View all posts filed under 'Restaurants'

A Singular Take on Thai at Kin Khao

Friday, 16. May 2014 5:26

Kin Khao's version of chips and dip. Truly addictive.

Kin Khao’s version of chips and dip. Truly addictive.

Let’s get this out of the way at the start: I’ve never visited Thailand. And with the exception of Chef Andy Ricker’s former trendy Ping restaurant in Portland, Ore., the Thai food I’ve experienced has been relegated to mom-and-pop places doing their best but not looking to pioneer in any way.

As such, I’m no Thai food expert by any means.

But all I know is that the Thai food at San Francisco’s new Kin Khao is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before.

Kin Khao, which is a colloquialism for “let’s eat,” was opened a few months ago by first-time restaurateur Pim Techamuanvivit.

If you’ve followed her long-time blog, Chez Pim, you know she’s a stickler when it comes to perfecting flavors and techniques.

She’s not behind the burners, herself. But the dishes are crafted from recipes she learned from her grandmother and aunts. Chef de Cuisine Michael Gaines, former sous chef of Michelin two-starred Manresa in Los Gatos, heads the kitchen and translates her vision onto the plates. And unless you’ve been asleep for a decade, you probably already know, too, that Techamuanvivit’s long-time companion is Manresa’s Chef-Owner David Kinch.

Sign

DiningRoom

The 78-seat restaurant is housed in the Parc 55 hotel downtown. It can be a little hard to find, as it’s located on the second floor with minimal signage. The easiest route is to enter directly from the corner of Mason and Ellis. In any event, once you hit the lobby level, just follow the whiff of steamed jasmine rice to find it.

What makes the food at Kin Khao so different?

First, the concise menu is made up of dishes that you don’t often find at other Thai establishments in the Bay Area.

Second, a tight fist is exercised when it comes to sweetness. In fact, even the “Number One Brand” Thai iced tea ($5) was the least sweetened version I’ve ever tasted, allowing the slightly tannic and floral qualities of the tea to shine through more prominently.

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Category:Chefs, General, Restaurants | Comments (3) | Author:

Pancetta-fied Pasta

Wednesday, 14. May 2014 5:25

Big rings of pasta in a creamy, pancetta-fied sauce.

Big rings of pasta in a creamy, pancetta-fied sauce.

 

Sometimes I think that surely I must be part Italian.

Because I could eat pasta every week. And I do cook some form of it probably close to that often.

It was on a quest to satisfy my carb craving that I started leafing through “Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian” (Artisan), of which I received a review copy recently. The cookbooks is by Andrew Fineberg and Francine Stephens, owners of Franny’s restaurant in Booklyn, and New York Times food writer Melissa Clark. There are recipes for more than 200 Southern Italian dishes, including pastas that require only a few ingredients, making them a breeze to prepare on a weeknight.

“Mezze Maniche with Guanciale, Chiles and Ricotta” is based on a traditional Roman dish. Big rings of pasta are tossed with creamy ricotta, a pinch of chili flakes, a shower of Pecorino Romano, and a load of guanciale, pancetta or bacon. And by load, I mean 12 whole ounces or about 2 generous cups of the porky stuff.

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Category:General, Recipes (Savory), Restaurants | Comments (10) | Author:

My Q&A at the Googleplex with Pastry Chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe

Monday, 12. May 2014 5:26

Yours truly, interviewing Pastry Chef Bill Corbett, at Google headquarters. (Photo courtesy of Google)

Yours truly, interviewing Pastry Chef Bill Corbett, at Google headquarters. (Photo courtesy of Google)

 

It’s not every day you get to visit Google headquarters in Mountain View.

But a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be asked to do an event there with Pastry Chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar at San Francisco.

Corbett is one of the more than 50 chefs featured in my cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press).

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Google/Tech/Corporate Cafes, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Restaurants, Videos & Podcasts | Comments (4) | Author:

Meet the Food Gal at Two Events for Her “San Francisco Chef’s Table” Cookbook

Monday, 28. April 2014 5:25

Your chance to try Baker & Banker's sublime roasted white chocolate cheesecake that's featured in my cookbook. (Photo by Craig Lee)

Your chance to try Baker & Banker’s sublime roasted white chocolate cheesecake that’s featured in my cookbook. (Photo by Craig Lee)

Enjoy A Delectable Lunch With Me at Baker & Banker May 10

I’m beyond delighted to be the first author to kick off the new “An Epicurean Salon: Food Writers & Authors” series at Baker & Banker restaurant in San Francisco.

Join me at the restaurant at 11:30 a.m. May 10 for a multi-course lunch with wine in honor of my cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press).

Pastry Chef Lori Baker. (Photo courtesy of Baker & Banker)

Pastry Chef Lori Baker. (Photo courtesy of Baker & Banker)

Chef Jeff Banker. (Photo courtesy of Baker & Banker)

Chef Jeff Banker. (Photo courtesy of Baker & Banker)

Chef Jeff Banker and his wife, Pastry Chef Lori Baker are among the bevy of top chefs featured in my cookbook. In fact, you’re in for a real treat, as Baker will be serving her outstanding “Roasted White Chocolate Cheesecake with Cardamom Shortbread Crust,” the recipe of which is featured in my book. Having baked it last year, myself, I can honestly say it’s one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had. The texture is uncommonly smooth and creamy. It’s like no other cheesecake you’ll ever have.

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Hankering for Hawaii Part V: The Posh and The Pig

Friday, 25. April 2014 5:25

Broken surfboard art in the lobby of The Modern in Honolulu.

Broken surfboard art in the lobby of The Modern in Honolulu.

 

Morimoto Waikiki

OAHU, HAWAII — Most trips to Honolulu, I’ve stayed on Waikiki Beach. Close to the action, for sure. But touristy to the max.

For an alternative on this latest trip, the Hawaii Visitors Bureau offered to put me up a little farther out — but still within walking distance to that hotspot — in The Modern, which opened in 2011 on Ala Moana Boulevard not far from the mega shopping center there.

The Modern lives up to its name. Unlike so many other Hawaiian hotels done up in plenty of loud floral prints, this hotel is all soothing white and warm wood. It’s much more South Beach than Polynesia.

Behind the check–in desk, you’ll spy a catchy art piece of broken surfboards, many of them signed by the surfer sto whom the boards once belonged to.

The lobby also boasts a little subterfuge — a bookcase spanning one wall that pushes aside to reveal a secret space where guests can enjoy coffee in the morning or cocktails at night.

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Category:Chefs, General, Restaurants, Travel Adventures | Comments (3) | Author: