Category Archives: Donuts

Dining At the New La Connessa

Hen of the woods mushrooms cover this satisfying pizza at La Connessa.
Hen of the woods mushrooms cover this satisfying pizza at La Connessa.

To say that the Bay Area’s Bacchus Management Group has been on a tear lately would be an understatement. In addition to opening three new establishments in San Francisco this year alone, plans call for for another new restaurant to debut at San Jose’s Santana Row in 2024 and one to open at the historic post office building in Burlingame in 2025.

That’s in addition to its already sizeable stable of Spruce in San Francisco, Michelin-starred the Village Pub in Woodside, Michelin-starred Selby’s in Redwood City, the Village Bakery in Woodside, and Pizza Antica locations in Santana Row and Lafayette.

Last week, I had a chance to check out its new Italian restaurant, La Connessa, when I was invited in as a guest. It’s on the street level of a new building on Potrero Hill. Just steps away are Bacchus’ two other new eateries: the burger place, Louie’s Original; and the sourdough donut shop, Magic Donuts & Coffee (more on that in a moment).

The focal-point bar.
The focal-point bar.
Neon decoration on the wall.
Neon decoration on the wall.

Dimly lighted with sleek, wedding band-like chandeliers and a soaring, illuminated bar, it has that sophisticated, moody aura, and boy, was it bustling on a Saturday night. There’s even a view into the kitchen behind big glass windows.

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Dining — To The Hilt — At Mourad

The magnificient basteeya at Mourad.
The magnificent basteeya at Mourad.

Whenever visitors from out of town query me about where to eat, one restaurant in particular always merits a high recommendation.

And that is Mourad in San Francisco.

Because chances are wherever they hail from, they do not have a restaurant in their vicinity that serves modern Moroccan cuisine. At least not anything as elevated and imaginative yet still stirringly soulful as this.

So, when I recently gathered to catch up with family in San Francisco last weekend and discovered they had never eaten here, I knew it was high-time they were introduced to Chef-Owner Mourad Lahlou’s singular cooking.

The kitchen at Mourad.
The kitchen at Mourad.
With Chef Mourad Lahlou.
With Chef Mourad Lahlou.

We perused the menu, ordered, and paid our tab — but had no idea that Lahlou would end up sending out nearly three-fourths of the menu to our table on the house. To say that we each needed a wheelbarrow to cart us out afterward would be putting it mildly. It proved a feast in every sense and for every sense.

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Morimoto-Approved Mochi Donut Kit

Yes, I made these at home -- thanks to Global Grub's Mochi Donut Kit.
Yes, I made these at home — thanks to Global Grub’s Mochi Donut Kit.

Get a sweet taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking in your own home.

You can with this fun, make-it-yourself Mochi Donut Kit ($42.99) that was created in collaboration with Walnut Creek’s Global Grub.

CEO Carly Sheehey’s love for travel inspired her cooking kit company that aims to bring a delicious taste of different countries near and far to home cooks in an easy, approachable manner.

Global Grub now offers eight different DIY cooking kits that feature everything from churros to sushi.

All you have to add is a few ingredients -- and your time -- to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.
All you have to add is a few ingredients — and your time — to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.

I had a chance to test-drive the mochi donut kit when I received a sample from the company a few weeks ago.

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David Chang’s Best Dessert in the World

An effortless dessert that's mind-blowingly good.
An effortless dessert that’s mind-blowingly good.

Do yourself a favor: Buy a glazed yeast doughnut. Or two. Pronto.

Now, resist inhaling them in the morning. Instead, save them for the evening.

Then, spend a mere few minutes to transform them into the “Best Dessert in the World.”

That’s what Momofuku’s David Chang calls this uncanny creation.

Given how stupid-simple it is to make and the sheer bliss it provides, I’d have to agree that his multi-named “The Only Dessert I’ll Cook at Home (Doughnuts Cooked in Butter with Ice Cream)” definitely ranks right up there.

It’s from his new cookbook, “Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave)” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy. Chang co-wrote it with New York Times food writer Priya Krishna.

It might be best described as the anti-cookbook. Meaning that it’s more like one of those no-recipe cookbooks of late. There are no precise measurements for ingredients. Sometimes, there aren’t even specific ingredients listed. The idea is to trust yourself more, to season to your own personal taste, and to use what’s in your pantry without dashing to the supermarket for obscure items all the time just to make one dish one way all the time.

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Baked Jelly Donuts

Yup, these babies are baked -- not fried.
Yup, these babies are baked — not fried.

Who doesn’t love a fresh, warm jelly donut?

But making them at home can seem like way more trouble than they’re worth. Better to just buy a bunch at your favorite donut shop, right?


Leave it to San Jose’s Beth A. Lee, founder of the OMG! Yummy blog to devise a recipe for a baked version that’s really not much more difficult than making biscuits.

The recipe is from her new cookbook, “The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook: 50 Traditional Recipes for Every Occasion” (Rockridge Press), of which I received a review copy.

The book includes 50 recipes, each of which are handily labeled as to whether they are dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, pareve, or vegan, too.

Enjoy everything from “Deli-Style No-Knead Rye Bread” and “Ready-For-Lox Homemade Bagels” to “Blintz Casserole” and “Pecan and Raisin Schnecken.”

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