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restaurants

Trick or Tipsy



SF’s first annual WhiskyFest was a few weeks ago (you can read all about it in Jordan’s recap, WhiskyFest Report), and while I missed the event, I made up for it on Halloween. I had two stops that night—the latter one involving a costume—so I donned my magenta wig, painted on some makeup and ran to event number one—a whisky-pairing dinner at Absinthe for Suntory Yamazaki.

Health, Meet Pleasure

A few years back in Philadelphia, I remember reviewing a raw food restaurant that nearly made me gag. By the end of the meal, the cold slivers of carrots, cucumber, sprouty things and all manner of mushroom, combined differently (but tasting the same) in nearly every dish, had created a watery, almost grassy feeling in my gut that was the exact opposite of satisfaction or fullness.


Cafe Gratitude's chile relleno with red rice.

A Two-Million-Dollar Frog



This past weekend, I ventured from our 49-square miles to Freestone for a spa day. My friend and I had this getaway in the works for a long time. The spa (Osmosis) is the only one in the country that offers cedar-enzyme baths, and I’m a sucker for the out-of-the-ordinary. After 20 minutes of sitting in 130-degree fermenting wood, we each got a 75-minute massage in little pagodas situated near a serene meditation garden. Needless to say, we worked up an appetite (even after sharing a spectacular sticky bun from Wild Flour Bread beforehand).

More Than Just a Date Spot

If you ask me, lots of restaurants these days seem indistinguishable from each other. Interiors boasting chocolate hues, exposed brick walls, dark wood floors, marble-topped bars, vaulted ceilings and Edison lamps, with menus highlighting the ubiquitous small plates trend (that I thought was ending, but was wrong). You know what I’m talking about. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but sometimes a girl craves something more unique.

Game On


Aw, shucks.

My parents tell a legendary story (which we kids have all heard, by now, a half-dozen times) about going to a game supper one fall night in Vermont. There, curiosity piqued, they tried squirrel, bear, moose and deer, raccoon and grouse. They enjoyed everything, left the dinner full and happy, and then awoke in the middle of the night, stomachs rolling, sick. Was it the bear?

Make Food Not War

While on Lower Haight last night I stumbled upon a new restaurant called Baghdad Nights (682 Haight St., 415-861-6111) with elaborate, colorful signage and a flyer advertising belly dancing in the window. Turns out it’s a new (and as far as I can tell, SF’s only) Iraqi restaurant, staffed by Iraqi-Americans—each last one of them super-friendly and attentive.

Starry Eyed



Sara checking out the guide, fresh off the press.

Opening: Bin 38



Remember how rainy Friday night was? All I wanted to do was curl up with a cup of hot cocoa (like this one from Bittersweet) and have a Netflix night, but the Friends and Family opening party for Bin 38 was calling my name. I’m sure you’re thinking: As if SF needs another wine bar. But my motto is: The more, the merrier! Indeed, my spot in one of the nooks catching up with some friends over a Petit Syrah and Prosecco turned out to be the perfect escape from the bleak weather.


You Give Me Fever


It's that time of year...
Photo courtesy of Stan Grossfeld/Boston Globe

I’m quite certain that I’m the only person on our editorial staff who cares about baseball. My boss thinks I’m joking when I say I might have to move around my schedule in order to catch some of the upcoming Red Sox v. Rockies World Series. I know, I know, we’ve got a magazine to put out—but hello! Red Sox in the Series?! Where’s the nearest big screen?

Shanghai Surprise


I'll take the SDs over the XLBs at Shanghai House.
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