Sofitel Hotel – Moorea, French Polynesia
Sofitel Hotel – Moorea, French Polynesia
Youngs Lobster Pond, Belfast, Maine
Why Here? A Mano or by hand in Italian, is a California Italian restaurant from Adriano Paganini’s group that runs many local restaurants including Super Duper, Delarosa, and Belga. A nice neighborhood joint in the trendy Hayes Valley area. We are big fans of pasta and pizza, so we had to give it a try.
Sorella is an anxiously awaited casual sister restaurant to Michelin starred Acquerello. In fact it means sister in Italian! It is located where 1760 once was. Having this pedigree, we quickly added it to our must visit list.
Kauai Restaurant Reviews from our visit to the Garden isle in May 2022
Lots of local food trucks and Hawaiian favorites. We did not dine in once! None of these requires reservations.
Checkout reviews of the other Hawaiian Islands
Why did we dine here? – Lily is a Modern Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco is inner Richmond District. Sort of a neighborhood joint kicked up a notch. The Chef Rob Lam used to run restaurant Butterfly on the waterfront. There are a ton of VERY good restaurant options nearby including Burma superstar, Chapeau!, Wako, and Mamahuhu. Traditional Vietnamese restaurants are a block away. We have been here twice for lunch during the Pandemic.
Why did we dine here? – Sultana is a long established Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Menlo Park. This is a nicer place with a outdoor patio in the back, perfect during the Pandemic. This spot is definitely a step above all the casual Mediterranean restaurants you find around. (We like Hummus Mediterranean in San Mateo) A friend recommended it, so we decided to give it a go.
Why did we dine here? – We love dumplings and this one WOW’d us! I-Shanghai Delight is a Shanghainese Chinese restaurant in San Ramon. They also have locations in Fremont and Sacramento. We were dining here with friends who highly recommended this Chinese restaurant. Note: Only 3.5 stars on Yelp probably due to bad service.
Flour + Water is a wildly popular Italian restaurant in the Mission district of San Francisco. They focus on hand rolled pastas, house cured meats, and an Italian pizza oven. The chef, Thomas McNaughton is a veteran of La Folie, Gary Danko, Quince. They take reservations on rezy and reserve space for walk ins (Communal table), causing a line to form 20 min. before the place even opens. Yelp rating has faded to 3.5 stars.
Why did we dine here? – Flour & Water Pizza is the pizza only specialty restaurant from the folks at famous Flour and Water. We’ve eaten there a couple times and gotten to go. During the pandemic, they have a large outside Parklet seating area.
Why did we dine here? – Estiatorio Ornos is Michael Minas Flagship restaurant’s latest reboot, this time to Greek cuisine. The decor is more warm and modern, with contrasting whites and oranges, and a lot less fine dining edge. There was definitely a buzz in the year, after two months of opening, the audience was well dressed and ready for some revenge dining.
How does this new eatery stack up to long time long time stall worth Kokkari?
Last Update: 12/31/2021
Why did we dine here? – Ernest is a hot restaurant in the Potrero Hill area not far from KQED. We had to set multiple alerts on Resy to get a reservation. They have outdoor seating in their courtyard, complete with heat lamps. We dine here twice, once inside and once outside.
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.
Why did we dine here? – HL Peninsula opened near Costco Business center of South San Francisco. This is a large and opulent restaurant that is typical of ones in China. High ceilings, huge TV screens, and many private rooms. (Reminds us of J Zhou in Tustin) There is no other place like this nearby. They are part of a restaurant group that has several locations in Vancouver and China. Yes, China money is flowing in and we are benefiting from better restaurants.
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.
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.
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.
We visited Oahu, Hawaii and chronicled our eating journey throughout the island including downtown Honolulu. It was her first time back in decades and we found the food much improved. Our May 2020 trip was during the pandemic, so many spots only offered takeout.
Last Update: 10/16/2021
Where does a San Francisco Foodie eat in the Durham – Chapel Hill – Research Triangle, North Carolina? Follow our journey and learn from our experiences. We have family there and will return again.
The Pandemic has brought Soup Dumpling or Xiao Long Bao quality to new heights!
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.
Why did we dine here? – Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman is a popular Pan Asian, American restaurant with 2 locations on Maui: Wailea and Ka’anapali. We’ve been to both locations on Maui.
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 early 2022 and found the place was a hard to book reservation!
Why did we dine here? – Harborview Restaurant is located in 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco. It takes the place of Crystal Jade, which spend $14 remodeling the space. This restaurant is run the founder of by the well established R & G Lounge Kinson Wong. Weekend and evening parking validation available.
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 2022.
Kokkari (Small fishing village on the islands of Samos in the Aegean Sea) is a long standing Greek restaurant in San Francisco’s Financial District – Jackson Square area. Our last visit was over 6 years ago, so it was time for some refreshing of our memories.
The Kitchen is part of a restaurant group that owns Chinese Cantonese restaurants in California including Asian Pearl Peninsula. We have dined at many of them and find the food pretty very good. In recent years, they have slipped. New upstarts like HL Peninsula and Dragon Beaux has carried the torch forward.
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.
Love this unique spot!
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.
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!
We visited London right before the Covid 19 Pandemic Hit. This restaurant may have changed their seating, menu, and more.
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.
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.
Old school dim sum charm. Zen Peninsula is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Millbrae. Millbrae is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the SF Bay area with spots like:
Solid Chinese Food in Millbrae.
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.
Redefining top notch dim sum and Chinese food near San Francisco.
Why did we dine here? – Grand Harbor is a Chinese restaurant in Burlingame, California, located right by the San Francisco Bay. (Next door to Benihana) It has a grand view of the Bay and the San Francisco Airport to the north. Leisurely watch planes landing all meal long. Our Last visit was in the Summer of 2019.
Why did we dine here? – Cheap Awesome Pasta! Barzotto is a casual pasta focused restaurant in the San Francisco Mission District. Our son dined there and recommended it, so we had to check it out. Best part of this spot is there is no need to reserve in advance. Arizmendi Bakery is next door!
Better soup dumplings than Din Tai Fung?
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.
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 restaurant in the Union street shopping district from the Back of the House Group (a Mano, Lolinda, Delarosa, Beretta, Super Duper, etc).
Why did we dine here? – Otium is a modern American restaurant in downtown LA, right next to The Broad museum (Free admission! reserve online) We finish up at the museum and came to Otium for weekend brunch.
Why did we dine here? – Charter Oak was on our list of places to hit in the Napa Valley. We had a good experience at Meadowood, so why not try this spot. It made it onto the SF Chronicles Top 100 list in 2019, so we made sure we ate here soon.
Why did we dine here? – Noosh is highly anticipated Eastern Mediterranenan restaurant in San Francisco.
‘Noosh-e jaan’ is the phrase that means cheers / salud in Farsi. It can also mean the joy you derive from good company and good food. Eastern Mediterranean inspired and California made is their motto.
Solid Dim Sum in Fisherman’s Wharf of all places!- Why did we dine here? – Palette Tea House is from the team behind top rated Chinese restaurants: Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux. They took over Waxman’s location in Ghirardelli Square. We gave them a month and headed to tourist central to try this new dim sum palace.