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Friday, August 12, 2016

Eat This: the Pork Bowl at Dabba

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Dabba's pork bowl - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Dabba's pork bowl
There's something slightly suspicious about the category "fast-casual." Lunch is so rushed, and it's easy to settle for an unsatisfactory meal just to get something in your stomach, that a few buzzwords can lure us in. Fast-casual is the food equivalent of "athleisure," which basically consists of ugly clothes that are too functional too dismiss. (And if everybody else is wearing them, too, who will judge you?)

At its worst, fast-casual can be bloodless and corporatized, and leave you feeling like you got hoodwinked into paying a premium for a glorified Subway foot-long made with the world's palest tomato. But at its best, it's tasty, nutritious, and convenient. Dabba, the SoMa brick-and-mortar concept that evolved out of a food truck dedicated to "ethnic confusions" doesn't feel like anyone convened a focus group to determine what's trendy with the millennials. Rather, it derives from Avatar's, the Indian restaurant in Sausalito where the recipes were never written down.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

A Single Cocktail Eclipses Oola's Entire Menu

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Porcini arancini - NICHOLAS HURLBURT
  • Nicholas Hurlburt
  • Porcini arancini
Located on a small stretch of Folsom, between Fourth and Fifth streets, Oola is a restaurant and bar with an unusual name, but a fairly conventional concept. With its high ceilings, exposed brick, reclaimed timber, and edgy Pop Art, the SoMa hotspot is pulling out all the stops in hopes of being selected as your next date night destination. Not to put too fine point on it, the top of the menu is stamped with the oft-memed quote, "If she hasn't kissed you by the third date, she's there for the food."

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

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, June 8, 2016

Wednesday Seven: Celebrate Negroni Week; Jose Cuervo's agave surfboard

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:19 PM

  • Kitchen Story
Plus the Curry family continues to put all other couples to shame while Elon Musk guides the future of space travel and eating vegan.

Celebrate Negroni Week *tonight* at Holy Mountain
The Negroni has long since deserved its own week (it’s rumored to have just barely missed making it into the Constitution), so we’re grateful that local bartenders Nora Furst of Horsefeather, Nicolas Torres from Lazy Bear, Kevin Dowell from the 86 Company, and Troy Bayless of the host bar Holy Mountain (680 Valencia) will be working together tonight to whip up summer-appropriate cocktails for the thirsty masses.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Okane gives you one more place to eat Japanese

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Sake lees cured cod - OKANE
  • Okane
  • Sake lees cured cod

Because not everyone aspires to spending their evening (and their paycheck) on the edible art of $200, hand-tweezed tasting menus, veteran restaurateur Kash Feng (owner of Michelin-starred Omakase) and consulting chef Shin Aoki (formally of Michelin-starred Kaigetsu in Menlo Park) bring you Okane—legit Japanese fare for epicures of the 99 percent.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cooking Your Own Food on ANZU's Sizzling Japanese Rock

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Wagyu beef coulette and trio of sauces - A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll
  • Wagyu beef coulette and trio of sauces

Last month, I sat in ANZU's super-sleek dining room on the second floor of Hotel Nikko and watched as a steaming white plate was brought to my table. Inside was not a sizzling steak or a pile of steamed shrimp, but a rock — a Japanese river stone to be precise — heated to 200 degrees and seasoned with salt and pepper.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Saap Ver Brings the Thai Countryside to SoMa

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Five spices pig leg - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Five spices pig leg

Replacing the unlamented Grand Pu Bah, Saap Ver is a sight. Just as the name — which translates to “overly delicious” — is a deliberate departure from the thousands of restaurants out there with names that use the word “Thai” in some form, the interior is plastered with vintage Thai movie posters, and the host stand is a kinetoscope or some kind of old-timey movie-viewing contraption.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Brazilian Walks Into Fogo de Chão

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 1:00 AM

  • Adrian Spinelli

I just got back from visiting my fam in Brazil a few weeks ago, and to my pleasant surprise, the newest Fogo De Chão location in SoMa had opened up. And look ... before we start doing that thing that San Franciscans do and say “Ugh, another chain?!” I’ll have you know that Fogo de Chão is widely considered to be the best place for authentic Brazilian churrasco (barbecue) in Brazil. (By the way, it's all-you-can-eat.) Yeah, it’s a chain, but changing their formula is not what got Fogo De Chão to be the first publicly traded Brazilian steakhouse restaurant chain.

Either way, as a Brazilian, I still skeptically enter the doors of a Fogo de Chão in America. “How will they whitewash Brazil’s greatest export?” I say to myself. And the times I’ve been to Espetus on Market and Gough have been less than stellar. (Real talk: Their salad bar sucks and the quality of their meat wasn’t great.) But I did my best to keep an open mind when I hit up the new Fogo de Chão on Howard Street last weekend and looked to gauge its “Brazilian-ness.” I'll tell you what ... I was pleasantly surprised:

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Food is Foreplay at Our Gourmet Life Erotic Dinners

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM

  • from
Dinner parties can be a stuffy affair, particular when none of the guests know anyone beyond the person with whom they came.

As we all know, a good way to break the ice is to have servers gently caress diners, encouraging them to delicately spoon-feed their partners an array of culinary treats, which is exactly the concept behind Our Gourmet Life Erotic Dinners.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Franco-Scandinavian Volta, From the Perbacco/Barbacco Team, Softly Open in SoMa

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 7:30 PM

Boeuf bourguignonne - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Boeuf bourguignonne

Volta is the long-anticipated Franco-Scandinavian follow-up to Perbacco and Barbacco, and as of this evening, it's in its soft-opening phase. Chef Staffan Terje's menu encompasses everything from five different preparations of herring to boeuf bourguignonne, by way of classics like moules normande and salad nicoise, which really classes up a stretch of Mission between Fourth and Fifth streets that's otherwise the province of zpizza and good-old Mel's Drive-In. 

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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.'"