Sunday, December 24, 2006

best of trader joe's

trader joe's is seriously the best market ever (aside from farmer's markets). here are my favorites:

- pita chips
- 3-layer hummus: cilantro, regular, and spicy. they also sell the cilantro hummus alone
- spinach + artichoke dip
- soy crisps: look & feel similar to rice cakes, but 10 times better. more like chips
- almond, pistachio, & dried cherry trail mix
- olive bruschetta
- normal bruschetta

- indian masala sauce
- cuban mojito simmer sauces
- thai green curry sauce


berkeley bites

with this new topical format, everything's more organized, but some restaurants might fall into multiple categories, so please be patient with repeats!

note: for any non-berkeley people, "the ghetto" = food court on durant between telegraph & bowditch

- intermezzo (telegraph): sandwiches & salads
- naan n' curry (telegraph): indian fast food - chicken tiki masala mmm
- meesha's (ghetto): their chicken plate is something i ALWAYS get whenever i visit
- thai house (channing & telegraph)
- durant cafe: above the ghetto. good breakfast
- fat slice (telegraph)
- top dog (across from the ghetto)
- la burrita (across from the ghetto)
- gypsy's (ghetto): italian fast food - heavy, but satisfying
- sweetheart's (ghetto): second best cheap boba
- quickly (ghetto): best cheap boba
- ann's kitchen (telegraph): decent breakfast
- cafe milano (bancroft): turkey + roasted bell pepper sandwich is SO GOOD. don't just study here!

- rivoli (solano area): nice italian restaurant
- chez panisse: nice californian resetaurant. focus is on the ingredients
- cesar: tapas and drinks are good, but the service is snotty
- la paz
- gregoire: best french/californian food to go!
- cheeseboard: sauceless pizza made with uber californian ingredients. the cheese shop is fun =)

4th ST. AREA
- vic's: indian in a warehouse
- sketch: homemade gelato with amazing flavors
- eccolo: nice french/californian place

- zachary's: deep dish chicago-style pizza (heavy on tomatoes)
- a cote: small plates french/californian
- la trattoria siciliana: family-owned tiny italian place
- ici: cute ice cream shop with strange flavors
- la mediterranee: mediterranean food!
- crepevine

- rick & ann's: best breakfast food ever by the claremont hotel
- thai temple
- la note:
good breakfast but a bit overrated (still good though)

- k


recs for visitors

tired of xanga, and trying to convert to the new google blogger. it would take too long to transfer everything to this blog, so here are some of the best restaurants in the bay, in short and according to kathy.

- san tung: chinese-korean on irving between 11th & 12th ave (sunset district). the chicken wings (order them "dry"), dumplings, peanut noodles, or spicy combo noodle soup
- mandalay: burmese-chinese on california between 5th & 6th ave (richmond district). the "special noodles" and the green beans are good.
- burma superstar: burmese on clement & 4th ave (richmond district). i actually think mandalay is better, but burma superstar is really popular and yuppified.
- shanghai dumpling king: ghetto chinese on balboa & 34th ave (richmond district). the soup dumplings (xiao long bao) and green beans are good here. it's pretty much a hole-in-the-wall place though
- oyaji: traditional japanese on clement & 33rd. i've never been there, but it's supposed to be really good (says my japanese friend)
- thai temple: thai in berkeley from a thai buddhist temple. some of the most authentic in the bay area (i think). total berkeley hippie place haha
- vic's: indian in berkeley in a literal warehouse. very authentic (according to my indian friends haha)
- salang pass: afghan in fremont. really good
- nirvana: asian fusion on castro & 18th st. (castro district). good noodles and pretty cheap
- santa ramen: tiny noodle house in san mateo

- levende lounge: "world fusion" on mission and 15th st (mission district). the mini lamb burgers are sooo good
- a cote: french small plates in berkeley on college
- cha cha cha: there are 2 locations - one around haight & ashbury, and another on mission & not exactly tapas, but a good place to go with a group. they have good (and cheap) sangria
- pesce: seafood on polk & vallejo (in russian hill). scallops are good. squid ink risotto good, too. good drinks
- isa: californian on steiner & lombard (marina district). sea bass is really good. very trendy and yuppified.

- gregoire: french/californian on shattuck near chez panisse in berkeley. their potato puffs (fried mashed potatoes, kind of) are really good.
- pacific catch: seafood on chestnut & fillmore (marina district). the crispy oysters, sweet potato fries, and the wasabi bowls (like an open sushi) are good
- delfina: italian/californian on 18th & guerrero. the first time i went it was amazing; second wasn't.
- zazie: californian on cole & carl (cole valley). good brunch - poached eggs
- 1550 hyde cafe: californian on hyde & pacific (russian hill). food is pretty good, but a bit salty.

- aziza: moroccan on geary & 22nd (or 23rd i forgot). their cous cous is really good. their food has a lot of flavor
- kan zaman: mediterranean around haight & ashbury. good spiced wine. the food's ok. good for groups
- limon: trendy peruvian on valencia & 16th st (mission district). good ceviche, truffled mac n cheese, and snapper
- clementine: authentic french on clement & 2nd ave (richmond district). the desserts are amazing, especially the french toast. you HAVE to try it!

- k