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.
Jesse Hirsch is the restaurant critic for the San Francisco Examiner. Before that he has been a critic for the East Bay Express, the editor of Edible Queens magazine, and a freelancer for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Wine and Spirits magazine, and the Village Voice.
Since moving from NYC>SFO, Hirsch has joined a CSA, practices regular yoga, and barely uses his car horn. In short, he has undergone the type of Bay Area conversion that makes East Coasters feel smug. A theory – it’s possible Hirsch’s sharp edges have been blunted by an embarrassment of delicious food. Laugh away, oh ye cynics, while he Zens out on year-round produce, shrimp tacos, and everything al pastor.
Full disclosure: Hirsch is goat cheese-averse.
Jesse Hirsch's Latest Posts
The weather was unusually cooperative in Muir Beach on Saturday, a sun-dappled day to ring in the 40th Anniversary of the Green Gulch Farm. The farm, an outpost of San Francisco’s Zen Meditation Center, has long been a champion of sustainable food and agriculture. Saturday’s fundraiser event, “Feasting in the Fields,” paid tribute to that legacy with a menu designed by Annie Somerville of Greens and a powerhouse roster of speakers.
In an innovative melding of art and food, the Cutting Ball Theater kicked off a month-long series of restaurant crawls called Tenderloin Trail. Held in conjunction with the theater company’s new documentary play, Tenderloin, theater-goers have the opportunity to check out several neighborhood restaurants and bars before or after the play.
In the midst of the gluten-free dietary zeitgeist, enter caterer and former chef Simone Shifnadel, a gluten-free advocate with big dreams. She recently launched a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign to create Zenbelly Kitchen, a gluten-free shared kitchen, café, and community space.