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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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June 1-10, 2010


go to next week's blogs


  Thursday, June 10, 2010

Char siu BBQ wok-fired pork ribs ($14.95):

... had no trace of smoke or crispy bits under a lacquer of sweet, sticky sauce. It came with rice that had no adhesive properties, rendering them redundant for this kind of chow. But it shouldn't be surprising since the Elephant Bar:

... is the Cheesecake Factory with more Asian Food. I hadn't been here before, but now, I will never forget.

The Elephant Bar Restaurant

various locations




Mark your Calendar

Chefs from SPQR, Manresa, and Chez TJ will be among the toqued up talent at the StarChefs Rising Stars Revue coming to Ghiradelli Square on Wednesday.

Ravioli doppio of pork and pea and bone marrow sfomatino with smoked bacon and onions will be among the tastes at this celebration of culinary convergence.

Check out the full constellation of chefs here.

Rising Stars Revue
Wednesday, June 16
7:30-10 p.m
tickets $95 GA, $150 VIP (which includes a pre-event reception)




  Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My lunchtime visit to Sumika was spearheaded by a desire for skewers:

... but I had to stick with other selections since the kushiyaki are only pierce-ceptable during dinner.

A Karaage"lunch meal" ($8.00):

... began with standard issue miso soup, tsukemono and one of those bowls of salad that Japanese restaurants dispense. Nuggety fried chicken had a crisp crust and moist middle to undermine my determination as a skewer pursuer.

Even though I didn't get a bunch of punctured protein, my cheap and cheerful chow was worth sticking up for.


236 Central Plaza
Los Altos, CA




  Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jardiniere Sommelier, Eugenio Jardim got us in the World Cup spirit with this evening's tasting and discussion of South African wines.

We had tasted some of this region's offerings previously (without finding anything we were bananas about) so we were under the misguided impression that this wasn't the coastest with the mostest.

Mr. Jardim kicked us off with a crisp 2009 Mulderbosh Chenin Blanc:

... as he passed us from the16th century initiation of vinification, through phylloxera, WW1 and Apartheid to present day production.

The chef sent out food pairings for what turned out to be wonderful wines.

The 2005 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay was a Meyer lemon licked, apple ation fascination. while a 2008 The Chocolate Block was a fig finessed, Rhone varietal blend that scored a goal with skewers of lamb belly.

Eugenio tackled this topic with the passion of a breakaway sommelier. If it weren't for him, we would have perpetually penalized these virtuous vins by pigeonholing them with Pinotage.

If you are curious about the wines of this country, you can check out a special South African dinner on June 14th. Jardiniere is preparing grilled lamb with white polenta and apricot chutney to go with the Chocolate Block Syrah blend that we savored this evening. This three course prix fixe meal is $45 including wine pairings. Check out the full menu here.

300 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA



  Monday, June 7, 2010

Our yen for sushi
sent us to the yin and yang "69" in San Anselmo.

This neighborhood nigiri nest serves up the standards as well as screwy stuff like their "Explosion Roll" ($11.00):

... filled with hamachi, scallop and jalapeno peppers. A cloud of fried onions was detonated over this wacky wind up. The heat extinguished any delicate flavors that the fish may have had so I wouldn't light this fuse again.

The tobiko-topped "Super Nova Roll" ($11.00):

... filled our black holes with eel, albacore, avocado, cukes, garlic ponzu and sliced green onions.

We agreed that the order not to 86 at 69 is the omakase sashimi plate ($32.00):

Grated wasabi (not the rehydrated powder) set off a platter of bonito, young yellowtail, big eye, grouper, red snapper and barracuda. This selection of sensational seafood had our number.

Sushi 69

69 Center Blvd.
San Anselmo, CA




There has been a wave of interesting restaurant openings in Marin and one we are eagerly anticipating is the Plate Shop in Sausalito.

This nautically themed noshateria will be helmed by former Aqua Chef Kim Alter and GM Matt Kahn. They will set sail in late July with an artisanal spirit based cocktail program, a dessert menu concocted in collaboration with Chef Deanie Fox (of Manresa) and an affordable, interesting menu with items such as uni and fluke augmented cucumber carpaccio with shiso.

Between baking bread, churning butter and growing vegetables (in beds outside their kitchen), Chef Alter will be butchering beasts for nose to tail cookery.

Plate Shop Restaurant

39 Caledonia St.
Sausalito, CA



  Sunday, June 6, 2010

We took our roles as judges at the Napa Luxury Chocolate Salon seriously by mulling melting morsels and critiquing creations from premium pod-ucers.

We camped out by the Au Coeur des Chocolate fire as they toasted smores:

... with hazelnut sable koombayahed with their own marshmallow and chocolate. We were also fired up about their excellent salted caramels which had a deep, rich flavor and a sensational saline sign off.

Art Pollard's Amano:

... continues to raise the bar with their intense concoctions (and they have some top secret news that they will unwrap later this summer.)

The Socola sisters:

... were ringing the bell with their filled chocolates utilizing E. Guittard and Straus Dairy ingredients.

Gateau et Ganache brought Barbie-sized bites of their deluxe delights:

... including coconut bonbons and rose dark chocolates.

The best part of these events (well... aside from savoring the samples) is chatting with the well tempered creators of these confections.

It was time to dessert wine country and trot to the city to check out the face off of chefs at Cochon 555.

Faces were butchered off beasts:

... as guests Hogged Island Oysters with Chablis from Kermit Lynch and Daniel Hyatt's:

... cocktails.

2007 Hirsh Vineyard and 2008 Zacherle Pinot Noirs paired well with a Butchery demo from Dave the Butcher:

Ryan Farr took center stage to deftly disconnect derma as Chefs Thomas McNaughton (Flour +Water):

... Staffan Terje (Perbacco), Anthony Strong (Pizzeria Delfina), Dennis Lee (Namu) and Morgan Maki (Bi-Rite Market) showed who had the chops to be crowned prince of porc.

There was an abundance of savory sensations including Chef McNaughton's crispy head and trotter with egg emulsion and salsa verde.

We nibbled on Chef Terje's:

... perfect pig ear terrine with lard roasted beets and horseradish creme fraiche and finished with his bacon marshmallows along side sanguianccio filled chocolate cupcakes frosted with lard "buttercream" and showered with Maldon salt.

This interpretation of swine dining secured Steffan Terje's victory and put him among the competitors in the big pig competition coming up on June 20th when winners of the 2010 tour (including local hero Devin Knell of the French Laundry) enter the final heat in the Grand Cochon which takes place in Aspen.

We greeted the day with chocolate and ended with bacon marshmalows and lard frosted cupcakes:

...that's our kind of diet.

Napa Luxury Chocolate Salon

Cochon 555



  Saturday, June 5, 2010

We stuck our necks into Brick and Bottle Restaurant:

... where we mortared in our mouths with a pizza and a burger.

Their pizza protocol is to fly the pies to the table when ready (rather than timing them to sync delivery with other dishes in a group.) Our clam pizza ($14.00):

... had a scattering of Pecorino cheese, sweet onions, garlic and mint to boost the shellfish. The thin crust was cracker-like with a bit of yield, (not a traditional, Neapolitan deal) fired in a brick oven.

The pimento cheeseburger ($10.00):

... had a soft bun upholstered in pimento cheese, coleslaw and chili. We enjoyed this sensationally squishy, slaw-inspiring. unorthodox meatwich with the finest French fries that Marin has to offer. We zipped through this zig zag of pommes de terrific tubers with crisp, well seasoned shells yielding to fluffy, starchy centers.

Chef Scott Howard's latest addition to Marin mastication is a welcoming venue with food good enough to torture the Jenny Craig clients who must make their weigh past.


Brick and Bottle Restaurant
55 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA



  Friday, June 4, 2010

A watermelon-lime and a cucumber-tarragon martini greeted us:

... at SummerTini 2010 this evening at The Galleria in San Francisco.

This benefit for CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services) got the support of some of the city's conquering heroes. Some of our edible obsessions were available such as A16's burrata:

...4505 Chicharrones and Alison McQuade's:

... top notch chutneys:

The Ritz Carlton, Bourbon & Branch and the Meadowood were among the donors to the silent and live auctions:

... raising funds to saddle students with the tools and education to work towards tasteful self determination.

The San Francisco Bourbon Kings:

...backed this Martini-massaged mingling of tastes, tunes, and the next generation of toques.





  Thursday, June 3, 2010

The good weather brought the crowds to the Ferry Building Farmers Market:

... where the 4505 stand raised the bar on their skinsational chicharrones - they encased them in chocolate:

This cocoalaboration with Xocolatl wedded pod and pig in a pen of porculiar pleasure. Spice crispies of chile-enhanced, fried hog coating took a 68% cocoa mud bath that cost a Ham-ilton.

The chicken and the egg came first in a sandwich ($10.00):

... with arugula and chile rubbed pork. This balanced blend of barnyard brethren hit the spot with embryolked proteins with a little weedy heat.

Both chocolate and pig activity will take place this Sunday. Not only will Cochon 555 hit San Francisco, but the Napa Chocolate Salon (where us Bunrabs will be judges) will take place in Yountville.

4505 Meats

Cochon 555
Napa Chocolate Salon




Mark your Calendar

I try not to be a lotus eater, but chefs (including Leif Hedendal) will make flowers bloom in dishes during Meatpaper and Blue Bottle's Food & Thought event at SFMOMA.

So if you like artwork with a flourish, you can put the pedal to the metal at this rooftop garden tasting with Scribe wines and Trumer Pils beer. Check here for info on the buds and suds.

Food & Thought

Rooftop Garden & Café at SFMOMA
Thursday, June 17
6 - 8 p.m.
half-price museum entry (free for SFMOMA members)
Tasting plates $5, complimentary wine and beer




Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pepples Donuts opened a kiosk in the Ferry Building:

... where they are rounding up veganthusiasts with organic offerings.

I got a duo of dough o's ($2.50 each). Kaffir lime had a coordinating glaze while the chocolate was glazed and imbredded with Oreo bits.

These hippie hoops were dry which flattened the flavors of these lowdrated loops. I can see how vegans will tuck into these dairy deficient, eggs-empt, permitted portions presented by pleasant personnel, but the rings they rung up for me weren't my thing.

Pepples Donuts kiosk
Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The double header decorating Humphrey Slocombe:

... echoes the two scoop servings that we mounted at this lack toes location.

The "Fat Elvis" flavor of banana, peanut butter and bacon was a nice sample, but made me flash to an image of being found dead on the john with a half finished cup of this concoction, so I swiveled my hips towards a layer of Blue Bottle coffee topped by "secret breakfast" (aka bourbon and cornflakes which was still vaguely Presley-esque) while Chubby went for the combo of BB coffee and peanut butter curry.

It's the unusual parlor that can pull off a selection with no chocolate option, but Humphrey Slocombe's flavor profiles are off the wall and head and shoulders above the crowd.

Humphry Slocombe
2790 Harrison St.
San Francisco, CA









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