Recent good eats SF and East Bay
I've been lax about posting reports on delicious meals lately, so I figured I'd just pick out the highlights in one longer post.
Amasia Hide Sushi
I love this little neighborhood sushi bar on Noe Street. I've been a few times now, and each time, the seamless blend of warmth and ceremony, not to mention the very good sushi and little Japanese warm nibbles have charmed me. Amasia has a great sake selection, with two always on special, served in those lovely overflowing laquer boxes. The sashimi combination has a good selection of fish, IIRC, including saba. Uni was impeccable on my last visit, as were the takoyaki.
On CH recommendation, I checked out Chai Thai on International Blvd. in Oakland today, My new Thai holy grail. The coconut water was served with a delectable scoop of fresh young coconut, and the crispy catfish salad was the best rendering I've had this side of the Mekong. The pork leg stew is everything everyone said it was going to be, and more. The squid salad was pristine, and I can't wait to try the shrimp paste fried rice.
I was prepared to be judgemental about Flora in DT Oakland given the proprietors. Dona Savitsky has always rubbed me the wrong way, but everything, from the interiors (great floors), to the cocktails, and the truly superb burger, was top notch.
NOPA is not new news. But I've had some mixed experiences lately. The food is Cal cuisine good, especially the flatbreads (I like to sit by the pizza oven and watch the pizzaiolo's zenlike motions throughout the evening). The Blue Bottle espresso martini is my new favorite dessert (i do prefer them in liquid form), but the service has been rude and snotty or spacy and overly familiar on alternate occasions.
This welcoming Middle Eastern restaurant in Nopa delivers on incrediblly juicy shawerma and good hummus.
I know this is everyone's favorite place in the East Bay (ok, that was a gross generalization), but am I the only person who finds the food here overly salty - always?
5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
1900 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
528 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
Chai Thai Noodles
545 B International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606
Amasia Hide's Sushi Bar
149 Noe St, San Francisco, CA 94114
The food at Chai Thai is pretty much identical to the food at the Larkin Street branch of Thai House Express, which it sounds like is probably more convenient for you.
Pizzaiolo's one of the places where I'm often pleased by their Italian-style free hand with the salt. Like many of those places, the chef-owner worked at Chez Panisse for a long time. Some interviewer once asked Alice Waters to share one of her "secrets," and she said something like, we use more salt than some people would think proper.