Posts for May 31, 2012

Camino Does Kebabs

A lamb and beet kofte kebab.

Over in Oakland, Camino chef Russell Moore is using his open fire for summertime, Mediterranean-style grilling, and his Monday night special is now a rotating kebab selection. The deal is a three-course prix fixe with a salad or soup, flatbread, kebabs, and dessert for $30 to $35. Last Monday's special, pictured here, was a lamb and beet kofte kebab served with an asparagus and carrot salad. This coming Monday, the menu will be a chilled cucumber, yogurt, and mint soup; a grilled duck breast kebab and duck leg-brisket kofte kebab with peas, chiles, herbs and flatbread; and wood oven-roasted rhubarb-rose fool. Dinner is from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, and you can reserve here.

Grab a Seat for Manresa’s Tenth Anniversary Dinners

A couple weeks back we revealed the details about Manresa's upcoming tenth anniversary celebration, happening in July. The festivities include a week of Cooking With Friends dinners in which friends of chef David Kinch and alumni of the restaurant return to cook collaborative feasts. Those guests include Los Angeles chef Michael Cimarusti, Philadelphia chefs John and Karen Shields, and Brooklyn chef Carlo Mirarchi of the much acclaimed Roberta's.

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Step Inside Salumeria, Open Today in the Mission

Here it is, everyone, the Italian-Californian deli the Mission-Potrero border has sorely lacked: Salumeria. The daytime off-shoot of Flour + Water, attached to their sibling restaurant Central Kitchen, debuted today at noon at the corner of 20th and Florida. Opening day offerings included a swell, well-dressed salad with anchovy vinaigrette and a perfect, oozy-in-the-center, sous-vide egg; a duck-confit sandwich with cherry mostarda; and a great roast beef sandwich on pretzel bread with spicy mustard, Estovo Gold fonduta, and dill pickles.

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Bauer Updates La Mar; Hochman Impressed With Mission Bowling Club Fare

The bar at La Mar.Photo: Bittermelon/Flickr

Mr. Bauer this week revisits La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, most commonly known as La Mar or "that fancy ceviche place on the Embarcadero." The four-year-old restaurant was the first American outpost of Peruvian chef and restaurateur Gaston Acurio, who also opened a New York branch last year. They've got a new chef, Diego Oka, and Bauer finds that while he always liked the cocktails and ceviches, Oka has improved upon the entrées, like the Chinese-inflected halibut, which he says is truly a "main event." As for the desserts, they're "a let-down," but he recommends just skipping that course and making sure to get seats on the patio. All told: two and a half stars. [Chron]

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Miss Ollie’s Headed to Swan’s Market Building in Oakland

Come early fall, you will once again be able to have some of chef Sarah Kirnon's crazily delicious fried chicken. The former Hibiscus chef has inked a deal, as the Chron is reporting, for the former Jesso's spot (901 Washington Street), in the Swan's Market building in Old Oakland. Her restaurant, a noted earlier, will be called Miss Ollie's, after her grandmother who taught her how to cook. The space is actually just a few doors down from the upcoming Oakland outpost of Rosamunde, and Kirnon is planning to model Miss Ollie's after the kind of one-stop-shop restaurants one finds in the Caribbean, serving a whole pig one day, and, of course, fried chicken the next. In the meantime, you will be able to find her making chicken at a few as-yet-unnanounced pop-ups like the one she did at Bar Tartine in February, so we lied. [Chron, Earlier]

Coit Tower to Get a Chowder Cart

Photo: Wikimedia

The owners of Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro just won a bid to provide the food and beverage concession at Coit Tower. As the Chron reports, they're planning on doing a cart and mobile food operation serving their famous clam chowder, seafood cocktails, and possibly their crab burger too. Also, they may try for a liquor license to serve beer and specially bottled Coit Tower blends of wine. There's still another bureaucratic approval and a lease to be signed, but they're hoping to possibly open up by the end of the year. [Chron]

Backyard Chickens and Farming Blamed for Sickening Hundreds With Salmonella

Live chickens are essentailly raw chickens, and should be treated as such.

Backyard farming may be a means of survival for some, and a neighborhood status symbol for others, but now the trendy practice is being blamed for sickening hundreds with salmonella. Washington Post reports that the Center for Disease Control has determined that more than 80 percent of salmonella cases reported can be traced back to hatcheries that sell chicks directly to consumers for their kids' Easter baskets and/or their experiments in suburban coop-keeping.

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Todd English on Returning to Boston and Reopening His Flagship

Todd English, pausing to reflect.Photo: 451

Todd English has gotten a drubbing in the national press, and, yes, Grub Street has happily chronicled the fallout. The lawsuits! The rent woes! That wacky Groupon deal! Back home in Boston, he was derided for failing to quickly refurbish Olives after a fire shuttered his 23-year-old flagship two years ago. But Teflon Todd is back, people: Olives is open once more, with a bigger bar and more small plates. And English is in the kitchen, promising to make it a priority. Grub Street caught him in a fleeting quiet moment, primed for a comeback and happy to chat.

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Comal Unveils Its Pretty Patio in Berkeley Today

There's like room for volleyball back there...Photo: Courtesy of Comal

Most days, it's warmer over in Berkeley. And today marks the opening of a great new back patio at Comal (2020 Shattuck Avenue), which includes covered seating for fifty additional people, as well as a full bar and a lounge/waiting area. In the coming weeks there will also be a fire pit on the way in the uncovered lounge area, giving nearby Jupiter a run for their money in outdoor, fireside imbibing. For dining, the tables under the awning will all be seated on a first-come, first-served bases, with ten seats available at the outdoor bar as well. [Earlier]

Drive-Thru Dining: Eleven Videos of Cars Crashing Into Restaurants

This week, an Ohio man used his truck as a battering ram after a Taco Bell forgot one of his 99-cent tacos. Not long before that, an Indiana Chipotle took a major hit from a collision between two cars. Which got us thinking: This kind of thing happens a lot, right? Cars seem to always be slamming into fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, and diners. While it's hard to explain exactly why they make such a vulnerable targets for errant autos, we recommend everyone stay on their toes, no matter how much attention that burger requires. Need proof? Here now, eleven glass-shattering, metal-twisting car crashes caught on video at restaurants through the years.

Lime Closing This Weekend in the Castro, to Be Replaced By S.F.’s First Gay Sports Bar

Goodbye, white marble bar! Hello, baseball season.

Castro bar impresario Greg Bronstein announced today that, as we gathered earlier this month, Lime (2247 Market Street) is indeed closing. He makes the announcement saying that there will be one more Sunday of shitshow-y, bottomless-mimosa brunching, minus the food, however we have it on good authority the place could be closing even sooner than that, and that it will be replaced in the coming months by San Francisco's first gay sports bar, under new ownership.

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Around the World in 80 Plates Recap: David Rees Is the Only Person Watching This Show

Can you name even one of these contestants?Photo: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

In solidarity with the spirit of adventure that drives Around the World in 80 Plates, I’m recapping this week’s episode from my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, one of the most famous boroughs in all of New York. I'm a long way from home! And at the risk of blowing your mind even wider open: By the time you read this recap, I will be on an airplane flying to yet ANOTHER distant city — the city of Los Angeles, currently located all the way over there on the other side of the continent in the sun-dappled, doomed social experiment known as California. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a bit of a jet-setter. My only home is the open road; my only love is the smell of airplanes in flight; my only allegiance is to the next vista on my horizon. Basically, what I’m saying is: I might literally be the only person in America who appreciates what our friends are going through as they compete on Around the World in 80 Plates. As far as I can tell, I am definitely the only person in America who is watching the show.

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Ubuntu Closed for Real, Space Up for Grabs [Updated]

UbuntuPhoto: J. Barmann/Grub Street

When news arrived last fall that Ubuntu, the Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant attached to a yoga studio in downtown Napa, was going on an indefinite "sabbatical," we were fairly skeptical that the restaurant would reopen in its same form. Today we get our first hard evidence that the restaurant is closed for good, as Terra/Bar Terra/Ame owners Hiro Sone and wife Lissa Doumani have moved in on the space to add an unnamed project to their growing mini-empire.

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Pressing Matters: Are Juice Bars Putting the Squeeze on Customers?

Photo: Danny Kim for New York Magazine/Food styling: Suzette Kaminski

Anyone who has walked by a juice bar over the last couple of years — in other words, almost everyone — has noticed the strikingly high prices, often $9 or $10 per nutrient-laden beverage. How can this be? Have juice-bar owners figured out a way to swindle the kale-enraptured masses?

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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