Eat + Drink
A Serious Pounding
If you were too, uh, under the weather to make New Year’s resolutions on January 1, you’ll have a second chance at the Japanese new year Mochitsuki celebration at the Asian Art Museum on January 9. From noon to 1 p.m., watch traditionally costumed mochi pounders at work, transforming glutinous rice into sticky-sweet balls of goodness. From 1 until 4 p.m. you can try your hand at the pounding while enjoying live music and dance, then pull a fortune for the upcoming year. The event is free with museum admission; admission for children under 12 is free.
Just in time for our holiday-overeating guilt to set in, Food Rules, Michael Pollan's latest, has been released. The sliver of a book is based on his mantra: Eat food. Mostly plants. But not much. And divided into the three categories of 64 rules—rules, that for many of us in SF, can seem commonplace: #15: Get out of the supermarket whenever you can. #25: Eat your colors. #30: Eat well-grown food From healthy soil. #51: Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it. Each rule has a little paragraph of explanation but not much else.
The big games in the waning days of football season are coming up, college basketball is revving up, and baseball is just around the corner. But no matter the sport the markup on beer at stadiums is criminal, and any (not mention anything decent) booze is hard to come by or completely unavailable.
If you're going to the game—I must confess I was lucky enough to get a ticket through a friend to Thursday night's BCS Championship in Pasadena; go Longhorns!—here are some diabolical strategies to help you sneak in your own drink and avoid getting that expensive flask confiscated or being humiliated at the gate when they take away your beer.
Yesterday, Eater announced the happy news that the Miette Confiserie on Octavia street—the space that looks like a tween girl's dream, all candy, ribbons and gumdrop trees—will in fact NOT be closing, as was previously reported. We had a chance to catch up with Meg Ray, Miette's founder, shortly before the holidays, and while she hinted at that time that the Hayes Valley space might be spared, since the details hadn't been finalized she was (understandably) nervous about announcing it as fact.
Okay, everybody, you can relax now. Your Manhattans and Old Fashioneds are going to be okay. If you didn't know it, we were in the midst of an Angostura bitters shortage due to a strike in Trinidad & Tobago where the stuff is manufactured. People had been worried. Evidently, the US is the world's biggest consumer of Angostura bitters, drinking the equivalent of about 750,000 four-ounce bottles or equivalents annually. I know that Duggan McDonnell, proprietor of Cantina, had gone around the Bay Area, buying up the remaining bottles he could find at Bevmos, in case the shortage was to be prolonged.
How many of you are sitting at your desks glumly today? That's what I thought. But it's a new year, friends, and with a new year comes new restaurants. I am the unabashed cheerleader of this fresh start, and I'm looking forward to seeing what enterprising young go-getters have up their sleeves. First up, a project I've been wanting to spill the beans about for a long time called Local:Mission Eatery. Some of you might have noticed the construction underway in the former home of Alhambra meat market, the short-lived halal butcher shop two doors down from Philz coffee (24th St. and Folsom).
Though you gotta have bubbles, there's no rule that says that Champagne is required to ring in the New Year. Rather, the imperative is to open something which has a cork that pops and to drink something refreshing and bubbly at 12:01 January 1. So, why not save the money that you would have spent on Champagne and instead buy yourself something nice to kick off 2010. In that spirit, here's three picks from local stores that will get you a loud cork and a mouthful of delicious sparkling wine. Cheers!
There’s nothing like the power of predicting the future. So here goes our stab at 2010's eat and drink trends (within our 7x7 square miles, of course):
More ramen. Better ramen. And to go with it, ramen noodles. Katana Ya can not be our only hope. There’s already Shirohige Ramen truck, which has gotten mixed reviews, but a little bird told me that SF can expect to be seeing another very good ramen truck run by a total professional soon.
More rum. And with the opening of Smuggler’s Cove, I’m imagining we’ll see more cocktails on fire (had one just the other night at Heaven’s Dog, actually).
After a spate of great weather, it looks like we’re in for a chilly and wet New Years. The return to cold weather got me thinking of a subject I love—ice. We were perhaps the first to chronicle the emerging ice mania of SF cocktails bars over a year ago, and it hasn’t stopped. Around town bartenders, in passionate belief that the ice seriously impacts the drink experience, are still obsessing over their cubes and chunks and spears of frozen water.