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3 stars

3 stars

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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San Ho Won, San Francisco

San Ho Won, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – San Ho Won is a super popular Korean Restaurant which opened in the fall of 2021 and is a collaboration between Corey Lee and Jeong-In Hwang. They use tock for their reservation system, in which you have a pre-pay
a $25/person deposit. It was very hard getting a reservation here.

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Che Fico, San Francisco

Chez Fico, San Francisco

Hot Spot in the City. Why did we dine here? – Che Fico (Kay-Feeco) means what a fig – is a new Jewish Italian restaurant in San Francisco that has garnered a lot of hype. There is a long line queuing up for unreserved tables everyday. It has fallen to 3.5 Yelp stars, but we still wanted to try it out. Prices have appreciated significantly during the pandemic.

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Village Pub Review, Woodside

Village Pub Review, Woodside

Village Pub is a fine dining establishment in the small town of Woodside. We have passed by many times, on our way back from hiking or biking, and felt it was time to try it. They have received One Michelin star starting from 2009. They use lots of seasonal, local, and organic ingredients. They have a sister restaurant Spruce, in San Francisco.

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Star Noodle, Lahaina, Maui

Star Noodle Lahaina Maui ExteriorWhy did we dine here? – Star Noodle is a popular Asian restaurant on Maui focusing on a variety of noodle dishes that originate from Japan through other Asian countries.  We have been here on all our recent Maui visits.

They moved to downtown Lahaina in November 2020, and are known as Star Noodle v2.  Star Noodle also does takeout but you need to call it in early. Parking lot is part of the new location!

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Best Buffet in the World

We have a soft spot for buffets. Large assortments of food from around the world lets us try items that we would never order.  High end buffets with everything from Prime Rib to Lobster to Foie Gras to Souffles are always on our hit list. Foodnut values quality in addition to quantity, so forget about Hometown Buffet or Golden Corral.

Buffets originated in France, where French hosts would set up tables full of food so diners could help themselves during parties. This concept grew and was super sized in Las Vegas.

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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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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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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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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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Protege, Palo Alto

Protege, Palo Alto

Best Restaurant on the SF Peninsula!
Why did we dine here? – Protege Palo Alto is a New American restaurant from French Laundry Alum Chef Anthony Secviar and Alum Dennis Kelly, Wine Master. This anxiously awaited restaurant was sure to amp up the fairly mundane local dining scene on the Peninsula. They received one Michelin Star in 2019. Our last visit was in the summer of 2020 after they reopened the patio.

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Bistro Na’s, Tample City

Bistro Na Temple City exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Bistro Na’s is the first Michelin Starred Chinese restaurant in the Los Angeles area. It is located in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV), about 20 minutes from Downtown LA. This spot is the first outpost of a chain with several locations in China. This is a beautiful restaurant, definitely worth dining at.

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Sorrel, San Francisco

Sorrel San Francisco outside exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Sorrel occupies the space that once housed Nico. Alexader Hong (Quince, Jean Georges) started doing popups in 2015 and moved to this spot in 2018. James Beard Rising Star Finalist. They received One Michelin Star in 2019.

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Gotham Bar & Grill, New York City

Gotham Bar and Grill NYC Exterior

Why did we dine here? – Gotham Bar & Grill has been around since 1984 and is considered an institution of fine dining. One Michelin Star, 4.5 stars on Yelp. We decided to see if it lives up to the hype. The older set in the 40’s to 60’s were dining.

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Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston

Last Updated: 4/15/2019

Island Creek Oyster Bar Boston exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Island Creek Oyster Bar is one of the top seafood restaurants in Boston. Several foodies recommend this spot and it gets a high 4.5 Yelp rating with over 1800 reviews. A classic spot near Fenway park. They also run the popular Row 34 restaurant in Boston that we like. Our last visit was in 2019.

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birdsong, San Francisco Review

Birdsong San Francisco Exterior decor

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.

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Top 5 Chicken Rice Dishes in Singapore

Last Update: December 2019

Chicken Rice is a legendary dish at Singapore’s food hawker centers. It consists of chicken cooked in pork and chicken stock, rice with chicken stock, and some vegetables. Dipping sauce is usually a hot chili dip or soy sauce with ginger. Occasionally they throw in a bowl of soup. We read several articles that state that this is the number 1 thing many people miss when they leave Singapore. Chicken Rice is a National dish for Singapore.

We arrive skeptics, but left believers.

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Bestia, Los Angeles

Bestia Los Angeles Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – A big LA scene with impressive Italian food. Bestia (Italian for Beast) bubbled to the top of the possibilities when planning our LA must hit list. 4.5 stars on Yelp, recommended on the annual Jonathan Gold List, what more could you ask? We knew going into this that Bestia would be loud and exhibit a major LA scene. Last visit in Summer 2019.

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Alinea, Chicago

Alinea Chicago exterior decor

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.

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avec, Chicago

avec Chicago Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – avec is a rustic mediterranean shared plate restaurant in Chicago. Originally conceived as a wine bar, the kitchen’s offerings quickly steered the space in another direction. Wine, however, remains at avec’s core.

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Girl & the Goat, Chicago

Girl and the Goat Chicago Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Girl & the Goat is Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard’s top rated and very popular restaurant. It was our first time in Chicago, so had to try all the hot spots and compare them to SF! You need to book 2 months in advance to get in here. We did not have reservations and walked in right when the place opened (4:30pm) and sat at the bar. The waiter said it was harder to walk in during the winter because outdoor seating is not present.

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Porfirio’s, Cancun

Porfinos Cancun Exterior Decor

An amazing find in Cancun! Porfirio’s is a Mexican restaurant in Cancun, right at tourist area Zona Hotelera, just north of the Hard Rock Hotel. We wanted to get some Mexican food and luckily this place was a short 7 minute walk from our hotel. (What is the point of eating sushi in Mexico?) Reviews were good. Porfirio is more than a restaurant, with on going dj’d music videos, live mariachi’s, it was the whole package.

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