November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012
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The French Laundry. Photo from Facebook.

Some big news was released on Friday: up at ~THE FRENCH LAUNDRY~, chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth is departing, and taking his place in early 2013 will be David Breeden, formerly the executive sous chef at Per Se in New York (he was also chef de partie at the Laundry in 2005). A Greeneville, Tennessee, native, Breeden worked in some of Charleston, South Carolina’s finest restaurants, including Charleston Grill, McCrady’s, and the Woodlands Resort and Inn.

Hollingsworth will be heading out on his own as a culinary consultant, and he also revealed in an interview with Grub Street that he’s “been thinking about a casual, Mexican-style taqueria. Basically, using some of the techniques I’ve learned at the French Laundry and nice ingredients, and to explore opportunities for bringing this concept to different parts of California.” Yeah, he’s putting the tweezers down (and those are sure to be some mighty tasty tacos). Hollingsworth is also debating about moving to San Francisco or Los Angeles, which will happen after Breeden gets fully settled.

Meanwhile, on the local scene, ~BIN 38~ has hired a new chef, Caleb Jones, who was previously chef de cuisine at Claudine (he has also cooked at Michael Mina and Fifth Floor).

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Rainbow salad at Burma Superstar. Photo from Facebook.

Wanted to provide you with a few updates on upcoming projects since some of you wonder about these things as much as I do. First, let’s peek at the upcoming ~BOCAZOTE~ coming to Cole Valley (formerly known as Papazote). Construction is chugging along, and since it looks like the restaurant will be ready around Christmas, they will probably wait for January to open. 901 Cole St. at Carl.

Over on Valencia Street, it looks like the second SF location of ~BURMA SUPERSTAR~ is going to be delayed until early 2013. 211 Valencia St. at Duboce.

Another delay: Brenda Buenviaje and Libby Truesdell’s upcoming po’boy shop in the Lower Fillmore, ~BRENDA’S ORIGINAL PO’BOYS~, is now looking at summer 2013 (oh, the joy of change-of-use permits). 1406-1408 Fillmore St. at Eddy.

And everyone’s favorite topic, ~BI-RITE MARKET DIVISADERO~ is now looking like March 2013 for the second (and larger!) location. Hang tight! 550 Divisadero St. at Hayes.

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The Kronner Burger. Photo via Facebook.

Chef Chris Kronner (previously Bar Tartine, Serpentine, Slow Club) is known by many for his delicious, meaty, salty, rare burger. Luckily for us, he is currently hosting a pop-up, ~KRONNERBURGER~, in a space flanking Bruno’s in the Mission. Swing by Sun and Mon from 6pm-2am (these are the weekly hours for now), and you can order his famed burger (with a supplement of bone marrow, natch), along with a couple of salads, fries, onion rings, and poutine (check out last week’s menu here). Don’t eat meat? Does that plate of marrow ($14) terrify you? Fret not, there are vegetarian and pescatarian options as well (hello, vegetarian or crab burger).

There are also guest bartenders (yup, there’s full liquor!). This week will have Locanda’s Gabriel Lowe slinging drinks (last week was Daniel Hyatt). Cocktails are $10, and there’s also a whisky-root beer float, and beer and wine. Also new this week: a happy hour on Sat from 4:30pm-8pm.

The Scoop mentions Kronner is currently looking at two potential permanent spaces in the Mission and on Polk; for now, we have the pop-up. Follow updates on the KronnerBurger Facebook page. 2379 Mission St. at 20th St.

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Breakfast pizza plus mimosa flight at Nectar. Photo from Facebook.

Here’s a new spot to check out brunch and its beverages. ~NECTAR WINE LOUNGE~ is now serving brunch on weekends, along with juices from ~THRIVE~. There will be mimosas with unusual juice combinations, plus a variety of healthful and not-so-healthful choices. Check out the menu here. Mimosas and juices are available by the glass, flight, or carafe. Brunch is served Sat-Sun 11am-3pm.

Good news: you can also swing by for just the juices daily Mon-Fri 8am-3pm and Sat-Sun 9am-3pm (one 16-ounce container of Thrive’s fresh-pressed juice is $9). The cold-press juices are hydraulically extracted, ensuring stable, nutritious product packed with good enzymes. Yup, juice is beginning to look like the new pizza in this town. 3330 Steiner St. at Chestnut, 415-345-1377.

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The Underground Market. Flickr photo from kewzoo.

As promised, here are some details on this weekend’s SLEW of upcoming holiday craft markets, so you can stay away from the mall and support local purveyors this holiday season. I’ll be at a couple of them, too, with my vintage T-shirts and book—come say hi and check out how soft and stylee these tablehopper tees are! Be like the tablehopper: hit up more than one!

First up: on Saturday December 1st, check out the Meet Market at ~BLUXOME STREET WINERY~. There will be a whole bunch of local vendors, including yours truly. That’s right, I’ll be there, hawking my books and fun vintage T-shirts. There are a BUNCH of vendors, and you’ll be able to drink wine while shopping. Yes, wine. That rocks. 1pm-5pm (12pm early entry for wine club members). 53 Bluxome St. at 4th St.

Also this weekend: at ~THE BOLD ITALIC~, be sure to swing by the Gift Shop with 5M Project. On Saturday December 1st and Sunday December 2nd, they’ll be hosting a bunch of local designers and craftspeople, with lots of quirky and handmade wares. Oh, and guess what? On Sunday, I will be there, hawking my—yes, you guessed it— too-cute vintage T-shirts. There will also be snacks, drinks, a photo booth, and Skee-Ball. Admission is free. Sat 11am-5pm and Sun 12pm-5pm. The Bold Italic, 34 Page St. at Franklin.

The ~BAZAAR BIZARRE~ will also be on Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd this year. The bazaar features more than 200 local artists, designers, and craftspeople. For a full list of vendors, check here. Also this year, they’ve got a special food mart lined up, with delicious gifts from the likes of Kika’s Treats and Double Dutch Sweets. The fair runs both days from 11am-6pm and is free to attend. 620 7th St. at Brannan.

In Potrero Hill, head to the ~NEW TASTE MARKETPLACE~ on Saturday December 1st from 10am-3pm for lots of food products to take home with you or gift for the holidays. St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, at 500 De Haro St. at Mariposa.

Don’t forget: next Friday December 7th from 1pm-7pm, ~LA COCINA~ will be throwing its fourth-annual Gift Bazaar at the Crocker Galleria, so put that on your calendar too. Yes, I’ll be there as well. 50 Post St. at Montgomery.

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The interior at COCO500. Photo from Facebook.

Thanksgiving may be over, but the feedbag must stay on! Celebrate the beginning of olio nuovo season with a special dinner at ~COCO500~. On this Wednesday November 28th, they’ll be running a special four-course dinner, featuring the delicious oil from DaVero. You can get the details and scout a menu here. (Which includes gnocchi, and oh yeah, there’s some truffle on there too. ‘Tis the season!) The tasting menu is $60, and wine pairings are available for $25. Reservations are available beginning at 5:30pm and can be made by calling the restaurant.

On Saturday December 1st (dude, December is here already?!), chef Michael Mauschbaugh of sous beurre kitchen is cooking a five-course wild game bird dinner with Kitchit at FoodLab at ~A TEMPORARY OFFERING~. Dinner is $65/person; seatings at 7:30pm, 8pm, and 8:30pm. 1106 Market St. at 7th St.

~FIFTH FLOOR~ will be doing its Second Annual Holiday Guest Chef Series, starting Tuesday December 4th. Each day next week (through Saturday December 8th), a guest chef will work with David Bazirgan to create a seven-course tasting menu that reflects and showcases the guest’s heritage and cultural background. Guest chefs include Ravi Kapur (Liholiho Yacht Club), Mourad Lahlou (Aziza), and Jason Fox (Commonwealth), along with Jamie Bissonnette from Coppa/Toro and Barbara Lynch from No. 9 Park, both in Boston. For the full lineup, dates, and details, check out the event page. The dinners cost $125 each, and wine pairings are available for an additional $75. Reservations are available beginning at 5:30pm and are highly encouraged. A portion of the proceeds will be going to Meals on Wheels.

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The New Orleans Suspects. Photo courtesy Brick & Mortar Music Hall.

This is quite the visit from New Orleans! On Thursday November 29th through Saturday December 1st, boogie your way to ~BRICK & MORTAR MUSIC HALL~ for an evening with live music by the New Orleans Suspects. That’s not all: New Orleans institution Jacques-Imo’s will be providing food as well. For more details on the event and to get your tickets, go here. Food service begins at 6pm each evening, and music kicks off at 9pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. 1710 Mission St. at Duboce, 415-371-1631.

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New York Times’ food writers Kim Severson and Julia Moskin have a new cookbook they wrote after Frank Bruni challenged the two to a little mano-a-mano action in the kitchen. The resulting cookbook is called Cook Fight, and it includes 125 recipes, plus an amusing take on the challenges the two took on.

The pair will be at ~LEFT BANK LARKSPUR~ on Thursday November 29th as part of Book Passage’s Cooks with Books series, facing off with a new challenge: feeding you. The event begins at 6:30pm. Tickets to the event are $110, and include food, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book. 507 Magnolia Ave. at Ward, Larkspur, 415-927-3331.

Then, on Friday November 30th, you can catch the pair at ~OMNIVORE BOOKS~ for a book signing and talk. The event is free and runs from 6pm-7pm. Books will be available at the event.

On Saturday December 1st, local meat maven and sausage king Bruce Aidells will be at ~PROSPECT~, promoting his new book, The Great Meat Cookbook, with a lunch and talk. His wife, chef Nancy Oakes (of Boulevard and Prospect) will be doing the cooking, so it should be extra special. The event begins at 12:30pm, and tickets are $115, including food, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book.

~THE PASTA SHOP~ is hosting a couple of author events in December: chef Hubert Keller will be serving some tastes and signing his new book, Souvenirs, on Saturday December 8th at Rockridge Market Hall (1:30pm-3pm). And then there’s the Cooks’ Holiday Book Fair on Saturday December 15th (2pm-4pm) at the Berkeley Pasta Shop at 1786 Fourth Street, when you can get books signed by Bruce Aidells, Shelley Lindgren and Matt Accarrino (of SPQR), Alice Medrich, Cheryl Sternman Rule, and cheese queen Laura Werlin. Bonus: anyone buying more than one book at these events gets a discount on additional books.

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A feast at China Village Restaurant; Yelp photo by Cindy N.

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Crowds at the old Parkway Theater. Photo from Facebook.

Back in March, the popular ~CHINA VILLAGE~ in Albany closed due to a fire. The spot, which was famous for its spicy Szechuan specialties, has been trying to reopen ever since. According to some online sources, it’s getting close. The owner, John Yao, told the Albany Patch that they’ve faced lots of delays and hope to open in January, but a commenter on Chowhound says the latest estimate is February. Neither date is currently confirmed—we’ll keep you posted as we hear more (for now, the phone just rings and rings). 1335 Solano Ave. at Ramona, Albany, 510-525-2285.

Meanwhile, in Oakland, beloved movie theater ~THE PARKWAY~ has been given new life at a location in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. It has been revived and renamed ~THE NEW PARKWAY~. The original location near Lake Merritt shuttered in 2009. It was a favorite spot where you could catch a movie while sitting on couches and enjoying pizza and beer. For more details on the theater’s history, go here. J. Moses Ceaser is the primary operator of the new spot, though other parties are also involved.

Originally, it was looking like they’d be able to open this month, but now Ceaser says the spot is looking at a mid-December opening. They’ll be showing second-run films and serving pizza and beer to a sofa-lounging audience. And, unlike its predecessor, all ages will be welcome. 474 24th St. at Telegraph, Oakland, no phone.

Now all we need is for ~GREAT CHINA~ to reopen in its new location (hopefully in spring 2013). 2190 Bancroft Way at Fulton, Berkeley.