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Friday, July 15, 2016

Through the Kitchen Window, a (Mostly) Monthly Euro-Asian Pop-Up

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Frank and beans - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Frank and beans
Now that pop-ups are commonplace, it's good to encounter a truly creative one that's capable of serving more than six or eight dishes. Chef Joji Kumi and Alexis Katsilometes' Through the Kitchen Window, a mostly monthly enterprise formerly held inside Range (and moving to PizzaHacker for its August go-round) is one. Here, the small plates — of which there are an impressive 15 — all run between $8 and $12, supplemented by a couple meaty, for-the-table entrees for $30 to $50. (Full disclosure: Katsilometes is a former contributor to SFoodie.)

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday Seven: Eat Drink SF Lineup Finalized

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM

A16's antipasto del giorno: shellfish salad, house-cured San Francisco anchovy, smoked burrata - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • A16's antipasto del giorno: shellfish salad, house-cured San Francisco anchovy, smoked burrata
Plus there are changes on College Avenue in Rockridge, as Trappist Provisions is set to become Mikkeller Tap Room & Bottle Shop and Barclay's Pub is closing, plus Bar Agricole celebrates the White Nights.

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Odang Is the Only Maker of Fresh Udon in the U.S.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 1:15 PM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • City Udon
Ben Falik is strongly pro-gluten.

"Our noodles are high in gluten, so they have a lot of bounce and chew," he says. "We're the anti-soba."
Falik is the co-founder of Odang Udon, a brand that's the only maker of fresh udon in the United States and which can be found in several Whole Foods, via Good Eggs, and at the SoMa StrEat Food Park, where Odang's food truck — or trailer, technically — serves lunch and dinner every day of the week but Monday.

"The udon we make has four basic ingredients: non-GMO wheat flour from Australia, salt, vinegar, and water," Falik says. "No preservatives, no xanthan gum, no fats. There's a lot of protein in it, because of that gluten content. We're crusaders for the good kind of gluten."

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday Eight: Castro Food Hall The Myriad's Grand Opening Is Saturday

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 1:00 PM

  • Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing
Plus Smokestack gets a new chef and menu, Cafe Flore gets sold, the Planning Department inserts itself between Ike's and Sweet Inspiration, and don't you want to go to a Museum of Ice Cream?

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday Eight: The Soiled Dove Brings Circus-Infused Dinner Theater to Alameda

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Kale salad at Tratto - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Kale salad at Tratto
Plus Sam Jordan's Bar & Grill gets a TV makeover, Anchor releases its Brandy-Barrel Aged Stout, and the 
Republican Party had a vigorous debate on whether or not working people who don't earn enough to feed their families should be allowed to have an Oreo.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday 13: Legacy Businesses Struggling, Wing Wings Wants Photo Equipment

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM

  • Fentons Creamery
Plus Trick Dog's new menu is all I Like Ike, SPUR convenes a panel to discuss the possibilities of urban farming, and Fox News will air a transgender rights TV spot during the Republican convention.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Cecilia Chiang Is 96 and Goes Out More Than I Do

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM

  • Charlie Pinsky, Frappe, Inc.
  • Cecilia Chiang

If you don't already know the name, Cecilia Chiang did for Chinese food what Julia Child did for French cooking: She made it accessible to a generation of Americans who, until she came along, had to deal with grotesque bastardizations prepared with substandard ingredients.

In 1961, Chiang founded The Mandarin, a Polk Street restaurant that everyone told her would fail because she wasn't catering to white middlebrow palates by serving chop suey. A few years later, it moved to Ghirardelli Square, where — along with another location in Beverly Hills — The Mandarin became a darling of the smart set and lasted until 2006. Chiang had long since bowed out of the kitchen by then, and her son Philip had gone on to co-found P.F. Chang's in 1993.

Chiang, at 96 years of age, remains active and heavily involved in the San Francisco dining scene, providing sage advice to people you might not think would need any, like Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie. Last Thursday, at the P.F. Chang's in Emeryville, more than 100 people — among them Leong, Gary Danko, and Laurence Jossel of Nopa — gathered to honor Chiang on the occasion of a six-part documentary series, The Kitchen Wisdom of Cecilia Chiang, which premieres Monday, July 12 on KQED. Philip Chiang, for his part, recalled redeeming Coke bottles 55 years ago, admitting that the inspiration to open a restaurant came to him relatively late in life.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

All Buzz, No Crash With Il Morso

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM

  • Eric Pratt
It sounds crass even to laugh at it now by way of condemnation, but in the 1970s and '80s, there was an appetite-suppressing confection, or "reducing chocolate," called Ayds. That's right: Get yourself some Ayds, and the pounds will just melt away.

Admittedly, any comparison with that will sound unfair no matter what, but the point is that claims to derive magical benefits from eating chocolate have a checkered history (at best). Not so with Il Morso, a year-old Oakland company that makes individual dark chocolate bites containing 18 milligrams of caffeine. The name simply means "the bite," so there's little risk of unfortunate wordplay, and the instructions read, "For Instant Coffee, Just Add Mouth." Cute but not cutesy, Il Morso's packaging is pretty good — a pale robin's egg blue printed with winged coffee cups with bite marks. (They're not unlike that army of flying toasters from the '90s, if you'll pardon a reference that's almost as dated as Ayds.)

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Thursday Nine: Outside Lands' Summer Pairings Series Announced

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Mozzeria's restored trolley can be found at Bluxome Street Winery's Pino, Pizza, and Funk party on Saturday, July 30. - OUTSIDE LANDS/MOZZERIA
  • Outside Lands/Mozzeria
  • Mozzeria's restored trolley can be found at Bluxome Street Winery's Pino, Pizza, and Funk party on Saturday, July 30.

Plus Shiba Ramen and Fieldwork Brewing throw — you guessed it — a beer-and-ramen party, the Hyatt at SFO opens a restaurant that looks to make layovers and cancellations much more pleasant, and Recchiuti Confections honors Creativity Explored via the medium of truffles.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In a Personal Note, Thomas McNaughton Will Close Central Kitchen July 9, and Reopen 12 Days Later

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Central Kitchen - THE DAPPER DINER
  • The Dapper Diner
  • Central Kitchen

"The crazy momentum of a busy restaurant, open every day, makes it hard to implement changes, let alone the major overhaul we have been thinking about for some time now," says Thomas McNaughton.

Forgoing a typical press release in favor of a personal letter to friends (as he put it), McNaughton announced that Central Kitchen (3000 20th St.) will close on July 9. The stated goal of being an "accessible neighborhood restaurant" never really came to pass, as — to McNaughton's evident frustration — Central Kitchen has always been "perceived as a higher-end restaurant, and that has never felt right to me."

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"