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Jun 7, 2010 20 min read

June 8, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: miles ahead.

June  8, 2010 - This week's tablehopper: miles ahead.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: miles ahead.                    

At the end-of-the-cleanse celebratory meal (by Juicey Lucy’s).

So, I made it. My three-week cleanse is over, and I’m feeling fantastic. Sure, it was hard work, and there were some really frustrating moments and times when all I wanted was a bite of cheese or a &*^%^ sip of wine, but the payoff is amazing. It’s very grounding. And now I feel like my intentions and habits have been brushed up and reminded about eating healthfully—sometimes you just have to hit the reset button.

It also means I am beginning my re-emergence back into my tablehoppin’ life. While it was hard to be at COCHON 555 on Sunday and only be able to eat Rancho Gordo’s (delicious) cannellini beans, I’m looking forward to the Street Fixe dinner tonight at Stable (which is actually a vegetarian meal). And then I am leaving on Wednesday for a couple days of touring the wineries and restaurants in Sonoma’s West County—will be a gorgeous time to be up there.

Please remember starting this Thursday (through Saturday) you can dine out and help the Gulf Coast. And Saturday is the Golden Glass, where you will be able to pick up a copy of my book if you haven’t had a chance!

I’m also thrilled to announce in less than two weeks, I am doing an Indian street food lunch at Dosa! I’ve been waiting to do this event for a long time—ever since I returned from India in January—but my book tour had me a little too busy. Just in case you drooled over all the amazing food I got to try in Mumbai, here’s your chance to actually taste a lot of those dishes! It’s going to be a daytime feast on Saturday June 19th, and we’ll be pouring some delicious wines from Robert Oatley Vineyards. Check out all the details here. I hope to see you there!

And lastly, thanks to all of you for your very kind notes and regards last week. It was definitely one of the sadder weeks of my life, and I’m still having to take it one day at a time. Unexpected loss can be so hard. It’s going to be good to get out of town for a couple days, and be in such a beautiful setting.


Marcia Gagliardi

This week’s issue is lovingly dedicated to the memory of (John) Scott Brooks, my ex-boyfriend who was a big part of why I am a food writer today. He taught me the difference between a brunoise and a chinoise, he made my favorite crème brûlée and margaritas, and is the only man I’ve ever known with a madeleine pan. He forever changed the course of my life, and for that I am deeply grateful. Rest in peace. 6-6-1961 : 6-2-2010.

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

New Brewery and Restaurant Opening in the City


Rendering by Boor Bridges Architecture.

The year of beer continues to hold true, and here’s the latest newcomer to the scene: SOUTHERN PACIFIC BREWING will be opening in the Mission’s Media Gulch area, targeting November 1st. Partners behind the project are Anthony LaVia (Gestalt, Matador, Café La Onda) and Chris Lawrence, formerly the sales manager at Speakeasy, along with brewer Andy French, also from Speakeasy. The brewery will be producing primarily ales, from IPAs to specialty Belgian styles. There will also be a menu of pub fare that is designed to be “Mission wallet friendly.” Some potential items include sourdough-crust pizzas and of course a burger. The architect is Seth Boor of Boor Bridges Architecture (who did Four Barrel Coffee and Flora Grubb Gardens)—the look will be part warehouse, part working production brewery, with salvaged elements. There will be over 200 seats, including a huge outdoor patio, and a full bar. What’s cool is the area used to be full of breweries, and the southwest corner of 19th Street and Treat Avenue used to be the Broadway Brewery.

Southern Pacific Brewing            - 620 Treat Ave. San Francisco - 415-341-0152

Thermidor Opens in Mint Plaza

thermidor logo.jpg

Over on Mint Plaza, THERMIDOR is now in its soft opening mode. The American vintage-inspired project is from Bruce Binn and Neil Jorgensen of Spork, and features a menu of classic American dishes with a modern spin. Once the full menu completely launches, you’ll be able to get the namesake lobster thermidor, but for now, the opening menu includes a number of $6 starters, like house chips with smoked trout, roe, crème fraîche, and shallots; celery Victor; and “crostinos,” with short rib ragu, horseradish cream, and chives. Mains include sole almondine ($22), petrale sole with prosecco-almond sauce, fresh gnocchi, and sweet yellow corn; and a grilled Berkshire pork loin ($23) from Eden Farms, with potato purée, wilted watercress, and cherry vinaigrette. There will also be desserts from pastry chef Kyle Caporicci (previously of Campton Place), like baked Alaska.

Once the restaurant is running at full seating, there will be room for 100 inside (including a mezzanine) and 50 outside. There is a big bar, with different seating arrangements, from a lounge area to mid-high tables for those who just want a drink and a quick bite. The waitstaff will be in white shirts with skinny ties and black pants, and there will be plenty of 1960s design elements, from fiberglass chairs to Scolari chrome chandeliers. The full bar features cocktails from Brooke Arthur, like a modern spin on a Harvey Wallbanger, and the cleverly named Charles and Ray (Hendrick’s gin, orange blossom water, grapefruit bitters, egg whites, tonic). Bar opens at 5pm, dinner at 6pm, open nightly.

Thermidor            - 8 Mint Plaza San Francisco - 415-896-6500

Fondue Cowboy Opens in SoMa

FC Interior 12.jpg

Photo from Fondue Cowboy.

Due to (softly) swing open its saloon doors this Thursday, Dave Mur’s FONDUE COWBOY is going to serve up bubbling pots of cheesy goodness, like the spicy cheddar ($12) with 12-month aged cheddar, Emmenthaler, a beer base, oven-roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, roasted jalapeño, Tapatío, and cilantro oil. That is some fondue pot. There are also Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Gorgonzola versions. Additional small plates include white bean or roasted potato salads, salumi, and of course three different chocolate fondues for dessert. You can swing by for a beer and fondue, or maybe just a beer—Mur sees the 43-seat space as a fondue lounge, where guests can hang out, whether it’s a romantic date or a larger group. There will also be a bit of a rustic Western vibe, with lots of wood and spaghetti western flicks playing on a flat-screen TV. (You can read the past hardhat piece here.) Hours are Tue-Sun 5pm-11pm.

Fondue Cowboy            - 1052 Folsom St. San Francisco - 415-431-5100

Changes at Le Club

I received word that the new chef at LE CLUB, Amy Glaze, has quit after only a few months on the job. She’s hoping to stay in San Francisco, so we’ll have to see where she lands. 1250 Jones St. at Clay, 415-922-2582.

Some Updates in the World of Sweets


The Lemon Drop. Photo by Andrew Scivani.

First, some good news: Elizabeth Falkner (working with Lexi Barry) has totally revamped the dessert menu at the BUBBLE LOUNGE, and will be doing it going forward. And yes, it’s designed to be Champagne friendly. The Lemon Drop features lemon curd, yogurt, blueberry compote, muesli crunch, and Champagne granita, while the Dark Chocolate Pain Perdu is served over chocolate sauce, with citrus caramel and pink peppercorn chantilly. The new menu launches June 15th. 714 Montgomery St. at Washington, 415-434-4204.

In the “bummer news” department, a tablehopper reader reports BITTERSWEET—THE CHOCOLATE CAFE at 2123 Fillmore Street has permanently shuttered its doors. The Danville and Rockridge locations remain open.

Chocolate-y News and Events


Photo from Neo Cocoa.

All kinds of chocolate-related events are happening this month: Madécasse is having a free launch party this Thursday June 10th from 7pm-9pm at The Hub in SoMa. Madécasse was started by two former Peace Corps volunteers and is one of the only bean-to-bar chocolates made entirely in Madagascar (most companies buy the beans from Africa, but then process them in factories in Europe or America). Each chocolate bar brings to Madagascar over four times as much income as fair trade chocolate. The first 200 people to register for the free event get a chance to win free chocolate (pick up your chocolate at the event)! More info and register here.

Gourmet Walks is planning a summer of “Celebrity Chocolate Tours.” On four different dates, local chocolatiers will accompany their chocolate tour and give their own input on chocolate production, ingredients, competitive offerings, and more. And they’ll be bringing samples, of course. Those of you who enjoyed the all-ganache Neo Cocoa truffles at my recent Books Inc. Castro reading will want to take the tour on June 18th, which will feature chocolate maker Christine Doerr.

And keep your eyes peeled on the new Cooking Channel, which will feature local (and Dogpatch-based) artisans {cocoa}, Kika’s Treats, and Sweet Revolution Caramels on an upcoming episode of host Aida Mollenkamp’s  FoodCrafters.

Two-for-One Lunch at farmerbrown in June


Farmerbrown fried chicken; photo by DJ Wallstrom.

Want to check out the new lunch menu at FARMERBROWN? Then you might want to use this City Dish deal, which is offering a “buy one, get one free” lunch deal Tuesday through Friday, from 11am to 2:30pm. You’ll just need to print the coupon and bring it in between now and the end of June.

farmerbrown            - 25 Mason St. San Francisco - 415-409-FARM

More Hot Lunch Action


The ever-cheerful LOLÓ has started serving lunch on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30am-3pm, which is especially tempting with the new (and sunny) parklet they have just outside the restaurant. Dishes include a tuna or carnitas tostada, or the famous shrimp and jicama “tacos,” which are only $10 and come with a choice of side, like guacamole or three different salads. They’ll be adding more days soon.

Loló            - 974 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-643-5656

Where to Watch World Cup Games


Why reinvent the wheel, when Mister Archer already came up with this VERY THOROUGH LIST of where to watch World Cup games? Check it out.

A few addendums: PUBLIC HOUSE will be airing the games (hello, it has 23 TVs!) and running some fun promotions throughout World Cup. Check the On Deck section of the Public House website for the daily World Cup viewing plan and hours. For the early morning bigger tournament games, Public House will offer Mijita food and bar service during those hours. As for the promos, wear a jersey from any team playing in the World Cup, order the Daily Grind burger, and get a side of hand-cut fries, onion rings, or chips on the house. Mijita will also be launching a special World Cup torta menu on June 12th, from a fried chicken sandwich to a Sloppy José, with slow-cooked top round on chile guajillo sauce with refried black beans, iceberg lettuce, queso fresco, and a side of escabeche.

TACOLICIOUS will be open early and serving breakfast for all of the USA and Mexico games. The first is on Friday June 11th at 6:30am. You’ll be able to take your pick from two different $10 breakfast specials (either a shot of El Jimador reposado, with a can of Tecate, and your choice of a taco con huevos y rajas or taco tejano gringo—or you can swap the booze with a cafe con leche and an agua fresca del día). Oh, and their new fryer means churros are on the menu, cuidado!

New Farmers' Market at Ft. Mason

Just this last Sunday marked the launch of the FORT MASON CENTER FARMERS’ MARKET. The market will occur every Sunday through October, 9:30am-1:30pm. (And for the record, it will be open on July 4th.)

Where to Score Free Iced Tea Lattes This Saturday

RODGER’S COFFEE & TEA in the Mission is known for having one of the largest selections of coffees (over 25) and teas (over 20) that customers can choose from. Every Saturday during the month of June, they are offering a warm weather-friendly and free promo: you’ll be able to choose from a number of different iced tea lattes. The time of the free promo will run from noon to 1pm. 3520a 20th St. at San Carlos.

Meatpaper and Blue Bottle: Now Playing


Meatpaper and Blue Bottle meet up again for a tasting at SFMOMA’s Rooftop Garden café as part of the museum’s third Thursday springtime event series, SFMOMA: NOW PLAYING, (the main museum events run from 6pm-9:45pm). Local chefs will be creating dishes and desserts featuring edible flowers; chefs include Morgan Maki and Linh Phu of Bi-Rite
, Chris Kronner of Bar Tartine
, Leif Hedendal
, and Leah Rosenberg of Blue Bottle. Complimentary beverages will include wine by Scribe Winery
 and beer by Trumer Pils. The rooftop event is free with half-price museum entry. (Free for SFMOMA members.) 
Tasting plates are $5. There will be a screening of artists’ home movies in the 
Phyllis Wattis Theater. And Chris Johanson, who leads the Mission group, The 17th & Capps, will animate the atrium while launching his collaborative project with THE THING Quarterly.

               Thursday Jun 17, 2010 6pm–8pm more info

Come On, It's Time to Show Off


Are you a home cook or home gardener with something to show off? Sign up by June 9th to enter a fruit pie, picnic basket for two, preserved food, home food gardening, plus other items at the URBAN EATS tent at the Giants County Fair on June 20th. Contest winners receive two tickets to an SF Giants game and will have their picture featured on the 7x7 magazine website. Be one of the first 20 people to tell them you heard about it from “the tablehopper” at the bottom of your entry form, and you’ll also get $5 toward your next shopping trip at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Contest rules (San Francisco residents or students only), and entry forms available here.

Dress for Success This Thursday June 10th

On Thursday June 10th, DRESS FOR SUCCESS SAN FRANCISCO will celebrate its fifth year serving the local community with an annual fundraiser themed Success: You Wear it Well. Party-goers will enjoy tastes from San Francisco female chefs (Bridget Batson, Gitane; Sarah Burchard, Barbacco; Janine Falvo, Carneros Bistro; Jennie Lorenzo, Fifth Floor; Sharon Nahm, E&O Trading Company; and Lisa Shaver, Pastry Chef, Wente Vineyards), along with music from DJ Jenny Shu. The fall preview fashion show will feature three San Francisco-based clothing companies: Banana Republic, Gymboree, and Christopher Collins. There will also be Ketel One cocktails, Champagne by Domaine Carneros, and wines by La Crema, plus a live and silent auction (where you’ll find a signed tablehopper book, hello!). The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

               Thursday Jun 10, 2010 5pm–9pm $100 more info

Missing Poleng Lounge's Adobo Wings? Here's Where to Find Them.


Yelp photo from Albert B.

When POLENG LOUNGE closed, I know I was not the only one to lament chef Timothy Luym’s adobo chicken wings flying away. Well, you can find that favorite dish and more at ATTIC in San Mateo, a two-level spot near the Century Theaters, where Luym is the consulting chef. “Under Attic” is the small bar area and communal table on the ground level serving bar bites and craft cocktails by Nicholas Feather, and the upstairs dining room, “Attic,” is a full-service restaurant with a bar, lounge seating, and a private dining room and patio for events. New dishes coming on the menu include a roasted pork jowl salad, sizzling bulalo (bone-in beef shank with bone marrow gravy), and ask about the secret lamb adobo.

 Open Tue-Sat 5:30pm-10pm, bar hours 4pm to close. 
234 South B St. at 3rd Ave., San Mateo
, 650-342-4506.

Lots of New Openings in Marin

Brick & Bottle - Interior 2.JPG

Suddenly Marin County is getting all kinds of restaurant action. The first one to note is the opening of Scott Howard’s BRICK & BOTTLE in Corte Madera (in the former Izzy’s Steak & Chops space). The comfort food-oriented menu includes a variety of pizzas from the wood stone oven; eight kinds of salads; a pimento cheeseburger (uh, yum); pastas like tagliatelle with English peas, bacon, and Parmesan cheese; and mains like rotisserie chicken and braised short ribs (most of the mains are around $20). (And no, I don’t see his carrot soup on the menu, I think chef needs a break.) The cocktail list is lengthy, with eight beers on tap. Hours are Mon-Fri 11:30am-10pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am-11pm, with weekend brunch 11:30am-2pm. 55 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, 415-924-3366.

Another newcomer is L’APPART RESTO in San Anselmo (in the former AVA) from owners Olivier Souvestre and Bruno Denis of Sausalito’s Le Garage. Look for a casual menu of French fare made with local ingredients, including smoked herring with parsnip potato blinis and shaved artichokes, or a main of butter-poached halibut with sunchoke croquettes and green tomato confiture. Dinner is served Mon-Sat; lunch and brunch are slated to come soon. 636 San Anselmo Ave. at Tamalpais, San Anselmo, 415-256-9884.

Another newbie is MILL VALLEY BEERWORK BREWERY AND BEER CAFÉ (read all about it on UrbanDaddy) from brothers Justin and Tyler Catalana. They will be handcrafting beers on site (coming soon), plus they offer a large selection of imported and local microbrews (almost 100). You can also get other fizzy items like housemade kombucha, ginger ale, and rootbeer. The menu is simple: fresh pretzels, salumi, and cheese plates, plus fresh salads, and a sandwich. Starting next week, hours will be 10am-12am nightly (open at 3pm this week). 173 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, 415-336-3596.

Not too long ago I mentioned DISH, the new casual spot in Mill Valley from Peter Schumacher (Buckeye Roadhouse, Bungalow 44). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served, and the eclectic menu will include California ethnic food made with local ingredients, ranging from Italian dishes to Moroccan meatballs. 507 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, 415-388-3474.

Oh, and there has been one closure: the E&O TRADING CO. location in Larkspur has closed.

Time to Get Your Berkeley Dining Passport


THE BERKELEY DINING PASSPORT just launched June 2nd, offering a year of discounts and special offers at more than 20 top Berkeley restaurants. Berkeley Dining Passports are $20. and are available at all participating restaurants and online (you can also pick one up at the Visit Berkeley Information Center, 2030 Addison St., Suite 102; 510-549-7040). Participating restaurants include: Adagia, Anh Hong, Bistro Liaison, Breads of India, Cafe Platano, Caffe Venezia, Cioccolata di Vino, eVe, Digs Bistro, Filippos, FIVE, Henry’s Gastropub, King Tsin, Kirala, La Rose Bistro, Rick and Ann’s, Riva Cucina, Taste of the Himalayas, Thai Delight, Trattoria Corso, and Zatar. Offers range from free corkage, appetizers, and desserts, to dollars off and discounts, and the passport is good for one full year. There is no limit on the number of times Berkeley Dining Passports can be used until May 31st, 2011. A portion of passport sales will benefit the Berkeley Food & Housing Project.


the sponsor

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

(Sponsored): Welcome to Wine Country--aka Whole Foods Market

Think you’re picky about wine? You’re not nearly as critical as Whole Foods Market expert wine buyers who have sniffed and sipped their way through hundreds of vintages. The result: our Top 10 Wine list, bottles that our buyers have singled out as unique discoveries. They’re just part of our vast and stellar collection of imports and domestics that complement (and compliment) your summer meals. If you are thirsty and thrifty, you’ll be happy to know great wines at Whole Foods start at as little as an easy-to-swallow $3.99 a bottle. Of course we always have case discounts. Enjoy!

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Natural Wine Event at Terroir

This Saturday June 12th, Terroir Wine Merchant is featuring a TASTING OF NATURAL WINES from the East Bay. The wines to be poured include Donkey & Goat, Broc Cellars, Dashe Cellars, and Edmunds St. John, over 15 wines in all.

               Saturday Jun 12, 2010 4pm–8pm $30 more info

Matt Cline of Three Wines at Millennium

The June Winemaker Dinner at MILLENNIUM is next Wednesday June 16th, and Matt Cline of Three Wines is hosting. He has a long history in the winemaking field, beginning in 1985 as winemaker and creative director at Cline Cellars for 16 years. Eric Tucker is preparing a five-course vegetarian meal, including dessert with the S3x botrytis, a late-harvest wine from the Russian River Valley.

               Wednesday Jun 16, 2010 6pm reception; 6:30pm dinner $70 (not including tax and gratuity) more info

Millennium            - 5912 College Ave. Oakland - 510-735-9459

Hey, Sailor


Ever wondered who is the man behind Sailor Jerry rum? This Wednesday June 9th and Thursday June 10th (doors at 6:45pm and 10pm both evenings), The Roxie is screening Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry, a “gritty, historical, and fascinating award-winning documentary” by Erich Weiss on Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, the father of old-school tattooing. All you have to do is RSVP here. Sounds like a fun flick to me. And it’s free!  3117 16th St. at Valencia.


the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)

Indian Street Food Event with tablehopper at Dosa on Fillmore


Vada pav from Swati Snacks in Mumbai.


 Event Info

Saturday Jun 19, 2010 12pm–3pm $45 (includes all food, wine tastes, tax, and gratuity) Tickets                        Dosa on Fillmore 1700 Fillmore St. at Post, San Francisco

Before I left for my trip to India, I made sure to talk to Anjan Mitra of Dosa for travel tips about Mumbai, his hometown (which is why he calls it Bombay). I was blown away by the street food my sister and I tried, so when I returned, Anjan and I came up with this TABLEHOPPER AND DOSA EVENT FEATURING THE AMAZING STREET FOOD OF MUMBAI.

We’re hosting this daytime event at the glam Dosa on Fillmore, and will feature a crazy-delicious array of classic street food dishes: pani puri, pav bhaji, vada pav (one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten in my life), bhel puri, dahi papadi chaat, lamb frankies (or with paneer for the vegetarians), an array of kebabs, and one of my personal favorites, lamb baida roti. It’s gonna be so good. And very vegetarian friendly. We’ll also have some chai and sweets at the end.

Since my sis and I couldn’t find any good wine the entire trip (trust me, it was rough), things had to be very different for this event. We’re going to be featuring a selection of wonderful wines from Robert Oatley Vineyards; Bob Oatley is the Australian winemaker who brought Rosemount Estate to the world. Robert Oatley Vineyards is built around the family’s extensive vineyard holdings and modern winery in Mudgee, New South Wales. You will have the opportunity to try half-glass/tasting pours of the following food-friendly wines: 2009 Pinot Grigio, 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Sangiovese Rose, 2008 Chardonnay, 2007 Shiraz, and the 2007 Cab-Merlot.

We’re going to be seated communally and served family style. Yup, it’s going to be a seated street food party. And we’re keeping it simple and affordable: the entire feast is only $45, which includes all the food, wine tastes, tax, and tip. Let’s eat!

StarChefs Rising Stars Revue Gala: June 16th


 Event Info

Wednesday Jun 16, 2010 7:30pm–10pm $95 per person; $150 VIP Tickets/info                        Ghirardelli Square 900 North Point St. at Larkin, San Francisco

On Wednesday June 16th, will celebrate the recipients of its 2010 San Francisco Bay Area Rising Star Awards at the RISING STARS REVUE gala at Ghirardelli Square. Hosted by Gary Danko’s chef de cuisine, Martin Brock, the walk-around tasting gala will feature signature savory dishes, desserts, and cocktails presented by the awardees.’s Rising Star Awards recognize up-and-coming chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists from around the country who represent future leaders of the national culinary scene. Each year StarChefs chooses only four American cities in which to name Rising Stars, and this year, more than 90 Bay Area candidates were considered.

StarChefs’s 2010 San Francisco Bay Area Rising Star Award Winners:

Chefs Matthew Accarrino, SPQR John Paul Carmona, Manresa Maximilian DiMare, Wood Tavern Louis Maldonado, Aziza Thomas McNaughton, Flour + Water Scott Nishiyama, Chez TJ

Pastry Chefs Melissa Chou, Aziza Catherine Schimenti, Michael Mina

Mixologists Erick Castro, Rickhouse Brian MacGregor, Jardinière

Sommelier Sarah Valor, Commis

Concept Joshua Skenes, Saison

Restaurateur Shelley Lindgren, A16 and SPQR

Hotel Chef Josh Thomsen, The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa

(You can view what each chef is making on the site, or a corrected version in this GrubStreet posting). Tickets are $95; VIP tickets are $150 and include a pre-event reception with Champagne and Petrossian caviar. A portion of the proceeds will go to La Cocina.

the health nut

Gettin' Fit (take a lap, tablehopper)

My Week of Detox Product Discoveries


It’s funny what three weeks of no cheese can make you try. I was craving something melty, and so the Daiya vegan cheddar cheese shreds that I read about in VegNews ended up in my shopping basket. The texture was remarkably cheese-like, although a touch grainy. And no, anyone who is eating cheese on a regular basis is not going to find this particularly appetizing, but for vegans, the lactose intolerant, or detoxers like me, it helped soothe my cheese craving. The cheese is made with tapioca and arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller-pressed canola and/or non-GMO expeller-pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegan natural flavours, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), and annatto. Yeah, that’s some mad food science. I tried it in a sprouted grain quesadilla last night (the tortilla was “crunchy” in more ways than one) and it melted really well; it also was a nice addition on top of my tomato soup. But since I am not vegan, I am going back to the regular cheese I love and adore.


I also was having mad sugar cravings by the end of week two—I just wanted a little treat, so I bought two non-dairy ice creams to compare. What’s funny is I never even have ice cream around my apartment, and now I have two. Anyway, since I couldn’t have any sugar or chocolate, vanilla was the flavor I had to choose. The brand-new Almond Dream vanilla had a nice creamy texture, with a nuttiness from the almonds, but a slightly funky undertone I grew to dislike—but in its favor, it only has 7g of fat for a serving. I also tried the all-organic Alkemie vanilla (you can find it at Whole Foods, made from cashew and coconut cream, but it was double the fat per serving, at 13g a serving (at least they’re “good fats”). The texture was a bit more icy when compared to the Almond Dream, and the coconut gave it a more tropical undertone. But overall I found the flavor to be more appealing and fresh-tasting.


How sweet, a friend brought over some snacks for me to try that I didn’t know about: Kaia Foods sprouted sunflower seeds. I tried the sweet curry flavor, and garlic and sea salt flavor. Both were delicious, good for you, and the kind of snack you’ll keep munching if you don’t watch yourself—they kind of clump up into little bites. It’s the kind of snack that you don’t have to be on a cleanse to dig, so these will remain in my grocery mix. (You can find them at a number of stores in San Francisco.)

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Party Time at Universal Cafe

A tablehopper reader spotted Adrian Grenier at Universal Cafe on Sunday June 6th—and he was rollin’ with an entourage (har) of 12.

This Week: Even More Michael Keaton

Seems Michael Keaton has been on the town even more than yours truly these days: he came in to Café Claude on Saturday during the late afternoon to have coffee and read the newspaper, and then came back later in the evening while the live jazz was going to have drinks at the bar, enjoying the ambiance for a couple of hours. I was also told he came in to Venticello on Saturday for dinner, and continues to impress everyone with his gracious ways.

No Burning in the Kitchen

A tablehopper reader, and frequent diner at Delfina writes in, “We saw Lars Ulrich at Delfina last night. Chefs were unimpressed as ‘he ruined music sharing for all of us.’”

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