Showing posts with label sf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sf. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Kouign Amann at B Patisserie (San Francisco, CA)

Because fall is the season for pumpkin desserts, I'm reminded of the absolutely amazing pumpkin kouign amann that I had last year at Belinda Leong's b.patisserie in San Francisco.

B Patisserie
In the first place, I love kouign amann. It's better than a sweet croissant (well, maybe). It's better than a cronut (yes, I had the real thing). It's a pastry folded with butter and sugar and baked until the sugar caramelizes.

Secondly, the kouign amann at B Patisserie is really, really good. It's better than Dominique Ansel's DKA, if I can be so bold to say so. Top all that off with the fact that sometimes you'll find seasonal fillings. Like pumpkin. Like delicious, creamy pumpkin filling.
B Patisserie

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Morning in the Mission (San Francisco, CA)

During my last trip to San Francisco, I stayed at an AirBnB in the Mission. We spent the first morning wandering around the Mission district, starting with breakfast at Craftsman and Wolves.


What we came here for is the famous "Rebel Within". At first glance this looks just like any other cheesy muffin. The Rebel Within is made with Asiago cheese, green onion, and Easton sausage.

But how special this muffin is is only apparent when you cut into it ... a perfectly poached egg inside with runny yolk!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Produce-Forward Cuisine at Verbena (San Francisco, CA)

Verbena is the new restaurant from Chef Sean Baker of Oakland's Gather. The hip Russian Hill restaurant is not a vegetarian restaurant, but its produce-focused menu is certainly vegetarian friendly.

While I normally wouldn't have ordered this based on the description, I was immediately glad the waiter suggested the Sprouted seed bread with chevre and beet sauerkraut ($7)
The housemade chevre has a nutty tone and the warm, toasted seed bread, even on its own, is outstanding.

Here, you will find hard-to-find ingredients in unusual combinations, like the Cardoons and Rhubarb with caramelized honey dressing, Douglas Fir yogurt, nepitella ($11)
Nepitella is an Italian herb also known as Calaminta. While I'm not a huge fan of the tart rhubarb, it plays nicely with the yogurt.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lunch with Chowzter at Mission Chinese (San Francisco, CA)

In anticipation of the Chowzter Global Awards in London this week, I thought I'd blog about the lunch I had with them in San Francisco (where Langer's #19 won the Tastiest Fast Feast for North America).
Our big group went over to the recently popular Mission Chinese Food - too early, they haven't even opened yet when we arrived. Being bloggers, we just took photos outside and studied the menu until they open. Mission Chinese had taken over the Lung Shan space, where they used to do pop ups, and they left the old sign.

Throw a bunch of out of town bloggers here and we will end up ordering the whole menu x 3, pretty much ... Of course, we had to try the popular Chongqing Chicken Wings ($11)
The crispy chicken wings were buried in peppers! As good as they were, the most surprising and addictive component of the dish was the crunchy tripe slices scattered at the bottom.

You can take a break from all the spiciness and tingly feeling the chicken wings left you with dishes like Tiki Pork Belly (in soy caramel, mandarin, pickled pineapple, shaved coconut, macadamia nuts - $10). And a tiki umbrella, natch.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Brunch at Nopa (San Francisco)

Brunch is apparently as big in San Francisco as it is in Los Angeles, and there are plenty of great choices (which fill up right away). One of the places offering a more unique menu is Nopa.

Eggs are a staple brunch item for me so I went with the Curry spiced sausage, poached eggs, green lentils, kale, delicata squash, and coriander yogurt ($14)

The casing for the curry sausage gave a nice snap, and the sausage was flavorful. I also liked the runny egg yolk over the kale and lentils. My dish suddenly pales in comparison after trying my friend's dish, though:

Chile rubbed pork, fresh shelling beans, hominy, collard greens, and a black pepper biscuit ($14)
Chile Rubbed Pork
This was a hearty bowl packed with a lot of strong flavors. Tender chile rubbed pork? Intensely earthy collard greens? All check. It wasn't a dish I would've ordered at brunch (because it didn't have eggs), so I was really glad my friend did and I got to taste it.

Our other friend got the grass-fed Hamburger with housemade pickles, and herbed french fries ($13)

For part of dessert, we had a small order of the Custard French Toast, caramelized apples and maple butter ($6)
French Toast

It was a very buttery French Toast, but I could've used more apples. Luckily our other dessert was the Rome Beauty Apple Tarte Tatin, sweet creme fraiche ($8)
Apple Tarte Tatin
I always love a good apple tart tatin. This one could've had more flaky pastry, but the coolness of the creme fraiche made up for it.

It was overall quite a good brunch and the food came out in a timely manner despite being so busy (I'm sure they've gotten it down by now). When you're bored of the standard eggs benedicts and omelettes, try this place out.

560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 864-8643
Nopa on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Aziza (San Francisco)

With all the new restaurant opening and young celebrity chefs, it is easy to overlook older restaurants, but Aziza in San Francisco should not be. Aziza has been open for ten years (since 2001) but chef/owner Mourad Lahlou has continued to churn out great food. In 2010 it became the first Moroccan restaurant to receive a Michelin star and it has maintained that star since.

The restaurant is rather nondescript on the outside. A neon sign marks the location in amongst Chinese and Japanese restaurants in the Richmond district. Inside, a festively decorated restaurant typical of Moroccan restaurant. The food, on the other hand, is nothing like other Moroccan foods you've had.

Mate Mojito
We decided to skip the tasting menu and ordered what we wanted.
The cocktail menu at Aziza looked interesting and promising, but I was refraining from drinking alcohol so I went for the next closest thing: a Mate Mojito made by Taylor's Tonics ($6). Not really a mojito but it wasn't too sweet and was refreshing.

We started out meal with the lentil soup, medjool dates, celery, parsley ($8)
Lentil soup
A great lentil soup that also became a mini treasure hunt as we look for that burst of sweet from the dates. This was only a small hint of what Aziza is about.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Four Barrel Coffee, SF: The Cappuccino and Dynamo Donut Routine

When there's great coffee 4 blocks away from a BART stop, you STOP.
When the free UCSF shuttle goes from campus to that BART stop, well .. you take an extended coffee break every day around 4 and get a cappuccino and maybe one of the Dynamo donuts they also happen to be selling there.
Ever since Sam Kim from LAist told me about this place, that's pretty much what I've been doing ...

Four Barrel was started by the co-founder and co-owner of Ritual Coffee, Jeremy Tooker.
I had a hard time deciding between the free wi-fi at Ritual (there's no wi-fi at Four Barrel) or the dynamo donuts at Four Barrel, but Four Barrel's proximity to the 16th/Mission BART stop won after all.

The seats and tables are arranged like desks and you can see people working on their laptops but don't be fooled, like I said, no wi-fi, so just get your coffee and enjoy it.
Freshly roasted beans are always available for purchase, of course, from Sumatra beans to Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Burundi.
A strong and dark cappuccino that's smooth and without the bitterness.

The apricot cardamom donut from Dynamo was moist and held the fruit inside. Nicely spiced and the glaze wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. I was very happy with this.
The passionfruit donut was covered in chocolate chunks. A nice tartness and passionfruit flavor here. My friend passed on my invite to get donuts at Four Barrel but I brought her this anyway and she changed her mind and went to get her hubby a dozen Dynamo donuts the week after.

(On another note, the chocolate spice one in the first picture didn't fare as well with me. It had nice flavors but the donut itself wasn't as moist as these other two).

I'm not enough of a coffee connoisseur to tell you if the coffee here is better Intelligentsia, Ritual, or Blue Bottle (well I do think it's better than Blue Bottle ... ). All I know is that the coffee here is darn good and they sell Dynamo donuts. 'Nuff for me.

Four Barrel Coffee
375 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 252-0800
Four Barrel Coffee on Urbanspoon

Dynamo Donuts
2760 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 920-1978
Dynamo Donuts & Coffee on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SF: San Tung Takes on Wings

The end of last year I visited San Francisco to take my aunt from Indonesia around. We were staying my a good friend of my cousin's and on my first night she took us to San Tung, a popular Chinese restaurant in the Inner Sunset district.

She said San Tung is supposed to have really good chicken wings and my aunt likes chicken.
Chinese=cheap. Chicken wings=sound good to me. I hesitated a bit because the friend is actually a vegetarian, so she wouldn't really know if the place was good. It had a good Yelp rating, so I wondered if it would be up to snuff.

A really spicy pickled cabbage that's served at every table.
My aunt and friend both liked it a lot. I didn't try it at all (didn't I just say it was supposedly really spicy?).

Because the friend is vegetarian, we also ordered some eggplant in garlic sauce ($7.50)
Generous portion and it packs a punch of flavor. The eggplants were sweet and tender and the sauce was a little spicy and very flavorful.

What we came for: The Original Dry Fried Chicken Wing ($9)
For my sake, we didn't get the hot ones that night. The wings had a nicely crispy skin, and a sticky sweet sauce. I preferred it to Bonchon/Kyochon in LA since it's not as sweet, the skin is crunchier than Kyochon (tho maybe not Bonchon), but mostly because it is CHEAPER. For $9 we get a whole plate of big chicken wings, not a small basket of tiny wings for $10. The value proposition is much higher.

Noodles in Black Bean Sauce ($8): SKIP.
Seems like a lot of Yelpers liked this dish, but I didn't. I usually really like the Korean-Chinese black bean noodle, jjangmyun, but here the homemade noodles were doughy and mushy, the black bean sauce was bland. The list of beef, shrimp, and calamari on the dish was tempting but I don't think it worked particularly well. It was a big bowl of bland starch to me.

San Tung for the most part serves a solid Chinese meal, but it's really the dry fried wings people come for and it isn't all just hype. The crispy wings were quite good and I'll pay for these over Kyochon any day. But then, would I otherwise drive so far and wait for a table for wings?

San Tung Chinese Restaurant
1031 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 242-0828
San Tung on Urbanspoon
San Tung in San Francisco

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