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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.

1 day ago
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Mochi at Yuen Hop (Oakland Chinatown)

The best mochi in San Francisco can be had at Benkyodo in Japan town:
http://www.benkyodocompany.com/

In San Jose Japan town the best is Shuei-Do:
http://www.japantownsanjose.org/shuei...

Jul 24, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Reverse osmosis, Ionized or... tap water ?

Oops,
(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.

Jul 21, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Jul 21, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

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

Jul 11, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

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.
http://www.adhocrestaurant.com/addendum/

Jul 11, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Jul 11, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area
3

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.

Jul 05, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Pork or Chicken Buns for Tonight - Oakland Chinatown

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

http://www.yelp.com/biz/wonder-food-b...
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tao-yuen-past...

Jun 25, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

quick help wanted east bay

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

http://www.buonappetitorestaurant.net

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

Jun 21, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Jun 19, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

Tingr,
Where do you stop for salmon ?

Jun 18, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Jun 17, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

http://sf.eater.com/tags/ken-tominaga

Jun 16, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

The FiveThirtyEight Does Burritos

And now, the Northeast:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/t...

and good a commentary by David Chang:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/ch...

Jun 08, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

The FiveThirtyEight Does Burritos

I think in order to get enough picks to make the brackets, they are having to put a large effort into the non-California regions.
They could have easily swamped the initial brackets with just the bay area, but had to make it look like a fair contest with the rest of the country. Perhaps they should have acted on their idea to make the four regions NorCal, SoCal, East and West (or North and South).

Simply by the nature of the contest (all regions on an even footed start), they are eliminating many of the better burritos. If there are a heavy concentration of quality burritos in one area, why not have more from that region ? (the answer is: because it makes for a better article if the brackets are pretty).

Jun 07, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

The FiveThirtyEight Does Burritos

And the western states are seeded:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/w...

and a short article on the cultural significance of the burrito:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/ou...

Jun 07, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

The FiveThirtyEight Does Burritos

There's a great article on the 538 on the best burrito in America (Yes, I know, another poorly researched article displaying vast ignorance).
For those of you who aren't familiar with Nate Silver and the 538, he writes incredibly insightful articles on politics and sports (mostly) using very careful statistical analyses. In this article, he turns the same techniques on burritos.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/i...

Jun 05, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Mexican Restaurant Suggestions in Oakland/Berkeley..

Second for La Mexicana.
Just went for maybe the tenth time last night.
I love that each item has its own (wonderful) sauce, not just a generic red sauce or green sauce for everything.
And the handmade tortillas are the best I've ever had.

May 30, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Specific wine itinerary questions - I've done research!

Not sure why you are excited for V Sattui.
They are mostly just a tourist trap with mediocre wines and good picnic grounds with overpriced food.
If you want a great winery near there, go to Heitz Cellars. One of the few tasting rooms that is still free, and they have a phenomenal rose of grignolino.

May 26, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite Indian on A St., Hayward Closed !

Tried to stop in for the buffet yesterday, and found my "favorite" indian hole-in-the-wall closed. Signage indicated it was soon to open as an Afghan Kabob House.
Not too tragic as their larger restaurant on Mission is only about a mile away.

May 24, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay Wine Shop with Wines that will age

The best wine shop in the east bay (off the top of my head) is Kermit Lynch in Berkeley. But he mostly only carries French and Italian wines.
I think it would be worth the trek into the city to either K&L or the Wine Club.
I know K&L does wine storage, not sure about Wine Club.

May 14, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area
3

Looking for authentic Cacio e pepe in Bay Area

If you're interested in making it yourself,
there was a very good article in cooks illustrated (from the folks at americas test kitchen) in the Jan 2010 issue.
The recipe is simple, but the technique is everything.
Their website is pay, but if you want I can email a copy.

May 03, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

Poke Bar at Costco: SF, RWC, Concord, SJ Almaden weekends only

I've bought the ahi poki at danville/san ramon a couple of times. They were selling during the week.
It was pretty good, tuna was fresh and it had real ogo and kikue nut.

May 02, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

United Birrieria y Mariscos in San Leandro

I suspect that there's no birria because they are using the menus from their restaurant in Hayward (a fish place), and once they get new menus printed, it will make a showing.
Don't think I'll bother checking, though.

Apr 22, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

United Birrieria y Mariscos in San Leandro

Didn't see any.

Apr 21, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

United Birrieria y Mariscos in San Leandro

Not sure about menudo,
but when I go, I usually get enchiladas en mole (not on the menu), or the relleno, both are great.
What I like about them particularly, is that each dish has its own sauce. There isn't one red sauce and one green sauce like most mexican places.
And be sure to save room for lots and lots of fresh, hot, thick tortillas. You can hear the old ladies in the back slapping them back and forth between their hands.

If you go, stop in at the panaderia a few doors up International and pick up some pan dulce for desert (and breakfast).

Apr 21, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

United Birrieria y Mariscos in San Leandro

I stopped by for lunch today.
Overall, I was not impressed. The tortillas were definitely not hand made, and the food, while good, was not spectacular.

I had chili verde and the wife had the flautas. Both were good, but not great. If you're looking for spectacular, and hand made fresh tortillas, go to La Mexicana in Oakland:

3930 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

As for United, They also own Mariscos Sinaloa on Jackson St. (at Winton) in Hayward, and use that menu at the San Leandro location (they've only been open a week).

I've attached photos of our meals and the menu

Apr 21, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

United Birrieria y Mariscos in San Leandro

I just now passed by and noticed the new signage.
I'll try to get over there in the next couple of days and report.

Apr 20, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay BBQ for catering or takeout

No,

Actually now I'm kinda wishing I had kept my mouth shut.....
I ordered ribs and brisket. I got ribs and brisket.
It's just that the ribs came with more ends than long bones, and I prefer the long bones.
It really isn't a big problem, the tips taste great, it's just a matter of personal preference....
Like I've been saying, It's really a minor point, and the main message should be: place is still my favorite bbq joint.

Apr 15, 2014
kungful in San Francisco Bay Area