Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Namu Gaji makes my face feel happy.

Some dear ladyfriends took me to Namu Gaji in the Mission in San Francisco on a recent visit. It's the new-ish hipster Korean spot, across from Dolores Park, and it's got a lively, partyish vibe and big communal table that for some reason takes me back to the days when we'd do big friend dinners at Suppenkuche.

Lurved the green garlic panna cotta at Namu Gaji.


And the Okonomiyaki simmering as it arrived, with that deloooosh bibimbab type situation in the background. And fabu local beer in -- I know it's a cliche -- mason jars. I am trying to be all down on mason jars because they are so over, but I still like them.


Made me happy that we have a great Okonomiyaki spot not too far away, at Xiao Bao Biscuit in Charleston. South Carolina keeps getting awesomer.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Tosca anew

Ever had a cancelled flight go badly? How about a cancelled flight that went super delightfully?

I was in San Francisco for a short time. The new Tosca, an April Bloomfield/Ken Friedman project, was open. A flattering photo of longtime owner Jeanette Etheredge graced the website.

I remember when Etheredge would drop wisdom on me when I was a server at Enrico's, R.I.P., and I was pretty much dying to check it out.

But it wasn't in the cards.

Until my flight home got cancelled.

Hopped in my borrowed car (thank you, Kate!) and hit the hills for North Beach. 

Snagged the one remaining spot at the bar. The same old awesome bar.


Made some friends and had a nice chit chat. Then the pasta came. 

O, Lumaconi with salty meats and light creams and lemony crumbs, how I love thee.


This is one I will think of fondly. Kudos to Exec Chef Josh Evens for a light hand and a formidable result. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tacolicious in the Missionlicious

I had heard the tell on this place. New in the Mission in SF; tasty Mexican freshitude.


"Tacolicious. You can't get a table unless you go at 4pm!"

Well, homies, here is what you do!

You go hang out with your friend Christy and her son Ezra, put on the rain slickers, and casually puddle jump over on a weekday at like 11:30am.

You're not trying to "get a table" -- you're just taking a kid out for some food.

Except the food is incredible, casual, and tasty. And then the kid gets ice cream at the end! And then Mommy and her friend get to go shoe shopping. 

LIFE IS AWESOME!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Salad gems in the shadow of the Twitter

I wanted to eat at Daniel Patterson's restaurant, ALTA CA.


His other restaurants Coi (remember Frisson?) and other awesome places tipped me off that this place would be lovely. And it's in the shadow of the new Twitter building on Market Street.

That's something to see, no?

For me, I was pleased to have a really fabulous, healthy, flavorlicious salad while scoping out one of the cornerstones of my company's client services business.

Dear Twitter,

Thank you, Twitter, for making a tool that brands can use to become friends with other brands.

In Columbia, SC, it is working brilliantly.

You'd be proud.

Love,

Me

Monday, May 5, 2014

Capitol Restaurant reborn: as an actually really great restaurant.

Bourbon on Main Street in downtown Columbia, SC, a partnership between Chef Kristian Niemi (Rosso) and a team that includes tech wizard Eric Duncan and design mage Nick Wilson of The Half and Half, is already killing it.

And the paper isn't even down off of the windows. Just walk in. 


It's dark, grown up and welcoming. The newfangled, comfortable Creole/Cajun food is great and will tweak upward as Fat Hen's Gordon Langston settles in. Good mid-sized salads with real vegetables. The drinks are real drinks. I foresee Josh from Motor and Andy from Terra and all their mates ending up there for post-shift drinks and tasties.

Especially since Kristian says the kitchen plans to be open til midnight on weeknights, and 1am on weekends.


I'm going to miss the fingers in my water from Paul the waiter back at the old Capital Restaurant. Kindof.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Meet the new chef at Motor Supply!

Meet the new chef at Motor Supply in Columbia, SC: Wesley Fulmer.

Wes' CV includes kitchen gigs at Beard Award-winning restos Susanna Foo in Philadelphia and John Besh's Restaurant August in New Orleans. Exciting times at Motor!

Image: Forrest Clonts Studio

Chef Fulmer has most recently been Executive Sous Chef down at the Atlantic Room at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which might sound kindof unexciting if you have never eaten there. Resort food? Who cares? Except the resort food, and the service, and everything at the Atlantic Room is top notch and -- when I visited, it turns out, during Fulmer's tenure there -- reminded me of the best California resort dining rooms: in touch with hipster food trends but reverent of the finest of the fine dining mores. 

So I was pretty excited when I learned that Motor's new chef was moving up here from that kitchen, as you can imagine.

Wes is a super awesome guy, and you should go say hi to him sometime soon!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Toasty

OK. I did it.



I went for the artisanal toast.

When you're sharking for a seat at one of San Francisco's hippest, most francy new coffee shops and land one, it's tempting to go ahead and try out the big-slab-of-francy-toast trend.

I am the embarrassing one with the blog who will say, like, um, I just bought a ton of really pricey coffee beans and now I feel blown wide open to just order AS MUCH FANCY TOAST AS I CAN EAT! (Also, that magazine story in the Pacific Standard made me cry and was awesome. )

I had one piece at The Mill on Divis. It was alright. Homemade Nutella. Not bad.

The people sitting around me were all awesome and not coffee shop real estate hoggers. There's no wifi there.

I had my wifi hotspot so I did up some spreadsheets casually.

*Note: Now home in SC, I am grinding and pour-over brewing those flipping amazing Fourbarrel fundochamba or whatever coffee beans in such a heathenly way that the barristas or whatever they are now would lose a filling making a "disapprove" face. 

Later in the week in SF, I hit Sightglass Coffee in SOMA! Man, it is also very beautiful!



I was at the wrong Sightglass Coffee, it turns out, to meet a friend. The room was pretty forgiving, and although it took convincing, they pre-ground some of their super heavenly coffee for me despite getting a little nerded up about what *type* of pour-over system I use. 

I'm like, I use the "nothing fancy" method: plastic cone, cone filter, boiling water just set for a moment to chill out, fresh ground coffee, welcoming vessel. Swish. Time for the porch. 

I did not have toast at Sightglass, but I did grab a squash and goat cheese pastry for later, which did, later, brighten a grouchy-from-work friend's afternoon and got us all on the good foot.