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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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December 24-31, 2009


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  Thursday, December 31, 2009

Opa time for ‘09

Greek food filled our Platos at a party at N&K’s. We celebrated with our pals over smashing platters of Spanakopita, Tzatziki and braised lamb with eggplant:

... while our thirst for knowledge was quenched with Ouzo which allowed us to philosophize that the ringing in and out was simply ringing.




  Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We were drawn to the Golden Orb:

... where we bit into spheres of planet and animal filled piroshki. ($3.75 each)

We cycled though their selection of deep fried dough dirigibles and the ones that we’d circle back for were the ground beef pocket (sort of a non-sloppy Joseph) and the spinach parmesan pillow. The sausage and pepper pouch was good, but not a reorder, while the chicken pot pie wasn’t our thing. All of these rounds had a pleasantly chewy crust and hot cores to eclipse today’s chill.

A small counter allows four customers to perch:

... with their shkis while takeaway orders are Russian out the door at this comradery cubby.

The Golden Orb
811 4th St.
San Rafael, CA



  Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An amuse of mahi mahi ceviche:

... welcomed us at eVe, a recently opened, avant garden of eating by Chefs Christopher and Veronica Laramie.

Their chic, 28 seat dining room:

... allows diners a view of the compact cooking area where dishes from the 9 item menu are prepared.

Three starters, mains and afters allow for diners to design their own experience with each course priced at eleven dollars. Our 3 course meals ($33.00 each) began with a sea urchin risotto:

... with thin slices of black radish, candied kumquats and bay scallops with a sprinkle of togarashi and smoked salt. This alluring approach to uni-fying fruits and mer competed for our attention with a bowl of fragrant celery root soup poured over salsify chips, cranberry puree, bits of spicy chorizo with a cloud of bay leaf foam. This rich liquified shoot hit the targeted spot.

Fresh potato rolls:

...arrived hot with whipped, salted butter. These buns were further proof of the devotion of the chefs to their cuisine.

C-food followed in the form of cod with cauliflower, curry and chili:

This perfectly cooked peppery fish was bookended by bananas with caramelized cloaks.

Short ribs:

... were cooked sous vide while the farro was prepared in the manner of a risotto in this carnivorous composition of cabbage, parsnips and prune fortified by 5 spice.

A tip of the syringe was given to molecular gastronomy in a tropical pudding:

A faux quail egg yolk released its fruity filling into this mango, pineapple, coconut, rice and spice dessert. I could have devoured a ream of the non-acid free, paper-thin sheets of dehydrated pineapple.

Chocolate ganache:

... was dotted with translucent peanuts (that reminded us of the boiled, Hawaiian version) as well as toasted legumes. Chocolate peanut butter ice cream planted in chocolate soil and dates made us nutty for this cocoa creation.

House made chocolates and chocolate muffins:

... for tomorrow’s breakfast were nice finishing touches.

The Chefs Laramie are creating tempting cuisine at their new venture. Their passion makes it apparent that they are adamant about eVe.

eVe Restaurant

1960 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA



  Monday, December 28, 2009

The pear element of Square One’s Botanical vodka was boosted by the Averna in the Botanical Blossom ($11.00) at Picco. Chubby went with one of their tangy margaritas ($10.00) as we cased out the shared plates circulating in the busy dining room.

We’ve had many shades of yellowtail at Picco but this evening’s hamachi ($12.95):

... with yuzu, pepper, basil seeds and olive oil was such a perfect buttery-fleshed bite of acid kissed, oiled up, seedy splendor that it qualifies as required eating.

The Marin Monday menu at Picco was pumped up with Tomales Bay Mussels ($13.95):

... this licorice-scented bowl of valves turned on the spigot of olive oil, smoked paprika, black garlic, tomato and fennel with a punch of pepper. We Van Dammed our kick ass dinner with mussels and Brussels. Browned Brussels spouts ($6.95):

... with crispy pancetta and kimchi was a new one on us. This cabbage on cabbage heat was a perfect patching of Korean and Italian in this head-onistic Thai basil boxing match that was a blow to the mind.

A bubbling gratin of cauliflower ($8.95):

... with a Cheddary magma of caramelized onions had the perfect amount of surface area to lend browned bits to each bite of this chive-showered, cheese crusted, ruptureous, flower bed.

Picco’s consistently commendable chow and excellent elixirs keep make it our go-to spot in Marin.

Picco Restaurant
320 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA




  Sunday, December 27, 2009

It wasn’t exactly shocking that we preferred the Hangar One Chipotle vodka spiked bloody mary ($12.00) to the classic version ($8.00):

... at the Tipsy Pig.

Both Mason jarred us with their celery salt circled, double barreled olive-allied hit on the sauce, but the punch of the ‘potle was a chipper kickoff to our meal.

The chicken sandwich ($12.00):

... with tomato and blue cheese dressing was augmocadoed with bacon. This ciabatta bundled bird was flavorful beside a nest of fries, but the sweet potato spud sticks were a superior selection with their crisp, sweet, and salty irresistibility.

There are few dishes that do not benefit from the addition of a fried egg. An insecure cook can top just about any dish with a fried egg or bacon to anabolic steroid it past the qualifying round. Fortunately, the Tipsy burger ($12.00 plus $2.00 ova-charge):

... would have been perfectly good without this sunny sidekick, but the gilding goo was still a welcome eggcessory. The meat was perfectly cooked with a good patty to brioche ratio.

After our pub grub, we took a brisk walk to the Presidio to check out the Walt Disney Family Museum.

We abided by their no photo policy in this waltz through the history of a man who brought life to the entertainment industry.

Timed entry allowed a pleasant perusal of each gallery (all of which represented a period of change) and we were impressed that they even touched upon the adversity of the 1940’s Disney strike and his testimony to the House Un-American activities committee.

The use of video, audio and the overall arrangement of this exhibit was impressive making this presidio museum worth a visit.

The Walt Disney Family Museum
Tickets - $20 adult, $12.50 children
104 Montgomery St.
The Presidio
San Francisco, CA

The Tipsy Pig
2231 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, December 26, 2009

We chose a seat far away from a customer bitterly arguing into his handsfree headset at his makeshift office/table in Cafe Trio:

... where he lapsquatted his computer.

In addition to my low tolerance to cell yell, another of my many character flaws is that I am allergic to aggressive friendliness before caffeine, alcohol or a combination of the two. I'm talking about good-hearted, touchy-smiley-cuteness that I probably shouldn't discourage (even though I find this to be my personal kryptonite). I realize that this puts me in the baby harp seal clubbing club, but hey, you can't pick what you like...

The knowledgeable and efficient waitress fell into this category but kept me from exposing my mental imbalance by filling our mugs with Mr. Espresso French Roast to accompany my Shakshuka ($9.50):

This homey combo of sauteed onions, peppers and tomatoes was topped with poached eggs and accompanied by well seasoned home fries, sliced fruit and toast from Artisan bakery bread.

Chubby went with the sumac-side up eggs in the Mediterranean breakfast ($8.50):

He requested ham (which bordered on Canadian). This also came with spuds and fruit.

Both breakfasts were decent enough to interest us in their upcoming Moroccan dinner service which begins on December 29th.

This cafe was taken on and off the market this month, so I guess they are making a go of this casual, strip mall food stop.

Cafe Trio
363 3rd St.
San Rafael, CA




  Friday, December 25, 2009

Our seafood extravaganza began with an appetizer that we intend to make on a regular basis. 4505 Chicharrones topped with Cowgirl Creamery creme fraiche and Tsar Nicoulai caviar ...washed down with Champagne. Crackling sounds came off these pork skins when we popped the dairy down on our roe boats.

Roe Boats

2 bags 4505 Chicharrones
6 oz. creme fraiche
2 oz. caviar

Spread a bag of Chicharrones on a serving plate.

Scoop the creme fraiche into a ziplock bag and cut off a little tip from the corner of the bag.

Squeeze a zig zag of half of the creme friache over the chicharrones.

Dot the arrangement with half of the caviar. Eat the first platter washed down with half of your Champagne.

Repeat with the second bag and the rest of the ingredients to keep the everything tasting crisp and fresh.

serves 4-6

Merry XMas!



  Thursday, December 24, 2009

This is the time of year that Chinese dumplings become Jew dishes servings for Christmas non-thusiasts and sum opt-dim-um examples can be found at Koi Palace.

Warm hospitality isn’t on the menu as visitors are issued numbers to track their wait on a monitor:

... beside aquariums of creatures that await their doom:

After a mere 11 minute delay, we sat down to Shanghai:

... shrimp, taro:


... and shiu mai:

... dumplings ($2.80 - $4.50) which were all flavorful and satisfying.

The salt pepper squid ($5.50):

... was pile of bland packing peanuts that qualify as a must miss while the Chinese broccoli ($6.90):

... was a good, crisp-tender version of this oyster-sauced standard.

You won’t get the royal treatment in this vast eatery:

... but you will get good, inexpensive chow.

Koi Palace

Serramonte Plaza
365 Gellert Blvd.
Daly City, CA










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