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Arsicault Bakery

By   /  April 29, 2016  /  Food, Restaurants  /  1 Comment

Yeast-leavened French pastry or viennoiserie is a culinary miracle that traps the voluptuousness of  fine, rich, sweet butter in layers of air and crunch,  in the form of a golden croissant or a morning bun or a kouign amann. ( Kouign amann, a specialty of Brittany where some dishes keep their Celtic names, is puff [...]

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Tosca

By   /  November 1, 2015  /  Restaurants  /  2 Comments

April Bloomfield’s rich, big flavored, Brit-style Italian cooking works uncannily well at Tosca, the iconic North Beach joint she and her partner Ken Friedman took over last year.  Bloomfield and Friedman became the darlings of the New York food world ten years ago with their first restaurant, an Italian/British gastropub called The Spotted Pig, and [...]

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b. on the go

By   /  August 4, 2015  /  Restaurants, sandwiches  /  No Comments

A toasted sandwich, such as the iconic grilled cheese, delights because it is hardly a sandwich at all. A hot metal surface (and sometimes compression with a weight) transforms the bread into something thin, crisp and buttery, a sensual contrast to a soft, melted filling. At b. on the go, pastry chef Belinda Leong and [...]

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El Molino Central

By   /  July 26, 2015  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Tall, blonde, and larger than life, Karen Taylor Waikiki seems improbable as the chef/owner of the best taco stand in Northern California, but she knows exactly what it takes to cook luscious, fully realized Mexican food. At her destination taco stand in Boyes Hot Springs on the outskirts of the town of Sonoma, she starts [...]

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On the Fried Chicken Trail

By   /  June 1, 2015  /  Food, Restaurants  /  1 Comment

The crunchy, spice-laden skin of good fried chicken may sell the dish, but a  juicy, tender interior seals the deal.  Great fried chicken has both, and our search for the ideal never ends. Fried chicken excites like no other iconic American dish, be it burger, pizza, burrito and yes, sushi.  Here are three versions of [...]

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Notes from Mexico City

By   /  November 2, 2014  /  Restaurants, Travel  /  No Comments

Dinner Most of my favorite Mexico City restaurants serve late lunch, the main meal of the day, and not dinner but Maximo in Colonia Roma, within walking distance of The Red Tree House, is the exception for a blow out meal in a bistrot that has been called the Chez Panisse of Mexico City.  It’s [...]

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Marla Bakery

By   /  October 29, 2014  /  Food, Restaurants  /  No Comments

How can a $6 plate of toast in a bakery/cafe in the depths of the Outer Richmond arouse such universal love? I guess because it is perfect. At the new brick-and-mortar Marla Bakery, across the street from the Balboa Theater, extravagantly thick slices of ciabatta, sourdough batard and levain are lightly toasted in the wood [...]

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The Slanted Door–an Introduction to Charles Phan’s new cookbook

By   /  September 18, 2014  /  Restaurants  /  1 Comment

On my first visit to the Slanted Door sixteen years ago, then on a fairly scruffy block of Valencia in the Mission by now closed Bombay Bazaar, I fell hard for the Charles Phan experience. I had slurped noodles at hole in the wall pho joints and wolfed down the best sandwiches in the world [...]

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What I’m Eating Now–May 16, 2014

By   /  May 16, 2014  /  Food, Restaurants  /  No Comments

Warm Bagel with Herbed Farmers Cheese and Pickle at Marla Bakery Amy Brown, baker and co/owner of Marla Bakery, brought matzoh to Passover dinner this year.  Matzoh are usually square, bland, unleavened crackers that taste like processed white flour, but Brown’s matzoh were round, paper-thin, crackly, olive oil-infused flatbreads that were so divine, they made [...]

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Maruya

By   /  April 29, 2014  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

When Alice Waters, whom I consider one of the world’s great eaters, is asked about her favorite restaurants (other than Chez Panisse, of course), she always gives the same answer: “I go to restaurants where I am known.” By this she doesn’t mean getting a good table. She wants something deeper, both a kitchen and [...]

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