table of contents This week's tablehopper: from crack pipe to copper pipe.

the chatterbox
the word on the street

fresh meat
new restaurant reviews
the lush
put it on my tab

the starlet
no photos please
the matchmaker
let's get it on

the sponsor
this round is on me


rooftopHello amigos. This city’s weather is so schizo: on Friday I was enjoying a nighttime picnic on my roof with a friend, throwing back a bottle of Rias Baixas albariño (perfect with a taco salad, how hi-lo fabulous), and on Monday, I was ready for some steaming pho. While the heat was still in full effect, one place that served to be the perfect (and somewhat secret) spot for and outdoor lunch was a revisit to Ironwood BBQ—can’t beat the fresh air, the view of the green, and yes, the pulled pork. See ya there during the next heat wave.

Also had a wonderful meal at Masa’s on Saturday, since Richard Reddington was in the house for one night only with chef Gregory Short in honor of Masa’s 25th anniversary year. Can you say Manila clams with chorizo and a saffron-curry nage, with petrale sole over jasmine rice? Crazy combo that magically worked. I learned there’s a big event coming up, bringing back a number of former Masa’s chefs—stand by!
Congrats to Camille H. who won the tickets to this Thursday’s Best of the Bay Area party. See y’all there?
And this is kind of a fun one: Citysearch asked some folks around town what food is better than sex? Yup, yours truly has her answer in there; for the reveal, click here.
And lastly, you know those products you sometimes buy, convincing yourself it’s okay, just a little splurge, although you know it’s totally and utterly ridiculous to buy it? Well, I found my new bad habit: 479° Popcorn. I picked up a box of the Pimentón de La Vera version at Blue Fog Market, and am now hooked. A $5.69 box of popcorn, what is happening to me? SO bougie. Anyway, it’s beyond delicious. Tangy. Sweet. Spicy. Damn.
Oh, and happy Pride everyone. Rock out, celebrate, say it loud, say it proud.

~Marcia subscribe
the chatterbox

CHOW ChickenJUNE 24, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Been hearing some rumblings about ex-Myth chef ~SEAN O’BRIEN’S~ next gig—the ink isn’t dry so he asked me to wait a week. Stand by. Let’s just say if it all goes through, he’ll be back in SF. And that’s all I am allowed to say!

Meanwhile, my teaser proved itself to be true: it is close to confirmed that ~QUINCE~ is moving into the former Myth space on Pacific. So, no yelling from Gordon Ramsey, ha ha. Stand by for the what (Will they close their current space? Sell it?), the when, and more.
Moving into the now-closed ~PJ’S OYSTER BED~ space in the Sunset will be a new restaurant from Jose Calvo-Perez of local favorite Fresca. He said he’s not sure if the new restaurant will carry the Fresca name—he’s considering naming it after his daughter, Juliana. Either way, the food will be his family’s trademark modern Peruvian cuisine with Latin flair—look for an opening in January or February. I’ll follow up with more details as they become finalized. 737 Irving St. at 8th Ave.
lamarMore on the Peruvian tip: last week I had a chance to meet the exceedingly kind and pretense-free celeb chef Gastón Acurio, who has restaurants in seven countries, including Peru, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela, with plans to open in Costa Rica and Brazil. He is opening his first restaurant in the U.S., ~LA MAR CEBICHERÍA PERUANA~ (it’s the project going into a 100-year-old building at Pier 1½, just a smidge north of the Ferry Building). I toured the space last week, and it’s going to be quite the spread, with a pisco bar/lounge area (up to 65 seats) where you can get a pisco sour, plus all kinds of other pisco drinks, and graze on small apps to share, then there’s the ceviche bar further inside, serving about ten kinds made with local fish that will highlight a variety of Peruvian chiles, plus some tiraditos, all served on a large bar (around 30 seats) of up-lit blue glass. There is also a spacious dining room in the back (88 seats) flanking the exhibition kitchen, turning out contemporary-Peruvian fare, plus a big outdoor patio overlooking the water that will have a fire pit. It’s rather spiffy.
The chef de cuisine (Jose Luis, who opened the first La Mar with Acurio), the pastry chef, and floor manager are all coming from Acurio’s restaurants in Peru. Local wine guru Emmanuel Kemiji is consulting on the wine list, finding perfect wine pairings for the dishes, and in fact is consulting with Acurio on all his restaurants. La Mar is slated to open at the end of August or early September. Oh, and if you understand Spanish, Acurio has a series called Aventura Culinaria that you can watch on YouTube.
So, I can finally release the news about another Isaac Mogannam project in the Mission (he’s the one behind the other projects I have mentioned here: Grub and Zaytoon, and the upcoming Booth on Polk Street); moving into the Zain's Mediterranean Cuisine space, next door to Big Mouth Burgers, will be ~PHAT PHILLY~. Think truly authentic Philly cheesesteaks: an Amoroso Philly Roll (baked in Philly), with a choice of provolone, American cheese, or Whiz (if you must), sweet banana peppers and hot cherry peppers, and the twist is that these will be made with quality beef and chicken. Mogannam stated he will be doing his best to use local produce, if not 100% organic ingredients. There will be several options for vegetarians, including a portobello cheesesteak, a veggie cheesesteak, and a tofu cheesesteak. Also expect fries, both regular and crisscut (waffle fries), served as is, with cheese, or get them topped with Whiz and chili (antacid not included). Also on the menu: Buffalo wings in Frank's RedHot Sauce or BBQ-flavored, milkshakes, Tastykake snacks, Goldenberg's Peanut Chews, Herr's Pretzels, and lastly, Frank's Black Cheery Wishniak Soda, all Philly favorites. Phat Philly is due to open sometime between early July and early August. 3388 24th St. at Valencia.
And now, an export from the Inner Richmond: Eater broke the story that ~SUSHI BISTRO~ on Balboa is opening a second location on 24th Street, just next door to the St. Francis Fountain. It’s going to be a complete build out, so the opening isn’t slated to happen until the beginning of 2009. Look for a similar format to the original location, with an extended sake list. Like I said, 24th Street is shaping up to be the new Valencia. 2809 24th St. at York.
A tablehopper Missionite/hipster informs me that ~UDUPI PALACE~ opened this weekend in the former Firecracker space. Yes folks, San Francisco’s only South Indian places (two) are a block away from each other. Madness, I tell you. Open Tue–Sun for lunch and dinner, closed Mondays. 1007 Valencia St. at 21st St., 415-970-8008.
I got word that the colorful ~LOLO~ in the Mission has discontinued weekend brunch. 3234 22nd St. at Bartlett, 415-643-5656.
But, one door closes and other opens, because ~LINGBA~ in Potrero Hill is kicking off brunch next Saturday, July 5th. The menu seems mostly lunchy, but the few brunch dishes include Kurobuta pork hash and eggs, coconut buckwheat pancakes, a Thai-style omelet with green onion, ground chicken, and spicy green chili sauce, and a mushroom tart with a poached egg on top. They win for one of the most “gotta try it” morning cocktails I’ve seen in a while: the Bacon & Eggs Bloody Mary. Here’s the recipe in case you feel like experimenting at home: it’s kind of an all-in-one drink if I ever saw it. Breakfast of champions for sure. Brunch hours will be 11am–3pm. 1469 18th St. at Connecticut, 414-355-0001.
Bacon & Eggs Bloody Mary:
2 oz Tito’s handmade vodka
4 oz fresh pressed tomato juice
1 slice of extra crispy Marin Sun Farms bacon
.5 oz Worcestershire sauce
.5 oz Golden Mountain sauce
juice of ½ lemon
2 quail egg yolks
4 dashes Tabasco sauce
pinch of coarse sea salt
pinch of crushed black peppercorn
fresh grated horseradish
In glass shaker combine lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Golden Mountain sauce, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and horseradish. Add tomato juice and vodka, then fill shaker with ice. Stir all ingredients, then pour into a tall Collins glass. Carefully float quail eggs on top and add the bacon.

~UVA ENOTECA~ in the Lower Haight is starting their weekend brunch on Saturday July 5th. Hours will be 10am–3pm every Sat–Sun. 568 Haight St. at Steiner.
Fellow fans of the teas at Namu, or folks who live in the Inner Richmond nabe, may be already familiar with the Aroma Tea Shop, where you can sit for the free tea tasting and education session, and then once you’re hooked on a new kind, you can buy up some tea for home. After a scouting walk in Russian Hill, I have learned Aroma is expanding to Polk Street, opening a second location called ~AROMA TEA 2~ in the former Cafe Lambretta space. If all goes according to plan, it will open in mid to late July, and will not only have a tea tasting bar, and tea available for sale, but they will also have brewed tea to go (including iced tea with fresh fruit), plus some tables where customers can sit and enjoy tea on their own time. The tables will mimic ones common in China, with a built-in sink and heater for the kettle, so customers can sit and do their own tea service. 1806 Polk St. at Washington.
A big thanks to Thy Tran who has an update on Bay Area Bites about what is happening to the ~HEART OF THE CITY FARMERS’ MARKET~ at the UN Plaza. I love my Wednesday market, and hope it continues to exist—it’s important to a lot of people. I’ll continue to post updates here on the situation.
A few more details about the ~URBAN TAVERN~ project that Laurent Manrique and Chris Condy of C&L Partners have taken over: first, Donna Scala is still involved in the project, and second, the executive chef is Patrick Kehler, who served as chef de cuisine at Aqua, and was also at Circolo Restaurant. Look for Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and an opening in early August. The restaurant will be open daily from 11:30am until late. 333 O'Farrell St. at Mason, 415-923-4400.
After what has seemed like ages, ~LONG BAR & BISTRO~ has finally opened in the Fillmore Grill space. The menu reportedly includes some straightforward classics, like calamari, mussels, fish and chips, sliders, ahi tuna tartare, plus tater tots. tablehopper reader Carla says, “I was at Long Bar last night (finally!) for drinks... they did such a nice job! I love how they remodeled—completely changed the location of the bar (big improvement).” But another reader was kvetching to me about a few things, so all I can say is a SOFT OPENING=caveat emptor. There’s no voicemail, so I have idea what their hours are, sorry. Yet. 2298 Fillmore St. at Clay, 415-440-1700.
And now, menu watch! ~PRES A VI GLOBAL CUISINE AND WINE BAR~ has added entrée-sized dishes in addition to their array of small plates. One Letterman Drive, near the corner of Chestnut and Lyon Streets, Presidio, 415-409-3000.
~SPRUCE~ is now offering a Harvest Menu at lunch, a prix-fixe three-course meal and optional wine pairing. The menu is seasonal, and currently features braised spring onions, pancetta-wrapped day boat scallops, and for dessert, pannacotta with market blueberries. The menu is $30 without wine, and $45 with. (Diners may also opt for a half wine pairing if they just want “a splash.”) 3640 Sacramento St. at Spruce, 415-931-5100.
~LUCE~ has kicked off Sunday Suppers, a “farm to table” tasting menu inspired by Crenn’s Saturday visits to the farmers’ market. $45 per person, and $65 with wine pairings. InterContinental Hotel San Francisco, 888 Howard St. at Fifth St., 415-616-6566.
Some cool events coming up: Meatpaper and Gastronomica, two independent-minded magazines exploring the intersections of food and culture, are celebrating the publication of their summer issues with a lively evening of artistic food and food-centric art called ~SUMMER FEAST~. The event will feature tastings from local chefs and purveyors (chef Staffan Terje/Perbacco, chef Leif Hedendal, chef Chris Kronner/Serpentine, chef Scott Youkilis/Maverick, The Fatted Calf, Prather Ranch Meat Co.), as well as wine and cocktails (Verge Syrah, La Fee Absinthe, Rhum Clement, Bluecoat Gin, Trumer Pils, and more), an art exhibition, and live music from Gaucho. Sunday July 20th, from 6pm–9pm. Tickets are $25 per person, and may be purchased online via credit card or PayPal. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door. Event is at Perbacco Restaurant, 230 California St. at Battery.

The Commonwealth Club has a slew of great events, including this ~BAY GOURMET PANEL: WOMEN CHEFS CONFIDENTIAL~ on Monday June 30th, featuring a very special panel of women who have had a huge impact on the San Francisco dining scene as it is today: Loretta Keller, Marsha McBride, Nancy Oakes, Gayle Pirie, Judy Rodgers, and Joyce Goldstein. 5:30pm reception, 6pm program; members free, $18 non-members. Read more and order tickets here.
And then in July is the summer Platforum series, ~HOW WE EAT~, including Alice Waters on July 31st, plus a bunch more events after that. Read all about the series here.
Opening in downtown Oakland on September 1st in the former Savannah's Place (a Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant) will be ~KAFFIR~ from Amy Torgerson and Lejla Borovac. It will be a casual, quick-service restaurant offering Southeast Asian street food with a California twist, including some apps, salads, soups, and rice or noodle bowls made with free-range meat and poultry, and sustainable seafood. Eco-friendly building materials as well as biodegradable packaging will be used during the development and operation of KAFFIR. Torgerson is a graduate of the CCA and has worked at Limon, Lark Creek Inn, Costanoa Resort, and RNM, while Borovac will be running the front of house (her background includes Long Tan in Brooklyn, New York, as well as Cha Cha Cha, Chow, and RNM). The restaurant will be open for lunch Mon–Fri, with extended hours in the months following the opening. 578 14th St. at Clay, Oakland.
And coming this winter to the Glenview District will be ~MARZANO~, a neighborhood pizzeria joint from John Hurley, Justin Hafen, and Scott Sasaki of Garibaldi’s. The petite space is undergoing a complete build-out, and should be open in November, with a food-fired oven and about 40 seats. In addition to Neapolitan pizzas, there will also be a fish, meat, and pasta entrée each night, plus salads, and full liquor. The name of the executive chef can’t be released yet since he is currently employed elsewhere in the Bay Area and hasn’t given notice. Dinner nightly, and open continuously on the weekends from 10am–10pm. 4214 Park Blvd. at Glenfield, Oakland.

Got a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to this email!

the sponsor


CHOW: Whip Up Dinner Tonight, Recipe-Free
It’s Tuesday evening and you’re staring blankly at that package of chicken breasts in the fridge, so very patiently waiting, waiting, waiting for you to figure out what to do with it. Well, fret no more.
From the store to the kitchen to the table, CHOW outlines the steps that get you from something raw to something cooked using simple ingredients, free of measurements and complicated techniques. A method that you can have in your back pocket and whip out whenever you like. We call it Recipe-Free Cooking.
Start tonight with our roasted chicken breast, bacon cheeseburger, or seared steak recipes, then kick tomorrow with our three-egg omelet filled with melted cheese.  
CHOW: Cooking has never been so easy—or tasty.

fresh meat



280 Valencia St.
Cross: 14th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103


Sun–Thu 5:30pm–10:30pm
Fri–Sat 5:30pm–11pm

Closed Mondays

Apps $9–$14
Entrées $22–$26
Desserts $8







CHOW steak

JUNE 24,, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO It’s funny how restaurants can educate you, or literally make you eat your words. Back in the beginning of the New Year, in my annual missive “The Bore,” I declared how tired I was becoming of open kitchens. I ended up getting a lot of flack from some chef pals for that comment, who brought up the very valid point that it’s nice to see your customer and be able to interact with the room, instead of being locked away in the literal back of house. Point taken.
When I wrote the piece, I was actually thinking of the newly opened ~CONDUIT~ and how I didn’t like looking at the garbage and recycling in the corner while eating my winter chicory salad. Just too much kitchen reality. But fast forward: they have since covered the dishwashing and garbage area up with a curtain, and well well well, two of the three times I have eaten at CONDUIT, look who has parked herself at the counter overlooking the kitchen line.
They are great ringside seats, and rather hot ones too (just watch how the crew here chugs water), but I did reconsider my take on open kitchens. Watching the line hustle is one hell of a thing to witness, and really makes you appreciate the dance that goes into making your dinner. So fascinating, it’s hard to focus on conversation with your dining partner. It’s now probably my favorite seat in the restaurant.
Munch munch munch. (That’s me, eating my words.)
This restaurant has brought up its fair share of controversy, from the edgy urban design from Stanley Saitowitz, to its escalated price point in a location that is better known for rock than rabbit. The place is full of glistening copper pipe, the conduit, if you will. One friend has called it a gay prison, while another liked how the pipes assist in segmenting the rather spacious room into various seating areas and alcoves. It’s definitely a statement.
God bless the carpeted floor that helps dampen the sound, and it’s a pleasure to have some space in between the tables, allowing for actual conversation (the scintillating part is up to you, darlings). I do wish the bar was easier to perch at (hello, the liquors and cocktails here are enough to make me hang out for hours, but the tiny bar and ledge don’t really allow for it), and while we’re on ergonomics, the bench seating along the back wall can get a mite uncomfortable after a couple hours. (Pillows please, perhaps? Because my booty isn’t providing quite enough cushion, although it should.)
Oh yeah, and let’s talk about the infamous bathrooms. Again, it’s another case of men designing bathrooms women don’t like to use (architects/designers behind frisson and Slanted Door, I am talking to you). The opaque glass partitions between the stalls are a bit nerve-wracking to say the least: can that person see me? I can kind of see them. And the communal sink thing, well, it drives me up a wall. I don’t like to reapply my lipstick in front of random men. What happens in the ladies room stays in the ladies room. At least the stalls are now designated which are male and female.
Okay, let’s move on to why I really go to restaurants: to eat. (And yes, to drink.) I’ve enjoyed watching executive chef Justin Deering’s menu evolve through the seasons, and stylistically the somewhat haute plating and duos and trios that were originally featured have been dialed back a bit. Deering’s background at Boulevard and Jeanty at Jack’s is apparent with some Frenchie execution and ingredients making appearances here and there, but he has a playful spin on things that is definitely his own.
The starters aren’t cheap, most hover at an $11 average, so don’t let the Valencia Street address fool you. But the quality ingredients and work that goes into each dish aren’t exactly Valencia Street either. One place to begin is with the little gem salad with a creamy green goddess dressing; I’ve tried a couple variations, once with radish and hazelnuts ($9), and now the little chilled wedges are accompanied by a timbale of Dungeness crab salad ($12).
The wintertime pork belly and squab dishes have made way for a scrumptious execution of quail ($14) served two ways: it’s initially cooked sous vide, and then the pan-seared execution is served on a fried green tomato, while the buttermilk-fried piece rests over a magically ripe (wow, in June!) and flavorful purple Cherokee tomato. I liked the little side of bacon and chive ranch dressing, and peppery watercress, too.
The kitchen has come up with some pastas that regulars are not letting them take off the menu, including the homemade tortellini filled with braised oxtail ($12), resting in a broth that tastes like French onion soup (the magic of braising liquid), all topped with a crispy round of Gruyere, a fun twist on the usual au gratin melted cheese topping. The house-made fettuccine dish ($12) also changes—a delicious variation was in the winter, with a decadently deep yellow-yolked egg in the middle, and shaved black truffle on top; now it comes with a beef and pork sugo (on my “to try” list).
About that egg: it comes from owner Sydney Weinstein of Pauline’s Pizza next door (they raise eggs for the restaurant), and the Pauline’s Pizza garden is also providing most of the greens, like the arugula-like sylvetta. What a cool partnership.
Mains are nicely composed, and the flavor pairings are unique and well thought out. I especially loved the grilled walu ($19) with cannellini beans, fried Castelvetrano olives, and crispy house-cured guanciale, and a recent dish of roasted halibut ($26) with a hearty base of braised artichoke, maitake mushrooms, and fresh greens totally satisfied—nice acidic kick from some Meyer lemon relish, too.
I am missing the trio of lamb ($28) I had back in February (meow on the loin topped with piquillo pepper), but it’s the fact that the menu keeps changing with the seasons that will make me want to return. And the menu is also evolving: the apps remain a bit more “dressy,” while the mains are becoming more “business casual” and focused on satisfaction, a smidge less on complicated execution.

No, not all the dishes are perfect (I’ve been served fish a touch overcooked, salad overdressed, pasta underdone, a sauce under-seasoned) but all in all I have found a lot of care goes into these dishes, with ingredients that taste fresh, and respected. And worked out into delicious combinations.
Some folks have complained about portion size, but I have found them to be just right. Perhaps it’s all a ploy to help save room for dessert, because we have a new pastry chef star in our midst: Majkin Klare. She is wildly talented, and knocks me out with her bright flavors and artful presentations. Wait until you try her homemade ice creams and sundaes. My friend went nuts over the vacherin, an “adult ice cream sandwich” with strawberry in the middle, while the sundae of sweet corn ice cream, burnt salted caramel, and candied popcorn totally brought back childhood flavors (and enjoyment) to me. All are $8, make sure everyone at the table gets their own so you can taste and compare.
Oh, yeah, and about the bar. The inventiveness continues, under the guidance of bar manager Reza Esmaili, who has charmed me with a number of clever cocktails here, but totally wowed me with the Yerba Buena gimlet ($11), made with Square One cucumber vodka, Hendrick’s Gin (yes, homeboy mixed vodka and gin, and man, does this drink rock), plus mint and lime. Well-executed classics are also in the midst, from a Sazerac to a slowly stirred Manhattan ($10). Drink up.
I guess my palate lines up with GM/wine director Brian Gavin’s, because I’ve savored a number of wines off his list, and they all seem to pair quite well with the food. There are a bunch of Euro vinos (and ones from our backyard) to choose from, and anyone can find something to fit their wallet; one night, all the whites by the glass were under $10, nice. And every time my wine has been served at the proper temp. I gotta say, I love all the Schott Zweisel stemware—sexy stuff.
Service is friendly and efficient, and while the kitchen can occasionally get backed up, folks on the floor handle it well and check in. I like the entire team working here—you can tell everyone is working really hard to make it all happen.
One thing to note: there’s a valet lot across the street (man, the parking is the WORST in this neighborhood), but the lot says they close at 10pm, so that can be kind of annoying. Just tell them you want to leave your car in the unattended lot if you plan to stay later.

the lush

JUNE 24, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Whatcha doing tonight, winebarTuesday June 24th? ~CHEF TONY MANTUANO OF THE CHICAGO RESTAURANT SPIAGGIA AND HIS WIFE CATHY~ are hosting an event on the outdoor patio of Americano Restaurant and Bar at the Hotel Vitale to celebrate their new cookbook, Wine Bar Food. The cocktail party kicks off at 6pm, and will feature tasty wine bar food from recipes in the cookbook paired with award-winning Italian wines. Autographed copies of the newly released book will be available to attendees at a special discount. 6pm–7:30pm, $18 per person. Reservations for this event must be made in advance by calling 415-278-3777. 8 Mission St. at Embarcadero.
This Thursday June 26th, ~PLUMPJACK CAFE~ is hosting a four-course winemaker dinner from executive chef Rick Edge and with CADE winery's Anthony Biagi, and will include the first vintage of the CADE Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. The evening will begin with a reception at 6pm in the PlumpJack Cafe Courtyard, followed by dinner at 7pm in the private dining room. $95 per person. Call 415-440-1133 for reservations. 3127 Fillmore St. at Filbert, 415-563-4755.
This Saturday, June 28th, is the ~ST. GEORGE SPIRITS /HANGAR ONE DISTILLERY~ open house from 1pm–6pm; tickets are still available but moving fast. They will be celebrating this year's release of the Fraser River Raspberry Vodka and the brand-new still (which will hopefully be installed and doing its maiden distillation run). The stills will be running most of the day, allowing a rare opportunity to see the process up close with a live distillation. Entrance will include will include three lil’ cocktails, their spirits (including the new whiskey release), and the iced vodka luges. Music and hors d'oeuvres will be supplied throughout the day to keep everyone upright. They will also have a special "Absinthe Den" area where they will be pouring the Absinthe, Heirloom Apple Brandy, and the DeProfundis 20-year old Pear Brandy in a lounge setting. Access to this area is an additional $10.
There is free shuttle service to and from the distillery on the legendary Mexican Bus starting at 12:30pm at the West Oakland BART station, and continuing at 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, with the last pick-up at 4:30pm. For those of you looking to take advantage of the East Bay Ferry from San Francisco, the Mexican Bus will also be stopping by the Alameda Main Street ferry building at approximately 12:15pm, 1:50pm and 3:50pm. Tickets are $35 at the door. This is a 21 and over event. Please bring your picture I.D.! 2601 Monarch St., Alameda, tasting room: 510-864-0635, main: 510-769-1601.
Good timing on this piece of news considering it’s Pride Week: the bar most Castro visitors and locals have long-known as The Pendulum, which recently had an awning with a (thankfully) short-lived scary color scheme pronouncing it the 18th Street Bar, is now going to be ~TOAD HALL~. Here’s a pic of the new awning and be sure to read all the way to the end of the detailed history of the Castro’s first dance club, which seems to be staging a return. Not sure when the opening is, stand by. 4146 18th St. at Collingwood.

the socialite


The Secrets of Salsa
Wed., June 25, 2008

La Cocina
2948 Folsom St.
Cross: 25th St.
San Francisco, CAA


tickets are $110
$20 off for tablehopper readers
email or sign up at Brown Paper Tickets

JUNE 24, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Want another culinary trick up your sleeve? Take ~THE SECRETS OF SALSA: A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH MEXICO'S CULINARY FOUNDATIONS~ at La Cocina and learn how to make real authentic salsa. Chefs from La Cocina will talk participants through four stations that begin with an introduction to the basics of salsa making—all of these salsas are designed to complement summer cooking.
Culinary director Jason Rose will walk participants through an outdoor cooking/grilling refresher course that will begin with tips on getting the perfect grill marks and end with a perfectly cooked protein (be it beef, chicken, or seafood) to go with the salsas. There will also be summer cocktails, and the event will wrap with a delicious sit-down dinner paired with wines.
The chefs include Dilsa Lugo of Los Cilantros and Veronica Salazar of El Huarache Loco. tablehopper readers get $20 off the $110 ticket price, and a large portion of the ticket is tax-deductible.


Bay Area Second Edition Local Food Guide Release
Thu., June 26, 2008

1 Fort Mason
Officer’s Club
(entry streets are on
Franklin and Bay)
San Francisco, CA




tickets $30
buy tickets

JUNE 24, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO The ~BAY AREA LOCAL FOOD GUIDE~ is about to be released, giving the public access to information on over a thousand farms, farmers’ markets, CSAs, restaurants, retailers, institutions, and specialty grocery stores that feature local food within the nine counties of the Bay Area. A celebration in honor of the guide’s release will be held at the Officer’s Club at Fort Mason, and will feature samples of some of the finest local food and wines (you can check out the entire list of participants here).
Doors open at 4:30pm, and a local food panel begins at 6:30pm; speakers include Paula Jones (SF Dept. of Environment), Sibella Kraus (Sage), Alison Negrin (John Muir Health), Simon Richard (Bi-Rite Market) and Jered Lawson (Pie Ranch). Moderated by Bill Fujimoto of Monterey Market. At 7:30pm is dessert, plus farmer and chef/retailer networking. (Event runs until 8:30pm.) 21 and over.
The Bay Area Buy Fresh Buy Local Food Guide is free and will be distributed via retailers listed in the guide, farmers’ markets and at special events. Additionally, the guide is available online for downloading and in a searchable format at

the starlet

JUNE 24, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Okay, now this is what I’m talking about! Becks and Posh, yup, David and Victoria Beckham, were spotted lunching with their kids at One Market Restaurant. Posh actually ate something: the Dungeness crab on greens. (Not sure if she purged later, though.) When the family finished with lunch, they exited quietly out the rear entrance of the restaurant, flanked by two bodyguards. David was in town following the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer match against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 15th (LA won 3:0) and was participating in a Macy’s signing event. Becks was reportedly looking just as hot in person as in his ads.
Katie Couric recently dined at luella with her two daughters, tucking into the ahi tuna tartare tacos, lamb, pasta, and baked peppers and eggplant dish. According to the staff, she was incredibly sweet and friendly (as expected).
Dave Chappelle, who has become a regular at Straits Restaurant in San Francisco when he’s in town doing comedy shows, dined with actor/rapper Mos Def on Tuesday night at the restaurant. Word.

And he may be a local dude, but plenty of ladies (and gents) never seem to tire of hunky Benjamin Bratt sightings: he was spotted having breakfast at Toast on Church Street on Sunday, with his pretty wife, Talisa Soto, and cute kids in tow

the matchmaker

Angelina’s Catering is looking for a nice, fun person who loves to cook and plays well with others. We are a small café and put out delicious, fresh food everyday and we have a good catering following as well.
If you would like to work mostly days, with one weekend day off, and are experienced at managing people and cooking well with an appreciation for good food, this could be the right fit for you. Please send your resume to, we would love to meet you.
Compensation: $15/hour, $20 for catered events.


All content © 2008 Marcia Gagliardi. I am more than happy if you want to link to my reviews and content elsewhere (thanks, glad you dig it), but republishing any part of them in any way, shape or form is strictly prohibited until we talk first. Please take a look at my Creative Commons license for more detail.

To subscribe to this list, please visit

To unsubscribe from this list, click this link: