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Broken Record

By   /  May 25, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

A developmental chart of food service might start with street hawkers and progress to carts, trucks, booths in markets and then food windows in grungy bars. The Broken Record, a food operation in the back room of just such a bar, may not be high on the evolutionary scale of restaurants, but it turns out [...]

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Betelnut

By   /  May 22, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Malaysia, the fecund equatorial state on the bulging tip of the Thai peninsula, looms large in the consciousness of every self respecting food lunatic in America.  Fans of The Fatty Crab in New York, Betelnut  in San Francisco, Banana Island in Daly City, and Asian hawker food in general, (the antecedents of our cart-food culture) [...]

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Box Food Trucks

By   /  May 17, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

After many requests from readers, I finally dove into the food truck phenomenon in San Francisco. As a long time street food eater, particularly in Asia and India, where specialization is the rule, and stalls and carts are right on the pavement and completely open to view, the rolling kitchens in San Francisco feel removed [...]

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Ragazza

By   /  May 13, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Ragazza, located in that hot, four block stretch of Divisadero near the Panhandle, is the second restaurant of chef Sharon Ardiana, whose four year old  Gialina continues to be a big hit in Glen Park. Ho hum, I thought, another cloned restaurant. But when my mostly vegetarian, bike commuting cousin dragged me to Ragazza, I [...]

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Nojo

By   /  May 11, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Charles Phan at the Slanted Door changed the way we eat Vietnamese food in America. Bruce Cost at Monsoon and Barbara Tropp at China Moon did it with Chinese. Now Greg Dunmore is carrying on the tradition at Nojo with his own ingredient driven Japanese cooking that brings local and artisanal products to the ethnic [...]

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Leopold’s

By   /  April 7, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

The Italo- Asian-Latino-inflected food scene in San Francisco finally has begun to shift eastward towards under represented central Europe. From the moment it opened a month ago, Leopold’s, a playful Austrian restaurant, has been mobbed. Owned by two brothers, Klaus and Albert Ranier, the restaurant unabashedly celebrates old fashioned Mitteleuropa, from the dirndl clad–and abundantly [...]

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Comstock Saloon

By   /  April 2, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

In San Francisco’s restaurant scene, the bar has risen to star status while the kitchen plays a supporting role.  In an odd plot twist,  bartenders have taken on the role of chefs with a complex mise en place of house made syrups and infusions, seasonally sourced components and even customized ice cubes. But, at the [...]

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Osteria Coppa

By   /  March 24, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Chanan Kamen who ran the famous pasta station at the first little Quince, happens to be  chef Mike Tusk’s cousin.  Now Kamen has opened his own ebullient place, Osteria Coppa, a gift to San Mateo and worth a trip from the City. It inhabits a simply converted [...]

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Haltun

By   /  March 18, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

In our 21st century, hyper-local culinary world, we strive to eat ingredients produced as close to us as possible but we also celebrate regional cooking from all corners of the world. This can leave us in a jam. Sometimes it’s just too difficult or expensive to cook authentic food far away from its source. Haltun, [...]

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The Irish Bank

By   /  February 7, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

As someone who actually opened a restaurant on St. Paddy’s Day a third of a century ago at the behest of an Irish partner, the elegant, now departed, Robert Flaherty, may I give you some advice? Stay away from Irish pubs on St. Paddy’s Day. Even a regular Friday night happy hour crowd at the [...]

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