Even veteran restaurants with long-time loyal patrons have struggled during this pandemic, so imagine what it must be like for a brand new restaurant to open for business after shelter-in-place took effect.
Fortunately, its chef-owner is John Le, the former operator of Three Seasons in Palo Alto, with years of experience under his belt.
Le was all set to open the doors to his new restaurant that serves modern takes on Vietnamese cuisine when those plans came to a sudden halt. Instead, he decided to offer to-go food instead, Wednesdays through Sundays. Last week, he invited me to stop by to try gratis a few of his new take-out, heat-at-home options.
The cookbook is by Margarita Manzke, co-owner of Republique restaurant and bakery in Los Angeles. The book, written with former Los Angeles Times food writer Betty Hallock, features all the favorite pastries, cookies, cakes and pies from this fabulous bakery that’s a must-stop whenever my husband and I drive to Los Angeles.
Attention all chocoholics, don’t miss the first ever Craft Chocolate Experience at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, March 6 to 8.
This sweet extravaganza will bring bean-to-bar makers, chocolatiers, pastry chefs, and cacao bean farmers from around the world for panel discussions, cooking demos, and a chocolate marketplace with more than 85 artisans sampling and selling their creations.
There’s also an opening night party on March 6, featuring a dazzling array of chocolates, pastries and cocktails.
Tickets for the opening night party are $95 each; a weekend pass to the event is $145 per person.
Celebrate A Milestone For La Cocina
La Cocina, San Francisco’s pioneering kitchen incubator for women, people of color, and immigrants wanting to start food ventures, expects to open its much-anticipated food hall this spring.
To celebrate the impending debut of La Cocina Marketplace, a landmark all-women operated food hall, the organization is hosting a Week of Women in Food, March 2 to 8. It’s a series of prix fixe dinners spotlighting the seven La Cocina chefs who will make the new food hall their home. For these special dinners, each La Cocina chef will cook alongside a well-known, established Bay Area chef.
So many places opened in 2019; and so many places closed. Be it astronomical housing costs to an extremely tight labor pool and the rising price of ingredients, the Bay Area remains a challenging landscape for restaurants.
Still, they somehow manage to put their best forward day in and day out. Here are my favorite eats of the year (in no particular order) — the ones I still dream about, and the ones I’d race back for in a heartbeat. Enjoy! And cheers to even more delicious morsels in 2020.