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.
Izakaya Mai is a Japanese Izakaya or Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food. They are more small plate oriented restaurants. This restaurant has an extensive drink menu. They’ve been here for years. Several similar restaurants have opened over the years, but this still packs them in.. (Izakaya Ginji, Kokko)
McDonalds opened this Next Generation store in Hong Kong in 2016, making it the only one of its kind in the world. Sleek modern black interior, self ordering kiosks, special Create Your Taste customizable burgers, special make to order salads, special items, table service, wireless chargers in the tables and more! They are open 24 hours. We returned to this location in 2020.
Why did we dine here? – Dragon Beaux is a new restaurant from the folks who run our favorite Chinese restaurant, Koi Palace. This location is in the Outer Richmond district and focuses on Dim Sum during lunch and Hot Pot/Cantonese food at dinner. We came here when it first opened in 2015, and recently returned in the Spring of 2019.
Why did we dine here? – Birdsong is a nature and heritage inspired restaurant, that is currently focused on the Pacific Northwest region. Its located in AQ’s old spot. Dishes highlight key ingredients from this region; such as cold-water shellfish, wild game, berries and mushrooms. They serve prix fix menus that are not cheap.
Why did we dine here? – Pine & Crane is a fast casual Taiwanese Chinese restaurant in the hip Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. It has 4.5 stars on Yelp with almost 2000 reviews. We had to see what all the hype was all about.
Why did we dine here? – Redbird is a trendy restaurant in downtown Los Angeles that was on our short list to try. This is Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant is a follow up to popular Grace and BLD. Historic
former rectory building of Vibiana – the cathedral-turned-event-venue.
Why did we dine here? – Finally a chance to dine here! Alinea is a legendary three Michelin star restaurant in Chicago. It has four times been named the Best Restaurant in America and is one of only 13 restaurants in the U.S. to earn the coveted Michelin 3-Star rating. This is Chicago’s only 3 star restaurant.
Le Diplomate is a popular French Brassiere in Washington DC’s posh Logan Circle neighborhood. You need to reserve well in advance, otherwise come early for a seat in the bar or patio. This restaurant has a high 4.5 stars on Yelp. They serve brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Foodnut travels, eats, and tells. We’re based in San Francisco but have flown all over the place. We love Mexican food and find some of the best in Cancun.
We recently finished up our latest culinary tour of Cancun in 2018. Other reviews farther down are from previous trips. Cancun is a world class destination full of great food. Most of the Mexican food was superior to that in the San Francisco Bay Area. The service is on another level here.
Why did we dine here? – Taverna is a recently opened Greek restaurant in Palo Alto by some alumni of nearby Evvia restaurant. They brought in a Chef from Village Pub to execute their dream. We had good experiences at Evvia so we decided to give this less formal place a try.
Xiringuito Escriba is a beachfront paella restaurant that several people recommended to us. The Yelp reviews are not good, so we were worried. To its credit, the restaurant was pretty full by 8pm, while others nearby where not. The posted hours show that it opens at 7pm, but we found people eating there before this. (No doubt foreigners like us!) Any restaurant that has such a good view is always red flagged by us.
Rave Burger is a burger joint that opened October 2008 in downtown San Mateo. We were walking by and decided to give it a try to see how it rated. The provide sit down service in addition to to go food. They serve hamburgers, vegan burgers, hot dogs, and salads and a lots more now. We have been to Rave Burger several times over the years with our last visit in 2019.
Tickets is top rated part of Albert Adria’s group of restaurants, across the street from his other restaurant Bodega 1900. This restaurant was ranked number 25 in the world. It features a whimsical interior with offbeat decor, lights and furniture. It has 1 Michelin star.
We like dining at McDonalds at different countries around the world. What interesting items will we find. Our last trip was to Spain. We checked out the local McDonalds in Barcelona and found some interesting items.
Sexy Asian in Snap Chat’s turf. Why did we dine here? – Cassia is a restaurant from the folks at Rustic Canyon and Spice Table. A new Metro station (eminent domain), caused the shuttering of The Spice Table. Cassia has dishes from across Asia: Singaporean, Vietnamese, Taiwan, etc..
Hot Stuff! Why did we dine here? – Chili House is a Chinese restaurant in the SF Richmond district. It is special because in November 2015, Tong Gang Wang became the chef at Chili House. He has cooked for several Presidents in China. This is a sister restaurant to Z&Y Sichuan restaurant in SF’s Chinatown. With the new chef, there is more Beijing food on the menu, like hand-pulled noodles, Beijing pot stickers and lamb hot pot. This restaurant reminds us of China Village in Albany.
Why did we dine here? – Bird Dog is a popular new restaurant in downtown Palo Alto. This brings some sophisticated SF style innovative dining to the Peninsula. The interior is impressive, especially for a restaurant down here. Robbie Wilson was the chef of Matsuhisa in Aspen, Colo., and most recently headed up the kitchen at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos (Santa Barbara County)
Insider Tip – On the fence? Especially about the prices. Eat at the bar.
Why did we dine here? – In Situ serves the best dishes from famous chefs around the world. Corey Lee (Benu, Monsieur Benjamin) gets recipes from cooks and replicates them as he best can. The dishes may not be the same as ones being served at those restaurants today. Older variants might be when is being copied.
Why did we dine here? – Two words: Lincon Center. Lincoln Ristorante is located right in the middle of Lincoln Center next to the reflecting pool, making it a super convenient place to dine before a play, performance, show, ballet, movie etc. Wish we had so many fantastic activities like this in San Francisco!
Why did we dine here? – Famous Vietnamese restaurant Brodard, in Southern California. Home to the largest Vietnamese population in the US, you would expect to find some great restaurants. Many Yelp reviews mention dining here whenever they are down here. We had to give this place a try on our latest SoCal trip. The place was packed and very loud.
Gnocchi and Salmon to die for. Stella Alpina Osteria is a small Italian restaurant located a block from the main Burlingame Avenue shopping area. Located below ground level, most people would never know it was here. The restaurant opened in May 2005, and was featured on PBS’ Check Please TV show. This was our 3rd time dining here.
Why did we dine here? – Babbo is celebrity chef Mario Batali’s and Joe Bastianich’s flagship restaurant serving regional Italian classics. How could we pass up trying his Italian food? We had never been to one of his restaurants and figured he better know how to cook his native food. Alas he was not in the house. This place is very busy, with them asking Opentable reservations to call and get a token. They received 1 Michelin star in 2016.
The Andaz Hotel in Wailea, Maui is the closest thing to paradise. Beautiful beachfront property, where the resort fee gets you free GoPro rental, Yoga Classes, SUP Classes, snorkel rentals, and a lot more..
Why did we dine here? – Trestle is a small restaurant in San Francisco’s Jackson Square district. Their claim to fame
is a three course prix-fixe menu for $35 per person, with an option to add an additional pasta course for $10. $60 for bottles of wine! The team behind this popular restaurant also runs Stones Throw on Russian Hill and Fat Angel.
Himawari is a Japanese Ramen Noodle house located in downtown San Mateo. Every block down here has a Japanese restaurant. Their chief rival, a couple miles away, is the legendary Santa Ramen along with its sister Ramen restaurants. They have a broader menu than Santa Ramen, with Rice Bowls, lots of appetizers, and many ramen options. We came on hot day and noted no air conditioning, just ceiling fans cranked up. Last visit September 2017.
Espetus Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse serving Rodizio style food. They focus on meats straight from the fire brought to your table, continuously through the meal! You can stop the meat parade by flipping the table card to red. They have a salad and hot plate bar with lots of different options including asparagus, bean salad, eggplant, rice, beans, cod, and much more. Do not eat too much of this stuff otherwise you wonder have room for all the meat. Vegetarians should stay away.
Espetus Churrascaria has locations in San Francisco and San Mateo. We tried the brand new San Mateo location for dinner. It is all you can eat, with lunch going for $25.95 with 7 meat options, $37.95 on weekends. Dinner is $54.95 with 14 meat options. Kids are 50% off. Our last visit was in the Summer of 2014.
Little Sichuan is a Sichuan Chinese Restaurant located in Downtown San Mateo next to legendary foodie hangout Draegar’s. It has been around for many years but changed hands in 2007. The former co-owner and chef used to run Classic Sichuan Restaurant in Millbrae. Do not confuse this place with others with similar names. Many folks stopped coming after the change in ownership including ourselves. It was time to check Little Sichuan out again in October 2010, after another year. This is a place to come for Sichuan dishes like noodles, not for generic Americanized Chinese food such as Beef Broccoli. classic Cantonese Chinese dishes that are better down the block at Champagne Seafood or HK Causeway Bay. Our last visit was in March 2014.
California Pizza Kitchen started back in 1985 in Beverly Hills by two attorneys. It is now International and publicly traded. Their BBQ Chicken pizza is their signature dish. We were passing by the San Mateo location and decided to refresh our memories. Fate has lead us to eat here, more than we would like to admit..
Osha Thai is a popular Thai restaurant in San Francisco that has grown to seven locations and was started in 1996 by sisters Wassana Korkhieola and Lalita Souksamlane. Osha means delicious in Thai. We visited the third Street location near Moscone Center. They focus on fresh, seasonal, local ingredients while serving both traditional Thai cuisine and modern interpretations. Our last visit was in April 2013 where we saw quality had fallen off. Be sure to try Kin Khao.
Everett and Jones is a Barbecue restaurant with locations in Berkeley, Hayward, Sacramento, and Oakland’s Jack London Square. We ate at their Berkeley location, which is much more informal than their flagship Oakland one, which has live music. Our last visit was to the Berkeley location in 2013.
Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant is located in Emeryville, right by the Bay. It has excellent views of San Francisco. The restaurant is popular for dim sum and for large banquets, especially on the weekends. Our last visit was in the middle of 2011.
We recently finished up our latest culinary tour of China in the Spring of 2011. Sanya, a beautiful city on China’s Hainan Island, has become essentially China’s Hawaii with beautiful sandy beaches, palm trees, and warm weather. Many Chinese tourist flock here during Chinese New Year and other holidays, packing the beaches until there is no room left!
Here are some quick mini reviews of places we ate at. We feel this will be useful as more people visit this up-and-coming area. We found few reviews on Trip Advisor and Dianping.
Din Tai Fung is a popular Hong Kong dumpling restaurant with locations in Bellevue, Los Angeles, Taipei, Japan, China, Singapore, and several other countries. We had previously dined at Din Tai Fung in Shanghai’s touristy Xintiandi. The Los Angeles location is in Arcadia with Yelp reviews unfortunately indicating it is a step down from the ones abroad.
Why did we dine here? – Caprinos is a long-standing Italian restaurant in Belmont that in March, 2011 became home to chef Gator Thompson. (Gators Neo Soul, several unsuccessful short stints after that) We were passing by and decided to see how his influence was taking shape. We focused on ordering items that he had added to the menu or reformulated. He is focusing on using fresh seasonal ingredients and healthy cooking.
We visited the Granville Public Market in Vancouver, BC and found it to be a must visit for foodies to visit, but not as spectacular as San Francisco’s ferry building, Beijing’s Dong Hua Men market or London’s Borough market. The network of small vendors and gift shops almost overshadowed the food area for us.
Sahn Maru is a popular Korean restaurant in Oakland, located on Telegraph, home to many Korean restaurants. We decided to give it a try, having seen many reviews on the restaurant and slowly trying each highly regarded Korean restaurant.
Jang Su Jang is a popular Korean restaurant in Santa Clara, located on El Camino Real, home to many Korean businesses. We decided to give it a try having seen many reviews on the restaurant, in addition to personal recommendations.