All Reviews by foodielover

  • Gary Danko 800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (415) 749-2060

    5 stars Posted on 06/28/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Hands down one of the best dining experiences in SF. Prior reviewers proclaim there's ""snooty"" staff. We've been here 2x and have experienced nothing but the best of service. You have at least 5 staff members servicing you, including the maitre d' and wine stewart. I don't know of many places where the maitre d' comes by to chat with the guests at each table. The food is very, very good. Some more memorable than others like the asparagus soup, seared ahi tuna, choc souffle, foie gras and cheese. The cheese cart is amazing if you're a cheese connoisseur. There's almost 20 varieties to select from including Bay Area, US and international choices. You can pick 3-4 types presented with thin bagette slices and grapes. The menu consists of 3, 4 and 5 courses and you can interchange between the appetizer, entree or dessert. If you don't like dessert, you can have 2 appetizers + entree or 1 appetizer or 2 entrees instead. Or, 3 entrees! At $65 for a 3 course meal, you are quite full. They automatically add on the valet parking fee to your bill if you parked with them for $11 (the local garage charges $2.20 for 20 mins). And, they offer you the unfinished bottle of wine to take home and will leave doggie boxes at the door and hand it to you on your way out w/o you even needing to ask. The bathrooms are gorgeous. Food is a very important part of the dining experience but you can have great food and have it all spoiled by poor service and staff. At Gary Danko's the experience is whole and well worth a visit. They understand that food and service are intergral to a satisfying dining experience. The wine list is an extensive book, very few bottles under $100.
  • Koi Palace Restaurant 365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015 (650) 992-9000

    3 stars Posted on 06/13/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    The restaurant is huge and you definitely need reservations for dinner. The food is comprised of expensive and good if not high quality ingredients but is it reasonable to spend $388 for a banquet table that serves 10? I didn't feel the food was worth the price. Only 3 memorable items: the appetizer which consisted of shrimp on top of a eggplant square, battered & fried, shark fin/birdnest soup where you actually see a lot of shark fin and they give you a huge bowl of it (a lot), and sliced cantaloupe with a mango jello piece where all good. Another platter of roast duck (which was good) served with seaweed, ?cuttlefish, and beans/vegt was so-so. The white chop chicken was cooked just right but bland as were most of the other dishes. The steamed prawns were presented in a circle and pretty good. I think our guests were not used to the exotic taste of fish stomach (with vegts). I grew up eating Chinese food, but I'll take tripe over fish (it was huge) stomach any day. The steamed rock cod was cooked just right but I don't like rock cod that much (again, a very large, meaty fish). Unfortunately, most of the waiters do not speak nor understand English. They have to go get a higher ranking waiter to translate. It was so loud on a Friday nite around 7:30 PM that I couldn't hear what our friends across the table were saying until the crowds thinned out and went home. It's not a place to have a nice quiet dinner but obviously quite popular. You have to be aggressive and flag down the wait staff if you want anything. YOu can probably do better at some of the peninsula restaurants (HK Flower Lounge) for the same price.
  • That Takes The Cake 2271 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 567-8050

    3 stars Posted on 05/30/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    I was ambling down Union Street and spotted this cute storefront and popped right in after I saw the uniformly aligned, inviting cupcakes luring at me from the display case while I stood at the doorway. It was as if they had imaginary arms waving me in. I knew exactly what to try, my favorite, a red velvet cupcake. The server was friendly and smiling the whole time even 'tho I only purchased one cupcake. My tastebuds were all in alert status hoping to replicate the same sensuous flavor as the ones I crave for at Noe Valley Bakery, but they were disappointed. The frosting didn't have as creamy nor cheesy flavor as the ones at NVB, maybe it's not cream cheese? And it reminded me of the outer shell of a meringue. The cupcake was very moist & I really liked the red color and the fact that the cake wasn't too sweet. The server told me it's a recipe passed down 3 generations. You get a larger cupcake for the same price at NVB. Ah, live and learn. The tiny store is clean, bright & well-lit and the cupcakes are attractively displayed with a large variety to chose from.
  • China First Restaurant 336 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 387-8370

    4 stars Posted on 05/24/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    We made reservations (smart thing to do) during peak dinner time at 6:30 PM and the larger tables for 10 were almost all gone. They have only a few tables for 4 and even less for 2. Clearly a popular, authentic place as the room was full of Asians. It was so reassuring to know we probably found a gold mine. Our 2 favorite dishes were the beef over bok choy and black bean sauce clams, both quite savory. The walnut prawns wasn't too bad but I've had better. The crispy chicken & shrimp chips was pretty good as well as the stir-fried flounder over mixed vegetables. I enviously observed other diners with lobster, fried rice and string beans and wish we were dining with a crowd so I could try those dishes as well. They have several family priced dinners depending on the amt of dishes listed in their menu and daily specials posted on the on the walls written on eraser boards instead of pieces of paper. There were several choices for claypot dishes which I've heard are good. The price was very reasonable, approx $50 for the 4 of us. What a bargain!
  • Yoshi's San Francisco 1330 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115 (415) 655-5600

    3 stars Posted on 05/24/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Our waitress was very nice. We didn't mention it was my birthday (dinner & a show) but she heard my friend telling me to order whatever I wanted because it was my BD. As we were about to order dessert, she brought out 2 tiny scoops of mango sorbet with a lit candle on it, complimentary. In my years of dining, this has happened only once, at Gary Danko's. But the friendly and attentive service couldn't overcome the pricey cost of the small portioned food. We enjoyed all our appetitizers (tuna tartare, seared ahi tuna) but not the spicy dragon roll - run of the mill. The only other sushi we ordered was the hamachi nigiri and the fish was very good, fresh. The entrees were unimpressive. The Kobe beef was really at a nose-bleed cost of $90 for 8 oz of meat. We were warned of the price but expected a little more beef than that. The cod was fishy and bland. The salmon was very good. And if you wanted rice with any of this, it was $2/bowl and more for the brown rice. Didn't like any of the desserts (sorry, Chef Churchill). The Okinawan donut holes were dry, cakey and covered with too much cinnamon sugar and the coconut soup had sour mangoes and the chocolate cake round was dry. The only think I liked was the sm container of ice cream which came with my donut holes and the beet (it was very good!) ice cream on top of the chocolate cake. The food was all beautifully presented, but food isn't always about art, otherwise, I'd just go to a museum, and especially at that price. The restaurant is really lovely and ambience (we were in a small, quiet back room) is great for an impressive evening. I would guess the outer larger room is more noisy but the high ceilings are gorgeous. \r The jazz club is nice & cozy. Herb Alpert (performing w/his wife, Lani Hall) indicated that all the jazz clubs should look like this one. Minimum 1 item order/person (we had cookies, not impressed).
  • Hard Knox Cafe 2526 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 648-3770

    4 stars Posted on 05/17/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Great fried chicken, a little salty but crispy, moist and well-seasoned. Portions are ample but not enough to be shared by two. The braised ox-tail is delicious as well as the chicken fried steak, but both were unnecessarily drenched with a large amount of gravy. It's a small place and since they do not accept reservations, you'll have to wait for a table. They do a lot of takeout. They have several beers on tap and the Hard Knox Pale Ale is pretty good with a bitter bite at the end. They don't have a take-out menu and encourage you to order on-line for take-out or patronize their new 2nd cafe on Clement Street, in the Richmond dist. Plan to give that place a try as well.
  • Cafe Jacqueline 1454 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 981-5565

    4 stars Posted on 05/10/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    A slow, leisurely meal where reservations are mandatory here if you want to be assured a seating. Located next door to Savoy Tivoli, middle of the block in a non-descript storefront with no menu on display. Expect to stay 2.5-3hrs to fully experience the food and have a conversation and HEAR the people you are dining with. There are 8 tables for 2 and 3 tables for 4 (that's the crowded area) and one table for 6. Because it takes so long to cook and eat the souffles, I saw the waiters turn away folks w/o reservations. \r I started off with a lovely French red wine and tasted the onion soup (still salty), butter lettuce & red bell pepper soup du jour - all good. The crunchy, delicious, hot out-of-the oven French bread reminded me of the ones in Paris. The lobster souffle had chunks of lobster but not enough according to my spouse. I thought the savory souffles were saltier than I remembered. Our favorite was the brie & broccoli souffle but nothing compared to the organic strawberry (specials of the day - including morel mushroom & truffle souffles) for dessert, a tad too sweet at the bottom. It was all easily shared by 4. I concur w/an old saying, ""Kings wait for souffles, souffles do not wait for kings."" The dk curly hair waiter can be gruff, but he was courteous to his customers. The silver-haired waiter is the friendlier one but neither will engage in extended conversations w/the customers. Souffles here are on the ""runny"" side than ""pudding"" side but so much better than the overcooked ones which have the consistency of a cake rather than souffle. Chef Jacqueline is a petite, mature woman now. She has 2 helpers in the tiny kitchen area and you can see her when passing by to the outside restroom. I was told she's enjoying herself too much to be thinking of retirement, and I hope not for many more years. I have never left unhappy after dining at Cafe Jacqueline and will miss her souffles when she does retire one day.
  • Millers East Coast West Delicatessen 1725 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (415) 563-3542

    3 stars Posted on 04/19/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    The matzo ball chiclen noodle soup was pretty good with shreds of real chicken, carrots, a nice broth and THREE light round matzos for a large container at $5, but didn't see ANY noodles! Took out all our food and it took >20 mins for them to prepare. I think the prepared all the food for the dine-in crowd before us, even 'tho we arrived ahead of some of the folks who were seated after our order was placed. While waiting, you could see the all male staff were so into themselves. Overhead one telling a customer that 25% of their orders yesterday were takeout b/c of Passover. We orderd the Philly Cheese Steak, The Ruca (fried chicken tenders on a toasted hoagie) and The Dee (hot pastrami). Didn't care for the sweet mustard on the roll but the pastrami was lean and not overly salty as well as the pickle. The sm. serving of macaroni salad was pretty good too. Would pass on the beer battered fried onion rings, too oily (but crispy), it wasn't that good. There are so many items on the menu to select from and it's clearly a popular place with lots of regulars. They don't take reservations so if you plan to dine in, you'll have to wait a bit on weekends. As for takeout, better to call ahead to place your order, it still takes them a while to prepare, uness it's soup you want. They serve breakfast too. The place has changed it's name to ""Miller's East Coast Deli"".
  • Kirin Chinese Restaurant 6135 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121 (415) 752-2268

    3 stars Posted on 03/28/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    If you're willing to drive around a bit looking for parking, Kirin might be worth a visit if you're in the mood for Chinese food. Be wary of the soda bottles they leave on your table. If you don't want it, return it to the staff as they charge $5/bottle, which you can buy for less than $2 at Safeway. The corn/crab chowder had more eggs in it than crab, saw a few corn in there, but not a great soup. We had 2 chow mein dishes, one beef, one chicken. They both tasted the same. The stir-fried veggie & fish was not great because a thick white sauce drowned the dish. The walnut prawn was ok, liked it better at Tong Palace. The crispy chicken wasn't too bad. The place is frequented by a lot of Asians, but I probably would not make a big attempt to return for the food. For dessert, we received almond jello with canned cocktail fruit - reminded me of my childhood when cocktail mixed fruit was served everytime with almond jello, didn't like it then, don't like it now.
  • Tong Palace 933 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 668-3988

    3 stars Posted on 03/28/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    This isn't one of my favorite places for Chinese food. Had to come for a relative's birthday banquet one evening. We had 11 courses, don't know what they paid for all that food (3 tables) but we could not humanly finish it all. I had to say the shark fin soup actually had shark fin in it, compared to other restaurants. Sadly, the soup was bland. The sliced meat/jellyfish/octopus appetizer was ok, not great. Didn't like the beef steak with snap peas, the sauce was too sweet, probably Hoisin sauce and additional sugar. The walnut prawn was good, but the crispy chicken was too dry. There was a blk mushroom/pea sprout dish which was pretty good and the best dish was the peking duck. The duck skin was thin and crunchy and the meat was fairly lean. The little buns it came with was pretty good too. Because it was a birthday, we had mushroom longevity noodles which was very tasty and little buns in the shape of peaches filled with lotus paste (avoid this dish). The dessert was red bean soup, which was not that sweet. I usually avoid it because it's overladdened with sugar. We had chunks of coconut jello, nice flavor, but the texture was a bit starchy. A new dish we had was smoked sea bass, nice and tender but the outside had a mayonnaise-like flavor. The food is decent, not overly salted or loaded with MSG, but not my first choice for Chinese food.