Eat + Drink
photography by Stefanie Michejda
Long, long ago I was tipped off via Raj Parr (the wine director at Michael Mina) about a place called Punjab Kabab House (101 Eddy St., 415-447-7499). I hate to admit how far back this dates, but let’s just say it was many moons ago when Raj was working at the Fifth Floor.
It's hard to imagine what vegetarian wine lovers have to go through for one simple reason: What do they eat with your Cabernet Sauvignon?
Considering that Cab and its Bordeaux brethren is what we got the most of in California and that it turns up pretty ubiquitously from France, Chile, Argentina, and Australia (to name a few) we have to devise dishes that accompany it well. But, sadly, to me there's really only one thing that always goes well with Cabernet and it is described in two words: red meat.
With a family that firmly believes in “wine-thirty” (in the Deseran clan, that would be 5:30 pm—the time of day considered late enough for our nightly bottle, or two, to be uncorked), I’m always looking for reasonably priced selection to pull out of the cupboard. And lucky for me, the deal of the century is going on right now at Good Life Grocery Store (448 Cortland St., 415-648-3221) in Bernal Heights, just up the street from my house.
photography by Stefanie Michejda
Sadly, this is my last blog entry for 7x7. After a year and a half at the magazine, I’ve decided to pursue another career path.
Some people might think I’m crazy. Whenever I’ve told a new acquaintance that I write about restaurants and food, the usual response is, “That’s my dream job!” And it truly has been an incredibly cool job. I’ve met and interviewed some really interesting people, have gone to fun events, and have eaten at some of the city’s best restaurants.
I recently returned from Paris, and I want to share with you a very European and delicious way to warm up your winter. As you know, we Americans love coffee: tumbler-size containers of espresso and steamed milk, carried with us nearly everywhere we go. The French aren’t like that. When you order a coffee, you get a little cup that looks like it belongs in a tea party. Even when you specify “café crème”—i.e. add some milk please—you barely get six ounces of liquid.
If you’ve gotten into wine at all in your life, you’re probably aware that German Riesling is one of the most incredible wines in the world (and often a super value), but also incredibly difficult to comprehend. The labels in themselves are phenomenal works of code—and the familiar designations like kabinet, spätlese, etc are indecipherable to most people.
When Cecilia Chiang (asianpacificfund.org/awards/bio_chiang.shtml) asks you to dinner, you know you’re in for a grand event—full of multiple courses and many toasts—no matter how highfalutin or no-nonsense the restaurant. In the case of an end of December meal, I found myself driving a bit white-knuckled, through fog and rain to get to KL Restaurant (4401 Balboa Street at 45th Street), a Cantonese spot that I’d never heard of. Cecilia leaned over to whisper to me “You don’t see Americans here!”—which was true, barring my parents who had come along, as well as food writer Patricia Unterman, a true eater who’s traveled the world over.
Lately the humble egg, normally reserved for breakfast, has gotten a lot of play at the dinner table at some of the city's best restaurants. In fact, one of the best creations I'd tasted last year was Vernon Morales' poached egg with bacon ice cream at the unfortunately-now-shuttered Winterland.