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20th Century Cafe

By   /  August 9, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  1 Comment

After a lifetime mastering the art of Viennese and Eastern European pastry, Michelle Polzine, the talented, whimsical former pastry chef at Range and many other delectable places, has just opened her own charming little cafe in Hayes Valley, across the street from Rich Table. She raised the money to build it through a Kickstarter campaign, [...]

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Hopscotch

By   /  August 6, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Of the plethora of new places that have opened in Oakland, Hopscotch, a small personal restaurant in Uptown, is one of the best. In a former barbecue joint gently converted in a retro-stylish way to feel welcoming and homey, chef/owner Kyle Itani prepares a compact menu of dishes that conflate comfort and adventure. He worked [...]

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Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: 20 Years of Good Taste

By   /  August 2, 2013  /  Food  /  No Comments

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake shook San Francisco to its roots and sent the city into a funk. Tourism, our number one industry, collapsed; no one would set foot in the city. The Civic Center, the nexus of government and the arts, shut down as one building after another closed for retro-fitting. Transportation was a [...]

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Venice: A Tale of Two Restaurants

By   /  August 2, 2013  /  Travel  /  No Comments

Every two years, Venice produces the biggest contemporary art extravaganza on the planet. La Biennale, as it is called, places hundreds of art installations from different countries at venues all over the city–in private museums, houses, churches, public buildings. The epicenter is the Arsenale, a complex of empty military buildings. Though one could easily spend [...]

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Hanalei on Kauai

By   /  July 23, 2013  /  Travel  /  1 Comment

The town of Hanalei, on the rainy fecund north shore of Kauai, embodies the old cinematic Hawaii of our fantasies. Well, my fantasies at least, which is why, for several years now, I have been renting a small artist’s cottage found through Vacation Rentals By Owner (vrbo.com). Located on Powerhouse Road in Wainha, five miles [...]

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Duende

By   /  July 23, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

If you’re not cooking a paella over an open fire in your backyard or you don’t happen to be in the vicinity of Valencia, Spain, your chances of eating a satisfying one are pretty slim. At least, that’s what I thought before Duende opened a couple of months ago. Located in Oakland’s Uptown district near [...]

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What I’m Eating Now

By   /  July 22, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

At Foreign Cinema, a whole cold Maine lobster ($45). Buried in the oyster and shellfish list at the top of the menu, my Maine lobster, split in half, is sweet-fleshed and moist, just like the ones everyone is eating on the East coast this summer. Pulling out the tail meat is easy. Cracking the big pinchers with [...]

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Food and Farm Film Fest

By   /  March 27, 2013  /  Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Food, Justice & Art: Shorts Program Saturday, March 30, 4 p.m. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco For someone who thinks she’s seen it all, especially when it comes to food, this program of ten short documentaries opened my eyes.  The film makers took me to places I’ve never been:  a cooperative farm in [...]

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b. Patisserie

By   /  March 23, 2013  /  Food, Restaurants  /  3 Comments

I am obsessed with b. Patisserie, a new bakery/cafe in my lower Pacific Heights neighborhood. I sit at the computer inventing excuses to walk over. When I’m out, and pass within two blocks of its pearly white facade and big front windows, I start talking to myself. If I dropped in every time I had [...]

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Ramen Shop

By   /  March 11, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Leave it to Chez Panisse alums to turn a ramen shop into a farm-to-table experience. The noodles, made on site daily, possess provocative chewiness. Ramen Shop broths, cooked entirely from scratch, conjoin clarity and depth. The pristine garnishes–pork, egg, greens–are radiant with color and flavor. This is ramen at its purest yet most expressive. You [...]

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