Posts for January 17, 2013

S.F. Cooking School Hosts an Open House; The Ice Cream Bar Celebrates Its First Year

Civic Center: The S.F. Cooking School (690 Van Ness) is hosting an open house on Saturday afternoon to show off their new facility, and inform the public about the classes they're offering. There will also be demos every 45 minutes between noon and 3 p.m., including one on making warm cheese gougères at 1:45 p.m.
Mission: Hi Lo BBQ (3416 19th Street), originally set to open next week, is now definitely opening February 4.
Tenderloin: Tango & Stache is popping up again tonight at Rye with Negroni tacos. 6 p.m. until closing. [Tangoandstache/Twitter]
Cole Valley: The Ice Cream Bar (815 Cole) turns one this month, and they're celebrating with special deals each night next week. [SFoodie]
West Portal: The Chron's Janny Hu offers a review of new Greek spot Orexi. [Chron]

Accused Guy Fieri Lambo Thief Seeks Change of Venue for Trial

Max Wade, the teenage boy accused of stealing Guy Fieri's yellow Lamborghini in March 2011 in order to impress a girl, is heading to trial this spring, two years after the crime and a year after authorities found the car hidden in a storage locker across San Francisco Bay. Wade is also accused of attempting to murder that girl he liked and the boy she appeared to be dating, by shooting at them from a motorcycle in downtown Mill Valley. Wade and his lawyer appeared in Marin County court on Tuesday, at which point the lawyer filed a motion for a change of venue, claiming that the media coverage of the theft has all but guaranteed a biased jury pool, especially given the seriousness of the attempted murder charge. A hearing on the motion won't happen until late March, and jury selection has been tentatively scheduled for May 16. [Marin IJ, Earlier]

The Latest Trend in Los Angeles Dining: Child Chefs

A slightly disturbing, though amusing, new trend in SoCal pop-ups is really, really young chefs. Like, fourteen years young. As our L.A. counterpart reports, there's a precocious fourteen-year-old doing a pop-up at BierBiesl in Beverly Hills, and now there's a twelve-year-old doing one at Chez Melange next month. Because, you know, more than anywhere else on earth, you gotta have a gimmick to make it in that town. [Grub Street LA]

Watch Foreign Cinema’s Gayle Pirie and John Clark Make Eggs on Access Hollywood

We didn't know Access Hollywood was doing food segments, but they are. And today on the program Billy Bush and co-host Kit Hoover welcome S.F.'s own Gayle Pirie and John Clark of Foreign Cinema to cook up some egg dishes. Fun fact #1: Pirie and Clark met while working at Zuni Café. Fun fact #2: Foreign Cinema serves about 800 brunch-goers every weekend, and of those about 200 order crab frittatas, at least during crab season. We feel your pain, crabs.

Read more »

The Bocuse d’Or Will Be Live-Streamed From Lyon

There are twelve more days until Richard Rosendale, the executive chef from West Virginia's Greenbrier resort, will channel the full range of his culinary faculties at the prestigious culinary competition. He and commis Corey Siegel have trained for a year and will try for the top slot, a feat that has not yet been accomplished by the American team. If you're able to get up at 3 a.m., you'll be able to julienne along at home by tuning into team USA's official website, where they'll live-stream the whole contest. #NoSleepTillLyon [Bocuse d'Or USA, Earlier]

Crabs Have Feelings, Too, Scientists Report

"Ouch! Quit it!"

A team of researchers from Queen's University in Belfast devised an experiment to determine whether the shore crabs they were shocking with electrical currents were just twitchy or if they were perhaps reacting to pain. All signs point to the latter, says lead author Robert Elwood. Of course, none of this should come as a surprise, since it's already established that fish and lobsters are more sensitive than previously thought; moreover, a crackerjack team of scientists and philosophers announced last year that all kinds of animals, including cephalopods, are conscious, and that more research into non-human consciousness needs to be carried out. So, hell yeah, crabs feel pain. Perhaps they're even capable of feeling your pain. [MSNBC]

New York Chef Seamus Mullen Comes to S.F. Next Week; Russ & Daughters’ Mark Russ Federman Comes in March

Photo: Amazon

Two NYC food world folks are coming west for book events. The first is Seamus Mullen, chef at critically beloved Spanish spot Tertulia, and author of the new book Hero Food: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better. The thrust of the book comes from Mullen's own diet, in which he emphasizes the eighteen key ingredients that he says have vastly improved his life after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

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New Mystery Restaurant Opening in Former Bia’s Space in February

The new redwood deck out back.

The space formerly occupied by Bia's in the Upper Haight (1640 Haight), which closed in September, is close to getting a new tenant. Uppercasing reports that the space has been gutted and is now "pretty swank," with a new iron and wood bar, fresh paint, and a new redwood deck out back. Rumors abound about who the new tenant may be, and whether this might be a craft beer bar, or a wine bar (or both?). We ourselves can't locate a liquor license in process, but anything is possible. The landlord, for what it's worth, says that the restaurant is aiming for a February opening. File under: Developing. [Uppercasing]

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Restaurant Wars and Understanding Coconut Flavors

Time for Restaurant WarsPhoto: David Moir/Bravo

Mark my words: This week’s installment of Restaurant Wars will be remembered as one of the most controversial battles in Top Chef history. Not since Napoleon lost the tussle at Waterloo have we been so whiplashed, gobsmacked, and just plain ol’ cornhusked by a military outcome. Read on for the gory details ... if you dare!

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Piccino Still Makes the Grade With Bauer; Roth Calls Rickybobby ‘a Great Place for Stoners’; Miller Gives an Early Word on Ramen Shop


Mr. Bauer says the food at Piccino (Minnesota and 22nd) remains "at a high level" under newly installed chef Jacob Town, formerly of Michael Mina and Spruce. On a recent update visit he found that nothing has wavered since Rachel Silcocks absconded to Range, and he has some "beautifully executed ricotta gnudi" with Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and chervil, as well some stellar salads, and the meatballs which continue to "exceed expectations." Also, he remains a fan of the pizza crust, which has "a crisp exterior and a pleasantly chewy interior and doesn't wilt when you pick it up." The updated verdict: three stars. [Chron]

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A Preview of the Good Food Awards, Happening Friday at the Ferry Building

The scene at the 2012 awards.Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

The Oscars of artisan jam are happening tomorrow at the Ferry Building, and expert picklers, coffee producers, cheese makers, and brewers from all over the country are being flown in to accept medals for their products. They're called The Good Food Awards, the first awards were given in 2011, and the event is an annual celebration of the local, slow-food ethos, "honoring people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions." Awards are now given in nine categories: cheese, charcuterie, preserves, pickles, chocolate, coffee, confections, beer, and spirits.

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Watch the ‘Honest’ Version of Coca Cola’s Anti-Obesity Commercial

If Coca-Cola's big new marketing push to reinvent itself as a company that takes the health of consumers very seriously has left you fatigued, or perhaps the soda company's flashy new anti-obesity ad left you feeling a little sad and bewildered, here's the "honest" version of that flashy commercial. Someone's cheekily taken the original's and hijacked the audio. "If you choose to live a healthy lifestyle," the new narrator intones, "you should not be drinking any of our products." Of note is that the purported uploader here is John "Doc" Pemberton, otherwise known as the man who invented Coke. Check it out now, before the corporate lawyers check their in-boxes and snap into action.

"You'll get fatter, and fatter." »

Two or Three More Umami Burgers on the Way, and Owner Plots Casual Asian Chain

The namesake burger.

The delayed Oakland branch of Umami Burger, which we were just talking about yesterday, is now set for a May opening, as the Chron reports today. And, owner Adam Fleischman actually has two more Bay Area projects up his sleeve. First is an Umami Burger on University Avenue in Palo Alto, set to open as early as March. Then, after the Oakland opening, Fleischman will turn his attention to opening a "casual Asian chain" with an unnamed Bay Area chef, about whom all he'll say is, "He's the bomb." Also, that long-rumored Mission location appears to still be in the works, but he'll have his hands quite full this year opening as many as six locations in NYC. Within the year, then, the empire will not just be a Los Angeles one. [Chron, Earlier]

Watch Danny Bowien Order Everything on the Menu at Spicy Village

Follow Mission Chinese Food chef-prodigy Danny Bowien to Spicy Village and he'll insist, stubbornly, on getting the whole menu, from the pork pancakes to the hand-pulled noodles to the trays of braised and fried chicken served with whole dried chile peppers and spices. On the walk back to Orchard Street, he'll consider those flavors, and by the time he's on the line again, this handsome Nowness video shows, he's figured out how he's going to use what he just tasted to try making something new. "We honestly, totally knocked off a few of their dishes because they're so delicious," he says.

"Can we get two of the pancakes?" »

Energy Drinks Cause Even More Trips to the ER

Just don't.

Back in October, Grub presented you with a sinister history of energy-drink-related deaths and illnesses. Only one month later, 5-Hour Energy was cited in reports of thirteen deaths. It's unfortunate that we're not surprised to now learn that ER visits tied to energy drinks have doubled since 2007. Most of the cases involve teens and young adults, who are often mixing energy drinks with alcohol, and sometimes stimulant drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. The toxic combinations can cause insomnia, seizures, dehydration, kidney failure, heart attacks ― the list goes on and on. It's a problem that's far deadlier and more concentrated than your usual bout of binge-drinking or dangerous-eating, and legislative change is needed.

The FDA is waiting until spring. »

Yelp Is Adding Health Department Grades to Restaurant Listings

The social-networking site Yelp will begin implementing its LIVES standard in New York and San Francisco over the next couple of weeks, which will give the company the ability to import and integrate restaurant-inspection results directly into its listings, Bloomberg reports. Users will soon be able to look up a restaurant's information and click through to linked reports for more details about its most recent food-safety violations, the hygiene of its workers, and so on. The new standard, which relies on a new data entry standard, is particularly notable because San Francisco restaurants are not currently required to display inspection results, and in New York, restaurant grades must be posted on site, but there's no way to hyperlink to an establishment's inspection reports. According to the Verge, Yelp will add inspection data to its Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia listings in the upcoming months. [Bloomberg, Verge]


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