Blog Profile / Between Meals

Filed Under:United States / San Francisco
Posts on Regator:1072
Posts / Week:3.1
Archived Since:May 13, 2011

Blog Post Archive

My verdict on the Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa: It’s a winner

My colleagues at the Gate thought it would be fun for me to climb off the pedestal of high-end dining to review Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa, introduced nationwide today. What they didn’t know is that my pedestal isn’t all that high. I’ve mentioned previously that I loved Popeye’s fried chicken, and I also have an

Dinner is divine (and hassle free) at Tartine Manufactory

The lines started forming the day the Tartine Manufactory opened in August. Several times I tried to stop in but was discouraged by the lines waiting to get in for breakfast and lunch, not to mention the prospect of jockeying for a chair once I placed an order. All that changed about two months ago

Nomica, the follow up to Sushi Ran, features creative Japanese cuisine

Yoshi Tome of Sushi Ran in Sausalito waited 30 years to open a second restaurant. So when he opened Nomica in San Francisco he decided to do something entirely different. The signature will be the whole chicken in brioche that must be ordered 24 hours in advance. The 4-pound bird takes five days to prepare

Shakewell finds its niche in Oakland

It was two years ago I first reviewed Shakewell in Oakland owned by Jen Biesty and Tim  Nugent who worked together at Scala’s bistro in San Francisco. Both being Oakland residents they wanted to open something in the neighborhood and it resulted in this restaurant on Lakeshore Avenue. The restaurant started out as mostly Spanish

Old Bus Tavern offers more than house-made beer

Old Bus Tavern could no doubt survive as a bar, but since it opened last year the food has been good enough to become a destination in its own right. Earlier this year Max Snyder left the kitchen, replaced by David Zboray. While the food may lack a little of the refinement it once had,

Revival at the Applewood Inn: The 3-star review that wasn’t

It’s the first in my 30 year history at The Chronicle: I was about to award three stars to a restaurant only to find out that it was unexpectedly shuttered. I had visited the restaurant three times and the review was written, awaiting publication next Sunday. And then I received the call that Revival, the restaurant that

The Elite Café: remodeled and refreshed

In March, the 35 year old Elite Café was purchased by Andy Chun who was responsible for redoing  the classic German Schroeders in 2014. He made a similar move to reinvigorate the Elite. He remodeled the interior, while still keeping its classic feel, and hired Chris Borges to revamp the food. Borges, who is a New Orleans native, has

Press offers expensive fare with a glorious interior

Steakhouses are almost always expensive, but during prior visits to Press, the prices didn’t bother me because the preparations were so well prepared and imaginative. However, chef Trevor Kunk left this summer. While the menu is still pretty much the same and the food is very good, the execution didn’t raise to a high enough level

Limewood in the Claremont has a new attitude

It was one of the shortest tenures years I remember – Antoinette in the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa lasted only two months before it was closed and changed from a French brasserie under the auspices of Dominique Crenn to Limewood. Limewood has a Northern California focus under chef Joseph Humphrey. It feels like the

Nightbird features fixed-price refinement in Hayes Valley

Kim Alter spent  two  years negotiating, building out and finishing Nightbird in Hayes Valley. The restaurant has a very personal feel with a very serene, finished dining room. While the kitchen is sequestered behind a wall, it is open on one side and visible from part of the dining room and as you walk down

Barzotto is a “pasta bar” but the main courses are the best

Barzotto, the new restaurant that took over the St. Vincent space on Mission Street, calls itself “An American Pasta Bar,” yet I found the three main courses to be the stars. There’s a half chicken with grilled lemon, frisee, olives, pickled vegetables and ramekins of salsa verde and mustard. There’s also a porchetta for $16,

Seven Hills earns three stars

I get excited when a restaurant I like becomes better, as is the case of Seven Hills. Chef Anthony Florian came on board two years ago and made this neighborhood Russian Hill restaurant a destination.  This is also the reason I love being able to write Update reviews, so I can give new chef’s the credit

Buffalo Theory: 30 beers on tap, and Asian inspired American food

What is Buffalo Theory? Well, for one it’s a new beer-centric restaurant on Polk Street that has become a gathering place for younger residents of the area. Two: as the restaurants website explains, the name comes from the idea that the weakest Buffalo in a herd lagged behind and often get killed, demonstrating natural selection. Taking

Mill Valley Beerworks captures the spirit of the neighborhood

Mill Valley Beerworks started out in 2009 as a beer bar, expanded to become a restaurant in 2011 and grew again two years ago when the owners moved the brew tanks in the dining room to the basement. Expanded the seating for about 35 to 55. About the same time Rob Hurd took over the kitchen, continuing

Playa does margaritas and Mexican food right in Mill Valley

I’m not sure whether to go to Playa in Mill Valley for the margaritas or the food. Fortunately no one really has to make that decision because both are so good. My favorite margarita is the Kill Bill, which is named after owner Bill Higgins, and it’s made with Tres Agaves Blanco, Cointreau and lime.

Asia SF performers’ gender is no longer an illusion

When Asia SF opened in 1998 the performers were called “gender illusionists.” The restaurant on Ninth and Howard featured a menu with a lot of Asian touches, and waiters who would get up on the long red bar and perform several times a night. Now 18 years later the menu is much the same – ahi burger

Central Kitchen takes a more casual approach

In July Central Kitchen, which opened in 2013, closed for two weeks to reboot. They made minor changes in the dining room, installed a wood oven in the kitchen and made the menu more casual. While the intent was evident, and the products pristine, some dishes came off as having similar character.  They were good when

Black Cat: go for the cocktails and jazz

Fritz Quattlebaum, who owns restaurants in New York  but has lived in San Francisco for nearly rwo decades, is hoping that his new venture – Black Cat will bring jazz back to the Tenderloin. The newly painted black building at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth stands in contrast to what’s around it. On my visits it

A 3-star restaurant with a different kind of service Corridor is a restaurant that seems tailored to today’s diner. Downstairs customers order at the counter and the rest of the service is handled tableside. Upstairs diners can make a reservation and have full table service. The well executed menu of American comfort food is the same either way. I’m talking about  some of

Bluestem shines with three stars

It was five years in the making, but Bluestem has finally been able to bring all of its elements into one cohesive package. The two-story interior, with walls of windows that overlook Market Street, has always been a draw. Now the service and particularly the food under new chef John Griffiths have coalesced to make

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