San Francisco in 2014 and Beyond
Posted 13 September 2014 - 04:16 PM
“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*
Posted 15 September 2014 - 09:24 AM
That might work as an exact address in Tokyo but it's not a good fit for Frisco.
That was about the view we had on our last two visits. If memory serves me, they were on Jones.
Posted 15 September 2014 - 01:56 PM
We spent 6 days there last summer, there should be some useful recommendations from MF members in this thread. My notes on the City are below.
I'd highly recommend a trip out to Manresa if time permits. As regards wineries, Ridge is not far from where you'll be based.
Instalment 5 - San Fran/Frisco/Frissy/SFO
Probably our favourite part of the trip. We ended up staying 6 nights, 5 in the Fairmont and an extra night in the St Regis (due to the crash at SFO). Although the St Regis is a better hotel and more our style, I'd recommend The Fairmont over it provided you get a Bay View room in the Tower. We were on the 21st floor and the view genuinely added a lot to our stay. Plus, if you're planning on walking everywhere (as we did), Nob Hill is a much better location. SoMa has 3 good hotels, a closed MoMA, a good coffee shop and lots of quiet, slightly sketchy streets. We spent a lot of time in The Mission/MishiPot and I'd imagine trendy boutique hotels will be opening around there shortly to provide a further option.
Sightglass, Four Barrell and Contraband were all very good. Consistent drinks (although even the hipster US places seem to still go with more milky drinks vs. flat whites, cortados, macchiatos etc.) Oddly, all 3 are independent (I think) but serve pastries, doughnuts etc. from the same places (Neighbour Bakery and Dynamo Doughnuts). Not that I didn't enjoy a number of their pistachio and blueberry jam croissants. Sightglass, in particular, and Four Barrell are great spaces if rather cut from the hipster coffee shop style guide. Blue Bottle was only ok.
Cotogna was excellent, probably our favourite meal. Their pasta was particularly good. Central Kitchen (newer place from the Flour & Water guys) was impressive. Great space, good vibe and an approach right from Paris' bistronomiques with some impressive technique and attention to detail. The Hearth ceramics store around the corner is worth checking out. Mission Chinese lived up to the hype. We're big Szeuchan fans, this was different but delicious and crazy value. Tartine Bakery was great, delicious pressed cheese sandwiches, excellent bread and pastries. In n' Out is a model burger chain. We ended up cancelling Saison due to a couple of mixed reviews from people we trust. Coi was shut, as was Swan Oyster Depot.
Delfina was meh, not sure they care too much any more. Z&Y was not good despite apparent agreement that it's the best Szeuchan in town, probably it's just not a Szeuchan town. Yank Sing for dim sum was also very ordinary. Sam's in Tiburon has a nice deck with views of the City but pretty poor food. Slanted Door wasn't bad, expectations were relatively low and it just about overdelivered.
For cocktails we really liked 15 Romolo. Less so Comstock Saloon and Trickdog. And less so again The Tonga Room which, even with irony mode disengaged, we really could have skipped.
Giants' Stadium for Giants v. Dogers was a blast. English football could learn a lot from the range and quality of food and beer available. The family friendly atmosphere and general lack of all-pervading hatred helped somewhat too.
Posted 16 September 2014 - 10:15 PM
Been to Cotogna a couple of times - agree with your assessment. As well as Tartine Bakery - for breakfast, we like to head up to Potrero Hill and Plow.
The view at Slanted Door might be the best thing about it now - during its early days, it was pretty darn good.
15 Romolo is awesome (and trouble). A car just drove through the front window of Comstock, but it is another nice spot for well-made cocktails.
Manresa had a fire and I believe is still closed.
I always seem to enjoy two old-time Chinese places - Brandy Ho's and Yuet Lee - depending on our mood.
cstuart - have you heard much about Commisary? Or Lee's Monsieur Benjamin?
Posted 16 September 2014 - 11:12 PM
i'd add b patisserie and kin khao. sightglass is good. i've had some good, recent meals at saison. ditto cotogna.
i haven't been in years, but recent reports on coi have been good.
Sissies and wastoids
Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:44 AM
Must admit that I'm surprised that Cotogna is getting all this love.
Had an overcooked, uninteresting octopus app followed by a semi-overcooked, uninteresting pork chop dish with some too-warm red wine.
Semi-overcooked and pork isn't a winning combination, especially as you head into the later innings.
And I saw it coming too before it reached the plate ...
Sat at bar by the fire. Fire man is chatting with me as my chop is cooking and all I was thinking was "Turn around and please attention to my pork ...".
Asked the fire man afterwards about some ingredients ("Where do you get your pork?") and the answer was "No idea. I've only been here for a week or so."
No followup from him. Frankly, at this point, I had zero interest.
Watched many dishes go out, pastas included. Didn't think I missed anything very good. Skipped dessert.
Even if correctly cooked, these plates weren't going to be all that good.
Nice rustic designer room, nice ambience and vibe, servers seemed friendly but food-wise I thought this mid-range Italian was just totally coasting on the chef's notoriety.
I decided right there and then ... zero chance that I'm going to Quince.
Hard for me to imagine excellent and Cotogna in the same sentence ... but I guess you don't know what team you are going to face when you step up to the plate.
Posted 17 September 2014 - 12:54 PM
That's what makes the world go round, Chambo, no?
I had a surprisingly good pork chop (allegedly Kurobuta) at Roux, in Tampa this past weekend. Go figure. It was cooked to medium, per request.
Posted 17 September 2014 - 02:05 PM
La Ciccia came highly recommended by David Kinch, but we didn't get a chance to go due to an unfortunate 12 hour bug I caught. It's kind of off the radar, so it's probably worth highlighting.
I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.
Posted 17 September 2014 - 02:46 PM
That's what makes the world go round, Chambo, no?
I actually thought it was due to the conservation of angular momentum as the primordial cloud collapsed but, you know, everyone has their theory ...
Speaking of theories, other than Costagna simply being a mediocre restaurant, my alternate theory for their Lame Pork Chop is related to lamb. The week prior I had eaten at Lincoln NYC and maybe my grilling reference point was this grilled marvel (... and the chattering masses say Lincoln can't do mains, eh ...) ...
Chambo's Frisco (and environs) food fiesta ... pretty much in order ... repeat visits eliminated ... coffee pitstops provided (plenty of good Joe in Frisco as long as you stay out of North Beach) ... so let's roll the credits ...
Blue Bottle Coffee Mission Chinese Tartine Bakery Bi-Rite A16 Swan Oyster Depot Contraband Atelier Crenn Hunan Home Reveille Coffee Cotogna Tony's Pizza Napo Saison Fourbarrel Coffee Bar Tartine Ritual Coffee Flour+Water Atlas Cafe Philz Coffee Rich Table The Creamery Mountain View Farmer's Market The Googleplex Don Pisto's R&G Lounge Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe Caffe Capriccio SPQR (much better than Cotogna ... acorn gemilli, aged squab w grilled peaches, nice wines) Farm:Table Lers Roh Thai Sightglass State Bird Provisions Bistro Jeanty Redd Wood Bouchon Bakery Redd Auberge du Soleil Manresa Flying Goat Scopa Dry Creek General Store Spoonbar Barndiva Philz Sausalito Benu* Samhoud Places Gartine Bordejick Small World Ron Gastrobar Jaspers Wilde Zwijnen
* I had a "Really Nice" wine pairing there ... if you know what I mean. They talk a good game and then serve you cheap wine with miserly pours. But don't you worry, Chambo let them know about it.
eta : oops ... strike those last seven entries ... there was a flight in between ... and could the admin please move them to the below thread with the title First "Lucky 7" Meals in Dutchland.
Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:09 PM
I never cared for Cotogna (outside of the fried chicken lunch bag) but then I don't care for most Italian places. Tosca's press is crazy too.
Commisary has definitely had some buzz but I just don't go out there (or even really know anyone who does).
Benjamin I mentioned. It's close to where I live so we stop in after work or late coming home (they're open "late"). Saying it's "what you'd expect" wasn't the right wording. I meant it as a positive as what you'd expect from Corey Lee cooking bistro food -- bistro food done well in a nice space. I like the sweetbreads. Worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood, out late, or just want some of that type of food. Good cocktails as well.
Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:01 PM
I will qualify and say that the only meals I've eaten at Cotogna have been lunch, and it's always been on the pizza/pasta/salad-y side of things, so...
But Quince many years ago, pre-Cotogna, was certainly a memorable meal.
Benjamin - "bistro food done well" with good cocktails - you read the NY threads - it's something we're always looking for!
A friend of mine works in the Presidio, so has had the chance to try The Commissary and really liked it. Chef certainly has a nice SF pedigree.
We're going to Tosca - only because. I jus hope no cars drive through the front.
Any good barbecue to speak of - or do I still have to head to Everett & Jones, where I've been enjoying bbq since the 80s?