This week's tablehopper: trompe l'oeil.

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You think you’re about to bite into a briquette, but really, it’s Gaggan’s taste story about a samosa you’d find in India’s chai parlors. (And it was one of my favorite courses of the meal.) Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Greetings from Santa Rosa, where I’m up here for a two-day cannabis trade show (Hall of Flowers)—and we got to listen to a rousing keynote from Gary Vaynerchuk last night. So cool.

After you read through today’s column, I want to be sure you also hop over for more news and events in this week’s Table Talk column (which includes a tip on where to find fab falafel in the Lower Haight, an awesome dumpling deal, and the Musica Marin Festival), and last week’s column includes a hands-on curing class, an awesome event this Friday about SF’s post-Quake restaurant history (see you there?), how to score a free scoop of PB&J ice cream from Humphry Slocombe, and should get you inspired to track down the bodacious double cheeseburger at The Board. Also: don’t forget Oakland Cocktail Week is happening through the 23rd!

Last week, I attended the #50BestTalks (a program from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants), with talks from chefs Dominique Crenn, Enrique Olvera, Daniela Soto-Innes, Lara Gilmore, Gaggan Anand, and Virgilio Martínez—take a peek at my post about Lara Gilmore’s talk, which I found particularly inspiring. The after-party and sneak peek of Angler was pretty fabulous—am excited for the upcoming opening.

A side benefit to having these chefs in town was a special and over-the-top pop-up dinner at Eight Tables, where chef-owner George Chen hosted chef Gaggan Anand from Bangkok (Gaggan is number one on Asia’s 50 Best list). Gaggan is famous for his emoji menu, which is the only clue you have to what the dishes will be (until you’re taking your first bite—many of the dishes are not what they seem). It’s playful, unexpected, full of storytelling, and so very delicious (especially with some elevated wine pairings). I can’t believe I got to experience it in Bangkok, and now another version one year later in SF. Kudos to both Gaggan’s team and the entire Eight Tables crew for pulling off such a sophisticated and complex one-night-only tasting menu. I think everyone was having a lot of fun, and not just the guests.

Okay, I need to get back to scouting some new products for mymilligram. See you in a couple weeks!

Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Sep 18 2018