Check, Please! Bay Area: Episode 12 (#112)

Check, Please! Bay Area’s episode 12 (#112) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:

Watch episode (requires RealPlayer: windows | mac)
View photo gallery (flickr.com)

1) Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant: | restaurant information | reviews |

2) Naomi Sushi: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

3) Woodward’s Garden: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

Leslie SbroccoMy name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. After each episode I’ll serve up a behind-the-scenes look at what went on during filming, including the wine we were sipping…

We had a terrific group of guests, kicking off with colorful Karen, whose hair and personality were vibrant! As we got into a discussion of Halal foods she mentioned her pick, Old Mandarin Islamic, is not just for those sticking to Islamic dietary guidelines, but for everyone. Karen said to make sure to ask for the hot pot as it’s not on the regular menu. Carter’s recommendation of Naomi Sushi was more hotly debated, but all agreed to have the best experience, sit at the sushi bar near the street and don’t miss the sake choices. The last restaurant we discussed was Woodward’s Garden, which everyone loved. Tucked away in the Mission you might never discover this hidden gem, but Laura brought it to light. The food, wine, service, and atmosphere are excellent according to our reviewers.

Wine of the Week:

2003 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars “Artemis” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California $50
In 1976 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon helped put Napa Valley on the world wine map by besting famous French Bordeaux at what is now known as the Paris Tasting. Their trailblazing talent with Cabernet continues to this day in bottlings such as Fay, S.L.V., and Cask 23. A recent addition to the family is the “Artemis” Cab, named after the Greek Goddess of the hunt. Gorgeously rich and seductive, the wine’s floral aromas and ripe dark berry fruit flavors are complemented by complex notes of anise and allspice. Cellar for up to a decade or enjoy it tonight with a grilled steak.

Sponsor Wine of the Week:

2004 Bonterra Vineyards Chardonnay, Mendocino County, California $12-13
Even people who don’t like Chardonnay will drain their glass. Bonterra’s crisp, melon-scented version is made from organically-grown grapes from cool-climate Mendocino. It’s bright yet smooth and loaded with juicy fruit flavors and a kiss of spiciness. Try with roast chicken or salmon.

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  • Priscilla

    Wow. What a great show I happen to catch. I hope you will continue to fund this program. We need more programs like this since the Bay Area is filled with so much varitey of restaurants. :-)

  • maggi saunders

    wow I love your show – I have tried at least 12 of the restaurants reviewed on your show and have been ecstatic with delight at all of the experiences. How does one get to be on the show, to begin with. Please write me back how to apply for the show!
    thanks much,

    Maggi

  • http://www.studio-707.com Pamela Hunter

    Valued new addition to Bay Area restaurant criticism. It’s our good fortune to have Leslie Sbrocco back on camera.

  • Cherie Bellecci

    On your reccomendation we just tried Woodwards Garden. Wow! It was fantastic. I understand they have a cookbook and would love to purchase one. There is not any info on their website so I thought I would try you. Would appreciate any help you can give. We love your show. Keep up the good work! Sincerely, Cherie Bellecci

  • http://www.brokendishrecords.com KM Sailors

    As much a trip down memory lane for me as anything else.

    I had heard so many good things about Woodward’s Garden and the review on Bay Area Check Please really nailed down a desire to visit, so off my wife & I went for her half-birthday this past weekend.

    The food was quite wonderful right down to the piping hot yeasty bread. My wife had duck and I the halibut on white corn succotash. Both were insanely good; as good as you can find anywhere at any price. Everything is obviously as fresh as it can get. The chocolate tort to finish was awesome.

    The wine line is short but representative. It included not one, but TWO Sancerres. Good on you for that.

    I’ve read a number of comments about “weird” service and I see what they mean; I wasn’t ever entirely sure if our server was capable of speech. She would barely look at us and even when we asked for advice about which wine to order, it was obviously quite the task for her to offer an opinion. “Reluctant” doesn’t begin to cover it. No one seems to much care if you are there or not so if you’re looking for light banter, this isn’t the place. The service, overall, was a little on the relaxed side. We weren’t in any hurry, though, so that’s fine. The flip side was that the food was served as soon as you and it were ready. No heat lamps here.

    Oh! The memory lane part? My father used to own an auto repair shop up the block on Duboce where I spent all my summers from age 12 to 20. I ate more mushroom cheeseburgers than I can count at the, then, Woodward Diner run by Maybel and then by Ben and Norma. Ah, America. I haven’t been back in over 20+ years. My wife and I sat at the same table that my father and I used to share for lunch. The place really hasn’t changed one bit, it looked exactly as I remembered.

    All-in-all, highly recommended; I’d go back in a New York minute. Call early for reservations as it’s small and it books up.

  • Grace Vargas

    I happen to be off work and was watching your program (which I love) and you talked about Woodward’s Garden which I found fascinating and the review of their food and how everyone just loved it. I am a banquet/reservation manager at one of the airport hotels and it sounded so delicious that I reccomended the restaurant to a couple of guest staying at the hotel, and I haven’t even been there to second everyone’s motion to how great it was. I am taking a friend of mind who loves food and great places to see if I made a good choice for my guests. This is a great show and what a marvelous way to introduce great places and food to all of us. There’s so many great places to go to in the city and in the bay area. I am a native San Franciscan and your show has introduced me to some terrific new places to have a great meal and fun locations. Thank you for the great job that you all do. “Fabulous Show”

  • Luis Villalon

    My wife and I used to watch the Miami version of the show. Since moving here, Check Please SF version has been our guide for discovering new places for dining out.