CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Thursday, March 30, 2006


If I have to keep a secret, I can. But I certainly don't like to do so. In fact, when I get a juicy bit of gossip, there is nothing more I want to do than scream it from the hills. But if I am asked to keep it quiet, I do. I may be a loudmouth, but I'm a trustworthy loudmouth.

But it is, quite simply, KILLING ME to sit on the three industry secrets I have in my back pocket right now. Oh shit. I just thought of a fourth one.

1. The venture from Scott that I mentioned before. It's just really fucking cool. And I want to tell you about it so badly that I'm weeping trying to hold it in.

2. The circumstances of Sante Salvoni's departure from the Slow Club. I have only one side of the story. And since I love the peeps on the other side as well, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'm crazy tore up about this one. Like condom-wrapper-in-the-alley-behind-my-building tore up.

3. One of my favorite, favorite, favorite places EVER from another city is coming to SF. One of their workers e-mailed me yesterday. But the ink isn't dry, so I can't spill just yet. Please excuse me while I rip out my own intestines from sheer frustration.

4. The newest ventures from the Slanted Door folks. Which many of you probably have an idea about already. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if they announced they were opening one on every street corner, or in the airport at the rate they're going (as far as I know, they are doing neither of those things).

I will be screaming these bits and pieces as loud as I can, as soon as I can.

I feel like Tantalus right now. It's not pretty.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


It's so not going to happen.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Choc It Up (Bittersweet Cafe -- San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA)

So lately I've had a mad chocolate jones. I don't know what it is. I just can't seem to go a few hours, much less a day without a little melt in your mouth lovin'. And it's not normal. Because I've never been one of those people who has "needed" chocolate or been super crazy for it. Sure, I liked it as much as the next person, but I've never wanted to have it pumped into my bloodstream like I do now. Must be that tastebud shift that happens every seven years. Or maybe I've been brainwashed by those Oompa Loompas that keep coming to hang out with me (OK, so maybe I've been really fucking busy and tired -- that doesn't mean I'm having a psychotic break, right?).

In any case, I thought what better place to meet up with the lovely Catherine, than Bittersweet Cafe. An entire cafe devoted to chocolate. You see, the thing about chocolate is that it has all kinds of feel good chemicals in it (it even replaces the chemical you lose through tears). In case you haven't been paying attention, Cat's been dealt quite a bit of shit from the universe lately, so I thought what better than some chocolate to ease the pain (or at least dull it a bit)?

That's how we found ourselves at Bittersweet, where we'd both been before. When you've got two people, though, you can have a little more fun.

On my visit with Cat, we opted for their decadent brownie, along with some chocolate shortbread. As I had a performance that evening (and was fading fast), I went with a cappucino sans sugar. And it was some good cappucino. What is shameful is that I have yet to try any of Bittersweet's chocolate beverages. Considering I drink hot chocolate on an almost daily basis this is kind of ridiculous. Plus, you can even get a homemade marshmallow in your drink -- pretty bitchin', right? In any case, I don't drink coffee all that often, but I wasn't disappointed that I chose to have some there, since they are supplied by the very awesome Blue Bottle Coffee Company. (OK, and, by the way, if you happen to spill your just purchased HOT COFFEE on your INFANT, and they start SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER, the correct thing to do is RUN to a DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY. The lady next to us, however, thought that asking her friend "do you think she's OK?" was a sufficient solution. Crazy bitch.)

As for the brownie -- it was divine. Dense, chewy and not too sweet. Just as a brownie should be. I enjoyed the shortbread even more. It had raw sugar rolled around the outside and I detected a bit of cinnamon. It also had a perfectly balanced sweetness. I had half a mind to stuff my pockets full of the little round tasties.

What really will bring me back to Bittersweet, though, is their mini cupcakes, which I tried on my first visit. Now I really fucking love cupcakes. Theirs did not let me down. And I just about humped the clerk when I realized they came in an itty bitty bite size because, really, who wants a cupcake designed for consumption by an elephant? Wait, don't answer that. The point is that the cake itself was fluffy and moist, while the frosting was creamy and sweet (hmm, sounds like someone I knew back in college, but I digress), but not cloying as so much frosting often is (and which is why I normally scrape most frosting off). My cupcake was chocolate with vanilla frosting, but they have other combos as well.

As Catherine and I dished about our writings, we were interrupted by a man who was dying to know who we wrote for. He was very nice, and his two daughters were about as educated about food as a 4 and 6 year old possibly could be -- they kindly informed us they wanted to be a "soup chef" and a "pastry chef." Rad. But since Cat and I also needed our girl time so we could make out, we were happy enough when they finished their treats and moseyed on out. Still, it was nice to see a new generation of savvy diners being formed right before our eyes ("Daddy, I think this is a bit too rich for me," the littlest one opined).

We also bumped into Chuck Siegel, of Charles Chocolates, and his two daughters (whom I happen to teach. Pretty sweet, right?). He sells his wares at Bittersweet -- oh yeah, did I mention they have an incredible selection of confections from all over the world for purchase? Yeah, it might actually be a level of heaven.

Bittersweet hasn't let me down yet. My next plan is to go for a hot chocolate tasting. Just line those bitches on up and start drinking. That's normal, right?


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

P.S. I just finally added "fucking" to my spellchecker in Blogger. About time right?

P.P.S. I just got the scoop on the reason behind my beloved Sante leaving the Slow Club. All I can (and will) say for now is not cool, dudes. So not cool.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Alone without the Whore...

As the whore is finishing up the last of her shows, and I'm left alone one last Saturday night, I thought I'd hijack her blog and do a post of my own. Shhh, don't tell her.

Not having much to do, I figured I'd make myself a spectacular dinner, but wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to make. I stopped at Costco, but didn't find any nice meat-stuffs, so it was going to be a Vegetarian only meal. Good thing Rainbow's on the way home from Costco.

I figured it had been a while since I'd made ravioli, and while walking through the produce aisle I spotted nice looking spring onions and fava beans. You always need a salad with pasta, so I figured some bitter greens, with fennel and tangerines would do nicely. (I don't make this shit up, I just regurgitate crap we've had at various restaurants.) I needed something for dessert too, and the strawberries looked awesome (albeit $5/pint -- shit this place is expensive.)

I came home and cooked up a fucking storm. Music blaring , I went to town. Because this was going to be a social dinner-making exercise (yes I know it was just for me), I cleaned some radishes I bought at Rainbow, opened a nice half bottle of Robert Sinsky, started snacking and began the prep.

I tend to use recipes less and less, but was curious if we had anything useful in our wide array of cookbooks. I was going to use Jamie Oliver's pasta recipe
again, but I checked the Silver Spoon and went with their recipe instead. (It worked like a charm.) As the dough was resting in the fridge, I prepped the beans, and the spring onions. Those were mixed with some Bellweather farms ricotta, parmagiana and lemon juice. Rolling out the pasta dough worked wonderfully, and I put down the dollops of filling:

After folding over the raviolis, and cutting them apart, I put them back in the fridge while I worked on the salad. I washed the watercress, and arugula, and shaved the fennel on the mandolin. I mixed up a dressing of olive oil, lemon and tangerine juice. Then I neatly pealed and sliced the tangerines, lying it all out on the plate and dressing it. Damn sexy:

Pasta water was boiling, and a saute pan was ready for the pasta "sauce." I was going really simple, as the ravioli filling was very tasty itself. (I should know, as I'd eaten a quarter of it already.) I threw the ravioli into the water, and butter and sage into the saute pan. After about seven minutes the ravioli went into the saute, and a few minutes later -- viola, dinner was complete:

And damn, it was a fine frickin' dinner. I ate all the raviolis, though I had intended on saving some for her. I saved some salad, finished up the wine, and then passed out for a while. Dessert will have to wait till tomorrow.

Thanks y'all for indulging the whore's husband. I promise, she'll be back to her fabulous writing soon. (I miss her much more than you guys do!)


Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Or, if you prefer, what the fuck???

I just took a look at the French Laundry page and it appears that all tasting menus at both the French Laundry and Per Se are now $210 DOLLARS. PER PERSON. Jesus Christ!

I found this out while looking for Per Se info for a possible trip to NYC this summer. In other words, I'm considering spending more on the meal than on the plane ticket. I think I just got so disgusted with myself that I might actually vomit. Hungry, anyone?

Now, we all know that I think Thomas Keller is a genius. I mean, in my world he's practically a deity. But $210 fucking dollars? That's just flat out ass rape right there. Especially when you consider that it was still at $175 a person when I ate there in November.

You want to know the really sick thing? I'd probably WOULD still save all my pennies just so I could pay that much to eat there. It's jerkwads like me that allow shit like this to happen. Damn!

I keep telling you people that I have a problem. I need that intervention and I need it now.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

P.S. I got a juicy scoop last night that I can't divulge yet...BUT it involves my friend Scott and some other really fucking cool people that get me all hot and bothered. I'll tell you as soon as he lets me, but when all the bitches start pretending like they knew first, just know that I knew so early that I can't even talk about it yet. So there!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sick and Tired

I know, I know. I have some stuff in my back pocket for you, but for now I need to get rid of this motherfuckin' cold I've got (before my show on Thursday, I might add). You know the situation is bad when I had to cancel on my girlfriend, who had generously invited Jon and I to Chez Gastronomie to celebrate Persian New Year.

In any case, expect a some upcoming info. on both Va de Vi (in Walnut Creek) and Bittersweet Cafe (here in SF, but also in Oakland) which both rocked my world this past week. I know we've been in a review drought over here in Restaurant Whore land, but the show closes this weekend and then I'm all yours, my pretties.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sometimes I Write

Here is a link to my most recent article for Mesh Magazine (a.k.a. The Coolest Magazine EVER).

I've been lax about getting my past articles up here because the website was undergoing renovations and I'm a lazy piece of shit. Now that the technical difficulties are worked out over in Mesh server (the computer kind, not the restaurant kind) land, I'll try to be better about notifying you when I write something old school style.

Side note: Easter candy is in the stores. That includes peeps. The candy that everyone either adores or despises. I fall into the adoration category. I also fall into the eat-so-many-of-them-that-I-slip-into-an-insulin-coma category. Once, here in SF, I saw a bus that was, I shit you not, "The Peeps Fun Bus." I almost skipped work so I could get a closer look.

Side note #2: This Thursday (March 16th) is pay-what-you-can night for my show for those of you that thought you were too poor to come see it.

Side note #3: Luna Park is going to do delivery. Including the s'mores. I may never leave the house again.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Slipping a Mickey

OK, so, yeah, I was in Disneyland earlier this week. And, as I'm sure you are bound to deduce, my Disney sickness is the cause for the lapse in posts. I've also learned that there is such a thing as too many french fries.

I'll get some sweet, sweet lovin' for you up here soon. Maybe even before the weekend. But probably not, because I have four shows. Soon, though, my precious, soon.

In the meantime, here is a restaurant whore fun fact: Ton Kiang is almost always empty for dinner. And while you know I think they have the most super bitchin' dim sum anywhere, what you don't know is that it tastes EVEN BETTER at dinner time because they make it fresh for you when you order it (rather than it circulating the dining room first). And their noodles are the stuff that dreams are made of (I'll let you deduce what kind of dreams I'm talking about here). You also don't have to climb over the seventeen trillion fuckheads who decide that the proper place to stand while waiting for a table is in the middle of the fucking doorway.

So while I won't ever give up on getting my dim sum fix, it's nice to know I have options when the misanthrope in me just can't handle another freakin' stroller jamming up the entrance way to my nirvana.

And there are too many strollers in Disneyland, too. I'm just saying.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I had the most divine meal at Coco500 last night.

Sitting at the bar and being waited on by my hottie, Scotty, didn't hurt the cause.

The asparagus and crab salad with bacon (!) was enough to make me lick the plate (although I suggested that a quail egg added to the mix would be quite nice and Jon and Scott concurred). And Oh! Those fried green beans.

We also got some liquid lovin' in the form of a 1983 Sauternes. In the restaurant whore world, that's the equivalent of a multiple orgasm.

I fucking love that place.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld