CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Sunday, April 02, 2006

So I Have Some Questions...

The list is here. You all know how I love this day. And, as usual, I agree with about 80% of the selections.

I broke out the highlighter. In our house, the rules are that unless we've BOTH been there, the restaurant does not get highlighted. So this left us with 19 restaurants on the list that we have not been to yet. We are going to one of them tonight. There is also one that I've gone to, but Jon has not. Considering my lack of enthusiasm for the place, it's going to be a difficult one to check off.

I was thrilled to see that Range, which just delighted my palate a week ago, made our beloved list. And that Va de Vi, my culinary savior when I'm doing a show in the Creek has made a return appearance.

But, how on earth do you give the amazing Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton (which I ate at but have not reviewed due to time constraints -- it's certainly not due to lack of enthusiasm) four stars and then not include it on this list?

And riddle me this: why is there not one sushi restaurant on the entire fucking list? (Oh's an update. A reader alerted me to Sushi Ran -- which I don't count because, well, it's in Sausalito. But I also remembered Ozumo is on the list. Still, though, they are both so geared toward the rich and brainless that I have to take issue. I mean, where is Kiss on that list?).

Or what the hell is wrong with you that you include Tres Agaves but not Mamacita? They both opened around the same time and they're both "sit-down" Mexican. Mamacita is by far the superior restaurant. It seems Mamacita got reviewed too late for the list. Lame. (This is an update, thanks to Sam...I had thought they didn't review Mamacita at all).

Some of the repeats have got to be due to laziness. Because I ate at Downtown this year and it's nothing to write home about. The service downright sucked balls.

And, honestly, it's time to get over La Taqueria because there are about 5,000 other Mission taquerias that can kick it's no-rice-pinto-beans-only ass.

Don't even get me started on the repeat inclusion of Michael Mina and Fleur de Lys. Unless you want to be washing blood off the walls. If I've said it once I've said it again: In the case of these two restaurants, the emperor is just plain nekkid.

And while Medicine Eatstation is innovative, I certainly cannot understand it being on this list considering it's aversion to all things "stimulating."

That's it. I'm doing my own list this year. I'll be putting it together in all that free time I've got.

The Whore has spoken.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
--La Rochefoucauld


Blogger Amy Sherman said...

Do order the tasting menu at Aziza it's the best way to get the "full effect".

I agree with you about the list. I think there are some silly places that MB just likes--Matterhorn for instance. I mean, it's good but not Top 100 good. I also can't believe that House of Prime Rib beats out places like RNM.

4/02/2006 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, and Terra...but not La Toque? Baywolf, but not Jojo? I take this list with a spoonful of fleur de sel.

4/02/2006 8:03 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I am pretty sure Mr Bauer did a rave review of Mamacita a short while back as well? Maybe I am imagining it.

btw the crafty 'wiches didnt do it for us. How sad am I :(

4/02/2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger Joy said...


You are so right...he reviewed it too late, though.

So sad you didn't enjoy 'wichcraft. I was worried you wouldn't. What was wrong?

4/02/2006 11:51 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

if it is any consolation - Bobby Flay's burgers which I previously declared to be the best in the world, or something like that, on my own blog, were decidely crap when revisted.

But YOU did put the idea of Bouchon in my head, right? We had a really wonderful time there.The best meal of the weekend.

I'll get onto the sandwiches another day, but they didnt even begin to compare the Desiree sandwiches. Oh, come back Desiree, please, please, woe is me.

4/03/2006 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sushi ran is on the list.

as for la taqueria, i was shocked to see it on there for burritos, when it has the BEST TACOS.

4/03/2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Yeah, but there aren't any sushi restaurants in the city listed. I find it hard to believe that the three from last year all went downhill and then no others stepped up to take their places.

4/03/2006 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever, it's fun to read and all but by no means does it actually define most people's top 100. The truth is, it's Bauer's top 100, and that would be okay if he'd just call a spade a spade. Matterhorn? Betelnut? Chow (all 3)? What I find disappointing is that there are very few delightful surprises on the list and that it changes so little each year. BO-RING. Joy, I can't believe you even bother trying to hit them all. Maybe you should aim lower this year and go for hitting all the Cheap Eats instead.

4/03/2006 8:07 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

What's with the Matterhorn bashing? I don't mind it's inclusion becuase it's unique. And their fondue *is* very good. And it's a great group place. I like it when they include a broad spectrum of cuisines/price ranges. What I can't abide by is including Michael Mina just because it's expensive, or Betelnut because it's hip. Or even Bix, which excels in most areas but has sucky entrees.

As for my checklist mentality: I've discovered a lot of great places using this list. I also use SF Magazine's and several others when making dining choices. And word of mouth is probably the biggest thing that brings me into a place, over this list or anything else.

But even though the list has crappy places, I cherish my crappy experiences because it has made me a more educated diner, with a clear understanding of what I do and don't like. Without the bad experiences, I'd have nothing by which to measure the good. So I can endure a bad meal at Downtown because it's tax for having learned about such bright spots as Bo's Barbecue, Koi Palace and Va de Vi.

4/04/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Matterhorn doesn't deserve a place simply for uniqueness. What - the heck? - let's include it because of it's ugly blonde wood decor that no one else in the world would dreaming of decking a restaurant out in. Oh, and it is smelly. And the fondue is so, so, blah!

If you have ever tried fondu in the Alps, or fondu made by Monsieur Daniel or Monsieur Freddo, or even by moi, there will be absolutely no reason to ever visit the Matterhorn again.

4/04/2006 10:16 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Betelnut is still hip? What the...?

that's cow hollow hip, not Mission hip, or soma hip, or Sam hip.

4/04/2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

Betelnut is not my hip either, but I imagine among the Marina crowd it is the utmost.

As for Matterhorn, while I can make a pretty mean fondue myself, I've enjoyed their fondue when I visited. That said, I haven't been for three years (and even then it was for someone's b-day party) since making it at home is so darn easy.

4/04/2006 12:39 PM  
Blogger Amy Sherman said...

100 Top Restaurants should mean "100 truly outstanding" restaurants. Chow, La Taqueria, Matterhorn, solid-yes, good-yes, outstanding? No.

4/04/2006 1:56 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I dont think there are 100 truly outstanding restaurants.

4/04/2006 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meh. I don't think they put a lot of work into this list. Methinks they just gather up an inventory of the restaurants reviewed in the last year, pick out some good ones, stick them into the list, and then bump a few off to bring it back to 100.

And I'm in total agreement with you on Downtown. Somehow the dining environment seems to cover up a multitude of sins - ho-hum food and service.

4/05/2006 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know if your blog has anything to do with it, but the online version of the Top 100 acknowledges the omission of the Dining Room at Ritz Carlton in the print version, and then adds it to the list as the 101st restaurant.

4/05/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Anonymous -- you just made my day.

4/05/2006 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Siegel owes you dinner.

4/05/2006 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tourist rip-off. OMG tried Fleur de Lys last night - so unbelievably crap! And what's with the pouty bitch at the door?

5/03/2006 7:09 PM  

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