Flav-o-rama: Laksa with hand-pulled noodles by Azalina’s Malaysian. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Hola. How was your weekend? Mine was pretty en fuego, starting with the Hard Water preview party (details are in today’s column) and then Festa della Donna at A16 on Friday night. The restaurant was packed with lovely ladies (and the men and women who love them). Was such a pleasure to turn my friend on to Occhipinti wines, and we adored guest chef Maria Sinskey’s stuffed guinea hen breast with olive oil-roasted potatoes, and for dessert, the fluffiest Marsala zabaglione with citrus supremes.
After sweating the wine headache off at boot camp Saturday morning, I headed to a friend’s house to learn how to make egg-filled arepas (they are as delicious as they sound) and empanadas. And drink his homemade beer. Daytime drinking, always dangerous.
Sunday was all about the Russ & Daughters brunch at the JCC, which I had on my calendar since the day it was announced. All you have to do is mention that there will be sable in the vicinity, and I will come running. We also got to savor their Gaspe Nova smoked salmon, pickled herring, whitefish and baked salmon salad, and kippered salmon (and babka, and rugelach) while listening to Mark Russ Federman talk about his amazing family history with Joyce Goldstein. Can’t wait to crack his brand-new book, Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House that Herring Built.
Sunday evening, I took a much-needed bike ride to Wise Sons for the last pop-up dinner in a series by Azalina’s Malaysian. Fortunately my friend was game to order everything on the menu with me, from the superlative laksa with hand-pulled noodles to the mamak beef rendang with coconut rice (duuude). We also went for the chai banana fritters with durian ice cream for dessert. You want to know what’s horrible? Burping durian ice cream while on a long bike ride home. Oh dear lord. That mistake is never to be repeated. My bad!
Wanted to wish a big congrats to all the local chefs nominated for Food & Wine’s annual People’s Best New Chef. You have through March 18th to vote for your favorite. Our nearby picks include Matthew Accarrino (SPQR), Kim Alter (Haven, Oakland), Thomas McNaughton (Flour + Water), and Evan and Sarah Rich (Rich Table). Please take a moment to vote and support our local talent!
Lastly, any of you who know me know that I am completely sandwich obsessed (this is what happens when your family has delis in its history—my parents had one, and my aunties too). Which is why I bring you a Citysearch guide of my favorite places for sandwiches in SF. You ready to do some damage?