Eat + Drink
It's hard to start a business in the Bay Area. And even harder to make it successful. We're inspired by the couples who have done it together and have decided to highlight them every week in our new "Bay Area Power Couples" blog series.
Because it's almost Labor Day, it seemed only appropriate to honor Lara and Gar Truppelli, founders of some of the most quintessential Bay Area summertime restaurants: The Beach Chalet, The Park Chalet and The Lake Chalet. We chatted with the duo about starting a restaurant in arguably one of the prettiest spots in the city, first dates and proposals and the craziest thing a tourist has ever done.
Pass up the bar as you walk into Specs - a living ode to San Francisco’s beatnik history - and you’ll find yourself gazing into the rabid maw of a taxidermy weasel fighting a stuffed snake. Arrive on the right day and you’ll see a grizzled Chinese man sitting in the corner painting, his thin gray goatee dragging in his oils. If you sat down next to him, you’d find yourself staring into the spectacles of King Nut, a parody of the original mummified golden pharaoh.
Market Watch: Shopping the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market with Richie Nakano and Kitty Gallisa of Hapa Ramen
Earlier this year when Richie Nakano, Nopa’s then sous-chef, approached me about an idea for a ramen stand at the Thursday market, I was intrigued. Once I saw the menu –hand pulled noodles, house made broth, organic, seasonal produce-- I was hooked. Richie explained that he and his business partner Kitty Gallisa, both self-proclaimed ramen lovers, had been hatching a plan to create a business of their own focused on this traditional Japanese noodle soup. They planned to call it Hapa Ramen.
Jardinière chef Traci des Jardins tells Liquor.com today that she's "pleasantly surprised at how food-friendly tequila is." Interesting.
Not convinced? Try out her theory by pairing her Black Mission Fig Salad recipe with mixologist Brian MacGregor's watermelon and tequila cocktail. Their recipes (below) are perfect for a hot day like today.
Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. Buy One, Get One Beer at Elixir: The Mission mixology palace Elixir serves a lot of tasty drinks, but they usually don't come cheap. In a bid to attain football-season dominance, however, Elixir is offering a limited-time coupon (with some help from City Dish): come in with a party of at least 4 for a weekend NFL/NCAA game or Monday Night Football, buy a pitcher of beer, and get a second pitcher of domestic beer gratis. It's all the lubrication you could need for cheering on your favorite team. Grab the coupon here. (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday during games, at Elixir, 3200 16th St., Mission.)
The best thing to do for Labor Day weekend? Stay put. There's more parking, fewer lines and, if the weather keeps up, sunshine to boot. Let everyone else stew in traffic.
As a Bernal Heights resident, here's my advised plan for a great Sunday:
Half-Price Wine at Contigo
The caravan of RVs heading out of town only can mean one thing: Burning Man. While I don't mind the peace and quiet (sorry, I'm a square), the folks at Contigo are bummed to be missing the Playa. If your in the city this week, join them at the restaurant for Spanish food and wine--tonight and tomorrow, all bottles on the wine list normally priced under $45--that's most of them--will be half-off. Who needs the desert?
I've been a peach fanatic for a long time, subscribing to the peach-a-day theory until the bitter end of the season. So I was heartened to hear that there might be some primal reason behind this craving I have for the queen of stone fruits. To quote from the My Fruit, My Body press release: "A new study by AgriLife Researchers at Texas A&M University provides some extremely promising results in the fight against breast cancer. The study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, reported that even the most aggressive type of breast cancer cells died after exposure to peach and plum extracts in lab tests.
It’s possible Tyler Florence has something to prove. True, the chef has written five—soon to be six—cookbooks, starred on the Food Network for the last 14 years, launched a line of baby food (called Sprout) and opened The Tyler Florence Shop, where he sells his eponymous cookware and other preferred products. But never mind that: This is the summer that the New York transplant—who moved to Mill Valley in 2007—opened his first restaurant, Wayfare Tavern, in the former Rubicon space in the Financial District.