After reading Jonathan Kauffmans annual list of the top ten dishes he tried this year, I was inspired to make my own list. Mine, however, will admittedly be much less glamorous, with lots of cheap Peninsula restaurants. Anyway, I thought it would be fun if others wanted to submit their own lists.
Had to try this dish for the first time in the past year.
Only one dish per restaurant.
Bay Area restaurants only (otherwise Id be listing a bunch in New York and Portland).
Katyas Top 10 Bites:
1) The House - Chilean sea bass (yes, I know Im going to hell) in a ginger-soy glaze ($21). This sea bass is the most tender, succulent fish Ive ever had. It comes with great sides as well (like the garlic noodles on our second visit), and was so good I had it on my birthday and Valentines Day. If youre ever in San Diego, Michaels Grill in Santee serves a similar dish thats not quite as good but still spectacular and only $11. (North Beach, San Francisco)
2) New Kapadokia Sigara borek. My friends think the ezme is the best appetizer ever here, but my heart belongs to these phylo cigars stuffed with feta and herbs. (Redwood City)
3) A La Turka Piyaz. This is the year for Turkish appetizers for me. This white bean/olive oil spread was so delicious that I kept asking for more and more bread in order to wipe clean the small bowl of the stuff. The version here was superior to New Kapadokia, the otherwise superior Turkish restaurant. (Tenderloin, San Francisco)
4) Speederia/Pizza on the Avenue Cheese pizza. Sadly Pizza on the Avenue in Burlingame closed, but Speederia is a cheap food lovers paradise with great cheese pizza available by the slice, and cooked upon arrival. Its not Arinell, but its pretty damn close. You can find me here every Sunday for lunch. Seriously. (San Carlos)
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED]
5) La Perla Tortillas. These tortillas are nothing like what you find in your grocery store. Theyre homemade, and arrive to your table chewy and hot. My boyfriend who previously said flour tortillas were his favorites, now claims La Perlas corn tortillas are where is heart lies. (South San Francisco)
6) Lukas Taproom Apricot braised pork sandwich. Its only available on the lunch menu, and your $8 includes fries (ask for some garlic aioli dipping sauce). Despite any misgivings you may have, the marriage of flavors of the apricot pork and the chipotle aioli is amazing , and the ciabatta bread its served on divine. (Northern Downtown Oakland, Oakland)
7) Straits Grilled beef in grape leaf. At least I hope this is the dish I had. The day I moved to the Peninsula, I ate at the new Burlingame location with friends. This small plate ($9) wherein the marinated beef is wrapped in grape leaves and grilled with mint, basil, and toasted nuts was the table favorite, and was one of the reasons we all murmured how we couldnt wait to return. Unfortunately on our next visit we ordered other dishes and nothing was nearly as good. (Burlingame)
8) PF Changs Shanghai street dumplings. I dont care about the ramifications of mentioning PF Changs on Chowhound, these appetizers filled with chicken, green onion, ginger, and soy, are damn good or fresh as the street as my friends call them. (various locations)
9) Mabels Just for You Café Beignets. These suckers came to the table piping hot and huge. HUGE. My boyfriend and I ordered 2 plates of beignets (3 for $4.50) and home fries (avoid) and only made it through half the beignets. They are covered in powdered sugar, are much bigger than the New Orleans version almost to the point that you wonder if theres a filling, and youll feel kind of sick that you ate so many doughnuts, but west of Café du Monde, its the best youll find. (Dogpatch, San Francisco)
10) La Petite Camille Lemongrass string beans. These beans have a tremendous amount of flavor with their lemongrassy, garlicky, greasy goodness. (Millbrae)