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Raising Kane; Open Sesame; Preventing Pretension; Sayonara

Wednesday, May 24 2000
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Raising Kane
Harry's favorite pastry princess has finally unveiled her latest creation on the corner of Gough and Grove. Elizabeth Falkner is proud to present Citizen Cake, the sequel. Her new downtown shop, a glassed-in museum piece, features a coffee bar, sit-down dining, and a selection of house-made ice creams, all to complement her signature cakes and cookies. The gingham-shirted counter clerks kinda clash with the plain pine floor, which contrasts with the suede-covered banquette, but I'm no interior decorator. But Elizabeth: Don't you think an exhibition kitchen would have been nice? That way all your fans could steam up the glass while they watch you work your magic.

Open Sesame
The neon sign finally went up Monday night at the brand new Jianna in North Beach. My congratulations to the owners and designers -- you'd never know the space used to house a Fuzio. The room is draped in fabrics and also features a cool little entrance lounge and secluded semiprivate dining in back. Marc Viliani's menu is small and seasonal, featuring a delicious spicy tuna and tempura shrimp salad with shelled edamame, and a soy-glazed salmon and bass entree served in an intriguing broth.

Meanwhile, the latest of the South Beach restaurants has opened. Live Fire seems far enough from the ballpark that it can offer more than just a hamburger. Then again, Fred Halpert's menu -- rich with grilled and roasted items -- does have a similarly carnivorous appeal. And speaking of burgers, I hear Brian Lewis over at the Paragon (also next to Pac Bell Park) is frustrated that diners are shunning his more adventurous dishes in favor of, yes, burgers. The chef has even threatened to remove the ground patty from his menu altogether. Hey Brian: Harry feels your pain, really, but why not give the people what they want, and while you're at it, try to make it the best burger ever?

Preventing Pretension
The weather is over 72 degrees and that means the patio at 42 Degrees is officially open (yay!). James Moffat, owner and life force, will host visiting wineries on the third Thursday of every month and select accompanying munchies for our pleasure. You're cordially invited to come and indulge, or you can just hang out on the patio on any other day too. No wine snobs, OK? You guys can go hang out at Eos ....

Sayonara
Steven Oliver has resigned as general manager of the Sushi Groove restaurants after two years with the three-restaurant concern. The split was friendly; Oliver says he's simply "sick of raw fish." Even if you've never been to Sushi Groove, you still know who Steven is, just because he's always everywhere and undoubtedly knows all the same people you do. He'll be on hiatus on the Delta's Discovery Bay for the summer before considering taking another position.

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail Coverte@aol.com and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

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Harry Coverte

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