||Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Okay, Psycho Donuts don't rival Dynamo's finessed flavors and tantalizing textures, but culinary competing doesn't appear to be their state of mind. These politically incorrect products have cocoa puffs, panda cookies and Butterfingers bound to their inbready blobs with names like "mood swing" "cereal killer" and "Michael Jackson" (for the chocolate donut with the white powdered sugar coating.)
They tranquilized the original names (such as down grading the "massive head trauma" to "head banger") due public protest but the doctor and nurse attire continues to be ratcheted up at this loopy bin.
2006 S. Winchester Blvd.
||Monday, May 10, 2010
We began with the "baker" of Baker & Banker where we were welcomed with a basket of hot, house made, soft, sweet potato rolls and salt sprinkled, rosemary foccacia making a leavenly start to dinner.
... was topped with kumquat and cilantro served with a dollop of guacamole with a crisp and delicate, tempura shiso leaf. This scracchia-shimi was fin-atically fresh.
Braised black cod ($27.00):
... scaled a stack of shitake and foie gras sticy rice. This remarkable rectangle of sparkling seafood and grilled bok choy reinforced their proximity to J Town.
... was herded into helpings of meatballs, leg and a chop with a concert of fiddlehead ferns, favas, carrots, artichokes and nicoise olives rolled together with fregula.
Sides ($6.00 each) of grilled favas:
... and garlic spinach:
... added vegetal variance before we loaded up on Four Barrel coffee ($7.00 for two) to wash down our strawberry jam-filled donuts with peanut butter dipping sauce:
These PB&Js were messy, sugar coated, ping pong pastries that had us paddling away happily after we finished with our banking with the friendly and efficient staff.
Baker & Banker
1701 Octavia St.
San Francisco, CA
From the BunRab e-mailbag, Bob has photographic queries:
I love your Daily Feed, I follow it daily. Love the pics. My question is: how do you get such an elevated shot? The people in the pic seem to not notice that you're taking the pic.
How do you do it?
Thanks for the nice comments. As far as the photography goes, the elevation was achieved by me holding the camera as high over my head as I could reach. I can't really see the image I'm shooting, so I take lots of pictures and only use the good ones.
Also, when a big blue rabbit walks into their restaurant, people tend not to notice the camera.
||Sunday, May 9, 2010
Daniel Hyatt and Michael Fleury were manning the bar at Alembic:
... when we stopped by for a "vow of silence" which rye-ly rolled off the tongue accented with Benedictine, creme de Griotte and bitters. I asked Mr. H. for a whisky-based cocktail and his response was a ginger, sweet vermouth and black walnut liqueur pool of pleasure ($10.00 each).
A spiced popcorn with flecks of nori:
... primed our palate pumps for a row of jerk-spiced duck hearts ($5.00):
... over paper-thin slices of pickled pineapple. This cardiac snack circulated with flavors of marvelous muscle with an aorta of acidity from its tropical track.
Bacon marmalade, nameko 'shrooms, frisee, and asparagus ($13.00):
... were sauced by the yolk of a poached egg with crunchy bits of parmesan tuile to tie together this sensational, spear-ingtime salad.
A shatteringly crisp crust of pigskin covered blocks of belly ($15.00):
... that were caviar'ed with pickled mustard seeds, rooted with turnips and escarole, and hogmented with a dinky dice of quince paste to balance this belly-simo bonding of flavors and textures.
A bourbon, egg white, Averna, bitters and mint melange ($10.00):
... didn't have a name, but it was a lovely libation.
The bruléed brioche ($8.00):
... was a cloud of contentment with a brittle bit of caramelization covering a luxurious loaf with rhubarb jam and whipped creme fraiche teetering our tongues between richness and tartness.
Don't be deceived by the "bar" designation:
... or the low key appearance of Alembic. A knowledgeable, friendly and efficient staff, Chef Ted Fleury's incredible chow, and swell drinks make Alembic required eating.
1725 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA
||Saturday, May 8, 2010
No soup for you... or me.
The tweetnacenti created a tangle of hungry humanity at Coffee Bar for this evening's Hapa Ramen dinner.
This flesh mob formed for a preview of Richie Nakano's noodley nosh, but the crush of clientele did not yield a bowl of broth for us Bunrabs.
I guess we'll have to wait for the Ferry Building stand to open in June.
||Friday, May 7, 2010
The "Godfather" sandwich ($7.69):
... at Woodside Deli:
... contains no horsehead, but this bed of salami, coppa, prosciutto and mortadella has sheets of provolone which can be pulled back to reveal onion and lettuce on a mattress of Dutch crunch bread drenched in vinegar and olive oil.
I attacked this hearty helping of artichoke aortaed assembly with gusto before perusing the enticing array of Italian foodstuffs.
I'll have to come back for a sequel.
1453 Woodside Road
Redwood City, CA
||Thursday, May 6, 2010
We once horrified a dining companion when we ordered squirrel at St. John Restaurant in London. The picked clean, little skeleton rattled our friend as he finished his chop (while donning imaginary blinders.)
The duck neck, ox heart and other St. J. specialties were all delectable, but one combo that many happy customers picked with the roasted bone marrow with parsley salad.
Bung these bones:
... in a hot oven for 15 minutes (while you prep the salad and toasts) and you will be rewarded with Chef Fergus Henderson's sumptuous skeleton center:
... just be careful to keep an eye on it (like foie gras), you don't want it all to melt away in the cooking process.
If you want to have your own bone to pick, you can head to Incanto for this very com-bone-ation as part of a 4-course St. John dinner including ox tongue and goat shoulder. They are fully booked, but have some walk ins set aside for those who care to suck the marrow out of life.
If you miss the Incanto dinner, marrow can be had on the morrow, May 12th, at Chez Panisse during their 4-course menu.
1550 Church St.
San Francisco, CA
St. John dinner
Tuesday, May 11th
doors open at 6 p.m.
||Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Kaz Teriyaki has no seating - this corner counter is takeaway only.
My oyako donburi ($6.25):
... was a hefty hill of rice, chicken, onions, egg and kamaboko.
If you are doing your Asian market shopping next door, it's a good cheap and cheerful place to grab a big bowl of homey chow to enjoy in the nearby park.
Kaz Teriyaki Grill
71 E 4th Ave.
||Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Askinosie chocolate Straus Dairy soft serve ice cream cones dipped in a El Rey chocolate shells ($4.95 each):
... at Pizzeria Picco are one of our fetish foods. These are frozen 3 Musketeers grown up style - a cloaked cocoa concoction that is both dense and light like a ca-cow/mousse that is man-dairy-tory snacking on a hot day.
316 Magnolia Ave.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Parker house rolls:
...arrived at every table at the Tavern at Lark Creek.
These welcoming gluten globs were perfect pillows of old school bread.
We got a couple of tangy Margaritas:
... which we sipped on with an appetizer of artichoke dip ($4.95):
The waiter didn't ask why we didn't choke it down, but it came across as too pastey for our taste.
The burger ($9.95):
... was matched in diameter by its bun so that each bite brought both bread and meat, but we realized that we should have gotten an add on of a fried egg, bacon or cheese since this was too lean and under-seasoned on its own.
A better order would have been the Bellwether Farms ricotta and some grilled asparagus, but decent drinks took away the sting of our poor ordering.
The Tavern at Lark Creek
234 Magnolia Ave.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
We had butter brains for most of the day (due to last night's noshing), but that didn't stop us from breaking into our French Laundry goodie bag:
...which contained a caloric continuation:
... to feather us back into a less fancy feast today.
In order to prevent a sudden shock to the system, we warded off withdrawal with another Thomas Keller concoction by making a pineapple upside down cake from Ad Hoc at Home:
This tropicake transported us back to plainer provisions but without bailing on the butter.
Ad Hoc at Home
||Saturday, May 1, 2010
French Laundry List
With Timothy Hollingsworth off to the James Beard awards, Chef Walter Abrams took the helm this evening at The French Laundry where we supped on new as well as familiar formations.
René Geoffroy Champagne sparked our taste buds as we began with the signature gougers and salmon tartare cones before diving into a chilled English pea veloute with pickled ramps and Tokyo turnips.
Tapioca sabayon and white sturgeon caviar with Island Creek oysters offered the familiar flavors of another savory standout known as "Oysters and pearls":
A paper-thin slice of avocado was concealed by a slice of Kohada sashimi. A heart of peach palm pedestal supported this Asian-influenced article partnered with a puree of rice and a 2006 Fronholz Ostertag Muscat which chased this fish swimmingly:
A tangy cloud of lemon verbena foam floated over uni, strawberry "snow" and diced cukes in a sweet and salty blend of terrific textures.
Big fin squid in a saffron sea with Nicoise olives, red peppers and green garlic appealed to all of our senses:
Perigord truffle ragout and a chive chip topped the nested nosh of their hen egg custard which came home to roost with the1999 Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia:
Andante's butter picked up some seasonal pigment to its spreadable gold to gild Bouchon Bakery's pain au lait.
2007 F.X. Pichler, Gruner Veltliner offered spring to a white asparagus salad with charred kumquats, nasturtiums, radishes and black truffle creme fraiche:
The truffle box came around with a butter-bathed potato gnocchi rooted with a 2007 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru:
Cobia (sturgeon) with thin slices of green apple, caramelized Cipollini onions, Blis maple syrup, and black trumpet mushroom duxelles continued the trend of inspired ingredient integration:
A deconstructed Caesar salad had a butter poached lobster tail beside grilled Romaine lettuce capped by a melba tuille. Bottarga was showered over to stand in for the absent anchovy:
We took a leisurely stroll through their garden (across the street):
... and poked our noses into the greenhouse:
... before we headed back for more magnificence in the form of foie gras. This seared duck liver with sour cherries, Belgian endive, a quenelle of Swiss chard and a pool of Perigord truffle sauce was wonderful with a 2002 Kiralyudvar Tokaji:
A duck breast with cashews (both whole and puréed), fennel and a rhubarb relish with a 2007 Williams-Selyem Pinot Noir was ducky indeed:
Calotte de boeuf with Nantes carrots, potato purée, spinach and sauce Béarnaise was a majestic, meaty, melange magnified by a 2004 Lail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon:
A sheep's milk ossau iraty cheese was composed with globe artichokes, chorizo, garbanzos, and a dab of Dijon mustard:
Elderflower sherbet anchored by genoise, strawberries and beets was a vanilla scented, rooty, fruity, refreshment:
Hot brioche doughnuts and cappuccino semifreddo:
offered a bookend of French Laundry classics before we reached the parfait of lemon and yogurt with pistachio ice cream with a 2005 Philippe Foreau Vouvray:
A passion fruit panna cotta with Bavarian cream was a rich, tart, capsule of contentment as we moved to mignardises and migrated back to the hutch:
The amount of talent housed in Thomas Keller's organizations is highlighted when the team is shuffled, yet the quality remains stellar. Every time we visit, there are risk-taking ideas that sound palatably improbable, but somehow stick their landings.
The French Laundry
6640 Washington St.