Eat the Week SF: Chefs Embrace the California Cuisine Moniker
1. The Kingfish Pub in the Temescal district of Oakland may temporarily thwart developers from bulldozing the 90-year old dive bar by acquiring historic landmark status. According to SF Gate, only one other bar in Oakland has reached landmark status — Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, once frequented by Jack London. Oakland North says the site is threatened by a city-approved development project to build condos, a project that was indefinitely postponed by the recession but may be gearing up for a follow through.
2. Eater’s Hottest Chef competition went co-ed on Thursday, with ladies entering the 7th “heat” of the first round. Why so late in the game? I think these smoking seductresses have the unfair advantage of, well, being female.
3. Notable restaurants are starting to claim the California in their cuisine, according to Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle’s ruling restaurant critic. The arduously evolving and sometimes controversial labels that chefs give to categorize the type of food they make has, until now, attempted to avoid the nebulous concept of “California cuisine.” But now that locally sourced ingredients are a top priority, its okay to claim your region. Some places (ahem, Chez Panisse and Bar Agricole) are even going so far as to say Northern California cuisine.
4. Outerlands, three-year old restaurant in the Sunset district, is doubling in size this summer, according to Inside Scoop SF. The expansion comes complete with a full, U-shaped bar and a communal table. Co-owner Dave Muller says his neighborhood regulars often, “lose [restaurant seating] to destination traffic.”
5. Pop-up Wise Sons’ Jewish Deli gets brick-and-mortar in the Mission, says Grubstreet. By the way, its chef, Leo Beckerman sliced up the competition with a 48% win in the first round of Eater’s Annual Hottest Chef competition.
6. Local food culture magazine Meatpaper brings top-notch chefs and artists to the Mission District today for “Bones,” a free to the public art walk with tasting plates from folks like Jerome Waag of Chez Panisse and Nick Balla of Bar Tartine. The event is from 7-11pm in the 20th Street corridor between Capp and Florida.
7. The Dancing Pig, a “BBQ-ery” in the Castro opened on Superbowl Sunday, says Thrillist. How appropriate. The menu, according to Grubstreet, is attempting to define a San Francisco style of barbecue. Good luck, says the southern girl (me).
8. First of its kind employee-owned coffee shop, the Alchemy Collective, opens in Berkeley, according to Tablehopper. The shop features Verve coffee from a La Marzocco espresso machine and V60 style drip coffee from a custom drip bar. Awesome. On the complete opposite end of coffee, Starbucks creeps up on the Ferry Building by attempting to open just north of the iconic Slow Food mall on the Bay. Inside Scoop reports rumors that the coffee giant is willing to pay double for the space. Meanwhile, Jim Seishas, manager of the coffee program at The Boot and Shoe Service, talked with SF Weekly about pairing slow food with equally slow coffee: “You’re going to care about your food and you’re going to care about your wine and then … (the) last thing you’re offering is a shit cup of coffee?” Obviously not. He went with Sightglass, local micro-roastery, instead of Mr. Espresso.
9. Busy or working or generally disenchanted by V-Day crowds? 7×7 tells you whats up for the week of romance. It’s the last chance for love with foie gras this year on Absinthe’s Valentine’s Day menu, says Tablehopper. For the sweet tooth, KQED recommends Powell’s Vintage Candies to get your, “retro sugar rush.” Or, if you are the DIY kind, check out this truffle recipe.
10. Does bad service equal better food and drinks? Ask your bartender/barista … or better yet, don’t bother. They’re not paying attention to you, according to7×7. Micheal Bauer is skeptical of the bad service trend too, sighting water bottles on the table at places like A Cote as an erosion of service. Weigh in on this debate here.