Posts for February 21, 2013

Roth Surveys Soup Junkie, The Sentinel, and Onigilly

Weekly critic Anna Roth does a roundup of FiDi lunch options, which are certainly better now than they were even five years ago. She loves, as many do, the bun rieu at Soup Junkie, a Vietnamese crab and tomato soup made from owner Hung Lam's mother's recipe. At The Sentinel she's a fan of the vegetarian Pear and Chutney sandwich with white cheddar; and at Onigilly she enjoys the signature trio of onigiri — triangular shaped packets of rice that can be topped with a variety of 20 different items. [SF Weekly]

Peek at What James Syhabout Has Planned for Box & Bells

Poutine with blood pudding gravy.

Commis chef James Syhabout, who's already tried his hand at the casual thing with Hawker Fare, is opening another restaurant in Rockridge this spring (or summer) called Box & Bells (5912 College Avenue). The food, he's said, will be inspired by stuff that he and chef Benjamin Coe have cooked for staff meals, and the first preview dinner at Hawker Fare sold out in minutes. Oaklavore has some photos from Sunday's meal, including some exciting sounding dishes like scallops tikka masala; poutine with blood pudding gravy; boneless fried chicken with raw oyster mayonnaise; and corned beef with parsley sauce. If that makes you salivate, you'll want to reserve a spot at the next two pop-up previews on March 3 and March 17, for which tickets are now on sale. It's $45 per person, communal style, with four people per table, beverages and tip not included. [Oaklavore, JamesSyhabout/Twitter]

Josey Baker Now Baking 200 Loaves a Day at The Mill

Today brings us a profile from the Bold Italic of aptly named baker Josey Baker, who finally has a proper showplace for his bread-making talents at The Mill (736 Divisadero). He talks about what he learned from Chad Robertson of Tartine and Dave Muller of Outerlands, and how he's already bored with one of his biggest hits, the black-pepper parmesan bread. [Bold Italic]

Meet Charlie Palmer and Check Out Berlinetta at a Party Next Week

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer is throwing a party next week at the newish Berlinetta lounge, downstairs from the Burritt Room and Tavern at the Mystic Hotel. It's happening Thursday, February 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., and there will be several sparking wines being poured from around the world, as well as some hors d'oeuvres and small plates from Burrit Tavern executive chef Ashley Weaver. Also, they'll be projecting some Humphrey Bogart films, including the Maltese Falcon in which there's a murder scene that takes place in Burritt Alley, right upstairs off Bush Street. It's $55 per person, and you can reserve your spot at 415-400-0554.

Watch Jimmy Fallon Make His Writer Eat a Pickle for the First Time

One of Jimmy Fallon's Late Night writers had never tried a pickle in his life. Apparently, he didn't eat a lot of green stuff as a kid. So Fallon put him up to the test for our amusement. The man took a big bite like a champ, but then proceeded to gag and choke "a little bit." Let's hope Fallon provides good health insurance.

You never forget your first time. »

Sightglass Opens the Very Coffee-Geeky Top Bar, Upstairs

Do you know your AeroPress from your French press, your single-origin beans from your blends? Then you will likely be jazzed to hear about the newest place to geek out about coffee, Top Bar — the upstairs coffee bar at Sightglass (270 7th Street). As Tablehopper reports, it's open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and you can sample things like their single-origin Sidama Boltuma from Ethiopia, which forms the "backbone" of their Owl's Howl espresso blend. And you can taste the differences between brewing methods like V60, AeroPress, and pour over. In other news, Sightglass's Mission outpost, coming to the space next door to Trick Dog at 3000 20th Street, is looking at opening around June. [Tablehopper, Earlier]

Watch This Vegetable Genius Play Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ With Produce

Brooklyn-based artist, musician, producer, and tinkerer Jonathan Dagan, who is also known as j.viewz, enlists about $10 worth of supermarket produce to help perform a cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop." The veggies complete a circuit relayed to a keyboard, he explains, in a situation that's probably similar to the one that allows people to use mushrooms to operate iPhones. Put your headphones on and watch j.viewz use mushrooms, kiwis, grapes, and eggplants to make music. Beautiful, vegetal music.

Except for the hoarse radish, it's all great. »

Green Chile Kitchen-ette Opening Inside Chile Pies on Church

A "Christmas" style burrito at Green Chile Kitchen, topped with both red and green chiles sauces.Photo: Courtesy of Green Chile Kitchen

Chile Pies, the off-shoot of Green Chile Kitchen which opened its second branch at 314 Church Street in 2011, is going to get a new savory menu next week under the moniker Green Chile Kitchen-ette. They'll be bringing over a truncated menu of New Mexican favorites from Green Chile Kitchen, including burritos, quesadillas, green chile chicken enchiladas, and crispy tacos with housemade blue corn tortilla shells. These items will be in addition to the existing offerings of sweet and savory butter-crust pies, and cakes, and will be offered only Thursday to Sunday. Look for the new menu to launch on Thursday, February 28.

Green Chile Kitchen-ette @ Chile Pies (sweet and savory) - 314 Church Street - 415-431-9411 - Chile Pies open daily from noon to 10 p.m.; the Green Chile Kitchen-ette menu will be available noon to 9 p.m., Thursday to Sunday.

Max Wade, Accused Thief of Fieri's Lambo, Is Kind of Fascinating

San Francisco Magazine has a new piece profiling Max Wade, the kid accused of both stealing Guy Fieri's Lamborghini, and attempting to murder a girl he had a crush on and her boyfriend in Mill Valley. From the start, the story had some great, dramatic plot points, and writer Chris Roberts delves as deeply as he can into Max's character, despite the fact that almost no one who knows Max will talk to him. "If and when he gets out, I don't want to be on a list of people he wants to get even with or whatever," says a former friend. The kid appears to be a self-styled gangster with a French mother who adores him, but also a troubled kid who once had to testify against his father in a domestic abuse trial. And all his heroes growing up were either martial artists or drug kingpins. And to give you an idea of how some of his peers are celebrating him and his swagger, please see the music video and tribute song below, by Marin rappers Brilliant and Timbalias.

Read more »

Canteen’s Dennis Leary to Open New Downtown Restaurant, Tenderloin Bar; Also Discontinues Vanilla Soufflé

Goodbye for now, old friend.Photo: Bunrab

Canteen chef-owner Dennis Leary — who also owns House of Shields in addition to The Sentinel and Golden West — will be opening two new ventures by the end of the year, as the Chron is reporting. The first is a tiny new café with both day and night menus near the cable car terminus at California and Drumm, to be named Café Terminus (10 California Street). Next will be a new bar in the Tenderloin, a couple of blocks from Canteen, at Geary and Leavenworth, and Leary says it's going to be "intimate and beautiful," and "something that doesn't look like anything in San Francisco." It's currently RJ's Sports Bar (701 Geary), and Leary is partnering with House of Shields bar manager Eric Pasetti. They've hired New York designer Jack Dakin (who did La Esquina) to design both projects.

Read more »

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Unclean Sweetbreads and Kristen’s Baroque Euro-Esoterica

You know it's the finale because the lighting is dramatic.Photo: Bravo

I’m back from my cruise. No, not that cruise; this cruise. I know you guys are interested in food, so I tried to eat lots of it at every meal. After a few nights of heavy American meats and sauces, somebody told me the ship’s cooks were Indian and the smart thing to do was order Indian food off-menu. Friends, let me say: It was some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten! The curries were spicy, but the spices were deep down in the dish, not floating on top, if that makes sense. It was amazing. I also ate bananas for breakfast and salad bars for lunch.

"Kristen admits to peeing in her pants." »

Jeremy Lin Sure Knows His Dollar Menu Exchange Rates

"Got my first ever technical last night and lost $2000 ... makes me angry when i realize thats 2000 mcchickens or 4000 jack in the box tacos." — Yes, Jeremy Lin, getting your first technical is really sad news, for lots of reasons. For a frame of reference, BuzzFeed shows you exactly what 2,000 McChicken sandwiches look like. [Buzzfeed, Jeremy Lin/Twitter]

Hawker Fare Adds Bar Menu, Jell-O Shots, Margaritas

Over in Oakland, owner James Syhabout has now secured a full liquor license at Hawker Fare, and with the new cocktail menu has arrived a menu of new bar bites as well, as the East Bay Express reports. It features things like head-on soft-shell shrimp, fried and coated in salt and pepper; grilled pork skewers; and a soon-to-be-added dish of Thai-style fried chicken. As for the drinks, there's a margarita with jackfruit that Luke Tsai says is "one of the smoothest and most refreshing versions I’ve had in quite some time," and a Jell-O shot for a buck with spiced rum and pineapple. [EBX]

Glass Fragments Found in Special K, Kellogg’s Recalls

When you quickly throw together a Cereal Killer costume next Halloween, make sure to grab a box of Special K Red Berries. Kellogg’s is recalling the cereal after finding glass in 36,000 packages. Fortunately, there have been no consumer injuries, and since the glass made its way into a single batch, it's a small recall. The company's clearly having production issues: In October, it recalled 2.8 million boxes of Mini-Wheats after finding fragments of metal mesh. Yikes. [Reuters]

More ‘Impostor’ Fish Found in America’s Restaurants and Sushi Counters

This guy has less to hide, and is least likely to steer you wrong.Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

It's still happening: A new study published by the nonprofit group Oceana found that approximately a third of fish samples retrieved from restaurants and markets were not actually the fish they were claimed to be. DNA tests of 120 samples purporting to be red snapper at sushi bars and full-service restaurants, for example, returned a staggering 28 distinct species, including 17 "that were not even in the snapper family," the Times reports. Probably the worst finding? In New York, the article says, "fish that was not really tuna was being passed off as tuna in 94 percent of the samples taken." That's a lot of fake tuna.

Grouper? I hardly know her. »


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