kungful's Profile

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Has anyone used this mole base?

I've used this brand a few times (I buy it at Mi Tierra).
It makes a good easy dinner. Not as good as fresh home made mole, but then, it doesn't take all day.
The flavors are a bit muted (as has been noted), but still complex and well balanced.
I think it turns out best using chicken that's grilled, then chunked (not shredded too finely).

Upscale Japanese

I love Wakuriya, keep in mind that it's a set meal and they're not really good for groups larger than four (you didn't mention how many people).
You might consider Pabu if you're at all interested in "modern" Japanese. They also have great cocktails.

You might also want to think about Kiss for sushi or maybe Kappa as an alternative to Wakariyu.
Or even Ozumo for sushi and robata.

All of these are excellent places for a "special" meal

Megachef Fish Sauce (East or South Bay)

Just saw it yesterday at walnut creek safeway (of all places) on ygnacio valley road at oak grove

Live Lobster?

Any 99 ranch market

Where to pre-order Osechi for Japanese New Year?

Sushi Musashi in Berkeley. My wife's family has picked up sushi platters for new years' for ever from there. They also do the full Osechi platters for pick up on new years' day.

Our favorite grocer is Tokyo Fish in Berkeley. It's where we buy all the ingredients to make our own Osechi stuff. (Gobo, rincon, mochiko for mochi, age for inari, kuramame, fillings for maki zushi, etc...)

I know some people who order Osechi from Najiya market in Jtown in the city, as well.

Chinese Chili Garlic Crab (not Singapore Style) - East Bay

I think the "Hong Kong Spicy Crab" from the Yum Bistro menu is what I'm looking for.
I've never been there. Guess I'll have to go.

Chinese Chili Garlic Crab (not Singapore Style) - East Bay

Now that we're into crab season, I'm looking for a good Chinese Chili Crab.
Not the saucy, eggy Singapore Chili Crab, but the drier, chili, garlicky chinese version.
Can any one recommend a restaurant in the east bay (Berkeley to Union City) ?

Does anyone know what happened to a shop (that made chocolates and flourless cakes w/ incredible butter cream), which was called "Cocolat," or something similar to that?

If you're missing her cakes, she published a cookbook (titled, strangely enough, "Cocolat") that I've used a few recipes from with good success. It's out of print, but still widely available.

Boudin sausage?

I've bought boudin blanc a few times at Taylor's Sausage.
It's in Oakland at the corner of 9th St. and Washington.

I also vaguely recall it being available at Schaub's Meats in the Stanford Shopping Center, if you're closer to that side of the bay.

Schaub's Meat Fish & Poultry
Address: 395 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone:(650) 325-6328

Taylor's Sausage
Address: 907 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607
Phone:(510) 832-6448

All-You-Can Eat Korean BBQ at Jong Ga House in Oakland

Jong Ga is definitely one of the best Korean places in Oakland, and the food and banchan are very plentiful, but I still give Sahn Maru on Telegraph Ave. a slight edge.
If your plan is to eat until you are a disgrace to your family and yourself, go to Jong Ga (not to impugn such activities), if your goal is slightly higher quality food, go to Sahn Maru.
I still go to both regularly (sometimes you just need to eat until you feel like you're gonna bust a gut).


Partly it takes time and effort, but mostly the dried weight is about one tenth of the starting weight.

Best Cocktail Bars

Heaven's Dog is gone (victim of a flood), replaced by another Charles Phan restaurant, The Coachman (high end British Pub food). The drinks I've had there have been inventive, and tasty.
I especially liked the drinks made with their house made genever.


The FiveThirtyEight Does Burritos

The one thing I found in this whole exercise is that brackets are a great way of promoting mediocrity.
While La Taqueria may have been a good choice for the overall winner, the inclusion of some of the other finalists, and the elimination of some of the mission street places in earlier rounds just shows that pitting mediocre burritos (or teams) against other mediocre burritos promotes mediocrity and allows it into final rounds.

CreAsian (San Leandro) changing hands

I've been several times since the change. It started out very good. Similair to Himalayan Taste in Berkeley (same owners).
After about six months, it took a rapid dive in quality. I suspect it was originally staffed with cooks from the Berkeley resto, then handed off to others. I've since given up on it and haven't gone for many months, even though I live withhin a 1/2 mile.
If I need Nepalese, I go into Berekley, or for Indian, I go to Favorite in Hayward.

HAYWARD - SAN LEANDRO Eat 14th Street: Padi - Indonesian

I've been four or five times in the last couple of months, and am still enjoying the place.
I've particularly liked the beef rendang, smashed chicken, chinese style eggplant, and the sate.
I've found if the man is cooking (there's also a woman who cooks sometimes), the food is a bit better (crisper skin on the chicken, more sauce with the rendang, etc), but both are excellent, and I haven't been disappointed by anything.

Help a pressed for time NY Hound find the Asian food of her dreams?

For Lao, go to Vientian in Oakland.

5-night visit to SF - some ideas, but need help refining them!

For the first night SE Asian hit, you might want to consider Lers Ros (http://www.lersros.com/), my favorite thai in the area.
I would also consider the other thing we do significantly better than you can find in London, Mexican. Either a mission street burrito, or one of the upscale Mexican restaurants (my favorite is Comal in Berkeley, an easy BART ride).
I'd also suggest looking around Oakland (also easy by BART), where you'll find an explosion of new, exciting restaurants.

Mochi at Yuen Hop (Oakland Chinatown)

The best mochi in San Francisco can be had at Benkyodo in Japan town:

In San Jose Japan town the best is Shuei-Do:

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

(Like I said, I'm retired, old and my brain is rotting), I should have said 14, not 10.
So, 9.9 is bad, but not skin stripping......
My bad.

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

If you're reading a pH (that's how it's written, by the way) of 9.9, you're most likely getting a bad reading. pH is the negative log (base10) of the Hydronium ion concentration. (I'm a retired chemist) That means you can never quite have a reading of 10, and 9.9 would be so basic that it would strip the skin from your bones.
In the other direction, you can never quite get a reading of 0, and below 1 would also be stripping your skin.

The acidic end "melts" (hydrolysis) proteins and the basic end turn fats into soap (saponification) and denatures all your proteins.

Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

I had the paella at Duende in Oakland a couple of months ago, and thought it was excellent.

Need recs on wineries to visit in Napa Valley for 11 people in 2 weeks!!

My favorite picnic lunch is from addendum behind ad hoc.

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

Having worked as a chemist for decades, I can tell you that there is nothing in EBMUD water of concern. It is one of the best sources of drinking water in the entire US.
But, if you really believe that the water reports are lying (they aren't), or that the reported concentrations are dangerous (they aren't), I would suggest RO, as ionization doesn't remove metals and such.

Keep in mind that the concentrations of almost everything found in EBMUD water is significantly lower (by an order of magnitude or more) than you would find in a very clean mountain spring.

Burma Superstar in East Bay - recent experiences?

I love the food at Burma Superstar (and, yes the Alameda location is less crowded), but I feel that they've become much too "in" for their own good.
These days, I'd rather go to Vientian or Champa Garden for some great Lao food without the attitude.

Pork or Chicken Buns for Tonight - Oakland Chinatown

I like the buns at Wonder Bakery a little better than Tao Yuen (my second favorite)


quick help wanted east bay

Nothing special, but a good old fashioned Italian red sauce restaurant about half way between the two of you:


I've never been there for lunch, but have had several decent dinners. Very veg friendly.

Looking for soft, chewable "nugget" ice cubes

An old trick for soft ice is to add a few drops of lime juice (or other citrus) to an ice tray and fill with water before freezing.

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

Where do you stop for salmon ?

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

I'm planning a trip with some friends to pick olallieberries at Swanton Farms (Coastways Ranch) in a couple of weeks when they open (late June according to their phone message).
We will, of course, stop at Duarte's for olallieberry pie, but I'm hoping for some input as to other possible stops on the way, or any advice for the trip.

Bay Area Check Please 6/12/14: Hana, Rohnert Park; Cocotte, SF; Sakoon Restaurant, Mtn View

They didn't mention it on the show, but the chef from Hana, Ken Tominaga is going to open Ramen Market with Michael Minna at the 101 California building.
So, I would think, if you're planning a meal at Hana, do it soon.