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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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February 11-20, 2011


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  Sunday, February 20, 2011

The protocol at Dish
had changed since our last visit. It was a counter service arrangement, but today there was table service during brunch.

Lots of families were Mill Valleying about the dining room as we sipped our delicious Equator coffees.

The Cobb Salad ($13.50):

... had the standard issue chunkage of chicken, tomatoes, blue cheese and bacon with a bright, perfectly boiled egg while the quinoa cakes ($12.95):

... were ingrained with wild rice and vegetables in two protein pucks perched over Brussels sprout leaves and Romesco sauce. Marcona almonds crunched up this healthatarian helping.

The staff seemed stretched, but the lengthy waits were welcome since it gave us a chance to catch up with our pal L. who munched on the masa-crusted cod tacos ($14.75):

... with cabbage slaw.

Beignets ($6.95):

... were dusted with powdered sugar and served with a caramel sauce that was way too saline for all of our tastes while the apple cranberry crisp ($6.75):

... would have been even more enticing with more of a crunch to the topping and larger slices of apple (rather than the cranberry-sized dice.)

Dish appears to have become home plate to local lunchers and their offspring. We didn't order anything that wowed us, but to be fair, the dinner menu appears to be more of the focus.

Dish Restaurant
507 Miller Ave.
Mill Valley, CA




  Saturday, February 19, 2011

We munched on sage-scented, toasted pumpkin seeds ($4.00):

... while sipping on a Vieux Carre and Sazerac made by the deft drink men at the Plate Shop.

These pepitas perked up our palates for cheery char ($23.00):

Crisp-skinned, pristine, pink portions of trouty/salmony seafood mingled with maitakes, kohlrabi and "fish bacon" (which were belly-simo bits of seared succulence) washed down with a briney 2009 La Sibilla Falanghina.

The "pig roast" ($24.00):

... read as a more rustic dish than was presented. This swiney sampling toured the tasty terrain of this trotting treat with bits and bobs of lean, fatty and cartilagey craveablitliy. Toasted filberts, squished squash and turnips added crunch, smoothness, earthiness and sweetness to this hoggy helping.

Monkey bread ($8.00):

... was served hot from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to sauce this caramelized wreath of buttery cinnamon brioche. This simian serving was our kind of business.

The coffee was ground coarser than we prefer for French press but it didn't sour us on the outstanding eats from Kim Alter's kitchen.

Plate Shop
39 Caledonia St.
Sausalito, CA



  Friday, February 18, 2011

I nibbled on one of the 400 cannoli:

... that Scarlett Johansson sent to pastry 'preciators at Pixar (as a thank you for her recent visit.) You've gotta appreciate a person who brings enough for the whole class.

A citrus chicken salad:

... and a bowl of potato leek soup from Cafe Luxo:

... kept me from gunning down too much dessert.

This citrusy bird nest was a fine fowl mouthful before rolling over to the tubular treats.

Cafe Luxo
Pixar Animation Studios
Emeryville, CA



  Thursday, February 17, 2011

We confess - before this evening when our thoughts took off towards the tucker at the Fairmont Hotel they landed at the Tonga Room... but we are pleased to report that their culin-areas of expertise extend far beyond the Mai Tai and pupu platter.

Guests of this evening's Lifestyle Cuisine Plus event gathered in the penthouse:

... where chefs Bruno Tison and J.W. Foster:

... discussed the development of their vegan, raw, and health-highlighting menus as we sampled their flavorful chow.

Katya Baxter worked in concert with the kitchen teams as they created finessed, flavorful options (that are tailored to the terrain of each of the Fairmont locations.)

The San Francisco hotel has suite-ened the deal with a rooftop hive of bees and an herb garden (which lent a leafy lightness to diabetic-friendly local lamb with butter beans.)

Sous vide eggplant with green olives and fennel was cupped in crunchy cukes:

... while char tartare and seared ahi were aquatic amuses.

These timely tastes mean that non-ominvore travelers have options beyond the default dining designation of being presented with portobellos or relegated to risotto.

This program will continue to grow with guest feedback, but don't worry, you can still get a pupu platter...


The Fairmont Hotel
950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA




Mark your Calendar

The next Jardiniere Monday prix fixe dinner will feature a special guest chef from Lark Restaurant in Seattle.

Chef John Sundstrom's impressive CV includes a four year apprenticeship with Yasuyuki Shigarami so he will show off hamachi has learned during his Japanese travels as well as his stints at restaurants including the Ritz-Carleton and the Lodge at Pebble Beach.

His enticing 3 course menu includes hamachi crudo with preserved lemon and rotisserie pork belly stuffed with figs and salami. Check out the full menu, wine pairings and deets here.

Jardiniere Restaurant

Monday February 21st prix fixe
$45 for menu including wine pairings
300 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA



  Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The booths were given the boot and the paint was refreshed as part of the meat-amorphosis from Bubba's Diner to Bubba's Fine Dining:

The new owners kept most of the basics, but put their own stamp on this San Anselmo sustenance stop.

My cheeseburger ($10.00):

... was a Pt. Reyes blue bolstered beefy bun with a satisfying, juicy, muscularity. I opted for a side of fruit (even though their new slogan: "where grease meets organic" implied that I should have gone with the fries.)

More two tops at this organic spoon eatery will make it easier to slip in for our usual weekend "Nick's picks" breakfast or a slice of pie during their newly extended hours.

Bubba's Fine Diner
566 San Anselmo Ave.
San Anselmo, CA



  Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will write on Speck...and cheese....


... is a "guys in ties" lunch place, but today they perb-etrated a lunch spotlighting Asiago PDO and Speck Alto Adige PGI. Antonella Dalla Muta:

... oversaw our plated PhDelicious education in these cheese and ham products from Northern Italy.

The mature version of this cow's milk cheese was served in a roasted pear and arugula salad with under sheets of speck:

... while the softer, younger "pressato" melded with polenta and wild mushroom ragu:

Speck speckled dumplings were 'tacular with sauerkraut and braised pork ribs:

... followed up by a panna cotta with poached apples:

This umami tsunami was a terrific tour through some toothsome, traditional tastes (with or without a tie.)

Asiago PDO & Speck Alto Adige PGI

Perbacco Restaurant
230 California St.
San Francisco, CA



  Monday, February 14, 2011

We hear that Valentines Day is the second busiest restaurant night of the year (NYE being the busiest). This statistic (whether real or imagined) adds to the gravitational pull of a home-based dinner during a night of restaurant over-population celebrating martyr-based meals.

Making a beeline to the ticket dispenser at the Toyko Fish Market:

... allowed us to collect nori, kaiware, cukes, avocado, tobiko and wasabi before our number was called. We stocked up on fish for a superior sushi sup:

... (happy to have bypassed the hearty crowds.)

Tokyo Fish Market
1220 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA



  Sunday, February 13, 2011

Now that the mortar
has had a chance to harden at Brick & Bottle, the stiff drinks have had time to cure. This was made evident in our elixirs of a licorice scented La Louisiane and a good ol' Vieux Carre (for which the barman graciously granted us an additional shake of Peychauds.):

We tailed our tasty tipple with a fritto misto ($12.00):

... of shrimp, fennel and squid with a chipotle cocktail sauce and a mushroom pizza ($13.00):

with pecorino pleasantly permeating this fine fungus flatbread.

Plenty of Marinites are spending their Marin nights at this convivial, casual, wallet-friendly warren. There's even a daily happy hour from 4-7 with $4 tap beers and $5.50 Margherita Pizzas.

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




  Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Plate Shop was stacked with Sausalitans checking out the Altered state of Chef Kim Alter's new Marin munching mecca.

Bar Manager Chris Burgeson smoked up a glass with cedar before squeezing blood oranges into the campfire cup for a sensational spin on a whisky sour:

His tasty take on a Manhattan:

... used two types of orange bitters which we followed up with a snappy Sazerac as a fine rind up to the chow.

Smoke wafted from our whisky to a smoked risotto ($13.00):

... which was a bed of infused grains speared with crisp, saliney sea beans in an arrangement of nasturtium leaves and cool, creamy uni. This roe to rice dish was a perfect balance of smoke and sea - we urchinly await ordering this on future visits.

Mackeral "two ways" ($13.00):

... must have been referring to the fact that we split this seaweed strewn filet. Dots of dashi gel polkaed with miso-cured root vegetables in this holy satisfying helping.

Pork belly sliders ($3.00 each):

... were bunned in brioche with celery root slaw, cilantro and coins of pickled jalapenos. These soft, swinewiches with crisp rooty reinforcement were sueet snackage.

Most of the beak wetting that we witnessed at the bar was wine based with a "non-offensive six dollar special" option (along with other offenseless offerings.)

The staff was knowledgeable, friendly and superhumanly patient with the stampede of customers storming through their newly opened doors.

We plan on docking at this nautically nuanced noshiteria again soon to try out their larger plates and desserts (unless we decide to just order plate after plate of that insanely good risotto.)

Plate Shop
39 Caledonia
Sausalito, CA



  Friday, February 11, 2011

The suspiciously inexpensive lunch of prime steak ($13.00):

... at Sixteen Mile House Restaurant:

... was a step above Sizzler in this retro Western-themed grub house. A small, thick, tender, medium rare medallion was served with a bottle of A-1 sauce and a side of passable pilaf and veggies.

Everything could have used more seasoning, but I'm guessing that this demonstrates their delivery to the demands of their demographic.

Sixteen Mile House
448 Broadway
Millbrae, CA









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