Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Sep 14, 2006 06:47 PM

byo at Bodega Bistro?

Hey all.

We're off to Bodega Bistro for the first time tonight, and I'm finding conflicting info regarding their beverage selection. While I'm seeing plenty of BYOBs, there's also mention of, perhaps, wine. Help me out.

Also, do I need to make a reservation? There's just the three of us. It can't be that hard to get in, right?

Finally, though I've read some of the older posts, if anyone had any thoughts as to suggested menu items (and my wife will not be eating the squab head, thank you very much), I'd be thrilled.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. get the squab and dont eat the head. its really really good. other than that however, i get the Nom every single time i go.

    also they actually have a fiarly decent wine list for an ethnic joint so if you dont Byo you will be able to find something there.

    1. Bodega Bistro has a pretty decent wine list.

      I've never seen the place more than half full.

      1. It can't hurt to get a reservation. I tried to go once and there was what looked like a wedding rehearsal dinner that filled up 2/3 of the restaurant and the rest was filled with normal diners. We ended up next door at Mangosteen and had a fine meal.

        As others have mentioned, they do have a real wine list.

        The kitchen closes rather early, perhaps 9:30 so keep that in mind planning your evening.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SteveG

          The chef is the owner so he can do what he likes, but I've gotten there around 9:30 and people were still being seated till 10 (official closing time), maybe later.

        2. I've seen lots of people BYO wine there, so if you have something in mind, go for it. There is a corkage charge, but I'm not sure how much (make a res and get that info). But as others have mentioned, he has a fine list and the prices are really fair.

          For your meal, I recommend:

          the fried calamari - so tender with a very light batter coating, served with sweet chili sauce.

          the papaya salad with dried beef "jerky". A must have! I have yet to find a better version anywhere.

          I forget the real name but the grilled pork with vermicelli noodles and accompanying "greenery" to roll up into a lettuce leaf.

          My BF always gets the shaking beef. I like the flavor a lot but I'm not convinced that it's really filet mignon - doesn't seem that tender to me.

          I like the squab a lot too...and it's big enough for a meal.

          1. I was there last night with a friend. I noticed that there was a corkage fee but I didn't pay close attention to how much other than it was more than I would have guesses (so I think somewhere between 10-15).

            We had the nom, which was as excellent as everyone has said on this board, the grilled pork with vermicelli to wrap (from the hanoi street food portion) which I have had before on a previous lunch visit.
            We also go the stir-fried beef on noodle with the soft rice noodle instead of the crispy noodle. Our waiter warned us that this noodle was also crispy which was fine with us. It turned out to be such a very tasty and very intersting dish. The noodles seemed to be flavored and fried into a noodle pancake that still had plenty of softness. The noodles were all melted into each other so you took chunks of the pancake rather than noodles in each bite. There was something reminiscent about a mid-western casserole in the way the noodles melded into one with a lovely flavoring of thier own. It was served with a beef and vegetable stirfry on top, which complimented the noodle-cake very well. It was utterly not what either of us expected, and we ate far more of it than I think either of us a planned to.

            One item that we had talked about was the crepe, and when we saw it going by to the other tables kicked ourselves for not ordering it. That is defintitely on my list for next time.

            Our waiter was super busy but had the dishes out and the waters filled so we weren't at all neglected, but he actually came by to apologize and tell us that he had wanted to spend more time serving us and brought us out dessert. It was unexpected and unnecessary but very kind and appreciated.

            Our total for the three dishes above was about $25. Just a warning, however,I tried to search for the name of the rice noodle dish on the menus online and they are very different from their dinner menu now. They have quite a few high end items (13-20 range, so high end only in comparison to the online menus) and less of the traditional items listed. For instance I saw no lemongrass or 5 spice chicken but they were on the menupix menu.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Meredith

              You're talking about the menu on I think that's an old lunch menu. Very misleading.