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edenman's Achievements


leviathan (98/123)

  1. A little bird told me Californios is taking over the gorgeous Bar Agricole space. Thankfully it's got a big front patio, but still seems like a really optimistic move for them. That place is huge.
  2. The wife and I happened to be in New Zealand on vacation in March when everything went to shit, and we decided to try and stay. Did our level 4 lockdown in Christchurch (Gatherings for wine and fish, C4 for coffee, Vino Fino and Decant for retail wine, Inati for fine dining once that was allowed again). I concur with @ol_ironstomachthat Sal's is a very passable NY-style slice, a comfort food I didn't know I had until I unwittingly moved halfway around the world. Anyway, we moved up to Auckland in July, rented a house and are waiting on visa approvals. Auckland highlights so far: Coffee: Atomic, Espresso Workshop Wine: Cave a Vin (he makes killer sourdough and cultured butter too), Bar Celeste Mezcal: La Fuente and Ghost Donkey Cocktails: Deadshot, Caretaker Food: Eden Noodles Cafe, Pasture, Culprit, Mr Hao, Cassia, Cocoro, Sidart, Xi'an Food Bar There's a _ton_ of mediocre food here. Lots of stealth sugar in dishes that shouldn't have sugar in them. But we're finding some gems. Odd blind spot: the Japanese food here is _terrrrrible_. Thankfully the Chinese food is excellent and there's some good regional representation. We haven't found _great_ produce yet so we've started doing some gardening to grow our own tomatoes/peppers/herbs. I don't imagine the border restrictions will be relaxed anytime soon, but if they are, give us a shout if you're going to come visit!
  3. 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.
  4. The green tea flavor (new as of this year) is dangerously good.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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