Eat + Drink
Last fall, we published the 10 Best Lunches Under $10 in Union Square. It was so popular, we figured why not do every neighborhood? Rather than attack this subject as outsiders, we're approaching a hyperlocal dweller from each 'hood to give us their picks—in this case 7x7 contributor Antonia Richmond.
San Franciscans are pretty, ahem, vocal about food, so sound off in the comments about what you'd add to this list.
I really love yakitori. I tend to go to the Inner Richmond’s Halu, a family-run restaurant that has the feel of some place in Japan. I’ve been to Japan twice, and every time I go, I hit all the yakitori bars. It’s not just chicken on a stick. Each part of the chicken is cooked separately over hardwood charcoal, and it’s just so focused. They’ve achieved mastery.
My boyfriend will tell you that chocolate doesn't last more than an hour at our house—especially if it's a solid bar of something dark, very dark. But the nine-piece box from Au Coeur Des Chocolates (hand-dipped in Dogpatch) made me pause—enough to slow down for two whole days and appreciate the jewel-like bonbons, each no bigger than a stamp, with their delicate, air-brushed designs. There's something artful about the speckled ginger, the way the geodesic shell snaps and gives way to spiced, dark, and smooth ganache with wild honey. My eyes went for the passion fruit heart covered in fine white couverture; the buttery shell perfectly balances the bright, creamy fruit.
I've lived in the city since 1993 and since 1996, all of my editor jobs have required me to keep track of the restaurant scene. Generally, I have a smug sense of myself as someone that knows this scene pretty well.
Until I'm proven wrong. Which is pretty often for someone so smug.
Take the other night.
My husband and I recently moved to the cusp of Castro and Noe which has caused us to have to shed our usuals. Ten years in Bernal Heights made for usuals such as La Taqueria for tacos, Blue Plate for neighborhood restaurant needs, Argus for drinking and Emmy's Spaghetti Shack for kids' night out.
As part of SF Beer Week, Anchor Brewing is opening its doors February 16th for an invite-only 140th anniversary party and unveiling of their newest brew, Brekle's Brown Ale. Wanna go? 7x7 would like to invite 5 newsletter subscribers chosen at random to join us at Anchor (we'll pick 5 people who are signed up at random).
Beer lovers, rejoice! SF Beer Week is almost here, bringing nine days of suds-related fun and excitement to our fair city. From tastings to brewer meet-and-greets to pairing dinners, there's plenty to see and enjoy over the course of the week, and covering it all would be impossible. To help you navigate the festivities, here are a few events that caught our eye.
Housekeeping note: We've been getting a lot of anxious comments from readers interested in getting in on 7x7's party at Anchor Brewing, but that info isn't ready yet. Look for it on the site soon.
Sometimes you want to venture outside the usual plate of carne asada tacos. To satisfy those urges to the extreme, drop by La Oaxaqueña, a legit bakery and restaurant that serves Southern Mexican delights like grasshopper tacos and fried tarantula tortas.
Owner Albino Carreno says the crunchy grasshoppers are rife with protein and vitamins. The tarantulas, which they're currently out of but will have again in March, are fried whole and sandwiched between fresh-baked bread. Their taste and texture? Akin to that of a softshell crab.
In the frenzy over blistered Neapolitan pizzas made with tomatoes blessed by a Catholic priest and quadruple zero flour, the appreciation for a plain ole cheese slice is in threat of extinction. Not to mention, when the urge strikes for a slice of hot, greasy goodness, waiting for a table at Delfina Pizzeria just won't cut it. A slice has to be fast, cheap, and in our control. (And preferably near a good dive bar.)
Cecilia Chiang, the 91-year-old author of The Seventh Daughter memoir and cookbook and former owner of the lauded Mandarin restaurant, is one of the city’s biggest food icons. The grand dame of Chinese cuisine—who grew up in an aristocratic Chinese family in Beijing and has lived a life worthy of an epic film—just moved to San Francisco from her Belvedere house after living there for some 40 years. I spoke to her about her Chinese New Year plans.
After eight years at Boulevard Restaurant working with Nancy Oakes and Pam Mazzola, chef Ravi Kapur opened Prospect last summer to almost instant fanfare. In the seven months since Prospect opened its doors the restaurant has seen its share of seasonal menu changes. It has effortlessly transitioned from summer to fall and now is in the midst of highlighting the best of winter produce.