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Come On In, The Tomato Water's Fine

San Francisco is one of the few cities in the US where, come winter, it's nearly impossible to find a tomato at the hottest restaurants in town. On the contrary, come tomato season, it's hard to avoid them. Now that all the heirloom varietals have hit full stride in warmer points south, there are tiered salads of steamy heirlooms, plays on Caprese, cherry tomato-dotted pizzas, and, finally, the seasonal BLT has arrived. The happy by-product of this tomato overload is tomato water. While the New York Times just gave the "intense translucent liquid" a little jab as one of the fleeting "charms" of the 1990s, Bay Area chefs never seemed to let it go. Find out why they love it and where you can try it, after the hop.

Emerging Talent: Stand Outs from the Academy of Art University's Spring 2011 Fashion Show

The annual Academy of Art University Spring Show is consistently one of the most well produced fashion shows in SF. This year, the show featured 16 mini-collections from 23 talented students, graduating with BFA Fashion Design degrees in Accessory, Knitwear, Men's Wear, Technical, Textile and Women's Wear.

The students unveiled their work last week at the AAU Tent in SoMa. We went, we saw, and we picked favorites. Above are, in our opinion, the best technically designed, and overall most complete looks from the show. 

 

The Giant Holes in the New York Times' New Paywall

Next Monday, The New York Times will finally do what for over a year it has been promising to do -- erect a paywall around its content on the web.  But as details of the plan have emerged this past week, it looks to be one of the strangest, and leakiest, paywalls in the history of online content.

In fact, you might call this a voluntary paywall, because it will apparently be so easy to circumvent there is no reason any moderately tech-savvy consumer should ever have to pay anything at all.

The "Bullish" Amanda Hesser On the NY Times Cookbook, Alice Waters and More

Amanda Hesser, formerly known as Ms. Latte, will now forever be known as the author of the astoundingly comprehensive, 932 page, no-pretty-pictures Essential New York Times Cookbook (W.W. Norton & Co.) which just landed with an enormous thud on my desk. The phenomenal book includes over 1000 recipes, trend charts and dishes through the ages—all which Hesser tested over the six years it took her to complete the book. I already have pages earmarked for future dinners.

San Franciso Street Style Dubbed "The Land That Style Forgot"

San Francisco walks to the beat of its own fashion drum. We know this, but others, like Guy Trebay from The New York Times, describes our beloved foggy city as “the land that style forgot." A harsh, yet catching opener in his somewhat controversial article describing our truly eclectic sense of fashion.

The Tenderloin: SF's Hottest Tourist Destination?

G-d bless this guy, Shaw. Randy Shaw. A San Francisco housing advocate with a very ambitious plan to, um, exploit the grittiness of the Tenderloin in an attempt to transform the neighborhood into—get ready for it—a tourist destination. You heard me right: a tourist destination. Shaw's strategy—reported on today in the New York Times—includes building a new $3 million museum of TL history (to be housed in the Cadillac on Eddy & Leavenworth, a Single Room Occupany hotel where Jerry Garcia once laid his weary head) and designing a walking tour of the district's many other historic SROs.

Julie & Julia Reminds Us Why The Food Network Sucks

Julie & Julia—the film based on Julie Powell's blog, the Julie/Julia Project—is opening on August 7, and the Julia Child frenzy is reaching its peak. I attended a preview of the highly entertaining film (Meryl Streep is Julia Child) a few weeks ago, and while wiping a few tears back on the way out (Nora Ephron really knows how to pull on the foodie heartstrings) I ran into Michael Pollan who told me he was working on a story about food television for this coming Sunday's New York Times Magazine ("Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch").

Today's Hot Links: Cheesecake to Chowder

• Z is For Zesty? The Times serves up an A-to-(almost)-Z guide of summer drinking by definition.

• The Mission District's latest "clean, family-friendly, neighborhood place featuring hand-thrown, thin-crust pizza made from locally-sourced ingredients" also has intentions to be "well-lit." Michael Bauer can leave his flashlight at home.

Coi and Danko Reviewed: Hypersalads, Lurkers and Scary Pigeons in Dark Alleys

This weekend, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both looked West. For their "Save or Splurge" travel destination, the Times landed in San Francisco, alternating between $6, brick-sized "super" El Farolito burritos (speaking of: has anyone had their chile relleno burrito?

The Best Absinthe Cocktails in Town

It was great to see last week's absinthe column by the New York Times' Eric Asimov. It was also great to be mentioned in his corresponding blog post. Just before the column ran, he came into town for a couple of nights, and on one of them I took him round to a couple of bars and later for dinner at RN74.

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