Posts for November 29, 2012

Hi Five, a Korean-American Diner, Pops Up in Guerneville [Updated]

Guerneville continues to come up in the world, food-wise. In addition to the upcoming opening of Seaside Metal that we reported last week, today we learn of Hi Five, "a temporary Korean-American diner" that opens Saturday in Pat's Restaurant (16236 Main Street, Guerneville). The space is for sale (but still serving breakfast and lunch), and at night it's going to go Korean under the helm of chef David Blomster, an alum of nearby Boon Eat + Drink. Look for menu details to come, on Facebook. [BiteClub] Update: Carey Sweet at the Chron gets some details from Blomster about the menu, which he calls "deceptively sophisticated and yet thoroughly accessible." There will be smoked pork belly bao buns with scallions and root beer Jell-O; beef short rib kalbi with mac ‘n’ cojito cheese over buttered Wonder Bread; tempeh bibimbap with fiddlehead fern, shiso leaf, vegetables, Bantam egg; his take on Korean Fried Chicken (KFC); and crispy dinosaur kale and flying lotus root chips sprinkled with Pop Rocks. [Scoop]

Cocotte, the New French Rotisserie in Russian Hill, Hosts Grand Opening Fête

Cocotte's new look.Photo: Courtesy of Cocotte

As we mentioned last month, Hyde Street Bistro has morphed into Cocotte, a French-style rotisserie under the same owners, Aurore Martinez and chef Mikael Audry. Audry, a native of Sancerre, and Martinez have succumbed to broader trends and transformed their respected bistro into something more casual, with a new, more rustic design, a front bar, and more open kitchen. Though they've been operating as Cocotte for over a month, they're just now getting around to celebrating and throwing a grand reopening party on Monday, December 3. You can see the new dinner menu here, which features things like farm eggs "cocotte," (which are cooked in the vessel called a cocotte, as are a number of the side dishes for the rotisserie chicken), and bistro plats like coq au vin, and roasted quail. As for the chicken, it's served with a trio of sauces: harissa bell pepper sauce, shallots burgundy sauce, and porcini mushroom sauce. They're open now for dinner every night but Tuesday, and they're soon going to be launching brunch as well. [Earlier]

BarBersQ in Napa Becomes Q, and Bauer Re-Reviews It

We always thought the name BarBersQ — the Napa restaurant originally helmed by chef Stephen Barber, who moved on to Farmstead — was a bit awkward, and thankfully it's now been changed to just Q Restaurant and Bar (3900 D Bel Aire Plaza, Napa). Michael Bauer brings the news via an update review of the place, where chef Randy Lewis has "put the food back on track" in the past few months, following his stint at the now gone Criolla Kitchen. Bauer says the deviled eggs, a menu staple, are still "among the best around," and Lewis has added some items like some Key West-style conch fritters, which "resemble doughnut holes, but collapse like a souffle when bitten." He also loves the "vinegary" roast chicken, and the barbecue items, and he raises the restaurant's rating back up to three stars, after it fell to two back in 2010. [Chron]

Pig & Pie Finally, Finally Serves Pork Pies

That's all pork, ladies and gentlemen. No fillers.Photo: via Instagram

"We finally have pork pies," announces Pig & Pie on 24th Street, "Completing the promise of our name." The announcement comes just a few weeks after former Presidio Social Club cook Derek McCarthy took over the five-month-old kitchen and remade the menu at the Mission sausage and pie emporium. Up until now the place has only served sweet pies, but they've finally gotten their first savory meat pie on menu, and it's made with mostly shoulder and belly meat, seasoned and stuffed in a hot-water based dough specific for meat pies. "It's all meat," says owner Miles Pickering. And, he adds, that they're developing a chicken pie as well which should be availble within a couple of weeks.

Mr. Pollo Chef Launches a New Italian Pop-Up Several Doors Down

Roxy's a dessert/smoothie spot where the pop-up happens.Photo: Luis C./Yelp

Ambitious young chef Manny Torres Gimenez of Mr. Pollo fame has just expanded his pop-up operation a few doors with a second, pasta-focused affair at Roxy's Cafe (2847 Mission at 24th). As Chowhounder Dude Swenson reports, the Roxy's deal is four courses for a ridicuous $20, and one example menu was a butternut squash soup, followed by a salad, and two handmade pastas: a bolognese pasta, and pumpkin ravioli in brown butter sauce. The expansion makes sense given Gimenez's resume — he was previously on the line at Quince and SPQR. Gimenez remains at Mr. Pollo as well, and is dividing his time between the two. [Chow via Scoop]

Don’t Worry, Hostess Executives Will Apparently Still Get Bonuses

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Oh, Hostess: Yes, all of the company's assets will be liquidated and almost all of the company's employees are without jobs, but in a move that is sure to draw ire, the company asked a bankruptcy judge to approve a move that would give its top executives $1.8 million in bonuses. And, according to CNBC, that judge did, in fact, approve it.

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Drakes Bay Oyster Co. Is Kaput

The feds have spoken, and there will be no more oystering for 47-year-old Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes. As we've reported a couple times this year, the company's lease was set to expire tomorrow and the National Parks Service was doing an environmental review to determine whether or not to allow them to continue another ten years, or to convert the whole area around Drakes Estero into California's first federally designated marine wilderness preserve.

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Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on a Handsy Padma and Old-Timey Hawaiian Obsessions

Photo: Bravo

This week’s episode kicks off with the gang still arguing over Kuniko’s exile. John, the most hated chef in Dallas, continues his role of loudmouth jerk. He yells at Josh: “How many restaurants have you opened and failed?” CJ looks like he wants to knock John upside the head with How to Cook Everything. Amidst the din, someone lets slip this immortal diagnosis: “You pretend to have balls and you don’t have balls!”

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Wise Sons Deli Delivers!

Their free delivery area is just the Mission, from Cesar Chavez to "parts of the Castro" (the map is going online shortly), but the boys at Wise Sons Deli are growing the business mobile-ly this holiday season. Just please allow 45 minutes. And there's a $5 surcharge if you want them to deliver downtown. Starting Friday they'll also deliver a full Hannukah feast to your door, including braised brisket and latkes by the dozen. [Eater]

Peanut Farmers Peeved Over Peanut Butter Plant Closing

Seems the FDA’s shuttering of a peanut butter factory tied to salmonella outbreak that sickened 41 people in twenty states has turned a bumper crop of goobers into a bumper bummer for the small town of Portales, New Mexico. And the citizens there are mad as hell about it. The AP reports that the peanut-rich region was banking on a particularly bounteous harvest this year, but with Sunland Inc., the only production facility around, and the town’s largest employer, out of commission, those hopes of fortune have turned to worries about the local economy.

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Trader Joe’s Opens In Former Nob Hill Cala Foods [Updated]

This would be the fourth TJ's in town.Photo: Google

The retro-awesome Cala Foods "wondermart" at Hyde and California, in Lower Nob Hill, has finally reopened as Trader Joe's, exactly one year after closing. The neighborhood is delighted, since they've wanted this thing for years now, but the developer is probably a little miffed about the whole thing since they wanted to raze the building and build condos over the store. But nobody would have that because, clearly, it's a cool building built in 1960 the likes of which we don't see so much anymore, and San Franciscans like to save things. (This is the same developer, Prado Group, who's putting up the condos at Dolores and Market where the Whole Foods is going, across the street from Safeway.) Let the lines for parking begin! [SF Business Times, Earlier] Update: A tipster informs us the store actually opened today at 8 a.m., though the official opening is next week.

PETA Sues Hot's Kitchen Over Free Foie Gras

"The Burger" at Hot's

Less than two weeks after the sale and production of foie gras was legally banned in California, we found the stuff being given away as a free side with "The Burger" at Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach. PETA is not going to let that stand, as the animal rights group filed suit against the restaurant's holding company yesterday, claiming the offer of this complimentary supplement was a clear attempt to "evade the law." According to Reuters, the restaurant is yet to be served with the suit, but a spokesperson is already deeming this "outrageous, baseless" action as "an attempt to exploit the media by stoking controversial flames." Hot's Restaurant Group committed to the fight for foie as part of a team of plaintiffs that sued the state just one day following the ban, calling the statute "unconstitutionally vague." PETA, for its part, sues a lot of people, even recently invoking the 13th amendment in defense of enslaved orcas.

Animal rights group sues California restaurant over foie gras ban [Reuters]

The Rice Paper Scissors Team Talks Street Food and Vietnamese Street Culture

In this new video from the web series Food Centric, the women behind the roving Vietnamese pop-up Rice Paper Scissors, Valerie Luu and Katie Kwan, discuss some of the ideas that make their venture unique. Among them, the little red stools and tables they set up for diners, the odd locations, and their shared inspiration from the vibrant, chaotic world of Vietnamese street culture. "We both love the image of a lady selling pho in alleyway this big [gesturing about two feet wide], little red stool, while all these motorcycles are buzzing past. That's the image we wanted to create here too."

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Watch This Magician Make a Baguette Appear Out of Nowhere

This Yif guy really knows his way around viennoiserie. Even if you're one of the few people out there who doesn't appreciate street magic, you'll probably want to see this Paris-based, Taiwanese guy turn dough into flaky pastry, then transmogrify a little more flour and water to produce a three-foot-long loaf from, well, nowhere. We're wondering if Yif can make other food magically appear, but in any event, "bread magician" sounds way better than "charcuterie magician." What you are about to see may not be gluten-free, but it is no-knead. Prepare to be amazed.

Nice score marks. »

Watch a Gangbanging Latke-Making Video

Just in time for Hanukkah comes the first episode of what's apparently going to be an online series, "Bubala Please." And the premiere finds our two Jewish gangster hosts frying up some latkes. Stir this motherfucker up.

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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