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Dinner at Frances

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A few weeks ago, Jan and Peter managed to get reservations at Frances, which turned out to be one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. I’m told that it is nearly impossible to get reservations, so they must have had a last-minute cancellation! Highly recommended. After I got home, I made a couple more reservations on Open Table. The first slot available was 5 weeks out.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 4, 2011 11:14:22

Oh hai! (Food in Japan)

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I love food in Japan. The kaiseki at our hotel in Shibu Onsen was incredible. Even the rice was delicious — the best rice I’ve ever tasted: perfect mouth feel. We had some rice at a restaurant in Kyoto just now which paled in comparison, so the variation in quality is extreme. (read more »)

Kyoto, Japan | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 25, 2010 07:09:14

Chez Panisse, celebration

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Geoff and Livia at Chez Panisse

Geoff and Livia took us out to Chez Panisse tonight to celebrate the events of the last week. We went to the restaurant downstairs, which was wonderful, as expected. Highly recommended!


Incredible dessert at Chez Panisse: Cognac and bittersweet chocolate ice cream meringue tartlet


Jack’s happy brush is sad!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 18, 2010 23:29:03

Flash-fried shishito peppers

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Here is my first attempt at flash-fried shishito peppers (I found them at the local farmer’s market). I am happy to report that they were every bit as tasty as the ones I had in Japan!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Oct 11, 2010 09:35:41

Shabu shabu reflex demonstration (Bangkok, Thailand)

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Beng and Aey demonstrate their lightning-quick reflexes while eating shabu shabu in Bangkok, Thailand. July 12, 2010.

Bangkok, Thailand | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Jul 14, 2010 13:07:01

See you in hell (Bangkok, Thailand)

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A video short inspired by gorging ourselves on mango sticky rice after eating sticky rice (created by Mean, Aey, Tony and me).

Bangkok, Thailand | link | trackb | no comments » | Jul 13, 2010 08:10:39

Pad thai preparation in slow motion (Bangkok, Thailand)

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Tonight, I had my first pad thai in Thailand at Thip sa mai / Pad Thai Pra Tu Phe. It was quite an experience: chefs work furiously at large woks near the sidewalk while patrons sit inside at modest tables. Once the pad thai is cooked, a single portion is thrown onto a special wok and wrapped in a thin layer of egg — a feat which takes only 4-5 seconds. I switched to slow-motion mode to better capture the crazy cooking. I’m sure I’ll assemble something for the web eventually; until then, here’s a little preview.

UPDATE, JULY 13: I’ve replaced the video file with a longer edit.

Bangkok, Thailand | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jul 10, 2010 11:24:23

Hamura Saimin Stand, Lihue, Kauai

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When I met Martin Wong a few days ago and told him I was headed to Kauai, he asked if I was going to check out “that saimin place that everyone goes to.” I replied that I had no idea what he was talking about, but that if there was a famous saimin place in Kauai, I’d find it. Today, Jennifer Penner happened to write to me on Facebook to ask if I had been to Hamura Saimin Stand in Lihue, which apparently won a James Beard award despite its official status as a hole-in-the-wall.


Hamura Saimin Stand in Lihue

Pam and I ventured out to Lihue tonight to find Hamura’s. When we arrived and walked in, we stood around for awhile before we realized that we were supposed to seat ourselves. The old women who run the place were in motion continuously, taking to-go orders, accepting money, and delivering food to hungry patrons. They were EXPERTS at avoiding eye contact — quite impressive, actually. It took us quite some time before we were able to get one of them to come take our order, and when she finally came over, Pam asked, “What’s in the special?”

Wrong move. (read more »)

Poipu, Kauai | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Apr 19, 2010 02:10:07

Yummy dessert

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My favorite part of the meal! :)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Apr 12, 2010 22:45:58

Ramen at Ippudo with Douglas and Emily

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With Douglas and Emily at Ippudo in New York

While I was at Beneath the Sea in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Douglas Seifert and Emily Irving were enjoying all 9 Beethoven symphonies in Manhattan. They managed to drag Marit Miners away for dinner one night (although, dinner with Douglas and Emily is a vegetarian nightmare), and Susy and Stan Waterman for a night of music.

I didn’t get to see Douglas and Emily until Monday; we met at Ippudo for an 11am bowl of ramen and heavenly pork buns, elbowing our way past an entire busload of Japanese tourists to get our table.


My eating buddies.

I don’t get to see them enough these days.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 31, 2010 04:29:55

I almost took the entire weekend off

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first attempt at butternut squash soup

It was so beautiful here in San Francisco this weekend that we spent most of it outside, wandering around. We read on the beach in Pacifica, wandered around Burlingame, Millbrae and San Bruno looking for the best view of planes from SFO, had a delicious brunch (baking in the heat) at Universal Cafe, hiked the Lands End Trail, had Chinese gelato at Marco Polo, and made soup for the first time. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Oct 26, 2009 02:15:04

Dessert tonight in Tokyo

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Mochi, red beans, and ice cream. YUMMMMM.

I love the food in Tokyo.

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | no comments » | Oct 19, 2009 07:30:16

Soft cream, Tokyo

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“Soft cream” — not to be confused with ice cream or soft serve. Hitomi is imitating a pufferfish in the background, but it’s hard to tell…

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | no comments » | Oct 5, 2009 20:51:57

Macarons from Ladurée, Paris

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Rainbow macaron heaven

Macarons from Ladurée, a patisserie just a few blocks from Musée d’Orsay. We cut our museum time short for a special trip there to get macarons. (read more »)

Paris, France | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Sep 28, 2009 01:28:27

Rose and lichee flavored macarons at Pierre Hermé

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Rose and lichee macarons, pierre herme

Rose and lichee-flavored macarons with raspberries @ Pierre Hermé in Paris — not far from our hotel in Montparnasse. These are to die for

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Sep 27, 2009 03:23:56

Food / socializing / food / socializing

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These days, dinner = contact with other people. Had Korean food awhile ago with Bill, Juan, and Felicia. Bill and Juan really enjoyed the little yogurt drinks they give you at the end. Also, got to see Zandra for the first time in over a month, which was nice. We explored the Japanese restaurant inside the Metreon, which was decent (nothing special, but totally fine). Finally, dinner with Pam — and my favorite affogato!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Oct 10, 2008 02:25:17

What happened to Taqueria Cancun?

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I went to Taqueria Cancun last night (the one at Mission/18th) with Jake, and found a taqueria I nearly didn’t recognize. There was no free water, and during our entire dinner, only 3 Latinos came in to eat. Instead, it was a bunch of well-dressed folks — Caucasians and Asians, mostly — plus the occasional rail-thin hipster in a striped sport coat and funky hat.


the good ol’ burrito mojado

However, the burrito mojado was as I remembered it to be, as was the nasty ambient smell, which only materialized after a yuppie asked a staff member to close the door because it was too cold outside.

Can anyone recommend a good taqueria in SOMA? I know there is a Taqueria Cancun at Market/6th, but it doesn’t seem like there are many more in the area.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Aug 8, 2008 02:06:36

Slow Club with Susan and Brad Brown

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susan and brad @ universal cafe

Brad (of Cracottes dolphin fame) and Susan Brown drove up a couple of weeks ago to have brunch with me at Slow Club. It was really great to hang out with Brad and Susan; I hadn’t seen them since the Digital Shootout 2007 in Bonaire.

I love brunch in Portrero Hill. I like the food, ambiance, parking availability, and the relative lack of hipsters when compared to some other areas (like the area I happen to live in now).

Anyway, you can see some of their work. They are good shooters!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Aug 2, 2008 01:24:38

It’s chicken, stupid!

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On the way back from seeing Vienna Teng perform at C. Donatiello winery in Healdsberg, Bill and I stopped to have dinner with Mandy, Elliot, and Aaron at a Mexican restaurant in West Portal. Halfway through dinner, we got to the bottom of one of the small baskets of chips, and I noticed something dark beneath one of the chips. I discovered a single rat turd.

The waitress came over, and I pointed out the turd to her. She removed the basket quickly and told us story about the chips being cooked on something where they also warm tortillas and cook chicken. “It’s chicken,” she said.

Now, I’m no chef, but I know what chicken looks like. More importantly, I know what chicken doesn’t look like. Specifically, chicken doesn’t look like rat turd. The poop piece was 100% a canonical rat turd — tapered ends and slight bend. And even if it was chicken (it wasn’t), we had two vegetarians with us at the table. It turns out that vegetarians don’t want chicken in their chips.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Jun 29, 2008 21:43:58

Synsepalum dulcificum makes things taste sweet

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Synsepalum dulcificum and citrus

A year and a half ago, my aunt in Taiwan gave me a little dried fruit to taste. After chewing on the pulp, I ate some sour citrus fruit, and to my surprise, it converted sour to sweet! I’ve been telling friends about it since then, but had never found a mainstream article about the fruit hitting the States until now. The taste twist is due to a protein called miraculin, which is sort of a lame name. People are calling the experience “favor tripping.”

The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to a scientist who has studied the fruit…

Full article is at New York Times: A Tiny Fruit That Tricks the Tongue

I also just noticed that the NYT website overrides double clicks and turns it into a site search for that term. Argh.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | May 29, 2008 11:02:09
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