October 21, 2008

As many of you have probably gathered, I really love my life, and the people in it. Seriously,j’adore. And last week was no exception. For starters, it felt like a proper send-off to the warm weather I cherish so much (how I ended up in San Francisco for 14 years and counting can be very puzzling to me). After churning out the ’hopper on Tuesday, I scooted on up to the Kenwood Inn & Spa with a friend in tow for a special dinner and overnight stay. Gotta love that balmy wine country weather… I’ve wanted to stay at Kenwood for so long, and let me tell you, it lived up to my high hopes AND the pictures on the website (for a change)—what a dreamy oasis. The meal we had was paired with Hop Kiln wines, and was scrumptious and satisfying—like good “mamma” food, thanks to the charming chef, Renzo Veronese. (Only guests of the inn can eat there.) So it’s really no wonder the place just won the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award as a Top Resort–US Mainland. Once I get a Sonoma jetsetter together, I’ll be sure to share some pics and more details, but I just had to mention it right now because the place was so damned special.

Thursday evening, I left for my mini-trip to Los Angeles, and I guess all of my running around and all the air conditioning and coming home to a cold apartment landed me a sore throat when I woke up Monday morning—totally the pits. Fortunately, Thai Place II is around the corner, so a big bowl of their Thai Place noodle tom yum soup perked me up. If any of you are sick out there, and I know a few of you are, this dish is a piping hot, tasty, and tangy medley of prawns, ground chicken, fish balls, sliced fish cake, bean sprouts, lime juice, and peanuts—I tossed on a little rooster sauce, and am now royally sweating my cold off as I write this. A monster portion for $7.25, so it’s now officially on my list of upcoming cheap wintertime dishes to order in.

Oh yeah, how was my LA trip? Well, I had high hopes of busting out some highlights in a honking jetsetter piece this week, but I feel crappy so I am went to bed early instead. Blah! Next week will be the recap, but my three favorites: lunch at Pizzeria Mozza, the burger and fries at comme Ça, and my birria taco at Cactus Taqueria on Vine. I can’t wait to go back to LA—my list is as long as ever, and will be shared with y’all next week!

Besides, I have to heal up my vocal cords for this Saturday, because I get to chat with Gayle King of the Gayle King Show, and ply her with some of my favorite San Francisco bites at the sold-out O You! (O as in Oprah magazine) event. Yes, I am oh-so excited. Like, totally. Besides, my Italian nature practically demands I feed people, or at least make sure they’re eating delicious things. (Basically, the genesis for this e-column.) I’ll let you know what Gayle and I end up nibbling! You know some grilled cheese is in the picture.

Oh, and this week I am introducing a new section: the hardhat. Curious about what goes into opening a restaurant? Each month, we’ll be checking in on the build-out process of flour + water, a new restaurant project that is underway in the Mission. The hardhat will highlight the unique coups and complications when opening a restaurant in San Francisco. This section will be written by Erin Archuleta, tablehopper intern and half of the talent behind local outfit Ichi Catering. Enjoy!

Lastly, there is a fun little giveaway in the lush that should appeal to you cocktailing types, so check it out!

Cheers, my dears,