After seeing this restaurant change hands over the years, I was pleasantly surprised to see this upscale front appear one day. Dragonfly? Contemporary Vietnamese? Hmmm...I finally had the opportunity to see for myself what has become of this 9th and Judah establishment when a couple of childhood friends recommended the place.
I started out with the Lychee Iced Tea, based on fellow Yelp reviewers. In all fairness, it's whole lychee fruits with the syrup from the can and a tad of iced tea for coloring more so than taste. It was yummy though.
Bread and pate were served and we ordered Spring Rolls to start. One order had eight small pieces, just enough for our party of four. We then ordered two bowls of the Sweet and Sour soup, one with fish and the other with shrimp. Each bowl provides just enough for two small servings. Light broth with hints of spiciness and veggies.
Next came our orders of coconut rice wrapped beautifully in banana leaves and carried with it a lovely scent of toasted coconut. We had the catfish which was light, flavorful and quite delicate. Not overdone at all. The highlight was the calamari - full of flavor and not overly fried, more pan fried than deep fried. A nice surprise in my first bite and definitely would be a repeat order the next time I visit. And we also ordered a pork dish made with fish sauce and coconut. We all agreed it was a bit salty, and that was the only thing that was leftover on our table.
To close our meal, fried ice cream - coconut pineapple ice cream. Nice presentation with the sugar cube lit on fire, but disappointing taste. The batter was a bit off, and not the most complementary choice for a fried ice cream. We also felt that our ice cream lacked flavor, it was more of a vanilla than a coconut pineapple flavor. We also tried the tapioca with tropical fruits. Jack fruit and lychees in coconut milk with green jelly, and a surprise crunch of water chestnut within the green jelly provided an interesting taste of flavors. The water chestnut left a slight nutty aftertaste and we had yet to decide if we enjoyed the water chestnut in this dessert or not. (We were all used to water chestnuts used in savory dishes more so.)
Service was great, as reviewed by others. Efficient and pleasant. Due to the largeness of the plates for presentational purposes, it can get a bit crowded on a full table and we found ourselves having to move the candle, the vase, our water glasses and plates often to make room.
Overall, a good experience and worth returning. The calamari alone was definitely worth a return show for.
PPQ Dungeness Island on Clement is known for one thing, or actually two things - their crab and garlic noodles. After much fanfare, I finally locked in a date where the Husband can finally get his hands dirty in this goodness.
If it was just the two of us, we would have gone for this menu:
Dinner for 2 ($52.95)
* Imperial Rolls
* Cabbage Salad with Chicken
* Roasted Crab
* House Garlic Noodles
* Deep Fried Banana with Ice Cream
However, we were able to share our dinner date with another couple that were fans of PPQ, so we opted for this menu instead:
Dinner for 4 ($113.95)
* Cabbage Salad with Chicken
* Deep Fried Soft Shell Crabs
* Roasted Crab
* Smokey Pork
* Braised String Beans
* Steamed Shittake Sea Bass
* House Garlic Noodles
* Deep Fried Banana with Ice Cream
To start, the cabbage salad with chicken was only okay, it wasn't as flavorful as I remember it being, but then again, I wasn't really here for that.
The deep fried soft shell crab is actually one crab cut into four pieces, again - not the highlight of my deep fried soft shell crab love.
The smokey pork was probably the least favorite of the table, only because it was the only thing we had leftovers of. There were much better things we wanted to focus on.
The braised string beans still maintained a nice crunch, which I always love and appreciate and have yet to duplicate at home.
The shittake sea bass was a huge favorite of my friends, they were loving it and who doesn't love a fatty fish that melts in your mouth?
The roasted crab was swimming in butter, but you only get one crab. Of course, don't miss out on the crab fat (head juice) because that can be the best part (of course, while raising your cholesterol levels).
And of course, the garlic noodles. I think this is what I really wanted. I was concerned there wouldn't be enough for us, and we did end up ordering another side order of this fatty buttery noodles.
And a simple and sweet dessert of deep fried banana and ice cream is always a nice compliment. A small amount for four to share though.
In retrospect, I had wanted to order two orders of the dinner for two - that way you get double the crab and noodles (which is what I wanted) and I forgot we didn't get any imperial rolls as a result of changing it to the dinner for four combination. Next time, I would definitely do that - dinner for two combination.
I also saw the pepper roasted crab. I was warned that I should get that, but I was being a purist and got the garlic roasted one. The pepper roasted one did look pretty tasty on other tables, and maybe I would change it up next time and get that along with a side of garlic noodles.
Service was fine, food came out promptly, dishes were cleared, and beverages refilled as needed.
Definitely make reservations. We got there at 6 pm when it was still empty and there was parking. Any later and parking will be the biggest challenge and the restaurant gets busier. (They have a complete upstairs floor that I never knew about or been to, and apparently on days like Valentine's Day, it's filled up to the brim.)
The King of Thai Noodle House chain is a comfort food kind of thing. It's Thai fast food, efficient and inexpensive and definitely something that suits you after a night of drinking and dancing.
You don't realize you miss it until you're gone from it for so long, which is what happened to me.
When friends suggested we eat at King of Thai after dancing a bit at nearby Slide, how could I say no. It definitely beats going to Denny's, Mel's Drive-In, or IHOP.
I've been craving the Pad Kee Mao ($6.75), "stir fried flat rice noodle and you choice of ground meat (chicken, pork, or beef) with green bean, bell peppers, Thai chili and basil," so that's what I ordered. Imagine my dismay when I saw a plate of thin rice noodles appear in front of me. I thought I had ordered the wrong thing! My friend who was sitting at a nearby table noticed my disappointment and mentioned that they had run out of the flat rice noodle. The waitress forgot to tell me this, and the waiter was kind enough to take it away and give me a menu to order something else. At this point, I didn't want to bother looking at the menu because I still wanted the taste of the Pad Kee Mao, so I kept my original dish. My friend commented that they gave me A LOT of noodles, perhaps more than they normally do? (You be the judge of this and check out the picture in the business profile.) I like to load up my dish with lots of their condiments - hot sauce, jalapenos, etc. Their garlic oil is FABULOUS, and ask for some of that too because it tastes SO good! Yum yum!
The BF, being the fried chicken connoisseur that he is, ordered the Fried Chicken over Fried Chicken ($7.25), "deep fried boneless chicken breast over fried rice with egg, onion and tomatoes. Topped with cilantro and cucumber, served with sweet and sour sauce." It was a heaping order of rice. He thought the chicken was good, but had better. He also prefers dark meat instead of the healthier white meat version, so that could be why. I actually liked his fried chicken, it reminded me of the way English restaurants do their Fish N Chips, the batter was similar. (It made me crave Fish N Chips!) He was also dousing his food with the oh-so yummy garlic oil!
Overall, you can't complain about tasty and filling Thai food late at night. I only wish they stayed open later. I have yet to find a place like this in Vegas.
* On another note - if you're dining there, but your friends are bringing in food from the nearby Jack in the Crack, keep in mind they are taking up precious seating room! This hole in the wall has very limited seating and your friends should have stayed next door to eat instead!
Joining Critic O.'s family to help her celebrate her 30th birthday, I ventured down the peninsula for a little Malaysian food at Langkawi. She discovered this restaurant courtesy of Yelp!
Located in a small strip mall right off the freeway, it might be easy to miss this restaurant tucked away in the back. Upon entering, you're greeted by a salt water tank filled with colorful fish swimming about. With a party of 8, we had a long table all to ourselves by the far wall on this Saturday for lunch. For beverages, they provided hot tea and water. (The tea came out a bit warm, so we requested hotter water which they changed immediately.) I decided to be adventurous and try their Malaysian Iced Tea ($2.50) while others enjoyed their Thai Iced Tea ($2.50) or their Lychee Drink ($2.50). I asked the waitress for any information about the differences between the two teas, and all she could really say was that they used Malaysian tea instead of Thai Tea. I asked which was sweeter and she said the Thai Tea would be. Nonetheless, I still ordered it. It was a bit different, not as sweet as she pointed out, but nice. I eventually had to ask for more ice later on as there wasn't enough in my drink to cool it down.
We started with the Satay Tofu, "deep fried tofu stuffed with bean sprout and cucumber served with peanut sauce" ($5.95) and Roti Prata, "crispy Indian flatbread served with curry dipping sauce" ($2.95). The tofu came with four pieces and was a nice refreshing taste when eaten with the julienned cucumber. The roti was also enjoyable, arriving in a large curled shape on a plate.
Initially wanting the Tom Yam Soup, "hot and sour soup with seafood and vegetables in a spicy lemongrass stock" ($4.95/small; $8.95/large), the waitress informed us that it may be too spicy for the rest of our party. (The waitress had previously been dialoguing with my friend's dad to determine what type of entrees to order and he had mentioned no spiciness preferred.) We appreciated her feedback and ended up with the Langkawi Bak Kut Teh Soup, "Chinese herbal soup simmered with pork-ribs, fried tofu, and mushrooms" ($6.95/small; $10.95/large) instead. The soup was quite different, light because of the broth and tasty as well.
Our entrees consisted of five dishes. The first to arrive was the half of a Hainan Chicken, "steamed chicken in its own stock, served with chef's special soy sauce and chili ginger sauce" ($8.95). The chicken was moist and tasted better with the sauce was on it. It was okay though, and not quite as good as my other friend's homemade Hainanese chicken. (Then again, it's homemade and that's the only comparison I really have.)
Next was the Mango Chicken, "chicken and shredded mango in a sweet and sour sauce, served in a mango shell" ($9.95). This was an interesting dish and quite different. It was a strong contrast to the other chicken dish and may be too sweet for some palates. This was the only dish we had leftovers of.
The Sauteed String Beans with garlic ($7.95) was next to come and they were as expected. The Langkawi Bean Curd, "home made fried soft tofu with shrimp, squid, scallop, mushroom, and vegetables, topped with oyster sauce" ($10.95) was pretty tasty though and I heard someone comment on the very yummy tofu pieces. Unfortunately, this dish remained on the far end of the table and I didn't get a chance to try it myself. I would definitely order it again though.
The Pad Thai, "stir-fried flat rice noodles with shrimp, tofu, chicken, eggs, scallions, and bean sprouts" ($7.95) was like any other pad Thai dish I would order in a Thai restaurant, so nothing spectacular about that.
We also side orders of Jasmine Rice ($1.00), Coconut Rice ($1.50), and Chicken Flavored Rice ($1.50). The coconut rice was yum and the chicken rice was also very good with the savory dishes too. I personally wouldn't bother with the jasmine rice next time.
Overall, the meal was good. There were some real good dishes and some that were mediocre. The service was efficient and we appreciated the wait staff's helpfulness with dish selection and clearing the table for the birthday cake (as well as cutting it for us). A solid 3.5 stars for Langkawi.
First time at Osha and what a nice place for dinner in SoMa. Seated in those famous wire chairs that are a bit tricky when you first sit down. They look great from afar, but they aren't meant for comfort.
Shared the spring rolls w/ peanute sauce - beautiful display. Also had the Yellow Curry with Chix; Vegetables, Tofu and Pork w/ peanut sauce, and Mint Leaf with Beef. We did #4 on the Beef and it was hot! Food was yummy and provided plenty for our party of three! We had leftovers for sure! Never even got to ponder the dessert menu b/c of the ample food.
Service was decent, but took awhile when the place started filling up after us. Week nights do get busy with large crowds.
Overall, good choice, tasty food, and nice atmosphere. I would return.
I haven't had a Vietnamese sandwich in a long ass time and boy, was I pleasantly surprised with what they have going on here! The combination at $3 each is loaded with tons of stuff - pate, roasted meats of sorts, carrots, jalapenos, and just a bunch of other junk! I definitely don't remember Vietnamese sandwiches looking like this before. I remember more bread than anything else in the past, so this was definitely a find! Places like Saigon Sandwiches have given all those other sandwich places a run for their money!
Walking in on a weekday, they sure are busy! Lots of people milling around waiting for their special order sandwich. And when you see lots of people in a hole in a wall type restaurant, you know they have something good going on there. And while you're waiting, you can check out all those plastic wrapped goodies in Styrofoam and just add those to your orders. It doesn't really matter that you probably won't know what half the stuff is anyway, but I'm sure it'll taste good nonetheless. And hey, that's all that matters, right?
One thing I can't find in Las Vegas is the Burmese Tea Leaf Salad. So on a recent visit to the Bay Area, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Burma SuperStar had opened two locations in the East Bay.
As we drove along Park Street in search of parking, I noticed a gathering of people waiting to be seated on this Saturday evening. Adding our name to the list, it was only a ten minute wait for our party of five. This location is definitely more upscale than the San Francisco one with its interior decorating and high ceilings.
Appetizers to start:
* Platha and Dip "Multi layered bread served with a coconut chicken curry sauce." ($6.75) - Four triangle pieces of tasty bread with an even more delicious coconut curry sauce.
* Tea Leaf Salad ($9.50) - Artfully presented so all the ingredients are visible to you - it's made up of toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, fried yellow beans, chopped peanuts, fried garlic slices, jalapenos, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, pickled tea leaves, and if you desire, dried shrimp. The waiter will then squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the salad before tossing it altogether. I really enjoy this salad with the various textures and tastes playing around in your mouth. My only concern is that it's definitely not enough for five people to share, maybe two or three tops. (When the salad first arrived, we noticed the dried shrimp in it and had to let the waiter know we requested it without shrimp, which was easily taken care of.)
* Salt and Pepper Chicken "Lightly battered and fried with scallions and peppers." ($8.95) - The accompanying dipping sauce with jalapenos is where the real heat was.
Mains to share:
* SuperStar Vegetarian Noodles "Traditional Burmese noodles with tofu, cucumber, potato, chili sauce and cabbage Served room temperature." ($9) - The most important thing to note about this dish is that it's served at room temperature, which can turn you off if you're expecting a hot dish. It was more cold than room temperature, but enjoyable.
* Fiery Chicken with Tofu "Wok tossed chicken breast with tofu, string beans, red bell peppers, and basil in our five spices spicy and sweet heat sauce." ($12.75) - I really enjoyed the crispy string beans in this dish. However, I didn't even notice the tofu in it.
* Sesame Chicken "Slices of chicken breast lightly fried in a sweet and tangy sauced topped with sesame seeds." ($12.75) - Definitely on the sweet end of life and something I wouldn't normally choose to order.
* Eggplant with Garlic Sauce "Sauteed eggplant with garlic, scallion and chili sauce." ($9.75) - A nice accompanying vegetable dish that had tender pieces of eggplant.
* Coconut Rice "Aromatic jasmine rice cooked with coconut milk." - This was definitely the choice rice to get at this restaurant. It has you wanting to make it at home to enjoy all the time.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Burma SuperStar more so than before. The flavors, textures, and food in general pleased our group and we left with satisfied bellies. Food arrived promptly and water was replenished without being asked. My only regret was not ordering a tea leaf salad all to myself!
It's wet and cold outside, and we needed someplace close and fast for lunch. Reservations for five at Banana House is what we come up with.
Taking advantage of their Weekday Lunch Special (any order of curry or Banana House plates come with an order of rice, fried wonton skins, and a side salad with peanut sauce), I had the Pumpkin Curry, soft pumpkin in spicy red curry sauce with tofu ($7.95), as recommended by Kam O. It was tasty and had lots of pumpkin and tofu in this dish, with a nice spiciness to heat it up as well. I think if the pumpkin was cooked a little longer, it would taste even better. It wasn't exactly what I call "soft pumpkin".
My colleagues had the Gang Dang, red curry in coconut milk with bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and basil with tofu ($7.95); Yellow Curry, yellow curry in coconut milk with onion, carrot, and potato with chicken ($7.95); Prik Khing, sauteed string beans in spicy sauce with basil and bell peppers with tofu ($7.95); and the Seafood Curry, prawns, calamari, and mussels in red curry in coconut milk with basil and bell peppers ($8.95). There was also an order of Thai tea ($1.95) as well. Everyone finished their lunch, or took home the leftovers. It was a nice comfort food for the dreary weather outside.
My colleagues arrived at the restaurant before I did and were seated downstairs. As I made my way there, the waitress handed me the menus and directed me to bring it to my table. Wtf? Too lazy I guess. I orders arrived VERY quickly and we appreciated that, especially with it being a weekday lunch. However, soon after our dishes arrived, our check came too. Now, we all know what that feels like. They just can't get rid of you fast enough, I guess. It wasn't super busy for a 12 noon lunch, and there was plenty of seating still available downstairs when we left at 12:40.
We were actually very surprised with how quickly our food arrived and how fast we finished lunch. With 20 minutes to spare, we took our time heading back to the office. They also play Wild 94.9's Wild Workout at Noon downstairs, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to eat or dance around. Maybe that's why we ate so fast, with music like that, how can you not? Then again, this place has made me want to do my power walks at noon again. Now, if only I can find one of those Walkmans with radios!
Total bill, tax and tip included: $53.00
Update! 12.05.07 - Went back again, but this time I had the Gang Keaw with chicken ($7.95), "green curry in coconut milk with eggplant, zucchini, basil and bell pepper with chicken, tofu or prawns." Pretty tasty stuff, and lots of eggplant and tofu. I like to pour out all the curry on my rice so I can enjoy all the sauce! Mary C. had the Pad See Ew ($7.95), "pan-fried rice noodle with egg and broccoli; choice of chicken, pork, beef, or tofu." I enjoyed this dish too, and usually Mary C. has leftovers, but this time she finished it all herself! Good stuff and loaded with broccoli!
It does get busy around the 12:30 mark, so head in there early. It's hard to get the waitress's attention when you're sitting downstairs as well. But the food does come out quickly and it's a pretty good deal. Can't beat that for a weekday lunch!
(You can find pics of our recent eating in the business profile!)
Golden Flower was probably one of the first Vietnamese restaurants I ever went to back in high school. I found in again when I started working downtown and would venture through Chinatown during my lunch breaks. I found myself here last night for dinner.
I usually stick with the pho, and this time I went for #1, the "special combo with rare slices of steak, well-done brisket, flank, tendon, and tripe". It's considered the X-Large bowl at $5.50 and there are beef balls in this order too. My friend had the #3, which according to the menu, was the Large size and it costs the same. The only difference was that he didn't have beef balls in his. I don't usually go for the X-Large, usually content with the Regular size more often than not. I was starving last night and it was damn cold. Well, it looked like a large too me and I wasn't particularly full when I left. I guess when the price doesn't reflect an X-Large, then you shouldn't really expect one then, huh?
Overall, it was pho as you would expect it. Nothing spectacular about it or bad either. They seem a bit cheap on the beansprouts though, and I would have preferred more. And you have to ask for extra napkins at this Vietnamese restaurant because they only put one out for you. (And if you like to add that hot sauce in there, you're going to be needing more with a runny nose like me!)
Sidenote: The restroom is hidden away in the back and down the stairs. Cash only!
Walking up and down Clay street, how come I never really noticed this Vietnamese restaurant? Well, my friend brought me here and he said it's the only 1 of 2 Vietnamese places he likes in the area. So, I'm game.
I notice the prices seem a bit more and don't have a whole lot of time to peruse the menu because it's lunch and I have to order quick. I pick #2 ($5.00), which is the pho with everything except the beef balls. My friend orders #1 ($5.45), which is everything, of course!
They also give you individual plates of bean sprouts, jalapenos, green stuff, and lime, so you can pretty much take the plate and dump everything in your bowl without feeling like you're a hog or getting everything all over the table during the transfer part from plate to bowl.
When my bowl arrived, I understood why the prices were more - it was the BIG bowl! (Not the gigantic one at some places!) Well, it was a big enough bowl for me at least! I usually get the smaller version when they offer two sizes. And there was a butt load of noodles in there! They definitely weren't skimpy on that!
Service was standard. The waitress took our order, brought our orders quickly to the table, gave our check at a decent time, and our bowls were taken away when we finished. The place was clean overall, and had a mix of people dining there.
I would go back. I didn't leave hungry and the place was pretty decent. Perhaps the star ratings would go up if I tried a few of their other dishes as well.
Update! 09/14/07 - Went back last week for lunch on a Friday and it was packed! We ordered the spring rolls and the five spice chicken dish. The spring rolls were fresh and tasty. The five spice chicken was okay, not as good as PPQ on Irving though. The egg roll that came with my chicken dish though was really good. It reminded me of Chinese sticky rice at a dim sum restaurant, but deep fried. I think I'll have to order the egg rolls as an appetizer the next time.
(I added pics of my eating in the business profile section!)
Is any restaurant worth 45 minutes of driving just to find a parking space? Yes, that's how long it took us to find one of those coveted spots in the Richmond district on a Saturday night just trying to hold our reservation time of 7 pm.
When we did arrive around 7:15 pm, we were waiting for the big private room up front. With our party of five, the room was awfully big for just the few of us. Our fellow dining companions were faithful patrons of this establishment and I think that's how we were able to reserve that space in the first place.
As we made our way in, shoes were whisked away to a closet and I was glad I was wearing black socks. We had to walk over the cushions to get around the table to sit down. When we all got up to wash up our hands before dinner arrived, I was surprised to see Lorna D. head to the restroom sans shoes. "Uh, you're going to the restroom without your shoes?" "They have slippers for you over there!" "Oh..."
Indeed, about five pairs of sport slippers stood in front of the restroom and you just slide your feet into them before you go in. At this point, I'm really glad I wore socks. (I'm particular about sharing slippers, especially 'cuz I've seen some bad fungus feet before and y'know you can get something from them!)
The menu was a bit overwhelming for me since I have only eaten once before at Khan Toke and that was back in 2000! So I let my companions choose and this is what we ended up with!
We all started off with Thai Iced Tea, except Lorna D. who got the Thai Iced Coffee.
* Meng Com - "Seven favorite Thai ingredients diced, served with lemon grass sauce, you wrap them in butter lettuce." The ingredients were dried coconut, peanuts, lime, red onions, jalapenos, dried shrimp, and something else I can't remember. The lemon grass sauce is what makes this dish really tasty! You smear some of it onto your lettuce leaf and then top it off with all the other stuff. Nice flavor combos and the first time I've ever tried it. Yum! A few more lettuce leaves would be great though!
* Salad Neua Sun - "Filet mignon marinated, charbroiled, served with green salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and special dressing." It was a good simple beef salad. Nothing particularly special stood out from it unfortunately.
* Gaeng Phet Ped Yang - "Boneless roasted duck in orange curry, New Zealand spinach, tomatoes, and coconut milk." The duck itself was okay as I made sure I got to try the duck. What I really enjoyed was the orange curry smeared all over my white rice. Yummy! But then again, I really love tasty curries over white rice in general.
* Mus-a-mun - "Beef in mild red curry, peanuts, onions, sweet potatoes and coconut milk." This dish was very much a beef and potatoes dish with the potatoes definitely lending a sweet taste to it. The flavor combination was different from what I expected from a Thai restaurant, but this was a favorite for one of my dining companions. The BF really enjoyed the tenderness of the beef though and definitely wants to add this to our own oxtail stew concoction.
* On G Non Hare - "(Thai Island Style) Marinated prawns wrapped with egg noodles, deep fried and topped with island sauce." Apparently this dish is known simply by its number. (58, I think.) Lorna D. swears by it and she just had to get it. It comes topped with pineapples and onions and kinda reminds me of an Americanized Chinese dish like sweet and sour pork with pineapples. The deep fried egg noodles reminded me of those Asian noodles snack packs that have tons of MSG and are totally bad for you but you get it anyway.
* Pad Ma Khour - "Thai eggplant sauteed with sweet basil and yellow bean sauce." The actual beans from the sauce add a nice flavor to the dish, so be sure to scoop up the beans if you can.
* Thai Tapioca Pudding - I can't remember a whole lot about it. There were five people sharing it!
* Deep Fried Banana with Coconut Ice Cream - Standard banana fritters. I like them and you really can't go wrong with it unless you screw up the batter somehow.
* Deep Fried Pineapple with Coconut Ice Cream - Deep fried anything tastes good. Simple as that. The ice cream has bits of coconut in it, which I thought were rice things instead. And yes, the ice cream is topped with raisins and cashews in a smiley face. (They don't say there's nuts with your ice cream when you order the dessert, but I guess with so many nut allergies around, they really should.)
Overall, service was good. It might be because our friends knew the staff. Water was refilled in the beginning without asking, but I found myself wishing for more water in the end. The food was good, not particularly fabulous though or out of this world unfortunately. I think I've had better Thai food without all the fancy stuff. (And I was concerned about my shoes!)
$100 total including tip.
Back in San Francisco and I was craving some Five Spice Chicken from PPQ on Irving. But my sister said she's found a new restaurant that not only serves up Five Spice Chicken, but garlic noodles with it! I'm sold!
Heading to Noriega Street, we walk into an almost empty restaurant on a weekday evening. Our party of four takes up a round table and we immediately can't help but notice the cold breeze coming in from above the door. We asked the waitress if she can close it and it makes a huge difference!
A quick look at the menu, and we have three orders of #59. Garlic Noodles with Five Spice Chicken ($7.75). It's a generous order and I ask for a take out box right away. There's no way I'm going to finish an order for dinner! The garlic noodles were good, but I've had better. And the five spice chicken was only average though.
We also ordered #41. Grilled Pork and Rice Plate with Imperial Rolls ($7.50). My mom thought she was ordering a pork chop, so she was surprised with the pork pieces present instead. We It came with two imperial rolls in that order. But what we all loved was the pickled cabbage that accompanied this dish. We had to ask for extra of it.
Overall, Green Bamboo was an okay experience. It didn't live up to its hype for the garlic noodles or five spice chicken. Oh well.
King of Thai is known for being fast...not this time!
Trying to grab a quick bite to eat before the Yelp Elite party at the Supperclub, Row M. and I head over to King of Thai Noodle House on O'Farrell. I haven't been to one of these in awhile, so I'm a bit apprehensive.
With a party of two, we are seated at one of those tables just for two. I ordered the #17 Pad Kee Mao (Stir fried flat rice noodle and your choice of ground meat with green bean, bell pepper, Thai chili and basil) with beef at $6.75. Row M. ordered #18 Pad Thai (Stir fried small rice noodle, shrimps, dry shrimps, egg, ground peanut, tofu, raw bean sprouts with red paprika and lime juice) at $6.95. We also requested two plates to share.
As we waited for our order, I watched as our neighboring table got their order of Pad Kee Mao. (Hmmm, didn't they order after us?) And then when an order of Pad Thai was headed our way, we thought it was for sure going to us. Nope, it went next door.
Row M.: It doesn't usually take this long...
Me: I think that table got our order...
Finally, my order of Pad Kee Mao arrives. We wait for the Pad Thai...and see it coming our way...only for the waitress to stop at the next table. She proceeds to look over at the table, realizes they have their order already, and then walks over to us. She places the Pad Thai down and I have to remind her about the two plates.
Me: Yeah, they got our order.
The Pad Kee Mao was oh-so tasty. I haven't had it in awhile and it was yummy and full of flavor. I'm not big on bell peppers, but I was eating these up! The green beans could have been cooked a little longer as they were overly crunchy. I would still order this again. The Pad Thai was decent, standard Pad Thai if anything. It only came with three pieces of shrimp though.
Overall, the two orders were tasty and we had leftovers to boot! I love the ground peanuts and green chilies that are left at your table. I wish the wait staff came around to fill our water glasses though. I had to get up and help myself to the pitcher of water myself. (Wait, are we supposed to do that here?) King of Thai works when you want of taste of Thai without the tablecloth napkins and higher prices.
Side note: On their front door, they have a sign saying they'll refund your money if you are unhappy with your order. I wonder what happened for them to post this signage up. Hmmm, I wonder how many people ask for their money back.
I don't make it a habit to wander around the Financial District at night. We were hungry, and in need of some food now! Sure, there are lots of Chinese and Italian places nearby, but I just wasn't craving that.
Saw the sign for Ton Yong Thai Cafe and decided to give it a try.
* Pad Kee Mao "Stir fried flat rice noodle with chili, basil leaves, long bean and bell pepper. Choice of ground chicken, pork or beef." ($7.50) - Instead of meat, I substituted it with tofu and mixed veggies. It was good, not quite the same way that King of Thai makes it, but decent enough. A bit of jalapenos from the condiments adds some nice heat.
* Gang Dang Ped "Roasted duck in red curry, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, tomato, pineapples, and basil." ($8.95) - I always enjoy Thai curries, and this was no exception. Slathering that sauce onto white rice is just lovely. You can't really go wrong with curries in general.
* Thai Iced Tea ($2.25) - Tall glass, a generous amount.
Overall, Ton Yong Thai Cafe had decent food for the later hour. It wasn't exceptional or awful, it was just food that worked for us.
Burmese food take 2!
After being referred and hearing much about Mandalay after my recent experience at Burma SuperStar, I had to try the 'other' Burmese restaurant in the city - Mandalay. It also helped that Mandalay was featured on SF Gate's "Bargain Bites".
Arriving on a Wednesday evening, it was crowded, with only a party of two ahead of me. The decor was much more pleasant to the eye and the atmosphere was much more serene...the kind of place you could take your time and enjoy a meal.
The head waitress made her way to me and asked if I had been helped yet since I had been sitting in the waiting area for quite some time. I mentioned I was still waiting for a couple of friends. She came back and asked if I wanted to wait at a table, which I definitely appreciated. While waiting, I ran into celebguru c. who raved and raved about the Burmese bread that I HAD to get!
It took us FOREVER to order as the male servers told us the waitress was coming. And the female server telling us to hold on a bit. It seems that there's only one person, ie the head waitress, that is allowed to take orders. So, that was very frustrating already and we were starving. (This didn't impress my friends a bit.)
We decided to start with the Teal Leaf Salad aka Lap Pat Dok ($7.50) which is "salad prepared with imported Burmese tea leaves, toasted with Lentil seeds, grounded shrimps, fried garlic, green pepper, sesame seeds, peanuts & dressing." I enjoyed the presentation of this salad as it was mixed together in front of us. I particularly loved the green pepper because it added a zing to each bite. I found this dish unique and enjoyed it quite a bit. Unfortunately, my friend was turned off from the moment she saw it and was repelled as it reminded her of diarrhea! It tasted and looked fine to me though!
Next came the Pan Fried Pompano Fish ($11.00). The waitress deboned the fish in front of us and we helped ourselves. The fish was tasty with minimal of bones. I didn't particularly find this fish special, but my friends seem to have enjoyed it more.
Next to arrive was their special Pumpkin Curry with chicken. It was presented within the pumpkin/squash and it was a good thing we decided to order a side of rice. My friend really liked this dish, and I found it average though. (Maybe it's because I just had Thai pumpkin curry last week.)
The infamous Burmese bread was soon to arrive with a dipping sauce ($3.00). My friend immediately pointed out that it tasted like a Chinese Fried Green Onion Pancake, but without the green onions. After a couple of bites, I had to admit she was right about that one. It was tasty, especially with the sauce, but not as original as I hoped. (Sorry celebguru c. - I guess you have to try the Chinese Fried Green Onion Pancake yourself so you can compare!)
We also ordered the Nan Gyi Dok ($7.00), which was "Burmese rice noodle with spiced coconut chicken, split yellow pea, powder, and fried onion." Once again, the waitress mixed this dish in front of us and I enjoyed the tang of this dish. My friends thought it was alright, nothing particularly special for them.
We needed something sweet to close out our meal. They did offer Mango with Sticky Rice, but we opted for something we never had before. I forgot what it's called, but it had a dollop of vanilla ice cream, raisins, small tapioca balls, nuts, syrup, and jello. The two different color (red and green) jellos reminded us of agar and those lychee things that come in little cups and some kid choked on it and now they no longer make it anymore. It was sweet, and reminded me like I was eating a wet trail mix.
At one point, our teapot needed to be refilled and it never came back. When i asked the waitress for tea, she looked at me like I was an idiot. She asked about "tea leaf" and I saw "tea...teapot" and she just didn't get it. It took a little while for her to understand that someone had taken our teapot and never came back with it and now we wanted it. So, that put us off a bit.
The meal cost us $57 and we ordered too much food. We could have done without at least one dish as there was leftover fish and rice.
I did enjoy the fact that I never felt rushed when I was eating. We were the last ones there as we had lots to talk about and not once were we asked to hurry up with our order. (I was the last one eating from my party though when they did ask if we wanted dessert..., so maybe that one point only.)
We were interested in the beverages, but found them to be a bit overpriced.
Overall, I would give this place a solid 3. If they took our order in a timely manner and if the girl didn't look like I was nuts when I asked her about the tea, I would feel a bit better about it. I would definitely go back for the tea leaf salad and the noodle dish. And yes, I would choose Mandalay over Burma SuperStar.
I always order one of two things when I'm at PPQ - it's either #2, Rare Beef, Tendon, & Tripe Noodle Soup (small $5.25) aka Pho Tai Gan Sach or Five Spice Chicken Rice Plate with jasmine rice ($5.95) aka Com Ga Quay Chao.
When I'm craving pho, #2 is my staple. I think the only difference between #1 and #2 is minus the beef balls. And yes, I need to load all the sides into my hot soup as well...the bean sprouts, the jalapenos, the lemon juice, and the rest of the green stuff. And I always use the red Sriracha hot sauce and the plum sauce for dipping. (I don't squeeze it into my soup like I know others do.)
The problem with the rice dish (for me, at least) is that it comes with a HUGE helping of rice...probably the equivalent of two rice bowls. And when I'm eating that chicken and using the dipping sauce...I can't say no to the rice. It doesn't matter how late it is or how hungry I'm not, I just have to eat my white rice with that yummy as hell five spice chicken. And what makes it even more special is that not all Vietnamese restaurants have a five spice chicken dish. So, sometimes you just have to forgo the pho and get the chicken and rice!
Service is basic if anything. Last night, my rice dish arrived a good while before my friend's pho dish arrived. You had to wonder if they were killing the cow out back since it was taking so long. Usually pho comes out first, but not in this case. I was halfway done with my meal before any signs of her soup arrived.
I like how they have the napkin dispensers out because if you're like me and when you're eating pho, you need hella napkins. One is for the mess you're making and the second reason is for how often you need to blow your nose from the heat of the Sriracha sauce.
I rarely ever stray from those two, and sometimes I'll even throw in a Vietnamese ice coffee to complement my meal. But if you catch me there, odds are you'll find my face buried in a bowl of hot soup or stuffing my face with rice.
Sidenote: I once got a real bad case of food poisoning from here. It was January 2003, I ordered #2 and my three other dining companions also ordered pho as well. The only difference was that I used all those side things and no one else did. I had a real bad case of it - the shakes, the fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. It was coming out from all ends. And yes, I do know it was from there because that was the only meal I had that day. I conclude that there was probably some cross contamination going on. So, you ask why do I still bother going there? Well, percentage-wise...I've eaten there a lot and it was just that one time. Plus, I attribute my severe reaction to my body readjusting after spending some months abroad. It's never happened again...from there, at least.
After two less than worthy experiences at Bangkok Best, I try not to ever go back. But this time we were ordering to go and I figure I wouldn't have to deal with their below average service then!
I ordered the Tom Kha soup after making the mistake of ordering the Tom Yum soup at Siam Kitchen. (yelp.com/biz/bnKsqcOEhE2…) It's a mild soup of coconut milk, lemon grass, mushroom and lime juice with either chicken, vegetable, or prawns. With chicken or vegetables, it's $4.25 for a small and $8.95 for a large With prawns, it's $4.50 for a small and $8.95 for a large. I went for the vegetable version and was disappointed with what I got. They added some napa cabbage and carrots in replacement of my chicken or prawns and that's what they qualify as the vegetable option! (Other places will add more mushroom, bell peppers, and some string beans for color! But nope, not at the place!) I also had a side of Steamed Jasmine Rice ($1.00) to complete my meal.
My sister ordered the Luncheon Special that supposedly served with fried wanton, Thai salad, and a choice of jasmine rice or brown rice. She chose the Prik Khing ($6.95), sauteed string bean in spicy sauce with choice of chicken, beef, pork or fried tofu. She went with the chicken. Well, they forgot the rice and the fried wanton! My colleague also ordered the same and both her rice and fried wanton were missing as well. When we called in to let them know they forgot the rice, they brought it over to our building (two blocks away) but only gave us one box of rice. Of course, we never saw what the fried wantons looked like.
My other colleagues had the Pad Thai ($7.95), stir fried noodle with egg, broccoli, and lettuce with choice of chicken, beef, pork or fried tofu. He went with the chicken and it was a safe bet for him.
My other colleague ordered the Thai Salad ($6.95), sliced chicken, lettuce, onion, carrot, tomato cucumber topped with peanut dressing. She was content with her order and felt that it was an ample serving.
We also had the Satay ($6.95), grilled marinated chicken in bamboo skewers served with peanut sauce and cucumber salad. Average. Another appetizer was the Por Pia Sod (Fresh spring rolls, $6.50), rice paper rolls stuffed with bean sprouts, egg, tofu, cucumber topped with tamarind sauce. There wasn't a whole lot of flavor or anything going on in this dish. I definitely would never order this dish again.
Dessert - Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango ($4.50). You get a generous helping of sticky rice, half a mango, and a white dipping sauce. It was as expected, but I had better.
Overall, it was a below average experience. There's nothing exceptional about the Thai food at Bangkok Best and the service is definitely not worth returning for. With a couple of other Thai restaurants on the same block (and supposedly owned by the same people), it might be worth walking a bit further to find other Thai restaurants hiding around the Financial District.
SuperStar? Super Not!
My first experience with Burmese food and I was excited! Who hasn't heard about Burma SuperStar on Clement? There's always this HUGE line, you'd think there was someone famous in there!
With a party of three on a weekday night, they won't seat you until your whole party is there. When we were finally seated, I was enticed by the coconut drinks sitting at every table. It's not often I get to enjoy fresh coconut juice out of the coconut! (By the end of the meal, I was almost tempted to ask them to slice up my coconut so I could dig at the meat inside!)
The servers were a bit overanxious about getting our drink and food orders in. We had barely looked at the menu when someone came rushing over to ask if we were ready. (Okay, so this was my first time and I needed a few minutes.) We told them we needed a few more minutes and shortly, another server came over. I was feeling rushed already! And one of the servers didn't even politely ask what our order was, it was more of a "what do you want?" kind of attitude that took me by surprise. Hmm...I wasn't impressed with the service already!
We finally settled with the Tea Leaf Salad to start (Salad prepared with imported Burmese tea leaves, tomatoes, lettuce, dried shrimp (or vegetarian), fried garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, and split yellow peas) as this was featured item. (We were aiming for their most popular dishes so I could truly experience the SuperStar way.) Beautifully presented and tossed at our table right before serving, it was delicious. Full of intense flavors that contrasted oh so nicely.
Next was the Vegetarian Samusa Soup (Even though it's vegetarian, this remains our most popular soup to both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Made with samusas broken up with falafels, lentils, cabbage, and onions.) that was featured on Bay Area Backroads! It was weird and the chunks of samusas were not a great find in the soup. My dining companion was a little concerned with the weird texture and 'chunkiness' of the dish. I wouldn't order this again.
Our rice dish of choice, the Classic Burmese Chicken Casserole with Cardamom Cinnamon Rice (Braised chicken and shrimp buried in a clay pot and baked with biryani rice, raisins, and nuts). This was a hearty dish with lots of stuff going on. I wouldn't exactly say it's presently all that enticingly, but the nuts add a nice texture to the rice and chicken.
Going for noodles next, it was the Nan Gyi Dok (Mild Coconut Chicken Rice Noodle Curry, Burmese rice noodles with a mild chicken coconut curry sauce, eggs, split yellow pea, and fried onion). Again, nothing spectacular about this dish at all. I was disappointed.
As we perused over the dessert menu, the servers (again) were super anxious to get our order in. We could not decide among the three of us, and when we asked if we were taking too long, the waiter pointed out, "Yes, there is a 30 minute wait now for a table. This is not the kind of restaurant you sit and talk...most people eat and go." I was pointedly shocked that he said this. Even though we had 'just' barely finished our meal and debated over dessert, I was more offended just to order dessert just to monopolize the table longer. It was very apparent that other diners did indeed "sit and talk." If wanted to "eat and go," I would have gone for fast food instead!
For dessert, we had the coconut pudding fritters with coconut ice cream and condensed milk. A very sweet dish with three fritters, perfect for our party of three. (One might find it overly sweet with the condensed milk pooling on the bottom.)
Overall, my experience at Burma SuperStar started off high with the Tea Leaf Salad. I was willing to ignore the rushed service in an attempt to enjoy my meal. But as the evening wore on, service was standard and I felt like I was rushed. They were clearing our plates a little too quickly and I felt the need to shovel the food into my mouth to keep up. They just dumped our dishes down on our table without the same flourish as when the salad had arrived. It didn't help that I was constantly bumped by the staff as they walked behind me. (This could be avoided if they didn't shove so many tables in there as they did.)
I would only go back for one dish only - the Tea Leaf Salad. It was unique, nicely presented, and tasted lovely. Everything else, especially the service, is not worth returning for. A disappointing experience for a place that calls them SuperStar. And a bit overpriced in my opinion.
Side note: I've heard there are better Burmese restaurants in SF (Mandalay on California & 6th I have yet to try), anyone want to direct me in the right direction?
My colleagues and I headed to Siam Kitchen at around 12:30 for lunch today. One of our other colleagues raved about this place, eating here at least once a week! So, we had to try it.
As we walked in, it was somewhat busy. There was an empty table and not sure how the service worked here, we sat ourselves down. Three menus appeared and we perused over it.
My sister and I shared an order of the ever popular Pad Thai and Tom Yum Gai soup, a sweet and sour concoction. (I actually wanted Tom Kha Gai, but didn't see it and assumed that Tom Yum Gai was the soup I had wanted. I was craving coconut milk.) And my other colleague ordered their lunch special, Vegetarian Pad Kee Mao ($7.85), which are ribbon rice noodles.
I ordered a Thai Iced Tea ($2.30) and my sister ordered the Thai Iced Coffee ($2.30). The tea was good. It tasted like the kind of Thai tea I'm used too.
First to arrive was the Pad Thai. The portion looked rather small. We had to ask the waiter for an extra plate, despite the fact that I requested an extra plate when I ordered. It took a good while before the Pad Kee Mao arrived. The Pad Thai tasted average. I don't usually order Pad Thai that often, so I consulted my sister's expertise and she wasn't impressed. I found myself adding lots of jalapeno juice to jazz it up. And what's up with only THREE pieces of shrimp? Although the Pad Kee Mao looked a lot more filling with broccoli and tofu, my friend wasn't impressed either. (She mentioned that King of Thai and Banana House make it much better and for a cheaper price.)
I had to ask about the status of our soup, which usually comes first in my experience of ordering Thai food. The waiter said it was ready, it was sitting up on the counter and waiting for someone to bring it over to us. (I was almost tempted to ask him to why he couldn't bring it over since he sees it sitting up there getting all cold.) When they did put the soup in front of us, my sister didn't think it looked appetizing. I was disappointed I ordered the wrong soup, and wondered how they expected me to drink it. This soup is meant for 2-4 people, and they never brought over a ladle, bowls, or spoons until I asked for it. (This kind of stuff bugs!) The soup lacked flavor. It had onions, chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, and some other junk it in, but didn't have a whole lot of flavor like most Thai food is known for.
Overall, not impressed. I wouldn't go back or recommend going. When my other colleague returns back to work tomorrow, I'm going to ask her why she loves this place so much, and how she can deal with the absent-mindedness of the wait staff.
Total cost: $26.85, not including tip.
|I actually got Review of the Day! Yay! Here are the few!||Y'know, the big ones! The ones that you feel are worthy to be counted as your 100th, 200th, and for me coming up...my 900th review. Here they are! (Except I have no idea where my 200th review went - "Yelp - did you delete it?")|
|Hot pot that is! Shabu shabu, hot pot, fondue - I love it all! It gives me the chance to practice my inner chef while dining out at the same time! (Even if it's as simple as leaving my food in a pot of broth, cheese, or chocolate!)||Getting my Chinese fix in Vegas - and we're not talking about orange chicken or kungpao anything!|
|Okay, so I completely failed last year on all three goals - didn't break 100 for 2013, didn't break 1000 reviews, and didn't break 200 fans (shute, I think I even lost some too!). But alas, we'll try again...even with a new baby on board!||Places that were featured on the Food Network's Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Sometimes I found myself here before knowing its TV fame, and other times the power of TV persuasion can definitely bring an audience.|
|On the road from San Francisco to Las Vegas (via Tahoe and/or Reno), these are the places I stopped at along the way!||Las Vegas isn't just for grown-ups anymore! As more and more families start to settle out here in the desert, there are some kid-friendly places around...you just have to look really hard. These are the places I've scoured for the kid inside of me who never wants to grow up! (And for my friends who are always looking for kid and baby-friendly places!)|
|Burgers, sandwiches, etc. - pretty much those places that are known for piling it high and unusual between two pieces of bread! Good fries are always a plus!||Places I've been to take care of my sweet tooth!|
"Mother. Traveler. Eater. Writer."
Las Vegas, NV, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Juli 2005Dinge, die ich mag
the Husband, the Little Guy, the Little Gal, spas, traveling...exotic or local, being under the water, slumber parties, fabulous sushi, live uni, foie gras, spicy rolls...with no sriracha, the Cook Islands, yelpHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
changing diapers and trying to fatten the Little Ones up!Heimatort
San Francisco, CAWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm taking care of our two little crawfish!Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
'Cuz I'll suck you in if it's good or I'll drive you away if it's bad!Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal by Anthony BourdainMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
Surface and Jeffrey OsbourneMein Lieblingsfilm
The Notebook, Serendipity, Chasing Amy, Love ActuallyMeine Henkersmahlzeit
foie gras at Sona...*sigh* I am, forever, transported...Erzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
Baking is done in this house!Ich schwärme gerade für
Our two little crawfish - Little Guy and Little Gal!