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San Francisco Chronicle Food & Home - Spoken Edition
6 minutes | Dec 20, 2018
Are San Francisco restaurants too loud? A new app helps diners navigate the noise
Thanks to a weeklong survey, an app that measures the noise level in bars and restaurants can now prove what some diners have complained about for years: Bay Area restaurants are too darn loud. In fact, they’re right up there, decibel-wise, with Midtown Manhattan’s. SoundPrint, an iPhone app founded by Oakland native Gregory Scott, incorporates a calibrated decibel meter as well as an interactive, searchable map of businesses with ratings (www.soundprint.co).
10 minutes | Dec 19, 2018
Ultimate Guide: The best restaurants around Union Square
As the holiday shopping frenzy approaches peak levels, here are our dining picks if you’re planning to brave the crowds in and around Union Square. Akiko’s Whether you go with the chef’s omakase menu or order by the piece, there’s no better sushi in neighborhood. Try the deep-fried soft shell crab and yellowtail collar. 431 Bush St., 415-397-3218 or www.akikosrestaurant.com.
3 minutes | Dec 18, 2018
Repertoire: Cabbage panade won’t win a beauty contest so it seduces with caramelized onions and gooey cheese
Brutti ma buoni — ugly but good — is a favorite Italian expression, and a pretty fair summation of my life as of late. But in spite of how messy my days look and feel, the season of beauty has arrived. It’s time for decking the halls, for cookies dressed in sparkling sugar, for beef Wellingtons crowned with golden caps of puff pastry. And in contrarian fashion I’ve concluded it’s time to tell you about one of the very ugliest recipes in my repertoire.
4 minutes | Dec 17, 2018
Marshawn Lynch’s new restaurant and lounge, Rob Ben’s, opens this week in Emeryville
Christmas stockings hang on the wall near the entrance of Rob Ben’s, Marshawn Lynch’s new restaurant in Emeryville. Across from the stockings is a newly-built black bar surrounded by sleek wood and glass shelving. Above it all are new lights and a framed No. 24 Oakland Raiders jersey, giving the space a chic, sports lounge feel. In the parking lot is a barbecue smoker, so large it has to be carried on a trailer.
3 minutes | Dec 14, 2018
Shake Shack’s first Bay Area restaurant opens Dec. 15 in Palo Alto
Less than a year after announcing its West Coast expansion plans, Shake Shack will open in Palo Alto on Dec. 15. It’s the first outpost of the famed New York burger chain to open in the Bay Area. Tucked away inside the Stanford Shopping Center, the restaurant will feature ingredients from local purveyors (read our original Shake Shack menu story here) in its straightforward menu of burgers, fries and shakes.
5 minutes | Dec 13, 2018
Life after Blue Bottle? Family’s cup runneth over with new San Francisco home
“It really feels like the lottery,” says Caitlin Williams Freeman, pastry chef and founder of feminist children’s clothing company Girls Up Front, when asked about the life circumstances that led to her current focuses of home and family. Last fall, her husband, James Freeman, sold a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, the company he founded in 2002, to Nestle for a reported $425 million.
3 minutes | Dec 12, 2018
Shed in Healdsburg to close at the end of the year
Shed in Healdsburg will shut its doors at the end of 2018, closing the book on a charmed five-year run for Sonoma County’s most ambitious combination restaurant, marketplace, event space and fermentation bar. Co-owners and founders Doug Lipton and Cindy Daniel plan to close the brick-and-mortar location on Dec. 31 and turn it into an online-only entity. It was a business decision for the owners.
7 minutes | Dec 11, 2018
Tacos Oscar’s unlikely road to success in Oakland? Follow the T-shirt
If you follow Tacos Oscar’s Instagram feed (@tacososcar), which is how most of its fans would find its tacos before the pop-up opened a permanent spot in Oakland last week, you’ve grown accustomed to seeing smiling, often ridiculously attractive, people wearing TACOS OSCAR TACO STALKER T-shirts.
3 minutes | Dec 10, 2018
Soleil Ho named the San Francisco Chronicle’s new restaurant critic
The San Francisco Chronicle has named Soleil Ho, a nationally recognized food journalist and trained chef, to be the company’s next restaurant critic. “We are thrilled to welcome Soleil to the team. She was a clear choice: she has a fresh and modern approach to food journalism,” said Audrey Cooper, editor in chief of The Chronicle. Ho is known for her insightful, thought-provoking commentary and deep culinary knowledge.
5 minutes | Dec 7, 2018
The real story behind the NBA’s love of Napa Valley and Bordeaux
When you’re a wine writer, you don’t expect opportunities to watch NBA players like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson practice shooting after a day of training camp, especially while sitting on the sidelines to interview Draymond Green. But after months of trying to chase a story about why professional basketball players like Green have become enamored of fine wine — and having little luck during the offseason — that’s where I found myself.
3 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Che Fico spinoff Theorita to close on Divisadero
Less than six months after opening on Divisadero as the city’s most talked-about pastry shop and dinette, Theorita is closing its doors. The passion project came from lauded pastry chef Angela Pinkerton who, along business partners chef David Nayfeld and Matt Brewer, also run Che Fico next door. After bringing Theorita to life in late August, the shop will have its final dinner service on Dec. 15 before shuttering in late-December.
6 minutes | Dec 5, 2018
Kendejah is Bay Area’s first Liberian restaurant, and it’s just the first step
Before you order at Kendejah — before you even ask questions about the dishes on the menu, in fact — Dougie Uso will distribute a laminated card to you and your fellow diners and ask you to read it. “A short history of Liberia & Kendejah,” it is titled: four paragraphs describing how free black Americans emigrated to West Africa starting in 1821 and, in 1847, created a political state.
5 minutes | Dec 4, 2018
While sommeliers feud, a deeper wine debate looms
Judging from my Instagram feed over the last 72 hours, the most thought-provoking wine article on the Internet right now is a conversation between sommeliers Jordan Salcito and Bobby Stuckey in the Daily Beast.
7 minutes | Dec 3, 2018
A mini Filipino food tour in Daly City with a pro
This is A Million Plates, The Chronicle's regular column about immigrant food in the Bay Area, centered around the theory that there are a million different plates of food eaten every day in this region.
6 minutes | Nov 30, 2018
In a tiny bar kitchen in Oakland, Mikey Yoon creates his version of diner fare
Mikey Yoon has a thing for American cheese. It’s not just that the melted texture makes for the perfect gooey complement to the squishy, ultra-comforting burgers (although it does) that Yoon, 37, serves out of the postage-size kitchen inside the Lodge bar on Piedmont Avenue. His connection to this processed, by-the-slice product runs much deeper, back to his upbringing in the capital beltway of Maryland and to his first-generation Korean American parents.
2 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
Mac’d, San Francisco’s mac and cheese chain, is turning to Eatsa’s automated technology
If it’s good enough for quinoa bowls, surely it’s good enough for mac and cheese. That seems to be the thinking for Mac’d, San Francisco’s burgeoning mac and cheese chain, which has announced that its shops will soon begin rolling out fully automated restaurant technology created by fellow S.F. compan, Eatsa.
2 minutes | Nov 28, 2018
North Beach’s Albona Ristorante Istriano to close after 30 years
San Francisco’s Albona Ristorante Istriano will close at the end of 2018, following 30 years in North Beach. Owner Samuel Hernandez announced the news on Facebook, calling his time operating the business a “wonderful dream.” The final service will be Dec. 31. While the post thanked its customer base for the support over the years, it didn’t actually provide a reason for the closure. Inside Scoop has reached out to Hernandez for more details.
3 minutes | Nov 27, 2018
Omnivore Books’ Celia Sack shares her favorite Bay Area cookbooks of the past decade
Whether you’re looking for the latest Ottolenghi title or a vintage copy of Madame De Lyon’s “The Art of Cooking Omelettes,” Bay Area culinary professionals and home cooking fanatics know there’s one person to call: Celia Sack of Omnivore Books. Earlier this month, Sack’s beloved Noe Valley bookstore (3885 Cesar Chavez St.) celebrated its 10th anniversary.
6 minutes | Nov 26, 2018
Namu Gaji quietly veers toward vegan. Will its customers notice?
You may not notice much of Namu Gaji’s menu is now vegan unless you’re counting up the tiny signs that follow each item description: a plus for dishes that are or can be made vegan; a milk carton for vegetarian dishes with dairy; an egg for, well, eggs. It’s easy to ignore the creeping veganism when ordering, too, unless you’re the kind of diner who examines a menu with meat blinders on.
12 minutes | Nov 23, 2018
San Jose’s neediest families shun food banks and rely on a church’s Mexican pastor
In the subterranean hallway of a San Jose apartment building, pastor Gerardo Vazquez knocks on a door decorated with a Feliz Navidad sign from a Christmas long ago. Eva Martinez, a small, grandmotherly woman with red dye covering the tips of her white hair, welcomes him into a space no larger than a college dorm room that she shares with her daughter and several grandchildren.
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