♪♪ Ramos: It all comes together in
this, like, amazing spicy blend. Osorio: My food is the best
South American food you can find in the Bay Area. Steingraf: We almost
got into a fight over that upside-down cake because we all wanted
more of it. ♪♪ Sbrocco: Anybody who has
that many bubbles… Ramos: Somebody
really likes bubbles. ♪♪ Sbrocco: Hi.
I’m Leslie Sbrocco. Welcome to
“Check, Please! Bay Area,” the show where regular
Bay Area residents review and talk about their
favorite restaurants. Now, we have three guests,
and each one recommends one of their favorite spots,
and the other two go check ’em out
to see what they think. This week,
graphic designer Yael Hendel creates some excitement at her celebratory spot
in San Francisco, and financial advisor
Fred Steingraf returns to his Chilean roots with his on-the-money pick
in Walnut Creek, but first, Tina “Tamale” Ramos,
whose family has been in the restaurant
business for 71 years, embraces her seafood-focused
spicy spot in Oakland, alaMar. ♪♪ German: alaMar is
a seafood restaurant right here in Uptown Oakland. ♪♪ It is Caribbean
and Mediterranean. I’m Chef Nelson German. I am the chef and the owner
of alaMar Kitchen Bar here with my wife, May. alaMar came as a passion project from my journeys
and my childhood, too. It just tells
my story as a chef, so from my childhood, that’s where we got
the Caribbean, Mediterranean from my travels. I learned a lot in Spain
and Italy and France, and then also, there’s a lot
of original things here, too, in alaMar, makes it unique. It’s kind of my playground. alaMar’s seafood bowls
are very unique, very different. It’s not necessarily Cajun. It’s more an homage
to where Cajun came from, the influence of Spain,
Italy, and France, so it’s kind of like
bringing it back to its roots. So alaMar is a fantastic
fast-casual concept. We wanted to make
something easy. You just order at the counter.
You grab a table. We have a beautiful patio. You can get out of here eating
a nice meal within an hour. You know, we want you
to get down and dirty, but we want you
to leave nice and clean. I make a secret
beautiful salt scrub. I make it myself. It makes your hands
smell really nice, and it makes your hands
really soft, too. So here at alaMar,
we love our Warriors. Warriors,
the Oakland name is true. I got to give them props. We have a beautiful
gratitude wall, too, that you have to check out. We say thank you to everyone
who’s helped us along the years. Most importantly, my wife, who is this beautiful lady
right here, born and raised in Oakland, she brought me
to this beautiful town, and I couldn’t be
more grateful, you know? Oakland gave me
my first restaurant and the love of my life,
and I’m just happy. Sbrocco: Tina,
there are a lot of — It’s sort of a marriage of many
different cultures and flavors and things at alaMar,
even though it means, you know, “to the sea,”
crawling to the sea. There is a seafood focus. Ramos: There is a seafood focus,
but what I love about alaMar is I know
the couple who owns it, and Chef Nelson is Dominican. So he’s Afro-Latino, and his wife is Asian,
so it’s so exciting to see the melding of
all these different cultures. Sbrocco: And he’s from New York,
so… Ramos: He’s from New York. Sbrocco: You get
that piece of it, too. Ramos: But there’s just
the Cajun and the Creole and the Asian
and the Latin American, and it all comes together
in this, like, amazing spicy blend. Sbrocco: Right,
and what do you go — You know, do you crave something
when you walk in the door there? Ramos: I love the boils.
Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Ramos: My significant other,
he’s from Louisiana. He really loves
Cajun-Creole food, and that’s how
we originally found the spot because we were looking
for the peel-and-eat shrimp and the sausage and the corn. Sbrocco: This is a “play with
your food” kind of place. Ramos: Totally.
Sbrocco: Is it? Yeah? Ramos: They give you
bibs and — Sbrocco: Fred is over there
shaking his head. What was
your experience at alaMar? Steingraf: It’s certainly not
for somebody who doesn’t want to get dirty. I mean, you got to dig in. You got to grab the crawfish. Ramos: Don’t be dainty.
Steingraf: No. There’s nothing dainty about it. Sbrocco: Right, right. Well, tell me what you
started with when you went. Steingraf: We started off
with the plantain salad. Ramos: I love that salad. Steingraf: That was amazing, big
pieces of plantain and mango, just really sweet, juicy mango. My only critique would be I wish that the plantains had been
a little bit bigger because the mango tended to…
Sbrocco: To overwhelm it? Steingraf:
…overpower it a bit. Sbrocco: What did
you start with, Yael? Hendel: I started
with a guava margarita. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Hendel: That was
surprisingly good. I think guava
is one of those flavors that can sometimes taste
a bit artificial, kind of like candy,
but this was really fresh and it was a little
too easy to drink. Sbrocco: They always are.
Steingraf: Yep. Ramos: Mm-hmm. Hendel: But, yeah, after that,
we had the pork ribs. Those were really good. They were super soft.
Ramos: Yeah. Hendel: Yes.
Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Hendel: They just slid off
the bone, and it was pure. Sbrocco: And what was the sauce
like with them? Hendel: The sauce was kind of
a traditional barbecue sauce. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm.
Hendel: Sweet, thick. Sbrocco: And what else
do you get when you go? So you start with the boils, and let’s talk a little bit
more about the boils because that’s
their signature, really… Ramos: Well, first we — Sbrocco: …when you walk
into — You know? Ramos: …we get our cocktails,
a coconut margarita. A couple of my companions
had Sober in Love, which is a mocktail for adults, and then we do the boils. And I love the sauces there. They’re all butter-based,
so you can’t go wrong there. I love anything drenched
in romesco sauce, and that’s one of
my favorite sauces. Sbrocco: Right. Ramos: But at the same time,
they have the Steph Curry Sauce, which is…
Steingraf: That’s what we got. Ramos: …like a Thai curry.
Steingraf: Yeah. Ramos: It’s a little sweet,
coconutty. Sbrocco: That’s the one
that you had, as well? Steingraf: Yeah, definitely.
Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Steingraf: And it has
a little bit of a kick to it, which was really good.
Ramos: Yeah. Steingraf: It wasn’t too spicy, but it was just
enough spice to it. Ramos: We went hot on it
because it’s, like, mild, hot, fire, inferno,
and even though I’m Latina, I’m a little bit of a wimp
for the higher spicy, like the picante, so I always
stick to the lower end. But it’s still so flavorful and lots of,
just, garlic and spices, and then the other sauce we had
was the creole crema, which kind of tasted like
a remoulade but warm. And then we did the peel-and-eat
shrimp with the potatoes, and I can eat that sauce
with a spoon. It’s delicious. Sbrocco: And what else besides
the pork ribs did you have? Hendel: We got the empanadas,
the chicken empanadas. They were good. They had a really soft
kind of pulled chicken with a really good sauce. They tasted very fresh.
Sbrocco: And how was the dough? Hendel: The dough was good. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm.
Hendel: It tasted homemade. The only complaint would be that we wanted there to be
more chicken inside. I think someone made the joke
about empa-nada inside, so… Ramos: Oh, no. [ Chatter ] Hendel: The experience
was good overall, I will say. Steingraf: Were they fried
or baked? Hendel: They were baked.
Steingraf: Okay. Steingraf:
So we had the fish stew, which was like a bacalao
but in a stew, and I believe it was the
rock cod, was the type of fish, really cooked to perfection,
just perfect. Sbrocco: Do you get that dish?
Ramos: I’ve never had it. I think it’s from the new menu. They just revamped their menu
this past January, and it’s been really exciting
to see what changes he’s made
and what’s stayed. Sbrocco: And Chef Nelson
is a big presence. Ramos: Yes. Sbrocco: As is May, but
Chef Nelson is a big presence in the restaurant.
Ramos: They’re both. Well, May actually
took our order, and Chef Nelson
was in the kitchen. He waved hello,
so it’s a really — It’s a friendly spot.
Steingraf: It is. Sbrocco: And you can go
wash your hands while you’re in the middle
of the restaurant. Ramos: In the middle
of the night and at the end. Sbrocco: You don’t want to
have them covered in butter. Ramos: And get that nice little
scrub that has that beautiful, like, herbal smells. Sbrocco:
I have to ask you, though. Why are you “Tina Tamale”? Ramos: My family made tamales
for a really long time, and people would see me
out and about and say, “Tina, where are the tamales?” So it just stuck. Sbrocco: It just sort of stuck?
Ramos: Yeah. Sbrocco: And do you still
make tamales? Ramos: Unfortunately, no,
but #NeverSayNever. [ Laughter ] Sbrocco: You got to carry
on that 71-year-old tradition. Ramos:
Correct. Correct. Sbrocco: And, Tina,
this is your spot. Give us a quick summary. Ramos: For a beautiful
melding of different cuisines, spices with seafood and meats,
drinks, and amazing people, alaMar is the spot. Sbrocco:
All right. Yael? Hendel: alaMar is a great place
to go with a group of friends for a fun time and options
that’ll please everyone. Sbrocco: And Fred. Steingraf: If you’re looking
to spice it up a little bit in Oakland
and have some fantastic seafood, alaMar is definitely
the place to go. Sbrocco: All right.
If you would like to try alaMar, it’s located on
Grand Avenue in Oakland. The telephone number
is 510-907-7555. It’s open for lunch
Tuesday through Friday and dinner
Tuesday through Saturday, with brunch on the weekends. Reservations are not accepted, and the average tab per person
without drinks is around $30. ♪♪ Fred’s spot is
the only restaurant he knows of in the Bay Area that offers
authentic Chilean cuisine. It’s a place that reminds him
of the food he grew up eating. Take a trip to South America
at Sabores del Sur. ♪♪ Osorio: Chilean food is the
soul food of Latin America. It’ll actually reach your soul. It makes you happy. When your tummy is happy,
your soul is happy. We use a lot of vegetables
in it. We eat tomato like crazy. Chileans, they put tomatoes
in everything, and they put dulce de leche
in everything, too.Hola.
My name is Guisell Osorio. I am the chef and owner
of Sabores del Sur over here in Walnut Creek. Sabores del Sur means
“flavor from the south.” My food is the best
South American food that you can find
in the Bay Area. If you don’t agree with me,
it’s fine. [ Laughs ]
You don’t have to agree with me. I believe it. My menu is
everything that I love. If I didn’t love it,
it’s not in my menu, but the Chilean dishes
are all what I grew up eating. Everything that I miss
from home, I learned how to make over here. A lot of people say
the same thing to me. They prefer my empanadas here
than the empanadas there because the quality
of my ingredients here is much higher, much better. I started this craziness… In 2003, I took a class
with the Women’s Initiative. La Cocina is a kitchen incubator
for women that started
their own food business. I’m very proud of my crew. They’re amazing, and we have
grown a lot together. Yay! We do love each other. Sbrocco: So what is
your background from Chile? Steingraf: Well,
my parents are from Chile. I grew up here, so I grew up with all the Chilean food
that you could ever want. Sbrocco: Well, and“sabores”
means “the flavors,” right,
“the flavors of the south.” Steingraf: Right. Sbrocco: So you really get
that sense here. Steingraf:
You do. You do. Primarily, Sabores del Sur
serves Chilean food, but there’s a smattering
of Peruvian and other South American foods
in there, too. Sbrocco: Do you have a dish
that you crave that when you walk in the door,
you start with? Steingraf: I’d say definitely
the empanadas. The empanadas
at Sabores del Sur are… Ramos: Huge. [ Laughs ]
Steingraf: Huge, exactly. They are a meal
in and of themselves. Ramos: Chock full of filling. Steingraf:
I mean, it’s big, baked. I mean, they’re literally
about this big. Sbrocco: Uh-huh.
Steingraf: Baked. I always get
the Chilean steak ones, nice, juicy steak cooked
with onions, raisins, olives, and a slice of hard-boiled egg
in there, as well. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm,
and the chef is from Chile? Steingraf:
The chef is from Chile, yes. Sbrocco: She wanted those
flavors to really come through. Steingraf: Absolutely. Sbrocco: Right, flavors
of the childhood as well, so you said
the empanadas are big? Ramos: They’re big,
so we tried three of them because we were eating
as a group, and we tried the steak,
which was delicious. We had the chicken,
and the other one that was a real standout
was the shrimp and cheese because how can you go wrong
with shrimp and cheese? Steingraf: Yeah, absolutely. Sbrocco: And, Yael, you lived
in South America, correct? Hendel: I did.
I lived in Argentina. And my parents
are also from Uruguay. So we recognized
a lot of the dishes. I went with my parents…
Steingraf: Oh. Hendel: …because I knew it was
a spot that they would like. My mom got a churrasco sandwich,
I think it was? Steingraf: Oh, yeah. Hendel: And that’s actually
very popular in Uruguay. They call it a chivito.
Steingraf: Okay. Hendel: So it kind of
took us all back to summer vacations in Uruguay.
Sbrocco: Aw. Hendel: And the feeling of
the restaurant felt very homey. They came to talk to us
in Spanish. It seemed like they really
cared about their patrons and about the food they made. Sbrocco: And explain
that sandwich to me a little bit more. Hendel: It’s basically
a steak sandwich. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Hendel: So it’s got steak
and tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise,
fluffy bread. Steingraf:
Don’t forget the avocado. Hendel: The avocado,
that’s a California touch. Sbrocco: We just did! Steingraf:
Absolutely, absolutely. Hendel: They don’t have it
in Uruguay, but they should. Sbrocco: And what else
did you have? Ramos: Oh, we had
so many things. We had the chicken thighs
that were, like, rubbed with, like, an achiote or a chili
and grilled with salad, and the salad dressing,
we had to ask about it. We were like, “What is this?” Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Ramos: And she goes, “Oh,
you’ll have to buy my cookbook.” We’re like,
“Where’s the cookbook?” And she goes…
Steingraf: Love it. Ramos:
…”I haven’t written it yet,” and we’re like, “Well,
we’ll do it when it’s ready.” So she said instead of putting,
like, the cilantro and the lime and all that on the plate,
she threw it in a blender and put it in this bottle, and it was supposed to be
for the salad, but we put it on everything. And then the other thing we had which sounds super simple
was the bistec… Steingraf:Bistec a lo pobre.Ramos:…a lo pobre,
which you’re going to say, “French fries, rice, steak,
two fried eggs over easy,” but it was really pretty
and very carb-heavy. So if I ever need to get ready
for a triathlon, I know where to go eat my meal.
Steingraf: This is true. Sbrocco: Good to know
for my next triathlon. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Ramos: But, yeah, like,
everything, we tried the soups. They have vegan garbanzo soup
with the Soyrizo in it. Steingraf: Ah, I haven’t
tried that one. Ramos: It was the big hit
of the table. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Ramos: It had, like,
deep red-pepper flavor, the garbanzos,
a bunch of spices, and then the Soyrizo really
made it have that unctuous, that really umami,
just real deep, so… Oh, and then unfortunately,
the day we went, the only dinner entree available
was the ceviche. And I find it so interesting
that ceviches in other
Latin American countries are so different
from Mexican ceviche. Steingraf: Yeah.
Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Ramos: And it had the
corn kernels and all of that, and we talked to her about it,
and you could tell, I mean, as corny as it sounds,
love is an ingredient. But you could taste
that she cared about what she was doing. Steingraf: We also had — Well,
we had thebistec a la pobrealso, big, thick juicy steak sitting on a bed of french fries
with the fried egg on top. I mean, it’s a cardiologist’s
dream, but it’s — Sbrocco: Heart healthy!
Steingraf: It’s amazing. Yeah.
Ramos: Right. Steingraf: Heart-healthy, yeah,
if you want to keep it ticking, but we got that. We also got a variation
of a typical Chilean dish, thepastel de papasinstead
of thepastel de choclo.Hendel: That’s what I got,
as well, thepastel de choclo.Steingraf: Mm-hmm. Hendel: And it’s definitely not
what people expect when they think
Latin American. It looks more like something
you would get in the UK. Steingraf: Right. Hendel: But it’s this very cozy
winter flavor. It was raining
that night we went, and it was just, like,
so satisfying, just, like, creamy corn,
this flavorful beef, and it was almost like you kept
finding the little surprises. You’d be like, “Oh!
There’s, like, a raisin. There’s an egg.
There’s an olive,” and you kept digging,
and there’d be more. Sbrocco: And you can have
beer and wine. I mean, so… Ramos: We had sangria,
and we had a white-wine sangria and then something
called poncha, which was red. Steingraf:
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Ramos: But it didn’t have fruit
floating around in it, and the red wine was cold,
the poncha, but it had
a really nice fruit flavor. It was good
to kind of balance out everything else
that we were eating. Steingraf: Now, did you try
the alfajores for dessert? Ramos: Yes! Sbrocco: I was going to say
dessert, and this is… Steingraf: Oh, it’s so good. Sbrocco: This is chef specialty,
right, empanadas and alfajore. Steingraf: Yep, absolutely. Sbrocco: This is the
South American dessert, right? Hendel: Yes, so this is
something that I think probably every South American country
will claim is theirs, so… Steingraf: That’s right. Sbrocco: I’ve had it
everywhere in South America. Hendel: Yes. Yes. I think I grew up
thinking that alfajores were Uruguayan and Argentinian
and then Chilean and… Sbrocco: But then you go
to Argentina. Hendel: Yes, but, I mean,
if it’s done right, doesn’t matter where it’s from,
and this was good. Ramos: And this one
was done perfect. Hendel: Yeah. Steingraf: Oh, they’re little
cookies in like a sandwich. Hendel: Shortbread,
like a little shortbread. Steingraf: They’re shortbread
cookies with what we would call dulce de leche inside.
Hendel: Dulce de leche, mm-hmm. Steingraf: In Chile,
it’s calledmanjar.Hendel: Yeah.
Ramos: And we only had two. There was four of us,
and we split them because we had ordered
so much food, but it was a perfect ending.
Steingraf: All right, Fred. Your spot,
give us a quick summary. Steingraf: If you’re looking for
an authentic South American comfort-food sort of meal, Sabores del Sur
is the place to go. Sbrocco: All right. Yael? Hendel: South American flavors
that hit close to home. Sbrocco: And Tina? Ramos: If I find myself
on that end of the tunnel, empanadas and soup
would just hit the spot. Sbrocco: If you would like
to try Sabores del Sur, it’s located on
Oak Road in Walnut Creek, the telephone number
925-954-8300. It’s open for breakfast and
lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner
Thursday through Saturday, and the average dinner tab
per person without drinks is around $25. ♪♪ Post your favorite food shots
on Instagram with #bayareabites and have a chance to see
your food pics on the show. ♪♪ Yael’s neighborhood eatery
in San Francisco holds a special place
in her heart. After subsisting on eggs
for dinner most nights, when she and her boyfriend
finally received a windfall, they needed
a place to celebrate. Their destination
did not disappoint, and it was Pearl 6101. ♪♪ Lopez:
Pearl 6101 is a restaurant basically of a group of friends who got together who worked
with each other in the past, and we created a Richmond
neighborhood restaurant serving New American fare
with a lot of seafood, fresh pasta,
market-inspired dishes. Together:
It’s the Mediterranean flair. Conway: Yeah.
Lopez: Yeah. Nazzal: Really.
Conway: I’m Joyce Conway, and we are all
part of Pearl 6101. I’m one of the chefs
and copartners here. Lopez: I’m Mel Lopez,
and I’m the executive chef. Nazzal: I’m Nahiel Nazzal,
the bar director. Lopez: Our cuisine here
is New American with a lot of Italian
and Mediterranean influence. We are very seafood-centric. A lot of our cuisine
is based off of seasonality and farmer’s market. Conway: So a lot of
our repeat customers come here and tell us that they’re
very happy that we’re here, that the Richmond district
really needed us, and that there’s nothing
really out here like Pearl where we offer
fresh dishes, great cocktails, and, I don’t know,
just a great atmosphere, like, a homey restaurant. Nazzal: Everybody works
here together. You have the cooks running food,
clearing tables, checking on tables
to see how their meal is going. Even the chefs when
they’re cooking or expediting, they’re running food, as well,
and doing the same thing, and because of that, everybody
is getting paid equally. Everyone can live here
and take the opportunity of working in a restaurant
in San Francisco today and still be able to afford
to live here, which I think is
a very big thing, for sure. ♪♪ Sbrocco: All right. So I love the subsisting
on just eggs, right? What was that? Hendel: Yes, so it might not be
that dramatic, but my boyfriend was working
on a startup at the time. And he applied to get funding, and so we were trying to save
money, trying not to eat out. And Pearl 6101 was a place
I had bookmarked for a while, and the day he got funding,
we said, “Okay. Let’s celebrate. Yeah, so we can
throw down without guilt.” Sbrocco: And what do you get
when you go? Hendel: I usually get
the pasta dishes. This last time we went, though,
we got the lamb campanelle, and that was
one of my favorites. It was with lamb sugo,
a little bit of chili. It was very, very… Ramos: It’s braised.
It’s a really deep, deep flavor. Hendel: Yes, very strong
tomato flavors, very soft, juicy lamb,
a little bit of spice. The pasta tastes homemade. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm.
Hendel: It’s kind of al dente. Yeah. It’s very filling. Sbrocco: Now, Tina, what did you
start with when you went? Ramos: Oh, we had everything. We had some of the…
Steingraf: Same here. Ramos: …baked ricotta.
Hendel: Oh, yeah. Ramos: They have a wood-burning
oven, so it was, like, mixed with herbs
and spinach in a little ramekin. And they gave it to you
with a bit of toast, so that was something nice
to nibble on while we were trying
to devise this menu that we were putting together
for the night. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm,
and what did you move to? Ramos: We had all three pastas,
not the rice dish, and… Steingraf: How many of you
were there? [ Laughter ] [ Chatter ] Ramos: There were four of us. Sbrocco: So what did you have,
Fred? What was your experience? Steingraf: We started off
with the cauliflower and the Brussels sprout
appetizers, and they were roasted. And they’re just so flavorful,
and the mixture of the hummus with the cauliflower
was just a really good touch. Steingraf: And did you have
something to drink? They’re known to have
some lovely cocktails there. Steingraf: We stuck to the wine.
Sbrocco: You stuck to the wine. Well, the cocktails
are something to seek out. Steingraf: Very nice wine list. We had a nice bottle
of pinot noir. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm, and so let’s
talk about the pasta, since you had all three of them. Ramos: Since I had all three. We had the squid-ink pasta. The only thing
I didn’t like about it was it had too much bread crumb,
and it was a little too much. The orange flavor
was a little too intense. I really wanted to taste
the squid ink. Hendel: Mm-hmm.
Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Ramos: So I was a little sad…
Hendel: Yeah. Ramos: …that that wasn’t,
like, in the forefront. Sbrocco: What else did you have,
Fred? Steingraf: We had — actually,
there was three of us, and we had the fire-roasted
octopus, which was just — I mean, it was
absolutely incredible. It was grilled. It was slightly crunchy
on the outside but tender enough
to just cut it with the fork. Sbrocco: Anything else? Hendel: We got
the Brussels sprouts, as well. Hendel: It was really good.
Steingraf: Yeah. Hendel: Definitely not
the Brussels sprouts of your childhood. Sbrocco: Tell me about
the Brussels sprouts. Hendel:
So they had kind of, like, a bit of an Asian flavor
with bonito flakes, so kind of
a smoked-fish flavor. Steingraf: Yeah. Hendel: They’re very savory
umami flavors. You just couldn’t stop
eating them. Sbrocco: Yeah. Hendel: And they were called
fried Brussels sprouts. I was expecting something
very heavy, but they were pretty light
and easy to eat. In terms of drinks, I actually also had
the scarlet columbine cocktail. Ramos: Hmm.
Hendel: It was really good. It had bourbon,
strawberry, sage tea. Sbrocco: Ooh.
Hendel: Yeah. It was very refreshing. It’s almost like
a really good summer juice. Sbrocco: All right.
Dessert, go for it. Fred?
Steingraf: Oh, my God. We had the upside-down cake.
Ramos: Ah! Steingraf: We actually got
three desserts. Ramos: So did we. Steingraf: And the three of us
were going to split them, and we almost got into a fight
over that upside-down cake because we all wanted
more of it, and we kept trying to, like,
pull the plate towards ourselves and absolutely amazing, just… Ramos: It’s a spice cake. Steingraf: It’s a little bit
of a spice cake and just — Ah. Ramos: I’m a sucker
for a spice cake. Steingraf: It was amazing. Sbrocco: Okay, what did you get? Ramos: I had
the banana-chocolate tart, which the shell was a little
on the thick side. It was graham cracker,
but it was a little salty, and we actually
were fighting over the — Steingraf:
There you got your salt. Ramos: Exactly, and we were
fighting over the crust, which was kind of funny, and then we had what you were
just talking about right now. Steingraf: Upside-down cake.
Ramos: The upside-down cake, so it was like a banana-pear
upside-down with spice cake. Steingraf: Yes.
Ramos: So those are, like, two of my most favorite things
in the world, so if that dessert lived down
the street from me, I would be in so much trouble. Sbrocco: It would be
your best friend. Ramos: Exactly.
Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Ramos: And then we had
what basically was like an adult sundae and,
like, old-school spumoni. Steingraf: Uh-huh.
Sbrocco: Hmm. Ramos: It was like
a sherry-raisin… Steingraf: A sherry-raisin
sundae, right? Ramos: Yeah, and when I say
old-school spumoni, not that silly pistachio — like the old-school with,
like, the candied fruits, almost like fruitcake
in an ice cream. That’s what this was very —
It was very nostalgic for me. Steingraf: Little bit of caramel
in there as well, and… Ramos: Yes, and those two
desserts were just the ones that, like, kind of,
like, me being… Steingraf: We also had
the guava sorbet, which was just really nice. It wasn’t overly sweet, just
a real nice ending to the meal. Sbrocco: Do you get dessert,
usually? Hendel: I’m usually too full,
but my brother and his girlfriend actually
ordered the guava sorbet. Steingraf: Uh-huh. Hendel: They have a lot
of food restrictions, and so for them to find
something on the dessert menu that suited them
was really nice. Yeah. I don’t like things
that are overly sweet, so it had kind of
almost a salty flavor. I liked that.
Sbrocco: And what about service? Steingraf: I thought the service
was really good. Sbrocco: Mm-hmm. Steingraf:
He was very attentive, answered our questions. It was great.
Sbrocco: All right. Well, Yael, this is your spot,
so wrap it up for us. Hendel: It’s a great spot
to go for a night out with really creative dishes
and really good flavors. Sbrocco: All right, Fred. Steingraf: I’d say if you’re
looking for a place to splurge with some amazing food,
definitely go there. Sbrocco: Okay, and Tina?
Ramos: Go for the desserts. I almost want to go back
for breakfast to see what
the pastries are about. Sbrocco: All right. If you would like to try
Pearl 6101, it’s located on California
Street in San Francisco. The telephone number
is 415-592-9777. It’s open for dinner
Tuesday through Sunday, breakfast and lunch
Tuesday through Friday, and brunch on the weekends. Reservations are recommended, and the average dinner tab
per person without drinks is around $50. I have to thank my guests
on this week’s show, Tina “Tamale” Ramos, who invited us to
her favorite spot in Oakland for exceptional seafood
at alaMar, Fred Steingraf, who revisits
the food of his homeland at his Chilean-inspired pick in
Walnut Creek, Sabores del Sur, and Yael Hendel,
who shared a destination worthy of celebration
at Pearl 6101 in San Francisco. Now, we really want to
hear about your experiences at any of the restaurants
we’ve been talking about, so keep in touch
with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter,
or better yet, post your favorite food shots
on Instagram with #bayareabites and have a chance to see
your food pics on the show. And don’t forget
that you can watch any of the shows on our website
at kqed.org/checkplease. It’s where you’ll find links
to the restaurants and where you’ll find
my notes on the wines and libations
we’re drinking today, so join us next time
when three more guests will recommend
their favorite spots right here on “Check, Please! Bay Area.” I’m Leslie Sbrocco,
and I’ll see you then. Cheers, everyone! Steingraf: Cheers.
Hendel: Cheers. Ramos: Cheers! Sbrocco: Tina “Tamale” Ramos. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪