With an opening date firmly set for November 28, the folks over at the soon-to-open Yoshi’s in the Western Addition might be sweating bullets (the main staircase remains suspended and doorways are just going up—you get the picture). At 29,000 square feet, the space is ginormous and will accommodate just about every dining permutation you can dream up—bar, bar/lounge, mezzanine, dining room, private dining … you name it. Between the dining room, lounges and bars, there are more than 400 seats, and the jazz club seats about 400, too. Massive!
Fresh shelling beans and pork soffritto at SPQR
A few weeks ago, in No Reservations, Jessica blogged about the latest no-reservations-taking policy that’s sweeping the city. Being a type-A sort, I’ve racked up a mighty big share of points on Opentable (even if I’ve never redeemed any of them)—so, yes, I’m all for reservations. How else can you squeeze a zillion things into a day if you have to wait two hours just to sit down to dinner?
SF’s first annual WhiskyFest was a few weeks ago (you can read all about it in Jordan’s recap, WhiskyFest Report), and while I missed the event, I made up for it on Halloween. I had two stops that night—the latter one involving a costume—so I donned my magenta wig, painted on some makeup and ran to event number one—a whisky-pairing dinner at Absinthe for Suntory Yamazaki.
This past weekend, I ventured from our 49-square miles to Freestone for a spa day. My friend and I had this getaway in the works for a long time. The spa (Osmosis) is the only one in the country that offers cedar-enzyme baths, and I’m a sucker for the out-of-the-ordinary. After 20 minutes of sitting in 130-degree fermenting wood, we each got a 75-minute massage in little pagodas situated near a serene meditation garden. Needless to say, we worked up an appetite (even after sharing a spectacular sticky bun from Wild Flour Bread beforehand).
It’s not often that I suffer from restaurant fatigue, but when I do, a night in is the only cure—which, on Friday, meant that my weeklong plans of (finally) getting over to SPQR had to be put on hold. Luckily I had a ready-to-cook meal kit from Cook! SF and a few good bottles of wine handy to lure my pal Lisa away from SPQR and to chez Sarah’s instead.
If you ask me, lots of restaurants these days seem indistinguishable from each other. Interiors boasting chocolate hues, exposed brick walls, dark wood floors, marble-topped bars, vaulted ceilings and Edison lamps, with menus highlighting the ubiquitous small plates trend (that I thought was ending, but was wrong). You know what I’m talking about. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but sometimes a girl craves something more unique.
Remember how rainy Friday night was? All I wanted to do was curl up with a cup of hot cocoa (like this one from Bittersweet) and have a Netflix night, but the Friends and Family opening party for Bin 38 was calling my name. I’m sure you’re thinking: As if SF needs another wine bar. But my motto is: The more, the merrier! Indeed, my spot in one of the nooks catching up with some friends over a Petit Syrah and Prosecco turned out to be the perfect escape from the bleak weather.
Grilled okra with miso aioli
I’ve never liked okra, until now. It could be because the only okra I’ve ever really tried has been greased up and deep-fried—and fried food rarely appeals to me. So, the other day when I went to Namu and my friend insisted I try their grilled okra, I (very) grudgingly agreed.