I spent most of my week in the San Mateo area, with a few days in the city and essentially picked and chose places to eat with very little research beyond hitting up their website and seeing if there was a line out the door. I think I ended up doing pretty well actually. Of course, being the Bay Area, I'm guessing the ratio of good restaurants to bad is probably a lot higher than most other cities.
The one exception to this blind picking was Cooking Papa in Foster City, which was recommended to me. I thought they did a really good job with their roast duck and cha shu, but hands down, their egg puffs were the single best thing I ate all week. Man, those were really really good. The watercress and pork soup was also very good. The broth almost reminded me of a really good ramen broth. Tasty! I wasn't as impressed with their cheung fun, mainly because their wraps were pretty thick, but the fish and cilantro one was pretty good otherwise.
There were two other standouts for me over the week.
One was Cafe Pescatore near Fisherman's Wharf. I would kill for a restaurant like this near my home! It felt very much like a local hangout and not a tourist trap and the service was really good. I got the apple salad, which was perfectly dressed, and the crab ravioli, which was super rich and satisfying.
The other was Scott's in Mountain View. They had wonderfully fresh seafood and, again, great service. I can't tell you how nice it was to be waited on by people who actually cared enough to listen. Here, I got the beet salad and the trout with crab entree. Both were great! And, the coconut bread pudding is killer!
Other good places that I'll go back to are Brioche in SF, where I had a very nice quiche, and Crepevine in Mountain View, where their fresh salmon and spinach crepe was super!
A minor miss for me was the Straits Restaurant in Burlingame. I got the fuji apple salad (pretty good), origami seabass (nicely cooked, but kind of salty), and chicken pad thai (overcooked chicken and "meh" noodles). Everything was decent, but seemed like I could get the same or better elsewhere at half the price.
Also a little disappointing was Armadillo Willy's in San Mateo. Got the baby back rib lunch plate, which tasted good, but wow, that was a really really small portion for $10.
But, I had a great week there and wish I could afford to move there. Totally jealous!
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