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(Another) Report Back from LA hound

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Restaurants & Bars 4

(Another) Report Back from LA hound

baloney | Dec 19, 2011 10:36 PM

Some pics here! http://www.flickr.com/photos/58506765...

Now straight to the nitty gritty:

Friday dinner/dessert in Oakland -

Drove in from the east so it was finally my opportunity to eat in the EAST bay! Went to Boot and Shoe Service since it was so close to the fwy; I've heard good things about Pizzaiolo's pizza and I hope B&SS' is the same or close? Anyway, we had the house bread, crab tagliolini, and marg. di bufala pizza. Gin Tonic with housemade tonic was nice, but not noteworthy. Tagliolini could've been good had they not failed to mention that fennel was in there(I dislike fennel greatly) and it was seasoned a little more. Pizza was not bad, not great. A bit disappointing considering all I had heard and read.

Dessert at Lush Gelato was an improvement from dinner. I sampled quite a few but ended up with the Balsamic Mascarpone Graham Cracker and Horchata. The Balsamic was great! Should've doubled up on that instead of getting the Horchata, which was still good but just not as interesting after a few bites.

Dessert #2 at Fenton's. Thought I might as well hit it up since it was so close, so ice cream dessert #2 was a double scoop of Choc PB Crunch and Caramel Almond Crunch. Didn't really enjoy it so much: the CPBC had a lot of raw or underroasted peanuts and not much PB flavor, the CAC was decent but boring and one-note after a few spoonfuls. Cute place and concept but would not go back.

Sat Breakfast SF -

Brenda's - 3rd(?) visit and just as enjoyable as the others though one gripe about the special beignet. We got the dungeness crab beignet, shrimp and grits, side pancake and side biscuit. The beignet was undercooked with streaks of raw dough in the middle with cold to lukewarm crab filling. Maybe they need to make the beignet smaller and just serve multiple ones instead of one big one? But the rest of the food was as good as I remember: my favorite grits anywhere, great biscuit, great jam, good pancake(i like the slightly coarse sugar they use instead of powdered sugar), great service. Love the expanded room.

"Brunch" at Cotogna -

Not sure why they call it brunch...I didn't see anything on the menu that seemed brunch-y, just lunch-y. Anyways, I was here for the pizza and gnocchi, but I wasn't feeling the gnocchi of the day so I settled for the pumpkin/celeriac tortelloni. The pasta itself was nice, not any better than other great fresh pastas I've had anywhere but the filling was meh, too sweet, bland-ish, and overwhelmed by the hazelnuts sprinkled on top. The pizza was much better, though still not one of the great ones I've eaten in my life. I enjoyed this burrata, chanterelle, leek pizza more than the previous night's at B&SS. I found it a little odd that they didn't have a pizza option with red sauce.

Dinner from Mission Chinese -

Feeling the cold I was hoping to outrun start to catch up to me, I felt like soup. Preferably from someplace that would bring it to me. Perfect opportunity to try out MCF. I ordered the Tingly Lamb Soup and the Broccoli Beef Cheek. The lamb soup was disappointing, no tingle! At all! Just didn't come together as a dish, but the Broccoli Beef I really enjoyed. The beef cheek was ridiculously tender and tasty, plus they give a generous portion of it to boot.

Dessert at Town Hall -

Not wanting to go too far from the hotel, I looked up what was around and read about the butterscotch and chocolate pot de creme from TH. Thought it would be fairly easy to walk in at 10:30pm for dessert but found a full house and a short wait. Where did I read that SF isn't a late-night dining city?! Anyway short story shorter, didn't like it all. SF, you know I adore you, but LA is overrun with better butterscotch puddings and pot de cremes.

Sun Breakfast at Plow -

Last morning, wanting to squeeze in as much as possible, I visited Plow again since they open fairly early. We had the custard brioche donut, poached pear french toast, lemon ricotta pancake, crispy potatoes. Donut was a bit insipid, pear was nice but the french toast just average, pancake was very good but not better than many other ricotta pancakes, crispy potatoes = see pancake comment.

Misc Sweets -

Knead Patisserie: pomme d'amour(LOVE), various cookies(meh), choc croissant(two quarter sized pieces of choc?? really, it was that thin too), morning bun(good, liked the fruit-y glaze), biscuit(nice, enjoyed the honey butter that came with).

Beckman Pies: whoever mentioned this place in another thread, thank you! Lovely pecan pie, and this from someone who never eats pecan pie and only recently started being able to tolerate pecans in anything. Haven't attacked the ollalieberry yet but I'll bet it's great as well.

Loving Cup: went here because I had a BBE coupon which I promptly forgot to use once I got distracted by all the froyo mix-in choices. Tried the cinnamon raisin rum pudding and the choc chip w/ choc ganache and enjoyed them but rice puddings aren't really something that floats my boat most times(Chez L'ami Jean, you excepted). Love that the mix-ins are completely mixed in, fascinating how they make each order. Would love to come here for the fro-yo each time after I visit La Folie.

So, perhaps not as many fireworks as from my previous trips but still delicious eats. It is clearer and clearer to me each trip, that what I REALLY love about SF is the ease in getting to so many great places. I could see myself becoming a regular at many many of the places I've gone to. I remain jealous of you locals.

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