“California Dinner.”

we had the great pleasure of hosting a truly urban, san francisco indian summer, california themed dinner for a friend who’s moving to barcelona. she cooked and we opened our doors window, to set up a long table, white lights, and candles on our very mini deck. the weather, food, and company were perfect.

the menu:
ginger pumpkin soup with spiced oven-baked hazelnuts and fried basil
arugula indian summer salad with heirloom tomatoes, nectarines, shaved gran queso cheese, crispy quinoa and lemon-garlic vinaigrette
cheese and mushroom ravioli, with bellwether farms sheep ricotta, mushrooms and parsley, topped with radish and dry creek three orchards blend olive oil
aunt margaret’s lemon sponge pie with bi-rite creamery honey lavender ice cream

photos: above top, kelly’s tribute to 80s food photography; above bottom, the chef

 

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eat real festival, oakland.

this weekend marked the third annual eat real festival in oakland’s jack london square. the overcast sky didn’t stop people from coming out en masse to enjoy the extensive gathering of food trucks, restaurant stands, DIY stations, demos, and beer!

highlights of our day included: 21st amendment watermelon wheat; a falafel sandwich with lemon+thyme beets, rosemary peanuts, pickled onion and red cabbage with sesame from the liba falafel truck (an old favorite and must-have); ribs from the rib whip; the flying knives butchery competition; and an incredible slice of roasted mushroom, parmesan, caramelized onion, thyme and truffle oil pizza from pizza politana (easily our food highlight – we should have gone back for more!)

best of the west – sf cocktail week.

sf cocktail week’s best of the west event brought together great bartenders from across the west coast (san diego to vancouver), for a casino themed evening at the yerba buena center for the arts. each bartender sought to create a signature cocktail that represents their cities drinking culture, while highlighting their assigned “challenge ingredient.”

along with cocktails there were also a variety of savory bites from nombe, living painting, free best of the west shirts being live-printed by the boys of san franpsycho, and several casino game tables in the center of the room.  guests also had access to visit the current show at the yerba buena center.

we really enjoyed all of the cocktails; there were a handful i’d definitely go back for, and a few more with some really interesting elements that caught our attention.

favorites included, bryn lumsden’s (seattle) turtle island, a pisco cocktail with ginger, lemon, cream sherry, two kinds of bitters, garnished with champagne grapes. ricky gomez’s (portland) tiger balm #2: rum, passion fruit, fernet menta (would love to try this one with gin instead of rum!) and chris dooley’s (sacramento) magnolia lane: bourbon, smoked peach puree, simple syrup, dry sherry, barolo chinato, and ginger ale, topped with cinnamon.

heidi welniak and andrew pollard’s (vegas) mexicana had a nice heat and subtle chocolate flavor coming from the tequila itself. dustin haarstad’s (san diego) postcards from sicily was served from a punch bowl and had nice undertones of absinthe that didn’t overrun the flavors of the drink. and adrian biggs’ (LA) eroll flip whipped irish whiskey, coffee porter beer, egg and sugar into an incredible drink, fit for a christmas cocktail party!

raw seafood bar, whole roasted pig, and snoop…

sean parker’s post-f8 party in san francisco on thursday night certainly was a sight to behold. it should go without saying that the music blew me away–the killers, jane’s addiction, snoop dogg and kascade–but everyone’s already writing about that. the space itself, food, and bar(s) were enough to merit some attention, and certainly got mine! the event featured a short press conference about (recently US-launched) music service spotify, which really just seemed like an excuse for a whole lot of fun and a tech/star-studded guest list.in just 48 hours stanlee gatti and crew transformed a portero hill warehouse into a giant, plush, and somehow cozy, living room with more than abundant seating for 300 guests. the building was hard to miss, decorated top to bottom in a multi-colored flurry of graffiti.

the menu, catered by mccalls, included a raw seafood bar, fresh sushi bar, two whole spit-roasted pigs, a charcuterie table, racks of lamb, fried chicken drumsticks with corn salad, truffle mac and cheese (topped with fresh shaved truffles!) and don’t forget passed bite-sized desserts. a giant bar, and two cocktail stands served up a selection of drink specials, and anything else you think up, including moscow mules in little copper cups.

intoxicating ladies – sf cocktail week.

intoxicating ladies: the women behind the stick and the cocktails was my first ever san francisco cocktail week event, and it was an incredible introduction! held at rye, and hosted by LUPEC SF (ladies united in the preservation of endangered cocktails), the event was intimate and highlighted the talents of local female bartenders and brands.

each bartender created a signature cocktail for the event, and every hour saw four different ladies serving up their creations. at the main bar one of the ladies of rye was also sharing her unique cocktail throughout the night. $15 bought you a wristband and three hours of tasting!

two of my favorites were victoria d’amato-moran’s “foraged fall harvery,” a four roses bourbon based cocktail with a subtle earthiness from d’amato-moran’s own cent’anni candy mushroom syrup. and christina cabrera’s (15 romolo) “splender in the glass,” a savory tequila cocktail with cayenne pepper, rosemary, fresh lemon juice DRY soda lemongrass and cent’anni lemon spice syrup (we may have had more than our share of “tastes.”)

tropisueno.

tropisueno is one of those places that seems like it should be an overpriced disappointment, but is actually a gem in downtown sf where there’s usually not much to eat in the realm of tasty and affordable (and with a full bar!)

free chips and salsa (three kinds!) always. all drinks sweetened with agave. taqueria by day, full service restaurant by night. delicious food + drinks always. the food is reasonable priced and everything is always really fresh. their list of tequila cocktails is incredible and interesting (and this coming from a non-tequila lover!)

the three cocktails i’ve had (and the shrimp burrito) are enough to keep me going back!
jamaicazo: puebla viejo blanco, hibiscus, cucumber, lime, agave. served up.
margarita branca: heradura blanco, lime, orange bitters, dash of fernet menta branca. served up.
happy hour margarita: el ranchero tequila, lime, blue agave. served over ice in a tall glass with chili salt. and its only $5.

tropisueno
75 yerba buena lane
san francisco, ca

“eat, drink and be married…”

recently attended the delicious (and beautiful!) wedding of my friends christina+travis in montecito (santa barbara). i was in heaven — taco bar. wine, beer and margaritas. family style dinner. dessert bar with goodies to-go. and a photobooth!

not only did i get the pleasure of celebrating an incredible day with friends, i also got to assist my gf with shooting the wedding. the photos are gorgeous, and this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg.