Last summer, Japanese restaurant Men Oh Tokushima Ramen opened its second American location on Geary Street in San Francisco, followed by a hot pot spot called Shabuway. Its new Japantown sister spot Waraku provides similar quality and value. Located in the former Bushi-Tei restaurant space (Bushi Tei Bistro is still open across the street in Japan Center), the interior has been made over into a slightly more casual and affordable spot.
Blair Warsham, a white boy originally from Atlanta who has French training and been cooking underground in San Francisco via his "guerilla dining" company graffEats, channels his passion for Asian cooking with American Bao Bar. He began the pilot series of this new project, which has aspirations to go brick and mortar, in February and is now extending his current schedule for it through June: Mondays from 7-10 p.m. at Nombe and Tuesdays from 7-10 p.m. at Southpaw BBQ, both located in the Mission. Each offers the same family-style menu for $37.
If you haven't yet been to the new season of Off The Grid's Fort Mason Fridays, there are plenty of intriguing new food and drink options that await you there. One of our new favorites is Side Pony, which specializes in remixing non-bunned dishes into sandwich form.
Sushi making seems like such a veiled art, deceptively simple magic. Every year, Mikiko Ando, executive sushi chef of Delica Sushi Bar, pulls back that secret curtain and hosts a series of three hands-on sushi masterclasses that explore various forms of rolls, nigiri, and sashimi and offer knife skills for cutting sashimi and other ingredients. There are five more sessions this year, beginning with a roll course at Delica on April 15 and continuing through June. The three-hour instructionals are $100.
The statewide ban on the sale and production of foie gras was enacted nine months ago to the day, but that wasn't the end to the delicacy being served in San Francisco. Savvy patrons have gotten used to seeing inflated salad and "supplement" prices on fine menus, and connected diners have continued to receive foie freebies on their dinner plates.
But it took this long for a smart person to really explore the loopholes in the ban and see if there might be any way around it. Enter Roger Vivre, proprietor of the new food cart Foie de Vivre.
Not that we're a total Mission Chinese Food groupie or anything, but when the restaurant opened a second restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan last May, we were literally the first customer through the door. It opened with about 80% of the same menu items as what can be found in San Francisco, but a fresh visit almost a year later finds the East Coast counterpart working toward defining its own identity.
See also: In Praise of the Peas at Mission Chinese
It's not every day that a renowned and dashing chef comes over to make pancakes, certainly not one named an international Culinary Ambassador by Hillary Clinton. But Mourad Lahlou, the owner of San Francisco's Aziza restaurant and author of the New Moroccan cookbook, was happy to make a house call to test out his new Moroccan Beghrir pancake mix, part of a full product line from Williams Sonoma, in a less-than-professional kitchen.
If you've ever had an interest in dining at the Mediterranean-Persian restaurant Zaré at Fly Trap, March 19 would be a great night to consider. That's when chef/owner Hoss Zaré is attempting what he calls the biggest meal he's ever done in his life in honor of Norooz, the Persian New Year and start of spring. He's offered a single seating with communal tables and family-style offerings to mark the 13-day holiday over the past four years, but this year he's changing it up to allow diners to book their own tables at their chosen hour for a special seven-course meal inspired by the seven elements of the haft-sin, a ceremonial table adorned with symbols of positive wishes for the new year.
It seems to be pasta-making season now and Flour + Water (2401 Harrison) frequently offers multi-class series on making pasta, and the next one runs March 5 (flat noodles) and March 12 (stuffed pastas); both start at 6:30 p.m. and double as dinner. Take homes include a recipe book and fresh pasta to play with at home. Reserve a spot ($200 for each) via Brown Paper Tickets. On a related note and a higher authority, the church Eucharist (285 Main) is offering a casual "Fresh Pasta 101" course on March 9; grab your ticket ($25) here.
See also: Flour + Water's Stuffed Pasta
State Bird Provisions, that little restaurant named the best one to open in America last year by Bon Appetit, is admittedly built off of that titular Golden State bird, the quail. Here, it's fried in a coating that incorporates croutons from bread baked in-house and pumpkin seats and set atop a bowl of lemon-stewed onions. And while quail isn't the most exotic inclusion on a menu ever -- it's been in nachos on the Chevy's menu for eons, for example -- State Bird's celebration of the teeny tiny treat has inspired more chefs to take a closer look at quail.