Vancouver chowhound looking for unique Bay area cuisine
Will be visiting the Bay Area for a couple of weeks in late May/early June. Any recs for food I would not find in Vancouver?
Oh, wow! Vancouver has great food, Vij's, Rangoli, Chambar, Banana Leaf Malaysian. If we're on the same page, Cafe Colucci on the Oakland/Berkeley border has great Ethiopian. Breads of India (two locations, Berkeley and downtown Oakland) and Ajanta at the top of Solano Ave. in north Berkeley for Indian food. We like the cafe upstairs at Chez Panisse (get reservations,now) for special occasions. Sea Salt on San Pablo in Berkeley for fun seafood and great atmosphere. Our neighborhood standby for homey food is Rick & Anne's across from the Claremont Hotel. Great breakfasts with long waits on the weekend. But a nice place to hang out with Peet's coffee and Bread Garden Bakery in the same block. Enjoy!
re: Robert Lauriston
We may have a car for a few evenings, but I will be travelling during the daytime for 2 weeks by public transit/train while my fiance is a working in San Jose. We will be based out of San Jose.
The following are intriguing and I do not believe I have tried them in Vancouver:
- Basque tapas
- Breton crepes
- Lao / Laotian
- Muslim / Islamic Chinese
- northern Thai
- northern Vietnamese
I think of San Jose as more Asian/Indian/Rusisian/Mexican ... how's the Azorean Portuguese food in Vancouver. If not that great, you might want to head to Alum Rock in San Jose. Also, there might be a few Mexican places in SJ that specialize in goat. If you are interested in that let me know and I'll look it up.
I would frankly write a new topic and specifically ask for those cuisines in San Jose ... which is somewhat of a treck from SF / East Bay. And although it is not my favorite restaruant I would say if you want Basque, a trip to Piperade in SF would be worth your while.
Though I have not tried many of these, just heard positive comments, here's some San Jose ideas. Hopefully San Jose-ites will comment
Picasso's Tapas Restaurant (really more Spanish Tapas, but a basque dish or two)
The only place I know is in SF. Though my Guatamalan in-laws like it and I haven't tried it, quite frankly, I wouldn't drive from SJ to try it. However, if you want ...
San Miguel Restaurant 3263 Mission St
The only Nicaraguan places I know are in SF, but again, quite frankly,not worth the trek.
2045 White Oak Ln
Santa Clara, CA 95051
El Chalateco Salvadorian
280 N Capitol Ave
San Jose, CA 95173
Wherever you eat, hope you will report back about what you ate and how it was.
- Basque - Piperade in SF
- Basque tapas - Bocadillos in SF
- Burmese - Burma Super Star or Mandalay in SF
- Breton crepes - Ti Couz in SF (near 16th St. BART)
- Guatemalan - Acaxutla, Mission St., SF
- Hakka - http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...
- Lao / Laotian - Champa Garden in Oakland
- Muslim / Islamic Chinese - Darda in Milpitas (great), Fatima in San Jose, New Ma's in San Jose, Old Mandarin Islamic in SF - contact info: http://www.zabihah.com/_subregion.php...
- Nicaraguan - La Nicaragua in SF
- Salvadorean - http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...
- northern Thai (Issan) - Ruen Pair in Albany, Thai temple in Fremont
- Turkish - A La Turka or Gyro King in SF
- northern Vietnamese - Nha Toi in San Jose
Here's a link to a report (with a link to an earlier report) for Quang Da in San Jose, which will give you an idea of Hue-style food.
I've not been there yet but hope to try it soon. I have tried another Hue restaurant in San Jose that I should write up.
For Vietnamese food, San Jose is the place to be. I've been offering these up so that you can take advantage of your base. When you come up to SF, try another cuisine.
Eat burritos? ...And as many as I can? That sounds like a very good plan, but where? I will be based out of San Jose and will be travelling during the 2 weeks by public transit/train. Willing to travel far and wide for a good burrito. I have also never tried taco trucks before, but am alway up far good cheap eats. Please suggest.
"As many as possible" isn't necessarily very many, if you are talking about Mission Burritos; they weigh in as heavyweights.
As Mr. Carfree here, I can assure you that you can do plenty on public transportation. It will be worth it to do a little research on our transit systems (including the Caltrain/BART and Caltrain/SF Muni interfaces, as you will be most likely starting your day trips on Caltrain.
In some instances, it will be best to transfer from Caltrain to BART at Millbrae. This strategy would apply to Mission Burritos and the various Central America cusiines available in the heart of the Mission District, as well as to taco truck research in both SF Mission District and Oakland Fruitvale District.
In other instances it will probably be best to stay on Caltrain all the way into San Francisco, where three lines adjacent to the train station will take you directly to Chinatown, North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf areas, for instance.
If you want great taqueria food, you have to check out Super Taqueria. Their venerable downtown San Jose (10th St. near williams) has recently reopened after being torn down and rebuilt. I just hope they have the same grills and cooks. What I always order: carne asada super taco, but the burritos are good too.
Also, if you're based in San Jose, try Vung Tau on Santa Clara St. Considered one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city.
Some restaurants that might be a bit unique to SF...
Piperade (you mentioned Basque)
Most of my recommendations are in SF and the East Bay, quite a schlep from San Jose on public transportation. Since you're down there, you might want to check out Tirupathi Bhimas, Zeni, Swathi Tiffins, and Real Ice Cream:
Current general topic on San Jose:
If you're going to be dining out in San Jose, stick to Vietnamese and Mexican. Others have mentioned good places like Nha Toi or Vung Tau. I would also add Anh Hong for 7-course beef. It's a small chain but I find it consistently good. There's also another vietnamese place that does 8-course fish but the name escapes me. I haven't been there in a number of years.
I don't recommend Picasso's for spanish. It's ok but I wouldn't consider it to be a destination restaurant. I'm not an expert on mexican food but I like La Taqueria. If you don't mind driving a bit further north to Mountain View (between SJ and SF) you should try Uncle Frank's BBQ. It's as authentic as it could possibly be for Calif. You didn't mentioned this but there are a lot of good shanghai style restaurants around here that you might want to check out. Just do a search.
The 7-courses of fish will include dishes made from a variety of fish, not just the flesh from a single fish. Often for the beef or fish dinner there's a 2-person minimum. If there isn't, try to get away with ordering just one set for the two of you, as it's usually a lot of food. Should that not be enough, you can order another entree or appetizer for more variety.
Oh, as long as you're in San Jose, you should stop by Stan's Donuts one morning... I just finished slamming an overhyped "artisanal" donut shop on the Manhattan Board, and now I have donuts on the brain. Stan's glazed yeast-raised donuts are my favorite.
2628 Homestead Rod
Santa Clara, CA