Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Sep 17, 2006 11:26 PM

"One Hit Wonders" - restaurants you only go to for 1 or 2 items?

I was browsing through the general topic section and came upon this thread; In it there was a discussion about places that only do a few things right and the rest of the menu is just bad.

In that light, anyone have any "one hit wonders" that they frequent? Places that you only go there for one or two items? I'm sure there's a bunch so maybe the context should be how the rest of the menu is subpar.

My one hit wonders include Le Cheval (lemongrass beef, braised fish in hot pot and crab) and Jack-in-the-Box (two tacos and that's it).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Vien Hong in Oakland Chinatown & Pacific East Mall. Chow chou noodles and shrimp cake.

      1. Adagia in Berkeley. The grilled Romaine salad is always excellent, especially when salmon is in season. The rest of the menu, meh.

        1. Otaez, Oakland - Caldo Tlalpeno

          Boulevard Cafe, Daly City - macaroni & cheese

          Los Cocos, Oakland - Chan - to go!

          LoCoco's, Oakland - Inferno Pizza

          4 Replies
          1. re: lainielou

            What's chan?

            The fresh ricotta pizza at LoCoCo's is excellent.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Robert - chan is an agua fresca made from seeds of a shrub native to El Salvador. I had never heard of it before I went to Los Cocos. . .it is very refreshing . . it reminds me of the taste of fresh prickly pear cactus. I've had it at Los Cocos and at Balompie but both places have it only sporadically. I have tried to find the seeds to make it myself but have not been able to. It is addicting.

              1. re: lainielou

                Actually it's dragonfruit.

                Los Guanacos (4479 Mission Street) makes a killer version. I've been meaning to try Los Cocos. Come to think of it the Chan might be the one hit wonder at Los Guanacos, too. AKA Pitahaya


            2. re: lainielou

              Aaah, while I did go to Boulevard Cafe when I was in the are to get the excellent mac and cheese on your craigslist recco there are other gems on the menu (and duds too.) The shrimp cocktail is ginormous with small shrimp in lime juice with avocado and big shrimp hanging off the rim, enough to share.

            3. For years the only dish I'd order at Le Cheval was orange chicken with French rice and the imperial rolls. My husband got the same main dish and we shared the rolls. A couple of times about a year ago, we got our usual and the orange chicken was dry and pretty bad. We haven't been back.

              Tadich Grill - I don't think I ever ordered anything but grilled swordfish with a dinner seafood salad with house dressing. And this is since the 60's! Talk about a rut! Actually this isn't really in line with the thread which implies one good dish and blah or bad other stuff.

              3 Replies
              1. re: oakjoan

                Funny that you'd mention Tadich, because I was going to add their cioppino to the list. There are other worthy items at Tadich, but that cioppino is just out of sight.

                1. re: jkv

                  I used to always get the sauteed Petrale, but a waiter tipped me to the seafood saute and that is all I order there anymore. It is scallops, shrimp and crab in a white wine butter sauce.

                2. re: oakjoan

                  On the subject of swordfish: check if it imported or not. Local line-caught swordfish is sustainable, but there's overfishing of swordfish in other countries.