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Thursday, August 27, 2015

An Explosion of Freshness at Origami Market

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM

ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman

Fast casual is the latest sweetheart term of the culinary world, designating an eatery that’s somewhere between fast food and traditional casual dining. Chipotle is the standard restaurant used to exemplify the term for people like me who don’t really understand it, but SOMA’s new Origami Market has perfected it.

It's the brainchild of local restaurateur Kash Feng, who has spent years working on a way to bring healthy, Japanese/Asian-inspired food to the masses. Sitting just across the street from Zynga and adjacent to sister restaurant Omakase, Feng’s latest venture is in the perfect spot to compete with free lunches offered by neighboring tech companies.

And compete it does (not that anyone is trying to give me free lunches). I stopped in for a meal less than a week after they opened to see what fast casual Japanese food looks like in action. My first impression was of a clean, spacious restaurant with helpful staff and delightful origami-inspired decorations. Definitely not Chipotle-casual.

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MIllions of Peaches: Myriad Gastropub

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Grilled Frog Hollow Peaches - A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll
  • Grilled Frog Hollow Peaches
Though the stone fruit season is coming to a close, there’s still time to savor some late-season stunners at Myriad Gastropub.

Having cooked her way through Roti Indian Bistro, MoMo’s, Helios Global Brasserie and the Mission's Spanish Ramblas, Myriad chef and owner Trish Tracey has assembled quite the assortment of international entrees in her repertoire. She pulled out some of her favorites when crafting this summer's menu for the Mission bistro that opened this past June. With an emphasis on small plates and shared dining, Myriad is globally and seasonally-inspired, with hand-picked offerings that — at their best — are as fresh and show-stopping as their ingredients. Take, for example, Myriad's grilled peaches.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

All-Day Par-tay at Drake’s Dealership in Oakland

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Togarashi fries with Sriracha mayo, Hella Hellie's lager, crispy green chickpeas, chimichuri cashews. - A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll
  • Togarashi fries with Sriracha mayo, Hella Hellie's lager, crispy green chickpeas, chimichuri cashews.

I attended a media preview for Drake’s Dealership several weeks back. A new beer and bites establishment in Uptown’s mixed-use Hive space off of 23rd and Broadway, the former Dodge dealership now serves as a taproom for Drake’s San Leandro brewery. Drake’s pays homage to their locale on Oakland’s Auto Row, from salvaged dealership signage to pinstripe and bandana-clad servers.

Though half of the 32 taps were off at the time of my visit (the place being new and the beer being free and all), there were still plenty of sips and snacks for a party, which is what Drake’s seems to be after when it comes to creating an atmosphere.

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Pop Quiz, Hot Shot: S.F.'s 5 Best Trivia Nights

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Team Condé Nasty taking home the gold at Vinyl - ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman
  • Team Condé Nasty taking home the gold at Vinyl

There’s nothing more satisfying than having your obscure knowledge of American serial killers validated by questions posed at bar trivia. Since San Francisco is full of smarties, it makes sense that there is a surplus of trivia hot spots to keep everyone on top of their game.

Here are five of the best. (Note: This is by no means a definitive list):

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Rye Project's New Menu Wins Jewish Approval

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Corned beef on rye with Tysyacha sauce and a sour pickle. - ERIC S. BURKETT
  • Eric S. Burkett
  • Corned beef on rye with Tysyacha sauce and a sour pickle.

When my editor asked to me check out the changes at a "Jew-ish" deli in Soma, I knew I needed to be prepared when I went got there. Solid expertise is crucial in these matters and I knew who to ask for help. I brought my favorite Jew.

"Jew-ish"? Well, even the promotional materials for Rye Project, the most recent endeavor of Deli Board founder, Adam Mesnick, describes the SOMA sandwich joint as a “Newish Delicatessen.” In other words, he's “taking classic items like smoked fish, rye bread, steamed turkey, and pastrami, and modernizing the preparations while ensuring the quality of the product” as the restaurant's publicist, touting the year old establishment's new menu, puts it.

And he's doing it pretty darned well. Seat Two, my Jewish expert (originally from Syracuse, N.Y.), liked what he found and he appreciated Rye Project's honesty.

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Bon Marché's Grand Opening This Friday

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:15 PM

BON MARCHÉ BRASSERIE & BAR
  • Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar

Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar
, the latest from the Mercer Restaurant Group (MRG), who brought us AQ, TBD, and Mélange Market in the past, is finally set to open this Friday, August 28, in the Twitter building (technically, Market Square). It's not only one of the most highly anticipated openings of the season, but at 7,500 square feet, this will also be the largest location from the group, which includes restaurateur Matt Semmelhack and executive chef and owner Mark Liberman.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Feast Your Eyes on the Goods at Alameda's Crispian Bakery

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Brioche with strawberry jam - JEFFREY EDALATPOUR
  • Jeffrey Edalatpour
  • Brioche with strawberry jam

In the kingdom of pastry, the homely cinnamon roll sits at the royal table like an illegitimate child. Its ungainliness simply cannot compete with the noble lineage of a stately mille-feuille, dainty financiers, or the regal brioche. Not infrequently does the bite down into one recall the required chew on a rectangle of paper during a dental x-ray. The cream cheese frosting is universally misconceived and willfully clogs the windpipe and arteries. And has a spice ever been so routinely mishandled as cinnamon? When Better Call Saul premiered in February, we found our beloved Saul fallen as low as a man can go: in a Cinnabon stand.

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Grass-Fed, Dry-Farmed: Adventures on CUESA's Meat and Potatoes Tour

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Tour members dig for potatoes at Little Organic Farm. - ERIC S. BURKETT
  • Eric S. Burkett
  • Tour members dig for potatoes at Little Organic Farm.

In a mostly harvested potato field, 46 visitors are stooped over dying potato plants, digging into the loamy soil with their bare hands beneath the overcast skies of coastal Marin County. They're harvesting German Butterballs, filling paper bags with the tubers they find.

A few women find themselves having to dig around Gibb, an Anatolian shepherd and a big friendly lug of a dog, who has decided that smack-dab in the middle of where they're digging is the perfect place to sit and soak up attention. They laugh and plead with him to move, but he falls over on his side instead.

The potato harvest was the finale to the visitors' first stop on a daylong tour of farms and butchers in Marin and Sonoma counties. Organized by Center for Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), this particular tour is called the Meat and Potatoes Farm Tour focusing on, unsurprisingly, meat and potatoes and the people who produce them.

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Nostra Spaghetteria and Bar Mia Open on Valencia, Sept. 1

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Mural by Chris Lux - COURTESY OF NOSTRA
  • Courtesy of Nostra
  • Mural by Chris Lux

The former Plin is set to relaunch next Tuesday as Nostra Spaghetteria and Bar Mia. “Ours” and “mine” in Italian — Mia is also the name of Chef Alexander Alioto’s daughter — the new project aims to serve a “customized, make-your-own-pasta menu” along with classic cocktails, the explicit intention of which is to make things more “accessible” than Plin.

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A Master Class on Oysters, From Waterbar's Eric Hyman

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 8:00 AM

BETTY WANG
  • Betty Wang

Oysters and something sparkling poured into stemware (with a side of fries for me because I'm always trying to be low carb) show up on many "Things I Love" lists. Can't get enough of these gooey, briny beauties? Waterbar's 7th Annual OysterFest is just around the corner this Sunday, August 30, for your fix.

Delicious though they are, oysters can be intimidating, both in terms of knowing one variety from another and the possibility of committing a faux pas while eating one. So when I was invited to an exclusive "oyster experience" led by oyster master Eric Hyman at Waterbar by IfOnly (a company that sells specifically curated experiences), naturally I said, "Hell yes!"

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  • Slipknot at Concord Pavillion
    Slipknot, and Lamb of God performed at the Concord Pavillion on Wednesday, August 26, as part of the Summer's Last Stand Tour. Photographs by Richard Haick.
  • Eat Drink SF
    Photographs by Michael Hendrickson.