Tag Archives: san francisco

tataki.

date 01.22.09

contac2815 California St(between Broderick & Divisadero)/San Francisco, CA 94115/415.931.1182

hours [lunch] Mon.-Fri. 11am-2pm [dinner] Mon-Thu. 5:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat. 5:30pm-11:30pm

price $10-$30

www.tatakisushibar.com

When I asked Dan what he wanted to eat for his 24th birthday he said sushi sounded good, so off I went to find the best sushi in San Francisco. Yelpers had rated Tataki the number 2 sushi bar in San Francisco, so I was hoping that yelpers wouldn’t let me down. They didn’t.

As I began driving toward the Marina District of San Francisco Dan recognized where we were. I spotted Tataki and proceeded to look for parking that was rather impossible to find. Luckily since it was a Thursday night it only took us maybe 5 or 6 circles around the block before we found parking about a block and half away. Much closer than either of expected to find. Once we entered, the first thing we noticed was how small it was. The sushi bar sits 4 and there were probably about 10 tables total. We arrived around 7:30pm and were sat right away.

Inside Tataki.
Inside Tataki.

To be honest, I found the decor to be rather pretentious, but I guess we were close to the Marina in San Francisco, so what else did I expect. The reviews all mentioned that Tataki is also the first fully sustainable sushi bar in San Francisco. I thought that was kind of cool, but really, whatever.

The menu here is pretty small, which is good for those who don’t do well with too many choices. Although there weren’t that many choices listed on the menu, I still felt like I had a lot to choose from because everything sounded delicious. After reading some reviews on yelp I thought the Tataki Deluxe would be a good choice and Dan thought it sounded good too. Since it was Dan’s birthday I told him to pick the rest. He ended up choosing the Extinguisher  roll and the Golden State roll. We also decided to get a bottle of Nigori.

First thing that came out was the Tataki Deluxe ($30). There are no words to describe how amazing this was. It was described on the menu as an assortment of 20 pieces of seared fish with dipping sauces, which sounded amazing and it was. It came in a large round wooden platter: 4 slices of 5 types of fish with 5 sauces, one for each fish. The Deluxe came with Kanpachi served with jalapeno ponzu sauce, Arctic Char served with yuzu citrus sauce, Albacore served with garlic sauce, Skipjack Tuna served with garlic sauce, and Yellowfin Tuna served with tataki sauce. Every piece of fish was fresh, tender, and melted in our mouths. Dan’s favorite was the Kanpachi which was also served with a slice of avocado and a grilled jalapeno slice. My favorite was probably the Skipjack Tuna that had garlic crumbs sprinkled on top or the Yellowfin Tuna. For $30 you get a taste of everything and it’s so worth it.

Skipjack Tuna, Albacore, Yellowfin Tuna, Arctic Char, and Kanpachi.
Tataki Deluxe ($30): Clockwise starting at the top left: Skipjack Tuna, Albacore, Yellowfin Tuna, Arctic Char, and Kanpachi.

Next came out the Golden State roll($15). Our expectations were high considering how much we loved the Tataki Deluxe and the Golden State did not disappoint. Spicy scallops with diced apple topped with albacore, avocado and 24k gold flakes, the Golden State roll was tasty! I love scallops and the apple with the scallops worked surprisingly. I was skeptical when I read the description, but the apply added a nice texture to the roll along with a subtle sweetness. Since scallops are already sweet, the flavor the apple complimented it.

Golden State Roll ($15)
Golden State Roll ($15)

Last came out the Extinguisher roll ($13). A good majority of the yelp reviews had mentioned this roll and it sounded good to us. Spicy amberjack topped with avocado, habanero masago, and hot sauce sounded good to us. It came out on fire, literally. That we were not expecting, but was pretty cool. They had a little mountain of salt lit on fire beside the roll when it came out, so props for presentation. The roll itself was great. I thought it was just the right spiciness. Spicy enough to feel the heat, but not too spicy to kill your palette. I’d definitely get it again.

The Extinguisher Roll ($13)
The Extinguisher Roll ($13)

Overall for $85 after a 20% tip we were extremely satisfied. The Deluxe, two rolls, and bottle of Nigori($10) was just about the perfect amount to share between the two of us. Other than the pretentious decor, there isn’t anything I don’t like about Tataki. We absolutely will be making several trips back to Tataki. You should try it too. I dare you.

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tartine bakery.

date 11.09.08

contact 600 Guerrero St (between 18th St & 19th St)/San Francisco, CA 94110/415.487.2600

hours Mon 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m./Tue-Wed 7:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m./Thu-Fri 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m./Sat 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m./Sun 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

price <$10 (for small tarts and slices of cakes)

www.tartinebakery.com/

Ashley had sent me a link to Tartine a while ago, saying she had to go there when she came up to visit me. Looking at the site, and knowing my love of desserts, I assured her I’d find out where it was and take her there. After getting lost for like 30 minutes, we arrived at Tartine. Parking was not easy to find, we had to park a few blocks away, but it was pretty worth it. Tartine is a small bakery/cafe on the corner of Guerrero and 18th Street in the Mission. Upon entering I was immediately drawn to the display of cakes, tarts, and all other things tasty. It took me a long time to decide what I wanted, but eventually I decided on the Coconut Cream Tart ($6.25).

The display of cakes, tarts, and such at Tartine.
The display of cakes, tarts, and such at Tartine.

My decision to get the Coconut Cream Tart came about when I asked one of the workers the oh so hated question of, “What is your favorite?” and “What would you recommend?”. As someone who has worked in food service for almost 8 years, I know that question can get tired, but I really wasn’t sure what I should get. The worker was very nice and recommended a few different things to satisfy different cravings. Ultimately the Coconut Cream Tart sounded like what I was looking for. Lined with dark chocolate and caramel then filled with a light and creamy coconut cream topped with shavings of toasted coconut with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar, this tart hit the spot. I was a little afraid that it would be too sweet, but it wasn’t. It was the perfect sweetness with the perfect creaminess. I think my only complaint would be that the chocolate lining was so hard that it made the tart a little hard to eat. I felt like I had to stab with force my fork into the crust in order to get a bite. But that was my only complaint. Creamy filling. Flaky crust. Tasty goodness.

My Coconut Cream Tart.
My Coconut Cream Tart.

Dan ordered the Frangipane Tart ($6.00). I have no idea what frangipane means, but this tart was pretty good. Filled with almond cream and topped with seasonal fruit, toasted almonds, and powdered sugar, this tart is pretty light in flavor. We asked what the seasonal fruit was and was told it was huckleberry. I don’t know what huckleberry is and I’m not sure what it’s supposed to taste like, but it was a good topping. The “almond cream” filling though was misleading. When I heard cream I thought it was going to be kind of like my coconut cream, like a custard, but it was more like an almond paste to me. I actually was pleasantly surprised by that. I think I liked my Coconut Cream Tart better, but if you wanted something non-creamy, this is a good choice.

Dans Frangipane Tart.
Dan's Frangipane Tart.

Ashley got a lemon bar, which was pretty good, a little too tart, but still decent and bread pudding. I thought the bread pudding was kind of dry, but then again, I’m not a huge bread pudding fan. One of her friends got some ginger bread thing, but didn’t like it. Overall I thought this place was pretty good. I’d go back to try some of the other things they had.

japanese: katana-ya.

date 11.09.08

contact 430 Geary St (at Mason)/San Francisco, CA 94102/415.771.1280

hours Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:00 a.m./Sat-Sun 12:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.

price <$10 for ramen

I’ve been here several times before and must say, it’s probably my favorite ramen place in the US. I came here for the first time probably about a year ago. A friend brought me and ever since it’s been one of the places I had to go when I came up to visit. Now that I live up North I very happy to be closer to Katana-Ya’s delicious ramen.

Katana-Ya is a small restaurant with only maybe eight tables and a small sushi bar that seats six or so. Last night we went with a party of six so we had to wait a while to get a table, but the wait was well worth it.

Inside Katana-Ya.
Inside Katana-Ya.

The reviews posted on the window at Katana-Ya are all for it’s ramen, so I always get ramen. My favorite is the kimchee ramen with rich miso soup ($8.50). When ordering ramen you can choose from three different soup bases: miso, soy sauce, and salt. You can also choose whether or not you want it rich or light. If you don’t specify rich or light they just make it regular. I was told to get the miso base rich and I’ve stuck with it ever since. The rich miso soup base is just right, not too salty and just so good. The ramen also comes with a slice of pork, green onions, seaweed, and bamboo. Since I got the kimchee it obviously came with kimchee as well. The pork is always good and tender and the kimchee adds the perfect crunch. On a cold night in the city, this is hands down my number one choice of food.

Kimchee Ramen with rich miso soup ($8.50).
Kimchee Ramen with rich miso soup ($8.50).

moulin rouge.

date 11.09.08

contact 887 Geary St/San Francisco, CA 94109/415.928.0158

hours none posted

price >$10

Originally we had planned to go to the Original Pancake House in Fremont, but decided that for the sake of time and convenience we’d go somewhere closer. Ashley’s friends had all told her about a breakfast place in San Francisco called Moulin Rouge that was supposed to serve great breakfast. After doing some yelping and reading some reviews, we figured we’d give it a shot. I mean, you never know until you try it yourself.

We knew that if we went to the Original Pancake House on a Sunday around 10am we’d probably be waiting for about an hour for a table for five so we didn’t really know what to expect in terms of how long we’d have to wait. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait at all. From the outside you don’t really know what to expect. The sign looks a little…shady. The inside looks a little retro, but not broken down or anything. Right when we walked in we were greeted by a little Asian woman who was the cook. Her husband sat us down and then took our drink orders (I think the husband and wife team are the owners). The menu has a nice little selection for breakfast. You can get omelets, pancakes, french toast, or the standard eggs, hash browns, and some kind of meat (ham, sausage, or bacon). I decided to get the chicken fried steak breakfast which included two eggs, hash browns, and toast ($7.50).

Janet, the chef of Moulin Rouge.
Janet, the chef of Moulin Rouge.

I had read the reviews and most people complained about slow service, but I mean, come on people: there is one small stove and one woman cooking, give the woman a break. Honestly, we didn’t have to wait that long for food and everything was hot when it came out. Anyways, my chicken fried steak was VERY good. I am quite the lover of all things potato and I must say, their hash browns were AMAZING. Crispy on the outside and perfect on the inside. Sure they were a little greasy, but it’s breakfast food, why would you go eat breakfast foods if you were trying to be healthy? I ordered my eggs over-easy, but they were more like over-medium, however it’s really not that big of a deal. The chicken fried steak was also very good. The batter on the outside was really good, nice and crisp, and it was seasoned pretty perfectly. The meat wasn’t over cooked and overall, I was very happy with my order. I’d definitely order it again.

My chicken fried steak.
My chicken fried steak.

Ashley ordered a sausage omelet with mushrooms ($7.50). Her breakfast also came with hash browns and toast. Originally she wanted an omelet with sausage and mushrooms, but there wasn’t one like that on the menu, so she ordered a side of sauteed mushrooms. While she was ordering the owner(?) over heard that she was planning on putting the mushrooms in the omelet, so to her delight he had the mushrooms put into the omelet. I had a bite and I must say, it was quite good. She was happy with it too.

Ashleys sausage and mushroom omelet.
Ashley's sausage and mushroom omelet.

Other things that were ordered: corn beef hash with two eggs, hash browns, and toast ($7.50), the hot cake sandwich with ham, one egg, and hash browns ($8.50), and french toast with one egg, a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham ($7.50). I tried the corn beef hash which I thought was pretty good and everyone else seemed to be happy with their choice.

All in all, this is a great little breakfast place. A testament to the “at home feel” is the sign in front of the window where the kitchen area is that reads, “Please don’t stand here while I cook, I get stressed out…” Sure the service might be a little slow, but it’s kind and makes you feel like you’re eating at grandma’s. I’d definitely go back and would recommend everyone to go and try it for yourselves.

How cute is this?!

italian: mona lisa.

date 10.27.08

contact 353 Columbus Ave./San Francisco/94133/415.989.4817

hours Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm/Fri-Sat 11am-12am

price $15-$30

http://www.monalisasf.com/

After having minor difficulties loading a dresser into the car Dan and I knew we weren’t going to make it to the ramen place in Daly City in time to eat.

Plan B: drive around SF until we found something open that we thought looked good.

Dan decided that North Beach would be a good place to go because they had a lot of restaurants open pretty late. After walking around and looking at a few menus we found ourselves at Mona Lisa. For me what did it was their extensive menu. I like to have choices and this place has LOTS of choices.

I wasn’t expecting this place to be as big as it was. From the outside it looked pretty small, but it was a decent size. On a Monday night at 9pm this place was pretty packed, which was also one of the reasons we chose this place. We figured if that many people were there eating, it had to be somewhat good. The tables are close together and the lighting is pretty dim, but I think it adds to the charm of the place. Everywhere you look there is some kind of decoration. Lots of busts of statues, paintings on the ceilings and walls, pretty much every inch is covered with some kind of something. Our waiter was nice, helpful when I asked which risotto was better. As a former waitress I can be very picky about service, but I was happy with the service here.

Inside Mona Lisa.

I ordered the Risotto San Francisco. It was VERY tasty, something I would order again. Chunks of crab meat, slices of asparagus, and tomatoes in some kind of sauce. It was just what I was looking for. Some of the crab was still in the shell which made me a little scared that I’d have one of those Pretty Woman moments where I pick the meat out with my fork and knife and then have the crab fly across the room. Luckily that didn’t happen. Having to pick the meat out was a little annoying, but the food was good enough where I didn’t really care. I could have finished the whole dish, but stopped myself because I was full. For $16.95, I feel like I got my money’s worth.

Risotto San Francisco: Salsa Rosa, Asparagus, and Crab.

I am a dessert whore, so of course we got dessert. The dessert menu has a picture and description of every dessert which I like, that way I have a better idea of what I’m ordering. There were a lot of choices, fruity or chocolatey, whichever you prefer, they have. We decided we’d get two, one fruity and one with chocolate, just to cover our bases. We decided on the Exotic Bomba and Black Forest Cake, each of which were $8.00.

The Exotic Bomba was quite tasty: mango, passion fruit, and raspberry sorbetto covered in white chocolate. It was a lot bigger than it looked in the picture, but I wasn’t complaining. The raspberry sorbetto in the middle was probably my favorite, but none the less, it was a nice lite dessert.

Mango, Passion Fruit, and Raspberry sorbetto covered in white chocolate.
Exotic Bomba: Mango, Passion Fruit, and Raspberry sorbetto covered in white chocolate.

The Black Forest Cake was okay. Chocolate sponge cake with a layer of chocolate cream, chantilly cream with cherries and white sponge cake, with chocolate on top, this dessert was a little dry, but still tasty. If you get all the layers in one bite it isn’t so dry, but if you only get the cake, it’s pretty dry. Maybe it wasold or an off day, either way, probably wouldn’t get it again.

Chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate cream, chantilly
Black Forest Cake: Chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate cream, chantilly

Overall, for about $60, $70 after we added tip, we got two entrees, a glass of wine, and two desserts. Not bad for a good late night meal. Would I go back? Definitely.