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When Life Gives you Limón's

Every once in a while I think about moving out of the Mission. Someplace quieter, I think, someplace with fewer crazies. But then I come up out of the BART station on 24th Street after work and the smell of grilled meat hits my nose and I think, nah. I can’t leave. Good things just keep happening in the Mission.

Dining in the Dark

Take away one sense and the others are heightened—that's what they say, right? You can test that theory in spades at Dining in the Dark, a program that launched in Europe and has now made its way to L.A., San Diego and recently, SF. The experiment takes place in Crimson Lounge, the downstairs private-event space of Indigo restaurant in Hayes Valley, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.


New Restaurant: Russell Jackson's Lafitte


Cutting to the chase: Russell Jackson tells 7x7
about his new restaurant, Lafitte.
Photograph by John Benson

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: Russell Jackson is an intense guy, no shrinking violet. Though he’s got chops from some notable restaurants (including the now-defunct Russell’s in Los Angeles) the last few years he has been flying under the radar, operating a little underground supper club called Subculture Dining, all the while looking for a San Francisco space for a restaurant of his own.

Kaiseki at Sanraku

I’ve been going to Sanraku for a while now. It’s a solid choice when you’re craving sushi and the Sutter Street location happens to be near our office (they also have one in the Metreon, which makes a great pre-flick dinner). The food there is solid, always really nice. Above average certainly, but nothing’s ever taken my breath away.

Joel Huff on the move

It’s hard to keep up, that’s for sure. The perennial San Francisco chef-shuffle is a source of both amusement and aggravation for me, keeping me perpetually on my toes. Who, after all, wants to be the last to know?  So it’s always nice when a bit of information lands in my lap, as was the case today. My editorial assistant had just finished fact-checking a bunch of our restaurant listings (like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, this is a never-ending task—you complete it, only to begin again) and dropped the sheaf of papers on my desk, noting casually, “Oh, by the way, Joel Huff is leaving Silks. But you knew that, right?” Uh…no!


Ramen Memories

There are ups and downs to ultimate eating experiences. The up is in the moment. The down is when you start to compare every similar dish to that moment.

Romantic Dining: A Bar For Two

People are always asking me for restaurant suggestions, and more often than not, it’s for a romantic occasion. Funny thing is, I rarely recommend what I consider date-worthy myself. Instead, my mind goes to something a bit more traditional: a white tablecloth, a candle, a quiet, back table for two—something a little Lady and the Tramp (you know, the spaghetti kiss and all).

But if you really want to know what I find romantic? The bar.

A Pub's Life

Change, as we all know, is an inevitable part of growing up. It’s actually one of the greatest, hardest things about growing up, truth be told. So I guess it makes sense that some of the regulars at Magnolia Pub and Brewery—which closed at the end of the May for a complete face-lift and a rebirth as Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery—are having a hard time with the transformation. As owner (and all-around nice guy) Dave McLean wrote in his blog chronicling the construction, “I know some of you are sad and miss some or all of the "old" Magnolia.  I understand and I miss it, too.  Right now, it's all a little strange, honestly, after ten years.

New Restaurants and Blind Dates


The other night I was headed to a new restaurant, Anchor & Hope (to read a Q and A with co-owner and all-around-nice-guy Doug Washington, click here), and I mentioned to our Executive Editor that I was almost hoping that I wouldn’t like it (I did...but more on that in another post). It’s not that I relish being a crank (at least, not all the time) but just that loving all these restaurants in San Francisco can be debilitating.


Universal Cafe, one of my local favorites.

Q & A with Absinthe's Jeff Hollinger


Jeff Hollinger in action.
Photo courtesy of Frankie Frankeny.
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