From the monthly archives: March 2015

The story: Iyasare took over the spot of O Chame restaurant in Berkeley’s Fourth Street shopping district, and is the personal project of Chef Shotaro Kamio, formerly of Yoshi’s. The sophisticated Japanese restaurant features the cooking style of Kamio’s native Tohoku in Japan.

Why I went: The spot was the latest gathering for our regular […]

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The story: Penrose restaurant makes a grand statement in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood, with its imposing open kitchen design and spacious communal dining room that feels like it’s spilling out onto Grand Avenue. The third restaurant from Charlie Hallowell (it’s across the street from his pizza restaurant Boot and Shoe Service), Penrose feeds on the trend of open-fire kitchens […]

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SAN JOSE, Calif.
If there are two things that go together, it’s got to be bacon and beer. Put that in a ballpark setting, and what could go wrong?

Absolutely nothing, if this past weekend was any indication when the Bacon and Beer Classic arrived at the San Jose Municipal Stadium. I was lucky […]

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The story: Ginto Izakaya Japonaise is the first Bay Area restaurant from the mega Tokyo-based restaurant group known as Ramla. With more than 150 restaurants around the globe (including several Oto Oto restaurants in Southern California), Ramla’s San Francisco restaurant opened last month on Market Street next door to the Ritz Carlton Club and […]

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Today was the annual orgasmic carnival for chocoholics, aka the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon at Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion.

Some of my regular readers know that I’ve served as a “people’s judge” (that’s how I call it) in past years, and this year I did double duty as I also gave a Food […]

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UPDATE: The restaurant quietly closed in November 2016.

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 […]

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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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