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Visiting from Sweden to eat in Bay Area.

o
olletagesson Jul 31, 2010 06:39 AM

Hello
Me and a friend are coming to SF in late september for two weeks. We are both chefs and will try to eat and drink as much as we possibly can manage. I've seen a few posts asking for recomendations but they all seem to be a couple of years old.

So we need recomendations, all kinds of places. But we do like the food of places (in the US) like momofuku, spotted pig, prune, Babbo and i believe own most cooksbooks by both jeremiah tower & Chez panisse. As well as the Zuni Café book, Paul Bertolli, A16. Just so you get an idea.

Restaurants we're thinking about is:
Chez Panisse (obviously)
Oliveto
Slanted Door
Zuni Cafe
Aziza
Farallon
Rivoli
French Laundry
Delfina
Tartine

So breakfast, lunch, dinner, after hours and so on. But also if You have any other recomendations of things to do. Or cheap places to stay in SF, Berkeley and Oakland.

And if any chefs/waiters/foodies/nice people would like to meet up for a drink or so we're up for anything.

thanks
/olle

-----
Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Farallon
450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Delfina Restaurant
3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Rivoli Restaurant
1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

Oliveto Cafe
5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

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  1. daveena RE: olletagesson Jul 31, 2010 08:10 AM

    Hi olletagesson

    You have a really good start already - of your list, the only one I would definitely drop is Farallon. Also, while I like Rivoli a lot, it wouldn't top my list of places I'd recommend for you, since its style is pretty well represented in your list already.

    Places that I think you should definitely add to the list are Ubuntu in Napa, Canteen, Ferry Building on a Saturday, and Berkeley Bowl (I'm assuming from your list that you're planning to have a car?)

    For the rest, we could go in a few different directions (or a little of each)
    1. Go to more restaurants/bakeries/ice cream shops started by Chez Panisse alumni (in which case I'd add Pizzaiolo in Oakland and Ici in Berkeley),
    2. Explore the modern Californian movement - some of the younger chefs in the Bay Area have trained in molecular gastro techniques but still hew closely to the local, seasonal ethos. Consider Manresa in Los Gatos, Coi in SF, and Commis in Oakland.
    3. Explore Asian or Latin American cuisines you may not have much of at home.

    You should take a look at this thread - it was a research thread for two of the CHOW editors when they were looking to develop a food tour, but i think it's actually a great resource for all visitors:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7133...

    Grayelf did a nice job combining sightseeing and eating into one easy to follow itinerary that I plan on printing out one day, to play tourist in SF myself:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7031...
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7031...

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

    Manresa Restaurant
    320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

    Berkeley Bowl
    2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

    Pizzaiolo
    5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

    Chez Panisse
    1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

    Commis
    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    2 Replies
    1. re: daveena
      mariacarmen RE: daveena Jul 31, 2010 04:07 PM

      Agree on removing Farallon from your list. CarrieWas218 just posted on a new place called Swell that sounds excellent for seafood: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7244...
      I'm a fan of Range in the Mission.
      Commis, Pizzaiolo for sure, Coi, Canteen... you're going to have fun here!

      -----
      Pizzaiolo
      5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

      Farallon
      450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Commis
      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. re: mariacarmen
        e
        EricaMmm RE: mariacarmen Aug 22, 2010 02:58 PM

        Second Range. Absolutely fantastic. And though I'm a very serious carnivore, the vegetarian entrees they serve are un-effing-believeable. My husband still has Gary Danko at the top of his list, but for me, a meal at Range trumps all in SF right now.

        -----
        Gary Danko
        800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

    2. The Chowhound Team RE: olletagesson Jul 31, 2010 08:54 AM

      Chowhound has a very narrow mission--where to find deliciousness. General travel planning questions, like where to stay or what else to do while visiting a town, are off topic for our boards. Please keep your replies focused on helping the poster find great chow, as off topic replies will be removed.

      1. bbulkow RE: olletagesson Jul 31, 2010 09:56 AM

        I would suggest looking at the 2010 michelin list. It covers a lot of the newer restaurants, your list seems circa 2000. For example, Commis and Coi. And somehow you've missed Manresa, which should be on the list of any chef's visits, given how seminal the kitchen has been (launching point for many great chefs).

        On this board, I would look for the user 'uhockey' who visits, eats in the range you're describing, and writes well.

        There's a huge range of what we call 'midrange restaurants' - like Nopa - that form the core of SF dining which, if you are here for two weeks, you should eat many meals within that range.

        -----
        Manresa Restaurant
        320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

        Nopa
        560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

        Commis
        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

        2 Replies
        1. re: bbulkow
          rworange RE: bbulkow Aug 3, 2010 12:24 PM

          >>> I would suggest looking at the 2010 michelin list. It covers a lot of the newer restaurants, your list seems circa 2000. For example, Commis and Coi

          Was that some sort of typo? Neither restaurant was open in 2000 and Commis only opened last year.

          I personally don't recommend Michelan which has a skewed view of the Bay Area.

          As to recent posts, search the board by 'newest' first or just scroll down and page through the boards. There are requests like this daily. The search function on the site is a bit odd which is why you may have gotten all those odd results

          1. re: rworange
            Ruth Lafler RE: rworange Aug 3, 2010 01:10 PM

            I assume he meant the poster's list seems circa 2000 because it didn't include places like Coi and Commis. I agree with you about Michelin -- its viewpoint is very narrow and thus doesn't reflect the breadth of the Bay Area restaurant scene.

            -----
            Commis
            3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

        2. Robert Lauriston RE: olletagesson Jul 31, 2010 10:10 AM

          If you like Momofuku, Spotted Pig, Prune, and Babbo, you should probably check out Incanto's menu.

          1. t
            Thomas Nash RE: olletagesson Jul 31, 2010 11:19 AM

            You are getting some really good advice here! My take:

            Chez Panisse (obviously) - Yes. Or maybe even try the Chez Panisse Cafe upstairs.
            Oliveto - Can be be very good, particularly if they have one of their special dinners going. Check the website.
            Slanted Door - Why?? Grossly overpriced. You can get excellent Vietnamese food at several other places: Yummy Yummy at far more reasonable prices.
            Zuni Cafe - Classic simple San Francisco. Don't miss.
            Aziza -
            Farallon
            Rivoli
            French Laundry - start working on your reservations now ... see threads on this. Easier for 4.
            Delfina - Superb San Francisco Italian. Don't miss. Also go to the Delfina Pizzeria right next door on another night, lunch. Pizzas are (IMO) the best and there a re contorni and other side/first course dishes that are really outstanding. Our favorite place.
            Tartine - Bakery on Wed thru Sunday at 5 bread comes out of the oven. You can reserve a walnut or country loaf. Don't miss this.

            Other don't misses: Manresa! Commis. Saison. Canteen. Coi (Patterson has his own style very focused on single flavors and smells -- we were there the other night and I don't think it hits the level of Manresa, but it is very interesting.)

            And the Ferry Building Saturday market to see the great ingredients around here.

            You should also experience the Chinese/Asian food: Dim Sum at Koi Palace (or one of the places in Millbrae). Hakka or Beijing or Spices II (for quite authentic Sichuan). Lors Ros for authentic Thai.

            And, for Mexican: Nopalito (somewhat upscale and excellent - compares with Frontera Grill in Chicago) and one of the SF taco places such as La Taqueria on Mission and 25 th St. Nopalito is a spin-off from Nopa a couple of blocks away. Nopa is open very late and is a gathering spot for chefs after their restaurant closes. You might check it out around midnight - it is open to 1.

            For a lunch experience, wait in line at Ike's Place for sandwiches (if the neighbors haven't pushed him out of business).

            And then there is the new food truck scene... if Off the Grid is happening in September that is a good place to check out a bunch of the trucks.

            And the underground restaurant movement: you two could put on a dinner for us someplace after shopping at the Ferry Bldg market...

            -----
            Zuni Cafe
            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Manresa Restaurant
            320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

            Koi Palace Restaurant
            365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

            The French Laundry
            6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

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

            Chez Panisse
            1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

            Delfina Restaurant
            3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            Nopa
            560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

            La Taqueria
            2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            Yummy Yummy
            1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

            Oliveto Cafe
            5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

            Ike's Place
            3489 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

            Commis
            3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

            Saison
            2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

            1. n
              nocharge RE: olletagesson Jul 31, 2010 01:20 PM

              You might want to check out Perbacco for Italian. It's one of the best restaurants in the area in that category and the chef was born and raised in Sweden.
              http://www.perbaccosf.com/staffan_ter...

              1 Reply
              1. re: nocharge
                o
                olletagesson RE: nocharge Aug 1, 2010 03:53 AM

                Thanks!
                Will definiatly book Manresa!
                Also booked Frances.
                COI probably and Nopa sounds like a place for a late dinner when we arrive. Delfina yes!
                Nopalito most likely...=)

                Sent an email to Perbacco and Staffan, might go there too!

                thanks again.

                -----
                Manresa Restaurant
                320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

                Perbacco
                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                Coi
                373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

                Delfina Restaurant
                3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Nopa
                560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

              2. a
                Andrew H RE: olletagesson Aug 1, 2010 10:06 PM

                Villkomen! Ferry Building Farmers Market is a must. As is Monterrey Mkt and Berkeley Bowl.

                Give Sol Food a try. Its an excellent Puerto Rican restaurant with two locations in San Rafael (20 min north of SF). Terrific no frills food in a happening atmosphere.

                -----
                Berkeley Bowl
                2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                1. o
                  olletagesson RE: olletagesson Aug 2, 2010 02:46 AM

                  will do thanks.

                  Anyone been to Bottega in Napa?

                  -----
                  Bottega
                  6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: olletagesson
                    Robert Lauriston RE: olletagesson Aug 2, 2010 09:06 AM

                    If you click the auto-link to Bottega in your post (or the restaurant name in the right-hand column) and scroll down, you'll find links to topics about the place.

                    -----
                    Bottega
                    6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                    1. re: olletagesson
                      c
                      chickenluv RE: olletagesson Aug 3, 2010 10:10 AM

                      Yup, been to Bottega multiple times. It is quite good but a bit overhypped. If you have Perbacco, Delfina, Olivetto and/or Pizzaiolo's on your list you have equivalent or better Italian covered. BTW, Olivetto has a downstairs cafe (like Delfina next door) which serves pizza and has an *awesome* polenta service: you get a serving of creamy polenta, specially ground for Olivetto, then you can choose 3 toppings of the day. Perbacco has a pasta tasting option on their menu that allows you to sample several of their selections in smaller portions (shared by table); their pasta is better than Bottega, IMHO. Pizzaiolo's meatballs were very memorable. I have only been to Delfina's cafe, but the pizza there is very good even if the environment is a bit crowded.

                      In Napa I would pick many other places before Bottega: Ubuntu (exceptional) or Redd, and from the Keller empire Ad Hoc just never disappoints (Sunday Brunch can be inspirational) and even Bouchon. In Napa, if you can get a res, The French Laundry is clearly the best, after I just would not miss Ubuntu, then I would hit Ad Hoc. In the realm of haute cuisine, TFL is still IMHO a top 5 restaurant in the western world. Ubuntu showcases the incredible fruit and vegetables of the Bay area, it is California at its core. Ad Hoc just blows my mind every time. The quality consistency is mind-boggling. Every other Monday, Ad Hoc has a fried chicken dinner. If your visit coincides, I highly recommend it; not to be missed. Redd gets less hyped but I have had memorable dinners there; I was particularly impressed by the correctness of their cooking: all the meats cooked to the textbook ideal of doneness; something which is very hard to do consistently.

                      Last but not least, if you are looking for quick/cheap/easy food in Napa (say you need a quick bite to tide you over to dinner), you can try Hog Island Co in the Oxbow market. Acceptable oysters (raw bar), clam chowder and a very, very nice grilled cheese sandwich. Ritual coffee also in the market pour some very nice espresso, and Kara's cupcakes put out some acceptable desserts.

                      On a side note, you should not miss the coffee in the Bay area. After living for years in France and travelling for many. many months in Italy, I am always surprised to come back and taste just how exceptional Bay area coffee is. Blue bottle (you'll see them in the Ferry building) is worth the wait. Also, I have it on good authority that there is a coffee place on 15th and Valencia (Four Barrel Coffee, maybe?), that is worth a special detour.

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

                      Perbacco
                      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      Pizzaiolo
                      5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                      The French Laundry
                      6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                      Ad Hoc
                      6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                      Delfina Restaurant
                      3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                      Bottega
                      6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                      Bouchon
                      6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                      1. re: chickenluv
                        Ruth Lafler RE: chickenluv Aug 3, 2010 01:06 PM

                        That polenta at Oliveto sounds yummy.

                        -----
                        Oliveto Cafe
                        5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                        Oliveto Restaurant
                        5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                        1. re: chickenluv
                          Robert Lauriston RE: chickenluv Aug 22, 2010 09:16 AM

                          Some more info about Olvieto's special polenta:

                          http://www.oliveto.com/ourcommunity/e...

                      2. rworange RE: olletagesson Aug 3, 2010 12:52 PM

                        It would be more helpful if you posted a tentative itinerary with the cities you plan to visit. It might help you organize as well ... such as

                        Arrive Thrusday, Sept xxx
                        Dinner - xxx

                        Friday Sept xxx

                        Breakfast at xxx
                        Lunch at xxx
                        Dinner at xxx

                        Those type of posts also get the most response as well

                        In general, since no one seems to cover breakfast

                        Napa County

                        Brix is set in a lovely vineyard and the gardens that grow their produce are just outside the restaurant. They make one of the best Sunday Brunches I have ever had

                        Sweetie Pie's has light breakfasts and great baked goods. You might be there at exactly the correct time for their cabernet grape pie

                        Boon Fly Cafe has good breakfasts and excellent donuts

                        Sonoma County

                        Fremont Diner has great Southern cooking using top-notch local produce and meats. Don't miss the house-made pickles, fried pies, or fresh fruit popsicles. The breakfasts are great. It is just outside a nice vineyard and there are outdoor tables.

                        Bovolo in Healsburg makes some good breakfasts. Stop by the nearby Downtown Bakery for great baked goods and ice cream

                        In September, Tomato Heaven will be open just outside the town of Healsburg. They literally plant hundreds of varieties of tomatoes each year and, IMO, it is worth a stop at this farmstand that sells nothing but tomatoes. There are about 30 different varieties daily and September is a peak tomato month.

                        EAST BAY - Oakland, Berkely

                        Bettie's Oceanside Diner is worth a stop (and the wait) for their souffle pancakes and an exceelent example of Californaia-American breakfast food.

                        Sea Salt has a nice weekend brunch as do their other restaurants, Fonda and T-Rex

                        San Francisco

                        Town's End has their own bakery and I love the mini muffins. The specials are often really special. Great blueberry pancakes.

                        Mama's wonderful breakfast, great homemade jam, terrific baked goods

                        Cateen weekend brunch is a favorite of many Chowhounds

                        Dottie's True Blue Cafe has great baked goods

                        Brenda's has good breakfast and Southern beignets

                        And whatever you do ... skip Sears Fine Food ... it isn't ... you don't want to see what they do to Swedish pancakes.

                        -----
                        Tomato Heaven
                        2476 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: rworange
                          o
                          olletagesson RE: rworange Aug 5, 2010 02:13 AM

                          we still havn't planned that far but so far we will be arriving pretty late on the 28th of september and might go to Nopa or Nopalito if they're also open late.
                          Dinner on 29th - Frances

                          we'll probbly head to berkeley on the weekend and Chez Panisse + cafe and what else that can be good.

                          after that probably south through Oakland or north to napa.

                          we will try to make to Manresa, probably on our way down to Vegas, to win all our money back. =)

                          Then spend whatever is left of the week in San Fran/Oakland and around. Zuni Cafe, maybe Yummyyummy..

                          As you can see, we have not yet planned that far. It's a bit har since at most restaurants we can't make an reservation yet.

                          Thanks very much for the recommendations! Breakfast is great!

                          -----
                          Zuni Cafe
                          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                          Manresa Restaurant
                          320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

                          Chez Panisse
                          1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                          Nopa
                          560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                          1. re: olletagesson
                            grayelf RE: olletagesson Aug 5, 2010 09:03 AM

                            From one visitor to another: since you will be around for a couple of weeks you may run afoul of the tendency for restos to be closed in SF on either Sunday and/or Monday. Obviously not all of them are but it's good to double check so you aren't disappointed when you do firm up your choices. Have a fantastic trip and bring some Surströmming from the north to share with the local Hounds (kidding)!

                            1. re: olletagesson
                              a
                              Andrew H RE: olletagesson Aug 5, 2010 11:12 AM

                              Somewhat off topic but the weekend of 10/1-10/3 is a gargantuan free music festival in Golden Gate Park (SF) called Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. People (~200k per day) come from all over the world to enjoy 6 stages of free music. Its highly recommended but not food centric. You can buy good festival food there or bring a picnic and your own beverages. No alcohol is sold officially.

                              However, the festival ties up traffic. And parking in that area is impossible to find after early morning on festival days. Any ideas about popping out to that part of the city should be checked out carefully. Enjoy your stay and please keep us informed as to what you find.

                          2. y
                            youngsf RE: olletagesson Aug 3, 2010 05:10 PM

                            I'd consider checking out the Attic in San Mateo. I have not been there and it is relatively new. But it is open by a well know Asian fusion chef (Tim Luym) who used to run the Poleng Lounge which closed this year.

                            http://www.atticrestaurant.com/

                            1. e
                              estnet RE: olletagesson Aug 5, 2010 07:30 AM

                              I'm surprised no one has mentioned The Dining Room (at the Ritz Hotel) or La Folie (which IMHO doesn't get mentioned as often as deserved here). I'd consider either of these over Zuni (admittedly totally different experiences), since I can replicate much of Zuni's menu myself (and I'm not a chef), but can't come close to the dishes at either of the other places.

                              -----
                              Zuni Cafe
                              1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                              La Folie
                              2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

                              1. o
                                olletagesson RE: olletagesson Aug 16, 2010 04:49 AM

                                so, the trip starts to take some kind of shape.

                                on the arrival on the 28th, Nopa

                                29th Dinner at Frances

                                30th nothing yet,
                                A bit of alcatraz and some surfing maybe...
                                1st nothing yet

                                2nd dinner hopefully Chez Panisse

                                3rd dinner Ad Hoc, more interesting than Bouchon, no?

                                4th dinner Ubuntu

                                5th of towards vegas by car, Spending a night somewhere around Yosemite National Park (any recommendations?)

                                6th have a walk in the park before heading to Vegas for a day and a night. And a day. Dinner recommendations there? Talked about Batali, but we're having lunch in NYC both ways and will go to Momofuku one of them and talked about Luca or Esca on the other...but not sure....? None of the seriously expensive places are of interest...?

                                7th we'll try to fly back to Bay Area, and then we're pretty open about where to eat. Manresa one night and Zuni one and probably Le Folie. but we also got some lunches to fill out.

                                Does the food and prices differ a lot between lunch and dinner in Bay Area?

                                But we also got two nights on the week we arrive...Also Delfina & Yummy Yummy and Spices II.

                                And of course also the food markets and thank You very much for the Bluegrass-festival recommendations!

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

                                Zuni Cafe
                                1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                Manresa Restaurant
                                320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

                                Ad Hoc
                                6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

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

                                Chez Panisse
                                1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                Delfina Restaurant
                                3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                Nopa
                                560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                Yummy Yummy
                                1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                                Bouchon
                                6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: olletagesson
                                  rworange RE: olletagesson Aug 16, 2010 09:54 AM

                                  If you are going to go to Manressa, my suggestion would be to book a hotel nearby for one night as it is not a fun drive from the restaurant to SF after a long meal. It is a pretty town and everyone can drink all they want and easily return to a nearby hotel after dinner.

                                  Discussions about Yosemite need to be posted on the Califorina board
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/3

                                  Las Vegas questions go on the Las Vegas board
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/68

                                  On Saturday Oct 2, a big priority ... BIG .. should be stopping by the Saturday Morning Ferry Plaza farmers market where you can have breakfast and lunch. Early in the morning a lot of top chefs shop there and you can often evesdrop on conversations. However, the restaurants are more likely to hit the market early, a little before the official opening at 8 am. If you can make it at 8am, you avoid the crowds and to me it was always more interesting with the vendors having a bit more time to chat. Also the variety of food and produce offered is HUGE.

                                  I've had breakfast many times just on the free samples of fruits, sausages, cheese, bread, jam, etc, etc, etc. That should be about the time that Frog Hollow has its Warren pears whch are fabulous.

                                  There are markets on other days at FP, but nothing even remotely close to the Saturday Market. Here's the link
                                  http://www.cuesa.org/markets/days/sat...

                                  Also they have a weekly newsletter if you want to get a feel in the next few weeks for what it is about
                                  http://www.cuesa.org/cuesa/e-letter/

                                  I'm not sure if you are planning on surfing along the Pacific or windsurfing in the Bay ... you mention Alcatraz and the latter would be closer ... it is a long haul across town to the Pacific ... then again, people surf at the Fort at foot of the Golden Gate bridge.

                                  ANYWAY, in the Alcatraz area is Piperade, California-Basque. You might consider it for lunch after the tour if that is in the morning.

                                  Aziza is on the Pacific side and is California Morrocan. The chef is an Iron Chef winner and the food is unique.

                                  If you are into surfing and are staying one night near Los Gatos, you might consider returning to SF via highway one. It is a drive over the hilll and up some spectacular coastline. Also, discussed on the California board is Santa Cruz where there is lots of surfing. But the big surfing prize is Mavericks in Half Moon Bay where yearly surfers from around the world compete. If you stop at the Half Moon Bay Brewery the bar area plays surfing videos. The food is solid, if not amazing, and it is a little snapshot of California life.

                                  The ride up highway one will take you through miles of artichoke and pumpkin fields ... and it will be the time of year for pumpkins. There is Swanton Berry Farm a worthy stop along the route. Pescadero is a suggested stop as it has Harley Goat Farm with pretty flower decorated cheeses and the goats right outside the shop. Lunch at Duarte's for the combo chili/artichoke soup. A stop at the bean farm which as hundreds of varieties of beans and some hot artichoke bread from the local grocery.

                                  As to Sunday dinner at Ad Hoc, since you will be in that area I'd highly recommend Sunday Brunch at Brix.
                                  http://www.brix.com/about/bios/
                                  http://www.chow.com/restaurants/31850...

                                  On the 4th you might consider breakfast or lunch at Fremont Diner which has been getting some rave reports lately. It is close to Sonoma town square which would give you a small feel for Sonoma and Napa.
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/683957

                                  1. re: olletagesson
                                    Civil Bear RE: olletagesson Aug 16, 2010 11:14 AM

                                    I wasn't going to comment on the original recommendation for Yumy Yumy as I figured it would get passed over. But since you have listed it twice now I must say it is the most bland Vietnamese food I have had in SF. Just up the street is the much more authentic and delicious PPQ. Another choice more similar (but cheaper) to Slanted Door would be Bodego Bistro.

                                    1. re: olletagesson
                                      The Chowhound Team RE: olletagesson Aug 16, 2010 05:22 PM

                                      For Yosemite area recommendations you will want to post a query on the California board, an for Las Vegas, on its own board. That way locals who know those areas will see your queries and be able to help you.

                                      1. re: olletagesson
                                        Robert Lauriston RE: olletagesson Aug 22, 2010 09:20 AM

                                        If you want to go to Chez Panisse on a Saturday, it's best to make a reservation as early as possible, which is one month in advance.

                                        -----
                                        Chez Panisse
                                        1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                      2. o
                                        olletagesson RE: olletagesson Aug 22, 2010 04:03 AM

                                        cool, thanks, will look up brix as well. Is there any particular wineries around napa with good wines and food we should visit?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: olletagesson
                                          wolfe RE: olletagesson Aug 22, 2010 01:58 PM

                                          What wine types do you want to taste? Here is a sample thread with the poster's desires and a report.
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/716053

                                        2. e
                                          enchie RE: olletagesson Aug 22, 2010 11:33 AM

                                          Don't miss Burma Superstar. There is one in the Richmond district of San Francisco and one in the east bay, Oakland, I think. Try the rainbow salad and the tea leaf salad. Unbelievable combination of flavors.

                                          -----
                                          Burma Superstar
                                          4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: enchie
                                            bbulkow RE: enchie Aug 22, 2010 01:07 PM

                                            I think the tea leaf salad at BSS is not particularly good. Too much lettuce. I think people have been claiming Pagan and Burmese Kitchen are superior, but I haven't been to either. Tea leaf salad is an *awesome* dish and even average is great, but great is better!

                                            1. re: bbulkow
                                              grayelf RE: bbulkow Aug 22, 2010 01:13 PM

                                              Sample of one (except for Burmese Kitchen, sample of four) but I'd put BK first, then Mandalay, then Pagan, then BSS. Both of the latter just fill it out with lettuce, a big no no for me. The champeen tea leaf salad for me so far is in Vancouver, which luckily for me is where I'm from.

                                              1. re: grayelf
                                                bbulkow RE: grayelf Aug 22, 2010 04:36 PM

                                                Clearly I need to get out more!

                                                The one dish at BSS that I loved was something with chickpea tofu. Didn't know you could make tofu out of something other than Soy, didn't know it would taste so good.

                                                1. re: bbulkow
                                                  grayelf RE: bbulkow Aug 22, 2010 09:29 PM

                                                  bbulkow, I have an obsession with tea leaf salad, and anything made of crunchy pulses, chickpeas, whatever. Will have to check out that tofu on the next trip.... thanks.

                                                  1. re: grayelf
                                                    grayelf RE: grayelf Sep 14, 2010 07:57 AM

                                                    BTW I recently had Burmese egg tofu from the province of Shan, so it would appear tofu is rather more versatile than either of us suspected :-).

                                                    -----
                                                    Shan Restaurant
                                                    5251 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

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                                            olletagesson RE: olletagesson Sep 14, 2010 03:38 AM

                                            on the arrival on the 28th, Nopa

                                            29th Dinner at Frances

                                            30th Range

                                            1st Le Folie

                                            2nd dinner at Chez Panisse

                                            3rd dinner Ad Hoc,

                                            4th dinner Ubuntu

                                            5th of towards vegas by car, Spending a night somewhere around Yosemite National Park

                                            6th have a walk in the park before heading to Vegas for two days

                                            8th we're flying back to SF, dinner at Incanto

                                            9th Chez Panisse Cafe for lunch. Zuni Cafe fordDinner

                                            10th Manresa for dinner

                                            11th. A friend is trying to get us in at FL through his sommelier friend, but i would not count on it...

                                            As you can see, we hardly have any lunches, or asian! Asian seemed a bit hard though everyone has very different opinion. Any last dos' and donts'?

                                            I understand there is a lot of similar places represented in our reservations..(Range, Frances, Incanto, Zuni Cafe, Chez Panisse Cafe, Nopa - damn!) Anything i should cancel? Or maybe choose for lunch instead of dinner? I'm aware that Delfina is not on my list...would like it to be....?

                                            Anything else i should not miss?

                                            thanks again!

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

                                            Zuni Cafe
                                            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                            Manresa Restaurant
                                            320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

                                            Ad Hoc
                                            6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                            Chez Panisse
                                            1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                            Delfina Restaurant
                                            3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                            Nopa
                                            560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: olletagesson
                                              wolfe RE: olletagesson Sep 14, 2010 08:06 AM

                                              Since I don't see it on your schedule and no one seems to have mentioned it above, more than once or twice, the Ferry Building Farmers Market on October 2 or 9.

                                              1. re: wolfe
                                                rworange RE: wolfe Sep 14, 2010 08:43 AM

                                                Seriously, if you miss the Saturday Ferry Plaza Market, you are missing something big time.

                                                A recent thread on the California board for a place near Yosemite

                                                Twain Harte: The Prospector - VPN Certified Napoletana Pizza by the pizza perfectionist
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733878

                                              2. re: olletagesson
                                                Ruth Lafler RE: olletagesson Sep 14, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                I wouldn't do CP cafe and Zuni on the same day. Is there some reason you're going to be going over to Berkeley that day? If not, stay in the city and do the Ferry Plaza farmers market (a must for any foodie), and if you're still hungry, Zuni for lunch and Delfina or Oliveto or Ame for dinner. Commonwealth is also getting a lot of positive buzz.

                                                Other lunches ...

                                                Since you're chefs, it might really interest you to see what the local trend is: chef-driven street food and micro-restaurants. If you're around on a Thursday, check out the Ferry Building market food stalls. Chef Dennis Leary's Sentinel and Golden West are worth checking out as well.

                                                Also for lunch, Barbacco and Wexler's; a graze through the Mission district or Fruitvale for Mexican/Central American.

                                                -----
                                                Zuni Cafe
                                                1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                Delfina Restaurant
                                                3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                Oliveto Cafe
                                                5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                                Barbacco
                                                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                  o
                                                  olletagesson RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 14, 2010 10:34 AM

                                                  thanks for that. checked and my reservation for CP Cafe was actually for the following Monday! So we're definatly going to the farmers market!

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