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Recommendations for Samovar tomorrow for lunch at Yerba Buena location

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I'm meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow and would love to get some recommendations. Many items look intriguing and it would be nice to narrow down my options.

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  1. I've really enjoyed their tofu curry; very rich, the tofu almost seems like paneer! It's also a very generous serving. I don't know if they still offer it, but for some reason I love Samovar's tofu burger (tofu patty?) which was moist and flavorful.

    One savory I didn't care for was their squash dumplings -- rather bland.

    In terms of drinks, the soy matcha and Moroccan mint tea are great. They even serve the latter with simple syrup on the side, so you can sweeten it to your liking. Samovar also had (not sure if they still do) a very nice oolong that was lightly dusted with ginseng, which I had found both relaxing and refreshing.

    They used to offer a delicious turmeric cake that was mildly spiced. Excellent to have with their teas!

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    Samovar Tea Lounge
    730 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

    1. I had a delicious egg salad sandwich at Samovar on 18th St. I don't know if they still make it or if it is still good, but I used to drive there just to have the sandwich and their chai.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Mari

        would disagree abotu the squash dumplings (then again, it was at the hayes valley location)

        deff. get the matcha brownie

        and jook, if they have it; might be a brunch-only item

        and yes, they do good things with tofu

        1. re: vulber

          I liked the squash dumplings too, I had it with the duck stir fry which was very good. If they have cold mint lavender tea it is really nice and refreshing while you are waiting for your meal and which ever hot tea you order.

      2. Was just there last weekend. I guess everyone has differing opinions, but the matcha brownie was the one thing I outright hated- it had a weird consistency. The jook was surprisingly tasty, as was the smoked salmon quiche. We also liked the scones with devonshire cream.

        2 Replies
        1. re: alag

          Thanks everbody. I'll report back.

          1. re: alag

            Funny enough, my friend who had the brownie at the Yerba Buena location said the same thing (I had it at the Hayes Valley location).

            However, Yerba Buena is where the brownies are baked...

          2. I met up with my friend and we ended up sitting in the comfy couches right outside the restaurant. There were a number of things that I was tempted by and I ended up order ing the Jook with tofu and the chai. My friend got the eggs with brown rice and duck and the chai as well. Chai was good and not overly sweet. My jook was pretty tasy. I added all of the condiments and it had a very satisfying flavor. It came with a ginger soy dipping sauce, peanuts, chili sauce, shredded carrots, sliced scallions, and fried garlic. My least favorite part of the dish was the tofu - I was hoping for something a little softer.

            My friend's rice dish as just OK. Seemed like a little water got in the botton from possibly transferring the two nicely poached eggs. The duck was cooked in a way so it seemed more like char sui. I tried a bit of the duck and it might have been better than the tofu in the jook.

            It was a lovely place to hang out.

            I didn't see the tumeric cake on the menu and we were full enough so we skipped dessert.

            I was at the Oracle conference and when I was heading home, I remembed that I needed an onion for tonight's dinner so I bopped into the farmers market at the Metreon. Very handy. Quite a few food vendors as well. It wasn't very busy so I'm not sure how long it will last.

            1. I cam in late on this thread. The one time I went to samovar at YB I got their assorted russian plate, and I totally loved it. About 7 or 8 little piles of goodies, all russian in nature. Very tasty.