Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Archive for December, 2007
Ah, the impending new year is all about lists, isn’t it? Well, here’s yet another one. Recent tragic events, human and animal alike, at the San Francisco Zoo has me doing several things: 1. I’m snatching up my very plump and extremely domesticated cats and kissing them all over, while demanding to know how their […]
Chef Sanjay Thumma is my current favorite time suck. It’s refreshing to watch someone demonstrate mouth-watering dishes with uninhibited joy, a matter-of-fact globalism and minimal make-up. It helps that I love so many cuisines in India, but what immediately appealed to me is his stance as a teacher. It’s a very different experience to learn […]
This is a recipe taken (but is not exactly duplicated) from a cookbook I worked on several years ago called New England by Molly Stevens, which was part of a series called New American Cooking by the folks at Williams-Sonoma. I was the food styling assistant on this book and was initially disappointed that we didn’t photograph this recipe. Given the rather monochromatic nature of this dish, I now understand the wisdom of that decision. What this dish lacks in color, it definitely makes up for in flavor. It’s seriously good.
As we inch towards the ledge that is 2008 I am taking a lot of time for reflection. I’m thinking about transition and change and how we never know exactly where we’ll land and how we’ll feel about arriving there, even though we think, with all our planning and list-making and contriving, we can control […]
Last year I didn’t make much progress with my resolutions. But I think I know why. It’s not enough to just have good intentions, you need a plan and you need a goal that is easy to follow through on. This year, I have it all figured out. For 2008 I plan to celebrate deliciousness. […]
This is the second time that I have listed my top 10 tastes for a year. The flavor highlight of this year was a three-week trip to Vietnam at the beginning of the year. Truth be told, I could easily list at least 10 tastes I had there that rocked my world. But in order […]
My friend Ed works crazy long hours making sure people are fed well. Fortunately, he also knows how to party. More to the point, he knows how to throw down one hell of a spread and mixes generous, powerful drinks. Thus, I blame him for my momentary lapse of politics. It’s been roughly a year […]
I hate black licorice. I don’t drink pastis or ouzo or sambuca, so why the hell was I standing outside Hangar One-St. George Spirits on a December morning in a thin jacket waiting for them to throw open the doors to Absinthe Verte, the nation’s first absinthe? If you had asked me at 10:30, my […]
When the weather turns cold and Christmasy, what do you think about? Chances are you think about roaring fires, snowflake-patterned sweaters, or lacing the chestnut stuffing with arsenic. Me, I think about Scandinavian food. In particular, my mind wanders to gravlax. Perhaps it’s just a reaction against all the frosted sugar cookies and enforced glee, […]
This Fall saw three dessert books by local chefs, Elizabeth Falkner’s Demolition Desserts, Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich and Indulge by Claire Clark. Each of these books are masterful and exacting. When it comes to pastry, exacting is important. I’m often intimidated by the fact that you can’t “fix” dessert the way you can fix […]
The restaurant list for the 7th Annual Dine About Town has been announced. Dine About Town (DAT) was designed seven years ago to allow customers to try out new restaurants around the city at a reasonable deal. Modeled after restaurant weeks in cities such as New York, DAT features a fixed price lunch and dinner […]
Back when my plans for Christmas Eve crab were threatened by some dumb-ass humans, I decided to resurrect a Christmas Eve tradition from my childhood: snails. That’s right, people, I grew up a picky eater in Minnesota where I gagged on string beans, yet I ate snails. There’s no explanation, but where my mom failed […]
The documentary film, Chez Schwartz, enjoyed a quiet if savory U.S. premier at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center earlier this week. It has yet to be picked up for wider distribution, but keep an eye out for it. Or, if you can’t wait, order a DVD and see for yourself why this little “Charcuterie […]