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Monday, February 23, 2015

AL's Place Offers Vegetarians and Their Meat-Loving Friends an Unusual Meal

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:52 AM

Mixed Brassicas, Sudachi, Pickled Radish, Wild mushrooms came in a delicious savory broth, and was one of our favorite dishes of the night. - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • Mixed Brassicas, Sudachi, Pickled Radish, Wild mushrooms came in a delicious savory broth, and was one of our favorite dishes of the night.

A few days later,  we’re still not sure what we think about titling a menu section “Snackles.” But besides that, we enjoyed an early meal at AL’s Place, the new restaurant from Chef Aaron London, who took over when Chef Jeremy Fox left Ubuntu, the outstanding vegetable-celebrating restaurant in Napa that closed in 2012.

With its teal exterior and not-too-clinical white interior, the restaurant gives off a bit of a beach-y vibe, all the more noticeable in this outer Mission corner spot.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

World-Spanning Vegetarian Food at the Sunset's Pomelo

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 11:57 AM

"The Manila" at the Inner Sunset's Pomelo on Judah - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • "The Manila" at the Inner Sunset's Pomelo on Judah

The Inner Sunset’s Pomelo is a bit of a rebel when it comes to menu inspiration. So often restaurants zero in on a very specific cuisine and theme, dead-set, zoomed-in on a place as small as a sparsely populated Greek island where the chef recently honeymooned or a certain arrondissement of Paris where a chef grew up or backstreet alleyway of Tokyo that is home to the world’s best yakitori. Pomelo’s vision spans the entire globe. They aren’t going for the niche. They are going for it all. The menu stops in the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, Santa Barbara, Cuba, and even Gilroy. Just because the menu thinks big doesn’t mean the flavors can’t be big, too.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Vegan Challenge" Author Offers Tips to Reduce Animal Product Consumption

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Now that we’ve all had plenty of time to abandon our New Year’s resolutions to eat better, it’s the perfect time to pick up a new edition of a book by Oakland author and activist Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.

Patrick-Goudreau, who says she was raised on the standard American diet of meat, eggs and dairy, is the author of numerous books on veganism, teaches vegan cooking classes, and coaches people on adopting more of a plant-based diet.

She chose 30 days because behaviorists say that long-ingrained habits can be broken within three weeks, and she liked the round number that 30 days gives. While Patrick-Goudreau abstains from all animal products, she doesn’t expect that all readers of her book will too; she encourages everyone to take small steps to hopefully reduce, if not eliminate entirely, the amount of animal products we eat. As she herself notes, that without proper support and community, it’s very difficult for everyone but the most ardent vegans to remain at it for long.

In addition to lots of recipes (baked oatmeal with blueberries and bananas for breakfast; southwestern quinoa pilaf for lunch, socca, or chickpea crepes with balsamic mushrooms and kale for dinner; strawberry parfait with vanilla custard and candied almonds for dessert) the book gives advice on introducing new foods to your pantry, trying to go vegan when your partner is not, eating vegan in such places as airports and family gatherings, and time-saving tips.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vegan Mecca Millennium Closing After More Than 20 Years

Posted By on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 1:47 PM

Millennium was known for its elegant, richly plated vegan dishes. - FACEBOOK/MILLENNIUM

Well, another one bites the dust. Millennium, the fine dining vegan spot in the Tenderloin, has announced that it will be closing as the hotel that houses it, the Hotel California, has been sold.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Namu Gaji’s Napa Noodle Salad is the Remedy for Holiday Excess

Posted By on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 8:22 AM

This year is not over yet — and there's still time to indulge in rich party food and cocktails.

Heaven knows there is champagne to open in just a few days. But if you’re feeling the pinch of a too-tight belt after all the Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa merrymaking, Namu Gaji has a dish that’s both healthy and seriously delicious. Simply identified as “Napa” on the dinner menu (under “Cold” items), this is a huge, colorful salad that can generously feed two or be shared as part of a family-style meal with a whole table. Napa cabbage is one of the stars of the dish, both tender leaves and thinly-sliced stalk; there are also shirataki noodles, a favorite of the healthy set for being low in carbs and calories (they’re yam-based), while also having a fun and slippery mouthfeel.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not Your Ordinary Spaghetti Bolognese at Bouche

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Spaghetti Squash "Provençale" at Bouche. - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • Spaghetti Squash "Provençale" at Bouche.

When you think about Provence, you think about long summer days with glasses full of rosé and abundant sunshine. But what might late fall in Provence taste like? Head over to Bouche, near Union Square, to find out. 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Trou Normand's Barley Risotto is the Perfect Autumn Meal

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Barley Risotto with Brassicas and Parmesan and "The Hawaiian" at Trou Normand. - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • Barley Risotto with Brassicas and Parmesan and "The Hawaiian" at Trou Normand.

As the first real rain fell of the season last week and I watched the lunchtime parade of umbrellas scurrying down New Montgomery from Trou Normand’s tall and narrow Gothic windows, the scene just screamed risotto weather. Everyone was cold. Everyone was soaked from the sudden downpour. Everyone wanted a lunch of something that sticks to your core and comforts you. And outside of actually imbibing in a trou normand of Armagnac, nothing at the eight-month-old bar/restaurant hits that soothing note amidst the FiDi frenzy quite like a recent risotto dish — with an intriguing twist.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sticky Rice Goes Vegetarian at Out The Door

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 11:01 AM

  • Julie Kramer
If you’re a fan of dim sum, you’ve probably seen rectangular packages of leaf-wrapped sticky rice pass by, nestled in a steamer. If you’re not a meat eater, you probably had to pass them up, as they are traditionally filled with chicken and pork. Out the Door at the Ferry Building, however, has come to the rescue with steamed vegetarian sticky rice. At $5.00 per packet, this is definitely a treat worth unwrapping.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Indulge Your Inner Hippie and Learn About Sustainable Food at This Weekend's Green Festival

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The annual Green Festival can draw more than 30,000 people a day to learn about sustainability. - GREEN FESTIVAL
  • Green Festival
  • The annual Green Festival can draw more than 30,000 people a day to learn about sustainability.

Even if you're not a vegetarian or vegan, there is plenty of interest at this weekend's Green Festival, held at Fort Mason. The festival, now in its 13th year, will feature more than 100 food and drink vendors showcasing their sustainably made, organic, GMO-free, and vegetarian and vegan products. There promise to be plenty of samples and probably overwhelming earnestness, but it never hurts to indulge your inner tree-hugger every once in a while, and you'll get free stuff in the process.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Slanted Door's Vegetarian Dishes Manage To Stay A Hidden Gem

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM

The Slanted Door's Spicy Broccoli and Tofu - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • The Slanted Door's Spicy Broccoli and Tofu

The Slanted Door
certainly isn’t a hole in the wall hidden gem like in its early Valencia Street days, when that thoroughfare was definitely not one of San Francisco’s “it” spots for nightlife. After all, Charles Phan’s Ferry Building flagship was recently named by Restaurants & Institutions as the top grossing restaurant ($16.5 million a year!) in the Bay Area and 22nd in the country.

However, the restaurant’s significant roster of vegetarian dishes still does manage to fly under the radar amidst the much-written about standards like the claypot chicken and shaking beef. For a tourist or local diner, a vegetarian or meat lover diet, the meat-free selections could easily complete one of the premier vegetarian meals in town.

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