Posts for November 19, 2012

Exclusive: First Look at Kitchen Story, Softly Open Today

Kitchen Story (3499 16th Street at Sanchez), the new all-day restaurant from the Sweet Maple/Blackwood team, opened its doors this morning in the Castro, as promised. "We had about nine people for breakfast," owner Steven Choi tells us. "More than I expected." This week is their quiet, soft opening, through Wednesday, after which they'll be closed for the whole Thanksgiving weekend, reopening Monday, November 26 for their official grand opening. Take a look at how they've remodeled the former Tangerine space in our opening-day slideshow.

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Rice Cracker Sushi Pops Up With Pot Roast Rolls, Other ‘Comfort Food Sushi’ at Dear Mom

Tonight at Dear Mom you may want to check out Rice Cracker Sushi, who'll be popping up in the kitchen. In what they're billing as "The Worlds Greatest American Comfort Sushi in S.F.", tonight's menu will feature items like a pot roast roll, and a candied yam roll, as well as some of their other bastardized maki innovations like the falafel roll, the Buffalo chicken roll, and the hard-shell taco roll. The fun starts at 6 p.m. today and goes until 11 p.m. or so. See a previous menu here.

Mission Chinese Food’s Next Stop: Paris

S.F. chef Danny Bowien is not stopping with just two locations of Mission Chinese Food, in San Francisco and New York; as we're learning today via the new print edition of Food Arts (not yet online), he's heading to Paris in January to scope out possible restaurant spaces there. Paris may be ripe for Bowien's spiced up, Americanized versions of Chinese food, as the city has not had a wealth of decent Asian cuisine until very recently, even though Parisians tend to love Asian food and there's been a significant influx of Chinese immigrants there recently too. It remains to be seen how they'll feel about his hair. [Food Arts via Grub Street NY]

False Alarm?: Hostess and Union Back at the Bargaining Table

Friday's news of the potential closure and sale of the Hostess company and its iconic snack-cake brands sent the internet spinning with nostalgia, laments, stories of Twinkie hoarding, gloating by healthy food advocates, etc. Well, it turns out there's still a chance the company will be saved, and maybe they were just showing they weren't afraid to sell it all off in the face of major financial problems and a stubborn union. As the Times' Dealbook site is reporting, a federal judge has pushed Hostess and the bakers union back into mediation this week, and the two sides have agreed to meet one last time on Tuesday to try to come to a deal to avoid 18,000 layoffs and a complete closure of the company. If they can't reach an agreement, Hostess will again seek approval of their close-out plan beginning Wednesday, which includes the sale of the Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dong brands, and the closure of multiple plants. [NYT, Earlier]

Ronca’s Kitchen, a New Chicken-and-Waffles Pop-Up, Launches in Oakland

A new weekly pop-up arrives today at Beauty's Bagel Shop (3838 Telegraph Avenue) in Temescal called Ronca's Kitchen. As the East Bay Express reports, it's a chicken-and-waffles affair from the mother-and-daughter team of Ingrid Ibarra, a St. Helena-based personal chef, and Julia Ibarra. They typically do fried chicken sandwiches each Monday at lunch (Beauty's is typically closed on Mondays), from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and then chicken and waffles at dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Luke Tsai deems their Bakesale Betty-esque fried chicken sandwich "quite tasty," and on a crispier torpedo roll. Today, in honor of Thanksgiving, Ronca's is doing a fried turkey sandwich with balsamic pearl onions, along with a pumpkin pie cookie, for $10. [EBX]

NIMBY Upset About Woodhouse Crab Shack Plan at Marina Green

A rendering of the proposed crab/clam shack.

The inevitable minor uproar over anything new in this town has arisen regarding Woodhouse Fish Company's earlier announced proposal for a takeout seafood shack at the former Marina Degaussing Station at Marina Green. A nearby resident, 70-year-old Arthur Scampa, is the most vocal opponent so far, citing potential light pollution, traffic, and the "major change of a public park" that the proposed restaurant represents. Also, he has some fears about fatter, more aggressive birds spoiled by daily feasts of lobster roll crumbs. Supervisor Mark Farrell, in whose district the project lies, calls the complaint "irrelevant" and says he hopes the lease gets approved. [Examiner]

Saveur Editor James Oseland on His New Book, Road Trips, and Eureka Moments in the Shower

James Oseland in the Saveur test kitchen.Photo: Melissa Hom

James Oseland — Saveur editor in chief, Top Chef Masters judge — is a man who loves all levels of cuisine, high to low. But his greatest passion may be for the humblest, most rustic, and most unadorned food of untrained chefs and home cooks, and it's these people who are represented (alongside a few big-name food people) in a new coffee table book from Saveur called The Way We Cook. It's a picture book, mostly, and a kind of photo essay about the act of cooking, with a small selection of 50 greatest-hits recipes from the Saveur archive at the back. Oseland was in San Francisco last week, signing books and speaking at the San Francisco Cooking School, and Grub Street sat down for a few words with him about the book, and about the state of food media in general.

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Bauer Loves the View, the Brunch, Some of the Seafood at Mission Rock Resort; Hirsch Has Good Sushi at Tekka

In Sunday's Chron, Michael Bauer offered up his thoughts on the newish Mission Rock Resort, formerly known as Kelly's Mission Rock before being rehabbed and improved by Peter Osborne (Pete's Tavern, Momo's) this year. He finds himself enchanted by the view, both from the deck and from indoors, and says, "The interior is pleasant but hard to remember because all eyes are on what's outside." As for the food, it's "good enough," especially the $75 seafood platter, the fish and chips, and the line-caught dorado. But, "when chef Sam Ehrlich gets creative, the results are mixed." He recommends the eggs Benedict at brunch, saying overall they do a good brunch. But the service, on his four visits, was "uneven." The verdict: two stars. [Chron]

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Watch Fake Guy Fieri Respond to the Times Takedown Review

It didn't actually air over over the weekend, but Saturday Night Live blocked out and rehearsed a "Weekend Update" segment with cast member Bobby Moynihan adopting his best Guy Fieri schtick. Fake Fieri, like the real one, is a little incensed and ultimately hurt by the incredibly bad New York Times review, and the one-liner defenses he manages to crack range from "My food is best served through a cloud of weed smoke" to "If you come in expecting Le Cirque, then you're a Le Jerk." Click on through, and feel his pain.

He'll hit you with a faceful of Donkey Sauce. »

Regarding a Bartender's Journey Away From Over-Complicated Cocktails

"In the beginning I made some really atrocious stuff. I used avocado. I made these horrible gastriques with blackberries and balsamic vinegar. It’s been quite the evolution to realize, 'Oh, it’s about balance, and about finding something that’s beautiful, and works, and is not so esoteric.'" — Bartender Kate Bolton, who created the cocktail program at Maven, talking about her education as a mixologist and her days at Wexler's and Michael Mina. [Haighteration]


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