table of contents This week's tablehopper: are we there yet?

the chatterbox
the word on the street
the hardhat
watch your step

the lush

put it on my tab
the socialite

the starlet
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SF Chefs. Food. Wine.

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JULY 28, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO As Brenda Dickson would say, "Well hello!" As you can see, I am back after going dark last week. I definitely needed the extra two days for the final push on my manuscript, which is what it usually take to write, edit, and lay out this column each week. Anyway, as I posted on my Twitter feed Sunday night, I can see the light at the end of the feedbag! Can't believe how many places I've been eating (sometimes dining) at the past three months, countered only by how much time I have been spending typing at my desk. A dangerous combination. Which is why I have gained the "first book" equivalent of the freshman 15—so crappy, right in the middle of bathing suit weather. Thank God we're in San Francisco, so I have until September to attempt to firm up a bit, ha!

Two weeks ago I was down in the 650 and 408 to try The Plumed Horse (wow), Kaygetsu (so glad I finally dined there), Madera (I want to move tablehopper HQ into the resort's business center), and some other places, including a night with my dad that included Acqua Pazza in San Mateo and Divino in Belmont, followed by some Remy XO at The Van's (because that's how we roll). And I didn't need a coat the entire time. It's summer somewhere, just not here.

imageThe summery weather continued since I was up in Yountville last week checking out Brix (my lunch there is pictured), Redd, Bottega, and the new restaurant at Bardessono. Yup, this is exactly why I am broke and fat. I can't wait to write all these adventures up, but in the meantime, I had to tell you how stunning Bardessono is—talk about eco-fabulous. Since it's a bit spendy to stay there, I wanted to share this crazy deal with y'all: they're doing a party at the rooftop pool every Wednesday evening called Dive Bar, and are offering a special Wednesday getaway offer for $299. It includes overnight accommodations in a spa suite, two complimentary drinks at the party, and a three-course prix-fixe dinner for two in the delicious restaurant—pretty amazing as far as deals go. Just call and mention the offer, or email Jana.Flahive [at] bardessono [dot] com.

More heat! Am super excited to shut down my laptop and get outta Dodge this Friday and head out to… swanky Fresno! Well, actually Fowler, where I'll be picking magical Elberta peaches very early on Saturday morning. I was so lucky to be included in the adoption of a Masumoto Family Farm peach tree! The most glorious peaches I have ever tasted, truly. (Can you tell I'm excited?)

Want to taste some? And no, I am not hosting a peach giveaway—I'm gonna be a canning and jammin' fool this weekend. Fellow peach tree adoptive parents Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski turned me on to these oh-so-special peaches a couple years ago at Rubicon. And even though they currently don't have a restaurant kitchen, they will be doing a special Masumoto peach dinner at Boulette's Larder on August 11th… read all the details in the chatterbox.

Can't believe how much news I have to cover this week—so much has happened in the past 14 days. And thanks to tablehopper intern Erin Archuleta, we have a hardhat in this issue. So let's get to it. And yes, it's true—I'll be back next week with actual restaurant reviews; thanks for bearing with me during these past two months! I have most definitely been maxed the hell out.

As David Mas Masumoto said in a recent email, peach be with you.


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SF Chefs. Food. Wine.JULY 28, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Some of the biggest news in the last couple of weeks was about chef Nate Appleman's sudden departure from the ~A16/SPQR~ restaurants and group. He is currently in New York, so I am sure we'll hear soon enough where he is turning up next in the 212. Liza Shaw will continue to hold down the kitchen at A16 like she has been doing (and very well, I might add), so no changes there really, except she is now chef instead of co-chef. As for SPQR, chef de cuisine Chris Behr opted to not take over the show, and executive sous chef Huw Thornton will also be leaving—but not until the new chef is hired. The partners are currently conducting a search to fill the chef position—they won't be hiring a CDC since they will have a dedicated executive chef overseeing that restaurant alone. They have also decided to close down SPQR for 7–10 days once they have the new chef so they can refresh the space, and get things up to speed with a new kitchen crew—probably at the end of August. All employees will be kept on payroll provided they are working with the new chef or willing to pick up a paintbrush and help with the sprucing up. As for Urbino, well, sadly that project has been shelved at this time due to various issues relating to the lease and timing, but A16 Japan is still on track for an opening in Tokyo in September.

The other big boom was about the departure of Laurent Manrique, not only from ~FIFTH FLOOR~, but now he has resigned from ~AQUA~ as well. Of Aqua, he says, "the nearly three years of legal battles related to the ownership of Aqua that have been going on since shortly after the 2006 death of Charles Condy have come to make it impossible for me to effectively perform my job and maintain the high standards of my profession. I am very happy to have had the chance to help build what became a two-star Michelin restaurant and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Charles Condy, a most distinguished restaurateur." The legal battle he is referring to is between founder Charles Condy's sons and their stepmother, Mary Condy, over ownership of the restaurant. Manrique will continue to stay involved with Cafe de la Presse and the adjacent Rouge et Blanc Wine Bar (he is a co-owner), and remains a partner with Christopher Condy in CL Partners, a restaurant development company. He is also a partner in the Miura Company with Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji. Plans for the future include a new San Francisco restaurant/wine bar (of course I will keep you posted); but for now, it looks like he gets to enjoy the summer. As for chef Jason Pringle, who came over from Epic Roasthouse, he currently remains at Aqua—we'll see what happens next. What a sh*tshow. 252 California St. at Battery, 415-956-9662.

As for ~FIFTH FLOOR~, as I mentioned, Manrique has departed, and so executive chef Jennie Lorenzo is leading a new concept, offering New American cuisine at a less-expensive price point. I got a peek at the new menu, which includes delicious-sounding appetizers, like chilled English pea soup ($11) with calamari a la plancha and spiced oil powder; and tuna "zuke" ($13), with sashimi strips, green tea soba, yuzu vinaigrette, and crispy mohama. Mains currently feature baked black cod ($25) with hearts of palm, sprouts and blossoms, sea urchin sauce, and fried brine shrimp; and stuffed quail ($24) with asparagus and pea succotash, herb puree, and Madeira sauce. The most expensive main is the rib eye "paillard" for $29, and the five-course tasting menu, now called The "Fifth" Tasting, for $65 (with pairings from Master Sommelier Emily Wines for $50). Lorenzo has a flair for flavors and presentation, so I'm excited to try the new menu. Jacques Bezuidenhout and Emily Wines will also be developing the bar concept further (plus a bar bites menu), look for an update on that in coming weeks. 12 Fourth St. at Market, 415-348-1555.

A graduate of the Fifth Floor kitchen, Melissa Perello has finally found a home for her personal project, ~FRANCES~. She is moving into the former Palencia spot in the Castro. In an email to me she says, "I love the neighborhood, the space is really charming and feels very comfortable to me. I'm working on plans for the space with an architect right now, though the renovations will be moderate and I anticipate a fall opening. I'm very excited about the project, it's been a long time in the making." 3870 17th St. at Noe.

Folks in the Marina have probably noticed ~BISTRO AIX~ has closed (it closed last Monday the 20th). Fortunately, it's just for a remodel, albeit a lengthy one since the reopening won't happen until the end of the year if they're lucky. Owner Jonathan Beard plans to totally gut the place and redo it from the ground up—upon reopening, there will be an oak fireplace grill in the kitchen where they will be preparing quality meat, poultry and fish. There will also be a glassed-in patio with a 100-year-old olive tree, reclaimed redwood, and an updated facade. They promise that many of their classics will remain on the menu. 3340 Steiner St. at Chestnut.

imageThe street food–loving masses are gearing up for the upcoming ~SAN FRANCISCO STREET FOOD FESTIVAL~ from La Cocina and 7x7 magazine on August 22nd. Have you marked it on your calendar? The daylong block party (it will be on Folsom between 25th and 26th Streets from 11am–7pm) is free and open to the public. Each vendor will sell food and drinks, with nothing costing more than $10. Now, about those vendors: you can check out the entire list of who is making bites here, and what they're making, but I don't recommend clicking it if you're hungry. There will also be a beer and spirits garden, street musicians, street art projects, and a hands-on children's play area, as well as multilingual services for attendees. The event is a benefit for La Cocina, and is a sister event to the Eat Real Festival taking place in Oakland's Jack London Square August 28th–30th.

To further build excitement, the ~GO GAME STREET FOOD ADVENTURE~ is kicking off on August 1st. For three weeks, there will be a variety of food-related challenges for you to navigate and show how much you know about the local food scene. Each week of the game will present some missions you (and your team) can complete within the comfort of your own home, and will gradually lead you to actual vendors, festivals, and fairs to complete real-time missions for mega points! Play in teams (easier to eat more food that way!) or on your own! The game will culminate at the Street Food Festival, when the final scores will be tallied.

After beaucoup delays, the second ~SUSHI BISTRO~ finally opened in their Mission location on 24th Street, just next door to the St. Francis Fountain. Look for a similar format to the original location, with an extended sake list. Hours are Tue–Sun 5pm–10:30pm. 2809 24th St. at York, 415-282-2001.

More 24th Street news: ~DYNAMO DONUTS~ has opened its inside seating/cafe space! Now you can take a load off and sit with your coffee and donut, meditating on their deliciousness. 2760 24th St. at Hampshire, 415-920-1978.

More coffee-related news: ~RITUAL COFFEE ROASTERS~ is now serving coffee at the Alemany Farmers' Market. You can grab a cup of French press coffee or cold-brewed coffee, plus there are also 12 oz. bags of coffee beans for sale. You can find Ritual in the prepared food vendors row. Every Saturday, 7:30am–2pm. 100 Alemany Blvd.

Yay, ~SCHMIDT'S DELI~ is now serving beer, wine, and dinner. 2400 Folsom St. at 20th St., 415-410-0200.

I was skeptical when I heard about yet another Neapolitan pizza place opening, but when I read on Urban Daddy that the owner of ~PULCINELLA~ is Luigi Pucci, heir of Antico Molino Caputo (THE preferred pizza flour), I was like, whoa. And the pizzaiolo is from a pizzeria in Naples. And they are using a Mugnaini oven. Yup, we all have another pizza place to check out (it's in the former Cinque Terre space). 641 Vallejo St. at Columbus, 415-829-7312.

More "my name ends in a vowel" news: a tablehopper reader wrote in to let me know the owners of ~VINOROSSO~ wine bar in Bernal Heights (Giuseppe Manna and his wife Vega Freeman-Brady) have taken over Valentina Ristorante. You might have heard that Valentina became very ill last year but thankfully has almost fully recovered, however, her doctor has asked her to not go back into the restaurant biz at this time. The VinoRosso owners reportedly plan to do antipasti, salads, and pizzas. They just took possession, and a name change is to be announced. 419 Cortland Ave. at Bennington, 415-285-6000.

imagePoor ~GUSSIE'S CHICKEN & WAFFLES~, they keep hitting snags. The opening should happen this Friday; for those of you trying to keep track, I'll keep you posted on my Twitter feed when it actually opens. (Thrillist posted a copy of the menu here.) Hours will be Sun–Thu 7am–11pm, and Fri–Sat 7am–2am. 1521 Eddy St. at Fillmore, 415-409-2529.

Well, in my last column I mentioned ~IAN BEGG and RYAN MAXEY~, formerly of Café Majestic, had a North Beach project up their sleeves. If all goes according to plan, they will do a test run this Friday July 31st. I'll tweet later this week what it is, and will share all the details in next week's column.

Who said big projects are over? Because whoa, this is big: 7x7 had the scoop that ~TYLER FLORENCE~ is taking over the Rubicon space. According to the post, TyFlo writes, "It's going to be called Wayfare Tavern. Modeled after the San Franciscan Bohemain [sic] culture of the late 1890's. We've got an amazing designer who instead of building the place up, will patina it down to look as if it has always been there […] think American Balthazar! Researching antique menus from the period. Shooting for Spring 2010, March or April." Huh, maybe that's who has been outbidding me on vintage menus on eBay. (Image of me wagging my fist.) As for Bar Florence, a tablehopper reader told me a while ago that it looked like construction had stopped (did it ever get going?), so I'd say that project looks kaput. 558 Sacramento St. at Montgomery.

Here's yet another big project. Nope, we aren't talking 49 seats. We're talking a 6,700-square-foot space. Months ago I toured a big restaurant site on Yerba Buena Lane, just across from the Four Seasons. Here's what's opening late this year in it: ~BLUESTEM STEAKHOUSE BRASSERIE~, a modern reinterpretation of the American steakhouse from Adam and Stacy Jed. (The name comes from the premium grass favored by cattle ranchers throughout North America.) Bluestem will offer all-day dining and will have a rooftop bar. Michael Magliano, formerly of Craft in Los Angeles, will serve as executive chef. Bluestem will source its meats from sustainable ranchers, and will base the choices on seasonality and source from a variety of regions. There will be a twist on the usual steakhouse line-up, with different cuts and unfamiliar selections, and more than just beef on the menu.

Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design is designing the space, which has 18-foot ceilings, a multi-level dining space, and according to the press release will feature "a bar top made by local artisan Concrete Works with embedded crystal rods lit from underneath with LED lights. The palette at Bluestem consists of warm earth tones of wheat, amber, and deep reds, and incorporates the use of refurbished sustainable materials wherever possible, including cork-wrapped columns, carpet made from yak hair, and end-grain flooring made from reclaimed Indonesian plantation wood." It will seat 200 indoors, including 45 in the lounge, plus another 35 on the rooftop patio, and there's a lobby lounge and bar area. 1 Yerba Buena Lane at Market.

imageMore in North Beach: looks like a new Mexican joint is coming to the area with the opening of ~DON PISTOS~ in the former North Beach Lobster Shack space. 532 Green St. at Grant.

Things are close on ~CODA~, the jazz supperclub from Chris Pastena and Bruce Hanson that's opening in the former Levende Lounge spot. The grand opening is this weekend (August 1st–2nd) with cocktails and music, and dinner service starts on Tuesday the 4th (dinner and music will be available six nights a week). Adam Theis and the Jazz Mafia will perform on Tuesday night, beginning a weekly Tuesday residency. Guests will notice an improved and expanded music area with unobstructed sightlines and an updated sound system. Dishes on the menu include roasted salmon, braised greens, red wine lavender ($12); miso-fried Cornish game hen with coleslaw ($11.50); and coffee-crusted pork loin with Jameson cream sauce ($14.50). 1710 Mission St. at Duboce, 415-551-CODA (2632).

I recently wrote Metro Kathmandu was becoming District 5 with their changeover to California comfort cuisine, but they have now decided to go with ~METRO CAFÉ~ as their name. 311 Divisadero St. at Page, 415-552-0903.

A while back I wrote about a bagel place that was opening in the Lower Haight. Looks like ~ROLAND'S BAKERY AND CAFÉ~ is now officially open, offering hand-rolled specialty bagels from a water bath, plus danishes, muffins, scones, croissants, breads, and sweets like cookies, cream pies, layer cakes, and cream puffs. You will also be able to order birthday and wedding cakes. Open Tue–Sun 6:30am–5pm, with special late-night hours Thu–Sat from 8pm–3am; closed Mon. 422 Haight St. at Webster, 415-896-4925.

Downtown's ~BEST-O-BURGER~ now has a downstairs 50-seat dining room so you can take a seat while scarfing your burger (Mon–Fri 10am–4pm). There are also some new menu additions, like the Spicy Crispy Chicken and a Sloppy Dog. 89 Belden Pl. at Pine, 415-986-3808.

imageLooks like the former Marche on the Square space at Ghirardelli Square is going to be ~NORTH POINT CAFÉ~ by Laurel's Catering. Word from my source is that they are trying to open next week. 900 North Point St. at Larkin.

On Sunday August 9th, Slow Food on Film presents: ~MAD CITY CHICKENS~, a film about keeping chickens in the city. 6pm–9pm. $15 for screening and reception following the screening (benefits Slow Food San Francisco School Garden Project). Tapas and wine will be available at the reception. Wine pours at an additional charge. Buy tickets here. Delancey Street Theater, 600 Embarcadero St. at Brannan.

In this week's intro I mentioned ex-Rubicon chef Stuart Brioza and pastry chef Nicole Krasinski are doing a dinner using peaches from their adopted tree at Masumoto Family Farm. Boulette's Larder will be hosting ~STUART AND NICOLE'S FIFTH ANNUAL PEACH HARVEST DINNER~ on August 11th. They will be working alongside Boulette's chef Amaryll Schwertner, and pastry chef Sarah Ellsworth will collaborate as well on inspired peach savory dishes and desserts with select wines. $175. Seating is limited. Call 415-399-1155 (and be sure to learn the cancellation terms). One Ferry Building #48.

More seasonal fruit menus: tomato mania is also here. Through the end of July, chef Dominique Crenn at ~LUCE~ is offering a tomato menu, with all of the tomatoes coming from Dirty Girl Farm in Santa Cruz. The menu is $34.95, excluding tax and gratuity, and the menu will be paired with wines for an additional $12 (not bad)! 888 Howard St. at 5th St., 415-616-6633.

Chef Dmitry Elperin is hosting a summer cooking class at ~THE VILLAGE PUB~ on Saturday August 15th from 11am–2pm. You will be guided through techniques on how to prepare great summer dressings, how to shop for summer produce, simple dishes, and the preparation of infusion oils, all based around the tomato. Immediately following instruction, there's a sit-down four-course luncheon. $125. Limited availability, reserve by calling Ashley Muggli at 650-851-9888. 2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside.

It's deal-time, yo!

Starting today, ~ABSINTHE~ is offering a three-course prix-fixe lunch menu for $16 (excludes beverages, tax, and gratuity). It's available on weekdays from 11:30am–2pm. The new menu will change weekly and feature chef "Jamie's Pick" for a soup or salad, sandwich, and a sweet treat from pastry chef Luis Villavelasquez. 398 Hayes St. at Gough, 415-551-1590.

And on Friday and Saturday nights after 10pm, ~YOSHI'S SAN FRANCISCO AND OAKLAND~ will offer 10 chef's choice pieces of sushi for just $10 (excluding tax and gratuity). "10 for 10" will be offered in the upstairs Sake Lounge at Yoshi's San Francisco and in the Lounge at Yoshi's Oakland. 1330 Fillmore St. at Eddy, 415-655-5600; 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakland, 510-238-9200.

Speaking of the East Bay, here's more on former Ducca chef Richard Corbo's project once he returns from his travels. He has signed a lease with the new Jack London Market to develop his next project, ~PIZZERIA ZANNA BIANCA~ (which means "white fang" in Italian, a reference Jack London's book). There will be an Italian wood-fired oven turning out pizzas, plus house-made pastas, salumi, and seasonally driven small plates will be on the menu. All items on the menu will be priced less than $20. Construction of the restaurant will begin this fall, and is set to open in early 2010.

Up in Mill Valley, ~TSUKIJI SUSHI~ is opening in the previous Ora space tonight, Tuesday July 28th. 24 Sunnyside Ave. at Miller, Mill Valley, 415-383-1382.

imageAnd a tablehopper reader let me know "the boys at the Sand Dollar Restaurant in Stinson Beach took over the Stinson Beach Bar & Grill which opened July 11th as the ~BEACH SHACK BAR & GRILL~. Sam Temer is operating the new place while his brother August is running the Sand Dollar. They are open six days a week and closed on Tuesday. I stopped by for a beer and the bar staff was playfully researching and creating new beach friendly drinks with locally referenced names. The kitchen manager was superstitious about anything related to disaster, so Shark Bite and Tsunami will not be on the drink menus." However, mojitos did make it onto the menu. Crab rolls too. Open for lunch and dinner. 3465 Shoreline Hwy., Stinson Beach, 415-868-0115.

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

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the health nut






JULY 28, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Curious about what goes into opening a restaurant? Each month we'll be checking in on the build-out process of various bars and restaurants around the City, highlighting the unique coups and complications when opening a business in San Francisco. This section is written by Erin Archuleta, tablehopper intern and half of the talent behind local outfit Ichi Catering.

This month's assignment, Fondue Cowboy brought up all the clichéd images of rawhide, tumbleweeds, and lassoing steer. But what I found at the cozy 40-seat eatery at 1052 Folsom at Russ Street was a more grown-up spaghetti western theme. When I arrived, owner David Mur, and his construction friend Robert Harris were embellishing the bar you'd, ahem, saddle up to with warm multi-toned wooden planks that fill the base of the fondue, beer, and coffee bar. The opposing accent wall will feature cow skulls, Western-themed art, and here's to hoping, The Duke himself on the flat-screen TV!

It's hard to picture this Wild West eatery as the site of the former Extreme Pizza production and commissary kitchen. Originally, Dave was dealing with a bright red kitchen twice its size, but negotiated for half the space, and his restaurant began to take shape. (The other half of the space will become an Italian deli that another restaurateur will open up later this year.) Dave's half of the split left him with a dish and prep room, small kitchen, two bathrooms, and a lanky, lengthy dining room filled with light from the Folsom Street–facing window. The initial design vision was made real with architectural plans drawn up by SIA Consulting.

Recognizing the new arrivals of condos to the neighborhood, Dave is capitalizing on outdoor seating and intends to roll out a brunch program after a few months of operation. Part of this decision (other than the smart ability to take advantage of more seating) was based on the beautification of adjacent Russ Street, which runs along the side of Fondue Cowboy's space. This beautification was a surprise boon to Dave and his new restaurant since it fell under the umbrella of the Sixth Street Urban Solutions project, working with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. Urban Solutions is also offering support to Dave's start-up, with architectural advisement services, façade improvement funds, and tenant information.

With this newly found help, and Dave's fifteen years in the industry, he felt confident taking on the remodel project. He is not only the owner, and developing the menu concepts with executive chef Brion McDonough, but he's also functioning as project manager on the build-out. All the plumbing, including mop sinks, floor drains, and the grease trap can be fairly expensive endeavors and plumbing sometimes requires costly trenching. And he's finding that his plumbing costs may compare to the installation of his security gate—a surprise cost that Dave never dreamed to bid would rival the other functionalities in the space.

One money-saving byproduct of the fondue concept is that David will not need to run gas lines. His chef Brion, with a background in traditional fondue and French cuisine, will get to stretch a bit with a more modern version of fondue using double boilers and convection ovens only. The Fondue Cowboy idea came out of the desire to take traditional fondue and break away, much like westward travelers created their own new outlaws and ways. The kitchen isn't a fully open one, but customers will still get a fun preview of what's coming out in their fondue pots when peeking through the ample kitchen window.

Even with all of the support from Urban Solutions and friends in construction, the space Dave is inheriting has some flaws: the kitchen drops down with an uneven floor, requiring a step up. Under the remodel, David can file for an ADA hardship based on the percentage of cost of his build-out in comparison. Other improvements he's making are pouring new cement flooring in the kitchen, installing FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) and stainless steel kitchen walls, and planking a wooden bar and wood-paneled walls. There will be warm brown wall paint, bathroom fixture upgrades, he's laying a new tile floor behind the bar, installing pendant lighting and brushed aluminum fans sourced from neighbors at Bay Lighting & Design up the street, and installing a 71-inch flat-screen television showing (what else?) spaghetti westerns.

Dave is working toward an early to mid-September opening, pending all inspections happening on time. The liquor license permit application alone has up to three months to review for an inspection. The timeline is coming together as of now, and I'm looking forward to a bite to eat with pals over the fondue pot in this unlikely SOMA outpost.

the lush

SF Chefs. Food. Wine.JULY 28, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO ~AME RESTAURANT~ is hosting a wine challenge during the month of August, so get ready to put your taste buds to the test! The drinking game goes like this: they will be pouring diners a flight of three anonymous wines. You'll be given the names of the three grapes in no particular order and will have to identify each wine. If you guess all three correctly, the wines are on the house! If you guess them inaccurately, then you get the check. The Wine Challenge is only available while dining in the restaurant; not available in the lounge/bar. 689 Mission St. at 3rd St., 415-284-4040.

The ~FISH & FARM BAR~ is kicking off nightly specials for industry folks Tue–Sat from 9pm until they run out of food. Not sure how you prove you're in the industry, but I imagine some burns on your forearm, Dansko clogs, and sleepy eyes will account for something. The line-up includes Taco Tuesdays ($2 each, $2 draft beer); Juicy Lucy Wednesdays (Niman cheeseburgers, $4 each, $2 draft beers); Thirsty Thursday (all house-crafted cocktails are $5); Fried Fridays (basket of Niman Ranch corndogs, $4, and jelly jars of Trumer Pilsner, $1 each); Sausage Saturdays (Hobbs spicy Calabrese sausage, and/or a Fish & Farm julep, $5). (You can also follow chef Chad Newton's Twitter feed for a weekly password for free food or drink items). 339 Taylor St. at Ellis, 415-474-3474.

(For you non-industry types, the regular happy hour is 4pm–6pm, with half-off draft beers, and a bunch of bar food specials, like oyster shooters and cheeseburgers: check the site for the line-up.)

the socialite


A Tasteful Pursuit Dinner
Mon. Aug. 17th, 2009

Masa's Restaurant
648 Bush St.
Cross: Powell St.
San Francisco, CA

6pm reception
7pm dinner

(including tax, gratuity, and wine pairings)


JULY 28, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Five talented Bay Area chefs will join forces for one special evening this summer to help in the fight against childhood hunger in America. Masa's executive chef Gregory Short and executive pastry chef John McKee will host ~A TASTEFUL PURSUIT~, a five-course fundraising dinner benefiting Share Our Strength. Chef Short hopes to make it an annual event.

Guest chefs include Mark Dommen, chef/partner of One Market Restaurant, executive chef Xavier Salomon of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, and William Werner, executive pastry chef of Quince.

It all begins at 6pm with a reception and silent auction in the lobby of the Executive Hotel Vintage Court, adjacent to Masa's. At 7pm, guests will venture into the Masa's dining room for a five-course dinner, along with a live auction. Masa's Master Sommelier Alan Murray will pair the courses with wine or beer.

the starlet

JULY 28, 2009 | SAN FRANCISCO Frances McDormand and Joel Coen were spotted dining at Picco in Larkspur, and I also cracked up over this Twitter posting about someone seeing them in Bi-Rite Market: "RT @delsheez OH Frances McDormand to Joel Coen in Bi-Rite Market: Joel, did you see the peaches?"

Over at Enrico's, James Kyson Lee, who plays Ando Masahashi on the NBC show Heroes was in for the Lavay Smith show.

Former running back for the New York Giants and current sports broadcaster Tiki Barber was at Press Club last Thursday with his wife and another couple. They were staying at the Four Seasons hotel and came down to check out some of the wineries at Press Club before dinner.

The Doobie Brothers were at Orson.

Sean Penn, Matt Gonzalez, Anthony Torres, and few others hung out at Madrone Art Bar after dining at nopa. I also heard Penn was spotted playing pool at The Page. According to my source, "he and his buds played dirty, switching from stripes to solids on their opponents when they were losing, but they still lost." Just another night in the 94117...


All content © 2009 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.

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