where is the best place in or near SF to shop for a few really good kitchen knives. Does anyone have any specific recommendations as to brands? I'm looking for a chef/french knife and a few others. thanks
A lot of people are fans of the Japanese made kitchen knives which can be found at various places if your city has a Japan Town, which I believe that SF does? If you are not certain, ask at a local sushi place. I personally find that they don't fit my hand well (such a personal thing) and I always go back to Wusthof, avaiable at Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, and many places online.
I bought this for my christmas present last year and while more much more expensive than the Messermeister I was leaning towards, I have had no regrets. This shop is in Alameda and conveniently close to popular chowhound mexican favorites in the fruitvale area so make it a dual purpose field trip. Japanese knives are currently very popular and it is worth taking a look at some good ones as a comparison before you jump into the more well known German lines.
I have some Wustof Grand Prix knives, and I like them a lot. You can find and demo them at Sur La Table. I know there is one is Berkeley but I'm not sure about SF.
I have a 8" chef's, Santoku, and pairing knife. You want to test the grip to see which knives fit your hand and feel comfortable. You may not want to buy a whole set if there are some knives you don't think you'd need, but sometimes it'll save you money to buy a set.
My friend just bought Shun knives. They look really cool because of the layers on the blade.
I just ordered Shun knives from amazon. WOW...fantastic deal...8" chef, utility, paring, sharpener, bamboo block...all for 175, free shipping no tax (after promo code was applied).
Went to Sur La Table in Santa Monica today, but they were all sold out of the Shun chef knives....I was lucky I checked for this deal online at amazon though.
There's a thread down below about the different types of knives...a few days ago...i tested them all out, I liked the way the Shun felt the best. It just felt "right" to me. The D-shape + wood handle and the weight of it was better than the Wustoff and Global (at least in my own hand).
I was actually at a Sur La Table last night, and according to someone at the store, Shun knives - of all the knives they have tested - retain their sharpness the longest. One of the chefs at their classes put it best "The best knife is the knife you are the most comfortable with - both with the weight and feel in your hand. Don't buy something that someone tells you to buy. You wouldn't buy a particular brand of jeans if they didn't fit you right."
Definitely stop by Columbus Cutlery (358 Columbus Ave, north of Broadway). They have a great selection of knives and have been in business for probably 50 years or more. Very old-school. They will take good care of you.
Be sure to handle them before you buy.
Along with all of the other brands already mentioned, check out MAC Knives as well.
Columbus Cutlery is great, and you can also wander over a bit farther down to the Wok Shop in Grant Avenue. They have a nice selection of knives at all price ranges and for the home chef or commercial kitchen that are different from the usual suspects that would you find on bridal registries.
And after you buy them, DO NOT shove them in a drawer unprotected where they can rattle around and bang against each other and on the side walls of a drawer.