Category Archives: General

Thrice-Changing Spot Morphs Into New Lark Creek Kitchen

Salmon tartare at the new Lark Creek Kitchen.

Salmon tartare at the new Lark Creek Kitchen.

 

It was once Yankee Pier. Next, it transformed into Lark Creek Blue. Now, this spot on the main drag of San Jose’s Santana Row reopened just weeks ago as the new Lark Creek Kitchen.

It’s the first such new concept by the Moana Restaurant Group since it took over operations of Lark Creek Restaurant Group’s stable in January with the exception of One Market restaurant in San Francisco, which remains independently run.

Not that the other two concepts lacked for diners, but Lark Creek Kitchen is Moana’s first action to refresh the brand. Other plans are in the works to redo Lark Creek Steak in the San Francisco Centre and to reopen the now-shuttered Fish Story in Napa as something else.

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Rise and Shine for Joanne Chang’s Honey Cashew Morning Buns

A sticky bun that's less sweet and a whole lot more enjoyable to eat.

A sticky bun that’s less sweet and a whole lot more enjoyable to eat.

 

I love the idea of sticky buns. But the execution? Not so much.

That’s because the standard avalanche of goopy glaze is more than even my sweet tooth can bear.

So I beamed when I received a review copy of “Baking With Less Sugar” (Chronicle Books) by one of my favorite pastry chefs, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe and Myers + Chang in Massachusetts.

In this day and age, where we’re all trying to eat better, this timely cookbook is all about making sweets — but with only natural sweeteners and little white sugar. Yes, the perfect way to enjoy dessert without your body paying such a high price later.

BakingWithLessSugar

The book includes more than 60 recipes, both new ones and reformulated ones from Chang’s bakery, that make use of maple syrup, honey, molasses, dates, juice concentrates, coconut, and bananas and other fresh fruit.

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New Ciao Bella Summer Flavor, Ruth Reichl To Pay A Visit, and More

Blueberries and passion fruit combine for this summery flavor from New York's Ciao Bella.

Blueberries and passion fruit combine for this summery flavor from New York’s Ciao Bella. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Introducing A New Summer Ciao Bella Flavor

I like to think of this as a non-guilty pleasure.

After all, Ciao Bella’s new Blueberry Passion Fruit Sorbetto is not only delicious, but it has 0 grams fat, 0 grams cholesterol, and 0 grams sodium. It’s also dairy-free. A half cup has 110 calories.

I had a chance to try a sample recently. It’s a little berry sweet. A twinge tangy. And a whole lot refreshing. Kind of like a favorite smoothie in frozen form.

A 14-ounce container is $5.39 and sold exclusively at Whole Foods.

Ruth Reichl in Conversation in Mountain View

You won’t want to miss the one and only Ruth Reichl in conversation with Michael Krasny at 8 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

Ruth Reichl. (photo courtesy of the author)

Ruth Reichl. (photo courtesy of the author)

The noted restaurant critic, author and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, Reichl will be joined by the host of Forum on KQED.

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Testing Out Delivery.com

Green beans with pork in a tamarind sauce (back) and fried fish with a jumble of salted beans, ground chicken and shallots from Chez Sovan via way of Delivery.com.

Green beans with pork in a tamarind sauce (back) and fried fish with a jumble of salted beans, ground chicken and shallots from Chez Sovan via way of Delivery.com.

 

These days, why bother driving to a store or restaurant, when you can get someone else to bring whatever you need right to your doorstep instead?

That’s the idea behind so many apps and Web sites now, including the new Delivery.com, now operating in more than 38 cities around the country.

It allows you to order provisions from markets, wine and spirits stores, and restaurants, as well as services from laundry and dry-cleaning shops.

I was asked to test it out with a $50 gift card. Because only restaurants are offered right now in my area of the South Bay, I decided to spend it all on a food delivery order from one of my favorite family-owned restaurants, Chez Sovan in Campbell. It’s one of the few Cambodian restaurants in the Bay Area, and its food is crave-a-licious.

The site is easy enough to navigate. Once you pick your restaurant, click on it to get a menu. Then, just click on each dish you want.

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Liholiho Yacht Club Offers Up A Delectable Voyage

Beef tongue poppy-seed buns at Liholiho Yacht Club.

Beef tongue poppy-seed buns at Liholiho Yacht Club.

 

At Liholiho Yacht Club, Chef Ravi Kapur wants you to know first and foremost that he’s not cooking Hawaiian food.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t daydream about the islands when you sit down to dine at his San Francisco restaurant.

“The people who visit Hawaii say this isn’t like Hawaiian food at all,” Kapur told me in an interview earlier this year. “But the people from Hawaii say this reminds them of what they ate in Hawaii. It’s all about the flavors.”

Indeed, it is. It’s all about a pantry heavy on Asian ingredients that allow him to think of making duck liver mousse with Shaoxing wine, rather than the usual Calvados. It’s about a mire poix that’s not based on carrots and celery, but on scallions and ginger.

Kapur’s cooking is a blend of his Indian and Chinese ancestries, his time growing up in Hawaii, and his fondness for the Bay Area’s impeccable ingredients.

The restaurant’s name is taken from the street where Kapur’s uncle lived on Maui, where he’d host blow-out barbecues to help support his catamaran racing habit.

“The idea refers to the past, but also to the idea of the ocean and migratory nature of what Hawaii is,” Kapur says. “It’s my journey and voyage to this restaurant.”

Chef Ravi Kapur in the kitchen on a busy Saturday night.

Chef Ravi Kapur in the kitchen on a busy Saturday night.

The view from the end of the bar.

The view from the end of the bar.

And it seems, everyone wants to come along for the ride, as evidenced by the crowds every night at the casual, brick-lined dining room.

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