It's starting: the annual assault urging you to make reservations now for Mother's Day (May 14). Dish strongly advises otherwise. After Valentine's Day dinner, Mother's Day brunch/lunch is the worst time to experience a restaurant. Good tables are hard to come by, the staff is frenzied and more likely than not you'll end up in a fight with your mother as you wait twice as long as usual for your meal. Take mom out the week before and/or send flowers.
Where the Action Is
More than two years ago, attorney Rubin Glickman and Esprit owner Susie Tompkins joined forces to buy the old Hamm's Brewery Building at the corner of 15th and Bryant. Their goal — to revitalize the historic plant as a center of the food-service trade — got a little closer to reality with two new recent tenants: Jeremiah Tower's StarTeam, the corporate offices for his restaurant empire, and Susie Biehler & Co., a local restaurant P.R. firm. They join existing tenants like the California Restaurant Association, American Institute of Wine and Food, Max's Restaurants, and Food & Wines From France. Visitors to the old Hamm's report a strange craving for sweets, due no doubt to the sugar-laden fumes wafting in from the Hostess Cakes plant across the street.
Speaking of Susie Tompkins, the Esprit CafŽ has reopened as 42¡ under the control of Slow Club co-owner Jim Moffat. Named for the latitude that runs in the Mediterranean region from which Moffat draws his culinary inspiration, 42¡ has live jazz Wednesday through Saturday nights. It's open for lunch Monday through Friday. Moffat told Dish he's dying to get back into the kitchen after an eight-month hiatus, adding that he learned to surf last summer.
What About Ivana's Goulash?
The winner by far of the press-release-of-the-week contest informed us of a new cookbook of “seductive recipes,” leading with the query: “Is it possible that Marla Trump seduced Donald with her recipe for Lusty Oysters With Ginger and Lime?”
Burning the Midnight Oil
One of our favorite places for a deep-fried fix, Regina Charboneau's Biscuits & Blues, has started a late-night breakfast menu every Friday and Saturday night from midnight to 2 am: pork chop, catfish or fried oysters served with cheese grits, scrambled eggs and biscuits, and cafŽ au lait. Don't even think about going to bed after this one. But you may want to put on your dancing shoes.
By Barbara Lane