Michelin San Francisco Critique

SF Bay Area To Go List

Best Buffets in the World

Cotogna, San Francisco

Cotogna, San Francisco

Cotogna (meaning ‘quince’ in Italian), offers a seasonally-changing menu featuring spit-roasted or grilled meats and game birds, wood-oven pizzas, house-made pastas, fresh local fish and seafood, salads, salami and cheeses in the warm atmosphere of the restaurant’s refined urban design. This is the sister restaurant to Quince, which is located next door.

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Square Pie Guys, San Francisco

Square Pie Guys, San Francisco

Greasy, Cheesy and satisfying! Square Pie Guys serves great Detroit Style Pizza. “A crispy, crackly caramelized cheese crust that comes from baking in rectangular blue steel pans originally used to ferry auto parts around Detroit automotive factories.” We’ve seen a lot written about them, so we finally gave it a try. Definitely have been back too. Great stuff. No dine in or outdoor dining, all take out.

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Nari, San Francisco

Nari, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Nari (Women in Thai) is a contemporary Thai restaurant from the folks at Kin Khao. (Means “to eat” or “let’s eat” in Thai.) It is run by the famous food blogger of Chez Pim – Pim Techamuanvivit, girlfriend of Manresa’s chef David Kinch.

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Terzo, San Francisco

Terzo, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Terzo Is a Mediterranean restaurant in San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood. They been around for over 15 years, we haven’t been there in a while, so we visited it and dined outside during the pandemic. Easy availability spot on Opentable was the main reason we came! Nothing hot about this spot. The restaurant appears to cater to the neighborhood crowd, which mirrors the diners.

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Shizen, San Francisco

Plant based cuisine satisfying even Carnivores.

Shizen, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya has remarkable 4.5 stars on Yelp. With the plant based revolution booming, we just had to try this spot. We’ve returned for take out.

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State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Did you know the California state bird is a quail?

State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – State Bird Provisions has generated lots of positive buzz from reviewers to fellow food bloggers, with its excellent food and unique dim sum cart like serving system. 4.5 stars on Yelp, One Michelin star starting in 2014, James Beard award winning, you get it.  Their sister restaurant next door is also fabulous, The Progress.

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Dough Zone, San Mateo

The Pandemic has brought Soup Dumpling or Xiao Long Bao quality to new heights!

Dough Zone, San Mateo

Why did we dine here? – Dough Zone dumpling house is a regional small chain of restaurants that started in the Seattle area (2014) and has now expanded into Northern California, at Cupertino and San Mateo. They specialize in dumplings and have a menu that is very similar to that of popular Din Tai Fung.

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BAIA, San Francisco

BAIA, San Francisco

BAIA is a vegan restaurant in the old Jardinière space of San Francisco’s Hayes Valley Neighborhood. Any SF Foodie remembers this classic location. This restaurant opened in the middle of the Pandemic, talk about great timing!
We ate during the Pandemic, when outdoor dining was allowed. We returned in Late Summer 2021 and found the place was a hard to book reservation!

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Hong Kong Flower Lounge, Millbrae Dim Sum Review

Hong Kong Flower Lounge – Mayflower Dim Sum Restaurant Review

Hong Kong Flower Lounge is synonymous with Chinese food on the SF Peninsula. They are part of the Mayflower restaurant group that has 2 Chinese Cantonese restaurants locations in the San Francisco Bay area; Millbrae  and Milpitas. Several others have closed. We have eaten at their location in Millbrae many times.

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Ettan, Palo Alto

Cutting Edge Cal-Indian in Palo Alto.

Ettan, Palo Alto

Why did we dine here? – Ettan, Palo Alto open one month before the Pandemic. Talk about bad timing. Open/close – Open close syndrome. Things were opening up again, so we decided to give them a try. This was one of our first high end sit down meals in quite a while. They are tucked away in a small alley in Downtown Palo Alto. Beautiful restaurant, inside and out.

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Godfather’s Burger Lounge Review, Belmont

Godfather’s Burger Lounge Review, Belmont

Godfather’s Burger Lounge opened in Belmont, December 2009 right on busy El Camino Real just south of the Ralston Ave. They focus on ½lb. fresh, all-natural “Certified Angus Beef” humanely raised burgers. No added hormones or antibiotics in their meat. Our last visit was in during the pandemic in July 2021, after indoor dining reopened. They still do take out and have some seats outside.

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Dumpling Home, San Francisco

Dumpling Home, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Dumpling Home was featured in the SF Chronicle for Xiao Long Bao or Soup Dumplings making us really want to try it. We are big fans of these delicate little steamed dumplings and have eaten them all over the world including Shanghai. The two best spots have been Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara and Yank Sing, SF. We have dined here several times. Our last visit was during the summer of 2021.

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Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant is a Chinese Mandarin cuisine restaurant located in the foggy Outer Sunset District of San Francisco. They have been serving up pretty authentic Mandarin dishes for many years. Old Mandarin is an Islamic restaurant that does not serve pork and sticks to Halal certified meats.
Our last visit was about seven years ago, so we were eager to rekindle our fond memories during the summer of 2021 during the Pandemic for Take out.

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Covid Vaccine FAQ

Last Update: 4/12/21

We all can’t wait to dine inside of our favorite restaurants!

  • I put together a list of questions I needed to answer along with links to authoritative sites.
  • Found that friends wanted this information too!
  • If you have a better resource or another question, please leave it in the comments below.

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Pho Hanoi, San Jose

Pho Hanoi, San Jose

Why did we dine here? – Pho Ha Noi is a Vietnamese restuarant located in an outdoor mall Vietnam Town Plaza in San Jose. The area is full of high quality Asian restaurants and shops. Their pho is some of the best in the SF Bay Area. This restaurant also has a location in Cupertino.

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Alexander’s Steakhouse, Cupertino

Alexander’s Steakhouse, Cupertino

Alexander’s Steakhouse is a high end steak restaurant located in an outdoor mall, situated in Cupertino, just off highway 280. They moved in 2016 to this new outdoor mall.  Parking is surprisingly difficult! It was recently featured on Check Please and feature 28-day aged prime steaks. They opened a San Francisco outpost in Bacar’s former digs, in mid September 2010. We hadn’t been there in many years, so it was time for a revisit.

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4505 Burgers and BBQ, San Francisco

4505 Meats Food Stand Review, San Francisco

4505 Burgers and BBQ is run by chef and artisan butcher Ryan Farr. Ryan formerly was executive chef at Fifth Floor. He teaches butcher classes and serves up food at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. We saw them at the Eat Real festival in Oakland and on other occasions the Ferry building. They create homemade relishes, multi-national ’Zilla sauce, and even bacon-dressed chocolate desserts. They have since setup on Divisadero in SF’s Nopa neighborhood.

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Yauatcha Soho, London

Yauatcha, London

Why did we dine here? – Yauatcha is a fancy Chinese restaurant chain with several locations in London. They are the more inexpensive sister of Hakkasan. We came for dinner and found it packed, with a loud clubby atmosphere. There are locations in India and Saudi Arabia.

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Dishoom, London

Dishoom, London

Why did we dine here? – Indian food is a MUST when visiting London. Dishoom is a popular local chain of Indian restaurants that combines reasonable prices and decent food. (8 locations and counting) Rated 4.5 on Yelp. We had to wait 45 minutes for a Table at 5pm Monday!

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Buckeye Roadhouse Review, Mill Valley

Buckeye Roadhouse Restaurant Review, Mill Valley

Buckeye Roadhouse has been serving up American comfort food In Mill Valley since 1937. Robert Price (Rumpus, The Capital Hotel in London) is currently the chef. This restaurant is located right on the side of 101 and is quite popular. Our last meal was in the Spring of 2020 after they reopened the patio.

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Celebrity Cuisine, Hong Kong

Celebrity Cuisine, Hong Kong

Celebrity Cuisine is a One Michelin star Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. It has ping ponged between one and two stars for years. Michelin 1 Starred Restaurant (2010, 2017-20), Michelin 2 Starred Restaurant (2011-2016) We were looking an easy same day online lunch reservation after a disappointing meal at Maxim’s Palace. This spot fit the bill, Perfectly. It is located in Central, across the street from the old school Lin Heung tea house.

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Phuket and Chiang Mai, Thailand Restaurant Reviews

Phuket and Chiang Mai, Thailand Restaurant ReviewsWhere does a San Francisco Foodie eat in Thailand? Follow our journey and learn from our experiences.

Here is a compilation of more casual restaurants, snack places we visited during our 2020 Asia trip. Our goal was to find good eats at reasonable prices, primarily restaurants where locals go. We have no interest sampling cuisine that is done better at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is challenging on an expensive ‘island’, full of pricey tourist traps.

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Singapore Restaurant Recommendations

Where does a San Francisco Foodie eat in the Singapore? Follow our journey and learn from our experiences.

Here is a compilation of more casual restaurants, snack places we visited during our 2019 Asia trip. Our goal was to find good eats at reasonable prices, primarily restaurants where locals go. We have no interest sampling cuisine that is done better at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is challenging on an expensive ‘island’, full of pricey tourist traps.

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Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Clipper Lounge Buffet

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Clipper Lounge Buffet

Gluttony in Hong Kong. We are lovers of high end buffets. Hong Kong is one of the top spots for pure gluttony with high end food options for Sunday Brunch. (Prime rib, Many raw seafood options, sushi/sashimi, Foie Gras and more) Past visits have seen us visit other top hotel buffets. We have methodically tried to dine at all the heavy hitters.

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Asian Pearl Peninsula Restaurant, Millbrae – Dinner

Solid Chinese Food in Millbrae.

Asian Pearl Peninsula Restaurant, Millbrae – Dinner

Asian Pearl Peninsula in Millbrae was at one time, part of the same Culinary Wonderland group that owned the highly rated The Kitchen in Millbrae, hence the same menu. We’ve been to this location a couple times and have found it to offer very good Cantonese Chinese cuisine, in fact some of the better ones the San Francisco Bay Area.  In recent years, upstarts HL Peninsula, Grand Harbour, and Dragon Beaux have stole its thunder.

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Ritz Carlton Singapore – Colony Buffet

Best Buffet in the world?

Ritz Carlton Singapore – Colony Buffet

In late 2019 we went back to the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore Colony buffet.  It changed name and upgraded in 2015. The interior is much more ornate and structured. After reading about the food options in 2019, we felt it remains the top buffet in Singapore, in from of Rise and The Line.

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