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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

I Was Busier Than You Thought I Was

I'm just about ready to shout out a big ol' Hallelujah now that 2006 is coming to a close. I feel I would be nothing but a stanky twat, though, if I didn't at least mention the restaurants I visited this year, but never got around to writing about. This is either because I never had the time to get around to it, or because the restaurant sucked balls. All restaurants are in SF, unless otherwise indicated. So here you are, dearest loves:

Auberge Provencale (Cannes, France) -- An old, old restaurant in Cannes. Picasso used to eat there. Despite being relatively touristy (but not nearly as bad as most other places in Cannes), the boulliabaise was remarkable.

-- Loved it, loved it, loved it. This, despite the fact that neither Jon nor I are super crazy about Moroccan food. I can't wait to go back, especially because one of my favorites works there now.

Berthillon (Paris, France) -- Perfectly delicious ice cream in rocktastic flavors like wild strawberry and cacao. I actually had a dream about it the other night.

Bistro Jeanty (Yountville) -- An institution for a reason.

Bloody Mary's (Bora Bora, French Polynesia) -- Gimmicky restaurant where they have a list of the celebrities who have eaten there. Still, Jon and I had perfectly cooked fish there and it was truly delicious, a big change from the rest of FP where the fish was CHEWY. What the fuck?

Bushi-tei -- Some things were delicious, others were just OK. Not worth the price (and if *I'm* saying that...).

Cafe des Phares (Paris, France) -- Worthwhile if only because we got to make out with David. My croque madame wasn't half bad, but Jon's onion soup sucked ass.

Can Ravell (Barcelona, Spain) -- Tapas bar. Mmmm...tapas and cava.

Canteen -- For brunch. Highly disappointing. My dish, eggs atop black beans and chorizo was so watery that I hardly found it edible.

Caravella (Ventimiglia, Italy) -- Should you find yourself in the south of France, for the love of God, hop a train to the first stop in Italy and eat here. Five people. Five plates of pasta. Not a single bite left. Bless the sweet Italian angel on the street who directed us there.

Chez Panisse (Berkeley) -- Every meal I've eaten there (upstairs only) has been as kick ass as you would expect, except for one this summer where the food wasn't up to it's usual fabulousness. I'm also not so crazy about the relatively cold service one receives when dining at the Chez.

Citizen Thai and the Monkey -- Fun and relatively good for a pretty decent price. Largest selection of Thai street food I've seen outside of Thai House Express. I'd go back if I was in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

Crema Toscana (Barcelona, Spain) -- Delicious gelato. I want some more now.

De Kas (Amsterdam, Netherlands) -- A restaurant in a greenhouse. Really fresh and really fab.

Dosa -- Delicious. I got especially wet over the fiery fruit salad. The service, however, was lacking. We were brought a check without requesting it and were not even offered a dessert menu (our dining companions and were self-conscious, thinking this was because of their baby who was with us but he is a perfect angel baby -- really -- so I'm sure this was not it, but rather just a shoddy oversight).

El Bulli (Cal Monjoi, Spain) -- It's coming. Promise.

El Raigon -- A surprising delight. Fun wine list to boot.

Farmer Brown -- I really want the food there to be better, because I believe in what they are doing, and I want them to do well. Still on a scale from 1-10, they've got about a 5 with me right now.

Felix (Cannes, France) -- If you find yourself in Cannes, it's not a bad option. Not earth shattering food either, mind you, but the fish was yummers.

Foreign Cinema -- One of the best brunches in the city, hands down. Fried eggs deglazed with balsamic (!). I did not eat dinner there this year, though, since my dinner experiences there in the past have been crappy.

Frontera Grill (Chicago, IL) -- Appetizers and drinks only. We were thrilled to find out that the hype is warranted. It was taste-o-rific.

Front Porch -- Loved the Smithfield Ham plate, but didn't love much else.

Hotel Costes (Paris, France) -- Painfully hip. Just popped in for some caviar and champagne. That's right, bitches, that's how we do.

House of Prime Rib -- So. Much. Fun. An institution. The baked pototo cart really rang my bell. The beef was tender (I even ate some -- I mean, what kind of pussy would I be if I didn't?) and flavorful, and my fish entree was very good as well. The accoutrements can't be beat.

Julia's Kitchen (Napa) -- Ugh. Such a disappointment. Service was non-existent and Jon's antelope was such a let down.

Kantjil and the Tiger (Amsterdam, Netherlands) -- Indonesian. Very blah. Wouldn't go back.

Laduree (Paris, France) -- Treats, treats and more treats. I am still kicking myself for not buying pounds of their pillowy strawberry marshmallows.

Le Bangkok (Cannes, France) -- A Vietnamese/Chinese/Thai restaurant. Sounds like puke city, right? Not at all. Stick with the Thai food (the title should be a tip off) -- it was better than any Thai food I've had in SF.

Le Cinq (Paris, France) -- We only ate breakfast here, as we were staying in the hotel and it was the most perfect breakfast a princess, um, I mean, girl, could ask for. Little stools so your purse or newspaper doesn't rest on the ground, impeccable service, yummy chocolat chaud and croissants flakier than your sister. Plus, when I told the waiter how much I would miss the croissants when we checked out of the hotel, he had the kitchen box up four for me to take on my journey. Worth every fucking penny.

Le Petit Zinc (Paris, France) -- Le Petit Crap is more like it.

Le Vesuvio (Cannes, France) -- Pizza and pasta and crap. What Jon's family wanted that night. Yawn.

Linareva (Moorea, French Polynesia) -- A restaurant on a boat! Great drinks, potentially delicious food if those French Polynesians could learn not to overcook their fucking fish.

Nopa -- I was there with a very large party for a birthday (we're talking 30 people) so I can't really pass judgement unless I go under more normal circumstances. I was underwhelmed during the large party visit.

N. V. Restaurant and Lounge (Napa) -- Don't bother.

Olema Inn (Olema) -- Good limeade. Good oysters (except the preparation with Buddha's Hand -- keep the fucking pith out of that shit, please!). Otherwise AWFUL.

Pierre Herme (Paris, France) -- Mmmm...macarons...ate so many that I needed a shot of insulin. Totally worth it.

Pinotxo (Barcelona, Spain) -- A tapas bar in the Boqueria that was so dreamy I almost fell off my stool in orgasmic convulsions.

Pizzaiolo (Oakland) -- Fucking amazing. If we didn't have so much good pizza in the city, I would be there every night.

Pizza Paradiso (Georgetown, Washington, DC) -- Tasty. To be honest, I don't remember much, I was just thrilled to be eating a meal apart from the 80 kids I was chaperoning.

Poleng Lounge -- Fab food. Crappy seating. Sucky service.

Range -- Glorious. I suck for not writing about it. I love every bite I've ever eaten there.

Restaurant Barceloneta (Barcelona, Spain) -- Here's the thing: everything in Barcelona is closed on Sunday. Restaurant Barceloneta was the only place we had read anything decent about that was actually open. The Palermo prawns were pretty delish but otherwise it wasn't a terribly memorable experience.

Small World Catering (Amsterdam, Netherlands) -- Yummy sammiches and cookies.

Tres Agaves -- Incredible bar. OK food. I'm eager to go there to get my margarita on, but not so eager about the eats.

Villa Mahana (Bora Bora, French Polynesia) -- The only fine dining on Bora Bora. Chef Damien Rinaldi Dovio hails from Corsica and serves lobster and foie gras in his precious little restaurant. It's certainly no French Laundry, but it was pretty impressive compared to everything else we were getting on Bora Bora.

Honorable mention: Luna Park's new delivery service. A gift from the Gods. I can get s'mores whenever the fuck I want now. Doesn't get any better than that.

There you have it. See you later, 2006, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Happy Fucking New Year!


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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So Sad

Proving that 2006 continues to do nothing but suck ass, the delightful Manka's Inverness Lodge has been destroyed by a fire.

Jon and I had the pleasure of staying and eating there a few years ago, and had been meaning to go back for some time (in fact, Jon is pretty mad at me at the moment since my crazy schedule is what has prevented us from returning).

Everyone is safe, but the lodge will need to be entirely rebuilt.



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

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ho Ho Ho (C'mon What Did You Expect From the Whore?)

The presents are opened, the sticky buns are rising and the hangover from a certain soiree last night is surprisingly absent (Merry Christmas to me!).

Here's wishing you and yours a Christmas filled with love and light. I won't fault you if it's filled with a little gluttony as well.


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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Humble Pie

I know I haven't been around much lately. Trust me when I say that I have a good reason.

This blog has never been about being fake, and I feel like if I were to attempt to produce restaurant content at the moment, it would be extremely fake.

Quite frankly, 2006 has sucked such major monkey balls that I am ready to kick it so far out of here that we won't even remember it happened. OK, so I'll remember El Bulli but that's all. (And, yes, yes, I know -- I'll write about it as soon as I get my funk back in gear.)

I have watched so many people get torn apart for various reasons this year (and all food bloggers, no less -- what the fuck?), and I am fucking done with it.

For those of you who may be concerned, Jon is fine. I am fine. Our marriage is as rocktastic as ever. But we have been dealt a pretty shitty hand this year, and until now I did not know or believe that my heart was capable of withstanding all of the repeated agony this year has wrought.

And then this morning, I saw this. And I thought, "Fuck, I'm more popular than T.K. right now!" And I realized that I have so much more than my pity party would suggest. Despite this difficult year, there were some pretty wonderful things I got to experience. And I am far more fortunate than most in this world, especially those who we're raising money for right now.

If you haven't done so already, go bid on Menu For Hope and be that person that puts us over the $40,000(!) mark. It has certainly renewed a hope in me that I thought had died.


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

P.S. My prize, dinner for two at Delfina with me is UW17.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Food Blog Awards

So, somehow I missed the fact that nominations for the food blog awards are now open. Get your asses over there and vote for your favorites, m'kay? The nominations period ends tonight, so hurry!


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

Menu for Hope III update, or Have I Mentioned that Delfina Rocks?

OK, so guess what? You know my prize (UW17), that gets you dinner with me at Delfina?

Well, them there good folk over at Delfina have just donated the entire meal. So for fuck's sake, keep bidding!


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

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Menu for Hope III -- Get Your Giving On

OK, kids, here's the deal -- every year we food bloggers (and by that I mean world wide) join forces for good. The campaign is called menu for hope, and this is the first time I've had an actual prize to donate instead of just throwing some cash of my own at the cause.

Here's how it works. We raise some money for the United Nations World Food Programme by having you donate to the cause. Every $10 you donate gives you a raffle ticket to win one of the fabulous prizes AND --get this -- you get to choose which prizes you want most. Super fucking rad, right?

The prize I'm donating is dinner for two, with me, at my second home, Delfina. You can pick my brain for any restaurant knowledge you want to know whilst we dine, and I'll pick up the check to boot (an even easier feat for me considering the good folk at Delfina have agreed to subsidize part of the meal -- Have I mentioned how much I LOVE them?). I'll even wear something low cut. The prize code for this delicious offering is: UW17. To see some of the other fabulous prizes, you can go here, and for details about offerings from local food bloggers, go here.

Here's how you get your giving on:
  1. Go to the donation page at ( )
  2. Make a donation, each $10 will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. Do tell us how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code -for example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for UW01 and 3 for UW17.
  3. If your company matches your charity donation, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
  4. Please also check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.
  5. Check back on Chez Pim on January 15 when we announce the result of the raffle. (The drawing will be done electronically. Our friend the code wizard Derrick at Obsession with Food is responsible for the wicked application that will do the job.
So there you have it, lovelies. Show the world a little bit of love and I'll show you some in return.


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

Friday, December 08, 2006

'Tis the Season for Giving

A lot has been said about the accident that injured two workers from Bar Crudo and caused the fatality of a third.

Those of you that keep up with this blog know that my heart and soul belong to the restaurants of this city. I am a restaurant whore not only because I love dining at restaurants, but also because I love the people who work in them.

Bar Crudo is a place I have adored since their opening because in addition to incredible food, their staff is kind, dear and wonderful at their jobs.

I have been positively sick over the events of last week. Because of my show, I cannot attend the benefit they are having on Sunday (but you should). So instead, while at my show last night, I sent Jon armed with a check to try and help offset some of the financial burden of this tragic event. We decided on giving them half of Jon's holiday bonus (or 10x my holiday bonus depending on how you look at it), and I honestly can't think of a better way to spend that money.

has mentioned that these people have no health insurance (and extensive injuries) and their workers lost a week of pay due to this tragedy. Even if you can't afford to donate, just go and have a meal there. Show your support in any way you can.

Bar Crudo, we are here for you.


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