Posts for April 12, 2012

Menu at Meadowood Now Customized to Your Tastes

The new Meadowood.Photo: Creel Films

Here's a detail we didn't fully grasp regarding the revamped, newly reopened Restaurant at Meadowood: The main dining room menu is no longer a set affair, and is actually personalized for each table given the season, and their preferences. "It's the kind of restaurant I always wanted to have," chef Christopher Kostow tells the HuffPo. "The server talks to guests about what they like: 'we don't eat red meat' or 'we were thinking something vegetal' or 'I really don't like turnips' for instance. Then we completely customize the menu for each table."

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Bauer Says Txoko Is Improved, But Still ‘Growing’


Mr. Bauer kindly returned to Txoko in North Beach recently to do an update review after dinging them with a middling two-star review in which complained a lot about the lighting and the ambiance. Though not much has changed there except for cloth napkins, he now says "the speakeasy feel of the place" is an asset, and tries to open on a positive note talking about the "balanced and never heavy handed" cocktails. He doesn't mention the lamb tongue salad we liked (it may not have been on the menu), but from the new menu he enjoys a "rustic" braised lamb shoulder and a potato soup with green garlic. He notes that there was a Basque couple sitting near him who had trouble understanding how the menu was at all Basque, and the server couldn't really tell them either. And he leaves his verdict at two stars, same as before, with two and a half for the food. [Chron]

Take a Tour of Paris Through Yigit Pura’s Eyes

Pura in ParisPhoto: Frankie Frankeny via Twitter

We mentioned earlier that celebrity pastry chef and eligible gay bachelor Yigit Pura recently returned from a trip to Paris where he was doing research for his upcoming pastry shop Tout Sweet at places like the Valrhona chocolate factory and Ladurée. As it happens, Pura was being tailed much of the time by 7x7 photographer Frankie Frankeny and executive editor Chloe Harris for a piece in the mag's upcoming travel issue. Frankeny tweeted out a sneak peek photo today, and so we felt compelled to share it with all you Yigit fans out there. You're welcome. [FrankenyImages/Twitter, Earlier]

Potrero’s Axis Café Likely to Close

The proposed 1150 16th Street

Pending approval at today's Planning Commission meeting, the property that's home to the Axis Café (1201 8th Street at 16th) on Potrero Hill is set to become a five-story mixed-use building with residential units and ground-floor retail. Once the building is constructed, the project sponsors have promised to reserve a new space for the Axis Café, but it sounds like the café would disappear (or need to relocate) for at least a year or two. We'll update you if the project gets approved. [Curbed]

Saison Closed Due to Flooding From Last Night’s Storm


Folsom Street near 17th and 18th Streets has been the site of ugly storm-drain backups in recent years, and last night's heavy rains caused flooding at the Stable Café and Saison, which share a building at 2124 Folsom. Chef-owner Joshua Skenes tells Grub Street the restaurant will be closed for at least two days as they try to mitigate the mess, and will hopefully reopen Saturday. Also, a bit of a correction is in order following a piece published yesterday about price hikes at the restaurant.

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Louboutin Attacker May Claim Self-Defense In Marina Shoe Assault

She is now internet-famous.

The woman who is likely to be accused of aggravated assault in a Saturday night scuffle outside Balboa Café remains at large, but Grub Street learns today that her side of the story may involve a claim of self-defense — or at least defense of her husband. An anonymous informant relays the story, allegedly via the suspect's sister, saying that she "she and her friends were accosted first and she was trying to get the man to stop punching her husband in the face." Meanwhile, the unnamed woman, who allegedly tried to bludgeon Jasper's Corner Tap manager Matt Meidinger with a pair of Louboutin heels after he suggested they weren't that important, has sparked the ire of the internet far and wide, and the story's been picked up by the British press.

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Forbes: Kobe Beef Is ‘Food’s Biggest Scam’

Not found in Vegas sliders

If you spend enough time around foodie friends with Japanese fetishes, you've doubtlessly been subjected to a tirade or two on how high-priced domestic beef that gets labeled "Kobe" almost anywhere outside of Japan is nothing but a damned lie (you'll get this even if all you want to do is down a freaking burger). But today Forbes gets super-pissed about the issue, grabbing the bull by the horns and labeling all "Kobe" marketed in the U.S., South America, and Australia as "food's biggest scam." The publication also debunks the whole beer-and-massage treatment for these cows as apocryphal, much like Gourmet discovered over four years ago. So, what's Forbes's, um, beef with "faux-be"?

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For the Ladies: Taste Wine While Getting Tied Up

Everything tastes better whilst blindfolded and bound.Photo: Tengalgorhythm and Arniston Bay

Riedel may claim you can only properly enjoy a Zinfandel from a glass of a certain shape, but how about a dog bowl? Femina Potens, the primarily lesbian LGBTQ arts organization, is doing their annual wine and rope tasting event this weekend, featuring some fine California Zins, some light to medium bondage, and yes, dog bowls for the submissives. Guests will be able to enjoy both the nuances of the wine, and the rope! "Experience the intricate differences in the ropes bite, toothy or sleek quality, the smell, the taste, its ability to make your submissive squeals or moan in deep pleasure," says the event copy.

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Let the Colonel’s Herbs Protect You

Oops! KFC's Thailand division has apologized after "being criticised for a Facebook message that urged people to rush home during Wednesday's tsunami scare and order a bucket of KFC chicken." [Daily Mail UK]

Napa Valley Chef Argues, Once Again, That Foie Gras Is Not Cruel

Calls for the overturning of the California foie gras ban, which takes effect July 1, are heating up. Napa Valley chef Ken Frank of La Toque takes to the L.A. Times today to respond to a recent editorial by state senator John Burton (who first introduced the ban) to reiterate the argument that foie gras, when it comes from a humane producer, is not cruel. He talks about how the tiny foie gras industry has had to arm itself against the well-funded animal-rights lobby over the years and has taken pains to become more humane. He says the ban "will create the biggest black market since Prohibition," and black markets only lead to bad actors and more inhumane foie gras hitting the streets under cover of darkness.

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San Francisco Introduced America to the Burrito

El Faro

So, we know that Taco Bell played a big role in popularizing Mexican food in the U.S. But in case you weren't aware, Febronio Ontiveros, longtime proprietor of El Faro at 20th and Folsom Street, introduced San Francisco to what we now call the Mission-style burrito. This overstuffed concoction, built with an extra-large flour tortilla (not a common sight outside Sonora, Mexico) and containing rice, beans, and plenty of meat, "governs what Americans now think of as a burrito," says Mexican-food historian Gustavo Arellano. In a new interview with Jonathan Kauffman, Arellano credits Ontiveros with S.F.'s first burrito, which he learned to make in work camps when he immigrated from Durango. And BurritoEater earlier cited September 26, 1961 as the day Ontiveros first slapped some sour cream and guac in there and created the super burrito. This concludes your lesson for today. [SFoodie]

Jewish Hate Crime Via Maple Syrup Is Punished by Jon Lovitz

Bullying is alive and well, as evidenced by three vile teenagers who drew swastikas and the word "Jew" in maple syrup in front of a classmate's house in California. The classmate, however, happened to be a family friend of Jon Lovitz, who took to Twitter, disgustedly, to reveal — and eventually, permanently expel — the cruel clique. [The Inquisitr]

Sausalito’s Le Garage: Not Too French

The Journal shines their light on Le Garage Bistro (85 Liberty Ship Way), the casual spot in a former garage along the water in Sausalito, talking to co-owner Bruno Denis who says, "We don't want to be too French and too classy." So they've stuck to burgers and mussels and croque madames, and they do to-go food for the boating set. But we should note they do escargot and duck confit at dinner, so, pretty French. [WSJ]

Kirin’s Frozen Foam Beer Looks a Lot Like Soft-Serve

Kirin's latest beer innovation looks a lot like something else we love: soft-serve ice cream. Though they're dubbing it Ichiban Shibori Frozen Draft, probably to keep the kiddies from catching on. It's currently available at select restaurants in Tokyo. See video below — and tell us if you recognize that song while you're at it.

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Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Lucca Food Store See the menu

    “Billy's Philly”

    Billy is only there after 5 pm but if you are around go there and ask for his billy philly, the best philly you'll find this side of the Mississippi.

  • Le P'tit Laurent See the menu

    “Elegant Sauces & Fabulous Bread”

    It is the place me and my love go for every intimate moment.

  • Hidive See the menu

    “Are you kidding?”

    You have to be totally drunk to think that this is even acceptable as a public watering hole.


Jay Barmann
NY Mag