August 2022

August 30, 2022
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Louisiana blue crab claws in drawn butter at Turntable x Mosquito Supper Club last week. Oh my. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Greetings from Lake Tahoe, where I’m hanging out this week with Fortuna (we’re practicing leash training on the back deck, it’s high comedy). So grateful to be up here in fresh mountain air (and not checking PurpleAir) and sunny skies; the lake is crazy-warm this year.

I’m decompressing from a wild month of work, dealing with some family stuff (including packing up grandma’s house of treasures, big sigh), lots of running around (living up to my name!), and burning off some steam with live music (two full-throttle LCD Soundsystem shows in a week exact a heavy toll).

Over at @tablehopper on Instagram, it’s my week of latergrams—I’m finally catching up on posting about a bunch of amazing meals and experiences. Be sure to check out the incredible noods at the newly open Taishoken on Valencia (I wrote about this project first here).

In a recent post about Ju-Ni’s Handroll Project, I mention I was going to share a couple tips here for how to score a coveted seat at their counter. They open at 5pm (Wed-Sun), and use Yelp Waitlist to manage their walk-in-only crowd. Some folks line up as early as 3:30pm to guarantee they get a spot—if you think you can show up at 6pm and put your name down, there won’t be room and the list will be closed, so save yourself the frustration. But what I do hear is some folks who were on the waitlist give up and bail on their spot, so if you come by around 8:30pm or so, you may get lucky and snag their spot. This would be a good week to try since so many folks are out of town. Good luck!

A project of mine that I’m super-jazzed to see come online is the Oakland Vegan Trail on Visit Oakland! That assignment had me bizzzeeeee! I visited and wrote about 20-plus, fully vegan brick-and-mortar locations, alllll over Oakland. It was an adventure, with some inspiring discoveries (thanks to all my wingmen and wingwomen). Check it out!

I also wrote about my experience researching and writing this guide: A Meat-Eating Writer Hits the Vegan Trail in Oakland (and Finds a Goldmine of Delicious Dishes). So, even if you’re not vegan, you’ll find plenty to enjoy. (There’s additionally a sidebar with some vegetarian spots.) Look for my upcoming post on Instagram with pics and highlights!

I look forward to hitting up Casa Borinqueña next and adding them to the Vegan Trail—tag @tablehopper and @visitoakland in any spots you visit (or want us to know about!). I’m also researching vegan products made in Oakland and available for sale in person, like at a shop or farmers’ market (online doesn’t count)—hit me up with any faves!

OK, gang, it’s time for me to power down and go for a swim—I didn’t come up here to be on my laptop all day. This week’s column is a bit short and easy-breezy: I left out cross streets and other details because boss of me said, “Get off the computer. Go for a swim.” I have the same advice for you. Enjoy the long weekend.

MWAH!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 16, 2022
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Best summer dish at ROOH: compressed melon salad with chilled heirloom tomato rasam! Brilliant flavor. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

BEST FOGUST EVER, am I right? I think Karl went on vacation early, it has been feeling like it’s September over here! It was the best weather for Outside Lands I have ever experienced (I can’t believe I wore a dress on day two and three, and didn’t even bring a jacket!). I was digging my daily Aperol Spritz, and it was so great to hang out and get my swerve on with friends, catch fun sets (Disclosure, Polo and Pan, Franc Moody, and Kim Petras actually made dealing with the Gen Z insanity worth it), and chow down on El Garage’s quesabirrias, Bini’s Kitchen’s momos, and Merkado’s carnitas nachos.

You’d think I was tired of seeing music, but ha-ha, you must not know me! Thursday evening, I decided at the last minute to walk over to The Independent (I love that it’s just a couple blocks away) and catch one of my favorite local bands, The Seshen, and am so glad I ran into some pals and stuck around to witness the magic that is Brijean! This week, I am SO FIRED UP to see LCD Soundsystem at The Fox, and am seeing them again at The Warfield next week. More is more.

Whatcha doing tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2:30pm? I’m going to be on the airwaves with Pamela Busch of The Vinguard on her radio show, 5th Wave Radio/Queerly Drinking, on KXSF-LP 102.5 FM. Tune in! (I’ll send out a story on Instagram so you can set a reminder.)

Wanted to be sure you saw my latest piece for the Nob Hill Gazette on Marlena’s Summer Camp at the Hotel Zeppelin. You have until Saturday September 3rd to check it out and get those next-level s’mores.

Thanks to all of you who wrote in and said you enjoyed my Guerneville and Anderson Valley (Boonville, Philo, Navarro) jetsetter recap in the last tablehopper issue a couple weeks ago. I just posted more pics on @tablehopper on Instagram and Facebook (thanks for following!), you won’t want to miss pics of The Bewildered Pig!

I wanted to be sure you knew about a new harvest celebration weekend happening in Anderson Valley (October 21st-23rd), in case you had a hankering to head up there and learn some Boontling (a lingo native to Anderson Valley). There will be a pig roast, winery events, tastings, tours, Cinema in the Vineyard at Pennyroyal Farm, and more. Tickets are available on the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association website.

Enjoy our warm and mostly windless evenings right now—my latest alfresco meal at 20 Spot will hopefully inspire you to dine outside this week.

Cin cin!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 2, 2022
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Young carrots with sunflower seed XO dressing, herb vinaigrette, Persian mint at Offspring in Boonville. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Welcome to Fogust, with a spritzy chance of rain?! Strange times. Who knows what this weekend’s weather will bring for Outside Lands, it’s usually a classic sunny-misty-drizzly concoction, thanks to our bartender, Karl the Fog. See you there? (I wrote a piece on what to listen to and eat and drink at OSL for Nob Hill Gazette’s August issue, stand by for a post on my social media channels this week once the story goes live on their site.)

I want to make sure you don’t miss some of my recent tablehopping favorites around town, like the volcano taco at the new Chuy’s Fiestas taqueria downtown, the chef’s adventure meal at the stylin’ Hilda and Jesse (available for dinner on Monday evenings), and this is the last month for Marlena’s Summer Camp pop-up near Union Square. I also had a wonderful revisit to Town Hall, with chef Mitch back in the kitchen, and he’s definitely having fun (they’d love to see you—don’t forget they have two spacious and heated patios where you can tuck into their famed fried chicken and a Sazerac).

Today’s newsletter is short on news because I dedicated almost 2,000 words to my writeup on where to chase some summer vibes in Guerneville and Anderson Valley—it’s so gorgeous up there right now, mostly in the 80s! Get the hell outta town. My next installment will be on Mendocino, so you can turn it all into one big road trip. I’m also going to be posting a bunch of pics on Instagram/Facebook this week from these scenic places, so follow along!

Enjoy, and thanks for reading.
Marcia Gagliardi

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