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

By   /  September 18, 2014  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

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  /  1 Comment

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  /  1 Comment

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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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  /  1 Comment

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  /  1 Comment

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  /  2 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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