From the envelope-pushing vegetarian Ubuntu to Neela’s, the Indian restaurant opened by Neela Paniz, the town of Napa is bound and determined to become a dining destination like Yountville. But unlike its popular sibling, Napa is bucking wine country’s typical Eurocentric point of view—most impactfully by the opening of the trendy Japanese-influenced Morimoto Napa. Although Food Network celeb chef Masaharu Morimoto has five other restaurants to attend to, you might spot the 55-year-old at this insta-scene attending to the kitchen in a chef’s coat, homeboy-style shorts, and white sneakers. Surrounded by diners downing sake and pricey sushi, you could easily be somewhere far away, like Honolulu—which is exactly where his next restaurant is headed this fall.
On Thursday, September 16, 2010, the Associates of Saint Francis Memorial Hospital hosted the Second Annual “White Caps and Night Caps” Charity Event to benefit the hospital’s Bothin Burn Center. The Center is the only acute care burn facility in the Bay Area – servicing North Bay, South Bay and East Bay counties - and now in need of funds more than ever as they service the severe burn victims of the San Bruno fires.
Alvin Teodoro, 33
Founder and director, Mabuhay Health Center
(Left, pictured with co-workers Ruben Lachica and Jaleel Arnado)
Leila Chirayath Janah, 27
It’s not just that Leila Chirayath Janah has Sama, which means “equal,” tattooed in Sanskrit on her wrist. She also rattles off poverty statistics, curses misspent foreign aid, and recounts stories of teaching in Ghana as a teenager. It seems she was destined to start Samasource, the Mission-based company she founded at age 25.
Aaron Koblin, 28
Technology lead, Google Creative Lab
Aaron Koblin has a hard time explaining his job. He thinks of himself as more of an architect than an artist, someone in the business of making data beautiful and accessible. In his day-to-day, he uses crowd-sourcing to construct stunning visuals from a flood of information.
Take two talented musicians (one studying to be a doctor, the other a psychologist), put them together, and you have a future in medicine that was best derailed. Ten years and six albums later, AmpLive (who has remixed music from Linkin Park, MGMT, and Radiohead) and Zumbi of Oakland duo Zion I have proven unstoppable.
The two rule the underground hip-hop scene and have worked with heavy hitters such as Aesop Rock, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Gift of Gab. They started their own record label and have amassed an audience both here and abroad. “It’s not like a huge pop-based following, but the people who feel us are really into it,” says Zumbi.
You’ll need to know the password if you want to catch a glimpse of Alayna Stroud and her small company of aerial-burlesque dancers at her Divisadero Street studio. For the past three years, audiences have lined up outside to get into Cirque Noir’s sexy speakeasy performances. But this is no mere striptease. Her choreography tells fantastical stories about love and transformation—but, you know, in the air and with legs wrapped around a pole connected to a swaying bathtub.