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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Upscale-Casual Mediterranean Spot Barcha Now Open in the FiDi

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 2:00 PM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane


If you like Sens, the upscale restaurant overlooking the Ferry Building from Embarcadero 4, you'll almost certainly like Barcha, its casual cousin now open on Fremont and Market streets. And if Sens isn't your cup of tea, you'll still probably like Barcha.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Oro Brings Mint Plaza Into Its Own

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Squid, sprouted grains, egg, mint verde - ORO
  • Oro
  • Squid, sprouted grains, egg, mint verde

Mint Plaza, home of Blue Bottle, Mezzanine, Italian restaurant 54 Mint, a really great credit union, the occasional food truck, and (naturally) the Old Mint itself, has long cried out for a truly landmark eatery to tie the whole thing together. It’s about to get that in Oro, a two-story, gratuity-already-included, California-Mediterranean venture from Chef Jason Fox of Commonwealth.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Drunk Review: Cockscomb

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 9:15 AM

ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman
I ate a pig’s face this week. Not cheek meat, or some dish disguising the source of the meat. No: The actual face with its dead eyes, hopes, and dreams.

It all began when my foodie friend invited me to dine with her at Cockscomb, a newish restaurant on Fourth Street. Once I was through giggling at the name, I gladly accepted, blissfully unaware of the menu and the Giants schedule.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

An Explosion of Freshness at Origami Market

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM

ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman

Fast casual is the latest sweetheart term of the culinary world, designating an eatery that’s somewhere between fast food and traditional casual dining. Chipotle is the standard restaurant used to exemplify the term for people like me who don’t really understand it, but SOMA’s new Origami Market has perfected it.

It's the brainchild of local restaurateur Kash Feng, who has spent years working on a way to bring healthy, Japanese/Asian-inspired food to the masses. Sitting just across the street from Zynga and adjacent to sister restaurant Omakase, Feng’s latest venture is in the perfect spot to compete with free lunches offered by neighboring tech companies.

And compete it does (not that anyone is trying to give me free lunches). I stopped in for a meal less than a week after they opened to see what fast casual Japanese food looks like in action. My first impression was of a clean, spacious restaurant with helpful staff and delightful origami-inspired decorations. Definitely not Chipotle-casual.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rye Project's New Menu Wins Jewish Approval

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Corned beef on rye with Tysyacha sauce and a sour pickle. - ERIC S. BURKETT
  • Eric S. Burkett
  • Corned beef on rye with Tysyacha sauce and a sour pickle.

When my editor asked to me check out the changes at a "Jew-ish" deli in Soma, I knew I needed to be prepared when I went got there. Solid expertise is crucial in these matters and I knew who to ask for help. I brought my favorite Jew.

"Jew-ish"? Well, even the promotional materials for Rye Project, the most recent endeavor of Deli Board founder, Adam Mesnick, describes the SOMA sandwich joint as a “Newish Delicatessen.” In other words, he's “taking classic items like smoked fish, rye bread, steamed turkey, and pastrami, and modernizing the preparations while ensuring the quality of the product” as the restaurant's publicist, touting the year old establishment's new menu, puts it.

And he's doing it pretty darned well. Seat Two, my Jewish expert (originally from Syracuse, N.Y.), liked what he found and he appreciated Rye Project's honesty.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Going Vegetarian at Meat-Heavy Cockscomb

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Eggplant in foreground, beets in background at Cockscomb - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • Eggplant in foreground, beets in background at Cockscomb

In Cockscomb’s gorgeous, two-level SOMA temple to all things meat, you don’t quite feel like eggplant is what generates the energy. 

When revealing that I'd be eating vegetarian, my server's reaction was surprise mixed with a little pity, especially since the Falstaff-ian feast of a blood-rare, pin bone steak with bone marrow dip happened to be a table away. The feeling was more in line with when I order a glass of wine at a dive bar while my peers are downing PBR and Jack-and-Cokes. 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

So Many Sausages, So Little Meat: Buffet at the Gold Club

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 4:00 PM

GOLD CLUB
  • Gold Club

I’m 34 years old and until today, I had never been in a strip club. The Gold Club had been on my mind ever since I learned of its weekday lunch buffet a couple years ago, but it was only after Forbes published a hilarious account of Yelp employees’ hijinks there that it really lit a fire under me. I’ve written about putting hooks through my chest in a dungeon and I had my 26th birthday at Hooter’s; how could I possibly be anxious about entering a topless club?

So I took a heterosexual male colleague to the Gold Club this afternoon in case I needed etiquette pointers, and paid for his $5 admission. (Note: Unlike certain Yelp employees, we discussed absolutely nothing related to business at the Gold Club. We talked about music, food, and strippers.)

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Can't Get Enough Pork Belly? Hit Up Pampalasa, a Filipino Restaurant in SOMA

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 1:15 PM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane


Authentic Filipino food is something we could always use more of, and a new-ish Filipino restaurant on Folsom Street in SOMA, Pampalasa is, by its own description, “rustic.” It’s the kind of food your lola used to make.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mac 'n' Cheese Pizza? Yes, It Exists, at Jamber Wine Pub

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 9:30 AM

Jamber Wine Pub's Mac n' Cheese Pizza - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • Jamber Wine Pub's Mac n' Cheese Pizza

It sounds straight out of the Fried-Starbucks-and-Twinkies Minnesota State Fair creations, or some wow-factor listicle mentioning crazy culinary ideas that your boss catches you reading: mac 'n’ cheese pizza.

I just caught Pablo Sandoval’s attention. Carb on carb. Cheesy excess. Doctor’s worst nightmare? Total schwasted college drunk food? Sounds like it.

Nope. Not this version. In fact, it’s a thoughtfully composed smart and easy to share appetizer that is miles away from gluttony. I’m not saying it’s as virtuous as quinoa or cold-pressed beet juice, but this isn’t some Guy Fieri stunt.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Between Two Slices: Merigan's Classy Italian Subs

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM

ADRIAN SPINELLI
  • Adrian Spinelli

The first time I visited Merigan in SOMA, I was sporting a mean hangover. Thinking back on it, I don't even know what transpired the night before, but I do remember how Chef Liza Shaw's chicken parmesan sub ($13) was my hangover's best friend. It was the marinara first, with its bold flavor that could've easily flexed it's way into a glorious rigatoni al forno. Then it was the blend of provolone and mozzarella on top of the perfectly breaded chicken, the crispiness of which complemented the crunch on the toasted sesame seed roll. And then it was the basil leaves betwixt it all as the ultimate Italian aromatic. Future hangovers cower just thinking about it. 

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    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.'"