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Korean Banchan that is better than SF

Thank for the recs and the mouthwatering picture. We'll try to hit at least two of these places!

Apr 09, 2014
wanderlust21 in Los Angeles Area

Korean Banchan that is better than SF

I'm visiting SF and looking for a recommendation for a Korean restaurant with particularly good banchan variety. Seafood, Jjige (stew), pork neck Jjige a plus. We are considering On Dal2, Jun Won, Ham Ji Park, or Soban - any comment on which would be your go-to is welcomed.

We are staying close to the Westside but are willing to drive anywhere in the central LA area. Cost is not an issue. Thanks.

I've already been to Parks BBQ, Soowon BBQ, BCD, Yu Chun, Jeon Ju, and Yong Su San.

[This is a repost of a more general request: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9717...]

Apr 08, 2014
wanderlust21 in Los Angeles Area

Recommendations for Japanese - non sushi?

Great thanks! Yes, no need for ramen recs. Any favorite out of this list?

Apr 08, 2014
wanderlust21 in Los Angeles Area

Recommendations for Japanese - non sushi?

Hounds, I'm visiting SF and looking for a few recommendations.

First, is a Japanese restaurant that is not limited to sushi. One member of my party is allergic to fish, though she can eat shellfish. (The rest of us love sushi, but will go for a separate meal to a sushi specialist.) I searched around and the latest thread on this seems to be from 2009. House made tofu a plus.

Second, is a Korean restaurant with particularly good banchan variety. Seafood, Jjige (stew), pork neck Jjige a plus. We are considering On Dal2, Jun Won, Ham Ji Park, or Soban - any comment on which would be your go-to is welcomed.

We are staying close to the Westside but are willing to drive anywhere in the central LA area. Cost is not an issue. Thanks.

Apr 08, 2014
wanderlust21 in Los Angeles Area

Sunday night dinner: Sons and Daughters vs AQ or Commonwealth [San Francisco]

It looks like you've decided on SBP, but I know plans may change at the last moment, so I'll contribute my two cents.

You said that you value "inventive, new flavor combinations" I think that SBP is a great pick. If you end up having to go to one of the others you mentioned, I would pick Commonwealth.

I like Frances and everything I've had there has been well executed, but in my opinion, their flavors are on the familiar-side and might not be what you are looking for. At AQ, their menu has interesting and inventive flavor combinations, but ultimately their high concepts didn't work for me. I prefer Commis, Coi, or Benu among others in that category. I haven't been to Commonwealth in a while, but I've found their tasting menu both interesting and delicious.

Mar 08, 2014
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Any tasty upscale mexican in SF?

I like La Urbana. I've had a number of items on their brunch and dinner menus and liked every dish. Some are on the heavy side and there is no want for salt, but the flavors are all well balanced. I have always gone on the early side so I've avoided the busy scene, but if you are looking for a social drinking atmosphere you'll find it there in the evenings.

Mar 03, 2014
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Recs for grabbing a quick bite in/around the Dogpatch? [San Francisco]

I go to the Dogpatch for ice cream at Mr. & Mrs. Misc and the beignets at Just for You. If I had to eat in the area, I'd go to: Hard Knox for fried chicken, Serpentine for Burger, Marcella's for mushroom lasagna (more of a pasta dish than a typical lasagna). Piccino is a possibility but I have found it a bit pricey for food that is just ok, though it has a nice atmosphere.

Feb 01, 2014
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Penrose, Oakland: Food & Drink Report

We didn't find it noisy when we dined here early on Sunday evening. Perhaps louder than Camino, but about the same as Boot & Shoe. We enjoyed the food and the venue. The place started filling up soon after we arrived and they didn't miss a beat with the pace of the dishes. Standout dishes were the beef tartare, the lamb three ways, and a North Carolina shrimp and farro special. My friend also loved his cocktail. We had a toddler in tow and everyone in the front of the house was friendly and accommodating.

Jan 28, 2014
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Shrimp and Grits - SF Dish of the Month January 2014

Agree with the recommendation of the shrimp and grits at BSK. The problem with BSK is that it's difficult to decide what to order -- everything I've had there has been great.

Jan 28, 2014
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowdown at SF's Grand Hot Pot Lounge

Ericruo, thanks for listing all the dishes. I agree with you on the overall level of spiciness. On many of the dishes I felt the spice level was a bit too mild and there were less szechuan peppercorns than I was expecting. Overall, I thought the food was about average, though I enjoyed the meal I could not help but think of some better renditions of the dishes around town. That said, we had quite a bit of the menu and we happily finished everything so I would be open to trying the hot pot here some time.

Favorites from the meal were the pork with pickled long beans, Chongqing chicken and Dan Dan noodles. The pickled long beans with the pork had good seasoning, acid and spiciness. The Chongqing chicken was nicely executed, though I think I prefer the more szechuan peppered version at Chili House. Dan Dan noodles had good meat sauce, and it would have been even better if it had been paired with some higher quality noodles. The tea tree mushrooms were fine, though I much prefer the Z&Y version which has more char to it. Disappointments were the House Special Fish had a nice broth, unfortunately it didn't make up for the quality of the fish which had very little meat and lots of skin. I prefer the more refined version at China Village that Eric described.

The other items were average -- the couples delight and pig ears appetizers had a thickish sauce instead of the usual glistening red chili oil. The snow pea shoots in broth was simple and well seasoned.

Dec 30, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for Hot Spots to hit this coming SF Ghost-Town Week?

This was my experience this weekend waiting as a walk-in party of 3. Outerlands lunch Friday - no wait though there were some folks waiting when I left. F+W Friday night - 30 mins (quoted 1hr) no line down the block, just a few people waiting outside the front door. Delfina Sunday night - 10 mins. (There was a wait at the pizzeria and bi rite creamery, but not the restaurant).

For the dinners we did arrive before 7, but I still think my waits were shorter than other weekends.

Sep 01, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for the best pie in the Bay Area.

I like the pies at Mission Beach Cafe, though I haven't been in a while.

Jun 12, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Outerlands [Outer Sunset District, San Francisco]

I had dinner at Outerlands recently and was happy with our experience. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation and were seated promptly. It has been at least a year since I'd had dinner here and the style is much more refined than I remembered (and very different than their casual lunch offerings). I glimpsed into the kitchen area and didn't catch Brett Cooper, but I believe I saw Brandon Jew.

We tried almost everything on the menu. I imagine the menu changes often, but one constant (and must-order) would be the bread -- the type they served with butter was outstanding. All the vegetables were well executed. A few of the dishes reminded me of original menu at Plum, similar flavors though not as fancifully described. For example, we had a broccoli dish with chicharrones crumbled on top adding texture and a bit of spice. There was a fish dish with perfectly crisp skin which was built on top of some vegetables that were straightforward but outstanding. A turnip soup was a bit under flavored, but we devoured quickly a pork belly entree with a kimchi component to it. One other dish that sticks out in my memory is a starter that had some vegetables with crunchy grains. I look forward to returning.

Jun 03, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Need a foodie finish to a day at Golden Gate Park [San Francisco]

I second the outerlands recommendation. I had dinner there last week and tried virtually everything on the menu. We were very pleased with almost every item. Though I usually love their soups, the only miss was the turnip soup which was a bit too subtley flavored. The dishes had a much more refined style than lunch and the previous dinners I've had there. I believe I saw Brandon Jew on the line.

May 30, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Where can I buy (or should I) this baking steel

I made some pizza on a baking steel last night and I'm very happy with the results. Crispness on the bottom, light and airy rim with some nice spotting on the top. It was my first try with the steel and it took about 7 mins. With my baking stone, it used to take 5 mins longer and the crust had less character.

May 22, 2013
wanderlust21 in Cookware

Itinerary almost set for First trip, just a few gaps, please help

Brenda's French Soul Food is good for breakfast, note that it's a small place so there could be a substantial wait. ( Same can be said for Mama's. )   As far as drinks, Swig is near the Clift.  

You  mentioned oysters at fishermans wharf. I'm not sure what's at the wharf, but if you are going to bike along the Embarcadero, you might try Hog Island Oyster Co in the Ferry Bldg.  You can also get good oysters at Zuni.

May 14, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Pressed Juicery - SF Ferry Bldg, who's tried it?

I tried PJ when they first opened in Noe. They say that they are mostly organic, but avoided making a claim that they are completely organic. (This was a while ago, so they might've changed.)

On the occasions I have juice, I prefer Sidewalk Juice. They make it fresh and use organic produce. I like it as a palate cleanser after a fat-laden meal (not as a cleanse). A juice is made with a large amount of produce. If I'm consuming that much in one drink, then I like the assurance that I'm not inadvertently getting a concentrated dose of chemicals.

May 13, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Toyose in SF?

Were you seated right away? Maybe Tuesday night is the trick, I've always found a wait at any normal eating hour. It's been a while, but the kimchi fried rice is my favorite thing on their menu.

Apr 17, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Oliveto's Whole Hog Dinners [Oakland]

Thanks for posting, yes we went the same night.  We had three of the same dishes, the crispy pork belly, warm terrina and the pork leg.  I agree with your sentiments on all three.  

For the terrina, I loved the play of soft and chewy of trotter and tongue with a beautiful porky fat flavor with a little acid and bite from the dandelion greens.  The misses we had were the pork leg, as you described, and the pork heart.  The heart had a slightly cured flavor and reminded me a bit of pastrami, except the meat was tough.  

Our standouts were the warm terrina, coppa de testa, the lobster boudin blanc and the stinging nettle pappardelle.  The pork sauce was simple  but the combination of the sausage with the nettle pasta was great. The lobster boudin Blanc did not taste strongly of lobster, it was difficult to identify individual elements, it simply had great overall flavor.

Other good dishes were the porchetta and the ear antipasto and boudin noir. I The boudin noir had subtle interesting spices, a much more refined version than my previous experiences with boudin noir.  

Overall, we were very happy and thought it was a better showing than last year.  We loved the variety of cuts and preparations which was well demonstrated by the cool design of the menu.

Feb 22, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Oliveto's Whole Hog Dinners [Oakland]

Oliveto's annual whole hog dinners started last night. Any reports? I'm heading there soon and this year's menu is extensive. I welcome any recommendations for specific dishes. Thanks.

Feb 20, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Thoughts on Mission Bowling Club [San Francisco]

Burger. And, I hesitate to give this away, but I've had brunch there more than a few times and have never been disappointed.

Jan 19, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

please go to To Hyang [San Francisco]

Just chiming in to increase your sample size. I was there last month. It was not full, but there were at least three other parties having dinner.

We had the pork neck soup and the sul lung tang, both were good. I agree with you that it should be busier, especially during the winter when their soup dishes (jjige) hit the spot.

Jan 19, 2013
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Rich Table -- An Embarrassment of Riches [SF]

We had the spaghetti w romesco, the pork bolognese and the geoduck pasta. I didn't notice any overly soft texture, but I also dont remember it being al dente (which I prefer). That said, it was the sauce itself and not the pasta noodles that had great flavor.

Dec 20, 2012
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Rich Table -- An Embarrassment of Riches [SF]

Interesting, I had the tasting menu the other night and was I impressed with the food. Of the appetizers/small bites I particularly liked the chicken liver mousse with puffed rice. The anchovy chips were also a good and I was surprised at how much I liked the radish dish. We actually loved the pastas and felt that they were the overall highlight of the meal. They each had a bit of kick to them and the geoduck pasta was a tasting menu only item that had a generous portion of geoduck and a full clam flavored sauce. I believe the pork bolognese is on the regular menu, I'd definitely get it again. Of the mains, we liked the trout. I thought the sirloin steak was good, though not as outstanding as the rest of the meal. The dessert of mint ice cream with chocolate cracker is another one I'd order again. It came with dollops of creamy chocolate in the shape of Hershey's kisses. Overall, the execution here is top knotch, the flavors were interesting and refined. Service was ok, professional and efficient, though not warm and friendly like a neighborhood restaurant.

Dec 19, 2012
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Tamales - SF Dish of the Month (Dec 2012)

I'm partial to the pork tamales at the Noe Valley Farmer's market. They have a good meat to masa ratio and the shredded pork is nicely seasoned by a green chili sauce. The masa is tender and flavorful, top it with some of their green salsa and you get a nice spicy kick. I forget the name of the stand, but it's the only one selling Mexican food and is run by a family.

Dec 19, 2012
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Dish of the Month (Dec 2012) - Voting

TAMALES

Nov 30, 2012
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Green Champa Garden: laotian, lu-mein, thai [Fremont]

Enjoyed lunch here this week. The crispy rice ball was excellent and the portion was large. I also had an off menu beef soup with tendon, tripe and lemongrass. The soup was simple but concentrated, mixed with a bit of rice it was homey comfort food. They have several offal items off-menu and will add or adjust the organs as requested.

Ask for some of their chili sauce if you like things spicy. On an earlier visit I tried one of their thai style dishes and it was not very spicy. This time they gave me a side condiment of chopped chilis in a fish sauce -- it was extremely spicy. I'll definitely be returning.

Oct 17, 2012
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowdown at Ming's Diner Report (San Francisco)

Thanks again hyperbowler for organizing and to Mr. Asia, M and Melanie for bringing beverages.

I agree that the big chicken was better than the little one. It seemed that the little one was originally frozen, perhaps a cornish game hen and the large one was fresh. The skins on both were nicely crisped and held up well, though a bit underseasoned as mentioned by others. The rice stuffing favors were fine, as Cynsa said it had a very soft texture.

My favorite dish of the evening was the clams in super soup. The soup had a concentrated seafood flavor with jalapeno to kick it up.

In general I thought the execution lived up to the "diner" name - the lobster, flounder and oysters were done diner style - noticeably seasoned with salt, soy sauce or chili, rather than a lightly done nuanced style. For example, the flounder had a thick coating, but still very nicely crisped - with a few tablespoons of chopped garlic on top and a strong soy sauce based sauce. I enjoyed it, but there are more finessed versions of the dish. Overall, the set menu we had is a good value with a nice variety of items. p.s. I noted that the vegetarian section of the menu had a number of items.

Oct 17, 2012
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

oliveto's oceanic dinners this week

I went to the Oceanic dinner last night and enjoyed it. We had excellent service and no issues with pacing. As far as food, we enjoyed the crab cake - full of crab meat with the crab flavor coming through. The crudo of tuna was also a winner showing off the quality of the fish. We all felt the squash blossom scallop dish was fair, not great because the flavor of the scallop was muted by the creamy sauce served next to it. Similarly the lobster tortelli had a rich sauce that was perhaps a bit too creamy, though we did appreciate the amount of lobster in the tortelli. Everyone liked the white sea bass, which was a big meaty piece served with a knock out oyster zabaglione. We only wished that there was more zabagloine. I loved the bucatini, the pasta itself was perfectly chewy and had great flavor - it went well with the bits of lardon. The sea urchin carbonara sauce had much less sea urchin flavor than we expected, so the others preferred the squid ink pappardelle which had a more concentrated flavor of squid ink and clam.

Overall, this year's approach was more classic and less fanciful than previous oceanic dinners. My friend out that it's nice to see familiar dishes done by a high level kitchen. So yes, we had a lovely dinner, no surprising dishes, just great food and service.

Jun 14, 2012
wanderlust21 in San Francisco Bay Area

Bogata, Colombia, rec's

Susan - Thanks for the tips, particularly the descriptions of specific dishes, I'm looking forward to the food in Bogota.

May 09, 2012
wanderlust21 in Latin America & Caribbean