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Jun 11, 2008 04:12 PM


I ate at spices the other day and boy was it bad. I know it gets good rec's on this board so I am curious why my experience was so bad. First off, it didn't smell good in there, and it just didn't seem very clean. My plate was dirty and the plate that the Tea Kettle was sitting on was filthy. OK, no prob, we can let that go.

I guess you need to know what to order here. We got a Cold noodle salad. It was more like a salad Jello, with overly thick Rice noodles in a strange Jello-like sauce topped with peanuts and chili's. Not good, looked so bad we couldn't even eat it. I took a small bite-very bad.

Next up, the deep fried tofu, also not good. A huge pile of deep fried Tofu, with a spicy crust and tons of chili's. Not a lot of flavor on the tofu and not sauce of any kind and the texture wasn't that great either.

Finally, Fried Rice, how could you go wrong? Here's how... really greasy, bland and really not that good. This was the only thing we ate of what we ordered, plus a little of the tofu.

Alas, I wanted to try the stinky tofu but they don't have it at this location. We were pretty disgusted I must say with the whole experience, it was awful. I'm not trying to trash a place that people like I just really had a bad experience there and I wonder how others could like it so much.

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  1. I haven't been to Spices II in a long time, much prefering Spices I just two blocks away.

    However, I will say this: there are good things at Spices, and there are downright gawdawful things. This is true at both branches. I really wish they would pare down their menu and get rid of the disgusting things, because they aren't just bad, they can be vile.

    Sounds like that's what happened to you. If you ever even want to give either place a second chance, ask on this board what people have enjoyed and stick to it. Both places have really long menus, but I would venture to guess that not more than twenty dishes at either branch are worth ordering. I know at Spices I we rotate through the same ten things over and over, sometimes adding a new dish but usually staying with the tried and true.

    At Spices II, I've liked the deep fried scallops, the dan dan noodles (not great, but certainly not bad), the slow cooked pork butt (ti pan), and a few other more family style things.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      I have been wanting to try Spices III, in Oakland. Does anyone have favorites or warnings about the menu to share?

      1. re: foodeye

        I went to Spices III last July with 2 fellow Singaporean colleagues who liked that place (they've been there a couple of times before). We ordered 2 noodle dishes, one in a "ma-la" broth, the other was stir-fried, plus a deep-fried stinky tofu dish.

        I thought I was being poisoned! The dishes were gawd-awful - oily, super-spicy with no redeeming features. It was singularly my worst dining experience in the Bay Area ever.

        1. re: Pei

          Perhaps you could start a new thread with your rec's at Spices and Spices II? We are never sure what to order because we don't know what most of the dishes are. We usually just hope for the best. Some has been good and some has not.

        2. I can't even walk into a Spices anymore. The decor, the greasy, sticky menus, and then finally the "food" make me want to run screaming into the street.

          1. I have had a similar noodle dish to the one you descibed and the deep fried tofu, and I didn't like either of them either.

            Dishes that I *have* liked include Peking style pork, shrimp w/ tofu, bok choi w/ mushrooms.....

            Overall, I think Spices II is decent but not great. I liked it a lot the first time I went:


            But as I've continued to go, I have liked it less and less.

            Dave MP

            1. link

              Spices II
              291 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118