Table of Contents:
Dinner: Sunny Shanghai - San Bruno
Breakfast: Dottie's True Blue - SF
Lunch: Yummy Yummy Vietnamese - SF
Dinner: Casserole House - Oakland
Dessert: Ici - Berkeley
Dinner: Sultan - SS
Parents arrived in town last Wednesday, and I picked them up from the airport and went straight to Sunny Shanghai. We shared a green vegetable that I don't know the name of, the XLB, homestyle dumplings, and Shanghai rice cakes w/ pork. Everything was good - XLB as usual were the highlight - plump and juicy. I hadn't had the homestyle dumplings before - they were simple boiled dumplings w/ pork and cabbage, nice flavor - reminiscent of the XLB, but less porky and juicy. So not really as good, and next time I'd be just as happy to have two orders of XLB. The rice cakes were pretty good - we had wanted the long Shanghai noodles w/ pork, but we weren't sure how to order this since it's not clear on the menu. The vegetable of the day was excellent - vegetables are consistently great at this restaurant, I have not been let down. We happened to run into a fellow hound, whose identity will be kept secret, but I managed to taste a bit of cold chicken (special ordered? or at least off the menu) from this hound's table. It was good, but for me not as good as the Beggar's Chicken which *is* on the menu, but has to be special ordered. Overall, my parents enjoyed the meal.
On Thursday morning we went to breakfast at Dottie's. No line! Not even full! I guess there are fewer tourists around these days. The breakfasts at Dottie's are quite wonderful - and huge! It's nice to see that this place still deserves the long lines. I had a scramble special w/ fennel whiskey sausage and various other things, another had an egg white omelet w/ goat cheese and various veggies, another had some other western-like omelet. Everything was tasty, they have good homefries, excellent cornbread, good coffee. A great deal, and definitely worth it when there is no line. Only semi-worth-it if you have to wait a lot.
After walking around in GG Park and Marin Headlands, we ended up at Yummy Yummy in the Inner Sunset for lunch. We were determined to not eat too much, in preparation for Korean later in the day. We shared one order of banh khot, one wonton noodle soup, and one chicken salad. Everything was really excellent, and my parents really enjoyed this meal. It's now definitely my top spot for Vietnamese in SF. The soup broth was rich, like beef pho...we had a choice in noodles, and we had wide rice, which were nice. I didn't love the wontons, but they were pretty good, and I enjoyed the bok choi and crispy garlic in the soup. It was served w/ sprouts and cilantro, though I didn't feel it needed it. The chicken salad was also good - cabbage and white meat chicken, sweet sauce served on the side. The banh khot were served piping hot, w/ lettuce wraps, mint and basil, along w/ a dipping sauce. My parents really liked these - crispy exteriors, small pieces of chopped shrimp, soft coconutty interior. I would rank this version better than Lotus Garden, and much better than the version I had this weekend at Grand Century Mall in San Jose.
For dinner we went w/ a group of 7 to Casserole House in Oakland for Korean. I wanted to take parents to Korean, since they haven't had it much outside of Western MA. We had a great meal - the manager/owner at Casserole House is very sweet, and put a lot of effort into making our meal special. First up was a complimentary pancake. On my last visit, it had jalapenos in it, but I was disappointed this time that it didn't this time...but then the next day I mentioned something about it to my parents, and they said that their bites *did* have jalapeno, so I guess I just missed those pieces. We had the black goat stew, which split between 7 people ended up being just a small bowl per person. I liked the goat, which was tender, and the flavor of the mustard seeds in the soup. We also had pork and beef bulgogi w/ lettuce wraps, the bibimbap, and the cold spicy buckwheat noodles - all very good. Huge array of panchan - highlights for me were the kimchee, the brown beans, and the omelet/flan. By the end of the meal our table was filled to the brim w/ small plates, bowls, cups - we counted about 80.
We had a complimentary dessert at Casserole House, but wanting more we headed to Ici - my first visit. This place is great! My parents shared a brownie sundae w/ malted banana ice cream. The brownie and hot fudge were great, and my parents really enjoyed this. I didn't love the banana ice cream (I am extremely picky about this flavor), but I did really enjoy the meyer lemon creme fraiche ice cream. The shop was busy, but the staff were very friendly and were happy to let us sample different flavors.
My parents were off to Seattle for most of the weekend (enjoying culinary adventures w/ my brother, who lives there), and then were back for one night. We had a relaxing and good meal at Sultan - chaat appetizer, lamb dopyaza, daal and a mixed vegetable dish. The lamb, which in the past has been my favorite, was a bit tough, but the sauce was still good. Their daal is great, and while the vegetables were my least favorite, my Dad liked them best. Raita was also delicious. All in all, consistent and good. I still don't understand why so many people eat at Naan and Curry when Sultan is right next door!
I think that's it...a shorter visit than in the past, but good eats nonetheless.