San Francisco Eats

October 28th, 2008
By

Though the stay in Cali was not all that long, I was able to sneak in a few bites here and there. Here are some highlights yo:

I arrived the day of the wedding (congrats again Tommy and Margaret!), so there was really not much to do other than help with the last minute wedding errands. The soon-to-bes were nice enough to treat us to lunch (custom sandwiches) from a place called Specialty's Cafe & Bakery. Though they do have numerous locations in California, Seattle and Chicago, we hit up the one closest to us at 3399 Bowers Ave in Santa Clara.

Sandwiches from Specialty's Cafe & Bakery
Sandwiches from Specialty's Cafe & Bakery

The next meal was actually at the wedding, so I didn't really have much time to snap photos. I was able to sneak a shot at the venue's pupu platter, which was served to the wedding party before we marched out to the reception area.

Pupu Platter from Freedom Hall and Gardens
Pupu Platter from Freedom Hall and Gardens

The Freedom Hall and Gardens was the site of the picturesque wedding, and, according to their web site, the dish was called the "Pre Buffet 'Butler-Style' Passed Hors d'oeuvres" (see menu). Awesome work guys. It was all delish on our empty, Heineken-only filled stomachs. *grin*

The next day, we made our way out to San Fran. For lunch, we ate at Crab House at Pier 39. A bit on the costly side for what you get, but we were hungry and wanted to rest our bones.

Bowl of Crab Chowder from Crab House at Pier 39
Bowl of Crab Chowder from Crab House at Pier 39

The "chowdah" was pretty good but the crab on top was cold. Then, as usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so I ordered the medium Sizzling Iron Skillet-Roasted Mussels and Shrimp platter (see menu - PDF).

Sizzling Iron Skillet-Roasted Mussels and Shrimp (Medium) at Crab House at Pier 39
Sizzling Iron Skillet-Roasted Mussels and Shrimp (Medium) at Crab House at Pier 39

That evening, after checking out the Golden Gate Bridge, we went roaming around Chinatown. I looked up reviews on my phone for good Chinese Restaurants nearby and thanks to the power of Yelp, we discovered R & G Lounge Restaurant (see menu - PDF).

House Combination Chow Mein, Prawns with Honey Walnut, and Roast Duck from R & G Lounge Restaurant
House Combination Chow Mein, Prawns with Honey Walnut, and Roast Duck from R & G Lounge Restaurant

The eats was good, but the company throughout the entire trip was even better...

Talk to me!
* Have you eaten at any of these places (Specialty's Cafe & Bakery, Freedom Hall and Gardens, Crab House at Pier 39, R & G Lounge Restaurant)?
* How'd you like it?
* Other San Francisco (Tr)Eats you'd like to share?
* A co-worker recommends Crustacean's. Ever been?
* Where can you get a good bowl of "chowdah" here in the 808?
* How about good sandwiches or Chinese food for that matter?

22 Responses to “San Francisco Eats”

  1. M:

    FUUD PIXS! The fuud looks ono. I heard that R&G is really good.


  2. MoOgooGuypAN:

    Dang. :shock: Forget Las Vegas, I wanna go to San Fran. The food looks awsome. Man that's living the good life. Must pay well to be a webmaster. The only thing I'm a master at is sleep :lol:


  3. Coconut Willy:

    Peking Duck and Walnut Shrimp, Yum! I like Lichee Garden in Chinatown. My Bro likes Yank Sing for dim sum. That chowda looks ono! I've had chowder in the bread bowl at Boudin. what no pizza from Blondie's or North Beach?

    So many good eats in SF, cannot go wrong.


  4. skycastles:

    Thanks for blogging about this. I'll be in San Fran next week and it's my first time there so I gotta get some tips on the grinds there. I read about that R&G place so at least now I got firsthand experience that the place is good.


  5. Warrior Dave:

    R&G Lounge is my favorite restaurant in SF. The peking duck you ordered is so juicy and the skin so crisp. What you failed to order was their salt and pepper crab. Didn't you notice that most people were eating that dish. They do such an awesome job on that one. Haven't found any restaurant in Oahu that does it close to them. This style is better than Crustacean Restaurant Garlic Roasted Crab, another famous restaurant in SF. They do a wonderful job with their garlic egg noodles. Used to be my favorite restaurant but now they number #2.

    Nice pictures and look forward to seeing you at the UH basketball games.


  6. dsosa:

    cheap pizza - check out Blondies . . . in downtown sf near the cable car turnabout on powell / market and near telegraph ave. in berkeley across the entrance to uc-berkeley's campus center.

    if you go out toward napa, gotta check out taylor's automatic refresher.

    on oahu, good chinese (at least when i lived there) at moanalua shopping center near pearl harbor elem, used to have this small joint that served chinese food . . . "some ono" with generous portions.

    and char hung sut - manapuas and stuff (off beretania, behind the lei stands - where sweetheart's used to be . . . talk about hole in the wall). gotta try the ma tai soo (i think that's the name).


  7. dubgee:

    Zachary's pizza. Technically not in SF, its in Oakland, but worth the BART ride or drive. From Union square about 20 min by car I think. Was voted the best pizza place the past 5-6 years or so. The pizza is good, but you gotta try the deep dish pizza, AWESOME!!! If you go during normal dinner times its super crowded though.


  8. Bill:

    Just got back from a 2 week trip to the bay area on Sunday, there are awesome restaurants to grind at.

    Here are two that you have to go to. Perbacco is an
    Italian restaurnant and to date this is the BEST Italian food we have ever eaten (have not been to Italy yet). It was super busy on a Wednesday night, reservations a must. Not only great food but great service. Food prices on the higher end but worth every penny.

    Tommy Toy's for exquisite high end Chinese dining experience. Expensive, but you get what you pay for. Seafood bisque in a coconut shell with a puff pastry top, need I say more.


  9. uncle jimmy:

    Ed-
    There's a Crustacean in both The City (SF) and the Non-City (LA). It really is worth the fuss and the bucks..

    The one in LA (actually BevHills) is very nice and fancier than the SF one. In LA, as you walk toward your table, you notice that you're walking over a koi pond on clear plexiglass.. wow..

    While the signature Crab and Garlic Noodle dishes are broke da mout', everything on the menu is great such as the prawns and noodles which is less messy than the crab. Desserts are awesome as well.

    If you have some $ in yo' pocket, want to impress a date or a business contact, very hard to go wrong at Crustacean..

    They claim that it's where asian-fusion cuisine started.. who am i to argue.. it really is great food.. the An family is from VietNam..

    http://www.anfamily.com/Restaurants/crustacean_beverlyhills/displaypages/homepage.html

    uj

    uj


  10. World Wide Ed:

    * M:
    FUUD PIXS! The fuud looks ono. I heard that R&G is really good.

    Yup Yup Ms! It was delish!

    * MoOgooGuypAN:
    Dang. Forget Las Vegas, I wanna go to San Fran. The food looks awsome. Man that’s living the good life. Must pay well to be a webmaster. The only thing I’m a master at is sleep

    Haha, nah, we webmasters are just good at saving money MoOgs. Haha!

    * Coconut Willy:
    what no pizza from Blondie’s or North Beach?

    Nah CDubbs, nevah had much time in SF. Blondie's is good though. I went there last time.

    * skycastles:
    Thanks for blogging about this. I’ll be in San Fran next week and it’s my first time there so I gotta get some tips on the grinds there. I read about that R&G place so at least now I got firsthand experience that the place is good.

    Yup, yup. Check um out and try their signature Salt & Pepper crab skycastles. Kinda expensive though: 30 something bucks! Have fun and say hi to the Sea Lions for me! ;)

    * Warrior Dave:
    What you failed to order was their salt and pepper crab. Didn’t you notice that most people were eating that dish.

    Nice pictures and look forward to seeing you at the UH basketball games.

    Yeah, I read that that was their signature dish, but when I inquired about the cost (it said "Market Price"), I felt guilty having the group share on that cost for my curiosity. I'll be sure to get that next time I go when it's just me and the by-then wifey.

    UH basketball games? You got me curious now... Wea you sit? ;)

    * dsosa:
    cheap pizza - check out Blondies . . . in downtown sf near the cable car turnabout on powell / market and near telegraph ave.

    When I went there long time ago (when the Internet first started becoming popular), I tried to take photos for my then pseudo-blog, and they scolded me. Ho da nerve. They must be ten times worse now...

    * dubgee:
    Zachary’s pizza. Technically not in SF, its in Oakland, but worth the BART ride or drive. From Union square about 20 min by car I think. Was voted the best pizza place the past 5-6 years or so. The pizza is good, but you gotta try the deep dish pizza, AWESOME!!! If you go during normal dinner times its super crowded though.

    Ooooh, sounds interesting. May just have to go there next time I ride the BART for an A's game! ;) Mahalos for the tip dubgee!

    * Bill:
    Just got back from a 2 week trip to the bay area on Sunday, there are awesome restaurants to grind at.

    Perbacco is an Italian restaurnant and to date this is the BEST Italian food we have ever eaten (have not been to Italy yet). It was super busy on a Wednesday night, reservations a must. Not only great food but great service. Food prices on the higher end but worth every penny.

    Nice! I-talian food is one of my faves! Thanks for the tip Bill!

    * uncle jimmy:
    There’s a Crustacean in both The City (SF) and the Non-City (LA). It really is worth the fuss and the bucks.

    I really wanna try this place out next time uji! Mahalos for confirming da goodness! :)


  11. snow:

    I've never been to R&G's but, after reading Warrior Dave's comments, I'm going to have to add it to my list!! Sounds good! I've been to Crustacean's, as well as the original restaurant Thanh Long (also in San Francisco, but in the Sunset District) - both are awesome. That's where we go to have the Roasted Crab and garlic noodles!! Soooo yummy!! My friends and I always made it a point to stop there (either Crustacean's or Thanh Long), no matter how much (or little) time we had in the city!

    The last time I went to San Francisco, I took my husband and son to Crustacean's - we started with two whole crabs and had to order a third! If I wasn't there, they would have licked their plates clean! LOL... We went to the Crab House at Pier 39 on that trip too... let's just say, it was no comparison to Crustacean's. I've never been to the Crustacean's in LA - I'll have to try it out, too! I had been to the one in Vegas (since closed), but it wasn't on the same page as the San Francisco one and was very disappointing.


  12. rip it:

    San Francisco is one rubbish city


  13. NKHEA:

    Yeah Ed we usually try to stop at R&G's, the food really good, next time eat the "Mirugi" king clam sashimi, winna's they also make soup with the rest and that was really good to, little pricey but worth it.

    snow; Crustacean's is one nada winna yeah :) have you tried the garlic fried rice? Look's like plain white rice but the garlic taste is awesome.

    Was just tell my wife no need go Lost Wages lets just go San Fran and Napa :)


  14. snow:

    NKHEA - yeah, the garlic fried rice was ono, too! but, the garlic noodles are still my fav! hey, didn't you make garlic fried rice the other day? any competition for crustacean's? 'cause if so, you know you gotta share!! :) yum!


  15. snow:

    ed, i like kincaid's clam chowder. but, the chowder house (ward warehouse) is good too... you can get your chowder in a bread bowl, like in san francisco!


  16. World Wide Ed:

    * snow:
    The last time I went to San Francisco, I took my husband and son to Crustacean’s - we started with two whole crabs and had to order a third! If I wasn’t there, they would have licked their plates clean! LOL…

    Haha. I guess you lay down the law in your household snow! ;)

    * rip it:
    San Francisco is one rubbish city

    Haha, thanks for sharing rip it!

    * NKHEA:
    Yeah Ed we usually try to stop at R&G’s, the food really good, next time eat the “Mirugi” king clam sashimi, winna’s they also make soup with the rest and that was really good to, little pricey but worth it.

    Thanks for the tip NKHEA! I saw they also had Geoduck sashimi on the menu. That would've been onos too.

    * snow:
    NKHEA - yeah, the garlic fried rice was ono, too! but, the garlic noodles are still my fav! hey, didn’t you make garlic fried rice the other day? any competition for crustacean’s? ’cause if so, you know you gotta share!! yum!

    Word up NKHEA! "Will work for food." :P

    * snow:
    ed, i like kincaid’s clam chowder. but, the chowder house (ward warehouse) is good too… you can get your chowder in a bread bowl, like in san francisco!

    Oh yeah! That's the only place I can think of. Maybe a market that's missing in Hawaii that somebody should capitalize on? Hmm...


  17. Masako:

    Wow I have got to try Crustaceans, been hearing about it for years but haven't gotten there yet. I like to eat pizza at Bloundies, a good place to people watch. On my last trip we ate at the Culinary institute in Napa, that was good, we also went to the Stinky Rose in North Beach, it was good. After reading all the comments I must try Crustaceans and R&G's next time.


  18. tita leerz:

    OH YOU'RE SO EVIL! putting up pics of chowdah from Pier 39!


  19. skycastles:

    Masako - I heard about the Stinky Rose place. Is the smell super overpowering? I like me some garlic, but I'm not sure about a whole restaurant devoted to it.


  20. j8e0r8m:

    Crustaceans is well worth it. I went a couple months ago because a friend recommended it. Like others said, you gotta try the garlic noodles. I think I had the lobster tail and garlic noodle combo. fo real broke da mout! I also saw a "celebrity" there. Sway from MTV news! haha


  21. Masako:

    @Skycastles - It wasn't as garlicy as I thought it would be. The place smelled like an italian restaurant. All of the dishes had some kind of garlic in it. think it was similar to Ninikuya here in Hawaii.


  22. World Wide Ed:

    * Masako:
    Wow I have got to try Crustaceans, been hearing about it for years but haven’t gotten there yet. I like to eat pizza at Bloundies, a good place to people watch. On my last trip we ate at the Culinary institute in Napa, that was good, we also went to the Stinky Rose in North Beach, it was good. After reading all the comments I must try Crustaceans and R&G’s next time.

    If you go to Crustacean's, let us know how it goes Masako-chan. I def want to go there next time.

    * tita leerz:
    OH YOU’RE SO EVIL! putting up pics of chowdah from Pier 39!

    Um... Sorry? :P

    * j8e0r8m:
    Crustaceans is well worth it. I went a couple months ago because a friend recommended it. Like others said, you gotta try the garlic noodles. I think I had the lobster tail and garlic noodle combo. fo real broke da mout! I also saw a “celebrity” there. Sway from MTV news! haha

    Who's Sway j8e0r8m? Hehe, nah. I guess he's kinda a celebrity. Is that why you put "celebrity" in quotes? Hehe! Anyway, another positive comment for Crustacean's! Sheez, I wanna go back to San Fran already!

    * Masako:
    @Skycastles - It wasn’t as garlicy as I thought it would be. The place smelled like an italian restaurant. All of the dishes had some kind of garlic in it. think it was similar to Ninikuya here in Hawaii.

    Yeah, I'm not a HUGE garlic fan myself skycastles, but I think I remember them having other stuffs there too...