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.
Best Buffet in the world?
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.
Top notch Thai in Chiang Mai. Our original restaurant pick, Blackitch, was full, so our hotel concierge suggested this spot. Boy was he spot on. This was the best meal we had in Thailand. The restaurant is located in a posh hotel that costs US$700 a night and is rated at almost 100% on Trip Advisor.
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.
Last Update: December 2019
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Best cornbread in town! House of Prime Rib opened in 1949 and concentrates on one dish, Prime rib. We have been coming here for many decades, whenever we have a desire for beef. They use corn-fed Prime beef Midwestern beef that is aged for 21 days and cooked in coarse rock salt.
3 Star Hong Kong Restaurant with no wait. T’ang Court is a 3 Michelin star restaurant in the ritzy Langham Hotel in Hong Kong’s touristy Tsim Sha Tsui district. It got upgraded from 2 to 3 stars in 2016. Our last visit was in 2020 for dim sum lunch when we stayed upstairs and could just walk right in. (Protests worried visitors.) We previously ate there in 2011.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Last Update: 2020
Foodnut travels, eats, and tells. We’re based in San Francisco but have flown all over the place. We love Chinese food and find some of the best in Hong Kong.
Vegan – Gluten Free Heaven
Last Update: February 2020
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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? – 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.
Why did we dine here? – Rasa is a One Michelin Star Indian restaurant in Burlingame, California, just south of the San Francisco airport. We have dined here many years ago, so it was time to try it again.
The owner also runs Saffron Indian Bistro in San Carlos, serving traditional North Indian food.
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? – 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.
Santa Ramen has a new owner in 2020.
Santa Ramen is a very popular Japanese noodle Ramen restaurant in San Mateo. Mr. Kazunori Kobayashi sold this location in 2020 but continues to be the proprietor of nearby Ramen Dojo and Parlor. Located in a small shopping mall with a Diddams Ninja Japanese supermarket, Party Supply and JoAnn’s Fabric, the restaurant has achieved a legendary cult following and has long lines at both dinner and lunch times. We have eaten here many times with our last visit in 2020.
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.
Koi Palace has been the #1 Chinese Dim Sum restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. 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.
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.
One of the Best Restaurants around! Why did we dine here? – SingleThread Farm is a 3 Michelin star restaurant, 90 minute North of San Francisco. We were celebrating an anniversary and have always wanted to dine here.
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.
Why did we dine here? – La Bodeguita Del Medio is a popular Cuban restaurant in Palo Alto. We have been meaning to dine here for dinner for quite a while. One of us recently visited Cuba, so we had a valid excuse to kindle some memories. The place is pretty busy, so you need to reserve in advance.
Why did we dine here? – Balthazar is a classic French bistro in New York’s SOHO district. It has been packing them in for over 20 years. We have eaten here for breakfast in the past and decided to try their weekend brunch on our latest trip to the big Apple.
Why did we dine here? – Its hot hot hot! Al’s Place is a small 54 seat, one Michelin Star Restaurant from Aaron London (Ubuntu). We had previous dined at Ubuntu in Napa, so we were familiar with his cooking. He focuses on veggies but has several meat dishes on the menu for carnivores. Seating is definitely on the cramped side. The music is Very loud and features their special playlist. You can easily see what your neighbors are getting though!
Why did we dine here? – Neptune Oyster is a popular seafood restaurant in Boston’s North End. There is a wait there everyday, and a super long one during holidays and weekends. We finally got up the courage to give it a try. We had a 2 hour wait on the weekend.
SPQR is an Italian osteria, located in Pacific Heights, that serves wine and more casual food than their popular sister restaurant A16 in the Marina district. According to Wikipedia, “SPQR is an initialism from a Latin phrase, Senatus Populusque Romanus (“The Senate and the People of Rome” or “The Senate and Roman People”), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic”. Executive Chef, Matthew Accarrino, prepares “sophisticated, yet soulful, Italian cuisine using the best local ingredients, traditional and modern cooking techniques delivered in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.” Our last visit for take-out
Why did we dine here? – Gooyi Gooyi is an authentic Korean restaurant in Santa Clara’s Koreatown. We’ve found some of the best Korean joints down here plus our neighbor recommends this restaurant, so we had to give it a try. We got take out from them in 2020 during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
New 2020 Foodie bible Michelin San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country Restaurants 2020 was released on 6/3/2019.
Great Spanish Seafood. Why did we dine here? – Bellota (Acorn in Spanish), a new Spanish restaurant, is part of The Absinthe Group. This is a beautiful restaurant in the building that houses Air BnB. Be sure to visit the bathroom, you will see the impressive atrium. We have eaten both lunch and dinner here.
Why did we dine here? – B. Patisserie is a new bakery from Belinda Leong. She is a veteran of Gary Danko and Manresa. We couldn’t wait to give her place a try.
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.
Elegant Vietnamese in 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. This place is similar to Slanted Door or Xanh in Mountain View. We find the food pretty accessible with many items for mainstream palates. The owners family runs the more traditional Vietnamese restaurant Vung Tau in San Jose and a more casual spot Tam Tam in Palo Alto. Our last visit was in 2020.
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is a popular San Francisco North Beach restaurant from Tony Gemignani, 9 time Champion Pizza Tosser, certified pizziaolo. It first opened in 2009. He also runs a the International School of Pizza next door. He is well qualified to make a great authentic pizza! Also part of his empire, the “to go” oriented Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Slice House next door, Slice house at Oracle Park, and Italian Restaurant Capo.
Last Update: 4/19/2019
Where does a San Francisco Foodie eat in New York? Follow our journey and learn from our experiences.
Last Updated: 4/15/2019
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.
Why did we dine here? – Sansei Hawaii is a well known Japanese Seafood Restaurant with locations at Kihei and Kapalua, Maui, Oahu, and the big Island – Hawaii.
Iyasare is a Japanese Restaurant in the posh Berkeley 4th Street corridor. We were passing by and decided to finally give it a try. Without reservations, we dined at the bar. Pacing was way off, but the food was fabulous. Definitely want to try more next time! We came back for lunch in Spring 2019 and found the food just as good.
Fab Chinese in SF.
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.
Great Eats 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. On our last visit in Winter 2019, there were still lines before it opened!
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? – Niku Steakhouse is a high end Steakhouse focuses on high quality meats including expensive A5 Wagyu from Japan. They have a high end butcher shop next door.