Tale of the Tape: Hakkasan versus MY China

MY China on the left, Hakkasan on the right.
This coming Monday is the Chinese restaurant event of the fall/winter season, at least until Danny Bowien does something new in San Francisco. As previously reported here and elsewhere, both Hakkasan and MY China will open to the public, though note that MY China is opening for lunch only. Being big and ambitious and expensive [...] More »

How will the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. closure affect restaurants?

A selection of oysters from around the world is seen at Waterbar as Raw bar manager Greg Babinecz shucks oysters from Totten Inlet, Washington on Thursday, November 29, 2012 in San Francisco, Calif.
  • Michael Bauer

    Between Meals

    Going retro-modern at Trident and rustic at Delfina and Dopo

    This week I stayed closer to my San Francisco home base, but I still found some my favorite dishes in Oakland and Sausalito. Photo #1: The [...]  More »
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  • Photo: Yelp

    Oh, Gangnam Chicken now exists in San Mateo, complete with fat, dancing, sunglass-wearing chicken mascot

    Today, Korean pop superstar Psy told TMZ that he wouldn’t sue a new Los Angeles restaurant for using the name of his mega-hit, “Gangnam Style.” Well, brace for more “Gangnam”-themed joints trying to ride the craze. Already this week, Gangnam Chicken opened in San Mateo. Tasting Table’s Jonathan Kauffman shared the news on the Twitter [...]  More »
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    Watch Thomas Keller on CBS, tackling the ‘local’ question and much more

    As if you haven’t had enough French Laundry buzz this week, here’s Thomas Keller on the “CBS This Morning” with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell. For a five-minute segment, they get into some hard-hitting questions and deep stuff. Of particular note is Keller’s take on the subject of local, something that he made headlines [...]  More »
    Pat's counter - insert pork belly bao buns with green onions and root beer Jello here / Photo David Blomster

    Hi Five brings Pop Rocks and Korean Fried Crack to Guerneville

    You’re craving crispy Dinosaur kale and flying lotus root chips sprinkled in Pop Rocks candy. Or maybe this would hit the spot: KFC (Korean Fried Crack), which is chicken with cubed pickled daikon, sweet potato salad and melting Sambuca marshmallows. Problem is, you live in Guerneville, better known for its burgers than its smoked pork [...]  More »
    Jared Truby, 3rd place winner in the National Barista Championship, making coffee at The Verve coffee shop in Santa Cruz, California on Friday, November 9, 2012.

    Eye-Openers: Is it more difficult to be a bartender or a barista?

    From the local scene: According to Knockout bartender Josh Yule, being a barista is more difficult than being a bartender: “It’s more labor intensive, and this way [bartending] you just gotta know your ratios — don’t add that much gin, add this much gin. You want it to taste good.” What do you think? [SF [...]  More »
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    Going retro-modern at Trident and rustic at Delfina and Dopo

    This week I stayed closer to my San Francisco home base, but I still found some my favorite dishes in Oakland and Sausalito. Photo #1: The Trident was a rock-star hangout in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it’s been reborn with the same psychedelic ceiling of its heyday. Some of the food is classic [...]  More »
    Workers haul bags full of oysters up onto the dock from a harvesting boat at the oyster company. US Secretary of State Ken Salazar visited Drakes Bay Oyster Company Wednesday November 21, 2012 as he  is trying to decide whether the oyster farm belongs in a national park setting.

    Nightcaps: Drakes Bay Oyster Co. will close

    From the local scene: In case you didn’t catch the news on Twitter or SFGate, after a long campaign to save the oyster farm, the feds rejected a proposal to extend the lease of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. in Point Reyes. More fallout tomorrow. [San Francisco Chronicle] Oenotri has announced the dates — and menu [...]  More »
    Mill Valley Beerworks is a finalist in the beer category. Photo: The Chronicle

    Good Food Awards 2013 finalists announced; California dominates

    The finalists for the 2013 Good Food Awards are hereby released, and after a record number of entries from every state except Mississippi, the blind tastings yielded 182 left from the 1,350 applicants. California has, by far,  the most finalists (43), followed by Oregon (22) and New York (16). The winners will be announced in [...]  More »
    vintage415a08_0064_el.JPG Left to right Nate Valentine, Demetrius Chapin-Rienzo and Todd Palmerton in one of the booths at the Ambassador Lounge Ambassador Lounge is one of the locations this group has opened.It also includes Double Dutch, Dylan Boutiques and restaurants Umami Mamacita's. Photographer: Eric Luse / The Chronicle  names cq from source Demetrius Chapin-Rienzo Nate Valentine  Todd Palmerton

    Saying goodbye to the Ambassador with one of the finest photoshoots of 2007

    Tonight is the finale for the Ambassador, the trendy downtown bar, lounge and club from the Vintage 415 crew. The story of the Ambassador’s closure — and the continued evolution of  Vintage 415 — was told earlier this year, so there’s not much to add. The new regime will turn it into a new bar [...]  More »
    Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    The dirty secret of the daily deal industry: Commission doesn’t matter

    To Groupon or not to Groupon? That’s the question that countless restaurants ask themselves these days. Most restaurants that run daily deal promotions negotiate the commission more aggressively than any other component. In fact, most merchants are willing to increase the price of their promotion (e.g. do a $20 for $40 instead of a $15 [...]  More »
    The exterior of Borgo Italia in Oakland. Photo: The Chronicle

    Q Restaurant updated, plus reviews of Borgo Italia, Locanda and more: In Today’s Newspaper

    The Update: Michael Bauer revisits Barbers Q in Napa, which is now named Q Restaurant & Bar. Not only does the place have a full liquor license now, but it also has a new chef in Randy Lewis, formerly of Criolla Kitchen. Some of the Barbers Q classics remain on the menu — like the [...]  More »
    The French Laundry. Photo: The Chronicle

    A guide to David Breeden, the French Laundry’s new chef de cuisine

    Last week, news broke of a big shake-up atop the French Laundry kitchen, with Per Se executive sous chef David Breeden slated to replace Timothy Hollingsworth next spring. We’ve already chatted with Hollingsworth about the move and his future, but in today’s print column of Inside Scoop, it’s Breeden’s turn. Here’s a guide to the [...]  More »
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    Eye-Openers: Of Rice Paper Scissors — and a sense of discovery

    From the local scene: Video: Meet the ladies behind Vietnamese pop-up Rice Paper Scissors, and learn all about them, including how they try to bring back a sense of discovery to food in an age of social media. [via KQED] For the first time in 62 years, chinook salmon are swimming the upper reaches of [...]  More »
    Rich Table is one of the most exciting restaurants to open this year featuring beautifully prepared local food, but more than half the wine list comes from outside California. The San Francisco Chronicle

    We pride ourselves on local food, but what about local wine?

    If I was going to name one trend that rises above the rest this year, it would be truncated menus and equally compact wine lists that often feature more international selections than local.  As a diner, I think shorter is better. But, the expansion of international wines creates a strange hypocrisy. Every restaurant I reviewed this [...]  More »
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