It's an all too familiar sounding story. Poleng Lounge chef Tim Luym left the world of San Francisco restaurants last year when his restaurant shuttered due to the down economy. A few months later, Luym opened a personal project, Attic, serving Asian street food in San Mateo. Naturally, his next venture was a food truck off-shoot called WOW, serving Filipino street food. A little over a year after Poleng closed, Luym resurfaced at San Francisco's coolest street-food party Off the Grid Fort Mason with the WOW silog truck, melding Filipino and Mexican flavors.
I first heard about cod sperm, and how it's an edible delicacy for the "jet set," back in December. Socialite wrangler Gilt City threw an upper crust mingle fest at Benu. Chef Corey Lee decided to serve a liquified version of cod sperm in shot glasses as a passed appetizer. The well-to-dos knocked it back and liked it with reckless abandon (even though most of them didn't know what they were sipping). And the Chronicle's Beth Spotswood wrote about the affair and her server's insistence that "it's like a thing. It's the male version of caviar."
Among chefs, Dominique Crenn is a rarity. She can grunt through a grueling Iron Chef America competition, win it, and then charm Elle magazine into touting her cool-girl style in the midst of “frumptopia San Francisco.” Anyone who might doubt the juxtaposition of her lithe, fashion-forward frame with her culinary acclaim will have a hard time arguing with the accolades she received during her three years at the head of Luce, the high-end restaurant located in SF’s Intercontinental Hotel. In 2008, Esquire dubbed her chef of the year and the Michelin Guide awarded her a star two years in a row.
A local posse of Bay Area restaurants are leaping to action to help Japan recover from Friday's earthquake, tsunami and devastating after effects. Twenty-seat La Lengua sushi spot, Ichi Sushi, was among the first to rally for the cause this past weekend, raising $550 for American Red Cross over the course of two nights. Now, a look at other San Francisco restaurants where you can help out by dining out.
Digest it for a second: "Gluten-free." Not the most appetizing of terms now, is it? But now diners with celiac disease and/or the related gluten-free diet restrictions are multiplying faster than active yeast. And it's in every restaurant owner's best interest -- be it Michael Mina or Ike Shehadeh -- to consider catering to the gluten-free lifestyle.
Around summertime last year, three local restaurant and nightclub industry vets: Andy Wasserman (Otis Lounge), Hugo Gamboa (Mas Sake) and Adam Snyder (Taverna Aventine, The Ambassador), started working on an "English Tavern with an old world feel and a rock n' roll edge" for the shuttered Left at Albuquerque digs in Cow Hollow. For the life of them, they couldn't come up with a name. After months of brainstorms and "friendly" nudges from their publicist, the gents almost used the "Tar and Feathers" moniker that graced the location back in the 70s when it was a bar and live music venue. Then Wasserman threw out The Brixton, a shortened version of famous London rock venue, The Brixton Academy; and the tavern's fate was sealed.
Ask the average San Franciscan, “What’s an izakaya?” and bet on a blank stare as your response. The word is about as common as “bar” in Japan, but we’re just starting to crack the surface of the notion around here. In its original form, an izakaya is built around alcohol, consumed ad nauseum, and flanked with the necessary protein-heavy small plates to keep peace. Sure there’s sashimi, but skewered meats are the pulse-quickener: hearts, intestines and even chicken feet often steal the show. The protein-heavy barrage ends with a judicious rice bomb of onigiri. Oyaji and Izakaya Sozai have done this forever in the Richmond. And with the past year’s advent of Berkeley’s Ippuku and the Mission’s Nombe, I’d dare say izakayas are a trend.
Attention all you San Franciscans who stood around waiting for snowflakes to fall from the sky this weekend past. Snow is trending hard at molecular-minded spots like Commis in Oakland and Sons & Daughters in Nob Hill. And there’s a 100 percent chance of snowfall on Fillmore Street this week—albeit from a fancy Swiss Pacojet processing machine at Dominique Crenn's new Atelier Crenn.
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