Posts for December 27, 2012

Olema Inn to Close After Holiday Preview, and Reopen for Real on Valentine’s Day

The Olema Inn, built in 1876.Photo: Helen S./Yelp

As we told you, exclusively, last week, the Manka's team of Margaret Grade and Daniel DeLong reopened the Olema Inn for Christmas and New Year's week after buying it last spring and spending seven months on a renovation. After this series of holiday dinners, as the Scoop reports today, they'll be closing the rest of January and the first half of February, and opening for real on Valentine's Day, February 14. [Scoop, Earlier]

Watch Delfina’s Staff Have a Holiday Food Fight

The front- and back-of-house staff of Delfina, along with owners Craig and Annie Stoll, got together with a professional videographer to make this delightful video greeting card for the holidays. It features spilt beer, a slow-mo food fight in Dolores Park, and a fine old time in the San Francisco sun.

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Ten Ways Dining in S.F. Changed in 2012

As we look back on the year in eating and contemplate a year-end trend roundup, it strikes us that 2012 was not an earth-shattering year for Bay Area food. Everywhere besides the Mission, which is still hitting puberty in its restaurant proliferation, the local food world's recent growth spurt was calming down and settling in to its own, reaffirming that casual is the new luxury, that San Franciscans will try pretty much anything once, and that fifty percent will Instagram it. One of the most noteworthy and critically adored new kids on the block, State Bird Provisions, opened a full year ago on New Year's Eve, and proceeded to dominate many a local and national best-of list — though it's still too early to tell how much the dim-sum-style service idea is going to get copied elsewhere.

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Watch This Supercut of Kids Eating Warheads for the First Time

"Fight through it," some guy encourages, off-camera, as a little girl with pigtails winces. "Fight through it!" Here's a bunch of kids (and a few babies, too) trying Warheads candy for the first time on video. This all may seem sour or sweet, depending on your feelings about kids, coercion, malic acid, and/or candy. Even if you've never eaten a Warhead before, the video is bound to leave a somewhat funny taste in your mouth.

Four minutes of pain. »

780 Café Bites the Dust in the Mission

780 Cafe, in its Summit days.Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

We weren't exactly confident that after The Summit stepped away from the cool space they had at 780 Mission due to a rent hike they couldn't abide, a small mom-and-pop café, was somehow going to succeed there under similar conditions. Alas, we are sad but not shocked as Eater reports today that 780 Café has closed after nine months in what appears to be a bankruptcy. The space, which was rumored to be on the market last February for $30,000 a month, is up for grabs again and will likely get taken by a more high-profile tenant. Umami Burger, anyone? [Eater]

SodaStream Protest Turns Violent in the Castro

A Christmas Eve protest at Cliff's Variety Store in the Castro turned violent when a group of activists came to sing revised carols and protest the store's carrying of SodaStream, the home soda-making system. The company is Israeli owned and as store manager Martha Asten tells SFist, "This group has been protesting Soda Stream for years now," and it's all because they contend that the company's production facility sits in an illegal settlement in the West Bank. Things got a little rough this year, however, and several protesters filed assault charges against store employees. Also, Asten says one of the protesters tried to bite an employee in the scuffle. Oh, San Francisco Christmas...

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Hot and Spicy Soup Burned a Hole Through a Man’s Stomach

Though we've already heard about the London line cook who crumpled after eating ghost chiles, the teenage girl who froze her stomach with liquid nitrogen cocktails, and, of course, the Scottish guy who ate too many Brussels sprouts and almost died, the Year in Vengeful Meals would not be complete without an eleventh-hour appearance from Chinese Death Soup, so here goes: A 26-year-old man with no previous stomach troubles was hospitalized in Wuhan, China, after he enjoyed hot pot at a local restaurant. The unnamed man ordered the spiciest, "numbing hot" soup, vomited blood, and doctors say the chile- and Sichuan-peppercorn-addled soup "burned right through his stomach tissue." This allegedly happens often enough that medical professionals have started calling such cases "hot pot patients" after they're sorted out in the ER. [RocketNews via Foodbeast, Earlier]

Some Bubbly-Buying Advice for NYE

First of all, why do you only by Champagne and sparky stuff when you're heading to a New Year's Eve party? That's so American of you. Anyway, since this is the time of year when people most seek out the bubbles, W. Blake Gray has some sage words of advice, including 1) shop in a real wine shop, and 2) seek out some good American stuff or crémants from the non-Champagne regions of France. [Gray Market Report]

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Oyster Bogs and Old Turkey Bones

Hey, a fully functional oyster paddy.Photo: Courtesy of Bravo

Greetings from North Carolina! I’m home for the holidays, celebrating Christmas with family and friends. I hope you’re blessed as well. I know many of you read these recaps because you’re interested in my “meal memories” and “fondest foods,” so let me share some of the edible highlights of the holiday:

Watch out for "Team JalapeƱo Business." »

Ramen Shop to Open for New Year’s Party in Rockridge [Updated]

Ramen, in a Chez Panisse vein.Photo: Sam White

We broke the news over the summer about Ramen Shop (5812 College Avenue), the new Oakland venture from former Chez Panisse host Sam White and partners Jerry Jaksich and former Chez Panisse cook Rayneil De Guzman, and just in time for the wintry part of winter it's ready for its debut. Tablehopper noted that December 27 was supposed to be opening day, but we see that Oakland-based Chow scribe John Birdsall was already tweeting about the place last weekend, praising De Guzman's ukoy fritters (Filipino shrimp fritters), so it sounds like there have been some soft-opening events already. [Update: White alerts that an inspection delay has pushed the official opening to January 4.] Also, they're doing staggered seatings all night for New Year's Eve, for which advance tickets are now available.

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Shabuway Chef-Owner Eiichi Mochizuki Snags Bushi-Tei Space

Hime, once upon a time in 2007.

Hot off the liquor license presses this a.m., Grub Street learns that the vacant Bushi-Tei space (1638 Post Street) in Japantown has a taker, and it's none other than chef Eiichi Mochizuki and partner Koji Kikura of Shabuway fame. San Mateo-based Shabuway, as you may know, opened a San Francisco location earlier this year at 5120 Geary Boulevard. Mochizuki and Kikura also opened the izakaya-like Hime in the Marina in 2007, but were perhaps too ahead of the curve there — not to mention being on a foot-traffic-challenged stretch of Lombard, in the now vacant space that was also briefly known as Art/S Tapas + Sushi Lounge — and Hime shuttered less than two years later. The new project in Japantown does not yet have a name, though one can expect that Mochizuki may be hoping to try out an ambitious, modern concept like Hime once again, with a mixture of high quality sushi, yakitori, donburi, and other items in a relaxed, pub-like environment. But stay tuned until we learn more.

McDreamy Attempts to Save Coffee Company

That hair could fight Chapter 11.

Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy, wants to rescue something for reals: He's leading a group that's striving to buy Tully's Coffee, a Seattle-based company that recently filed for bankruptcy protection. If Dempsey succeeds, he'll save more than 500 jobs in over 100 stores, as well as give thousands of women the caffeine they need to try to jump his bones. [HuffPo]


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