After conquering the worlds of fine-dining with his Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant Mister Jiu’s, fast-casual with his Mamahuhu eateries in San Francisco and Mill Valley, and cookbooks with his James Beard Award-winning “Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), written with co-author Tienlon Ho, where does Chef Brandon Jew aim his sights next?
Yes, the James Beard Award-winning “Best Chef in California” in 2022 has just introduced a line of frozen potstickers with his Mamahuhu co-founders, Anmao Sun and Ben Moore.
It garnered a Michelin star only a year after opening its doors in 2021. That same year, it was also named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by the Robb Report; one of the “50 Favorite Restaurants” by the New York Times; a “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire; and highlighted in Eater’s “Best New Restaurants.”
When it comes to the Korean charcoal barbecue restaurant, San Ho Won in San Francisco, the hype is not only real, but richly deserved, as I found out when I dined last month.
Then again, one would hardly expect anything less from Chef-Owner Corey Lee, who also operates Monsieur Benjamin and whose flagship San Francisco restaurant, Benu, has glittered with three Michelin stars for years. San How Won is a collaboration between him and Chef Jeong-In Hwang, who moved from Korea to San Francisco in 2016 to first work at Benu.
Sure, you’ve probably had your fill of Korean barbecue over the years. But none like this, with an unmistakable clarity and purity of flavor. Nothing tastes muddled, nothing gets lost. Instead, every bite is exuberant.
Indeed, pretty much everything is made in-house, down to the binchotan that fuels the fiery grills. Take a seat at the bar encircling the kitchen for a view of the action. Or if you gather with a group and plan ahead to book the private room, you’ll really get a show when one of the cooks expertly sears your meat on a separate grill in the corner.
When Madcap opened in 2017 in San Anselmo, I considered its then eight-course $80 tasting menu a bargain.
Fast forward to six years later when I dined a few weeks ago, and that opinion still holds. The price tag may have risen to $140, but it’s still quite reasonable in the world of lofty tasting menus.
Especially when you consider that the restaurant’s owner and executive chef is Ron Siegel, who was not only on the opening team of the French Laundry, but went on to head the kitchens at San Francisco landmarks Charles Nob Hill, Masa’s, Michael Mina, and the Ritz-Carlton. Not to mention that he triumphed as the first American chef to trounce an “Iron Chef” on the original Japanese cooking competition show.
Madcap is a warm and welcoming family affair with Siegel’s wife Kimberly running the front of the house, and son Dillon now director of wine and beverages.
It’s been a banner time for chef and chocolatier, Shekoh Moossavi, who not only opened her Shekoh Confections, 2305 El Camino Real near California Avenue in Palo Alto last March, but added a second location in downtown Palo Alto last month.
Now, starting this Thursday at the downtown outpost, 444 University Ave., she’s upping her offerings to include lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) six nights a week (except Mondays, when the shop is closed).
At lunch, look for salads, sandwiches, and her heartfelt wild mushroom soup with mint — her mom’s recipe that she has featured at every restaurant she’s ever opened. At dinner, the fare will be simple yet satisfying with the likes of risotto, polenta, and lamb shanks. With a liquor license recently approved, look for wines coming soon to complement the meals.
Like all the chocolate bonbons, marshmallows, nougats, madeleines, and other confections, Moossavi will be making all of the savory items, too.
On a clear day along the shimmering blue waters of Tomales Bay, nothing makes you appreciate even more how lucky you are to live in this region than an al fresco lunch at Nick’s Cove in Marshall.
If it’s been a while — or if you’ve never visited — now’s the perfect time to spend some time at this 92-year-old coastal landmark. Not only have its charming cottages been newly refurbished, but celebrated San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino was brought in to refresh the menu.
On a recent trek along the coast, my husband and I took a seat outside on a weekday, after placing our orders at the bar and receiving a pager. When your order is ready, the pager vibrates, signaling it’s time to pick up your tray.
We indulged in a half dozen Nick’s BBQ’D oysters ($25), which arrived on a hot cast-iron pan, tasting sweet, smoky, and plenty garlicky.