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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

the BUNRAB blog spot

Do you need to answer back? You can send me comments if you want to.

If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.



December 1-8, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Monday, December 8, 2008

I always feel like I have vomited in my mouth when I have my first spoonful of sour soups with a tomato laced acidity. This isn’t a dis. It’s just what comes to mind when I get that acidic sensation with a warm liquid hitting the back of my throat. I guess that’s why I don’t find myself tossing out an order for these with any regularity.

This is not meant to demean the pot of Po Tak ($10.95):

... that we ordered at Yukol Place:

... for dinner this evening. This chili-spiced seafood soup had generous qualities of scallop, mussels and squid with onions, mushrooms and Thai basil. We appreciated its warming properties after coming in from the cold.

The Pad Kee Maou ($8.95):

... had thick, chewy, rice noodles sauteed with shrimp, Chinese broccoli, egg, chicken and Thai basil. This was good, but could have used a spicy kick (which I bet they would accommodate if requested.)

We liked the friendly and efficient service at this cheap and cheerful Thai eatery with a serious commitment to menu ornamentation.

Yukol Place Thai Cuisine
2380 Lombard St.
San Francisco, CA



  Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today’s McEvoy Ranch Open House:

...had a great soundtrack:

... as we made tracks through their vin/orch-yard.

Head gardener, Margaret Koski-Kent and her staff have branched out into winemaking. We hope to try their first Pinot next year. The first bottlings will use grapes sourced from other growers before they get to their own pressing matters.

Oyster shells:

... are used as a calcium supplement when ground into the soil. Their enriched fruit makes a short trip to their on site processing plant:

Gigantic stone wheels do the crushing before the oil is extracted, but unlike the Willy Wonka tour, there were no ill behaved children to demonstrate any pit-ential hazards.

But the highlight of the afternoon wasn’t the music, scenery:

... or delicious snacks:

... it was their lagomorphian tribute:

You can find McEvoy products at the San Francisco Ferry Building Shop as well as fancy chow stores.

McEvoy Ranch

Shop #16
Ferry Plaza
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, December 6, 2008

I got Rose’s Cafe’s “soft scrambled eggs” ($9.00):

... which were firmer than I imagined, but still very good. The spinach Suessified this prosciutto veiled, open faced, Sam-I-am-wich. If you would not like them here or there, this isn’t the dish for you, but I would eat these green eggs and ham anywhere.

Poached eggs provided a yolky sauce for the polenta ($13.00):

... which was further enriched with a tasty combo of chicken sausage and tomato sauce. This nicely seasoned, warming bowl of breakfast was mush-tastic

Rose’s Cafe:

... is the sister restaurant of Rose Pistola (who also have their SF Ferry Building Farmer’s Market open air kitchen cooking up chow every Saturday) where you can eat your eggs and ham not in a house.

Rose’s Cafe

2298 Union
San Francisco, CA



  Friday, December 5, 2008

We went back to Mission Beach Cafe to get the burger that a neighboring table enjoyed when we stopped by last week. Although this Prather Ranch patty ($13.50):

... with onion marmalade, mayo and lettuce was good, the white cheddar wasn’t melty like its predecessor’s and the fries were on the limp side (unlike the ones that were crunched through by the couple last week.)

I would have changed the menu listing of “pork stew” ($7.00):

... to read “kale soup”. This dino kale-dominant dish was warming and good, but not the thick, meatier mixture that I had envisioned from it’s pigticular name.

A slice of chocolate pecan pie ($6.50):

... had the candy-like quality expected of these nutty wedges with a cocoa kick contained in a flaky crust. It was good, but it didn’t knock their pear sour cherry pie out of the lead position.

The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and efficient and we like this cozy corner pocket which is just as welcoming for a snack as for a full on meal.

Mission Beach Cafe

198 Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA


From today’s Bunrab email, Kate writes about the apeeling nature of both bananas at Sol Food Restaurant:


about sol food...you can pick one of each plantain if you can not decide. i always get one of each...eat the garlicky with my meal, and eat the sweet for dessert with a little bit of the hot sauce on top...yum!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Kate,

It never occurred to us to split up the bunch, but now we’ll have to tally our bananas differently.

Thanks for the tip!




  Thursday, December 4, 2008

For years, whenever a discussion with our pal D. turned to food, he would rave about Hana. This innocent looking strip mall eatery:

... had to live up to more hype than a Blu-Ray-Lebron-Star Wars-iPhone-Segway device.

D. made sure that our visit was on a night when Chef/Owner Ken Tominaga:

... (who splits his time between this restaurant and Go Fish in St. Helena) would be wielding his knife.

We savored Kumamoto oysters:

... monkfish liver:

... tuna roll:

... egg yolk sauced amberjack sashimi with salmon roe:

... grilled butterfish with daikon and soy salt:

... fluke, wild hamachi, octopus, aji, house cured sake:

... toro:

... from 2 parts of the tuna, Fort Bragg uni with ika:

... ebi:

... sansho pepper dusted seared foie gras over rice:

... salmon skin handroll with pickled vegetables, salmon roe and shaved bonito:

... and yuzu sorbet:

... washed down with Japanese businessman quantities of Wakatake Daiginjo sake:

Our neighbors at the sushi counter asked about our omakase as they watched the parade of pristine protein that lived up to D’s delicious descriptions.

Hana Japanese Restaurant

101 Golf Course Drive
Rohnert Park, CA


From our Bunrab email, Aaron writes:

Hey Gutenburg,

Why is it that Chubby seems to always make the "superior selection?"


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Aaron,

I consulted with my constant dining partner and we decided that he has more success because he gravitates towards the pork with his fork and I over-think my options.

Hedonism trumps pragmatism when it comes to ordering.



Mike writes about our Sol Food food:


At Sol Food, what was the brown stuff next to the cup of black beans and the chicken, that was sort of on top of the rice on the Arroz con Picadillo plate? That whole plate was sure tasty looking but I want to know the identity of the mystery substance. The plate looks like a mix of these two items on their menu. arroz con picadillo 9.95 seasoned ground beef over rice. served with beans, fresh avocado, fried plantain and organic greens. rice and chicken cooked together. served with beans, fried plantain, fresh avocado and organic greens.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Mike,

At 12 o’clock is the bowl of black beans and going clockwise, there is a hunk of avocado peeking out before the ground beef with olives over rice, the round flat things are actually the smooshed, fried plantains (impersonating chicken) and then there is a heap of salad.

All of the combo plates at Sol Food come with a choice of 2 plantain plans - sweet fried yellow ones or green smooshed, garlicy fried discs. The most important decision a Sol Food customer has to make is which way they want to go with their banana.




  Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I sent my seared chicken ($13.00) back to the kitchen:

Mistakes happen, and it’s easy to figure out who understands the hospitality industry by how these issues are handled. The chef graciously came out to our table with a panzanella (on the house):

... while the new bird was cooking.

We shared a salumi plate ($7.00):

... of Fra’ Mani’s sopressata, La Quercia prosciutto, and house cured coppa which we savored with our wine at our table by the toasty fireplace.

My crispy skinned, mini chicken:

... migrated back on a bed of shaved fennel salad with a yolky dandruff of modified gremolata. My “chicken tartare” joke met with a blank stare from the server, but to be fair, it wasn’t funny.

The bird was good with a moist (cooked) interior but Chubby made the superior selection of the pork panini ($9.00):

This braised pigwich had a crisp bread shell spread with broccoli pesto and filled with fennel and melty mozzarella. This savory sandwich was envy inducing.

Piccolo Teatro took the place of Patterson’s Pub and although you can still enjoy a Bridgeway burger here (like in the Patterson days) they now stage it on a plate for you with an added sur-loin charge.

Another addition of a little theatrical flare is the dramatically lit H2Ovation station:

We fortified ourselves with a couple pots of delicious Equator coffee before prying ourselves away from the fire and hitting the chilly Sausalito streets.

Piccolo Teatro
739 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA



  Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pres-ing the Flesh

We caught up with some friends:

... at a reception in the back dining room at Pres a Vi.

Wine and passed hors d’oeuvres of duck buns:

... tartare balls:

... flatbreads, lumpia and beef skewers:

... filled our gobs as we gabbed.

There was no trace of any garnish malfunction at this social snack stop staffed by friendly feeders.

Pres a Vi

1 Letterman Dr.
Building D, Suite 150
San Francisco, CA



  Monday, December 1, 2008

We passed up our standard order at Sol Food Restaurant:

...for the specials of Arroz con Picadillo ($9.95):

...and a veggie stew ($8.95):

Both were satisfying, homey platters with rice, salad, beans and plantains. We gave the ground beef with olives a shower of their vinegar pepper sauce and mixed in some of the black beans which we scooped up with flattened, fried, banana discs.

The beef was good, but the real hit was the eggplant, zuke, mushroom, olive and onion stew. This tomato-based mixture didn’t taste as though it had been resentfully constructed as an obligatory option for non-face-eaters. Too bad this dish isn’t on their daily menu. Sweet plantains and pinto beans spackled in our remaining stomach room.

It’s often easier to get a seat here than at their smaller place up the block, but the 4th Street location has the added feature of staying open ‘til 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Sol Food

901 Lincoln Ave.
San Rafael, CA




back to last week - November 23-30, 2008



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