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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: burnt toast.

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The bow of La Llorona and the moon at Burning Man. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello fabulous people. I have returned from the wild dusty yonder—well, barely. It’s Monday evening as I write this and I’m actually in the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno for the night, taking a break from the long journey returning home from Burning Man. Yes, I am planning to shower at least four times before I hit the road again Tuesday morning, and I’m going to need an airlift to get out of this bed. Cleanup in aisle seven!

My sister and I had the most memorable, fantastic time taking our father to the playa for his first burn. It was our eighth year, and one of the best. He loved it in so many ways, and it was great to see him tooling around with us at night, his trike all lit up in Italian colors. Fortunately sis and I kept our promise to our mother to return our father home in one piece—we had to swear not to break him. I can definitely see where I get my love of people, partying, and carrying on—our father is the original party animal (his custom grappa travel bar with eight of his housemade infusions proved to be very popular). And you know we ate like champs, scarfing down caprese salad, homemade posole, salumi, fava bean spread, and plenty of espresso.

Since I’ve been out of town and gloriously off technology for a week, today’s missive doesn’t have that much news since I need to catch up—next week will be more back to normal. I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend, and wish me luck with all this cleanup! Ay yi yi. Dust dust dust.

Yours,
Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)
Sep 4, 2012

Mission Oyster Bar to Open on Mission Street This Fall

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The bar and interior, under construction. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

And here’s some more news of yet another opening in the Mission! At 2282 Mission Street, in the former Acaxutla location, ~THE MISSION OYSTER BAR SEAFOOD RESTAURANT~ is slated to open later this fall. Owner Fredy Gamez worked as a chef at Anchor Oyster Bar for 18 years and will draw on that experience in creating classic seafood dishes. The restaurant will be open daily, for both lunch and dinner, and there will be a variety of seafood options, including clam chowder, clam and mussel steamers, cioppino, and both fried and fresh oysters. During crab season, whole roasted garlic crab will be available, so bring a bib. For those who prefer turf over surf, the menu will offer steak, chicken breast, and rotating seasonal pastas. A lunch menu will include sandwiches like an open-face crab melt, shrimp salads, and fish and chips. The wine and beer list will focus on local, seafood-friendly offerings.

The space is still pretty raw, but the 28-foot bar is already well defined and will be an excellent spot to enjoy some oysters and a glass of wine. The front of the restaurant is currently plywood-covered, but the ceilings are quite high and Gamez says the plan is to keep the windows tall and open to the light, so diners can enjoy that Mission sunshine. Gamez hopes to open in late October or early November. There’s no phone number or website yet, but we’ll let you know as opening gets closer. 2282 Mission St. at 19th St.

Tout Sweet Pâtisserie to Open September 8th

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The pastry case at Tout Sweet. Photo from website.

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Tout Sweet interior. Photo from website.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, Yigit Pura of Top Chef: Just Desserts is opening a pâtisserie in Macy’s at Union Square. After some construction complications, ~TOUT SWEET PÂTISSERIE~ will officially be opening on Saturday September 8th. The first 100 people through the doors on Saturday at 10am will receive a special prize from Pura himself.

The pâtisserie will feature a variety of treats, both savory and sweet. In the mornings, there will be freshly made breakfast pastries, yogurt parfaits, and sandwiches, and then at lunch you can get soups, salads, quiche, and sandwiches (Pura’s B3 sandwich with bread, butter, and burrata sounds particularly insane). In the pastry cases, there will be macarons, petite gateaux (or small cakes), and layered parfaits called verrines, as well as celebration cakes to take away. Special-order cakes for weddings and other occasions will be available as well.

Pura will be doing some thematic baking, with his “Inspired” line, which will feature a different idea, or inspiration, translated into a flavor that is then utilized in the pastry. This month, look out for the “Tesla” line, inspired by eccentric electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla. Pura has combined passion fruit, yuzu, and Meyer lemon to create an “electric” flavor that will appear in a variety of goodies, including pâtes de fruit and jars of fruit curd to take home.

The store fills out 1,500 square feet with a design that Pura says was inspired by his “inner child,” hence the bright raspberry color palette. He sought to balance the design with Parisian decadence and California innovation and modernity. There is extensive shelving to hold all the retail items and, of course, a fabulous pastry case (custom made in Italy, no less!). There will also be seating for up to twenty people.

Great attention has also been paid to the packaging, so these treats will make impressive gifts for others—or yourself! As Pura says, “When it comes to sweets and gifts, what’s on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside.” The store will be open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm and Sun 10am-7pm. Inside Macy’s, Union Square, 170 O’Farrell St. at Powell, 3rd floor, 415-824-8688.

Onigilly Japanese Snacks Opens Downtown Today

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The new kitchen at Onigilly. Photo from Facebook.

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Onigiri from Onigilly. Photo from Onigilly website.

The Japanese rice ball specialist ~ONIGILLY~ is (softly) opening their first brick-and-mortar location today, after years of popping up all over the place. The owner and chef, Koji Kanematsu, got started in the incubation program at La Cocina, and has been making his delicious onigiri rice ball snack at Justin Herman Plaza, farmers’ markets, and FoodLab for a long time. Today, their restaurant will be open for business!

The rice balls (which are reportedly more popular in Japan than sushi) come stuffed with your choice of fillings and sauces, like miso tuna salad or chashu pork. There will also be rice bowls and salad options. You can look at the opening menu here for the full range of options. They’ll be right downtown, for all you Financial District lunchtime folks. There will also be a grand opening coming soon, probably in late September. They will be open Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, and are located at 343 Kearny St. at Pine, 415-671-4706.

Next SF Underground Market This Friday September 7th

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The Underground Market. Flickr photo from kewzoo.

This Friday September 7th, forageSF’s ~UNDERGROUND MARKET~ is back and better than ever. Head over to Public Works and check out a bunch of new vendors, and well as some tried-and-true oldies. Some of the new faces will include OneNinetySeven coffee and spring rolls, Cava Funnel Cakes, and Strong Cheese Provisions. In the veteran favorites department, look for Jablow’s Meats, The Grilled Cheez Guy, and frozen kuhsterd. There will be drinks as well, so all attendees must be 21 and over. Tickets are $5 at the door (cash only), and the event goes from 5pm-10pm. Public Works, 161 Erie St. between Mission and 14th St.

Friday Sep 7, 2012
5pm-10pm
$5
more info

Party on Block 18 Happening September 29th

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Ready for a good old-fashioned block party, San Francisco style? Excellent, because the ~PARTY ON BLOCK 18~ is coming soon. The biennial event comes to us Saturday September 29th, from 12pm-6pm. Eighteenth Street between Guerrero and Dolores will be closed to cars, and the businesses along the block will be offering some delicious things to eat, as well as a jolly good time. Namu Gaji will be serving short rib tacos, Bi-Rite will have meat loaf sandwiches, and Kasa will offer mango lassis and and kati rolls. Wine and beer from local producers will be available for purchase too. There will also be a pie-baking contest open to all amateur bakers who want to try their hand at the perfect dessert.

Contestants can purchase tickets for $20, and further details about pie categories will be mailed upon entry. You can purchase food and drink tickets now in books of $20, and all proceeds will benefit Buen Dia Family School, 826 Valencia, 18 Reasons, Nextcourse, Holy Family Day Home, and The Women’s Building.

Some More Details on Acapulco in Alameda

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Acapulco exterior. Yelp photo by Greg G.

As previously reported on tablehopper, ~ACAPULCO~ in Alameda is reopening. Mike Wiesner of Paradiso in San Leandro and his business partner Gordon Galvan have purchased the restaurant. The two previously collaborated on Boulevard Burger in San Leandro and Castro Valley. They are still working on permits for the Acapulco building, but hope to open within the next six months. One of the reasons he and Galvan jumped to buy the spot was because they had such fond memories of going to the restaurant 30 years ago, and wanted to bring the spirit of the family restaurant back to Alameda. They will keep many of the old menu’s standbys, like chile verde, chile colorado, and what Wiesner described as Acapulco’s “excellent” chile relleno. There will also be Mexican restaurant staples, like enchiladas, tacos, and chicken plates, and lots of new seafood choices. All of the sauces and tortillas will be made in-house.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner every day, as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Wiesner isn’t sure yet how late they will stay open, as they want to be sure to respect their neighbors. There will be outdoor dining, too, on sunny days. There aren’t many details on the space yet, because everything is currently gutted and awaiting permits for new plumbing, electricity, and a whole new kitchen. They have, however, already received their liquor license and will have a full bar. The old Acapulco’s was infamous for their wine margarita, but this new incarnation will offer the real deal. Now that’s something to drink to. 2104 Lincoln Ave. at Willow, Alameda.

Roli Roti Celebrates 10th Anniversary with a Pop-Up Party September 30th

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The porchetta from Roli Roti. Photo from Facebook.

The ever-so-delicious ~ROLI ROTI~ rotisserie truck is celebrating 10 porky years on Sunday September 30th. Yup, a lot of people have stood in that line over the past decade, again and again. Take a skip across the Bay to ~CHEZ PANISSE~, which will be hosting the Roli Roti truck outdoors. The party begins at noon and goes on until 3pm. Roli Roti’s famous porchetta sandwiches will be available, as well as salads, snacks, and drinks. Alice Waters herself will be in attendance, as will Roli Roti founder Thomas Odermatt. No reservations or tickets are necessary, just show up and purchase food and drink tickets at the door. Ticket prices range from $2.50-$5, and all proceeds will benefit the Edible Schoolyard Project.

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the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)
Sep 4, 2012

(Sponsored): The 17th Annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Is This Weekend!

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is pleased to announce the 17th Annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival to benefit Project Open Hand. Come out to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco on Saturday September 8th and Sunday the 9th to experience Chocolate School, chef demonstrations, ice cream eating contests, and a chocolate bake-off. More than 30 different chocolate treats to enjoy! Buy your sampling tickets today.

Come indulge for a cause with us!

Ghirardelli Square
Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th
12pm-5pm both days

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
Sep 4, 2012

Press Club Celebrating Their Fourth Anniversary with a Party

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Photo from Press Club.

On Monday September 10th, ~PRESS CLUB~ will be celebrating their fourth anniversary with a party! They’ll be offering glasses of prosecco and pints of Dogfish Head 120 IPA for $4 each. The deal will be available while they are open, from 4pm-10pm.

Press Club - 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco - 415-744-5000

the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)
Sep 4, 2012

Celebrate Asian and Latin Flavors at 2012 Asian Culinary Forum Symposium

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Event Info

Monday Sep 17, 2012 – Saturday Oct 20, 2012
Info

We’ve all caught wind of Korean tacos, but the tasty blend of Latin and Asian flavors that can be found these days doesn’t begin and end there. At this year’s Asian Culinary Forum Symposium, the theme will be Asian + Latin. The symposium will celebrate the unique blend of these two culinary cultures, which come together with particular verve here in California. The events will take place all over town (and even the East Bay), but most will be at the Ferry Building and the Women’s Building in the Mission. Here’s a collection of some of the events happening as part of the symposium.

On Monday September 17th, catch Shifting Borders, Changing Tastes: Asian and Latin American Food in the Past, Present, and Future. At this panel, local chefs will discuss the origins of the blend of Latin and Asian cuisines, including economic and social factors that pushed these two distinct groups together. They will also look at how this marriage has evolved and how it is manifested today. Speakers include Isabel Cruz of Isabel’s Cantina, Kara Nielsen of CCD Innovation, and Gil Payumo of Señor Sisig. Tickets to the event are $40 per person. Monday September 17th, 6pm-8pm, in the Ferry Building.

Later in the week, make your way to Foodways in Focus: Asian and Latin American Cross-Cultural Cooking on Sunday September 23rd, featuring academic discussions of food culture in Chinese-Mexican, Japanese-Brazilian, and Japanese-Colombian communities. Panelists include artist Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, cultural anthropologist Lok Siu, and novelist Karen Tei Yamashita. Tickets are $15. Sunday September 23rd, 2pm-4pm, at the Women’s Building. 3543 18th Street at Lapidge.

Then, on Saturdays in October in Oakland, the symposium continues with a series of cooking classes called Chile to China: Cooking with 1) Chiles, 2) Banana Leaves, and 3) Coconut. Culinary instructor Thy Tran of Wandering Spoon and the Asian Culinary Forum will show you how to work with these three iconic ingredients from tropical countries. It can often seem daunting to work with exotic or hard-to-find ingredients, but these classes will show how easy it can be with good techniques. The classes can be taken as a series or individually. The classes will be on October 6th, 13th, and 20th, and the registration for the series is $125 per person, or $45 for one class. 388 9th St. #290 at Webster, Oakland.

A Few Fabulous Events at the JCCSF in November (Plus a December Bonus)

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Event Info

Sunday Nov 11, 2012 – Saturday Dec 8, 2012
Times Vary
Prices Vary
JCCSF
3200 California St. at Presidio

This fall, catch some food programming with chutzpah at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF). The Arts and Ideas program will be hosting a pretty cool variety of discussions on food and how to enjoy it—jump on some of these tickets quickly. All events will be held at the JCCSF, at 3200 California St. at Presidio.

On Wednesday November 14th, catch Eric Asimov for a workshop called “How to Love Wine.” Ha! As if you needed any help. That’s okay, though. Asimov wrote a book by the same name, and currently works as chief wine critic for The New York Times, so you’ll probably learn something interesting. And the timing couldn’t be better, because you’ll want to make sure the wine at your Thanksgiving table is delicious. The event begins at 7pm and tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for members, and $15 for students.

Then, on Sunday November 18th, Lucky Peach magazine will be doing a live show featuring their most recent issue. This issue is called “Fish Out of Water” and is all about chefs cooking cuisines they didn’t grow up with. Nicolaus Balla of Bar Tartine, Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food, and Ivan Orkin, the Tokyo izakaya expert, will all be in attendance along with the editor-in-chief of Lucky Peach, Chris Ying. There will also be snacks from the chefs, and each attendee will get a copy of the magazine. It all kicks off at 8pm, and tickets are $30 for the general public and $25 for members.

On Monday November 19th, Charles Phan of the Slanted Door empire will be on hand to talk about his recent cookbook, Vietnamese Home Cooking, with television host and chef Joey Altman. He will be offering tips on some of the techniques in the cookbook, and sharing personal stories of his journey from Vietnam to San Francisco. The event begins at 7pm, and tickets are $25 or $30 for the general public, and $20 or $25 for members, depending on seating.

On Saturday December 8th, the JCC will be hosting Thomas Keller and Michael Bauer in conversation. Keller will be discussing his newest cookbook, Bouchon Bakery, with Bauer. He’ll be offering tips on croissants, macarons, and tarts, as well as talking about his Parisian inspiration for the cookbook. The event starts at 7pm, and tickets begin at $30 for the general public, and $25 for members.

the bookworm

Book Reviews (another place for your nose)
Sep 4, 2012

Comparative Ice Cream: by Pete Mulvihill

Don’t forget: the books mentioned below are available at 20 percent off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

As “summer” nears its end, the warmest days of the year are finally in front of us, at least for those of us who live in western San Francisco. So let’s talk ice cream.

We have a dozen or so ice cream recipe books on the shelves at any given time here, but of local interest are two newish additions to the shelf, both with a distinctly local flavor: Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book and Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones (the Bi-Rite Creamery’s entry).

They have a lot in common, from a predictable passion for good ingredients to clearly written recipes, from lavish full-color photographs to quirky flavors. Both even feature mostly custard-based ice creams (vs. Philadelphia style ice cream, which is uncooked). Mostly, the differences are in the tone and attitudes of the authors and in the details of specific recipes. It’s almost as if one is the punk rock dude’s guide to making ice cream and the other comes from your smart, friendly, capable girlfriend.

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book

Jake Godby, Sean Vahey, Paolo Lucchesi

Let’s start with Humphry Slocombe. As I said, the roughly 40 recipes are clear and feature all the shop’s hottest flavors, plus some that rarely appear, from their top seller—Secret Breakfast, which includes bourbon and cornflakes cookies—through the rarely appearing strawberry (or, as they call it, “Here’s Your Damn Strawberry Ice Cream”).

The really unusual recipes are those involving vegetables, beer, meat, and cheese. The book also includes a few sorbets, sundaes, sauces, etc. Overall, it’s a solid book and fairly priced at $19.95 from Chronicle Books.

Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery

Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery

Anne Walker, Dabney Gough, Kris Hoogerhyde

The Bi-Rite Creamery’s Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones lacks the attitude, but makes up for it with thoroughness and 90 recipes. There’s no lack of creativity, though—the book includes flavors like Earl Grey, crème fraîche, and salted caramel. There are also a good number of non-ice cream recipes, including sorbets, cookies, sauces, ice pops, and more. It is also a good deal—nicely produced, clearly illustrated, and bound in a hardcover for $24.99 from Ten Speed Press.

Take your pick—the edgy recipe book or the sweet one? You won’t regret either one, so maybe just get them both. Thanks for reading.

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