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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.


Announcing the latest addictive dish, coming soon to a restaurant near you


Roman-style fried artichokes, will you marry me?

Pauline’s, Wine and Art

Last Friday, my friend Arnold and I practically used up all of our minutes on the phone trying to decide where to eat dinner. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money, or get dressed up, and we wanted something yummy and relatively healthy, so we agreed on Pauline’s Pizza—their salads and pizza toppings are the freshest around, the dough for the thin-crust pizza is handmade daily and their wines are a steal.


These obviously aren't from Pauline's—I forgot my camera

Jonesing for Comfort

When I got word there was a new comfort-food restaurant in the Marina called Jones, I paused, because back in Philly, where I used to review restaurants, there was a comfort-food spot by über-successful restauranteur Stephen Starr called Jones. Turns out this Jones is not related to that Jones (it’s a common enough name, after all); it’s actually a re-do of the Marina Sports Bar & Grill owned by One Industry Group, the guys behind Mas Sake, Impala and Suite One8One.

Vacation Hangover

As hangovers go, it’s my opinion that the worst kind is not from Champagne or tequila, but rather from vacation. Even if you enjoy your everyday life and your work is your passion, the transition from all things new and exciting back to the same old (albeit good) thing takes some adjustment.

Like an alcohol-related hangover, the best cure is the hair of the dog—in this case, more traveling. Since most of us can’t ask our bosses for time off right after returning, the next best alternative is to treat yourself to your favorite vacation-like activities in your own hometown. The best thing about doing this is that you know all the good spots to hit.

A Shower and a Beer

After the El Tesoro tequila anniversary party and the Family Winemakers tasting, my poor liver was more than ready for some serious detox; but the beer-drinking gods, however, had different plans.


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