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Fishy Penance

I am not an advocate of a low-carb diet—or any diet for that matter. But let’s face facts. Sometimes—like for instance after a week in Philly spent stuffing your face with cheese steak, pizza and homemade ravioli, and with the holiday binge fast approaching—it pays to slow down a little.

Just Like Us

I’ll admit that one of my guilty pleasures is reading bad celebrity magazines. I usually restrict my reading to airplanes and at the dentist’s office (where no magazine, no matter how trashy, will distract me from my fate). But I’ve never really understood Us Weekly’s “Just Like Us” bit, where they catch celebs jogging, say, or buying toothpaste, then slug it with “Stars! They’re Just Like Us!” Yeah, just like us, save for the million-dollar paychecks, throngs of paparazzi and houses in Beverly Hills. Well, like somebody’s mother once said, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. And, apparently, like Crest.

Big-Time Chef Goes South



Chef Luke Mangam at South, the day before its big opening party.

Running with the Fishermen



I just got back from a week’s vacation in Cartagena, where fresh-picked fruit and just-caught fish are always at your fingertips.



The eating was good, which is one reason why I stepped out to run a few miles on the beach every other day, despite the three-digit temperatures. During these morning runs, I’d exchange thumbs up with all the fishermen pulling in what looked like very heavy nets. With such abundance from the sea, it’s no surprise that breakfast was my only fish-free meal.

Learning to Let Go


Her name was Lolo, she was a showgirl

Cal-Mex Hits Maine

I’m always reminded that some of the best things are the most unexpected. Happy accidents, I think they're are called, and they seem to occur most just when you stop looking. I spent last week touring around the great state of Maine, visiting farmers and checking out local restaurants (did you miss me?) and in the process was reminded of the greatness of serendipity.

Shabu-Shabu Elimidate


There's lots to throw into the soup at Mums.

No one told me not to go on a date to Mums in Japantown, now part of the new Hotel Tomo, for shabu-shabu. So I'm telling you now: Don't go on a date to Mums for shabu-shabu.

Sicilian on Fillmore

My list of restaurants to try is as long as I am tall, and it’s elaborately broken down into more specific categories: just opened, classics I’ve never been to, classics to repeat, etc. To my frustration, the list grows longer and longer, even though it feels like I’m an eating-out machine.

Dinner with My Brother

My brother swept into town the other day for dinner. He lives on the East Coast and was in Sacramento on business, so he drove over to SF to visit. Actually, it was the first time he’s come over since I moved here just about nine years ago. Needless to say, I was excited—if a bit daunted—by how to show off my adopted city.


Citizen Cake Connections

Sanchia’s one of my best friends in the city. As luck would have it, she’s married to Sean Forsha, the second-in-command under executive chef Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake (and soon Orson). And as if I could get any luckier, Sanchia invited me to dine with her at the newly remodeled Citizen Cake last Tuesday.


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