It seems that just about everyone has wound themselves into a tight tizzy over spiral croissants.
Ever since the original “Supreme” was launched in New York City at Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery, the lines have grown legendary for the tightly coiled laminated pastries that have a hidden filling and a fanciful drizzle of glaze on top.
So, it’s no surprise that when Campbell’s Marvel Cake started turning out a similar version called the “Spiral Croissant,” it started drawing fans near and wide, with queues the norm.
I’m happy to report, though, when I took a chance last Tuesday and showed up five minutes before the bakery opened at 10 a.m., there was no line at all. Hallelujah!
When it comes to upscale modern Indian cuisine, Chef Sri Gopinathan and business partner, restaurateur Ayesha Thapar, seem to have the magic touch.
Their first restaurant, Ettan in downtown Palo Alto, opened just before the pandemic hit. It not only managed to survive that turmoil but come out of it flourishing.
In February, the duo debuted Copra, just blocks from Japantown in San Francisco. Taking its name from the word for the dried flesh of a coconut, Copra showcases Southern Indian coastal cuisine, the type that Gopinathan, who held two Michelin stars at San Francisco’s Campton Place Restaurant, grew up eating. You’ll find surprising dishes here such as octopus and bone marrow that you’d be hard pressed to see on any other Indian menu around (well, except at sister restaurant Ettan, that is, where octopus does appear).
If my visit last week is any indication, Copra is hitting it out of the park. The restaurant was jamming and jammed — and this was on a Wednesday night.
Expect it to be even more so now that the Michelin Guide California just announced this week that Copra is one of 19 new establishments that will be in the 2023 guide to be released later this year.
Like Ettan, Copra is a looker. Whereas Ettan drips with chandeliers and vivid marine blue tones, Copra is done up with earth tones, enough plants (artificial) to resemble a greenhouse, and more macrame than you’ve probably ever seen in one place at one time.
Consider this devilishly good dish the savory equivalent of a “dump cake.”
Instead of a boxed cake mix dumped over canned fruit in a pan, “Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs in Korean BBQ Sauce” is basically beefy ribs plopped into a pan with a robust mix of minced garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and Korean fermented pepper paste known as gochujang.
There’s no need to sear the beef ribs beforehand, either. Just lay them in the sauce in the pan, slide into the oven, and practically forget about it for the next 6 hours.
The beef will emerge so tender that it falls off the bone, and the meat juices will have melded into the sauce, making it even more delectable.
This super simple recipe is from “RecipeTin Eats Dinner” (Countryman Press, 2022), of which I received a review copy.
One Fish Raw Bar opened in 2021 in downtown Campbell next-door to Manresa Bread, and what a find it is. Chef-Owner Trent Lidgey opened his small, fine-dining raw bar after stints as sous chef at San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn, chef de cuisine at The Lexington House in Los Gatos, and most notably, sous chef at Uni Restaurant, a modern izakaya in Boston where he oversaw the sashimi program.
The vibe is relaxed and the food meant to be shared tapas-style. There’s a small patio in front with outdoor dining available, as well as seating inside at tables and high-counter seats. There are also seats right at the chef’s counter, reserved for guests partaking of the $185-per-person 11-course sashimi tasting menu. A final option is the 5-course family-style meal ($95-per-person for the standard; $135-per-person for the premium).
For the longest time, I have wondered what happened to the glorious Maui Gold pineapples that I used to snag so easily at Bay Area Costcos and local grocery stores.
A recent trip to Maui turned up an explanation for why they are MIA here — along with an unexpected gift of wonderfully aromatic Maui-grown vanilla beans.
It all started one morning just after I finished breakfast at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Guests like myself staying in the newly revamped Hokupa’a Tower rooms enjoy breakfast bites on the lanai included in their reservations. To make the lanai more festive, the resort often has featured performers, chef demos or other entertainment.
That morning, I spied Michael Schenk at a counter, cutting up samples of Maui Gold pineapples to give out to guests. Or rather, my nose first caught wind of the unmistakable sweet, tangy, tropical scent of the fruit and I followed it to its source.