Posts for February 7, 2013

Rrazz Room Relocates, Reopens, Appears to Be Closed Again

The Rrazz Room, which closed at the Hotel Nikko after the new year after a dispute with the hotel's management and was reborn two weeks later as Live at the Rrazz at the mezzanine performance space at 1000 Van Ness, appears to be closed again. The website shows a full roster of events — including a week of cabaret with Patti LuPone in March — however one of the performers scheduled to appear this week, Tom Orr, announced that his show has been canceled and the Rrazz is closed until further notice. Intriguing! The space, which is owned by car salesman Kjell Qvale and was ever so briefly known as Holly's Comedy Club and then The Showroom, may be a touch cursed. We've reached out to the management for further details, and will let you know if we hear back. [Earlier]

Cocktails at Saison to Feature Grilled Pineapple Syrup, Hearth-Popped Popcorn

The cocktail program hasn't completely been rolled out at the new Saison — the full liquor license has not yet cleared — but today Serious Eats brings a preview of what's to come, and a couple of shochu- and sherry-based drinks that they're already serving. Skenes says he's sourcing all the cocktail ingredients from the same high-end sources as his menu, from the produce to the sugars. And like his food, he'll be incorporating fire in the preparation wherever possible — with one sherry drink already available featuring a syrup made from pineapple grilled in the hearth. There will also be a bourbon drink infused with popcorn popped over hot coals, and other elements of smoke as well. Stay tuned to find out when the bar is officially open, hard liquor and all. And while they will take walk-ins, reservations for the bar will be accepted as well — and there are only twelve seats. [Drinks/Serious Eats]

Michael Bauer Adores Outerlands, Dings Them for the Wait

Outerlands, by day.Photo: bittermelon/Flickr

We took note the other day how Michael Bauer is not on board with the No-Reservations Generation, and his experience of showing up before 6 p.m. to Outerlands to find a full restaurant and hour and a half wait was one of the reasons for his complaints. It turns out, it didn't really ruin his experience — he just went next door to longtime Sunset staple Celia's for a margarita — and he writes them a rave anyway, though when you get to the star verdict they appear to get dinged at least half a star for his inconvenience.

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Get a Free Pitcher of Beer at SoMa StrEat Food Park

There's a deal on offer today, via Facebook, from the SoMa StrEat Food Park: Buy one pitcher of beer or sangria, and you get one free. Sounds like a pleasant way to spend the evening now that the rain has cleared. [Facebook, Earlier]

San Francisco Chefs Will Donate $5,000 to Totonno’s in Coney Island

Patterson and friend.

Coney Island's famous Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and has not reopened since, will be the beneficiary of a $5,000 gift from San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson, Slice reports. The Coi chef-owner gathered a group of like-minded chefs and held a dinner on December 3 to benefit the Dumbo, Brooklyn restaurant Governor, which was also damaged by the storm but has since announced it will not reopen. In the meantime, Totonno's co-owner Antoinette Balzano tells the blog strangers from across the country have been sending in small amounts of money. [Slice/Serious Eats, Earlier, Earlier, Earlier]

Another Changing of the Guard at Bouche

Upstairs at Bouche

The little French-ish restaurant on Bush Street, Bouche, just had a chef shuffle in December, when they welcomed in Michel Réthoré direct from France. Now, as SF Mag hears, the tiny restaurant above the Stockton Tunnel that was once the original home of Bar Crudo is switching things up again, and Réthoré has been sent packing. Allegedly he was too "old guard," and owner Guillaume Issaverdens is interviewing replacements. [SF Mag]

One Nation Under Fermentation: FLOTUS Tweets Kimchee Recipe

"Last week, we picked Napa cabbage in the garden," Michelle Obama tweeted last night. "Now, we're using it to make kimchi in the kitchen." The first lady even provided a recipe, which, with five Thai chili peppers per two heads of Napa cabbage, is pretty spicy. And awesome. [FLOTUS/Twitter]

Fog City Diner to Shed Its 80s Diner Schtick, Become Fog City

For those new to the city, it may come as news that Fog City Diner on the Embarcadero was once the hot new restaurant in town. The idea of doing upscale food in a diner was seen as wacky and inspired in 1985, and this was back in the days before Loma Prieta while the Embarcadero Freeway still cast a big shadow on this part of town. It was where chef Cindy Pawlcyn made her name, putting out globally influenced small plates, it was replicated in Atlanta and Las Vegas, and became a veritable landmark despite some less-than-stellar reviews in recent years — Michael Bauer's last update gave the place a sorry one and a half stars, and in 2009 he wrote, "It's become a tourist trap, with all the stereotypes that implies." Well, today the Scoop brings word that after almost 30 years, Fog City Diner is going to get a major overhaul in the next few months, and will ultimately reopen as, simply, Fog City.

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Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Sourdough Starters and Tom’s Mean Girl Tendencies

Slightly less intense than Deadliest Catch.Photo: David Moir/Bravo

According to my calculations, there are only four chefs left: Josh, Sheldon, Brooke, and Lizzie. And they all miss Stephan. That means he’s captured the hearts of 100 percent of the chefs on the Alaskan cruise ship as it pushes deeper into American’s last frontier, and his smiling face will be the last image in their minds before being torn apart by wolves.

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What to Eat at Juhu Beach Club, Opening for Lunch March 1


Preeti Mistry's much anticipated, brick-and-mortar return with Juhu Beach Club is weeks away from its debut in Oakland, and she just shared the full menu with us. As she explains, the name for her pop-up-turned-restaurant comes from her favorite city beach in Mumbai "known for street food, flying kites, and the residences of Bollywood stars." It's opening at first for lunch only on March 1, in the former SR24 space at Telegraph and 51st, and will later expand to dinner as soon as things are running smoothly.

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Dancing Pig Closed In the Castro After One Year [Updated]

We're still awaiting absolute confirmation on this, but both a tipster and a Yelper say that Dancing Pig BBQ (544 Castro Street) has been closed since Monday, with upturned chairs and no signs of life. There's no note on the door, no outgoing message about the closure, and the Facebook page is still alive, so we hesitate to call this one. However there may be some connection with the lease — the place would be exactly a year old as of this week. Stay tuned. [Grub Street]

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Big 4 Restaurant May Not Be Long For This World

They better not touch that fireplace.Photo: Courtesy of Big 4

Big 4, the cozy, wood-paneled, mens-clubby restaurant on the ground floor of the Huntington Hotel atop Nob Hill may be endangered, as the Chron reports this a.m. The company that bought the hotel in 2011 is "looking at various options" for what to do with the restaurant, meaning that changes are likely in store, though they won't say when or what may be happening. The Singapore-based Grace International is said to be "still acquainting itself" with the Bay Area and discussing some options. File under: Developing. [Chron]

Applebee’s Scandal Inspires Good Tipping

And that's how it's done.

Remember the pastor who wrote, "I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?" on a receipt and left no tip at Applebee's? She's unintentionally inspiring acts of actual goodwill. A server (at an unidentified restaurant) posted on Reddit that a customer wrote, "We don't give the imaginary man in the sky shit! So enjoy!" and left a 20 percent tip. Nice. People are still pretty pissed about Appleebee's decision to fire Chelsea Welch, the waitress who posted the pastor's receipt online, but they're taking out their anger by overtipping random servers.

Best kind of therapy. »

Beyond Cocktail: The History, and Future, of Flair Bartending

There's more to flair than Cocktail.Photo-illustration: Jed Egan

Chris Cardone launches an empty beer bottle into the air in front of me at the Beatrice Inn and catches it behind his back in one fluid motion. The ceiling of the below-ground room is a piddling seven feet high — not much space to flip bottles, but enough for Cardone to twirl the tins of a Boston shaker, windmill barspoons between his fingers, and toss 750s of gin and Campari from palm to palm behind his back as he prepares a negroni.

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Sexy Mixology TV Show Is Ready for Prime Time

We'll watch, but you have to give this guy a part.Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/Corbis

The writers of The Hangover teamed up with Ryan Seacrest's production company and are making a show for ABC called Mixology, Deadline Hollywood reports, that is incredibly likely to feature at least one gravely serious, eccentric, and apron-wearing Brooklyn hipster-type bartender who steadfastly refuses to make appletinis but falls in love with a girl who only drinks Bacardi Razz and Tab on ice, which is actually a great drink.

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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