Patty Does S.F.
It's finally here: Patricia Unterman's long-awaited Food Lover's Guide to San Francisco. And talk about definitive -- the 640-page tome describes not only restaurants, but also ethnic markets, wine shops, kitchenware stores, coffeehouses and cafŽs, bakeries, farmers' markets, and greengrocers. The guide also contains comprehensive seasonal fish and shellfish charts so you know when to buy fresh local Dungeness crab (November through May) and the best month for Meyer lemons from Santa Cruz (April). Unterman, the former Chronicle and now Examiner restaurant critic and chef/owner of the Hayes Street Grill, has strong opinions. She decries the "rock-hard warehoused fruit" and "overpackaged processed food" found in most supermarkets and says the Cheese Board in Berkeley is the only great cheese store in the Bay Area. But her credentials are so solid and her authoritative voice so confident, she commands respect. If you're passionate about food, this book is well worth its $15.95 price.
"Pure living super healing prana boosting sweet & creamy exotic pleasure food is here!" boasts a flier from Org Vegan Kreem & Raw, a traveling all-organic, all-vegan, and all-raw restaurant from Chicago that has taken over the Hugo Street Cafe in the Sunset through Aug. 13. The flier shows a couple in an erotic pose and a large hand holding what looks like a condom but is actually a Shiva lingam, a phallic-shaped religious fetish. Women in India straddle the object before having a baby, according to owner Juliano, who uses only one name. Juliano, who's eaten only fruit for four years (though he occasionally "cheats" with wheat grass and sauerkraut), told Dish he's Jewish but finds "more religion in strawberries than the Bible." Despite the Indian references on the flier, he has never been to India but "identifies with it." Calling his traveling food show a "rave restaurant," Juliano says he uses all his own equipment, explaining that the Hugo Street CafŽ's counters have "negative energy" be-cause the restaurant serves "flesh." Org Vegan's signature dish is all-fruit ice cream with a "crunchy gooey layer of raw nuts, seeds and raisins and almond butter" topped with "black tar" (honey and raw carob). The menu also features all-fruit pizzas with a crust made of dehydrated buckwheat groats. You can even order Tachyon water, which Juliano describes as "highly energized -- if you put a rose in it it'll last three times longer than in regular water"; it's from the Tachyon Institute in Los Angeles and costs $60 for 32 ounces. "There are advanced food people here," says Juliano, referring to the city. "But they need help."