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The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

John's Grill Centennial Benefits SF City College Students

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An Upside of the Reccesion: Ralph Lauren's Winter Sale

What could possibly be the upside to the recession? Even newly opened stores, including Ralph Lauren’s latest addition to Fillmore Street, are clearing out merchandise way before Black Friday. While you might be lured in by the 3,500-square-feet shop’s cozy, rustic ambiance (oak floors, leather club chairs and plenty of wicker), you’ll end up staying for the selection of men’s and women’s winter clothing and accessories, which were just marked down to 40 and 50 percent off of retail. We suggest heading straight to the back rack for sleek RLX puffer jackets, ski pants and bright wool knits you’ll need for that Thanksgiving trip to Tahoe.

Dosa II: Yes! You Can Hear Your Date

The new Dosa on Fillmore officially opened last Monday. And while the first Dosa filled the South Indian niche, Dosa II has filled in some blanks of its own.

• It’s lured the ladies from upper Pac Heights to boldly venture to the scruffier side of lower Pac Heights (although not as scruffy as the South side of Geary). The night I was there more than one table was made up of solely of women, many with hairbands, bonding over cocktails and curry.

• It offers a pre-concert dinner for those headed to the Fillmore and a post-movie dinner for those spilling out of the Sundance Kabuki theater.

• It’s a home away from home for Nopa fans. Former bank building? Check. Huge and impressive windows? Check. Skyhigh ceilings? Check.

‘Tis the Season: A Shopper’s Cheat Sheet for Travelers

Christmas is just two-and-a-half weeks ago and you haven’t even started your shopping? Not a problem. But the more important issue at hand is what do you buy the chic jetsetter who has everything? Lucky for the last-minute shopper, we have a few suggestions that will meet all your gift-giving needs.

CB2 and Creativity Explored Team Up for Benefit

This is an exciting pairing: the recently opened CB2 in Union Square will be hosting a benefit for Mission staple Creativity Explored this Thursday, December 11th. The event will feature six window seat chairs up for auction that have been decorated and painted by artists from the organization. Plus, 10% of all proceeds from purchases that night will go to Creativity Explored and their mission to enable adults with developmental disabilities to express themselves through art.

The Morning Benders Play On At Rickshaw Stop Despite Blood

Wrapping up a year of whirlwind performing December 6, Berkeley darlings The Morning Benders took a break from recording to perform at the Rickshaw Stop.

Miniature Tigers and the The Soft Pack, formerly The Muslims, joined The Morning Benders, led by baby-faced frontman and all around dance-inciter Chris Chu.

Brian Copeland's "Not A Genuine Black Man" Returns A.B. (After Barack)

Long before the electorate questioned Barack Obama’s blackness, Brian Copeland was being harassed for his own dubious blackness. Copeland’s story “Not A Genuine Black Man”, became the longest running solo show in San Francisco history Running for two and a half years (!) it returned home to the Marsh this past weekend.

SF Chefs with Blogs

Here’s how you know blogging has reached the mainstream: chefs — notoriously short on time, and mostly workaholics — have somehow made time for the pursuit. Some blogs, such as the one kept by cook Richie Nakano of Nopa (linecook415.blogspot.com) offer a behind-the-scenes look at a busy SF restaurant. Others, such as the one written by Brett Emerson, owner and chef at the forthcoming Noe Valley restaurant Contigo (inpraiseofsardines.typepad.com), chronicle the harrowing process of opening a restaurant in the city.

Aziza chef Mourad Lahlou vs. Paula Wolfert

What do Aziza chef-owner Mourad Lahlou and Sonoma-based Moroccan food expert Paula Wolfert have in common? Not much, as it turns out. I just spent the weekend at the annual CIA Worlds of Flavor conference, where old guard and new guard rubbed shoulders, swapped recipes and took in demos on everything from Syrian pastry making to live fire grilling. It’s one of the more well-organized and inspirational food conferences out there; you should consider putting it on your calendar for next year, when the theme will be street food of the world.

Winter Wonderland in Lower Haight

'Tis the season for drinking and buying it seems, as yet another neighborhood is rolling out the discounts and booze for a night of festive shopping. Lower Haight has some definite gems in the home decor department, such as Doe, Xapno and Mickey's Monkey so make sure to stop by for discounts and assorted revelry (also check out Doe's art opening for works by Chantal deFelice).

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