Not Only for Tourists – Sutro’s at The Cliff House

August 3rd, 2013

The FoodLover used to think that only tourists would visit the Cliff House in San Francisco. Not any more. After enjoying another summer outing with fresh oysters and clams at Tomales Bay, we decided to drive by Ocean Beach on the way home. Just by luck, I spotted a parking space near the Cliff House and pulled the car in without second thought. 3pm seemed to be too early for dinner but the South Bay God of Cookery (南灣食神) suggested that we had an early dinner anyway.

Sutro’s was located at the lower lever of the Cliff House that overlooked the ocean. The dining room was bright and spacious with clear view of waves, birds and surfers. What a great place to sit, relax and chat with good friends! With such environment, the beautifully presented and good tasting food was just a bonus.

I will come here more often even when I am not showing tourist around the Bay area.

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Sutro’s at The Cliff House
1090 Point Lobos Ave. (between Upper Great Hwy & Merrie Way)
San Francisco, CA 94121
Tel: +1-415-386-3330

Oysters on the grill at Tomales Bay

Oysters on the grill at Tomales Bay

Sushi House

July 14th, 2013

The FoodLover and friends had enough pho after playing golf in prvious weeks. This time we tried Sushi House in Alameda. This was a popular place for those who wanted to have decent sushi at reasonable price. Business was so good we had to wait for a table even at 3pm.

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This Sushi House Boat was big enough to feed four hungry golfers. In addition, we also had some tempura and soup.

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Sushi House
2375 Shoreline Dr.
Alameda, CA 94501
Tel: +1-510-865-0999

Duck and Crab Dinner – Tai Pan 聚寶樓(巴洛奧圖)

July 1st, 2013

Tai Pan 聚寶樓 2013.7.1The FoodLover had dimsum at Tai Pan 聚寶樓 in Palo Alto a few years ago and wasn’t impressed (see post). That’s why I was a little hesitant when Ben suggested this restaurant for our dinner with Mario who was here on his annual trip to Northern America.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food this time, especially the two main dishes: Peking Duck and Shanghai Crab. The duck was more Cantonese than Peking-nese but it was delicious.

We had a good time catching us with each other and finished all the food in no time. Our dinner reached its high point when Ben and Cecilia insisted on picking up the tab. Thanks for the dinner and wine!

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Tai Pan 聚寶樓
560 Waverley St., Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tel: +1-650-329-9168


Hong Kong Restaurant 香港小館(巴洛奧圖)

June 23rd, 2013

Those who live in Hong Kong must have one or two favorite neighborhood restaurants where they can go for a decent and reasonably priced meal. Hong Kong Restaurant 香港小館 in Palo Alto is one of those local eateries.

The FoodLover and Junior went there to have a quick lunch of fried rice and noodle and was not disappointed. The price was right. Where else in the Bay area can you find a dish of good tasting fried rice for US$6.50.

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Hong Kong Restaurant 香港小館
3691 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Tel: +1-650-251-9062

Broadway Bistro 百老匯茶餐廳(密爾布瑞市)

June 8th, 2013

20130608 Broadway Bistro BHong Kong style cafes in the Bay area usually offer traditional cafe food you can find in Hong Kong plus some American snacks. The FoodLover and Junior were in Millbrae at noon and picked Broadway Bistro 百老匯茶餐廳 for a quick lunch.

When Junior was ordering his usual Beef Fried Rice, he was happy to see French Fries on the menu and wanted that too. FoodLover wanted to try Baked Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce.

French Fries were crispy and as good as those that could be found anywhere. Junior judged the Fried Rice to be acceptable. The Bolognese sauce was a little hard due to overcooking but overall the dish was OK.

This is not a restaurant that you will travel a long way to enjoy. If you are hungry in the neighborhood, it is acceptable.

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Broadway Bistro 百老匯茶餐廳
349 Broadway, Millbrae, CA 94030
Tel: +1-650-692-3378

Real Beef and Potato – In-N-Out Burger

June 1st, 2013

McDonald’s may be the most widely known burger joint worldwide. In California, In-N-Out Burger rules. Whoever had tried the burgers of real beef at In-N-Out would not want to go back to McDonald’s unless they wanted something other than burgers. French fries there are made of real potatoes too. You see them cutting whole potatoes to strips in front of your eyes.

Currently, there are 200+ In-N-Out stores in California plus a few more in Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The rest of the world will have to wait!

In-N-Out Burgers
In-N-Out Burger
1159 N Rengstorff Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Tel: +1-800-786-1000

Kenta Ramen (Foster City) – by Wallace

May 31st, 2013

Today Wallace and his co-workers (Andrew and Anthony) had a lunch at the Kenta Ramen in Foster City.  It is a little ramen place located in the Beach Park Plaza facing the inner bay and San Mateo Bridge.  We ordered three different kinds of ramen: Tonkotsu Ramen (milky pork soup), Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce soup) and Shiro Ramen (salt soup).  They all come with sliced chashu and egg.  The chashu was tender and the egg tasted good!  We also had the Chicken Karaage as appetizer.  Overall the ramen lunch was satisfatory.  In our next trip, we may try their grilled items and Okonomiyaki (Japanese Style Pancake).

Note: It closes on Monday.

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Kenta Ramen
1495 Beach Park Blvd., Foster City, CA 94404
Tel: +1-650-212-2883

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Overrated Restaurant – Koi Palace 鯉魚門(都柏林)

May 19th, 2013

FoodLover and friends finished a round of golf at the beautiful Couse at Wente Vineyards in Livermore just in time to have dinner at the nearby Koi Palace 鯉魚門 in Dublin. This Koe Palace is a branch of the famous Cantonese restaurant in Daly City. I had dined at the one in Daly City but never liked it; service there was terrible. The waiters seemed to only provide service to their regular big-spending customers. They could afford to turn away new customers because somehow it was alleged to have superior food.

Service at this one in Dublin was much better; my fellow golfer Francis knew the captain there. The dishes looked good but taste was only mediocre. This restaurant certainly does not deserve the reputation; I can easily think of at least half a dozen better and probably cheaper restaurants in the Bay area.

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Koi Palace
Dublin Ulferts Center, 4288 Dublin Blvd, Suite 213, Dublin, CA 94568
Tel: +1-925-833-9090

The Course at Wente Vineyards

The Course at Wente Vineyards

Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館

April 20th, 2013

Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館After an early round of golf at Macau G&CC, the FoodLover and Vincent went for a light Vietnamese lunch. Saigon 88 is located at a quiet corner on the far side of Z.A.P.E. (新口岸) near Statue of Kun Iam (觀音像).

It was noon on a Saturday but I didn’t see any tourist there. Good. We had a simple meal, i.e. rice noodle, egg rolls, and vegetable. Taste was not bad and price was reasonable.

If you are tired after walking around Macau, this is not a bad place to refuel.

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Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館
Tel: +853-2872-8457

GOLD by Harlan Goldstein

April 17th, 2013

It was the FoodLover’s lucky day. Kinney and Loretta invited him to dinner at the Michelin 1-starred restaurant, GOLD by Harlan Goldstein, that Kinney had designed. Harlan Goldstein is known to be the “chef to the rich and famous” and Gold is his flagship restaurant located in LKF Tower at the top of Lan Kwai Fong.

This was obviously not Kinney’s first time there as everybody seemed to know him and the chef came out to say hello. We had the “Harlan’s Michelin Star Tasting Menu” which was a sampler of various dishes. Instead of the main dish in the menu, Kinney ordered the Big G Fiorentina. As one can see in the pictures, presentation of the dishes were exquisite; they tasted great too, especially the Fiorentina.

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If you want to take your good friends or family to dinner for special events, try this place. I didn’t know the price because Kinney didn’t let me see the bill. However, this restaurant is probably too expensive for you if you have to ask the price. Here’s the menu – GOLD-MENU.

GOLD by Harlan Goldstein
2/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2869-9986