowl. Artfully done wagashi. The green tea mochi with red bean filling was surprisingly not to sweet (as it usually is in supermarket mochi) and the green tea mochi outer layer had a nice subtle green tea flavor. It went well with the slight bitterness of the hot matcha I was drinking.
SERVICE: Every person I spoke with is super-friendly, informative and courteous.
DECOR: Mall. The staff does there best with the mall space. (Just try not to sit with a view of the bathroom.)
PRICE: Very reasonable for the home made wagashi with no preservatives and all natural ingredients. (Most wagashi available has food coloring and other artificial ingredients.) I appreciate that they do not use artificial food coloring, as was done in the traditional days.
OTHER NOTES: My experience with wagashi: Had it at a: traditional tea house in Kyoto, bought the lower end stuff at the supermarkets, ordered from Minamoto Kitchoan in NY, and sat down for Wagashi at Toraya in NY. The wagashi at Kissako is the best I've had in the bay area. The wagashi I experienced was very fresh and it did melt in my mouth. Some of it is ordered from Chikara mochi, Gardena, CA according to the package. This is the same wagashi I've had served at Kirala, Berkeley (according to the proprietor). I was excited to find this place because I am a fan of the wagashi served at Kirala. I've been to Kissako tea twice. My last time was this past weekend. Thank you Kissako & good luck to you!

Jan 16, 2008
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Wagashi - San Francisco ?

New place:
I think it is called "Under the bridge"
Kinokuniya Bldg.
Japantown mall, SF
(next to Suzu noodles on bottom floor)

Little cafe that serves fresh wagashi and bento. Seasonal, fresh wagashi (no artificial colorings & preservatives). Friendly service. Their wagashi is also served at restaurants like Kirala in Berkeley.

Jan 11, 2008
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Thoughts on Venezia and Bobby G's in Berkeley?

Other reviews of Bobby G:

Dec 04, 2007
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Bobby G's Pizzeria - Berkeley

PROS: Organic, vegan & vegetarian offerings
CONS: Restaurant website says pizzas are made with the "freshest possible ingredients." The vegetable pizza we ordered was not flavorful and tasted as if it had been frozen. Crust had a very flat, bland taste. Veggies were tasteless. The salad was average.
QUALITY: Below average. Not fresh tasting.
PRICE: High for what was received.
ENVIRONMENT: Casual. Clean. Busy. Big TVs with sports playing on the walls when we visited. There are couches, tables, and also a bar where customers may eat.
SERVICE: Attentive. A nice young man explained all the restaurant's offerings. Partial table service. Order at the counter and the waiters bring the food to your table.

We love making and eating pizzas, especially at Gioia, Cheeseboard, (Berkeley) and Flatbread shed (Mill Valley).

I read the Chronicle review, plus I read rave reviews and checked Bobby G's out with my husband at the end of Nov. The food we tasted did not live up to the high standards set on the Chronicle review and the restaurant website. Not "gourmet" as described on the website. Perhaps the rave reviews are outdated. If this is the case, I hope they improve their food and return the food to the high gourmet standards the place has set for itself.

Dec 04, 2007
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Tom Wilson Oranges at Andronico

Are the Wilson oranges organic?

Apr 15, 2007
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

Osha Thai at Embarcadero - Am I Missing Something?

Osha Thai, 4 Embarcadero Center, SF

We had amazing: 1) Snapper with napa cabbage, with red curry on one side and green on the other. Very fresh snapper and curries with a wonderful subtle flavor.
2) Pumpkin curry 3) Pad Thai 4) Jasmine tea 5) Jasmine rice

Service: Efficient & professional. Low key.
Food: Excellent quality. Fresh. Beautiful & thoughtful presentation. Knowledgable staff.
Ambience: Tasteful. Modern. Warm.
Overall: Excellent. One of the best thai restaurants in the bay area. My favorite place in the bay area.
Price: Mid-range. Very reasonable for the high quality, fresh ingredients and beautiful ambiance.

Mar 27, 2007
kumuki in San Francisco Bay Area

A World of Sours

Hello, btw. A note on spellings. The word "Filipino/a" is used to describe the person. "Philippine" is used to describe the culture or something of the Philippines. Cheers!

Mar 22, 2007
kumuki in Features