trip recommendations (primarily SF Bay Area)

#1

DH and I will be visiting the Bay Area this summer, and we’re already starting to think about where to eat. We’ll stay near the SF Baking Institute in South SF (because I’m taking a class there) but are willing to drive a bit for good food! We’ll also drive down to Carmel / Monterey / Big Sur for a couple of days.

We’re hoping to check out

  • Arsicault or Parker-Lusseau in Monterey for croissants
  • Dragon Beaux for dim sum
  • Royal Feast or Wonderful (which one?)
  • On our last two visits, we really enjoyed DOSA, so we’ll probably go again.
  • Is Rasa in Burlingame worth a trip?
  • We’ll probably be around the South Bay for one meal and were thinking of having South Indian food. We love dosas and kotthu paratta and don’t have them much in Boston, so Madras Cafe and Anjappar look appealing. Thoughts on these two places?

Other than that, any suggestions on where to get a good Taiwanese or Sichuan beef noodle soup, with either hand-pulled or knife cut noodles? Several years ago, we enjoyed the rendition at Joy in Foster City, but recent Yelp reviews are dismal.

We also really enjoy middle Eastern food, so if there are any places worth a drive, suggestions are welcome!

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#2

Welcome in advance! I mostly go out to eat in SF and the East Bay so these opinions are centered around those areas.

Arsicault has excellent croissants. Their almond croissants are very good too.

If you like Dosa (I haven’t been yet), maybe also check out Udupi Palace in the Mission in SF, which has some good dosas and other South Indian dishes. Vik’s in Berkeley makes a pretty good masala dosa as well and has good chaat dishes. I particularly like their balloon sized bhature.

Re: Middle Eastern restaurants, recently I like Beit Rima.

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(Donald Lobo) #3

For dosas, I would go eat in the south bay rather than udupi palace. Madras cafe is quite awesome and very authentic. Udupi place does not come anywhere close.

The south bay is definitely a much bigger hotbed of different indian cuisines compared to the city. The city has its fair share of great indian-pakistani places, but besides that everything else is in the south bay :frowning:

For baked goods, I would do a tasting around the city and choose one or two from Arsicault, B Pattiserie, Tartine, Marla, Mr. Holmes, Jane the Bakery and others. All of them are wonderful and have something that they excel at

Lobo

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#4

Yummy Szechuan in Millbrae used to have hand pulled noodles in a spicy beef soup, but I don’t know whether they still do and their sister restaurant Yi Yuan just closed

Unfortunately, It’s not typical for Sichuan restaurants to have knife shaved or hand pulled noodles in their beef noodles around here. The good news is that Royal feast makes an excellent version of Sichuan beef stew noodles, even if the noodles themselves aren’t a special variety.

For a party of two, I think Royal feast is the way to go.

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#5

Perfect. You can get your South Indian fix on your way to the central coast. And yes, South Indian you’d be much better off eating along the Sunnyvale-Santa Clara-Milpitas corridor. I don’t think I’ve been to Madras or Anjappar, however.

Re: Rasa, its tablecloth Indian. And its quite nice. But you should remove the Michelin Star from the consideration if that’s what led you to it. As long as you don’t have elevated expectations like I did, I think you’d enjoy it much more.

I’d recommend Dyafa in Jack London Square in Oakland. Strong Palestinian food.

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#6

Oh, I should ask. What type of Sichuan beef noodle soup were you hoping for? I wrote this in another thread:

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(George) #7

Noosh.

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#8

There’s also a bunch of previous visiting SF/Bay Area threads sprinkled throughout the forum.

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(Jeane) #9

You might want to take Dyafa off the list of recommendations. Celebrated chef Reem Assim is leaving in a dispute with the DPG mgmt.

You absolutely cannot go wrong with Parker-Lusseau/Monterey. We go there every time we visit Monterey/Carmel and bring home a massive order to throw in the freezer. We’ve been going there for almost ten years and M. Lusseau is a master patisserier.

His plain croissants are so good you can eat them untoasted and without butter. His almond croissants have more almond cream in them than any other ones we’ve encountered. The custard brioche bun is exquisite, must be eaten fresh and PL’s version redeems this often very sad standard. His cakes, cookies, and fruit tarts are marvelous.

Go to the Munras main store; this is where everything is baked and you will probably be served by Ms. Parker or M. Lusseau. It is outside downtown near Motel Row so very seldom crowded. Hartnell St. shop is cute, but very small and often crowded. Don’t bother with other bakeries in the area; they say they are French bakeries but they only offer large, cheap pastries with inferior butter and flour.

In Monterey one of the best places to eat is Montrio (CA cuisine). There’s a parking garage on the street above. Reservations a necessity, this is probably the most popular restaurant with locals and for business event. Chef Tony Clark is extremely talented and classically trained.

For seafood, Passionfish in Pacific Grove. Owner/chef Ted Walter does creative and beautiful food.

If you happen to be driving back to the the SFBA or SFO, stop for lunch at Lucia @Bernardus Resort in Carmel Valley. Beautiful DR but even more gorgeous outdoor patio dining, and Carmel Valley has better weather/less crowds. Oddly, we’ve found the lunch crew much better for dining than the vaunted dinner service. The flatbreads are incredible - GREAT quality flour - salads are very fine too (tip: if you are at brunch, skip the housemade biscuits - uninteresting - for the Parker Lusseau croissants instead). Service is five-star as befits a luxury resort.

Even better, it’s the best way back to the Bay Area - Bernardus is right at the Laureles Grade road, which is a scenic back hills way to get onto Hwy 68 back to 101 North. 68 can be a slog out of Monterey and Laureles Rd cuts off almost all the ugly part.

Have a great time!

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#10

“Passionfish in Pacific Grove”!

I haven’t been since my kids were kids, but we always loved going to Monterey, and Passionfish. Nice to know it’s still recommended.

Some of these places would be great to do as all “grown ups”.

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#11

Nope, the Michelin star has no bearing; we just enjoy Indian food, and Boston doesn’t seem to have much “creative” Indian food.

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#12

I’m happy with either, although I slightly prefer the spicy version. And thanks for the tip on Royal Feast!

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#13

Thought Assil is leaving in August? Although I guess her mind is already somewhere else and is now just going through the motion.

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(Brian Bulkowski) #14

My favorite in Sunnyvale for Indian is Aachi Aapakadi. If you have a car it’s easy access from the freeway. I think it’s worth a stop anytime you’d want to go on any of our south bay hikes. My colleagues from Bangalore usually go once on their visit, and claim it’s better than most Chettinad places there … and I’d agree …

For someone who is a student of unusual foods, there’s quite a bit of good korean in Oakland, Fremont, and elsewhere; we have a couple of Uyghur places in Fremont, and there’s still more than our fair share of Ethiopian scattered between Oakland and Berkeley.

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(Jeane) #15

Yeah, I think August is the date, but since the breakup is apparently unpleasant, I would be a little leery about making any recommendation. Troubled/unhappy kitchens are not a good sign for any restaurant, LOL.

DPG Mgmt may be having issues with its ethnic chefs. Nigel Jones (Kaya/SF) is extremely unhappy and seems to be seriously considering suing DPG.

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(Jeane) #16

If you decide to go wine-tasting in Sonoma County, I recommend stopping in for dinner at Sake 107/downtown Petaluma. We prefer it to the more widely-known Hana/Rohnert Park.

Exquisite Edo style sushi - be sure to try the specials; it often lists fish most Americans have not tried. Do not miss his Owari-style Miso Katsu with Kurobota pork! The sake flights are very fine, although after five visits we’ve settled on the Dewasansan as the best choice with food. Service is top-notch, better than Hana.

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#17

Thanks, I’ll put Aachi Aapakadi on the list; I’ve never eaten at a Chettinad restaurant.

I haven’t been looking so much at East Bay places because I have the (perhaps mistaken?) impression that getting there from South SF would be a major slog.

And @Lethe2020, thanks so much for the Monterey / Carmel area recs.

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#18

There’s always BART.

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(Jeane) #19

South SF - EBay: not so much a slog as expensive, and many good places in the EBay are NOT near BART lines, which are intended for commuters. You can transfer to AC Transit bus lines but it’s slow and you’ll easily spend half the day just on a 90 min lunch.

We live and dine a lot in Oakland but it isn’t something I’d automatically recommend unless you wanted to do/see something very specific to Oakland.

You are very welcome for the Monterey tips. It’s a great area and don’t forget, if you go to the Aquarium, get there at 2p if it’s a weekday. All the schoolkids leave as the buses have to take them back, so like clockwork half the place empties out, LOL.

BTW, we often lunch at Parker-Lusseau - one of their perfect little quiches, a fruit tart afterwards (don’t miss the divine apple tart if there’s one left) and a cup of their properly made coffee and espresso. Can’t be beat!

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#20

One thing to keep in mind though is the school year ends right about now.

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