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Help me impress my cousin from NY! - In North Bay

Jeni Bean Apr 16, 2009 09:28 PM

My 27 year old, sushi-fiend cousin, is coming to visit me tomorrow night. I don't know if sushi is right, considering the North Bay's issues. He is a Nor Cal guy at heart, loves Mexican, and mises it, but would also love an amazing experitence. Considering Willi's, etc.... HELP!

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  1. MangiaSophiaMangia RE: Jeni Bean Apr 16, 2009 10:00 PM

    How far north are you thinking of traveling? I really like Hana Sushi in Santa Rosa if you are going that far north.

    1. Sarah RE: Jeni Bean Apr 16, 2009 10:18 PM

      If North Bay includes Sausalito, there's the incomparable Sushi Ran. Ummm - what are the "issues?"

      1. Melanie Wong RE: Jeni Bean Apr 17, 2009 12:25 AM

        Find out his favorite sushi place, he might not be that hard to please. If he's not into authenticity, then you might be safe with sushi, but generally, sushi is not a strong point in the entire Bay Area compared to the top spots in NY or LA. I would not go to either Willi's if I werer trying to impress someone.

        Have you considered Eloise in Sebastopol? Not sushi, but he'll recognize the pedigree of the chef/owners from Prune and reports have been uniformly good.

        Note that Hana is in Rohnert Park, not Santa Rosa.

        1. extrasalty RE: Jeni Bean Apr 17, 2009 07:10 AM

          Here's another vote for Sushi Ran.

          4 Replies
          1. re: extrasalty
            saffrongold RE: extrasalty Apr 17, 2009 09:46 AM

            I second Hana in Rohnert Park and for non-sushi Sol Food in San Rafael. Delicious plantanos, housemade limeade and more

            1. re: saffrongold
              Civil Bear RE: saffrongold Apr 17, 2009 10:19 AM

              I like Sol too, but I am guessing you could find a lot more choices for Puerto Rican food in NY.

              1. re: saffrongold
                Robert Lauriston RE: saffrongold Apr 17, 2009 11:04 AM

                Taking a visiting New Yorker to Sol Food would be like taking a San Franciscan visiting New York to El Loco Burrito III.

                1. re: saffrongold
                  rworange RE: saffrongold Apr 17, 2009 11:28 PM

                  Seriously, not Sol Food unless you want to be mocked. I like Sol Food, but my NY friends would not be so kind.

              2. Xiao Yang RE: Jeni Bean Apr 18, 2009 04:12 AM

                Isn't there a Nepali/Sherpa community in the North Bay, and two or three Himalayan restuarants? He might enjoy something along those lines more elaborate than a Roosevelt Avenue hole-in-the-wall.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Xiao Yang
                  Robert Lauriston RE: Xiao Yang Apr 18, 2009 11:22 AM

                  Namaste Kitchen in Petaluma, Taste of the Himalayas in Sonoma, Himalayan Tandoori & Curry House in Sebastopol, but they have that cuisine in NYC.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    Xiao Yang RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 18, 2009 09:07 PM

                    Yes, but it's rather thinly reperesented. Probably the only ethninc cuisine in the North Bay that could stand up to its NY counterparts.

                2. tupac17616 RE: Jeni Bean Apr 18, 2009 10:35 AM

                  I think a good way to impress a New Yorker is Ubuntu. I lived in NY for four years, and I know I certainly never got vegetables like that...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Xiao Yang
                    sfbing RE: Xiao Yang Apr 19, 2009 06:23 PM

                    I love meat and I don't really like cheese. Plus, I thought that whole biodynamic garden/yoga studio deal was a lot over the top. And yet...I was blown away by Ubuntu. The food is wonderfully creative, it is a nice space with a lot of families dropping in for a pizza, and the service is excellent.

                    Plus, I don't know how many people know this, but for a party of four or more, they will happily craft a tasting menu of everything on the menu that day.

                    1. re: sfbing
                      rworange RE: sfbing Apr 19, 2009 06:33 PM

                      Nice tip

                      It took me a long time to get their due to my perception of what it might be. It is a restaurant that despite a majority of positive reviews is never going to have it easy because of the image that it is something else.

                      Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
                      1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

                  2. steve h. RE: Jeni Bean Apr 19, 2009 08:09 PM

                    we new yorkers like incanto. we're also pretty fond of taking the j-church line out there. something about mass transit that really resonates.

                    1. Melanie Wong RE: Jeni Bean Apr 20, 2009 11:52 PM

                      How'd it go, Jeni?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        Jeni Bean RE: Melanie Wong Apr 26, 2009 10:00 AM

                        They screwed up my plans by having a gutbuster at Yank Sing, so I didn't want to go over the top. We went to SeaThai in Montgomery Village, which I really like. I think their actual dishware is a little enormous, which can cause some crowding, but my Cous and his fiancee were highly impressed with the "not gluey" pad thai. The pumkin red curry could have used more heat, but then again, it always can. My Cousin's fiance had some apple salad that she said was inedible, which stinks. All in all I think they have lost a bit of their first high quality/fresh flavors, but it is still nice Thai. If only it weren't so freaking expensive. As a former San Franciscan, it is really hard to pay 12+ for pad thai, etc. no matter how good!

                        Thanks for asking!

                        As an aside, Hubby and I went to Kebab and Curry. Food was good, service was hysterically attentive BUT ALSO they had a beer called 10,000 Monks, which was new to me. It is fabulously alcoholy, but a little sweet, a perfect match to the spicy (medium was "American Spicy" and had some nice heat) food we were served.

                        Happy chowing!

                      2. tvham RE: Jeni Bean Apr 26, 2009 08:31 PM

                        If you decide to forgo sushi you can take him to Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur to prove to him that you can get great pizza in the Bay Area!

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