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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

the BUNRAB blog spot

Do you need to answer back? You can send me comments if you want to.

If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.



January 1-8 , 2007


go to next week's blogs



Monday, January 8, 2007

Bunrabs do not live by party food alone and we have found ourselves eating breakfast at Sherman’s.

Their Fish Platter ($28.95):

... with comes with cukes, onions, olives and cream cheese. For our two fish items, we selected the clown nose red colored cod and the oily (but not in a bad way) Nova lox. I don’t know that we would have gotten the cod if we knew of its tandoori tint, but once buried underneath the anemic tomatoes and other layering items it was perfectly serviceable.

When you really want to Cher a Brent’s platter, this is the closest you will find in this Sonny city.

For lunch I got half a tongue sandwich:

... (I guess some cat got the other half.) This tasty bud was for me. I liked this thin sliced, tender, raspberry maker and hit it with a kiss of mustard to complete this undepressing meal.

Chubby got the “lite lunch special” ($9.75) which started with a mazto ball the size of a small planet orbited by a puddle of chicken soup:

This verged on breaking the size-of-your-head eating rule, but it wasn’t as dense as it looked, so it managed to vanish into a black hole. To complete this “lite” meal, a half pastrami sandwich with chopped chicken livers:

... materialized as though floating its feathery, helium filled, mist-like self from the heavens. It was difficult to tell where the air ended and where the food began with such a “lite” meal, but Chubby managed to bring on his tea and garden club game for this petit canapé. This wasn’t Katz’, but it was still perfectly acceptable even though it was cut a little thinner than is Chubby’s preference.

For dinner, I got the roasted chicken ($13.95):

... which was a basic half bird that was moist and tender but could have used some more herbs and garlic. It came with some carrots and squash and I asked them to hold the potato since I didn’t want to fall asleep in the theatre (I consider spuds to be blankets that work from the inside out.)

Chubby got the steak ($15.95):

His New York Choice steak arrived rare as requested, but it was a bit gristley (hey for fifteen bucks, what do you really expect?)

What I really enjoyed on all of our visits were the pickles and sauerkraut served on a stainless steel tray.

Crunchy dill spears and tangy cabbage ribbons are exactly what I want when I go to a kosher eatery.

Sherman’s isn’t a destination restaurant, it’s a conveniently located, quick place for a nice bite between movies. The service is friendly and efficient, and you can get in and out in a flash.

Sherman’s Deli and Bakery
401 Tahquitz Canyon
Palm Springs, CA

For today’s movie viewing, we saw Sisters in Law, a documentary about the quest to right wrongs without the aid of computers or filing cabinets by legal professionals in Cameroon.

Beauty in Trouble is a narrative film about how it’s better to live in Italy with lots of money than to be abused in a moldy flat in Prague.

Both made for solid between-meal viewing.


From today’s bunrab email Passionate Eater writes about yesterday’s activites:


That lady (or as I call her, the "hand scribbler") is just like me: everytime I visit Bunrabs, I too scribble notes on my hand, except I use a red pen!

Also, the lady who "backed away slowly" doesn't know the true celebs of this world. People would rather look at an appetizing picture of a spear of asparagus than look at Britney Spears' ass-paragus, especially after Brit's recent decline.

Passionate E.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear P.E.,

You give new meaning to being “write” handed.

I agree that the veggie trumps the celebrity, but just like asparagus, Britney will grow up through the dirt thriving on manure.








Sunday, January 7, 2007

Picks and Pan’s

Guillermo Del Toro made a cool movie called Pan’s Labyrinth. We were blown away not only by the storytelling, but also by its disregard for the concept of a target audience. Who’s going to take their kid to see a film about a child who slips into a world of fantasy with graphic violence set during the Spanish Civil War? Gorgeous cinematography, brilliant acting, editing and CG. It gets top marks in our book.

We saw a couple other films today that don’t even warrant discussion after seeing this cautionary tale of frog wrestling and helping yourself to the buffet when you really should know better. 

Tonight’s buffet looked duller than a documentary about drying paint but the plot thickened when the passed hors d’oeuvres began to circulate.

When I snapped this photo of the cheese dice:

...a lady walked up to me and said, “did you get any photos of the celebrities?” I said, “I’m just interested in the food” she gave a weak smile while she backed away slowly without any sudden movements.

The parties at the Palm Springs Film Festival are martini driven:

I have noticed that most film fests are clever enough to enlist a vodka sponsor.  How come Hangar One hasn’t jumped on this bandwagon?

We screened our film this evening and there was a lady who it made enough of impression on that she took notes on her hand:

Imitation is now officially the second highest form of flattery.







Saturday, January 6, 2007


Our first film of the day was Curse of the Golden Flower  directed by Zhang Yimou (the Chinese dude who directed Flying Daggers and Hero.)  Golden Flower is about a couple who needs to see Dr. Phil but they go all Shakespeare on each other instead.

We then went to see David Lynch’s Inland Empire which is a three hour long movie about how Laura Dern needs a Palm Pilot so she can create a more organized schedule.

Then it was time to get in penguin outfits for the black tie awards dinner.

A sit down dinner for 1200 people:

... means that you have to keep it as simple as possible.

Hearts of romaine salad:

...with couscous, pecans, dried cherries, broccolini, and parsley was chomped down before the pot roast:

... with mac and cheese, beans and carrots.

A chocolate mousse pyramid:

...with whipped cream and berries capped off the convention center feed.

Nobody expects great chow at one of these events. There are too many factors working against you. Caterers that come as a package deal with the venue, the coordination of timing of the presenters:

... the sheer number of mouths to feed and getting hot things to the table while they are hot. It’s like airline food without the plane.

Not only is it difficult for the kitchen, it’s a pain for presenters to have to compete with the food and dinner conversation. I felt bad for the people who were delivering their speeches between the entrée and dessert. And then there was a tsunami of people who split right after Brad Pitt left the podium (and there were more honorees to come.)

I guess the moral of the story is to be Brad Pitt.






Friday, January 5, 2007

Lovable Nazis and Freegans on a windy day

The winds were out of control and the Palms were seriously Springing. We missed most of the breezy activity while sitting in the shelter of the cinema which included an evening show of Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book:

... a beautifully shot flick about a nice Nazi and the Jewish crooner that loves him.

There was a Q&A after the film with people asking faux questions to make themselves feel smarter than the director and actors. What is up with that?

After the picture, we spotted a fellow food blogger walking down the street.

Small world.

PSIFF is all about the parties:

There is a minimum of one party per capita going on 24/7. The Black Book party was fully booked and one guy launched a noble attempt to draft in on our invitations. He’s gotta look for larger numbers to pull that one off. Two going in as a three is a 50% increase – way too obvious.

The thing about film festivals is that they are populated by freegans who exist exclusively on the party buffet food.

It doesn’t matter that the buffet plates are Hello Kitty sized, these well-seasoned veterans have the architectural know how to create a taquito skyscraper that could withstand a 7.0 on the Richter scale.

We met a nice drunk guy at the bar who “did couture” and kissed our hands as he slipped in front of us to refresh his defreshed drink. He gaily chatted with us about the other parties he had visited so far this evening which led me to have little faith that he could construct even a basic taquito toolshed that could pass code.

From today’s bunrab email, Chile B. writes:


Thursday Jan 4 I am looking at that picture and everybody is bald except the two tranys in the corner.

Chile B.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Chile,

Ah, that is the charm of having a film festival in a retirement community. There is diversity,  but maybe not the same diversity that we have in the Bay Area.






Thursday, January 4, 2007

Betty Ford’s motorcade kept our plane waiting on the Palm Springs tarmac while it snaked around to take the former first lady back to her desert home. People watched and commented on how impressed they were with this showing of oversized, black vehicles. I think that it’s less enviable than worrisome. Motorcades are for people who are in some sort of danger – not so desirable in my book.

Palm Springs is not only home to Betty Ford, but the Palm Springs Film Festival which was started by Sonny Bono and today was the opening day of the 18th year of this celebration of film.

This evening’s kickoff party:

...was at the Palm Springs Art Museum and it was mobbed. Passed hors d’oeuvres circulated on the ground floor and a buffet:

...was causing serious congestion on the top floor:

Primal urges to grab moving food were in full effect and the beef joint:

...sent me into Neanderthal mode until I was snapped out of it by a  power outage that threw the crowd into a pitch black limbo. The building went from silent to nervous laughter as the emergency lights went on. All the while, the buffet line moved forward.

-G & 3D





Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Swine about Town

Some chunky and creamy guacamole:

... was a good warm up act for my entrée at Tres Agaves.

Watermelon radish slices:

...garnished my seriously delicioso carnitas ($12.95):

This pork was fall-apart-tender with a flavorsome salt, chile and herb rub that seasoned the succulent swine to perfection. Refried beans and rice were relegated to the chorus in this satisfying piggy lunch.

In the past, I have had hit or miss chow here, but now I know to go with the ‘nitas.

Tres Agaves
130 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA

From today’s bunrab email, Steven writes:


I love how you always find a way to put a positive spin on an otherwise (rightfully so) somewhat negative review. My experiences at Book Depot and everywhere else you go mirror yours except what really bugged me there is that all the available outside tables have dirty dishes. Please people, if you bring the dishes to your table, CLEAR your table. There is always a counter or bussers cart nearby. Also your discipline doing this daily amazes me, please keep up this truly wonderful blog.

Steven C.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Steven,

I hate that kind of dish situation too. Perhaps people leave their dirty plates at this particular establishment because they don’t know it’s a Bus (it yourself) Depot?

Thanks for the words of encouragement!







Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Depot or Despot?

The Depot in Mill Valley lives up to the “DMV” initials.  It’s all done by the book. You queue, order, get a number and wait. Even if you order brewed coffee (which is ready to go) you wait. I didn’t hear our number and after a while, I approached the counter and found our tepid cups. I asked if I could get them refreshed with hotter coffee to which received a cold response (at least it went well with the drink) and eventually a hot replacement.

To be fair, I have gotten nicer treatment at this establishment on previous visits so I could have just caught them at a bad time. I just wish that they gave you black coffee right away (as is common in other counter ordering situations.)

I would probably visit more often if their baked goods weren’t standard issue. The pies look better than they taste and the cookies and brownies are serviceable.

What I do like about this place is that there is a little bookstore attached and it’s across the street from Peets Coffee.

The Depot Café
87 Throckmorton Ave.
Mill Valley, CA





Monday, January 1, 2007

Everyone has culinary predictions for 2007.  Whether it’s small plates or molecular gastronomy bets are being placed on what will be the big trends to follow.

Instead of a prediction, I have a suggestion. I think all chefs should focus on every single bite of their food tasting good:

I try not to be wasteful and like to enjoy every bit of my chow, but it is obvious that some food is not designed with optimum deliciousness to be contained in each bite. This does not mean that a dish needs to be homogenous, it means that there must be thought to each mouth-sized bit:

The burrito with all the rice pushed to one end is assembled by an psychopath, but a pizza that is made with tasty dough has edges that can be enjoyed even without cheese.

Sadly, there is little thought given to this concept and that is why there are three different kinds of bites:

1. The set up bite-

This is the first bite of  a big Chinese pork bun in which you don’t get a micron of meat, just steamy, white, poof. It is usually due to a poor filling to protective food layer ratio (a.k.a. meat costs more than bread.)


2. Fulfillment bite-

The bite that has the perfect mixture of ingredients and is truly delicious in it’s balance of flavors and textures.

Then there is the dreaded:

3. Salvage bite-

Which are the food remnants. They are the sometimes dried out, doughy or oily remains to be scavenged after the best bits have been consumed. Many people leave these on their plate. Things like sandwich edges when all the filling was lumped in the middle and the bread was uninteresting or leaden pie crusts. Of course, if you got your hands on some bad chow, every bite of it will fall into this category.

May all your bites of 2007 fall into that second category:

Happy New Year!




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