Browsing Tag


Espetus Churrascaria Restaurant Review

Espetus Churrascaria Exterior

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.

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Marlowe, San Francisco

Marlowe San Francisco exterior decor

Marlowe is a market driven neighborhood bistro near SF’s ATT park, they moved to the old Coco 500 location in 2014. Chef du Cuisine: Jennifer Puccio was formerly of restaurant Cortez. The focus here is on American comfort food. We decided to try this place because Michael Bauer raved about its burger. Our last visit was in February 2015. Marlowe’s sister restaurant is Park Tavern SF.

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Yakitori Kokko, San Mateo

Yakitori Kokko San Mateo interior decor

Japanese Izakaya is hot in the SF Bay Area right now.. Yakitori Kokko is a Japanese Izakaya or drinking oriented establishment (like Sumika in the South Bay, Ippuku in Berkeley or Izakaya Mai in San Mateo) that serves casual food focusing on skewers of meat and liquor. It is run by Japanese folks and feels pretty authentic. Yakitori means chicken grill, so the focus is on charcoal grilled meats. The place has gotten some good buzz, so we decided to give it a try. Our last visit was in the summer of 2015.

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The Kitchen Dinner Restaurant Review, Millbrae

The Kitchen Millbrae Exterior

The Kitchen is part of a restaurant group that owns highly regarded Chinese Cantonese restaurants in California including Asian Pearl Peninsula. We’ve been to most of them and find them pretty good. This review concentrates on dinner.  The food here is pretty authentic Chinese Cantonese food, so some may not like this type of more hardcore cuisine. Do not come here for General’s Chicken or Broccoli Beef. Another review covers The Kitchen dim sum lunch. Our last visit for dinner was in 2015, a meal where we found that their quality has improved. We’d consider this #2 behind Koi Palace. The Kitchen has recently remodeled the dining room, making it much more open, spacious, and modern.

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Fentons Creamery, Oakland and Vacaville

Fentons Creamery Oakland Exterior decor

Fenton’s Creamery has been around since 1922 in Oakland. They produce their own ice cream and toppings batch by batch on site. They serve breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, salads, but the main draw is of course, ice cream. Their creations are simply huge. Even the kid’s ice creams are huge. Our last visit was to the Nut Tree Vacaville location in the spring of 2015.

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Donato Enoteca Restaurant Review, Redwood City

Donato Enoteca Restaurant Review, Redwood City

Donato Enoteca is an Italian Restaurant in downtown Redwood City, located right next to City Hall. They serve modern Italian focusing on fresh, simple ingredients, and focusing on the chef’s Donata Scotti (formerly of La Strada) Northern Italian roots. Our last visit for dinner outside in 2020 during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

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Yuzu Sushi and Grill Review, San Mateo

Yuzu Sushi and Grill San Mateo Exterior

Yuzu Sushi and Grill is located in a sleepy shopping district in San Mateo across from the former location of Alhana foods. It is a sister restaurant to Burlingame’s well respected and Michelin Bib Gourmand Sakae Sushi. We decided to try it to see if it was a lower cost but similar quality version of Sakae Sushi. Sakae Sushi has lots of exotic seafood air freighted in from Japan. Our last visit was in April 2014.

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Sushi Ran Restaurant Review, Sausalito

Sushi Ran Sausalito Exterior

Sushi Ran is a popular Japanese restaurant in Sausalito run by chef Taka Toshi. They describe their food as “vibrant fusion of traditional Japanese and Pacific cuisine”. Since 1986 they have been serving up top notch Japanese food in Marin. They have the standard Japanese fare you would expect, including Omakase (Trust the chef) plus lots of dinner specials and cooked items. They have an extensive wine and sake collection. You can eat in the main dining room or in the sake and wine bar next door that has an outdoor patio. Our last visit was in the summer of 2014.

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Bourbon Steak Restaurant review, San Francisco

Bourbon Steak San Francisco exterior decor Westin hotel

Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak opened in October 2010 at the Westin Hotel Union square and is located in a very central San Francisco location. He also has Bourbon Steak locations in Scottsdale, Miami, Washington, DC and Detroit. Mina moved his flagship restaurant Michael Mina to the former Aqua location on California Street.
They are focusing on a upmarket modern American Steakhouse tailored to the San Francisco dining audience, offering contemporary fare focused on seasonal West Coast ingredients. Omri Aflalo is the executive chef. (Formerly of Citrus in LA)  Our last visit was in the middle of 2013 when we noticed price inflation.

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Shalizaar Restaurant Review, Belmont

Shalizaar Belmont Exterior decor

Shalizaar is a Persian Cuisine restaurant in Belmont. It moved here from a smaller location in San Mateo, which is now home to another decent restaurant: Tannourine. They specialize in Persian Kabobs and become immensely popular, leading to an expansion of the restaurant. Shalizaar has a large wood fired oven at one end of the dining room constantly making flat bread. Our last visit was in June 2016.

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Osha Thai Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Osha Thai San Francisco exterior decor

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.

Continue Reading’s Beginners Introduction to an Authentic Chinese Dinner


Welcome to’s Beginners Introduction to an Authentic Chinese dinner. This article follows our Beginner Introduction to Chinese dim sum. In this guide you will find a comprehensive introduction to Chinese Food that will help guide you in your new exploration into Chinese food. Authentic Chinese food is foreign to many people, so we thought it would be useful to write up a short tutorial on what to expect, and what to order.

We would like to help people expand beyond the usual potstickers, broccoli beef, sweet-and-sour pork, General Tso’s chicken, etc. No sharks fin dishes here. Many Chinese restaurants can be a loud and intimidating place with lots of different foods, faces, and languages being spoken. We are seeking to bridge the gap and get more folks into world of Chinese dining. No more looking around at other tables and pointing their dishes.

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Inshou Restaurant Review, San Mateo

By Henry Kwan

Inshou Japanese Cuisine_interior decor

Why did we dine here? – Inshou recently opened in the Marina Plaza shopping center, just off Highway 101’s Hillsdale exit. We were shopping at Marina supermarket and decided to give this new place a try.
San Mateo is home to a large Japanese and Asian population making it ground zero for some excellent Japanese restaurants including Hotaru, Yakitori Kokko, and Sushi Sam. Our last visit was in November 2013

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Memphis Minnie’s Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Memphis Minnie San Francisco Exterior decor

Memphis Minnie’s is one of the best barbecue places in San Francisco. It is located in the colorful lower Haight district. They specialize in slowly smoking meats from 4 to 18 hours over white oak logs. Memphis Minnie’s prides themselves in cooking items from scratch. They have BBQ plates, sandwiches, burgers, and even catfish. Our last visit was in April 2013.

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Alexander’s Steakhouse Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Alexander’s Steakhouse Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Alexander’s Steakhouse is a modern high end steak restaurant that opened Early September 2010 in the South of market (SOMA) area of San Francisco. Their other location in Cupertino, just off highway 280, has been serving top notch steaks since 2005.  On our last visit during the pandemic, we ate outside at the Cupertino location. They feature 28-day aged Certified USDA prime Angus steaks while the Palo Alto location uses USDA Choice Grade meat. (Top 1% of beef)

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Osteria Coppa, San Mateo

Unfortunately, Osteria Coppa Closed in June 2016.

Osteria Coppa San Mateo exterior

Osteria Coppa is a new restaurant from the owners of Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay located in the former Pomaroma Cafe location. Osteria in Italian means a place where the owner “hosts” people or an Italian-style eating establishment. They are focusing on artisan pizza and pasta along with a variety of other authentic Italian dishes using local and seasonal ingredients. Seafood is sustainably-fished and the meats we use are antibiotic free. This mirrors places like Pizzaiolo in Oakland, Flour and Water in San Francisco. Founding Executive chef of Osteria Coppa is rising star Chanan Kamen, formerly of Quince, but he left a couple years ago for Mexico. His proteges continue turning out the menu. Our last visit was in 2016.

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25 Lusk – Twenty Five Lusk Restaurant Review, San Francisco

25 Lusk Twenty Five Lusk San Francisco exterior decor

Twenty Five Lusk – 25 Lusk is a long-awaited and hot restaurant from an All-Star team that opened in the middle of October, 2010. Tucked away in an alley, this place will draw much walk-in traffic! They serve “sophisticated, contemporary, approachable fine dining specializing in neoclassical-influenced cuisine”, which probably means locally inspired California cuisine. Our last visit was in 2012.

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A16 Restaurant Review, San Francisco

A16 San Francisco Exterior Decor

Opened in 2004, A16 has since been present on many top Italian restaurant lists. It is a very popular restaurant in the Marina district, with prime time reservations needing to be booked a week or two in advance. This restaurant is serious about wine and pairing. Our last visit was in the summer of 2012.

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Gioia Pizzeria Review, Berkeley and San Francisco

Gioia Pizzeria Berkeley Exterior

Gioia is a top rated Pizza place in North Berkeley.  It has been there since 2004. As they put it: “Gioia Pizzeria takes the best of pizza traditions from the old world and the new. Classic flavors and ingredients such as artisanally made sausage, fresh mozzarella cheese and arugula come together in inspired traditional ways, seasoned with the influence of Bay Area kitchens such as Zuni Café, Chez Panisse and Oliveto” Gioia is a small hole in the wall with minimal counter seating. The place specializes in thin crust pizza and is known for local, organic ingredients. It was rated as a top pizza place by Michael Bauer. Our last visit was in late 2011 and we noticed prices had gone up. Their San Francisco location opened in 2012, we dined here in May 2012. It is located right next door to burger heaven, Polkers.

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Manzanita Lake Tahoe Restaurant Review, Lake Tahoe

Manzanita Lake Tahoe Exterior

Manzanita Lake Tahoe is the new restaurant by Traci Des Jardins in the posh Ritz Carlton Highlands at Northstar Lake Tahoe. It opened in Decemeber 2009. Rooms here start at $350 a night. She is best known for Jardinière and Mijita Cocina Mexicana in San Francisco. Manzanita serves French inspired California cuisine with a focus on organic, sustainable, seasonal ingredients. Free valet parking for dinner guests. Our last visit was in early 2012 where we found prices had increased significantly.

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Poggio Restaurant Review, Sausalito

Poggio Restaurant Sausalito Exterior Decor

Poggio is an Italian trattoria Restaurant situated in the Casa Madrona Hotel, right on the main touristy street of Sausalito. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They focus on Northern Italian cuisine using local ingredients, sustainable products, and property-grown organic herbs and vegetables. The founder Larry Mindel has a long history with restaurants including Ciao, Prego, and Il Fornaio. Peter McNee is the executive chef. Our last visit was at the beginning of 2012.

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Harbourside Buffet Restaurant Review, Hong Kong

Harbourside Buffet Intercontinential Hong Kong Interior

Best buffet in Hong Kong? Best buffet in the world? Harbourside is a restaurant in the InterContinental Hong Kong hotel that specializes in Buffets for lunch, dinner, and Sunday Brunch. They serve Asian, American, and other international dishes. Our last visit was in the summer of 2011 for Sunday brunch.

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Luce Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Luce San Francisco_Exterior_decor

Why did we dine here? – Luce is a one Michelin star restaurant in the Intercontinental San Francisco hotel. We’ve debated dining here for a while. The previous chef left to open Atelier Crenn, so we wondered how Luce would rate now. The reviews on yelp are decidedly mixed.
Daniel Corey (Pelican Bay resort) worked under chef Crenn, and is now the chef de cuisine and has put his stamp on the food.

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Sunny Shanghai Restaurant Review, San Bruno

Sunny Shanghai San Bruno Exterior decor

Sunny Shanghai is a small family owned restaurant located in southern San Bruno along busy El Camino Real, not far from Asian Pearl Peninsula. People have said that this owner started this restaurant because he was unhappy with family members at Little Shanghai in San Mateo. Our last visit was in April 2011 when we upgraded their food rating, finding this place a high quality cheap eats restaurants.

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Madera Restaurant Review, Menlo Park

Madera Restaurant Menlo Park exterior decor

Madera Restaurant is located in the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, just across the way from venture capital central. This is a high-end hotel that opened up just a couple years ago. Chef Peter Rudolph used to work at Campton place in San Francisco. He uses a wood-burning grill and explores artfully-crafted, market-driven cuisine of bold flavors. Sustainably harvested and produced seafood and meats. Madera means wood in Spanish.

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La Ciccia Restaurant Review, San Francisco

La Ciccia San Francisco exterior decor

Excellent food in Noe Valley. La Ciccia is an intimate restaurant located in San Francisco’s Noe Valley that focuses on food from Sardinia, especially seafood. The husband and wife team operate this popular and homey restaurant.
The restaurant was featured on Check please in 2008.

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Piacere Restaurant Review, San Carlos

Piacere San Carlos exterior decor

Piacere means Pleasure, to please, a source delight or joy in Italian. This restaurant is located in San Carlos in the Laurel Street shopping area right across the street from restaurant Town and near Spasso. Piacere focuses on modern California-Italian cuisine using local and organic ingredients. One last visit was in May of 2011, where we sensed food quality slipping.

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Leopold’s Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Leopolds San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Leopold’s is a hot new Austrian – German restaurant located on Russian Hill that has been getting a lot of positive press. Bauer liked it and Yelp fans are all over it. As the place opens at 530pm and the waiting starts around 6 PM. No reservations. A loud party every night! As they put it – “Casual, urban-rustic neighborhood gathering spot and bierhaus”. Are you ready for the 5 Liter beer?

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Caprinos Restaurant Review, Belmont

Caprinos Belmont exterior decor

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.

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Scratch Restaurant Review, Mountain View

Scratch Mountain View interior decor

Scratch is a new restaurant from Rob Fischer who runs Palo Alto Creamery, Reposado, and Gravity. This restaurant opened at the end of 2010. Fine Dining meets American Comfort Cuisine is their motto. We happen to be in the area and decided to give this place a try. The restaurant is modern, with clean lines, lots of wood, and large windows to the Street. Our last visit was at the end of 2011.

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Taste In Restaurant Review, Burlingame

Taste In Burlingame exterior decor

Taste In is a family owned Mediterranean deli and restaurant in Burlingame’s Broadway Street shopping district. They focus on Mediterranean cuisine including falafel’s, schawerma, kabobs and the like. This place opened in late 2009. Our last visit was in fall 2011.

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Restaurant Mutsu Review, San Mateo

Mutsu San Mateo exterior decor

Mutsu is a long-standing family run Japanese restaurant about 2 blocks from the CalTrain station that has been here for a while and probably hasn’t changed much. We’ve been to most of the Japanese restaurants in this area, except for this one, so it was time to expand our horizons. San Mateo is home to a large Japanese community, so there are Japanese restaurants on practically every block.

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