January 2015

January 20, 2015
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Roasted butternut squash and red onions with tahini and za’atar at an EatWith dinner (“Dinner in Three Acts”). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Buon giorno, or should I say, “nei ho” (Cantonese for hello!)! I will be on my Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong in less than 24 hours, and I am kind of freaking out, a potent combination of excitement and stress getting everything done before I leave. (Why is it always like this? The perils of running your own business, I suppose.)

Since I am going to be MIA, the next tablehopper issue won’t be until Tuesday February 3rd, so publicists and restaurant owners, you know the drill: please don’t pitch me on anything unless it’s happening after that date. I won’t be on email very much, I have an amazing city to explore (and eat my way through, oh you know it).

I will be posting images to Instagram, Twitter, and the tablehopper Facebook page, so if you want to see some pics of incredible Hong Kong cuisine, the city, and more, follow along!

Another thing to note: on Saturday February 7th, I will be hosting a special tablehopper cocktail crawl/winter warmer in North Beach, in partnership with Anchor Distilling Company. We’ll be hitting up the new Devil’s Acre, Comstock Saloon, and 15 Romolo, with top-notch cocktails at each spot, and some really good food too (duh, this is a tablehopper event!). The ticket link will be live on Sosh around the end of this week, and I’ll be tweeting and Facebooking the link for you as soon as it’s up! Keep your eyes peeled because space is limited. I look forward to seeing you there!

I do hope you enjoyed a fab long weekend. I happily kicked my cold to the curb, checked out the FOG fair, experienced my first EatWith dinner (super fun!), ran a million errands, wrote three articles, and also toured the soon-to-open Liholiho Yacht Club, which you can read about today!

Even with all that activity, my weekend was quite a bit less eventful than my dear friend Spider’s, who completed a Bikes Across Borders trip that involved riding a bike all the way from Austin, Texas, to Monterrey, Mexico, with a group of fellow cyclists, who are all donating their bikes to a nonprofit. I know, you suddenly feel a bit lazy, right? Well, one thing you could do is help throw a little money at my friend, who is a few hundred short on his fundraising to cover the cost of the bike (he’s also donating to local community organizations in Mexico and the Bikes Across Borders organization). Even $5 helps, truly. Thank you!

Okay, I have some serious packing to do and work details to wrap up, so I will see you in a couple of weeks! Joy kin! (Goodbye!)

Marcia Gagliardi

January 16, 2015
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Delicata squash tempura with rosemary honey, pepato, and hazelnut cocaine (well, that’s what I called it) at The Alembic. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Greetings from the hopper infirmary, where if you call the “receptionist,” she sounds a lot like Brenda Vaccaro, and you may find her working in her flannel pj’s (pink with drawings of the Eiffel Tower, if you must know). Being sick is so damn lame. Hopefully I will be in tip-top shape when I board my Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong on Wednesday. Thanks to everyone who sent in their Hong Kong tips, you rock. Again and again, I am amazed at how thoughtful you all are in taking the time to share information. I am truly grateful!

Many of you are gearing up for a three-day weekend, and it seems an appropriate time to get in a viewing of the civil rights film Selma in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Oscar nomination snubs be damned. (At least it’s on my docket.)

Today’s issue has a review of Brenda’s Meat & Three, and some 707 news from Heather Irwin for you, complete with some of her top Mendocino picks.

Oh, and if you happen to be a fellow Champagne and sparkling wine lover, then you’ll definitely want to check out my recent piece for 7x7.com on where to drink and buy the good stuff in SF!

Cheers, dollinks!
Marcia Gagliardi

January 13, 2015
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Today’s lunch at home: jook by Trilogi and barrel-aged sriracha by Sosu. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey there, ho there, hi there. Yours truly is a bit under the weather today. I managed to pick up someone’s nasty bug over the weekend, here’s hoping I squash it quickly. (I think this jook and sriracha will help.) Because next Wednesday, I’m going to be heading to Hong Kong for my first time (!!), a weeklong dream trip. As always, I would love to hear any of your recos of your favorite HK restaurants, bars, shops, and places; thanks for any tips, fabulous readers! It’s a pretty packed itinerary, but as I like to say, more is more. There will be dim sum.

On Sunday I visited the Winter Fancy Food Show (as did thousands of others); I wrote a recap of some of the fun products I found in today’s column. More on the trend side of things, here’s a piece in The Bold Italic about what’s coming in 2015 that I just contributed to as well.

In case you missed this on Friday (with my review of Pink Zebra), here’s my roundup of five new places to eat at now on 7x7.com, and I also contributed six dishes to this Eat This Now: 12 must-try dishes in SF right now” piece on Blackboard Eats.

We’ll see you again on Friday.
Marcia Gagliardi

January 9, 2015
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Pork kimchi nabeyaki udon at Udon Mugizo. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Excuse me while I put down this lobe of foie gras, my new Chapstick. Ha! But yeah, with the almost-miraculous invalidation of the foie gras ban in California that seemed to come out of left field, we’re going to be seeing a lot of it on menus in coming weeks—just as soon as the chefs who weren’t serving it as a gift the past few years can get some flown out. Foie tsunami, coming in hot.

This weekend is all about big food wave surfing, in the form of the Good Food Awards winners marketplace at the Ferry Building on Saturday, and the Winter Fancy Food Show that runs Sunday through Tuesday (which means it will be tough to get into any hot spots this weekend with so many food folks in town).

Just in case you want even more in your food bag (remember, we’re not out of The Jabba Zone just yet), here’s my roundup of five new places to eat at now on 7x7.com, and I also contributed six dishes to this Eat This Now: 12 must-try dishes in SF right now” piece on Blackboard Eats.

Today Heather Irwin has some 707 news for you, and I miraculously carved out some time to write a review for you too. #yay

Happy Friday.
Marcia Gagliardi

January 6, 2015
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My favorite dish of the trip: veal tartare crostino slathered with tonnato sauce at Bestia. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Welcome to 2015! I hope you started the new year with a bang. I had a stellar week in Los Angeles, catching up on so many places I hadn’t eaten at yet (Bestia, Squirl, Rustic Canyon, Sycamore Kitchen, Bäco Mercat), revisiting old favorites (Pizzeria Mozza, Zankou), impromptu stops (Connie and Ted’s for oysters and bubbles, Fonuts, and Harris Ranch on the I-5 on the way down, my new favorite pit stop), and catching up with old friends and making new ones.

Drinks at the Dresden (Marty and Elayne!) and Harvard & Stone happened, plus checking out local beers at the Glendale Tap, saying hi to all the ladies at Jumbo’s Clown Room, and some quirky New Year’s Eve parties, including Carole King’s daughter’s birthday party at a warehouse and singing karaoke at 2am at a guy’s house named Scoonie Gee. Good times.

We were staying in my friend’s charming West Hollywood apartment in The Colonial House, a 1930s building that’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places (Bette Davis lived there, as well as Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, and Carole Lombard). I know, my life is crazy, and I pinch myself often. Oh, LA. It was alllll there, plus some killer vintage clothes shopping and flea marketing, of course. Am already plotting my return, I was having too much fun, even though we were freezing our heinies. Fortunately San Franciscans are prepared and tend to have lots of coats and sweaters, amIright? And I’m pleased I brought my party mink, as I like to call my vintage stole from the ’50s.

We’re still catching up on everything over here, so this week is running a little bit short—which is fine by me because I still need to finish unpacking my bags and get my 2015 files all set up. Fresh start.

We’ll see you on Friday, and in the meantime, have fun with all your gym/cleanse/no-booze resolutions. I like to make resolutions I’m going to keep, like reading more books. But first, I gotta catch up on this first episode of this season’s Downton Abbey, yay.

Marcia Gagliardi

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