Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.....That's me, breathing a sigh of relief. After many months of somewhat lackluster meals, meals which led me to depend on my all-time favorite restaurants to get me through the holidays, I finally stumbled into a dining experience that revived me from the dining dead. Thank you Local Mission Eatery for reminding me how exciting even a casual weekday meal can be when the menu is thoughtful, the ingredients are fresh and well-sourced, and every plate is perfectly executed. At last, I've found the motivation to write!...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, sf examiner review, the mission, vegetables
Finding good sushi in the City is difficult. Add in the words “affordable” and “sustainable” and it becomes nearly impossible. Enter: Tataki.
First and foremost, what really sets Tataki apart from almost every other restaurant in San Francisco is their commitment to sustainable seafood. Ask yourself, and be honest, if you can tell the difference in taste between Yellowtail Tuna and Albacore Tuna? Or, for that matter, Yellowtail Tuna and Mackerel? If you’re anything like me, the answer is probably no. My sushi knowledge goes as far as knowing that I prefer firmer fish to buttery fish, shrimp tempura is magically delicious, and my rolls need to be dunked in wasabi-spiced soy sauce for ultimate satisfaction. Novice at best. So when I don’t see “traditional” sushi selections, like Bluefin Tuna, and am instead greeted with a list of Pole-Caught Skipjack Tuna (katsuo), Closed-Containment Farmed Striped Bass (Suzuki), and McFarland Springs Trout, I’m not disappointed....Continue Reading
Tags: japanese cuisine, Noe Valley, seafood, sf examiner review, sushi
After more than a year of seasonal, hyper local, vegetable-driven cuisine, it was about damn time I ventured out of the norm and found myself a giant, no-frills, juicy steak. While associated places like Bobo’s or, more recently, Alexander’s Steakhouse with the idea of a steakhouse, my hunger for meat led me to an unlikely location: Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons.
Honestly, because Seasons isn’t situated on the ground floor I didn’t even realize there was a notable restaurant in this hotel. But what the fourth (or possibly fifth) floor has that the street lacks is a beautiful view of the city. Sure, it’s not the entire skyline hitting the bay, but it’s still impressive. And, having recently changed the menu’s concept from what I like to refer to as “seasonal power lunch” cuisine to one found in a more traditional steakhouse, I was excited to see if the transition was successful...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, fine dining, sf examiner review, steak, union square
Although panna cotta has been making appearances on dessert menus in San Francisco for years, it seemed like in early 2010 there was an absolute explosion across the entire city. Not only did it seem like panna cotta was listed on just about every menu that I came in contact with, but suddenly dozens of different, interesting variations were popping up. Now in early 2011, everyone seems to have their own unique version to proudly display on their menu. While many variations are interesting, there are only a few that stand out from the panna cotta chaos and deserve special recognition...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, craig stoll, Daniel Patterson, dessert, Melissa Perello, Michael Tusk, sf examiner review
Roasted White Chocolate Parfait with Huckleberry and Tarragon
The Time and Place:
November 7th, 2010, Dinner at Plum
When was the last time you dined at a restaurant where ordering dessert was an absolute must? In a city obsessed with every aspect of the dining experience, it seems that dessert is one aspect often overlooked. And understandably so! After a couple of appetizers, a sizeable entrée, and a few glasses of wine it’s nearly impossible to walk, never mind find the room for another dish. And while most restaurants boast signature savory dishes, few have reputations for serving desserts so good that skipping them could be considered a crime, reinforcing dessert’s status as an afterthought. Enter: Plum...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, Daniel Patterson, dessert, dish of the month, sf examiner review
Slow Roasted Carrot Salad, Lentils, Medjool Date, Lardo & Foraged Leaves & Flowers
The Time and Place:
October 22nd, 2010, Dinner at SPQR
I have two, dominant childhood memories of carrots. The first is of seeing my dad snack on, what I thought to be, tasteless baby carrots almost every day, and never understanding how someone could stomach them without first applying an ample coating of blue cheese dressing. The second is of eating all of the cold, dry, sliced carrots out of my salad before touching anything else so that they couldn’t ruin the rest of it – a sort of “save the best for last” strategy. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why my associated feelings towards carrots have not all been strictly positive...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, dish of the month, italian food, lower pac heights, matthew accarrino, sf examiner review
If someone would’ve told me five months ago that, by October, I’d be craving a chilled suimono salad once a week, I would’ve looked that person right in the eye and said, “What the hell a chilled suimono salad?” After hearing that it’s made with sea bean, cucumber, squash blossom, wakame seaweed, tofu, and served in a dashi broth ($14), I would’ve politely explained that I’m not the biggest fan of cucumber, seaweed, tofu, or dashi broth and proceeded to laugh at such a ridiculous prediction. Ah, silly, silly girl.
This unique salad, the ultimate expression of freshness, is one of many reasons why in a very short span of time Nombe has become one of my favorite restaurants. It was in the spring when Nombe first impressed me with its California-inspired take on traditional Japanese izakaya fare, offering both a fixed selection of dishes, as well as many that evolve with the season. Now five months later, even with the summer’s proliferation of much-hyped restaurants, Nombe has continued to stand out from the crowd...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, japanese cuisine, sf examiner review, the mission
The Dish: Chilled Eggplant Soup with fresh pole and shelling beans, preserved lemon, cilantro, and tomato water gelée.
The Time and Place: August 27th, 2010, Dinner in the Lounge at Coi
The Description: To say that I first tried this dish on the 27th at Coi is a bit of a lie. In fact, the first time I had it was August 9th at the Plum preview dinner at Il Cane Rosso - Chef Patterson had to step into the kitchen at the last minute and therefore brought a couple of his signature dishes along with him. Actually, the 27th wasn’t even the second time I ordered the dish; the second time I had it was as the third course of Coi’s tasting menu on August 24th - a course which proved to be my favorite of the night. What’s listed above is actually the third time in three weeks that I, again, succumbed to the soup’s advances. But there’s a reason for listing that date as the one that was truly revelatory. The night of the 24th was the first time that I was driven back to Coi by an overwhelming craving for the purity and freshness of the flavors contained in this dish; it was officially the night that a dish, a healthy, vegetable-centric dish at that, stripped me of all of my self-control and had me crawling back to Coi’s front door...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, Coi, Daniel Patterson, sf examiner review
Who would've guessed that Williams Sonoma in Union Square would evolve into a destination for food enthusiasts, like myself, to get up close and personal with all-star industry professionals? And half of the demonstrations and classes offered are free!
The following is an excerpt from my latest examiner article that goes into detail about the changes happening at Williams Sonoma, and how you can take advantage of them! To read the full article, please CLICK HERE...Continue Reading
Tags: sf examiner review, union square
I'm not gonna lie. I have been out a lot in the last couple of months. A certain stretch included 12 restaurants in 14 days, most of which I had never tried before. What I'm trying to say is that I've been able to try mixture of restaurants: fancy, cheap, established, just opening, under the radar, and extremely well-known.
My latest Examiner article for my Restaurants to Impress series calls out the three that have really impressed me, for various reasons, in the last few months: Saison, Jardiniere, and NOPA.
To read the full article (which includes some really stunning photos of many dishes), please click here.
Tags: california cuisine, sf examiner review