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Reviews

Chubby Noodle

chubby noodle

Chubby Noodle is the solution to all of your problems, if all of your problems consist of the fact that you can’t decide between bottomless mimosa brunch and dim sum. There are two locations – the Marina and North Beach – and we went to North Beach. Both are nearly identical, though, with the same menu/time limit/blaring rap music.

In terms of ambiance, I think the best thing I can do is quote from their web site: “What better way to eat noodles than with R. Kelly singing in the background?” It’s a fair point. There really is no better way. The music is mostly the best rap of the ’90s and 2000s, so if you don’t enjoy that, Chubby Noodle may not be the right spot for you (and also we probably can’t be friends).

The Bottomless

The grand total here is $39 plus tip and tax for all you can eat/drink for 90 minutes. The time is pretty strictly enforced, because there are three seatings at 10/12/2, so they’ve gotta get you out and get the place cleaned up for the next set of degenerate brunchers.

There are four drinks you can choose from and switch between – mimosas with house-squeezed juice (ours were cantaloupe, which ws excellent), rosé sangria, Sapporo and tea (honestly not sure if the tea had alcohol – didn’t try it). They come with adorable tiny rubber ducks floating in them.

The Food

Chubby Noodle is a great space for a big group, because the dim sum comes out quickly, and there are lots of dishes to try. Highlights were the peking duck, pork buns and wings, but if I’m being totally honest it was all excellent. There are 13 dishes total, and with four of us we tried 10, so with a decent sized group you’ll be able to get a bit of everything. You can request particular dishes or just ask you waitress to keep it coming.

The Service

The 90 minute timeline is strict, but the wait staff makes sure that you don’t leave hungry. Because it’s dim sum and the menu’s not that big, they’re able to get food coming out to you more or less as soon as you’re seated. Same with drinks – the restaurant isn’t big, and someone’s always circling with a pitcher of mimosas (and a willingness to get you a fresh beer if you prefer to go that route). Our waitress made sure to check in before last call to make sure we had full drinks.

Overall

Chubby Noodle is a lot of fun – it’s got a very upbeat environment with a great soundtrack, and new food and drinks seem to just appear in front of you constantly. The only real downside is the strict enforcement of the time limit. To be fair, though, it’s a small space and they need to make sure as many people as possible can have brunch, so it’s tough to fault them for that.

Rating: 🍾🍾🍾🍾

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The Vestry

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Oola

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Oola SF is down in SOMA on Folsom between 4th and 5th. It does't look like much from the outside,
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Colibri

Colibri
Colibri is a traditional Mexican restaurant located a couple of blocks from Union Square in Lower Nob Hill on Geary between Mason and Taylor. The food is all very fresh, and they’ve got the touches you want to see from a Mexican restaurant, like hand made tortillas. 
It was pretty crowded – definitely make a reservation. We had one, but they put us at a table that was a bit small for the size of our party and all the way back by the kitchen. It got a bit hot and we were constantly watching the waiters run past us – less than ideal.
The Bottomless
$15 for bottomless with no time limit. No carafes, and the refill speed left something to be desired. They were also too heavy on the juice, so afte a few rounds the acidity of that really started to make them less pleasant.
The Food
The food was definitely the highlight of our experience at Colibri brunch. They opened with three kinds of salsa and chips, and we added guacamole as well. All were clearly made fresh in the restaurant, and the salsas had a good range of flavor, from a more traditional spicy to a sweet mango.
They’ve got a lot of traditional Mexican breakfast and lunch dishes, and all of them are well executed. I had the huevos rancheros, which were made very much by the book but done nicely and a good sized portion. Others had the chile relleno and the chilaquiles, and both dishes got rave reviews.
The Service
We started off by being sequestered a table that we really had to squeeze into all the way in the back, then it took quite a while for a waiter to get to us. After we ordered mimosas, we generally had to flag the waiter down any time we wanted a refill. Despite being right near the kitchen and constantly having the rest of the wait staff walk by us, our waiter was tough to find.
Overall
The Mexican food is definitely good, but if you’re looking for a fun brunch experience and you have your heart set on Mexican, skip Colibri and head over to Don Pistos.
Rating: 🍾🍾
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Price notwithstanding, the Top of the Mark brunch is the best in San Francisco, and it's not even close. For bottomless,
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Beach Chalet

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Beach Chalet is in Golden Gate Park right across from Ocean Beach - don't confuse it with Park Chalet, which
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