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      ABOUT ME:

 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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July 21-31, 2010


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  Saturday, July 31, 2010

I had to taste the cilantro ice milk at Ici and although it was good, the herb didn't curb my screaming needs so I chose to cap my house made cone with a pumpkin seed toffee studded scoop (while Chubby went with the coffee cardamom.) We both built upon a ball of their basic chocolate which was rich with a pleasant hint of bitterness ($4.60 for a 2 scoop cone).

We lickuriated in our purchases before chomping down the final bite of our cones (which they plug with chocolate ganache for panache.)

This popular parlor of conical contentment churns a constant clientele:

... (although we didn't spot anyone with a cilantro sundae.)


2948 College Ave.
Berkeley, CA



  Friday, July 30, 2010

The Golden Orb bit the dust and a new hand-held food business has filled the void.

The Pie Palace was opened by the Theresa & Johnny's people (a couple doors down) to parcel out pastry purses.

All of the half moon helpings are priced at $3.75 with sweet and savory offerings.

The ground beef was encased in a baked, tender dough. Although good, the ratio of meat to pastry left us wanting more protein.

The corn and pasilla pocket:

... was a fried formation with a pleasing pepper punctuation.

Raisins and apples filled a baked, grown up version of a Hostess fruit pie:

... which wrapped up our trio of pies (although we really should have had 3.14...)

Pie Palace

811 4th St.
San Rafael, CA



  Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tequila was on the tips of our tongues as rolled into Repasado. Our pals took us out for a repast of goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms:

... ceviche:

...guac and chips which we savored between sips of their top shelf Margaritas.

The cochinta pibil:

... came with rice and tortillas for tacofying and the fish special "white salmon":

... arrived at my requested doneness of rare. This fab fish floated on a hill of beans speared with asparagus.

The place was wriggling with agave enthusiasts at this nook for nuevo nosh with terrific, 'toxicating tequila.

Reposado Restaurant

236 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA



  Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brick & Bottle
has caught on with the Corte Maderaians big time.

The crowd kept the staff jumping as we took a couple seats at the bar for a Sazerac and a Ward Eight.

The Sazerac was a little over-absinthed for my taste, but still good with a nice rye bite while the Ward Eight was a refreshing, fruitier take on rye with citrus, grenadine and bitters.

A thin crusted goat cheese pizza ($13.00:)

... with arugula and la Querica ham was nice nosh with a tang and richness from the cheese, but we sent back the overcooked halibut ($18.00):

... which was promptly replaced by a moist morsel of Alaskan seafood. We snapped up the peas and oyster 'shrooms with this herb crusted, arugula aioli augmented 'but.

The friendly staff got through the bottleneck of brisk business at this Twin Cities gathering spot.

Brick & Bottle

55 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA



  Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The patio at L'Appart Resto was a popular perch for San Anselwomen seeking salads and practicing their French on the owner.

Some of the menu items display their fraternity to Sausalito's Garage Restaurant, but L'Appart's setting is a little more posh, without Garage's roll up car door at their waterside digs.

We dug into the Kobe burger ($15.00):

... cooked to a medium rare and strewn with sweet, caramelized onions, tomatoes and lettuce. A side of aioli demanded dipping with the birds nest of Kennebec frites. As good as this ciabatta-bumpered burger was, the herring sandwich ($11.00):

... overshadowed the cow-petition with its swirl of pancetta, tomatoes and lettuce and whole grain mustard punching up this swimmingly swiney s'wich. Fries and smoked paprika aioli also accompanied this fintastic dish.

L'Appart imparts a bistroy boost to l'Ansemo. Their dinner offerings of cassoulet and bone marrow sound worth a return visit.

L'Appart Resto
636 San Anselmo Ave.
San Anselmo, CA



  Monday, July 26, 2010

Flaming chili oil and Szechuan pepper had us working up a sweat as we ate the Ma Po Tofu ($8.00):

... at Mission Chinese Food. Kurobuta pork kept this dish from being the vegetarian vittles that tofu dishes tend to turn towards. This ignition of green onions, beech mushrooms and fermented black beans was tempered by bowls of rice and cold beer.

A Chinese burrito or "Chinito" ($8.00):

... was tortillaed in a sheet of rice noodle around a Chinese donut filled with duck confit and cucumber. This maki-chopped log of hoisin heightened fowl rolled down our gullets gleefully and will fly off the menu tomorrow when they replace it with another creation.

Waiting in the wings are these pepper punched, crunchy fried chicken chunks:

... that the chef sent us to munch on - perhaps these will roost on the new roster...

The fried rice ($10.00):

... with coins of Chinese sausage, egg and green onion was a filling, nostalgic nosh made posh by a perfectly moist hunk of black cod.

Lung Shan continues to share their space with Mission Chinese which is like a Big Love business plan (except for the taboo part.) They even deliver.

Whether it's in a cart, market or restaurant, these missionaries convert the hungry as Chef Bowien fills bellies with cheap and cheerful chow that is also charitable - 75¢ from each item goes to the SF Food Bank.

We anxiously await the opening of Anthony Myint's latest mission - Commonwealth.

Mission Chinese Food
Lung Shan Restaurant
2234 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA



Mark your Calendar

Last year's SF Chefs event was a sensational celebration of the Bay Area's cream of the crop of culinatti. Corey Lee's potage and Melissa Perello's mousse were handsome heralds that made us look forward to the openings of their respective establishments - Benu and Frances. Aziza brought their A-Z game with both fab fish and financiers. There were seminars, parties and a potpourri of palatable proceedings.

This year we'll get to see what Kim Alter:

...has up her chef's sleeve at her Plate Shop (which she will open later this year in Sausalito.) We're excited to see an enticing list that includes Brett Emerson, Peter McNee, Chad Newton and Bruce Hill among the tantalizing tally of toques.

You can check out the full list of festivities here.

SF Chefs 2010

August 9-15



  Sunday, July 25, 2010

Locanda da Eva is the kind of restaurant you would expect if you have read any of Robert Lauriston's postings on Chowhound. His analytical nature, interest in wines and Italian cuisine as well as his pursuit of the perfect pizza have resulted in the genesis of an establishment where he is the guardian of eatin'.

We got off on the right foot with some trotter fritters ($9.00):

... which were blocks of pig feet meat deep fried to a sole-satisfying crispy-shelled fetish-worthiness. Corn and Padron peppers were instep with these hog hunks but they made me wish we had ordered a vinegary salad to further complement this dish.

Blistery borders beckoned from our braised pork pizza ($14.00):

This thin crusted 'za had a good balance of peppers, mozzarella, Grana padano, chilies and pork to its chewy-edged crust which we washed down with a 2007 Pey-Lucia Frisquet Pinot Noir.

The goat ($18.00):

... was required eating. This braised bleater surrendered in a stew of wine, peppers and basil with a slice of grilled bread. We sopped up every drop of this goat-to meal.

Diners choose their veg side for each main and we picked the corn:

... which was deep fried to a toothsome toastiness. A green mayo was provided as a saucing agent, but these Brentwood cobs didn't need any further assistance.

Chef Huw Thornton is leading innocent diners to temptation with his terrific twists on tradition. We hope to catch the tongue and rigatoni with tripe (if they are on the menu during our next visit) as well as their cocktails (which we bypassed today with glasses of Prosecco.)

Our (serpent-free) expulsion from paradise left us full and glad to see that Eva has come to fruition.

Locanda da Eva

2826 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, CA




Mark your Calendar

Will Elizabeth Falkner add a kinky angle to a cheeky dish? Will Michelle Polzine bring perky plates of fruit flecked flavor to match her floral frock? It's time for this year's Dessert First which spotlights some of the area's sweetest talent. Boulevard, Baker & Banker and Absinthe will be among those to demmererastrate their dextrose-terity with the diminuative delights they dispense.

Check out the full list here and look at our coverage of last years' event to see how we sated our sweet teeth at this swell soiree.

A Decade of Delicious
2010 Dessert First
August 15th
tickets $75 GA 5-8 p.m.
$125 VIP includes a 4 p.m. reception ($100 if purchased online)
InterContinental Hotel
888 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, July 24, 2010

Skool has only been in session for about a month, but they have already declared their major in seafood in their stylish homeroom.

A poppyseeded seared albacore:

... got crunch from blanched, slivered almonds and a sweet acidity from orange segments and roasted peppers. This buttery 'core was a herald of shore things to come.

The crab cakes ($13.00):

... were speckled with a micro-dice of aromatic carrots and celery woven into these Dungeness discs. Yuzu added lift with an Asian-inspired acidity to the hollandaise on these pleasant, pankoed pucks.

Uni flan ($9.75):

...was a 'tastic tub topped with ikura and whole sea urchin roe. Crisp, little croutons were the sea-egg-way to an admirable, amalgamation of oceanic textures and flavors.

Black cod ($23.00):

... was sauteed to the perfect preservation of flavor and texture. Tomato pineapple gazpacho added sweetness and acidity without overshadowing the cumin-marinated fish. Haricots verts, yellow wax beans and marble potatoes rounded out this cravable creation.

A plum ducky preparation of ume mascarpone sauced duck breast ($26.00):

... was perfumed with cinnamon braised leeks. This dish sounded kind of daffy, but the elements came together to fit the bill.

The lavender panna cotta ($6.50):

... had a restrained sweetness with a touch of vanilla and citrus honey sauce to add flourish to this flower arrangement.

Grand Marnier hid under a vanilla bean flecked flan ($6.00):

... that shared in the Japanese sensibility of subtle sucrose. We savored this covetable custard before graduating from this imaginative and delectable dinner.

Chef Toshihiro Nagano brings his A game to this sea plus, SOMA, 'stablishment with a friendly and efficient staff.

We B'ed our OB since their liquor license is still in the works, but their beverage program will include a full bar and locally focussed wine list when they get the "all clear" in (hopefully) a matter of days.

Our plan is to return for an advanced degree.

Skool Restaurant

1725 Alameda St.
San Francisco, CA



  Friday, July 23, 2010

The genesis of the Affogato must be identical to that of the Reese's peanut butter cup. A scoop of ice cream drowned in hot espresso smacks of a clumsy, uncaffeinated, stab at afters.

Blue Bottle Coffee's shot at this dual-temperature dessert ($5.50):

... showers their beany brew over a snowball of Humphry Slocombe ice cream to emit a marvelous model of global warming.

This time sensitive sensation should be savored as it surrenders to the sweltering solution in this melty 'malgamation.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA



Mark your Calendar

Marcia's book is our first line of defense when determining situation-based, dining destinations. If you are a Bay Area-tarian, it's a de rigeur-ous reference work that provides the proper pairings of persons and places.

This Wednesday you can meet the Tablehopper herself as she shakes it up as guest bartender in the J Lounge at Jardiniere. A special bourbon-based beverage aptly named "The Enchantress" will make a special appearance along with the hopstress as she joins Brian MacGregor to mix it up in this stylish setting.

Wednesday, July 28th
5:30 -8 p.m.
J Lounge
Jardiniere Restaurant
300 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA



  Thursday, July 22, 2010

Behold the Frito Dog.

4505's latest take on our favorite choking hazard required restraint to slowly savor (rather than Crazy Legging it down.) The house made fritos provided a cornystone of crunch to this brisket and lengua levitated meaty merging of major league proteins. It was all that and a bag of chips carbo-cradled in an Omega bun (creating the optimal ratio of filling to foundation) which kept my tongue wagging along with the rest of this winning wiener.

This latest Farr-out, tube steak innovation of Frito Dogs is Heimlicking good.

4505 Meats

Thursday Farmers' Market
San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA



  Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hopped over to L.A. for the day and lunched at a chain that also has several Bay Area branches.

An array of appetizers were standard issue and my bass ($26.00):

... was conventiony in it's presentation and overly radiated preparation. The broccoli was lovelessly hacked up into irregular chunks as were the carrots.

Fortunately this gathering was more about the company than the chow.

Gordon Biersch

145 S. San Fernando Blvd.
Burbank, CA









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