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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.



June 17-23, 2006


go to next week's blogs



Friday, June 23, 2006

Tabla is always a welcome lunchtime option.

My zucchini, yellow squash and goat cheese dosa ($8.00):

... had a nice, slightly sour tang against the creamy cheese and perfectly cooked veg. The cucumber and yogurt relish was good, but the dosa was such a tasty dish on it’s own, that adornment was not required.
It’s not just the food that brings me here, but the warm welcome from the friendly owner.

Tabla Cafe
1167 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA


Sam’s email this morning put me in a Tabla frame of mind:



If it was me I would down the road to tabla for my ice cream fix. Last week they had chocolate and cherry. Last year their mint choc chip (fresh mint and scharffenberger) and their peach floored me with their deliciousness. Picco, pah


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Sam,

Tabla certainly does a great ice cream. Chubby and I enjoyed that mint chocolate chip last year as well. I only wish that they were open late enough to satisfy that après dinner ice cream need.

I can’t compare it with Picco because scoop ice cream and soft serve cravings are generated from different parts of my bunrab brain. To me they are the roast beef and steak tartare of the dessert world.





Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cone of Sublimeness:

A pizzeria may not sound
like a good dessert destination, but this insane heat meant it was time for a trip to Picco Pizzeria.

Although I love their vanilla cone with Maldon salt and extra virgin olive oil, I was in a traditional mindset so I got a chocolate dipped chocolate cone while Chubby chose a chocolate dipped, chocolate/vanilla swirl  ($4.00):

Four bucks might sound like a lot for a ice cream cone, but when you consider it’s  Scharffen Berger Chocolate and Strauss vanilla soft serve, dipped in El Rey Chocolate,  it turns out to be worth the extra 2 bucks above the Dairy Queen version.

It’s nice to have a choco-shell (that doesn’t taste like you are eating a chemical infused candle coating) around creamy, sweet swirls of childhood food done right. I only wish that there was a house made cone option to sub out for the off the shelf variety, but I guess the manufactured ones up the nostalgia factor.

Picco Pizzeria

316 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA




Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The word “cupcake” can either be part of an exercise in namecalling, an endearment, or a frosted mushroom of cake. These babies are the latter. The mini cupcakes ($1.25 each):

... at DeLessio are irresistible. Not only are they beautifully presented, they are tasty as well.

I got one of the chocolate, banana, and cappuccino:

The chocolate was rich and moist with a malted vanilla sauce. The banana was my least favorite due to it’s dryness, the butterscotch buttercream wasn’t enough to bring it back to life. My favorite was the over the top cappuccino brownie topped with coffee buttercream and gilded with marshmallow. If you’re going to drink poison, you might as well lick the bowl….

1695 Market St.
San Francisco, CA

From today’s bunrab email, Pastry Chef (and Karaoke superstar) Shuna writes about the French Laundry List:


Can you describe the mint humbugs at TFL? And how was that see-through tuile on the hayden mango sorbet? Thanks!!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Shuna,

The mint humbugs weren’t the ones you get at Sainsbury’s. These little, silvery, bias cut hard candies were gently minted and just the right size so that you had an ergonomically sound hard candy experience before hastily shattering the glassy candy in the back of your mouth.

The tuile on the sorbet did not suffer from the number one problem that afflicts these types of delicate sugar structures. It was kept away from moisture (maintaining it’s brittle texture before taking center stage.) This sugar and black sesame wafer echoed the color and flavor of the sesame ash and created the perfect flourish for this  dessert.

Rock on,



We also got a note from a bunrab regular who has started her own food blog in Malaysia. Stop by and check out http://foodmoochers.blogspot.com Sandra’s new site.




Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sometimes you can’t arrive just before Pizzaiolo opens and you have to endure a wait. The more your stomach rumbles, the more you eye Dona Tomas or the other eateries down the street, but you wait beyond the estimated hour that you were quoted and order as you are seated (due to your extended perusal of the menu posted in the window while waiting outside.)

A few spears of asparagus ($9.00):

... were matched with lightly pickled infant beets and a perfectly boiled Sky High Farm egg. A tonnato sauce (made with tuna, anchovies and mayo) pulled all the elements together with it’s mildly salty, cloud of Macintosh 512K colored emulsion. Simply delish.

You can never come here without ordering a pizza ($15.00):

... This blistered specimen was topped with blobs of housemade sausage, thin slices of onion, along with kale, rapini and beet greens to make you feel like you are skimming the edge of nutritional virtue. The richness of the sausage was countered by the faint astringency of the greens in this circle of satisfaction.

Shortribs ($22.00):

... were full of flavor and falling off the bones in an effort to express their deliciousness. The soft polenta, fetal turnips and carrots were the perfect backdrop for this savory carnivore treat.

Everything was worth the excruciating wait, but next time a better strategy would be to come as a party of 6 or more (as they take rezzies for larger groups only.)

5008 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA

Our bunrab email bag was full of nice notes today including one from Ellen:


hey-that french laundry list looks like food porn-ha-so exotic!!

Ellen D.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Ellen,

I guess the French Laundry’s porn name (pet + street) would be “Kitty Washington” due to the well fed (and smart) cat I have seen meowing at soft hearted cooks there.

Glad you liked the snaps.






Monday, June 19, 2006

After that tasty lunch a little while back, I decided to return to 900 Grayson.

The Ocean View 1853 ($8.00 for the “social” size):

...is a pretty stack of chow. A hidden foundation of orange slices helped to provide cirtusy hydration to the dry tasting tombo tuna confit. Creamy cannelini beans, chopped olives and wasabi sprouts added flavor and textural interest but the large chunks of the poultry of the sea couldn’t shake off the parched feel, even with all the encouragement from the sidelines.

Captain James Jacobs anchored his sloop in this “Ocean View” area of Berkeley in 1853, I guess they want you to use your Grayson-matter (as long as they are giving you brain food) so they include a history lesson hidden in your order. If only I ordered a ginko beverage, it would all have made sense.

 I got one of their chocolate chip cookies ($1.75):

... and a brownie ($2.00):

... on the way out. I should have examined the CCC before I ordered this plump specimen (and I prefer the thin, crisp, buttery variety, live and learn…) The brownie however, was in line with my choco-sensibilities. It was moist, rich and milk-yearningly good.

This place has a nice casual feel and is run by friendly, accommodating people. It’s a great place to eat solo since there’s a bar that runs along the wall with a magazine rack.

Alternatively, you can dash in and grab a sandwich to go or have a leisurely lunch on the patio.
I’ll definitely come back to check out some other non-gray matter soon.

900 Grayson
900 Grayson
Berkeley CA


From today’s bunrab email:


ahaha! I went to Rick and Anns this morning too! The eggs ARE cooked perfectly (I like mine scrambled hard). and the scones are really delicious. I wasn't too impressed w/ my Yukon Gold scramble though.

Nancy L.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Nancy,

It’s a small stack world! Next time you see two rabbits eating at a table nearby, you should say hello. 


A lot of people feel Rick and Ann's is worth a comment:


I'm normally always on the same page...but I couldn't get fully behind your assessment of Rick & Ann's. Have you tried their pancakes or any of their hashes....totally destination worthy (and worth the usually ridiculous wait). I highly recommend returning, maybe on a weekday when the line is shorter, to try their flapjacks...I usually go with the special of the day, as it's always something relatively seasonal and interesting.

Love the blog as much as ever...

Thanks! Aaron

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Aaron,

I used to find myself in this area of town a lot and would always get the perfectly cooked eggs. I’ll have to try the hash and flapjacks next time. Thanks for the tip.





Sunday, June 18, 2006

There is no meal that you custom-out as much as breakfast. Even those averse to making decisions before coffee have got to love this tailored-to-fit, yolk blot personality test. This call and response exercise of egg, meat, bread, juice, and coffee particulars is telling.

I always examine the face of a customer who I overhear ordering their eggs “over hard” or asks for egg whites only. I can’t help it.

I have my own breakfast issues. I always drink my coffee faster than it can be refilled. I need hot sauce, eggs that are runny,  crisp bacon and the syrup that comes out of a tree.

Rick and Ann’s is my breakfast stop when I’m skimming the Oakland border. But on weekends, I always prepare for a wait.  

Chubby was happy to see that his Salmon ($12.50):

... arrived perfectly cooked (he requested it rare.) They forgot the Romesco sauce that was listed on the menu, but he liked it fine on it’s own.

Although woefully low on crispy bits, these potatoes were flavorful enough to be good with only a light browning.

The eggs were also cooked perfectly and the apple crumb muffin had a nice crunchy top without a dry interior.

My Hamburger ($7.50 plus .75¢ for cheese):

... was disappointing due to it’s densely packed patty. The Niman Ranch ground beef with melted Swiss cheese on a Metropolis roll could have been better with a lighter hand in the meat-forming department.
The addition of pineapple to the coleslaw wasn’t my thing either. Chubby’s order was definitely the better route. Breakfast is their strong suit, burgers can be better left to the white uniformed flippers at  In N Out.

I like Rick and Ann’s a lot, but it can be hit and miss. The staff is friendly and efficient, there is outdoor seating on nice days and the dining room is light and airy. If your caffeine level drops during the wait, there is a Peet’s next door and some shady benches (often with some newspapers to peruse.) It’s not a food destination, but a good place if your find yourself in the nabe'.

Rick & Ann’s

2922 Domingo Ave.
Berkeley, CA






Saturday, June 17, 2006

French Laundry List

Every visit to the French Laundry delivers the familiar and the new. Not only is the food impeccable, there are always refinements (i.e. a new coat closet, new linens, custom china…)

Over the years, they have never settled into a boring groove. They manage to always get the best ingredients from the best purveyors and skillfully prepare food that lives up to their sterling reputation.

Here’s what Chubby and I ate and drank:

Laurent Perrier Champagne 1996 (in keeping with Jay-Z’s boycott of Crisy)


Scottish Salmon tartare in black sesame cornets with crème fraiche:

Cold Dutch white asparagus soup with truffle powder

Cold Carrot soup with sultana raisins, cilantro sprouts and carrot powder

Cauliflower panna cotta with Beau Soleil oyster glaze and sevruga caviar

Sabayon of pearl tapioca with Beau Soleil oysters and sevruga caviar

Shrimp cocktail with horseradish gelee bound shrimp

Soft shell crab with curry emulsion

White truffle custard with black truffle veal stock and potato chive chip:

Thomas’ English muffin with poached hen’s egg, white truffle infused béarnaise sauce and truffle coin

Kofererhof, Kerner, Alto Adige 2004

Yuzu sorbet imbedded with volcanic salt over Persian lime gelee

Sorrel sorbet with compressed cucumber and crème fraiche

Grilled Belgian endive, watercress, celery branch, Granny smith apple and candied walnuts

Sunchokes with ramps, wild arugula, red pepper tapenade and nicoise oil

Fevre, Chablis, Montee de Tonnerre 2004

Branzino baked in a salt crust served with globe artichokes, carrots and capers with a tomato compote

Butter poached lobster tail with beet essence, King Richard leeks and pomme Maxine

Butter poached lobster tail with sunchokes two ways: puree and glazed, served with grey morels:

Terrine of Foie gras with pith gelee, Royal Blenheim apricot puree, field arugula, chopped fennel cooked sous vide with toasted brioche

Seared Foie gras with poached Mejool date and sous vide cooked fennel:

... served with a salt selection:

Domaine Bachelet, Cotes de Nuits, Burgundy, 2003

Culotte de Boeuf with sauce Japonaise, Chinese eggplant confit, garlic, bok choy, carrots and rice:

Soft goat’s milk cheese with cherries

Hard cow’s milk cheese with potato mille feuille with white asparagus truffle gastrique

Haden Mango sorbet with sesame seed tuille atop sesame seed “ash”:

Olive oil sorbet with chocolate pudding and cake

Cappucino semi-freddo with hot cinnamon-sugar coated donuts:

Hazelnut mousse encased in Valrhona chocolate with Spanish peanuts, gold leaf and spun sugar

Malteser cake with malt ice cream over meringue and candied cocoa nibs

Cassis and ver jus panna cotte

Tahitian vanilla crème brulee

Chocolate coated macadamia nuts coated in powdered sugar

Puff pastry “butterflies”

Assorted Chocolates

White chocolate fudge with cherries

Mint humbugs

Assorted truffles

Shortbreads and signature chocolate bars packed up with ribbon to take home


The French Laundry
6640 Washington St.
Yountville, CA


From today’s bunrab email, Sam writes:


I took a box of XOX truffles (along with many other SF choccies) to NYC to share with some NY food bloggers and they were a definite favourite, even up against the Rechiutti, Scharffenberger & Charles.


Gutenberg replies:


Dear Sam,

Wow, that is some tough competition for XOX to KO, especially for those spoiled New York palates!






back to last week - June 10-16, 2006



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