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Uncle Frank's BBQ

 2135 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View, CA
 

Best BBQ in the Bay Area

Unfortunately, that’s not saying too much, as the Bay Area is sorely lacking in good BBQ. Located at the back of a bar named Francesca’s, the quality and quantity of BBQ you get here is very good, but it’s also inconsistent.

This place opened to rave reviews and long lines. When I first came here, the brisket was delicious. There was a wide 1/2 inch smoke ring all around the meat, and the sauce was sweet and tangy, and had chunks of tomato in it that tasted great with the beef. The meat was very tender, and it was obvious that it had been smoked for a long time. This visit alone was worth 4 stars.

On subsequent visits, the quality of the food varied. Sometimes the brisket was not as tender, and the smoke ring was barely noticeable.

Note: although I’ve had their other items, I focused on the brisket because it’s the most noteworthy and featured on their menu.

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Tartine Bakery

 600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA
 

All kinds of baked goodness

The croissants are awesome when they’re hot—soft, flaky, everything a croissant should be.

The meringues are really great too (and I hate meringues). They’re crispy on the outside, like regular meringues, and then they become soft as a marshmallow on the inside.

Croque monsieurs are huge and they’re made with what looks like a thick pain campagne. The texture works really well—the bread stands up to the cheese, bechamel, and other toppings very well.

There are all sorts of other great things here, but I can’t list it all!

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Forbes Mill Steakhouse

 206 N Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos, CA
 

Get the blackened ribeye

The blackened ribeye is no doubt the best item on the menu. Second is the kobe (wagyu) ribeye if it’s available. Don’t bother getting the regular grilled ribeye—you will be disappointed.

Blackened Ribeye

Mmmmm…delicious! The bleu cheese melting on top of the steak and the grilled onions are the perfect compliment to this very flavorful cut.

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Left Bank (CLOSED)

 1100 Park Pl
San Mateo, CA
 

Good food, fair price, excellent service

My fiance and I came here for dinner on a weeknight, and we ordered beef tartare and roast chicken.

The beef tartare was served with buttered and grilled crostini, and the flavors and textures complimented each other very well. We ran out of crostini halfway through, and our waiter replaced it promptly after we notified him.

The roast chicken was served with cabbage and carrots, and a rich full-bodied sauce (the body coming from the chicken stock, and not starch or cream). There was so much food we could only finish 1/4 of the chicken each. The rest was good enough for 2 extra meals! For the price of $30, it is well worth it. (However, I will go on to say that although this chicken was delicious, it does not compare to the roast chicken at Zuni Cafe in SF.)

In regards to the service, we asked for hot water, so we were given tea pots, cups, and saucers. The waiter constantly came back to check up on the temperature of our water, and even replaced our tea pots and cups while they still had water in them to keep them hot.

Roast chicken for two

Excellent value. $30 might seem expensive, but for two people it’s not bad. To make it even better, there’s enough food to be split into 4 meals (for the average appetite)!

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Los Altos Grill

 233 3rd St
Los Altos, CA
 

Best beef ribs!

These beef ribs are the most tender, flavorful, and juicy I’ve ever had. It’s easy to make good baby back ribs, but beef ribs are a whole different story. Most people associate beef ribs with huge ribs that are incredibly tough to chew. Los Altos Grill, however, has perfected them; the meat falls off the bone as you bite into it. Yum.

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Monster Sushi

 2595 California St. #c
Mountain View, CA
 

This sushi is SCARY

After being a successful restaurant known as TGI’s Sushi, this location changed its name to Monster Sushi, and this food is downright scary.

They increased the prices by $2, got rid of some of the menu items, and decreased the quality of the food.

My fiance and I ordered two rolls. The Volcano Scallop Roll (which used to be called the Johnny Luv) consists of a california roll, with scallop, tobiko, and a mayonnaise-based spicy sauce baked on top. I forgot the name of the second roll, but it used to be known as the Mr. Netscreen Roll (salmon and tuna around a California roll, with slices of lemon on top). The scallop roll had significantly declined in quality, using little 1/4inch pieces of scallop, instead of the full 1.5 inch round slices that used to adorn the top of each roll. The roll formerly known as Mr. Netscreen suffered a similar decline in quality—with the lemon slices being 1/4 in thick instead of the paper thin slices it used to come with. To top it all off, the ginger had dark spots on it, rendering it very unattractive.

This restaurant started out as a good restaurant, owned and operated by the same folks who ran the other TGI’s Sushis (in Campbell and Berkeley; Berkeley being the best one). They sold the restaurant to new owners, who ran it under the same name, but the portion sizes increased inversely proportional to the quality. As the final nail in the coffin, they changed their name to Monster Sushi, increased their Monster prices, and now serve appropriately Scary food.

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Shanghai Flavor Shop

 888 Old San Francisco Rd.
Sunnyvale, CA
 

Excellent fried pork buns

Their “sen jian bao” (I have no idea what the correct pinyin is) is superb. They’re the pan fried version of xiao long bao and have yummy juice inside, just like a good xiao long bao does. The dough is thicker to hold up while pan frying, and the juice can be hot, so be careful while eating!

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Kabab & Currys

 1498 Isabella St
Santa Clara, CA
 

Great tandoori and naan

The tandoori is among the best I’ve ever had., and the naan goes great with it.

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Tres Potrillos Taqueria

 670 N Fairoaks Ave
Sunnyvale, CA
 

You're better off going to Chavez

I don’t know how this store survives when the taqueria inside Chavez Supermarket (next door) is so much better.

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Kampai House

 595 E. El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA
 

Looks good, tastes okay

With a selection in the Bay Area that includes Tanto, Gochi, and Yume-Ya, this place is not worth coming to. It’s expensive and not impressive. The decor is nice, though.

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