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About edenman

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  1. Prubechu is one of my favorite restaurants in the entire city. They have an a la carte menu, but we mostly stick to the $65 tasting menu. If you go with 4+ people, the tasting menu is required. Guamanian food (from Guam) food is a delicious mash-up of native Chamorro food, combined with influences from Japan, Spain, and the US, who have all claimed the island at some point. The beer bottle/can list is really good, and the guys who work there are total beer geeks, so they'll occasionally have some off-menu stuff or an interesting keg on tap. It's right by 24th/Mission so it's super easy to get to via BART, Muni or Lyft. Our latest meal there: Guamstyle sweet rolls / Tuba butter / Inarajan sea salt: perfect texture, the tuba/coconut butter on the side a great foil. Corn soup / spam / fried onions / coconut milk : I am a sucker for corn soup, but this was superlative. Creamy and sweet, yes, but deeply rich and complex, with textural contrast from the toppings. Chicken Kelaguen / grated coconut / lemon: this was a fun "make your own taco" style dish. The house hot sauce saved what would have otherwise just been a good dish. Coconut titiyas - the house flatbreads, they're about 3" in diameter and fluffy and delicious. Get some of the hot sauce and the tuba/coconut butter on em, omg. Fried thingies (I didn't get the name of this one): tomatoes are in season and this was basically an extravagant excuse to show off how good local tomatoes can be. Coconut greens: bury me in this dish plz. Motsiyas ( chicken sausage ) mint / basil / onions / coconut milk / onion soubise: this is always on the tasting menu, and it's always great. the crispy chicken skin is a great contrast to the herby sauage, and the hot sauce is the third pillar of joy. Chalakilis ( rice porridge) English peas / maitake mushrooms / fried egg / sesame seeds: the egg is a staple of the tasting menu and it's basically almost always my favorite dish. panko-coated and fried until the white is set and the yolk is still runny. The rice is great, and the black sesame was an excellent accent. Guamstyle BBQ ribs / soy / onions / vinegar / lemon: really good. soy marinated, with sunchoke chips. not too smoky, not too fall-apart-y, just wonderful. Coconut ice cream, fritter: there's a healthy sprinkle of salt on the ice cream and i don't understand why other restaurants don't also do this to every ice cream dish. Photos here.
  2. Dining in San Francisco

    The green tea flavor (new as of this year) is dangerously good.
  3. Went to Californios this week for the fourth or fifth time, and it once again blew me away. The food is right up there with the best tasting menus in Mexico City, imo, maybe ranking just-under Pujol in my book. It would not surprise me at all to see this get a second star in the next couple years. Tickets are shockingly easy to come by for cooking of this caliber. Food+tax+service comes to $204/person (at least for the tickets I bought this time) but the wine list is really fun so you'll probably end up spending more. Thankfully, the ticketing system ensures that past-you pays for the food up-front and actually-eating-the-dinner-you only has to pay for booze. You should go. I didn't take photos but this person did: "Mexico + California - The Inventive, Engaging, Stunning Food at Californios [Review + Pics]" on foodtalkcentral.com 3115 22nd Street (22nd & South Van Ness)
  4. Went a few weeks ago. The cocktails were lovely, and I really love that they're grouped by flavor profile. The food was all tasty but mostly forgettable. The decor is....weird.
  5. Rintaro is excellent. My favorite yakitori in SF. Go early so you can maximize your chances of the best skewers (thigh oyster, liver, hearts, tail, duck) still being available. If you are by yourself or with just one other person, I love sitting at the counter so you can watch Koko (sp?) or one of the other yakitori chefs work their magic. Literally the only thing I don't love about Rintaro is that their beer selection is not good, and they don't have a full liquor license. Oh, and that the dashimaki tamago is only sometimes on the menu. If you see it, get it.
  6. I live two blocks from La Taqueria. A few things I've learned over the years: It's important to have a firm time limit in mind when going to LT. If you show up and the line is out the door, just walk a couple blocks over to Taqueria Guadalajara. It's not the same thing at all, but the carnitas is some of the best in the city. They are cash only. There's an ATM in the back. The cabeza and lengua are definitely the best meats at LT. The rest are fine, but the cabeza in particular is outstanding. Regardless of your preference for tacos (correct) or burritos (less correct), you'll want to order them dorado which means they'll be crispy. For tacos this means they shallow fry the tortilla on the flat top. For burritos in means they go into a panini-press type mechanism. If you're getting tacos, you don't need all the toppings. Most of the time I just get cheese on my cabeza dorado taco. The at-table hot sauce is very good, but I also usually ask for the taco itself to be spicy too.
  7. Dining in San Francisco

    Dumpling Kitchen is very meh. Kingdom of Dumpling has my favorite XLB in town. Shanghai House does good ones too, and the chicken wings are insanely good. If you're down in Mountain View, go to Bamboo Garden. Best XLB in the bay area imo.
  8. Chanterelle Mushrooms

    After trying a few other places and striking out, just found some at the Balducci's in Bethesda. $29.99/lb. My new favorite treatment: toss in oil, salt, then grill over very hot coals. Heaven.
  9. Homebrewing Beer

    Lately I've been brewing mostly sour beers...when real breweries make them, they have to increase their prices to account for all the aging time (most sours require at least 6-12mo to mature). At the homebrew scale, it's easier to just fill a carboy and forget about it and then have delicious sour beer, plus it's easier to experiment with fruit that might be cost-prohibitive at a real brewery's scale. On top of that, Cellarmaker Brewing opened last year and they're producing the best hoppy beers I've ever tasted, in a location that's easy for me to get to/from on transit. This basically means that it doesn't make sense for me to make clean beers anymore, especially when the excellent American Sour Beers book (written by DC's own Mad Fermentationist) has given me a bunch of inspiration and techniques to try. I'm still using my same brewing setup: 14gal kettle, 12gal conical, and 10gal mash/sparge coolers. The mash tun is due for a replacement but the rest of it is still performing excellently. A few new additions, though: Keg/Carboy Washer - The extended maturation times on sour beers means carboys are a must, and this washer has made my life so much easier: put the carboy/keg on top, turn it on, and come back 20 minutes later to a totally clean carboy. One more round with sanitizer and you're done. Whirlpool Arm and Pump - Haven't fully installed this yet, but the idea is to get a real whirlpool in the kettle after the boil is done. This should consolidate the sediment in a pile on the bottom, which means I can more easily keep it from coming over to the fermenter. But more importantly, it'll mean quicker cooling times (the wort will be flowing past the immersion chiller coils more quickly) which should save me a ton of water in draught-stricken CA. BrewJacket - Mine is supposed to arrive in the next few weeks. Very excited about having fermentation temperature control in my conical.
  10. Dining in San Francisco

    In happier news, Prubechu has been exceptional on all three of our recent visits. Guamanian cuisine is not one I was familiar with: it's a crazy mashup of various external influences (Spanish, Japanese) with some tropical pacific as the base (think coconut milk, banana leaves, lots of excellent fish, pork). Crazy good, and the tasting menu has recently gone from $45 to $50. Great bottled beer list as well.
  11. Dining in San Francisco

    Local's Corner has closed. Tim has been cooking at 398 (which just opened and is pretty tasty classic French) before he moves to Seattle. Super bummed.
  12. Dungeness Crabs

    Dungeness season is a big deal out here in SF. I've become a big believer in steaming them in two stages (first, whole, then removing the legs and finishing the bodies separately). Details here.
  13. New Orleans, LA

    The missus and I spent a week in New Orleans last month. Ended up not getting a rental car so our radius from the quarter was pretty small. Definitely getting a car and staying in the Marigny next time around. Regardless, our favorites are listed here, mostly inspired by @jparrott. The TL;DR? Go to Cane and Table. Go to Peche. And yeah, cabs are easy to come by when you're in/near the quarter, and damn unreliable anywhere else. You have to call them and just hope they show up...we had decent luck with asking places to call one for us, but we also didn't venture too far out so as to not risk getting stranded somewhere. Still no Uber or Lyft. No Zipcar or Getaround either. Parking at hotels in the CBD/Quarter is outrageously expensive.
  14. Fäviken, Middle-Of-Nowhere Sweden

    Additional reading: http://www.classetouriste.be/faviken-magasinet-restaurant/ http://fergusmiller.com/2013/07/15/faviken-magasinet-2/ http://foodstudio.no/column/a-walk-on-the-wild-side-at-faviken/ http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/06/faviken-restaurant-sweden/
  15. Fäviken is a 7 hour drive north from Stockholm. We split the drive in half and spent the night in Mora, which is a cute little lake-side town with not a whole lot going on. Spending the night somewhere halfway interesting means increasing it to at least 9 hours of driving. If you decide to drive up from Stockholm, I highly recommend doing a one-way car rental and flying back from í–stersund. If you fly both ways, you'll either need to arrange a taxi or rent a car. Fäviken is unlike any restaurant I've ever visited. It's absolutely the most remote location of a should-be-Michelin-starred restaurant that I know of. Because it's in the middle of nowhere, they have lodging on-site for diners and breakfast is served the next morning. On the night we went, they sat 14 guests. It was an incredible experience. After checking in, we came down to the porch and I started with an incredible rhubarb-rose negroni. We then moved inside and had the following: Flaxseed and vinegar crips, mussel dip Excellent way to start the meal. Mussel dip = mussel aoili and it was brilliant. Jamtlandian broth Maybe my favorite dish of the night. Mixed berries from the local province (Jämtland) with a reindeer broth. Mind-blowing. Wild trout's roe servied in a crust of pig's blood It's at this point that I start losing my mind. I've never tasted anything like this before and am unlikely to ever do so again. Pig's head, dipped in sourdough and deep-fried, a slice of rhubarb, tarragon salt Phenomenal. Deep-fried creamy fatty pork nugget with perfect balance in the toppings. Served on a toasted branch of some sort. Salted herring aged for three years, sour cream and rusks The depth of flavor in the herring. Unreal. Slices of cured pork Ungarnished lardo. Legit. Scallop "i skalet ur elden" cooked over burning juniper berries One of their signature dishes, incredible depth of flavor. King crab and almost burnt cream I'm a sucker for crab and dairy. Texture on the crab was fantastic, and the flavors melded perfectly. Carefully boiled trout, bog butter and porrige of lichens prepared in lye This was where the spell started to break for me. The trout was perfectly cooked but the accompanying flavors missed the mark for me. Cockles injected with beer Yes. Barley pancake filled with sour onions Little adorable rolled crepes, the tart flavor of the onions perfectly balancing the dough. A small egg coated in ash, sauce made from dried trout and pickled marigold Awesome preparation: you pick the sheep-shit ash off the egg and then dip it in the sauce. Very fresh potatoes boiled with semi decomposed autumn leaves, the good butter The leaves are left on the ground all winter and then "harvested" in spring and dried. We're instructed to squeeze the potatoes and put butter on them. Delicious, but surprising they didn't try to impart any more flavor into them. It's just potatoes and butter and the slightest hint of the leaves. Cottage cheese pie, plantain leaf and meadow flowers Mom's pie crust does not suck. The flowers and plantain leaf add an herbal and grassy flavor that is a perfect balance. Mushrooms, raw peas picked 20 minutes ago, stone brambles It's an interesting idea and most of the flavors are awesome, but raw peas aren't really my thing so that throws off the balance. Blood bread, moose broth, backfat and onions Really interesting. The bread and broth are great. The onions are perfect. The backfat was a little boring, maybe just needed some crisping. Still a great dish. Pork chop, mushroom and tasty paste Tasty paste is a 10x reduction of beef broth with vegetables and mushrooms. It's a perfectly cooked dish but surprisingly minimal for this restaurant, and one of the more disappointing dishes of the night. Colostrum and blueberries Holy fuck. "An edible crisp milk shell filled with creamy colostrum (the first milk produced after an animal has given birth) and blueberry jam" (described better than I can, by this post that looks like a v similar menu to what we had) Fermented lingonberries, thick cream, sugar, blueberry ice An amazing pair of bites, refreshing and interesting. Curdled woodruff milk Woodruff syrup, curdled milk, ice cream. Incredible temperature contrast and flavor balance. Fully back under the spell at this point. An egg yolk preserved in sugar syrup served on a pile of crumbs made from pine tree bark Ice cream seasoned with spruce At this point, I'm just in heaven. Unfamiliar flavors, interesting texture, brilliant balanced flavors. Sour milk sorbet, raspberry jam and whisked duck eggs. The sorbet is churned in the dining room to much attention. It's a bit gimmicky but who cares: it's delicious. A wooden box filled with meat pies, raspberries ice, tar pastilles, meadowsweet candy, dried berries, anise seeds coated in crystallized honey and bees wax, smoked toffee, pine resin, cake Sun kissed berries I tend to hate these sorts of "hey your dinner is over here's a shit-ton of different one-bite flavors" things, but this was pretty great. Snus A relative of chewing tobacco, placed under the upper lip for a while. Drinks: Rose-Rhubarb Negroni Champagne Fävikens Light Mead, Bengt-Johnny & Jan-Anders, í–ster-í–vsjö 2011 Meursault "En la Barre", Antoine Jobard, Bourgogne 2012 Monzinger Riesling Kabinett, Emrich Schönleber, Nahe 2009 Saumur Champigny, Clos Rougeard, Loire 2011 Eiswein Cuvée, Weinlaubenhof Kracher, Burgenland Sour Milk Liqueur Duck Egg Liqueur Pappy 15yr It wasn't a perfect meal, but it was damn close.