When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
Llewelynn Fletcher's immersive sculptures beguile the senses. Sasha Petrenko's site-specific installations and performances strive to capture a dynamic, living planet. Austin Thomas hides heady themes in seemingly austere drawings, photos, and sculptures. She also cobbles together site-specific social spaces which she calls "perches," but which are obviously kick-ass treehouses, minus the trees. These and other artists are contributing super-sized works for "Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" at the University of San Francisco's Rooftop Sculpture Terrace. "Just Passing Through" promises to challenge notions about how we inhabit or pass through space, or at least provide a lovely respite in a busy city.
"Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 11 at Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., S.F. Free; 422-5178 or usfca.edu. More
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11
Tequila is big business. Worldwide sales exceed 10 million cases a year, and the US consumes about half of those. That explains how Don Julio / Diageo could afford to host a four-course dinner at Cortez (550 Geary) for local food writers featuring tequila cocktails invented by mixologist Brandon Skaggs and dishes created by chef Jenn Puccio.
The idea was to promote cocktail pairing along the lines of wine pairing. With one big exception, that didn't work for me. The food was great--particularly squash ravioli with smoked brussels sprouts and a crispy Kurobuta pork belly, both on the regular dinner menu--but the drinks were too sweet to go with it. I'd have preferred the tequilas straight, or better yet a few glasses of dry wine from the restaurant's excellent list.
The exception was the Cesar, Skaggs's radical, jalapeño- and cilantro-spiked variation on a Margarita. This not only paired well with various appetizers: it was one of the most delicious cocktails I've ever had. The drink is $11 at the bar. For the next couple of weeks, order one and you can get one of the snacks from the Bar Bites menu for another $2.
The recipe in the press handout was clearly wrong--the drink didn't include Grand Marnier, and six slices of jalapeño would have made it too spicy--so I visited Skaggs recently to get the real recipe, as well as a video demonstration of its preparation.
click to enlarge
The Cesar Cocktail 1-1/2 oz. Don Julio Blanco (or similar 100% agave "white" tequila) juice of 1/2 lime 1 slice jalapeño (about 3/8") a few cilantro leaves 1/2 oz. Partida or similar agave nectar, preferably 100% blue agave
Add the tequila, lime juice, jalapeño. and cilantro to a shaker and muddle. Add the agave nectar, fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until the agave nectar is entirely dissolved. Pass through a tea strainer into a martini glass.
You can find agave nectar at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Rainbow Grocery, Bi-Rite, and Bevmo, among other places. Skaggs uses Happy Girl Kitchen pickled peppers.