Let's Start a Feeding Frenzy! And a Little Get-to-Know-You Survey

haha - i DID review Californios, and she did pay for it! and Lazy Bear is being discussed now.

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They got another star now- time for a re-review!

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I read your Californios review. All that vitriol for reviewing an expensive restaurant… :sweat_smile: I understand all the gentrification concerns, but whew…!

That reminds me of the food blogger who writes for the small weekly in my town. She gets a lot of flak in the comment section whenever she writes about expensive restaurant openings.

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and believe me, i toned that thing down! yeah, people get very touchy about the Mission. i get it, i do, i love it here, i love the dives, the mom-and-pops, and i love the great new restaurants we have. but i hate the displacement too.

Liguria. Been going there since the 50s! The best of SF.

Also suggest you head home via the Mission, stop at Lucca Deli on Valencia. Best prices on Parmasan, house made pasta, amazing shelf stock. Sweet multi-generational staff. Pickled pigs feet. Also an agent for Luguria focaccia, but like the mother-ship, sells out early. Much more in the deli cases.


What part of the SF/Bay Area do you live in?
East Bay; however, I’m in the South Bay often too (my hometown).

What’s your favorite thing to order in a restaurant (of any type)?
If I can find out beforehand, whatever is unique to that restaurant, region, or type of cuisine.

If I can’t, I try and go with what they recommend or what I see others happily eating around me.

If that all fails - things that pop out at me on a menu are:

  • any unfamiliar ingredients/preparations or
  • keywords like hand-cut noodles, mushroom/citrus varietals, egg (fish or fowl), peas, almond (primarily, in relation to dessert), honey, and earl grey are a few I can think of, for now.

I enjoy wine, but can’t handle a ton so usually steal sips of my husband’s pairings when pairings are offered. I’ve also found some non-alcoholic pairings to be just as interesting (i.e., TBL3 in San Diego).

And also, black coffee.

What do you want to learn more about, food-wise?
While our boys are still young (in many ways, a good thing as they haven’t developed strong preferences yet!), we’ve been trying to bring them out to try new places, travel, and explore new destinations (and dishes/drinks while we are at it). When we do, we’re looking for local favorites and interesting dining experiences. For the most part, they are pretty well-behaved at restaurants, so we consider ourselves lucky (for now, knock on wood).

We traveled and ate out much more pre-kids. These days, thanks to the parents, in-laws, and a few trusted friends/teachers, we are fortunate enough to have the occasional, leisurely meal without them, and have a running list of restaurants to try as we eagerly anticipate the next “Parent’s Night Out” Saturday at our younger son’s daycare each month. Our last interesting experience locally was the Osamu Tomita Tsukemen lunch last Friday at Ramen Shop - the broth and dipping noodles were superb and so satisfying.

Locally, though we tend to favor Japanese or Taiwanese cuisine, I’d like to try and expand my horizons to cuisines I’m not as familiar with. I’m loving the thread for underrepresented national cuisines in the SFBA that @hyperbowler started and hope to check out a few of those spots in the near future.

I’d also be interested in learning more about how people here are able to so vividly recall and recount the restaurants/dishes/meals they’ve eaten at and plan ahead for/organize around how to visit all the ones they haven’t yet. My weapons of choice are all tied up in Google - Photos, Keep (checklists), Maps (real-time navigation - we take public transit a lot when we travel abroad with the boys, no lugging carseats!), My Maps (restaurant bookmarks), Flights (alerts), and Docs (itineraries). I haven’t found their Trips app to be useful enough yet but am rooting for it to become something more at some point.

We have a hydroponic tower garden that is sitting out unused on our deck and spring seems like a good time to get it going again, but I’m curious as to what people have grown that they don’t get tired of/general usage tips there.

Lastly, we would like to get in the habit of cooking at home more, as we eat out quite often. My husband is (by far) the stronger cook and cooking/coffee/wine-gadget geek of us two, but I’ve made a few things with some success using the Instant Pot. Let’s say I have lots to learn on this front.

Things people should ask me about?
Anything. I find that I learn more in the process of sharing and will try and help if I can!


A very warm welcome to you and your recent posts!

Did you have any favorite types of citrus this season?

It’s encouraging to hear you speak about your kids being good eaters! I feel lucky that my one year-old has been adventurous and well-behaved so far, and I’m hoping by family’s history of pickiness doesn’t manifest!

Wow, you are organized! I used to be more deliberate, but currently I make a bookmark on yelp anytime I hear of something interesting. It’s useless on a desktop, but on the phone I can look at a geographic region and see places I’ve noted. I stopped taking notes about particular restaurants – – usually a Google search will lead me to the originating article or Hungry Onion post. I also keep a separate short list of top priority places.

Let us know if the Trips app improves. I hadn’t heard of it before, and see some potential.

Have you tried any Caribbean places? I’d never have thought it before that Underrepresented list, but there are a lot more than I’d realized.

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I’d like to know how people can write about so much details too. Unless I note it down right away and take a picture, or if the dish is simple enough, I don’t remember the details about complex dishes (unless its mindblowing).

I bookmark everything I want to eat on Yelp. And sometimes I add a short note or URL of the article/ discussion that prompted me to bookmark the place. I think others here have a better tracking system.

I agree with Hyperbowler though, that Yelp mobile is better at finding stuff near by, though Yelp mobile could use a feature that lets people filter by city too (for when i am not already there)

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Thanks, @hyperbowler! I recognize your handle from CH, for sure - glad to see that you are active here too.

I’m generally a sumo fan this time of year, but the ones I’ve been getting recently have been rather disappointing. It could be the source (in my case, Whole Foods, who doesn’t seem to be getting much praise post-acquisition anyway). I might try my luck at Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market instead before the season is over.

We are members of Frog Hollow’s CSA, but I usually put my shipments on hold during this time of year until stone fruit season. Perhaps we’ll open it up a bit earlier this year, as their citrus selections are generally tasty.

As far as citrus in dishes we’ve tried recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of candied kumquat in desserts. We had a kumquat trifle from Fournée Bakery recently (nice, but their strawberry one in the summertime is our favorite), and some more atop a slice of cake at Chez Panisse Café.

On the savory side, I’m in search of yuzu shio ramen in the Bay Area. We were in Portland a bit less than two years ago and unfortunately, missed the Afuri opening by a week. I was excited to learn about a place called Yuzu Ramen in Emeryville, but they don’t actually serve yuzu shio ramen. The closest I’ve found to ramen with a citrus flavor note is the Veggie Meyer Lemon Shoyu at Ramen Shop. We usually get it with a side of pork chashu.

Unfortunately, they aren’t always good eaters. I never thought I’d feel such disappointment at the sight of an untouched lunchbox at the end of a school day. We try to feed them beforehand if we don’t think there will be food that they’ll eat at the restaurant, but generally if there is some type of noodles/pasta or fries, we are good. It can be fun dining out with them, and they have surprised us with their preferences. My older son loves marinated jellyfish salad (the kind you get at dim sum places) and would try and take whole bites out of our pâté loaf when he was younger (but also butter too). We were at a parent-teacher conference two weeks ago, and his kindergarten teacher looked a bit perplexed when she showed us his writing sample which stated, “I like to eat jellyfish.” My older and younger sons both enjoy ikura at Japanese restaurants. And of course, bacon is a winner at all hours.

The Google My Maps app is great for the phone too. When we travel, I generally refer to the map on my phone, and if I see a cluster of things, we check out that general vicinity and it becomes a bit of an urban treasure hunt. Oftentimes, my husband and I probably get more enjoyment out of that part of trip than the kids, but we try and throw in some museums and parks for them too.

My main gripe with the Trips app is that I don’t see a way to really tailor the content to the level of granularity that I would find useful. I was hoping it would be the glue to tie all of these other disparate Google apps together (i.e., how do I import over all of my pinned places from “My Maps” to “Saved Places”), but it’s really just a pretty UI/guide book for generic recommendations so far. It’d be interesting if it could also determine which sources/who I trust and curate/filter up those recommendations to me during the planning process.

Yes, a few - but I’m sure there are many more yet to try! I actually owe it to CH for turning me on to Back a Yard back in '06. My first Caribbean food experience was randomly, out in Modesto on recommendation of a colleague at the time. I fell in love with Mama Jamaica’s (no longer in business) jerk pork, fried sweet plantains, and sorrel drink. When I moved back to the Bay Area, I searched for Jamaican food and went to Back a Yard on the recommendation of that post. I lived in the S. Bay at the time and made it a point to drive up to Menlo Park whenever I could for their jerk pork and corn festivals. It has been quite a while since we’ve been out there, and it looks like Chef Robert has expanded out to San Jose and changed up the menu a bit since then. I’m actually planning on being out in RWC occasionally for work so will have to check out Cariblue sometime, per @sck’s post. Kingston 11 and Kaya are on the list too, as they’re more in the immediate neighborhood. The Scotch Bonnet Food Truck was actually stationed right outside my old office (SF, Financial District); however, I never got around to trying it. I think I read they’re at the Oakland Museum occasionally for Off the Grid, so perhaps we’ll get a chance to try it out on our side of the Bay sometime.

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Frog Hollow is out of citrus now at their market stands. Between now and when they have apricots, they have no fruits. Yeah I tried WF’s sumo once and was rather disappointed

My lunchbox gets rejected so often now I don’t even think too much any more. My older one seems to eat other kid’s lunches/ snacks as she never seems to come home hungry any more.

Cariblue is only open on weekdays. That’s the reason I haven’t had a chance to try it.

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Thanks, @sck - and ditto, I’m a decent eater, but horrible at recounting what I ate to others. At some level, I think it would help if I felt more accountable for remembering those details to share with others, so perhaps being on this forum will help in that way. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the heads up re: Frog Hollow and Cariblue.

And likewise, after that initial disappointment, I’m over it on the lunchbox. Thankfully, my husband has taken over lunchbox duty recently and has had more success on that front.

OK, it’s been way too long. FB distracted me, last year was a total train wreck of death & destruction and a have a teenager. Same handle on CH which I left when the format changed.

What part of the Bay Area do you live in:


What favorite thing do you order in a restaurant:

Meats I don’t cook often at home: Duck, Lamb, Pork shoulder, Porchetta, Texas style brisket, carbonara with shrimp added and a nice glass/bottle of wine or a cold, dark beer.

What do I want to learn more about food-wise?

I just found a really nice copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for $8 at Rocket Reuse, our local used bookstore/vintage outlet. Want to delve into mother sauces and learn some new techniques. The cookbooks I currently use the most are my 1953 Joy of Cooking and my Chili cookbook.

Things people should ask me about:

Wine: WSET 2 Intermediate certified Geek here. I seem to have a decent knack for food/wine pairings. This year I’ll be finishing up my tenure as the Cellar Master for the German Wine Society SF Chapter and I work in the wine section at a Trader Joe’s in Oakland.
I love Texas-style chili (NO beans) and I make several killer ones. The Triple Threat Pork Chili with sausage, Pork shoulder and pork belly won us 3rd place in our school’s cookoff.
Chocolate and baking I know a thing or two about as well.


Welcome Angela! Please feel free to share your latest food finds on the board!

Thanks for helping to bring so many varied and inexpensive wines to TJ’s. My daily sips are the central coast blend Chariot and the Portuguese Porta 6 red blend (which seems to be out of stock now), and Josephina rose.

Hi Ernie,

You’re welcome. The Porta 6 just appeared on the Order Guide again yesterday. Check with your local store tomorrow about availability. Our new layout has made bringing in newly available wines a little more challenging than before. Once I’ve tasted the new value wines, I can report back if you like.

Cool! You might want to post about the wines in the Trader Joe’s topic in the culture section.


Or in the wine section, maybe starting a new conversation.

Thanks Ernie,
I’ll try to post in the appropriate locations when possible.

What part of the SF/Bay Area do you live in?
East Bay. FAR East. Far North East Bay. Yes, ALL of Solano County is technically one of the Bay Counties.

What’s your favorite thing to order in a restaurant (of any type)?
I can’t seem to answer that. We mostly eat in Napa, so whatever our faces are serving.

What do you want to learn more about, food-wise?
Choosing and cooking whole fish when you’re not shopping for something in particular.

Things people should ask me about
Ask me about growing food.


Hi shrinkrap!

What’s good in Napa these days?