escargot3's Profile

Title Last Reply

Berkeley: Current favorites for flavors and ambience?

Thanks for the update. it used to be a fave destination but after a few bad experiences, it got dropped from my list. I will gladly give it another try.

Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

I enjoyed goat biryani last weekend at Vik's in Berkeley. It's often though not always on the menu.

New Oakland Safeway complex in Rockridge. College @ Claremont... Critiques?

As a resident in the area, I have taken enormous pleasure in shopping on that block of College Ave at Verbrugge, Vino, and Cole Coffee, and especially the recently closed flower stand.

It's not just that the impact on those businesses will be huge, if only because of the huge traffic mess. as others said, this building is out of scale vis à vis the neighb.

Thank you, Jean Quan + other Oakland officials who "bent over forward" in response to corporate interests.

Saturday breakfast spot in East Bay: Good food, Not too crowded

For any vegans or vegetarians who might be reading:
the Westside Cafe in Berkeley has a tasty breakfast veggie & tofu saute w/ blackbread toast. Service is usually very slow. they definitely don't hurry you.

Easy parking in the morning. Lottsa windows and morning light.

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

Had it again last nite-- just as good as the first time.

New Malaysian in Oakland Chinatown

Went back for more goodies last nite. This time, we once again enjoyed the impeccable roti and the equally outstanding okra belacan. We also enjoyed the green curry chicken (which has some eggplant, okra, and is more soup like in consistency).

When we queried our server about the Malaysian cuisine on the menu, he quickly recommended that get a dish NOT on the menu:
shrimp sambal. It was the best dish yet. Since my plate was completely empty after I finished eating, there was no clue that the shrimp was served with shells on (yum -- more shrimp flavor!). All was devoured.

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

had roti canai at Chilli Padi the other nite. It was fantastic:
crisp side, soft interior, flavorful dipping sauce. Highly recommended.

Juhu Beach Club to open brick 'n mortar in Temescal [Oakland]

hadn't been here in a while and glad to be back. The food + service were both outstanding. This is a great neighborhood resto.

Started with the crunchy sweet & spicey popcorn appetizer (with peanuts). Thought the coriander shrimp was the best. Plump shrimp. Nicely seasoned. The Manchurian cauliflower was too sweet for my palette (but then, I prefer savory dishes). My friend thought it impeccable. By contrast, I thought the brussel sprouts were done really nicely: nothing fancy, just a simple but unusual use of spices.

The Clay Pot House on Clement [San Francisco]

Maybe instead of a review of this resto, I should actually start a thread on the different preparations of bitter melon I've enjoyed. Simply put: this location trumps all.

By way of background: A friend and I headed over to Mandalay Burmese but were put off by the huge crowd on this chilly Monday evening. Instead, we lumbered over to Clement St, quickly found a parking spot ( a good omen) and starting walking, checking out the options. Once we spied the crowd inside this low-key establishment, we knew to grab the attention of the guy at the door and let him know we wanted a table. The wait was short and worth it. According to the write up on the window, this is a resto with food from the Taishan coastal region of China.

The draw for every table clearly was the clay pot dishes. We ordered the quail and mushrooms, and enjoyed it immensely. Salt & pepper shrimp were large and plump -- deep fried but not oily -- and sweet tasting. But for me, the bittermelon with seaweed and mushrooms was amazing. I especially appreciated the addition of some tiny dried shrimp.

Not to be missed: the house-made pickled chile condiment was outstanding. The sliced chiles had a kick, but didn't burn the mouth. The pickle brine used a spice I am not familiar with, but really enjoyed. (Melanie, I sense a need for you to go tasting!) After I complimented the owner, he smiled with pride, mentioned it was his own recipe, and sent me home with a huge container of the stuff. What a holiday treat.

Westbrae Biergarten (Berkeley)

they are also the proverbial victim of their own popularity. Neighbors are furious over the crowds, the noise, the trash, the sudden lack of available street parking on the quiet tiny residential streets nearby. People are usually louder and messier after a few beers.

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

another thumbs up for Smoke -- especially the seasonal fruit pies.

wassup with the arrow sign and below it the zero?

I just opened a thread. I see these symbols and have no clue as to what they mean. Also was not able to respond to a post.

Me thinks the time is nigh to pack up and leave Chow. Too many employees with nothing much to do other than needlessly complicate and make obscure.

Dec 04, 2014
escargot3 in Site Talk

Moroccan Mint Tea

in morocco, mint tea is always mixed with some green tea, and a lotta sugar.

roasted chickpea snacks

old thread but new solution: The Good Bean (fyi a Bay Area company) packages several flavors of roasted chick pea snacks.

My fave is the sea salt, and also the black pepper, but they also have Thai coconut, mesquite cinnamon and more. Some can be found at Berkeley Bowl, or Whole Paycheck.

Nov 26, 2014
escargot3 in General Topics

Sichuan Invasion Continues -- KL Restaurant on Balboa becomes "Sichuan Table." [San Francisco]

a few of us enjoyed dim sum at the new Sichuan Table this weekend. No cart service, instead you take a sharpie and mark up a plastic-coated menu. Overall, it was enjoyed.

The usual items (har gow, shu mai, turnip cake) were excellent. The shrimp in the dumplings were especially flavorful, and the wrappers held their shape, so that was a plus. Turnip cake, not greasy. Taro dumpling was a surprise: it was not the usual deep fried bomb, but taro in a dumpling. A nice variation.

Especially enjoyed: lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice with chicken, chicken feet that had a really nice sauce, very large serving of sliced pig ear as a cold salad-kind of thing, deep fried potatoes (sweet potatoes and purple potatoes were fab) and the smoked tea duck was really great.

Missed this time, but not next: intriguing-looking durian puffs kept going past our table but we had already ordered too much to eat.

Sandbox Bakery - good things come in small packages [San Francisco]

But it seems you missed the 1 item that I thought was excellent: plain croissant.

Albeit, it's been a while since I was there, but at the time, it was my top choice: small, flakey, and with butter flavor but without dripping in butter.

Cafe Karla in Berkeley: Burmese food purveyor

i see they sell at the BB. easy to check it out -- but perhaps after T-day.

Crab season is upon us

Noticed a sign yesterday at MH Bread in San anselmo: Thurs Nov 20 dirty crab dinner.

(ps might add as an aside, their Basque almond-flour cake is fierce...)

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

GE & I (+ 1 more) were there for a late aft snack around 4pm on the weekend. I think there must have been an unexpected shift in the kitchen cause another dish was so tasteless -- the cauliflower salad -- it was actually sent back, something only done in extreme circumstances.

Burger definitely was ordered medium rare.

Since I had an incredibly perfect dinner at Rouge last month, I know that this experience was an aberration (or at least I hope so...).

ps- My experience at Zut has been uneven: On one occasion it was impeccable, and the next time, kinda dull.

Pho Ga : SFBA Dish of the Month November 2014

ah yes. I am thinking of a different spot: Pho Au Sen is a block away.

Pho Ga : SFBA Dish of the Month November 2014

This used to be my go-to destination for a bowl of pho (after buying fresh crab down the block...) but the last 2 times I was disappointed, and stopped going. That was about 2 yrs ago. Will give 'em a try again.

Pho Ga : SFBA Dish of the Month November 2014

I wish the owners of Chow hadn't deleted that much lauded feature of adding the location...

Pho Ga : SFBA Dish of the Month November 2014

Perhaps a silly question: is pho ga usually made with chicken broth? or is it served meat broth + chicken?

Denver recommendations?

I recently visited Denver (from SF) and really enjoyed an amazing dinner at The Populist. Highly recommended for a good bar and an outstanding, creative meal. I did the 7-course prix fixe for $35 and it was exceptional. Who knew I loved smoked jackfruit!

Also enjoyed The Kitchen for lunch.

Nov 06, 2014
escargot3 in Mountain States

Grocery Outlet--November 2014

California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil first cold press
on sale at Berkeley Bowl $7.00 for 500 ml

Quick question: A place for a drink and a snack in Oakland this afternoon

mua used to be my go-to destination for what you described. unfortunately they've eliminated the upstairs bar and the place just ain't the same ever since.

in Denver seeking ethnic or interesting spot on south University Blvd

report back: Udom Thai isn't a destination, but it fit the bill for ethnic food in an area choked by chains.

Nov 02, 2014
escargot3 in Mountain States

in Denver seeking ethnic or interesting spot on south University Blvd

Visiting from SF and was a passenger last nite as we drove around. Noticed a bunch of small interesting restos perhaps on University Blvd (south). Any suggestions of a place to try? Am I totally wrong about the street? Thanks

Oct 31, 2014
escargot3 in Mountain States

SFBA Dish of the Month (Nov 2014) - Nominations/Voting

CHEESECAKE

Where to eat Saturday night near Castro Theater? [San Francisco]

great suggestion. i forgot about that spot.