Downtown

July 18, 2014
I’m the first to admit it (and I was pretty clear from the beginning) that I hated the name of Dirty Habit, the new incarnation of the former Fifth Floor space at the Hotel Palomar. And you know what? I...
Walking into Trou Normand—hopefully in the early evening so you can capture the soft light streaming through the enormous windows—you feel that slight shift in your brain, and soon your demeanor, as when you’re in a place of beauty and...
Ahhh, the elusive “authentic” and excellent Italian restaurant—yes, one that’s run by Italians. It’s a rare bird here, although you can find a few, and it’s an experience I am always seeking. Don’t get me wrong, I do adore all...
With tablecloths rapidly disappearing (kind of like good manners) and people trying to wear jeans everywhere, fine dining continues to become an endangered species. But I say thank God we have plenty of special occasions to celebrate in our lives...
Oh, San Francisco, our beloved city that is ever-troubled with how to handle luxury. On one hand, we scoff at it, call it a chew toy for the moneyed techies, dismiss it as vapid as we twirl ribbons around our...
As someone who lived in Los Angeles for five years, I’m no stranger to dining in a mall. My top sushi spot was in a mini-mall, ditto one of the cooler tiki bars I loved. But M.Y. China is no...
Over the past two months, I headed to the Century Theatre in the Westfield Centre to catch the one-night-only showings of the gorgeously restored The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. No, I was not going to miss seeing Al...
Photos by Jeff Dow.With this lousy economy, I have been feeling the possibility of a jaunt to Europe becoming, well, less and less possible. (Of course it's when all the fabulous airfare deals pop up, pffft.) So even though globetrotting...
As soon as you wander into Thermidor on Mint Plaza, with one look at the Saarinen tulip fiberglass chairs, the little “reserved” signs on the white-tableclothed tables, the skinny black ties on the servers, and you’re like, “Yes, I’d like...
I like little engines that could. When Wexler’s first opened on Sacramento Street in the heart of the Financial District, more than a couple industry folks expressed their concern over the fate of owner Matt Wexler’s namesake restaurant, especially with...
At last, a restaurant that doesn’t look like it’s from here (thank you AvroKO for giving us something chic and train station sexy, choo choo). And let’s say hellllllo wine list. Michael Mina and Raj Parr had a definite vision...
tandoori-stuffed alooPhoto from Amber-India.comI don't understand why Indian places always have to be cheap and dingy and have buffets and leave you smelling like a tandoori oven when you depart (kudos to Roti and DOSA for changing that paradigm). Another...
I'm a big fan of working from home--not only is every day casual Friday, but there's no line to get my morning macchiato--and if the barista happens to be copping attitude, maybe it's because she was out late and is...
It's funny, for a town that has been missing some new options for seafood, within a few months of each other, we got Waterbar and ~ANCHOR & HOPE~. Not only is this the third local restaurant with a mermaid logo...
I know, I know, everyone is saying fine dining is over. While places with $21 entrées, communal tables, no tablecloths, open kitchens, and "nice jeans" as the dress code may the norm more and more, there's something to be said...
The last time I was in ~FARALLON~, it was for a big vendor lunch, back in my advertising days. Three hours, icy conical towers laden with fruits de mer, magnums of Veuve, yeah, it was a good time. Blurry. Ahhh,...
The mall isn't usually on the top of my preferred dining destinations list, nor am I a fan of chain restaurants, but the meal I recently had at ~LARKCREEKSTEAK~ definitely made me reconsider my "rules" (and I really don't have...
~CAFÉ CLAUDE~ went through some ownership and kitchen changes about a year or so ago (the new owner is Franck Leclerc, who brought on ex-Chez Papa chef Philippe Chevalier), but it firmly remains one of my favorite places for an...
I've lived in San Francisco since 1994 (and yes, my favorite sound system will always be the one that was at Townsend). I remember restaurants back then that used to feel authentically hip and even a touch handmade, maybe not...
Sometimes you just want a spot where you can hang out with a friend and hear each other speak, drink a few potent cocktails, graze on some tasty apps, and not have some pushy people crowding around you at a...