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Kin Khao

By   /  April 15, 2014  /  Restaurants, Uncategorized  /  3 Comments

A remarkable new Thai restaurant, Kin Khao, has opened in a hotel on the border of Union Square and the Tenderloin.  Yes, readers, once again, I’m in love. Of course we fall the hardest when we don’t expect it to happen, and I had my doubts about Kin Khao’s much-heralded opening.  First of all, Kin [...]

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Great China

By   /  April 8, 2014  /  Restaurants, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

The Peking duck pilgrimage to Berkeley begins again with the re-opening of Great China, the beloved, 28-year-old northern Chinese restaurant that closed after a fire in 2012. Finally the restaurant has started serving again in new quarters, a sleek, architect-designed space on the corner of Bancroft and Oxford, a block from the old place. Everything [...]

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Paying Respects at Zuni

By   /  April 8, 2014  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

A handful of women got together the other night at Zuni–women mostly in their sixties who have spent their lives in food and religiously believe that good eating brings ultimate happiness.  How come we were still there and one of our sisters, Judy Rogers, had left us? Rogers, our friend, and chef/partner at Zuni, died [...]

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cosecha

By   /  April 3, 2014  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

A mouthwatering new blog from New York I have been following (importantfood.tumblr.com) focuses on dishes that are so compelling, so complete, so craveable, they lodge in your taste memory. You judge the success of all other dishes by them, no matter the ethnicity. The pozole verde at Cosecha, from chef/owner  Dominica Rice-Cisneros hit me that [...]

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Campton Place Spice Route Menu

By   /  December 25, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

When the Taj Hotel group took over the operation of Campton Place five years ago, they inherited a famous dining room, one that changed the very identity of high-end hotel dining in America. The hotel opened in 1983 with the idea of mounting a top-tier Union Square restaurant that would draw San Franciscans.  Then manager [...]

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Alta, CA

By   /  December 17, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Alta, CA had been open just fourteen hours when I walked over from the corner of Hayes and Franklin, by Davies Hall, through the rain and wind one Friday night. I passed the lively, glass-enclosed Jazz Center and headed east on Fell to Van Ness. Here the landscape started to change, especially when I turned [...]

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Shanghai House, Revisited

By   /  December 6, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  1 Comment

We are blessed with so many excellent restaurants in San Francisco that sometimes we don’t get back even to our favorites. I was reminded of this after a recent visit to tiny Shanghai House, across the street from the Balboa Theater. When I walked in I saw my last review, written in 2007, facing me [...]

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Hong Kong Lounge II

By   /  November 11, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Nobody handles fish and shellfish with the sensitivity, the timing and the nuanced technique of the Cantonese. Give Italians their miraculously juicy branzino baked in sea salt, and the Japanese their thrilling, animistic presentation of the raw. The Cantonese prepare the whole underwater menagerie in ways that reveal wondrous flavors and textures. No chefs do [...]

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Comal

By   /  October 27, 2013  /  Restaurants  /  2 Comments

There is always room in a community for an ingredient-driven restaurant like Comal. But this Mexican cantina is particularly valuable in Berkeley because of its downtown location–a block from BART, less than a block from the Berkeley Repertory Theater, and a 15 minute walk to Zellerbach Hall. Eating pre-performance turns out to be your best [...]

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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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