Chain, Chain, Chain What is going on in the Civic Center? Once upon a time, you could have a decent meal in and around Redwood Alley, when the original Stars reigned the neighborhood. Today, in addition to the McDonald's and Chevy's, you will soon find a branch of California Pizza Kitchen, similar in spirit to those in Concord and Palo Alto (not to mention Vegas, Jersey, and Guam). How nice. Now when the suburbanites make their annual trek into town to take the kiddies to The Nutcracker they won't be confused by any fine dining choices. In fact, it will be just like the mall. Isn't that super?
Bruno's Redux John Varnedoe vehemently denies that his recently bought-back Bruno's restaurant is for sale again. Why do these rumors keep circulating? Harry stopped by last week on a Wednesday to check out the scene and was sorry to see a definite lack of hipsters enjoying the great food and jazz. Where have all the hipsters gone? Perhaps they're all sucking down fresh air at the new oxygen bar on Valencia, 22 O 2. Or perhaps Bruno's emptiness is just a midweek phenomenon. In any case, Harry highly recommends that you check out Bruno's music listings at www.brunoslive.com, then get yourself to the club for your own dose of jazz hipness.
Dry Dock Yankee Pier, Bradley Ogden's latest culinary adventure, opened last week in Larkspur, just down the road from the Lark Creek Inn (and firmly on dry ground). With a changing menu put together by Bradley himself, chef/partner Jeremy Sewall, and chef de cuisine Jack Mitchell, the Pier brings the Bay Area its own headquarters for homesick New Englanders. The spread features such Northeastern specialties as classic New England clam chowder, fried Ipswich clams with orange watercress salad, whole Maine lobster, and a "Grandma's Platter" of barbecue brisket, to name a few. The above can be washed down with a hearty selection of American beers -- or, if you must be classy, you can choose from among 20 native wines, available by the glass. Of course, you'll have to drive your cah to Lahkspuh to get theah, but Harry thinks there's a little Kennedy in all of us just looking for some chowder love.