This week's tablehopper: wide load.

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Custard French toast at nopa.

Looks like we’re both getting pummeled today—that’s what I get for taking a week off while playing in New York. Too. Much. News. But it also means I have a pile-up of starlet sightings for you as well! Heh. Guilty pleasures…

Since we’re on that delightful topic, my weekend was definitely full of guilty pleasures, starting with the insane custard French toast at nopa’s weekend brunch—have you had it? Don’t know how that was missing from my life, but now I’m on it. Check it out (and other killer dishes on nopa’s menu) on Deep Dishing. What are your faves there? Feel free to add ‘em in! I also got to squeak in a brunch on Sunday at Out the Door on Bush (I posted a pic and a tip about their beef pho on Deep Dishing). It’s always so hard to choose on OTD’s brunch menu, I want it all.

I also went to dinner at Betelnut with a couple friends to try the special offal menu they did in conjunction with BlackboardEats. If you ended up purchasing one of the passcodes, let me tell you: get your ass over there before it expires. The menu was a tour de force of awesome, from the cured lamb tongue with the prickle of galangal, to decadent black pepper chicken livers, to the tamarind fish head curry with okra and tomatillos. Of course I had to request a round of the Xinjiang cumin lamb and sesame buns with chile raita, my latest obsession. That place just keeps rocking it more and more: kudos to chef Alex Ong, chef de cuisine Michael Siegel, and the rest of their team.

This weekend holds more Asian feasting, as I’ll be heading up to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville for this fantastic-sounding event—Eight Perfect Pairings—featuring chef Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation Hong Kong and chef Kam Chiu Leung of Koi Palace. Bring on the dumplings!

Enjoy this springy weather. I’ve been loving my mornings with fresh strawberries, and am eating my fill of asparagus; I can’t believe the batch I got at the Divis farmers’ market on Sunday—they looked like they had just been cut. Heaven.

Hop hop.

Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Apr 12 2011