Posts by: Ben

The popular ice cream shop Salt & Straw has brought its creative flavors to San Francisco, along with the notoriously long weekend lines.

Salt & Straw, known for its handmade ice cream and flavors such as honey lavender and salted honey marshmallow, has plans for two locations in the city. Two weekends ago, it opened […]

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Chef Khai Duong made a name for himself with his popular Ana Mandara restaurant in San Francisco’s Ghiradelli Square, which closed after a 12-year run in 2012.

Now Chef Khai has returned in a smaller, more intimate space in SOMA on the edge of the Design District (on the same block as Omakase), showcasing his […]

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The story: Bao Down is considered an Asian fusion restaurant that gets its name for the Chinese-style steamed buns on the menu. It’s originally from Vancouver, B.C. where it has three locations. This month it opened its first U.S. outpost in San Francisco’s Executive Hotel Vintage Court near Union Square, which formerly housed the brief […]

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We were all running late, but I was running late simply because my mind was playing tricks on me.

It was Saturday morning, and I was driving to one of my favorite spots in the Bay Area — Hog Island Oyster Farm in Marshall near Tomales Bay. I’d picked […]

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The restaurant business is one of those with a clear glass ceiling, where many executive chefs are often men rather than women. Few female chefs have been able to garner much attention, even in the diverse and food-crazed San Francisco Bay Area.

But one of the women who are making waves in the city is […]

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The story: Curry Up Now started off as a popular food truck offering up Indian flavors in unique forms like burritos or fries. It opened a storefront in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood and has now spread to four other cities, with its latest being Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood.

Why I went: I admit, Indian food isn’t […]

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Anyone who has visited Italy will always remember the sights and, of course, the gelato.

There’s something about Italian gelato, the rich and gooey texture and the often colorful and interesting flavors. It’s hard to find anything similar outside of Italy (although the gelato in Argentina, known as helado, comes pretty close).

Now I might […]

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A lot of changes have been coming to the Emeryville Public Market, and the most recent is one of the most exciting to me. With the opening of the Nyum Bai food stand, I and the rest of the East Bay get an introduction to Cambodian street food.

Like most food enterprises these days, Nyum […]

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The nice thing about the ramen frenzy in the Bay Area is that it comes in all forms, from the premium bowls at fancy restaurants, to counters serving up noodles and bar bites, and to pop ups where chefs are honing their skills in broth-making.

An example of the latter is Ippo Ramen, a pop […]

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One of the highly touted new dining destinations in San Francisco has added a spark to the city’s traditional Chinatown with a buzzing marketplace and restaurant. China Live has arrived.

China Live, in the former Gold Mountain dim sum restaurant space on Broadway, is a two-story food emporium that some have compared to New York’s […]

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Some nights when I’m looking for a quick dinner, I often go with the typical standbys like pan-roasted salmon or any kind of stir-fry.

But recently I remembered I had a bag of lap cheong (Chinese sausage) in the freezer, and that made me crave one of the first dishes my Mom taught me to […]

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The strip of 40th Street off Broadway continues to grow, and the same block that draws crowds regularly because of the mac and cheese restaurant Homeroom has now blossomed with a few novelty stores, including the boutique wine shop Oakland Yard.

Opened late last year by partners Daniel Schmidt and Jonathan Davis, the […]

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The story: New Orlean flavors hit the city’s Mission neighborhood with the arrival of Bayou from Chefs Jerome Rivoire and Arthur Wall.

Why I went: Even though it’s just a couple of weeks old, I decided to check it out since it’s Mardi Gras (OK, I know I’m a day late when I went; I […]

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When Oakland’s Bay Wolf announced it was closing after nearly 40 years in business, the neighborhood and regulars were in disbelief. The restaurant on Piedmont Avenue had risen in reputation and popularity for its intimate California-French cuisine — an answer to Berkeley’s Chez Panisse.

But hints of Bay Wolf, which officially closed last August, are […]

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