The story: Chef/Owner Rick Hackett opened the Pan American-influenced Bocanova at Oakland’s Jack London Square more than five years ago, and late last year expanded by opening Jack’s Oyster Bar and Fish House next door. With Executive Chef Peter Villegas (formerly of La Mar) and pastry chef Paul Conte (Bocanova’s pastry chef), the new […]

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Indian food is often the go-to cuisine for many of my friends, but I’ve never been a huge fan mostly because many of the Indian food I’ve had either had dried out chicken or too much spices in the curries.

So when I agreed recently to try out a sample spice kit from the online […]

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The story: Former line cooks Greg Eng and Jason Low opened their own burger joint in 2010 called TrueBurger, focused on simple beef patties made from pasture-raised, hormone-free beef. Their Grand Avenue restaurant became popular with the lunch crowd, and earlier this year they opened a larger, second location on Broadway.

Why I went: The […]

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SANTA ROSA, Calif.
In my continuing exploration of artisan coffee in the Bay Area, I convinced my friend Jason to stop into Flying Goat Coffee in Santa Rosa last weekend after our wine and crab feed. The artisan coffee roasters only has three stores in the Bay Area, all in the North Bay (in Santa […]

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SANTA ROSA, Calif.
When in Sonoma wine country, you expect rolling hills. Check. You expect fine wine. Check. You expect Dungeness crab. Say what?

Last weekend, it wasn’t the wine that drew me to Sonoma but the promise of crab. A few months ago I signed up for a pruning seminar and crab feed put […]

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The story: Sammy Kong Kee has won awards for his poke recipe (the traditional Hawaiian dish of marinated raw tuna), and while working at Butterfly restaurant along San Francisco’s Embarcadero he got the opportunity to touch on the flavors of the islands when he took control of the restaurant’s take-out window and opened up […]

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To all my readers on the East Coast, you may want to avert your eyes and not read the following.

So some of you know my general rule of not eating ice cream on cold days. Well, an early spring made an appearance during the holiday weekend in the Bay Area so I didn’t have […]

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Everybody’s writing about sweets and chocolates lately. Wonder why? Hmm, for me, while I do like making chocolates, I was thinking lemon instead.

Meyer lemons, more specifically, because this is the season for citrus, and Meyer lemon is the king of lemons for its beautiful color and slightly sweeter juice. I decided to try a […]

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The story: Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski changed the San Francisco dining scene when they opened State Bird Provisions in the Fillmore, offering small plates in a dim sum cart format, and garnering long lines from those hoping to grab the few walk-in seats because they failed to get a coveted reservation. After winning […]

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The story: Lungomare is a restaurant that opened up in the former Miss Pearl’s space in the heart of Oakland’s Jack London Square, specializing in Northern Italian cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. The restaurant is the bold gamble of owner Chris Pastena, who co-owns the nearby Chop Bar and Grand Tavern.

Why I went: Along […]

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