Posts for February 14, 2013

Azalina’s Popping Up at Wise Sons on Sundays


Ambitious La Cocina vendor Azalina Eusope, who was featured in this great video last month, is doing a month of pop-ups on Sunday nights at Wise Sons Deli (3150 24th Street) starting this Sunday, February 17, and going through March 10. She'll be serving her Malaysian street food, as Zagat reports, from 6 to 10 p.m. on a first-come-first-served basis, all a la carte. And this Sunday’s dinner will be a tribute to Matt Skov, La Cocina’s culinary director who recently passed away. The menu will include lemongrass soup with hand-pulled noodles; Malaysian roasted chicken; and purple sticky rice with shrimp filling and sweet yam with coconut kaya. [Zagat]

Sausage and Beer Are Trending in Oakland With Telegraph and Hog’s Apothecary

After Rosamunde, the deluge.Photo: dburka/Flickr

Following quickly on Rosamunde's Oakland outpost comes The Hog's Apothecary, which we first wrote about a few months back. The East Bay Express now has some more details about the place, which is aiming for a spring opening. It will, as we'd heard, be a sausage-centric beer hall at 375 40th Street in Oakland, right near Homeroom — which blazed a trail for restaurants on this strip a full two years ago.

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Watch Women Bartenders Make Drinks, Really Fast, For a Good Cause

Keli Rivers of the Hotsy Totsy ClubPhoto: Courtesy of Speed Rack

People complain that there aren't enough female bartenders, especially in the upper echelons of the cocktail sphere, but every year there are more and more ladies learning to shake with the best of them. Speed Rack is a competition, now in its second year, for women who tend bar. It happens in multiple cities across the country each year, and the San Francisco event happens next weekend, February 24, at the kinda sorta open Chapel on Valencia Street (the bar and music venue at 777 Valencia have been open on the regular, however the restaurant remains very much a construction zone). It's a test of both speed and accuracy in the making of multiple drinks, and the winner will be crowned Miss Speed Rack SF. Also, it's a benefit for breast cancer research, so you should feel good about spending the twenty bucks to attend, and you'll get to sample what they make. Get details and tickets here.

Mr. Bauer Still Loves Boot & Shoe; Boer Checks Out Saul’s in Berkeley; Miller Returns to Gitane and Oliveto

Michael Bauer returned for an update review at Oakland's Boot & Shoe Service (he admitted, though, last week that this was only because Ramen Shop was closed). He's loved the place from the get-go, but they've now expanded into the next door space, and there's 100 seats total, with two big communal tables in the center. He still loves the pizza (we do too, and included them in the top ten of our Top 50 Pizzas roundup), but he also adores the rest of Charlie Hallowell's menu, like the "exceptional" braised short ribs, and "some of the best [cocktails] in the Bay Area." And he has "a Chez Panisse moment" eating some simple, wood-oven-kissed Tokyo turnips, which were the epitome of turnips, "earthy and sweet, with the greens still attached." All told: three stars. [Chron]

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El Bulli Reopening for the Sake of Method Acting

Ferran finds his light.

El Bulli, the now-closed bull's-eye of modern food fetishists, is going to reopen for a full month in the near future. And no, you still won't be able to get in, as the restaurant is not exactly making itself available to the public. The Catalonia home to Ferran Adrià's endless culinary experimentation and avant-garde eccentricities closed in 2011 but will reportedly spring back to life to aid the production of a fictionalized film based on the restaurant's final year in business, adapted from Lisa Abend's book, A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli. According to the Daily Meal, the restaurant's reemergence is being staged specifically for the yet-to-be-cast actors to immerse themselves in Adrià's world, upping the odds that the speriphied olives may be juggled at some point by Javier Bardem (or whoever ultimately plays Adrià).

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Get Your Valentine’s Day Sweets at b. patisserie, But Hurry

Pastry maestro Belinda Leong is doing several Valentine's themed items at her brand new b. patisserie (2821 California at Divisadero), but as SFoodie reports, the crowds have been ravenous and large since opening day on Tuesday, with everything selling out by early afternoon. So, basically, you need to hurry. Starting today and through Saturday Leong is offering a vanilla macaron for two with rose creme mousseline, raspberries, and lychee; chocolate hazelnut cake; a raspberry vanilla mascarpone tart with vanilla ganache, raspberries, and vanilla marscapone; and a "bleeding heart" kouign amann for two with cassis, blackberry, pomegranate, and raspberries. [SFoodie]

What Happens If You Send the Dish Back?

Apparently there is a restaurant in Japan that will fine you if you order the salmon roe with rice and leave even a single bite of food. That fine is then donated to the fishermen who risked their lives to get the food. It seems the owner used to be a fisherman himself. [Gold Rush Japan via Gawker]

Valentine’s Day Essentials: Condoms, Lube, and a Side of Fried Chicken

Going to be a good night.Photo: Reddit

What is it about fried chicken that screams romance? The crunchy exterior? The supple skin? The juicy insides? The bones? Last week we sympathized with a lovelorn teen torn between choosing fried chicken and passion (he chose the chicken, naturally). And one grown-up has things similarly figured out: Check out this receipt from someone who's clearly preparing for a romantic night. The enterprising customer picked up some lubricant, condoms, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and then stopped over at the deli for that crucial deal-sealing purchase: eight pieces of fried chicken. Looks like someone got lucky. [Reddit, Earlier]

Monster Energy Drinks Changes Its Label to Seem Less Frightening

"Dietary supplement" no more!

Seemingly in an effort to increase transparency and rehabilitate its image following the news that its product was cited in reports of at least five deaths, Monster Beverage Corp. announced this week that it will change the ways its products are classified. They will be "beverages" going forward and no longer considered "dietary supplements." After the parents of the 14-year-old Maryland teen who had died after drinking two Monster Energy drinks filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, it was revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had been monitoring the brand since 2004, logging 37 incidences of "adverse reactions" such as arrhythmia and dizziness. The shift means that the information printed on the side of Monster Energy drinks will now be presented as "Nutrition Facts" instead of "Supplement Facts," and since the caffeine- and taurine-loaded drinks are now considered "food," the company — its methods and its ingredients included — will be subject to increased scrutiny from the FDA. [AP, Earlier, Related]

Fight Brewing Over McDonald’s Drive-Thru in the Haight

A long ago battle to prevent the McDonald's at Haight and Stanyan from having a drive-thru (we're talking 25 years ago) is erupting again as the location just underwent a change of ownership. The new owner is hoping the community will allow him to install a drive-thru, but clearly he doesn't understand that this is San Francisco, and several dozen people will find several dozen reasons why that will be a disaster of epic proportions, and can never happen so long as they're alive and attending community meetings. [Uppercasing]

British-Inspired Brasserie From Park Tavern/Marlowe Team Coming to Fifth Street

A rendering of the new Hotel Zetta lobby design by Dawson Design Associates.

A new restaurant and adjacent lounge from the Park Tavern/ Marlowe team of Jennifer Puccio and Anna Weinberg is coming to the ground floor of the new Viceroy Group boutique hotel, Hotel Zetta (55 5th Street between Mission and Market, formerly the Milano). As the Chron reports this morning, the restaurant is called The Cavalier, and is due to open by late summer in the space most recently occupied by Million Thai, and long ago by Michel Richard's Bistro M. The concept is "British-inspired brasserie" (we're thinking fish and chips will be involved), and the look will come from local designer Ken Fulk — including "deep leather banquettes, polished brass, zinc. and white marble." As Fulk says, "Old World with a dose of glamour." Opening sooner will be the hotel lounge, dubbed S&R Lounge (standing for "salvaged and rescued"), at which Puccio will be handling the food as well. That is slated to open by mid-March. [Chron]

Top Chef Seattle Recap: Spiritual Rice Washing and Fatherhood

It's like a very fancy firing squad.Photo: Bravo

David Rees isn't here today. He says he had a cruise previously planned, but I suspect he just needed some time off given the Sisyphean task that is recapping a show, week after week, always having to invent new ways to say that Padma looks high. Whatever the reason, Rees will be back next week — provided his cruise doesn't break down and get stranded at sea so long that people have to wade through feces — but until then the job falls to me, so let's get to it.

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Watch Nigella Lawson Talk About Her Former Job As a Chambermaid

Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Taste's Nigella Lawson revealed that in a gap year before university, she wanted to do anything to earn a living except clean restrooms. Of course, she ended up getting a job as a chambermaid in Italy. But Nigella enjoyed snooping around, trying on everyone's clothes, and going through their drawers. See how her nosy behavior manifests itself today.

"You put their scent on." »

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Will Start Selling ‘Miraval’ Wine

Everyone wants to know whether they'll use natural or synthetic corks.Photo: EPA/Corbis

Terroir! Just in time for Valentine's Day comes the news that the two swooniest movie stars to ever hold hands are going into the wine business: Bloomberg reports that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are putting their names on a line of rosé made from grapes grown on Chateau Miraval, their thousand-acre estate in Provence. The wine used to be called "Pink Floyd" but will now be known as Miraval, and while the label doesn't look like a Chanel ad, it does carry the names "Jolie-Pitt and Perrin"; the latter is that of a fifth-generation winemaker whose family owns the famous Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and he tells Bloomberg he'll be overseeing the ferments and sharing the profits. Miraval rosé will be the first release, with a white coming in the summer and a red wine next year. The best news yet is that Pitt and Jolie are reportedly "in full agreement on style" on the taste of the fermented grapes. "If you knew Brad and Angelina, you would see they are in search of perfection in everything," says Perrin. "They’re thinking long term." [Bloomberg]

Watch the Trailer for A Place at the Table, the Tom Colicchio-Produced Documentary About Hunger

It's an awful statistic: One out of every two kids in the United States at some point will be on food assistance. A Place at the Table aims to bring awareness to the hunger epidemic in America by showing how unhealthy, expensive food poses serious risks. Tom Colicchio's an executive producer and appears in the trailer, saying, "There's a lot of education that needs to happen around what is healthy food." Jeff Bridges also stars. On March 1, this documentary hits select theaters, iTunes, and OnDemand.

"One nation: Underfed." »


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