San Francisco in 2014 and Beyond
Posted 18 September 2014 - 02:03 PM
The other is Smokestack by Magnolia Brewery. I like the space and beers but haven't eaten there after showing up too late a couple times. It gets mixed reviews but that's all BBQ it seems. This reminds me to make it over there during a weekend day. I'll report back if I do.
You'll be fine at Tosca as there's no seating next to a car-sized window ala Comstock. A truck hit Comstock last year as well. Luckily hit wall instead of the windows. I used to walk that intersection every day and it's a shit show a lot if the time -- people running multiple lights, tourists turning the wrong way, not knowing where to stop, etc.
Posted 02 October 2014 - 03:57 PM
Made it to Smokestack that weekend. The food is really weird. The brisket (again) was the best but that's not saying much. Well, actually the beans were good. But we had the chopped pork and it wasn't anything. The sausage was alright. They use waygu for the brisket which -- Sneak you're always asking -- I'm not sure made it better. It did have some nice amount of inter muscle fat though it just made it taste "fatty" (and I love fat). They're trying to do their style of BBQ but it's not better than BBQ. Good selection of beers of course.
The trip did remind me of the most excellent butcher around the corner: http://www.oliviersbutchery.com/ if you're cooking meat in SF, it's worth the trek. And he'll get you harder to find animals/cuts.
Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:13 PM
We did make it to Lazy Bear (I write Thirsty Bear every time) last week. Joe, you're lucky you're wife nixed it (for now). Tough judging them a week in but the execution and ingredient choice just wasn't all there. The experience was good: a mezzanine you wait in with a free punch and the first few passed apps -- good whipped eggs, also the charred tiny tomatillo. Sitting down, you get a little book with the menu and pencil to write notes (BF this is not). Chefs don't "interrupt" your conversation as much as stand at the front and announce courses.
The beverage pairings were really so-so. They'd be better off with bigger pours of wines than trying to do the mixed thing -- the first course had a mini cocktail, then a wine, then a sour or something, then a wine, etc.
The first few courses were the best. They do a bread course with some really funky buttermilk and butter. Then a lettuce soup with fried anchovy. A play on a caesar. Some local crawfish with raw spot prawns. Probably my favorite dish -- seafood was quality. Then guinea hen (good but not great). Next was a smoked beef tenderloin which was more about the great seared tomatoes (really good) than anything. A couple deserts and then a slab of "treats" (mignardises) which were actively bad.
Again, only a week in so expect it to get better but I'd wait a bit.
Posted 22 October 2014 - 03:08 AM
“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 06 November 2014 - 01:24 AM
what wineries you going to hit in Sonoma?
Hook & Ladder
Stonestreet is, we were told, Jess Jackson's high-end baby. Tasted some fine Cabs.
Porter Creek was a revisit from years ago - still very rustic, still fine wines.
Lynmar is gorgeous.
Merry Edwards is, well, Merry Edwards. She's making a Sauvignon Blanc now that rivaled any others we tasted, and in the tasting, it is poured last.
Lunch at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville was very nice. Dinners in Healdsburg were good - our favorite might have been Bravas.
Posted 07 November 2014 - 06:50 PM
Great dinner at State Bird Provisions last night (see - I waited!). The caveat is that you have to be careful how many plates you take, as they come by frequently, and they all look (and the ones we had were) good...but we also wanted to try stuff off of the regular menu.
So, the fried quail (i.e. the state bird) and the duck fried rice were superb; the cumin lamb was even better - lamb as tender as can be, with shishito peppers and broccoli and...pieces of squid.
Lunch was at an old favorite - Yuet Lee. Since local dungeness is not yet in, we opted for a squid dish, a fishball soup and briased noodles. I wish inexpensive Chinese food in Manhattan was this good.
Tonight - Kin Khao. MIght head to Outerlands for a light lunch.
Posted 09 November 2014 - 10:18 PM
So Monsieur Benjamin was good - but Bistro Jeanty in Yountville was better.
Best of the new bars is ABV on 16th St. Awesome hosts, wonderful drinks, and Del Maguey for days.
Posted 09 November 2014 - 11:40 PM
How was Kin Khao?
Your comment on YL amuses me. It's our drunk-after-the-parade spot (other later nights as well). I always assumed NYC had better cheap Chinese places.
Posted 10 November 2014 - 08:38 PM
Kin Khao was really great - Pim was working the front, the place was slammed.
I was pre-introduced to the bartenders at ABV, so maybe that helped. I also brought boomerangs.
Posted 10 November 2014 - 11:08 PM
I've seen bottles of baird around nyc in the last month or so. I think they're new to the market.