I love finding things like this. Yesterday, on the RichmondSF blog, a post went up announcing yet another house party organized around our Big Eat. This time it's a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
I'm not sure, however, that there will be as many parties organized around the upcoming Big Sweet (we've decided to save it for the launch of our August food issue so you're going to have to wait a few weeks more). If anyone does try to host a party around this, I'd recommend donations to a diabetes research foundation.
We know you have an opinion. We know you care. Starting today, there are only seven more days to vote for your favorite restaurants in town. This is your chance to really make your voice heard. Get into the competitive spirit! We need you to: Rep! Pre! Sent! (Ok, that's as much cheerleader enthusiasm as my jaded editor self can muster.)
I grew up in Louisiana—buying fresh shrimp from the guys that sold it from coolers on the side of the road, and listening to the stories my father, who worked as a rural sociologist for LSU studying oyster fisherman down in Houma, would tell. Needless to say, the disaster that is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is really hitting home for me. (Not that the continuous loop on the news of turtles covered in sludge wouldn't have made an impact.)
If refined four-star cuisine is the yin to rustic Italian cooking’s yang, then Mission District resident Lauren Kiino is perfectly balanced. Kiino—Delfina’s chef de cuisine for eight years—moved on in 2007 to stage at French Laundry and Daniel Patterson’s Coi. Patterson and Kiino hit it off—enough to open three restaurants together. Il Cane Rosso joined the Ferry Building last year and the duo’s upcoming restaurants are in Oakland: Plum, which will be small and modern, debuts this summer and Bracina, a larger, California restaurant, has a TBD opening date in Jack London Square.
“At Nihon [Whisky] Lounge, I go for a glass of Scapa. It’s a great way to finish up the night.”
For the past nine months, Bistro Aix—the beloved Marina restaurant—has been undergoing a Heidi Montag-like remodel—fully gutted and rebuilt. But unlike The Hills starlet, the 15-year-old restaurant is no Barbie-en-Provence. It might not be the hippest spot in town, but it's been redone in fine, grown-up good taste. Dark-wood gives the restaurant a cozy lodge feeling, which is accentuated by a custom-made, roaring wood-fired grill, which, should you choose to sit at the bar, you can see flickers of from your seat. The back patio now has a permanent glass pyramid ceiling for the indoor/outdoor effect without the need for a heat lamp.
This rain is taking a beating on my psyche. I'm pretty sure though that I could be cheered by the right bowl of soup. And today, I'm craving the most delicious lentil soup that they make at Yemeni's Restaurant (1098 Sutter St., 415-441-8832), a six-month old addition to the TenderNob that my friend took me to the other night.
The recession has made way for people to open restaurants with the same DIY spirit that's inspired the current rash of picklers. Without a doubt, it's given the dog-eat-dog restaurant industry here a softer, more earnest face, infused with that original 70's Chez Panisse idealism. Whether or not this makes for a sustainable business model, the jury is still out. But for now, I'm enjoying watching neighborhood restaurants open here with a true homespun touch and genuine intentions.
This is what amazes me about San Francisco: The fact that when I meet people for the first time, more often than not they know more about food or drink than I do. On the food obsession radar, it turns out, I score shockingly low. One of my neighbors regularly helps his friend to throw 12 person, nine-course meals. Another of my friends hunts for morels and has made his own cheese. Another one hauled a sate grill back from Thailand in his suitcase.
So, although I'm down in Mexico working on an article, I was able to spend a day tasting tequila with Tres Agaves' Eric Rubin. In addition to Tres Agaves, Rubin is also involved in a new Mission District restaurant that he's opening with Maverick chef/owner Scott Youkilis. Called Hog & Rocks, it's slated to open next month on the corner of San Carlos and 19th streets. Here's the scoop, straight from Guadalajara.
Why Hog & Rocks?