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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.



March 25-31, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Monday, March 31, 2008

After enjoying agretti raw in salads:

... steamed with lemon juice and salt, chopped in a crudos:

... pickled:

... and rolled into makis:

... we are now hoping that there is some to be found in the next Mariquita mystery box. This vegetable is picky about the company it can happily keep (sort of like sea beans) but this tangy marsh grass is toque-worthy.

This Thursday is another Mariquita Mystery Box day. Aziza Restaurant is where they fall off the turnip truck between 5-7 p.m. . Reserve before Wednesday at 6 a.m., bring $25 cash and you will be eating virtuously enough to compensate for all the chocolate sampling you can do at the upcoming San Francisco International Chocolate Salon on April 13th.

Mariquita Farms Mystery Box

April 3, 2008
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Aziza Restaurant
5800 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco International Chocolate Salon
April 13, 2008
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA



  Sunday, March 30, 2008

Today's Lexus Grand Tasting at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2008 seemed even busier than yesterday's. Saturday was seafood-centric while meat hogged the spotlight today.

Tom Colicchio's sirloin:

... was very nice, but there were no knives so most people found themselves popping the whole thing in their mouth and then walking around like a pufferfish for a couple of minutes.

Josiah Citrin of Melisse:

... made a wonderful veal loin with morels, Anson Mills polenta and parsley puree:

Douglas Keane of Cyrus had the most grazing-friendly chow. He greeted the crowds with mini gourgers:

... filled with "fondue" as they queued for his Thai marinated lobster and chilled cucumber soup:

Gary Danko had his crew working like a well-olive-oiled machine:

... as they assembled plates of roast bison loin, cioppolini onions and herb spaezle:

This mini entrée was a complementary grouping of robust flavors that called out for some red wine. Luckily there was no shortage of tooth darkening fluids.

We spotted Sabrina in the crowd and she directed us towards the Revana tasting. The 2004 Cabernet was a medium bodied, cherryriffic glass of liquid velvet.

Pastry chef, George Fritzsche, assembled a gorgeous selection of desserts as well as truffles and chocolates.

Sherry had a Yard planted with Spago chocolate cookie lollipops:

They looked innocent, but when you bit into them, their moist, chocolaty richness bloomed. This was a clever handheld dessert that gave a whimsical, youthful, chocolate hit.

As youthful, non-chocolate hits go, the pop music playing inside didn't coordinate with what our other senses were absorbing (but I understand why the organizers would want to use it to reinforce the party atmosphere.) On the other hand, the live band that played on the lawn performed tunes that fit like a glove.

Pebble Beach's summit of top toques and Bacchus backers attracted thousands of culinary thrill seekers:

... who all seemed sated.

First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2008

Pebble Beach, CA



  Saturday, March 29, 2008

First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine

1,000 pounds of Plugra butter was ordered for this weekend's First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine and I'm pretty sure we ate our share.

Some of the finest chefs from near and far made a pilgrimage to this Bruleeing Man on the coast.

I could have just set up camp when I saw that my beverage of choice was being poured.

Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Rose anyone?

Not only were there top notch wines, but the food was as imaginative as it was delicious.

Manresa pastry chef, Kendra Baker:

... made refreshing rhubarb and young coconut parfaits with puffed millet. We loved the play of textures, temperatures and flavors.

After saying hello to the Man of resa, David Kinch, we moved along the tasting to see Pim:

... who gave us her last two artisan chocolates – now that's generous.

We also bumped into Andrew Freeman, (who we met at Gastronomy by the Bay) while he was enjoying some Gastronomy by the Beach with his associate, Laiko Bahrs.

We chatted with Marcia Gagliardi and Daniel Scherotter:

... over Michael Ginor's Hudson Valley foie gras with fleur de sel, prosciutto-style duck breast with an pear and dried apricot chutney:

Other treats of note included Herbert Keller's tangy and light white gazpacho and vanilla oil shooters:

along with pastry chef Ben Spungin's wild hazelnut dacquoise with a chocolate ganache:

Top marks for presentation go to Silks for these gilded, Japanese curried squab, with foie gras, kudzu, dashi and pickled ginger foam:

There were also plenty of gnaw-parazzi:

... since the chef-lebrity star power present exceeded that of a souper nova.

When we checked out the display cars:

...at the Lexus sponsored grand tasting, we no longer wondered why so many of their models have roomy interiors – they are made for people who go to events that use 1,000 pounds of Plugra butter.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2008
Pebble Beach, CA



  Friday, March 28, 2008

L treated us to lunch today at Yank Sing:

It was our first visit to their Rincon Center location:

... which was bustling with office workers, families and tourists.

As we were making our way from a standing to sitting position, we gave off the scent of fresh blood that had carts circling around us like a bao and arrow attack was in progress. The dim-sumaliers cleverly lower plates towards your table as they turnip with cakes.

This gesture requires the diner to actively reject any ling (that they consider dumpable) mid-delivery. They seem to have Yanked this effective technique from science and psychology. It is an evolutionary disadvantage to interrupt the inertia of incoming nourishment while simultaneously generating a negation of an individual's vocation.

We managed to diminish sum of our guilt with a steamer full of soup dumplings:

... chased by wares of cartologists that mapped out as craveable pea sprout dumplings:

...perfectly cooked bass:

... asparagus, scallop dumplings:

... Chinese broccoli:

... and jin deui:

... (those sesame seed coated, fried, bean paste filled, hole-in-one golf balls.)

The pork filled, rice noodle roll could have been hotter, but now I'm just being picky.

The clear teapots alert staff to when it's time to turn over a new one.

We all deemed this a sum-ptuous feast (even though we now suffer from post sum-atic stress disorder.)

Yank Sing

Rincon Center
101 Spear St.
San Francisco, CA


From our Bunrab email, Susan writes about her trip to Cottage Eatery:


Thank you soooo much for bringing Cottage Eatery to my attention. After reading about your experience, we hopped over and had a delightful meal, served by friendly, knowledgeable folks in a comfortable environment. And the gnocchi were yummy. If you hadn't highlighted them we would have ordered more adventurous dishes. But I'd absolutely go back just for the gnocchi. What more can you ask for in a local restaurant?

Susan R.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Susan,

To gno gno gno Cottage Eateries cchi is to love it. Glad you had a good dinner.




  Thursday, March 27, 2008

Opera House Wine

Toast of the Town 2008 took over the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House:

... this evening to conduct an event that had more mouths moving:

... than a sing-along Messiah.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine's benefit for the San Francisco Food Bank attracted a lively crowd. We caught up with Amy, Lee and fellow hopping enthusiast, Marcia in this nicely staged production of gastronomic proportions.

There was a wonderful selection of beverages from a light and refreshing Prosecco di Conegliano to Pravda Vodka which they were shaking up with preserves:

...I guess vodka can now also be described as "jammy."

There was some serious grazing to be done on Campton Place's sashimi of spot prawns (which were spot on):

... next to a cup of apple and rocket gazpacho "air".

These tuna ceviche rectangles on-a-stick encased in a ponzu gelee with wasabi tobiko and a dot of aioli:

...were a tasty treat from Postrio.

Pres a Vi made some fabulous hamachi and poke 'itizers.

Straits wrapped oxtail rendang and polenta:

... in a banana leaf (which we went bananas for.)

Pica Pica made mini stuffed arepas.

Café Gibraltar served chickpeas and a lamb and beef tajine over house rolled couscous.

I enjoyed Ducca's hamachi crudo:

... with Venetian sweet and sour sauce so much that I had to have one with each of the finishing salts.

The wine and food were both enthusiast-worthy:

... without an Opera Dog in sight.

We have visited this opera house on many occasions, but this is the only time that we didn't let out a single yawn.

Toast of the Town 2008
San Francisco War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco, CA



  Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Café M took over the sweet spot left by the Sugar Bowl Restaurant. Despite its 4th Street address, it's set so far back that it seems like it's technically 5th Street.

I requested my breakfast combo ($9.95):

... with soft scrambled eggs and extra crisp bacon. When my food was delivered it was announced as "bacon extra crisp, eggs soft" so it was clear that they didn’t forget, but sadly, the eggs were very firm (although not hard enough to break a tooth.), but this was not a "Café wrought M tour."

I liked the sour tang from the buckwheat flour in the blueberry pancakes:

... topped with pecan butter. I washed these dotted mosaics down with a mug of Peets coffee.

The staff was friendly and efficient in this sunny, new café:

...but Bette's Oceanview Diner (which is just around the corner) remains my favorite. However, I could see dropping by Café M again if I was in a hurry and Bette's had a long waiting list.

Café M
1799 4th St.
Berkeley, CA



  Tuesday, March 25, 2008

R&G Lounge was the setting:

... of our crushed-Asian meal as we smashed the exoskeleton of this battered, deep fried, salt pepper crab ($39.50):

... and devoured its sweet, tender flesh. Forget tuna, this is the real (fried) chicken of the sea with its crispy, golden batter with garlic and chopped peppers. There is no way to eat this without a mess so if you don't want a ring of collateral cholesterol damage surrounding your crabby ground zero, you might want to go with the duck (and cover.)

R&G Lounge
631 Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA


Empty calendar? Here are some interesting upcoming events on the Bunrab radar:

This Thursday is Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Toast of the Town at the War Memorial Opera House.
Some of our favorite local eateries and drinkeries will be on hand.

The First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine event is March 27th- 30th
Some serious cheffy talent will be slingin', while wine enthusiasts are sluggin' and golfers slicin'.

April 13th is the 2nd Annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon. Check out our visit to last year's event. This year Charles Chocolates, Coco-luxe, Poco Dolce and XOX Truffles are just a few local faves who will be sampling their pharmaceutical grade mood enhancers from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. at Fort Mason

Low on Dough?
If you are feeling a little cash poor but still want to go out for a fun evening, Ask a Scientist (our favorite free SF event) is coming up on Tuesday April 1st at 7 p.m. at the Axis Café. The topic will be Tornado research. Go early unless you want to be sucked up into a chairless vortex.


From our Bunrab email, Morton writes:


I'm sorry to say that you did *not* catch Bakesale Betty on an off day. The fried chicken sandwich has gone seriously downhill over the past year. The last three sandwiches I got there were bone dry, and I've spoken to countless former BB fanatics who agree that there has been a serious slip in quality. Next time you're in the East Bay and craving fried chicken, head to 900 Grayson and order the Demon Lover.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Morton,

I am bummed that our BB 'wiches weren't a one time fowl-up.

Thanks for the Grayson tip, I would order that fried chicken and waffle combo based on the name alone -Demon Lover it is.


Thanks to all of the Bunrab readers who have been sending comments. It's great to hear about all your local faves and we're sorry that we can't respond to every note – but we appreciate them.





back to last week - March 17-24, 2008



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