January 2019

January 8, 2019

You’ll want to order everything from the “lightly dressed” section of the menu at Ayala, like the uni, littleneck clams, and oysters. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy, gang! I think most of us are back from our vacations and staycations and sadly have turned off our out-of-office messages (oh well, that was fun). Last week, I released my annual rant, the bore, of 10 things I don’t want to see in the new year, and I sure got a kick out of all your feedback, amens, and additions. (You can look at all the past bores here—just be sure to scroll down.)

Before we dive in to some restaurant news, here are some articles I’ve been writing elsewhere. I contribute a monthly report to Food Spark, a William Reed Media publication, about West Coast food trends, and here’s their end-of-year article on global trends from their trend spotters around the world.

I also had fun being part of Eater’s annual end-of-year questions for fellow food writers, the Year in Eater. A good one to look over is always SF’s Top Restaurant Standbys and The Bay Area’s Top Restaurant Newcomers of 2018.

This week’s Table Talk for Bay Area Bites takes a look at the recently opened Ayala, offering beautiful seafood and a chic style, while a trip across the Bay reveals awesome dishes at Dosa by Dosa (the idli fries!!), and you can check them out during Oakland Restaurant Week (among many other places). Boot and Shoe Service hosts a fire relief dinner series, and say cheers to Winter Cocktails of the Farmers Market. (I also want to make sure you didn’t miss the Greek treats and dumplings in last week’s Table Talk!)

I also wrote an article for Bay Area Bites on a new cannabis and craft beer (or wine) tour, The Sonoma County Experience! Check it out, man.

I’ll see you in two weeks, with a look at the about-to-open Verjus and more. Keep toasty out there. Just not avocado toasty.
Marcia Gagliardi

January 3, 2019

The exquisite special bento box from Hayato Restaurant in Los Angeles. A veritable treasure chest of flavors and textures. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Happy 2019, friends! A new year is here, and I know many people are so ready for it. May all your plans, hopes, and wishes come to fruition. May you be healthy and happy. And let’s have fun!

I just returned last night from a week in Los Angeles—it was more like a staycation, spent catching up with friends (and on my sleep), watching movies, visiting my favorite inexpensive massage place (let me tell you, those guys will work you OUT), and hitting up my favorite vintage shops and flea market. And eating tacos.

New Year’s Eve dinner was at an only-in-LA kind of place: Colombo’s, a red sauce joint and jazz club that was like an Italian Regal Beagle, with a live band playing songs by Neil Diamond and Redbone (“Come and Get Your Love”) that had the entire dining room singing along. Too much fun. Thanks to our hosts Carrie and Hal for putting this dinner party together!

I know, you’re scratching your head and wondering why you’re receiving a tablehopper issue on a Thursday, but it’s time for my annual rant: the bore! Feel free to email me any of your own personal kvetches, I know some of you have your own mental list of gripes you’ve been compiling all year. You can look at all the past bores here (just be sure to scroll down), which is where you’ll find bone broth, deviled eggs, poke, and other boring things.

I’ll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday with the news! In the meantime, I have some very tasty Table Talk columns for you on KQED’s Bay Area Bites: this week’s post features spicy beef noodle soup and made-to-order dumplings in the Outer Sunset, authentic Greek baked goods in an unexpected location, Danish tebirkes, California Eating’s release party (on Saturday!), and The Cheesemonger Invitational.

A previous Table Talk post features Detroit-style pizza at a San Francisco pop-up (next pop-up is January 10th) and Chilean empanadas!

Enjoy the short week!

Marcia Gagliardi

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