25, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Big
congrats to all the local nominees for the ~2008
JAMES BEARD AWARDS~! Here are a few highlights
of the local chef nominees:
the Slanted Door for Outstanding Restaurant
Nate Appleman (A16/SPQR)
for Rising Star Chef
Prueitt and Chad Robertson (Tartine
Bakery) and Nicole
(Redd) for Outstanding Pastry Chef
Helena) for Outstanding Service
Cyrus (Healdsburg); David
Kinch, Manresa (Los Gatos); Craig Stoll,
Delfina (San Francisco); and Michael
(San Francisco) for Best Chef: Pacific region.
And big congrats to Fritz
Maytag of Anchor Steam Brewery, Anchor
Distilling Company, and that delicious Maytag Blue cheese, for
his 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The awards are Sunday, June 8, 2008, in New York.
recently wrote a piece for San Francisco magazine on secret menu
items at local restaurants (you can check out the story here)
and while I was doing my research, it really made me want to
return to ~POLENG
Since I'm writing up both O and Monk's Kettle this
week as places to equally get your drink and your dinner on, I
also wanted to mention how delicious chef Tim Luym's food
at Poleng Lounge continues to be. The crispy adobo wings really
are some of the city's best; did you know you can get them
during happy hour for .50 each? It's a six-wing minimum,
which isn't difficult to rack up. Happy hour is Tue–Fri
4pm–5:30pm, with well drinks and beers for $3.
back on Luym's food: the sizzling sisig, a medley of
pork with onion, pepper, coconut vinegar, and citrus served on
a sizzling plate is ridiculously good, but the off-the-menu version
to order for you total carnivores is the pig's face variation,
with a fried egg that you mix in. Oh yeah—porkalicious—don't
be afraid. The poached marrow bones are interestingly served sliced
lengthwise, you'll scarf the kalbi short ribs, and the butterfish
ceviche has a tantalizing balance of flavor (coconut!). With relative
newcomers like Namu and Poleng Lounge on the scene, I'd say
we have some hip places to get some excellent modern Asian/eats.
It's pretty much the kind of food I like to get when I'm
in New York. The service can be a little unprofessional/young
(uh, for the record, never comment to a guest "whoa, you
guys really ate a lot of food!")—but a meal here is
such a great deal (most dishes are $7–$10) so I can overlook
the rough edges a little bit. Pull a seat up at the bar, enjoy
some sake, and graze your way through the utterly delicious menu
that reads fresh and interesting. 1751 Fulton St. at Masonic, 415-441-1751.
CAFE~ has found a new executive chef:
Rick Edge. The official bio isn't
out yet, but this is what I found online: he has worked under chef
Ken Oringer while at Silks and Clio in Boston, with chef Laurent
Gras as a sous at Peacock Alley in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and
with Michael Mina as a sous at Aqua. He was also the chef de cuisine
of the Pacific's Edge restaurant at the Highlands Inn, Park
Hyatt Carmel, and chef de cuisine of Club XIX at the Lodge at Pebble
Beach. Most recently, he was at the Culinary Center of Monterey
as executive chef instructor of the junior and senior class, and
was executive chef of Lattitudes Restaurant in Pacific Grove. If
I missed anything, I'll mention it next week! He's
reportedly starting in mid-April. 3127 Fillmore
St. at Filbert St., 415-563-4755.
at ~SENS~ continue
to rattle—first there was pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon's
departure, and now chef Michael Dotson and Moira Beveridge have
left. The official statement from Dotson and Beveridge goes like
this: "The ownership's vision for Sens Restaurant was no longer
compatible with that of executive chef, Michael Dotson, and event
manager, Moira Beveridge. The parties decided to go their separate
ways, and the split was amicable. Dotson and Beveridge are currently
looking for a space to open a restaurant on the Peninsula." Taking
Dotson's place is Dane Boryta, who was the opening sous chef
and worked with Dotson the first four months. A new springtime
menu will be coming out shortly, but the concept is remaining the
same. 4 Embarcadero Center at Drumm, 415-362-0645.
I was riding my bike past the former Gustofino space on Church
Street last week and saw the sign for ~THOROUGH BREAD
This bakery is an extension of the San
Francisco Bread Institute, and will have students,
graduates, and interns employed there, all under supervision
in order to maintain consistency. There is a big variety of breakfast
pastry, cookies, cakes, and the breads include sourdough, baguette,
ciabatta, multigrain, semolina, and a rotating special variation.
Some of the items are baked on-site, and others come from the
100% of the selection will be baked on-site. There are also some
simple sandwiches, and coffee, too, so swing by for a bite and
enjoy the cute back patio in this delicious springtime weather
we're having. There are plans to add dessert in the evening
later on. Hours are Tue–Sat 7am–7pm, and Sun 7am–3pm, closed
Monday. 248 Church St. at 15th, 415-558-0690.
in the North Mission/Hub area and feel a hankering for some primo
coffee coming on, you can now swing by the new ~FOUR BARREL
COFFEE~ location for an espresso—the
actual café isn't up and running, but co-owner Jeremy
Tooker has a kiosk set up, with the La Mistral machine in effect.
Just enter the alley (Caledonia) off 15th Street—it's east of Valencia.
See, just like a crack deal! Open Mon–Fri 8am–4pm,
and 9am–5pm Sat–Sun.
Update on some projects around town: ~DOMO~ in Hayes Valley opens
today. 5:30pm. Release the sushi. 511 Laguna St. at Hayes, 415-861-8887.
first San Francisco location of ~UDUPI PALACE~,
the South Indian restaurant moving into the
Firecracker space, won't be opening until late April. 1007
1/2 Valencia St. at 22nd.
THE CORNER~, the jazz café coming to the Western Addition/Nopa
neighborhood, is now looking at a hopeful mid-April opening. 359
Divisadero St. at Oak.
project bites the dust in North Beach: the proposed retail wine
shop, ~VINO DIVINO~, will not be moving into the space a couple
of doors away from the former Gold Spike—the Telegraph Hill
Dwellers don't want any more businesses that include alcohol. Yup,
it's beginning to feel like Prohibition again over there.
wonder about the legendary ~BALBOA CAFÉ~ burger? Now's
your chance: they will be dishing out a free Balboa Burger to anyone
who donates a pint of blood aboard Blood Center of the Pacific's
(BCP) bloodmobile parked outside on Thursday, April 3, 1pm–6pm.
To donate blood, one must be healthy, at least 17 years old and
weigh 110 pounds or more (you hear that, tiny Marina girls?). To
schedule an appointment time, please contact Emily Thrasher, firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-346-5712. Walk-in donors will also be accepted. To make
an appointment online, visit www.bloodheroes.com and enter the
password PlumpJack. 3199 Fillmore St. at Greenwich.
Are you aware of the ~WORLD WILDLIFE FUND'S EARTH HOUR~ taking
place this Saturday, March 29, from 8pm–9pm? It's a
worldwide movement to encourage everyone to turn off their non-essential
lights for one hour on March 29 to raise awareness about climate
change and what we can do to help. San Francisco is one of four
major US cities participating in the worldwide event. Aside from
the large number of businesses that will be shutting off all unnecessary
power, the following restaurants have agreed to participate in
Earth Hour through a variety of individual activities ranging from
sustainable menus, to shutting off all unnecessary lights and turning
off their exterior lights for the evening:
Restaurant and Bar in Oakland
San Francisco Center Restaurant Collection (Zazil Coastal Mexican
Restaurants (Jack Falstaff, MATRIXFILLMORE, PlumpJack Café,
Love – Un Amour a Croquer
Tea, Tea Lounge
this Thursday, March 27, Raphael
Knapp and Rue
St. Jacques's chef Eric Lanvert have
teamed up to let you tour the wines of France without the airplane
ticket. They are appropriately calling the event ~LE
TOUR DE FRANCE~. Here's
the lineup: les huitres Point Reyes en gelée saffranée
(Point Reyes oysters in a saffron gelée) with a glass of
Pouilly Fumé Claude Michot; la daube de boeuf á la
Provençale (Provençale style short rib), with a glass
of Gigondas; la salade frisée et sont Brillat Savarin (frisée
Salad with Brillat Savarin cheese) with a glass of Listrac Médoc;
le soufflé au chocolat (chocolate soufflé) with a
glass of Banyuls. You will also have the opportunity to purchase
the featured wines at very reduced prices. $65. 1098 Jackson St.
at Taylor, 415-776-2002.
few updates in the Tenderloin dive bar-gentrification scene:
first, the sketchy OSB (O'Farrell Street Bar) is now ~800
Thrillist reported that
there's a "30ft mahogany bar, plush leather
armchairs and couches, and a new, gray-felt pool table." And
a cocktail menu. Well. 800 Larkin St. at O'Farrell, 415-567-9326.
also heard some bartenders from the Tunnel Top have taken over
the previously skeevy ~KOKO'S~ in the TenderNob.
I tried to swing by last Sunday night but it was closed, so no
report on the décor, but it's supposed to have some
flair. If you like, let some Yelpers fill
1060 Geary St. at Polk, 415-885-4788.
booze news: ~SAN FRANCISCO COCKTAIL WEEK~ is
returning, running from May 13–19. You can read an initial
line-up of very cool events on the site, which will include some
cocktail dinners at bacar, The Alembic, and Conduit in San Francisco,
and Flora in Oakland; a discussion on Literature and Drinking Culture
in San Francisco with David Wondrich; a Save the Sazerac event
at Elixir, and I might, might, be co-hosting a bar crawl of some
the meantime, H of Elixir (and his new biz, Cocktail Ambassadors)
is hosting his first ~MIXOLOGY 101 CLASS~ at the Bay Club tonight
from 7:30pm–9pm. In this 20-person class, you'll learn
some entry-level techniques, and do some shaking and stirring (Manhattans
and martinis), plus muddling of mojitos, and juicing for a proper
margarita. The class is open to the public, but costs $120 for
club members, and $135 for non-members—tablehopper readers
get the non-member fee waived, so it's only $120—just
click to order here and
read more on the Elixir site. I know it's last minute, so if you
can't swing it, he will be doing these classes quarterly
with a seasonal spin (plus some thematic changes) at all of the
Clubs in Northern California (San Rafael, San Francisco, Redwood City,
Santa Clara and Los Gatos).
on Thursday at Elixir, there's the ~GREAT WHISKEY
an event as part of H's Cocktail Club series. Join Simon
Brooking, Master Ambassador for Laphroaig and Ardmore single malt
scotches, as he goes head to head with Jim Beam Whiskey Professor
David Mays about which is the greatest whisk(e)y on earth: bourbon
or scotch. Scandal! It is $20 per person for four whiskeys (two
scotches, two bourbons) and you'll get some entertainment,
history, education, slideshow, Q&A, and cocktail specials.
Wow, all that in one night. Things kick off after the last basketball
game (should be 9:30pm-ish). Buy your ticket here.
Capacity is limited to 50. And lastly, next Thursday, April 3 at
Elixir, there will be a Maker's Mark tasting with Master
Distiller Dave Pickerel. 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.
Bay folks, you are lucky ducks, because ~OLIVETO'S~ first
spring favas have just come in from Bolinas. Spring fava season
is brief, and there's nothing
like the first wave of tender beans—chef Paul Canales and
many other fava lovers know only the first few pickings yield beans
tender enough to serve raw, with the delicate skins still on. So
swing by tonight through Thursday for fresh favas with Il Frantoio
olive oil and sea salt, finished with a fresh shaving of pecorino
and cracked black pepper. This first wave of favas comes from Star
Route Farm on the Marin coast. (The first crops of local asparagus
and English peas are also on the menu now.) Oliveto, 5655 College
also was reading about a cool ~BUTCHER'S
DINNER~ at Café Rouge
this Thursday—looks delicious. $80 per person, with a menu
of red meat provided by the following growers:
Magruder Ranch, McCormack Ranch and Niman Ranch. 1782 4th St.,
You'll be able to read up on ~O
IZAKAYA LOUNGE~ in this week's
fresh meat, but I wanted to make sure you sports freaks knew you
can swing by tonight, March 25, for the Oakland A's and Boston
Red Sox's season opener in Japan. O will broadcast the game
in high definition on their seven flat-screen TVs at 6pm, and you
can enjoy chef Nicolaus Balla's signature happy hour menu
items and drinks from 6pm–8pm. (Stay late to watch the second
game live from Tokyo.) Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post St. at Laguna, 415-614-5431.
a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to