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The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion.

This week's tablehopper: hamburgling.

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The pastrami burger from Ahn’s.

Look at that burger. Isn’t it begging for a serious chomping? Thanks to a tip from an East Bay food-savvy friend, I can now say I have experienced the Ahn’s pastrami burger—an indulgent, messy, and completely unsustainable burger, which is why it only put me back $4.95 (plus $2.30 for fries). Go Oakland.

More cheap eats highlights: I went back to Off the Grid on Friday evening with a couple of friends, where we did a sisig taco tasting (we tried tacos from Adobo Hobo and Hapa SF—both were stupidly tasty, and with great texture), and plowed our way through some lumpia, hot dogs, a samosa, a huarache, and a quesadilla. Talk about a culinary mash-up. And yes, we left full, very full. Fortunately everything goes really well with beer. You can check out my mini Flickr album of the evening here.

I’m really fired up to announce I am co-hosting an after party for the SF Chefs opening event on August 13th called Happy Ending at E&O Trading Co. The event is highlighting Asian street food from local street food vendors and restaurants, with about eight stations in all (and of course some cocktails will be figuring prominently). Read all about it in the socialite—hope to see you there!

So, you coming to see me this Wednesday at the J Lounge at Jardinière? I’ll be guest bartending from 5:30pm-8pm, serving up a nice bourbon-y cocktail for you to enjoy, “The Enchantress.”

One other fun thing tomorrow: Bruce Hill’s Zero Zero is opening in SoMa, and you get the first peek at the menus here! I hope you had a filling lunch, because you’re liable to get a bit peckish reading about the pizzas (and more).

I am officially beginning my countdown—am leaving for Tahoe next week for a mini-break. Can’t wait to watch chipmunk TV and jump in that ice cold blue lake. Yeah, just one more week of this lame grey weather. At least it’s good eating weather, ha ha.

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Jul 27, 2010

Magnolia to Open a Brewery and Restaurant in Dogpatch

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Photo of Dave McLean by Jennifer Yin.

I heard rumors that Dave McLean of Magnolia had a project brewing (heh) in Dogpatch, and he has kindly shared a “work in progress” update with me. What this means is zoning, planning, and other factors may come into play, but the plan is to open a small-scale production brewery, ~MAGNOLIA BREWERY~, and on-site pub/restaurant in the American Industrial Center on 3rd Street (next to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, and across from Serpentine on 22nd Street). He mentioned how he’s been literally bursting at the seams with his Haight Street production, and can barely keep up with the needs at Magnolia and his other location, The Alembic. He’s actually having to turn away wholesale business for local bars and restaurants since he just can’t produce enough beer. (Yeah, that Proving Ground is popular stuff!) The new location would allow him to produce three times the amount (with a 20-barrel system), but it would still be on a small, craft level. He will also be freed up to do more barrel aging.

As for the restaurant, it’s still in its infancy as a concept, but he envisions a casual space, with a bit of an industrial and maritime vibe to fit the neighborhood style. He has enlisted Eric Hyde (Thermidor, Range, Serpentine) to design the space. (McLean also mentioned having wine on tap—and based on my own gossip tracking, I can safely say some of it will be from a new neighbor—more on that soon.) Timing is pointing toward spring of 2011, so I’ll keep you posted on updates. With the upcoming Piccino project, things just keep getting more exciting over there. 2505 3rd St. at 22nd St.

Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery - 1398 Haight St. San Francisco - 415-864-7468

Zero Zero Opens Tomorrow in SoMa

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Booths; photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

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Upstairs; photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

Are you ready to report for pizza patrol? Opening tomorrow, Wednesday July 28th, is ~ZERO ZERO~, the SoMa pizzeria and restaurant from executive chef/owner Bruce Hill (BIX, Picco, Pizzeria Picco) in the former Azie space. The Bay Area is no stranger to Hill’s stellar pizzas at Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur, so SF diners are pretty fired up to have his “Calipolitan” pies (Neapolitan pizzas with California ingredients) so close by.

A few details: the mozzarella is housemade, and the custom Mugnaini oven will be cranking so hot that nicely blistered pies will come out after only 90 seconds or so. In case you’re wondering about the name, it refers to the ultra-finely ground flour (tipo “00”) used in traditional Neapolitan pizza dough. And what a list of pizzas it is, ten in all, from classics like a margherita ($10.95), to a variety of pizzas named after different neighborhoods in the City, like the Fillmore, with hen of the woods mushrooms, leeks, mozzarella, Parmesan, pecorino, Fontina, garlic, and thyme ($15.50), and the Market, with housemade mortadella, Padrón peppers, mozzarella, roasted garlic, and oregano ($13.50). (You can read about all the pizzas here.)

The menu (co-created with chef Chris Whaley) also includes a range of starters and antipasti, like a variety of crudos for $9.75 each (e.g. albacore tuna, Padrón pepper, sea beans, and coriander aioli), and bar-friendly bites for $6.95, like Fontina and spinach-stuffed arancini with black garlic aioli, plus a few bruschetta choices, salads, and hello there, crispy fried chicken thighs with chili sauce, crisp basil, and caraway yogurt ($9.95). Some pasta dishes will round out the menu, including sweet corn agnolotti, pickled peppers, country ham, Straus butter, and capers ($12.50), and bucatini with cherry tomatoes, garlic chives, chile, breadcrumbs, and bottarga ($11.95). You can view the entire menu here.

And of course Hill’s signature organic soft-serve Straus Dairy ice cream will be on the menu—in fact, it has its own menu, with a variety of options, from a base of olive oil cake or cinnamon waffle, to toppings like pine nut brittle or his classic Da Vero olive oil and sea salt combo. There’s a full bar (actually two), with farm-to-glass cocktails created by Joel Teitelbaum, recently of Credo. You’ll also be able to order punch service in vintage bowls, à la Rickhouse. The wine list will focus on Italian varietals grown in California, with up to twelve wines available on tap, while the by-the-glass and bottle choices are primarily from Italy. There will also be a selection of small-production beers. You can view the cocktail and wine list here.

Michael Brennan redesigned the two-level and 135-seat space, formerly designed by Cass Calder Smith, which includes details like flame-inspired sconces and hanging lights, booths on the first floor, a central staircase adorned with old-fashioned metal-work, red-brown woods and leathers, and a second floor with a communal table and room for groups. Oh yeah, and quite the mural about the story of pizza, featuring Pinocchio. Dinner will be served Sun-Thu 5:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm, and lunch launching in late August. Note: reservations only for parties of five or greater.

Zero Zero - 826 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-348-8800

New Chef at Absinthe

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Photo by ©2006 frankenyimages.com.

There’s a new executive chef at ~ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR~ in Hayes Valley, Adam Keough, who begins on August 17th (Jamie Lauren is now at Beechwood in Venice, Los Angeles). He will be responsible for the food for lunch, dinner, brunch, private dining, and the bar at Absinthe, as well as for Arlequin Café. The Boston-native’s background includes working with Joshua Skenes at Chez TJ in Los Gatos, and for the Mina Restaurant Group at Arcadia in San Jose, and he opened Stonehill Tavern for Mina at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach in Dana Point, to much acclaim.

We had a chance to talk about upcoming menu changes, which will entail more bar snacks (like his homemade garlic pretzels), and adding some Italian flair to the menu. New appetizers will include beef carpaccio, and housemade fennel sausage in a grain mustard butter sauce, along with two to three soups (don’t worry, the onion soup will remain). Some new entrées on the menu will include a steak, plus a shellfish stew, butter-poached halibut, and some creative sides. Oh yeah, and short ribs made in a boeuf bourguignon style. (Vegetarians can have wild nettle and ricotta cannelloni with roasted macadamia nuts, confit of lemon, and basil cream.) The lunchtime menu will include a delicious-sounding BLT, with Berkshire pork cheek and Neuske’s bacon, plus miner’s lettuce, heirloom tomato, and aioli. Yeah, sign me up. Brunch will integrate a roast of the day, like a stuffed and carved lamb leg, and the Niçoise salad will have a twist—it will be made with potato-encrusted steelhead trout, with an olive relish, radish, wax beans and haricots verts, and an anchovy dressing. Am looking forward to trying his menu.

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar - 398 Hayes St. San Francisco - 415-551-1590

B-Cubed: A New HQ for "Bottles, Burgers, and Bites"

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The Valencia Street space that formerly housed Senses and Janitzi has a new tenant, ~B-CUBED~, due to open Wednesday August 4th. About the name: B-Cubed is going to be about (wine) “bottles, burgers, and bites.” The partners in the venture are Johnny Gato and Ron Elder, along with chef Kevin Ahajanian (Bouchon, Risibisi). Starters include beer-battered onion rings and charcuterie, and salads like a Cobb or B3LT (with bacon, Point Reyes blue cheese, marinated tomatoes, bibb and romaine lettuces). The main event is a $12 burger (with a variety of toppings, ranging from $1-$2), or sausages (including boudin noir), and sandwiches (which include three vegetarian options, like a hen of the woods mushroom “burger”). There will also be a happy hour from 4pm-6pm, and 10pm-12am—just order a bottle of wine off the happy hour list and you can add two burgers on for $18. The late-night happy hour will have a few additional offerings.

The owners are calling the wine component “The Winemakers’ Speakeasy.” The idea is that you’ll be able to enjoy rare, small production, under-the-radar, and local wines that are not widely available, nor are they available for public tasting, many not even at the wineries. And bonus, the prices will be based on retail, whether you want to consume a bottle in-house or take it home. Look for the selection to grow (and rotate) in coming months. Hours will be Tue-Sun 4pm-2am.

If you’d like a sneak peek, The Bold Italic just added another preview dinner on August 3rd for $45.

B-Cubed - 1152 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-401-7258

Russian Hill's 1550 Hyde Café & Wine Bar Is Closing

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Photo from 1550 Hyde website.

Both Eater and Inside Scoop reported on the upcoming closure of ~1550 HYDE CAFÉ & WINE BAR~ on August 14th, after seven-plus years in business. The restaurant from partners Peter Erickson and Kent Liggett wasn’t able to withstand the challenging economy, so they sold their lease back to the landlord. Best of luck to them, and here’s hoping they enjoy a nice break. New tenants are reportedly taking over the Russian Hill space starting September 1st. 1550 Hyde St. at Pacific, 415-775-1550.

Home on Market Gets a New Exec Chef

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Photo from Home website.

The kitchen at ~HOME ON MARKET~ is now under the care of executive chef Ryan Pollnow, formerly a sous chef at Mecca under chef Randy Lewis, and the last three years he was in Sonoma at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center. Look for more artisanal, local, and sustainable products making their way on the menu, like Fulton Ranch beef, Mary’s Free Range Natural Chickens, and local cheeses, along with produce from the Castro Farmers’ Market. Look for new menu additions in coming weeks. 2100 Market St. at Church, 415-503-0333.

Baker & Banker Bakery Opening August 1st

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The XXX chocolate layer cake.

If all goes according to plan, the ~BAKER & BANKER BAKERY~ should be opening on Sunday August 1st. The project is from husband-and-wife team Lori Baker and Jeff Banker, and is just around the corner from their restaurant. On the menu: Four Barrel drip coffee and espresso drinks, one or two daily sandwiches, and, of course, baked goods. Morning offerings will include scones, muffins, breakfast breads, and sticky buns, and bakery items will rotate daily and include layer cakes (such as the snickerdoodle cake), a variety of cookies, two to three types of cupcakes (like chocolate salted caramel), brownies, blondies, lemon bars, seasonal crostadas, individual panna cottas, and puddings. There will also be sweet and savory housemade breads available to go, from challah to cinnamon cherry swirl. Got a party coming up? Whole layer cakes may be ordered by 4pm one day prior to pickup. Hours will be Tue-Sun 9am-5pm. 1802 Bush St. at Octavia.

Baker & Banker - 1701 Octavia St., San Francisco - 415-351-2500

Ramen Updates Around Town

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Flickr photo of Hapa Ramen from Umamimart.

Thought I’d update you on a few bits of ramen news, since it’s rapidly becoming a hot topic—although it’s not on the scale of pizza (yet). Eater has the news about a new pop-up ramen shop called ~KEN KEN RAMEN~ in Panchita’s No. 3 on Mondays starting at 6pm. The chef is Bushi-tei line cook Kenji Miyazaki, banging out three different styles of ramen: miso, shoyu, and a shiitake-based vegetarian version. The piece mentions you can top it with day-long-soaked eggs or chashu. You can follow them on Twitter. 3115 22nd St. at S. Van Ness.

Also thought you should know the ~NAMU~ lads are now offering 30 orders of their ramen at the Saturday farmers market at the Ferry Building (starting at 10:45am).

And ~HAPA RAMEN~ is going to be making an appearance at Off the Grid in Fort Mason on Friday August 6th, starting at 5pm.

New Taqueria on Divis

Just around the corner from ‘hopper HQ, ~EL RANCHO GRANDE~ has opened, offering a classic taqueria menu, from a quesadilla suiza ($6.25) to super burritos ($6.95), plus breakfast dishes and special plates, like enchiladas and a steak plate (both under $10). Oddly enough, there’s a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the menu, too. The Rancho is going to be competing with Green Chile Kitchen just a couple blocks away, and Nopalito and The Little Chihuahua a bit further afield, which all use sustainable ingredients (GCK’s super burrito is $8.95). But I am sure the prices here, and convenient location, will be right for many folks. 855 Divisadero St. at McAllister, 415-673-8226.

Menu Changes at Mission Chinese Food

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Inside the chinito.

The chaps at ~MISSION CHINESE FOOD~ are already up to some changes on the menu, which they are relaunching this Thursday the 29th. I hope you haven’t become too attached to the chinito, because chefs Danny Bowien and Anthony Myint are fired up to make other things. I know, you have like two more days to get your chinito groove on. They’re going to be adding dishes like a tingly lamb noodle soup, a cha shu pork belly, and more vegetarian options, like a Taiwanese eggplant dish, and they’re swapping out the bok choy for some water spinach. Did you know they also make a few off-the-menu salt-and-pepper crabs each night, that come doused in the mapo tofu sauce? I know, demented. (It’s for dine-in only.) Oh, and look for some white wine on the menu, too—whether it will quench the heat in your mouth or not, I cannot say.

Mission Chinese Food - 2234 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-863-2800

A Third Crepe House Location Opens in the Mission

Riding my bike down Valencia Street last week, I was surprised to see the latest location of ~THE CREPE HOUSE~ was already open. (The Crepe House has two other locations, at 1755 Polk Street and 429 Gough Street.) The space was formerly Bistro Annex, and it now looked airy, with open windows and awnings. Eater has a few more details: “the new location will have almost the same menu—complete with his best-selling chicken pesto and sweet banana nutella crepes, Mexican omelets and warm chicken salads—but he’s [owner Bashar Haddadin] added a few pasta dishes to the mix.” Open 8am-10:30pm. 1132 Valencia St. at 22nd St., 415-285-2423.

Smokestack Lightning: A Film Screening and Dinner

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Lovers of barbecue, you may want to check out this screening of ~SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BARBECUE~ by Lolis Eric Elie, a New Orleans-based writer and filmmaker. The event will include a barbecue dinner provided by Memphis Minnie’s,The Epicurean Connection, Wild Thyme Catering and Events, and Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates. Wine will be provided by Highway 12 Winery and Vineyards and Spann Vineyards, with beer by Moonlight Brewing Company and Uncommon Brewers. There will also be music by The Hellhounds. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance. Tickets available at The Epicurean Connection, Wild Thyme, and Readers’ Books.

Sunday Aug 8, 2010
6pm–10pm
$45 (includes screening, dinner, and dancing)
more info

Hot Ticket: René Redzepi of Noma Comes to SF in October

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Chef ~RENÉ REDZEPI~ of Noma in Copenhagen is coming to San Francisco October 4th, and will give a presentation at the Delancey Theater on the Embarcadero (he will be in conversation with Daniel Patterson of Coi). This will be his first U.S. event in conjunction with the publication of his new book, Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine (Phaidon, $49.95). The event is free if you purchase a copy of the book from Omnivore Books, or $15 if you don’t want a book. 150 seats are available, and you can contact Omnivore at 415-282-4712 with a credit card number to reserve your space!

Little Star Pizza Opens in Albany This Week

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Flickr photo by SidewalkSundays.

Things are looking good for the opening of ~LITTLE STAR PIZZA~’s third location in Albany this week. (Sorry, San Francisco, you already have two locations.) Owners Brian Sadigursky and Jon Guhl will be offering a similar menu to the SF locations (my favorite deep dish to order from them is the “Brass Monkey,” an off-the-menu variation of the Little Star, but with sausage). They will start out doing dinner only, but will introduce lunch service after getting a good foundation in place. The interior space of the restaurant is light and airy, and they intend to be very family friendly. They also plan to expand their seating outdoors, which should work well with the East Bay climate. The soft opening is this Thursday, and they hope to be able to serve beer and wine, but the answer we’re getting in our ABC Magic 8-Ball is “Cannot predict now.” 1175 Solano Ave., Albany; 510-526-7827 (STAR).

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Jul 27, 2010

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We want you to have the best day ever. Visit us at CarriedAwaySF.com or call 415-786-2424.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Jul 27, 2010

Peruvian Independence Day Is This Wednesday

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Now, I am hoping most of you will end up paying me a visit at Jardinière before heading out and getting blotto on pisco… But just the same, I thought you should know that this Wednesday July 28th, a couple bars around town will be celebrating Peruvian Independence Day.

~CANTINA~ will be offering an extensive and exclusively pisco cocktail menu all night, along with complimentary snacks at happy hour. There will be shots o’ the newly released Campo de Encanto for $4, and pisco punch for $1. Cuidado! 580 Sutter St. at Mason, 415-398-0195.

And ~PISCO LATIN LOUNGE~ will be serving hosted pisco sours (the official national drink of Peru) from 6pm-7pm, made with Pisco 100 acholado. For the remainder of the night, the cocktail will be $6; next door at Destino, you’ll be able to order any two cocktails for the price of one from 5pm-7pm. 1817 Market St. at Octavia, 415-874-9951.

A Sake Happy Hour This Thursday

This Thursday July 29th, ~ANZU~ is hosting their monthly sake happy hour (it’s every month on fourth Thursdays). You will be able to have all-you-can-taste sake, and all-you-can-eat appetizers by chef Philippe Striffeler. Featured sakes include Mizbasho Ginjo, Yaegaki Nigori, Katana “Extra Dry” Junmai Ginjo, and Yaegaki Kuro-Bin “Black Bottle.” $25 in advance (simply call the restaurant to make a reservation and secure your spot), $30 at the door. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. at O’Farrell, 415-394-1100.

Complimentary Wine Tasting This Thursday at CODA

~CODA~ is hosting another Meet The Winemaker Happy Hour with Michael Martella on Thursday July 29th. There will be a complimentary tasting of select Thomas Fogarty and Martella Wines (special prices for glasses and bottles will be available). DJ Guillermo (Sweater Funk) will be playing select jazz and soul.

Thursday Jul 29, 2010
6pm–8pm
more info

CODA - 1710 Mission St. San Francisco - 415-551-2632

A Few Off-the-Radar Happy Hours

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Mijita margarita photo © 2010 Frankeny Images.

Looking for a few new places to get your happy hour mojo on? ~ARMANI CAFE~ hosts an “Aperitivo Milanese” every Thursday evening from 5pm-7pm. Cocktails are $9, and come with appetizers like bite-size pizzas, crostini with sun-dried tomato tapenade or salmon and dill spread, small portions of cold pasta salad, and caprese salad skewers. 1 Grant Ave. at O’Farrell, 415-677-9010.

Every Friday, ~THE WINE CLUB~ does a $5 happy hour from 5pm-7pm. They open up all the new wine they get in the store that week and share it with customers (so sometimes customers can taste as many as 15 wines). They also serve food, like sushi from Ozumo, or Indian, Mediterranean, or Mexican bites. 953 Harrison St. at 6th St., 415-512-9086.

Starting Monday August 2nd, ~MIJITA AT THE FERRY BUILDING~ will be launching a special ‘Mijita Hour’ (AKA happy hour), featuring $5 margaritas and free chips and salsa with a margarita purchase. Every Mon-Fri 5pm-7pm. (Mijita at AT&T Park will continue the same happy hour special on non-game weekdays from 5pm-7pm.) 1 Ferry Building, 415-399-0814; 24 Willie Mays Plaza, 415-644-0240.

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the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Jul 27, 2010

Happy Ending, a tablehopper Asian Street Food Party

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At Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai.

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A pani puri stand in Mumbai.

Event Info

Friday Aug 13, 2010
10pm–1am
$25–$35
Info
E&O Trading Co.
314 Sutter St. at Grant, San Francisco

When the SF Chefs opening night wraps up on Friday (yes, on the 13th!), the evening is still far from being done. You’ll want to walk a block up to E&O Trading Co., where tablehopper (yes, yours truly) is co-hosting ~HAPPY ENDING~, a full-tilt Asian street food party. (I should actually say par-tay, because it’s gonna be a blast.) Get ready to globe hop and table hop.

You’ll see the Seoul on Wheels truck parked out front, where anyone can place an order for Korean tacos, kimchee fried rice, and more. Once inside, your ticket will entitle you to a spread of delicious and authentic street food from a variety of top local vendors. Confirmed so far is Adobo Hobo (Jason Rotairo and Ed Chui), who will be serving their tasty chicken adobo and rice; Roger Feely of Soul Cocina will be making pani puri, an Indian vegetarian dish that is a crisp puff filled with a spicy tamarind water that you pop into your mouth all at once—love it; chef Nick Balla from Nombe will be doing takoyaki (a street food famous in Osaka but loved all over Japan—they’re grilled balls made of octopus/tako, scallop, and pork mixed into a batter and served with a trio of sauces); Turtle Tower will offer their imperial rolls and spring rolls; chef Alex Ong of Betelnut is planning to do Xinjiang cumin lamb skewers; host chef Arnold Eric Wong of E&O will be offering a variety of dishes (some of them will be vegetarian); Todd Sirimongkolvit of Basil Canteen will be serving sakhoo saimu (Thai steamed tapioca dumplings of pork and peanuts wrapped in lettuce); and for dessert, there will be banana chai fritters by Azalina Eusope (known for her stand, Malaysian Lacy Crepes and the duo from DeLise Dessert Café (Dennis and Catherine Eloise Leung) will be scooping some of their de-licious Asian-inspired ice creams and sorbets, like the popular coconut pandan flavor. Come hungry.

It wouldn’t be a tablehopper party without cocktails, hello! We’ll have some expertly made drinks from the E&O crew, along with guest bartenders the Bon Vivants, AKA Scott Baird and Josh Harris—look for some unique Asian flavors and spices popping up in your cocktails. I’m also lining up a couple more bartenders, so you’ll have all kinds of things to taste.

I’m also very excited to announce who will be supplying the musique for the evening: the wickedly talented Jeffrey Paradise (hey, I wouldn’t have just anyone play for my book launch party back in March). He will be accompanied by his glamorous wife, Ava Berlin, who will be taking snaps of guests at the party, so hey, look snazzy.

All proceeds (after expenses) will be donated to the amazing CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Service) organization. And if you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of the tablehopper book, you’ll be able to purchase a signed copy for $17.50—but don’t get mad if I spill some sriracha on it.

Visa Signature tickets are $25; click here to purchase. Non-Visa Signature tickets are $35 and can be purchased by clicking here.

Please RSVP on the Happy Ending Facebook event page if you’re coming, thanks!

SF Chefs 2010 Returns to Union Square August 9th-15th

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Photo from SF Chefs.

Event Info

Monday Aug 9, 2010 – Sunday Aug 15, 2010
Info and tickets

Are you ready for another stellar year on Union Square at the ~SF CHEFS 2010 EVENT~? The urban food, wine, and spirits festival will take place at the Grand Tasting Tent in Union Square, and participating restaurants around town will offer three-course “SF Chefs 2010 Showcase Menus,” highlighting the restaurant’s concept, menu, and signature dishes (there will be $35 and $50 menus).

The main events are the Grand Tasting Tent events, taking place from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Attendees will get to savor tastes from over 30 acclaimed chefs and restaurants at each of the four signature tent experiences. Featured chefs and restaurants include Charles Phan of The Slanted Door, Melissa Perello of Frances, Craig Stoll of Delfina, Staffan Terje of Perbacco, Tyler Florence of Wayfare Tavern, Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats, Suzette Gresham of Acquerello, Jen Biesty of Scala’s Bistro, Chris Cosentino of Incanto, and Dominique Crenn of Luce, to name a few. You will also be able to taste more than 25 wines at each Grand Tasting Tent experience (and meet sommeliers and winemakers). Bartenders will participate in each Tasting Tent experience, as well as host cocktail and spirits seminars.

During this year’s introduction of SF Chefs Restaurant Week, there will be classes (some are trade only), demonstrations, tastings, panels, and seminars throughout the festival. On Wednesday August 11th (from 3pm-4:30pm), I will be moderating one of the seminars, “Hospitalitarianism: Love Thy Guest,” featuring a panel of the City’s respected “hospitalitarians” like Umberto Gibin (Perbacco, barbacco), Giancarlo Paterlini (Acquerello), Anne Stoll (Delfina restaurant and Pizzeria Delfina), and Nick Peyton (Cyrus). We’ll discuss experiences with hiring, firing and training staff, building relationships with both loyal and difficult guests, and the art of running successful restaurants.

Each seminar will be followed by a full hour reception with complimentary beverages and a chance to meet and greet with the class experts. All industry seminars are complimentary to Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) members, $25 to Visa Signature cardholders, and $35 for regular admission. The program schedule and ticket purchase information is available here.

And just in case you need help keeping things straight, there will be a free iPhone app that will feature participating restaurants, their SF Chef’s Showcase Menus, full details of the festival’s events, reservations, ticketing, and Twitter and Facebook feeds. Download the application here (available the first week of August).

All charitable proceeds garnered throughout the festival will benefit the Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s Scholarship Foundation, an organization dedicated to encouraging and providing assistance to individuals who wish to further their education in pursuit of careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The San Francisco Food Bank and Project Open Hand will also benefit from select events.

SF Chefs 2010 is produced by the GGRA, in partnership with Visa Signature, Andrew Freeman & Co., Tannin Management, and Dominic Phillips Event Marketing.

the health nut

Gettin' Fit (take a lap, tablehopper)
Jul 27, 2010

Is It Time for a 10-Day Tune-Up?

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Many of you have asked me when the next cleanse program is coming up, and look at that, there’s a new 10-day intro program you can check out! The Core Vitality Detox 10-day program was created specifically for busy people interested in getting started in the transformational world of lifestyle detoxification, as well as detox regulars that are looking for a shorter mid-year tuneup (ahem, excuse me while I put down this five-spice duck leg). The program will run from August 5th-14th. It’s just 10 days—you can do it.

You’ll be able to learn about dietary cleansing, food for healing, shopping for and preparing clean food, organ and nervous system function, and how to clean out in the most effective way for your own essential nature. Discover the core of your own vitality—and tablehopper readers get 10% off. Come by for the free Q&A this Wednesday July 28th from 7:30pm-9pm at Ascend Body in SoMa, 1 Rausch St., Unit D, at Howard.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)
Jul 27, 2010

Stylin' and Profilin'

~Julia Stiles~ was spotted at the bar at BIN 38; she had some snacks and drank a Ponzi pinot blanc.

For Your Entertainment

There were a couple sightings of glammy gay singer ~Adam Lambert~, the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol. A tablehopper reader spotted him leaving Blackbird, and says, “Confirmed by all giddy bar patrons and bartenders. He looked like a cockatoo—beautiful, well groomed, lots of eye makeup.” Grub Street also reports he had a late supper at Lafitte.

Here's a Biggie

Sex and the City’s Mr. Big, AKA ~Chris Noth~ was on the town—he was spotted at Gitane. He was in town for Summer & the Symphony’s Grand Finale, narrating Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.

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