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Restaurant Location

Restaurant Location

Spoon, Tahoe City

Spoon, Tahoe City

Spoon is one of those rare finds in the Lake Tahoe region. The food is simply really good. Its easy to pay a lot up here, but not easy to find a spot like this. We’ve dined at all the stalwarts that have existed for decades and none match up. “Spoon is a funky, off-beat and cozy restaurant with an eclectic american dinner menu.” Closed Tu/Wed
Gluten free and vegetarian options. Specials change daily. Last visit end of 2023.

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Shizen, San Francisco

Must goto for City vegans/vegetarians. 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 a couple times..  Must go for vegans and vegetarians. They started offering takeout during the pandemic.  If you like this spot, be sure to try BAIA

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Boulevard, San Francisco

They’re back!

Boulevard, San Francisco

We have been coming here for years to Boulevard San Francisco Restaurant near the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero waterfront area. It is one of our favorite places as it is pretty consistent.. Always a candidate for the short list of best restaurants. It earned One Michelin Stars last in 2015. Nancy Oakes open Boulevard, a New American/French comfort food restaurant way back in 1993. She opened nearby Prospect in 2010. Alumni Ravi Kapor now runs Liholiho Yacht Club.

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Osaka Trip December 2023 Reviews

We visited Osaka, Japan in December 2023 and made a list of interesting finds.  Our goals are to eat local and seek out authentic experiences.  Sushi, udon, soba, yakitori, oden, whatever! Yelp and Trip Advisor were not helpful in spotting places to eat at, only Google reviews were useful. We did not seek our Michelin rated spots.

Osaka Trip December 2023 Reviews

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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. Great spot to eat outside in their large patio. East Asians have discovered the spot, helping to validate the cuisine in our book.

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Great Eastern Dim Sum Restaurant, San Francisco

Great Eastern Dim Sum Restaurant, San Francisco

When we get asked, “where do we get the dim sum in Chinatown?” The answer usually is.. Great Eastern Restaurant San Francisco has been serving Cantonese Chinese food in this location for many years. They serve dim sum during lunch and traditional items during dinner. We visited for dim sum lunch lunch, early on a weekend day. Great Eastern Dinner was reviewed on a separate visit. President Obama famously ate here in 2012. Our last visit for dim sum was in the fall of 2023.

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Cheung Hing Seafood & Dimsum (Formerly China Village), Belmont

Cheung Hing replaces China Village Seafood Restaurant in Belmont, California located just off the Highway 101’s Ralston Exit. The former had been around since 1996, serving dim sum during both lunch and dinner, as well as standard Cantonese Chinese cuisine, but changed hands in 2022. It appears that they may have a similar menu and chef from before. The interior and exterior are still the same too, so is the phone number.

Cheung Hing has several locations in San Mateo, Millbrae, and San Francisco. Those concentrate on Chinese barbecue dishes and don’t serve dim sum.

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Pho Hanoi, San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto

Pho Hanoi, San Jose

Why did we dine here? – Pho Ha Noi is a Vietnamese restaurant 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 and added Palo Alto in 2023.

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Blue Sky Cafe, Belmont

Blue Sky Cafe, Belmont

Blue Sky Cafe is a casual Hong Kong style Chinese eatery in the middle of an industrial park in Belmont. Weird location but solid food and a popular destination. If you appreciate this type of food, run here as there is nothing like it on the Peninsula. Everyone knows now, because the place is really busy on the weekend. Takeout on a Saturday night had a 2 hour delay.

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Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco

Exciting food in an energetic atmosphere.

Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Liholiho Yacht Club is a Hawaiian influenced restaurant from Ravi Kapur, formerly of Prospect and Boulevard. He returned to Hawaii and found inspiration in the cuisine he grew up with. It is a very popular restaurant with hard to get online reservations, so book on Resy weeks in advance.

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Din Tai Fung, Santa Clara

Din Tai Fung, Santa Clara

Why did we dine here? – Din Tai Fung is a popular Xiao Long Bao (It means small bamboo steamer bun in Chinese) – Shanghai Steamed Soup dumpling restaurant with locations in Bellevue, Seattle, Southern California, Taiwan, Japan, China, Indonesia, Macau, Singapore, and several other countries. Few Chinese dishes generate so much obsession. Think of it like a quest to find the best burger or pizza. We have been to this location several times.

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Twelvemonth Vegetarian Restaurant, Burlingame

Twelvemonth, Burlingame

Why did we dine here? – Twelvemonth is a new plant-based vegan restaurant in downtown Burlingame. It has been hotly anticipated as there are no such restaurants in this area. We had to previously drive to SF or Palo Alto to get quality vegetarian food. We have dined here multiple times with the last in fall 2023.

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Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Why did we dine here?Best Restaurant in the USA? Tips to Dine here on the cheap! Eleven Madison Park is a well respected American restaurant situated at 11 Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District of New York City. Three Michelin stars were awarded in 2023. The restaurant was ranked #3 in the World by The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.

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Lai Hong Lounge Review, San Francisco

Lai Hong Lounge Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Lai Hong Lounge Restaurant is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of Chinatown. They have been around since Lichee Garden closed, 2012. They are VERY popular for lunch (Noon had a Wait for a Monday lunch), but it was much more quiet at dinner. We were in the neighborhood so we decided to try it out, being big Chinese food fans. Last visit was in Winter  2024.

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Perbacco, San Francisco

Perbacco, San Francisco

One of our favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco. Perbacco is a popular Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s financial district that opened in 2006. We had been to their sister restaurant next door Barbacco recently, and felt it was high time that we came back to Perbacco. Founder Chef Staffan Terje left in 2022 but is still an owner.

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Copra, San Francisco

Copra, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Copra is run by Srijith “Sri” Gopinathan and Ayesha Thapar (who also own Ettan in Palo Alto) so we had to give it a try. The chef last had two Michelin stars at Campton Place. It is located across from Japantown in the location that used to be Dosa.

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Routier, San Francisco

Routier, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Routier is a Hot Frenchish restaurant from the folks at nearby B patisserie. A friend recommended this restaurant, and we’ve been back twice. Highly rated at 4.5 stars on yelp. Belinda Leong and Michel Suas joined forces with JP Carmona, formerly chef de cuisine at Manresa, to lead the kitchen of this elevated neighborhood joint in the former jazz club location. Last visit was in Fall 2023.

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Horn BBQ, Oakland

Horn BBQ, Oakland

Horn BBQ Is a legendary barbecue restaurant in Oakland, California. It has 4 stars on yelp and long lines whenever it’s open. Horn barbecue has been attracting long lines ever since it opened. The line is due to the slow first station that carves all the meat. (How about 2 stations?) We finally got around to trying the spot in 2021 and returned in 2023. On a Thursday at 11:30 we had to wait about 20 minutes. The line is slow because there’s only one person carving up the meat.

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B Star, San Francisco

B Star Bar Restaurant Review, San Francisco

B Star Bar serves Pan Asian style comfort foods with flavors from Thailand, China, Burma, India and Japan. It is the sister restaurant of popular Burma Superstar Burmese restaurant (And has several of their dishes) and is located a couple blocks from it. Our last visit was in Spring 2023. No more parklet.

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Hong Kong Lounge, San Francisco

Great choice for reasonably priced, solid dim sum in San Francisco.Hong Kong Lounge Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Hong Kong Lounge is a popular Chinese Restaurant located in San Francisco’s Outer Richmond district that opened in late 2008. They serve dim sum at lunch time and are quite busy. We ate here last in 2010, so it was great to catch up with the changes in 2023.

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Coque, Madrid, Spain

Coque, Madrid, Spain

Coque (coal in Spanish) is a very expensive (340€) 2 Michelin star restaurant in Madrid Spain. There are five total Two star spots in this great city. (Available 160€ optional wine pairing)

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Encanto, Lisbon

Encanto, Lisbon

Vegetarian heaven! Encanto is a vegetarian restaurant in Lisbon with one Michelin star from star chef José Avillez. We have no vegetarian restaurant with this rank back in San Francisco, so we had to give it a try. You can book online, they have a single 12 course tasting menu that is also available in English. Our server spoke English too.

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Octavia, San Francisco

Octavia, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Octavia is the latest restaurant from Melissa Perello, chef-owner of 1 Michelin Starred and well loved Frances. A small 54 seat neighborhood restaurant that is already drawing crowds from throughout the City. We are in this area a lot, so we were waiting for it to finally open.

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Yan Peninsula Dim Sum Review

Yan Peninsula Dim Sum Review

January 2023 Yan Peninsula replaces Old school dim sum Zen Peninsula is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Millbrae. This name almost sounds like a half baked effort to change the name. Long time stalwart Hong Kong Flower Lounge recently closed, making this a great time to sweep up business. Zen had previously been one of the goto places for banquets, weddings and the like. Millbrae is ground zero for some of the most popular Chinese food in the SF Bay area with spots like:

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Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid

The must go to food market in Madrid!

Everyone goes to popular Mercado de San Miguel. Our last visit was about 5 years ago and it has definitely improved since. Each stall specializes in one category, so there is no overlap or competition with other stalls. Paella, Jamon, Olives, Fruits, Tapas, Pastries, Wine, Empanadas and more are all represented. Prices are higher than outside eateries, but do come hungry when you visit.

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Little Shanghai, San Mateo

Little Shanghai Restaurant, San Mateo

Best Shanghainese Chinese restaurant in San Francisco? Little Shanghai Restaurant is a family run Shanghainese Chinese Restaurant in San Mateo near the San Mateo Fairgrounds. They have the usual Americanized Chinese dishes along with a fair amount of Traditional Shanghai dishes not served in most restaurants. Our last visit was in Spring 2023 for takeout.

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NOPA Restaurant Review, San Francisco

NOPA Restaurant Review, San Francisco

NOPA is a “neighborhood based restaurant designed to attract and comfort those from all over the Bay Area.” They serve “simple, rustic food created with seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors.” The restaurant has redefined the north of panhandle (NOPA) area since 2006 and has been packing them in. We did not have reservations, so we can in early and put our name on the list, otherwise you can eat at the bar or communal table.

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Wildseed, San Francisco – Palo Alto

Wildseed, San Francisco

Trendy Plant Based Food in the City! Why did we dine here? – Wildseed’s motto is Work out, Veg Out. A trendy new 100% plant based vegan (No eggs!) restaurant in the Union street shopping district from the Back of the House Group (a Mano, Lolinda, Delarosa, Beretta, Super Duper, etc). They also have a location in Palo Alto’s Town and Country Center. We have dined at both locations.

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Best Shanghai Steamed Soup Dumplings or Xiao Long Bao in San Francisco

Last Update: December 2023

We love Xiao Long Bao (XLB) aka Shanghai Steamed Soup Dumplings and have eaten all over the world seeking the best. Are you a Xiao Long Bao addict too? Read on.

One tip: If you are looking for good XLB, do not order them from a Cantonese Chinese restaurant. You are almost always guaranteed disappointing results even at the Best Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco: Koi Palace.  Order these little balls of wonder from a Shanghainese Chinese restaurant.

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Koi Palace Dim Sum Daly City Review

Koi Palace Dim Sum Daly City Review

Koi Palace has been on the best Chinese Dim Sum restaurant lists in the San Francisco Bay Area for years. The Peninsula is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Around 2018, new upcomers with opulent interiors and modern menu have challenged them.

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Moody’s Bistro & Bar, Truckee

Moody’s Bistro & Bar Restaurant, Truckee

Moody’s Bistro & Bar is a high end Mountain comfort food restaurant in downtown Truckee. Local, organic, seasonal focus or as they tell it – Moody’s food philosophy is “fresh, local, seasonal and simple”. Chef de Cuisine is Guy Frenette. The Restaurant opened in 2006. Moody’s has live music on some nights, so call ahead. Our last visit was during a trip to the mountains in 2023.

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Pyeong Chang Tofu House, Oakland

Pyeong Chang Tofu House, Oakland

Pyeong Chang is a Korean restaurant located in the Temescal district of Oakland, where a cluster Korean restaurants are situated. Burma Superstar is a couple doors down, while Bakesale Betty and Pizzaiolo are a block or two away. We were looking for some higher-quality Korean food than is present in San Francisco. They also have a location in Berkeley on University. Our last visit was in Spring 2023 at their Berkeley location.

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Tamarine Restaurant Review, Palo Alto

Elegant Vietnamese in Palo Alto.

Tamarine Restaurant Review, Palo Alto

Tamarine is a popular Vietnamese contemporary restaurant in downtown Palo Alto on busy University Avenue. They focus on small plates and serve food family style. Tamarine features light, but flavor-intensive culinary delicacies of Vietnam.

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Baekjeong, Los Angeles and San Jose

Kang Hodong Baekjeong, Los Angeles

Why did we dine here? – Baekjeong (butcher in Korean) is a extremely popular Korean restaurant run a flamboyant former wrestler, Kang Ho Dong. (There is a huge cardboard cutout picture of him by the front door)  They specialize in Korean BBQ using USDA Prime Meats.

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