Tag Archives: Jesse Cool

Dining Outside at Flea Street

Cured and smoked half roast duck at Flea Street.
Cured and smoked half roast duck at Flea Street.

Few restaurants anywhere reach a 40-year milestone.

That such a momentous achievement happened during the height of the pandemic last year for Menlo Park’s Flea Street might have put a slight damper on the festivities that had to be held over Zoom.

But it’s a testament to this restaurant, whose doctrine of organic and sustainable has been woven into its fabric since the beginning, that after the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic it’s come roaring back.

When I dined there last week as a guest of the restaurant, every outdoor table was full of smiling patrons, clinking glasses of festive cocktails, and chatting with Chef-Owner Jesse Cool as the made the rounds. The indoor dining room is undergoing a refresh, complete with a new ventilation system, and should be ready to welcome back diners soon. Executive Chef Bryan Thuerk, all of 23 years old, couldn’t be happier to be cooking for diners in-person again, after months of doing takeout, which the restaurant had never done before.

The welcoming outdoor dining area.
The welcoming outdoor dining area.

The outdoor dining has the air of a celebratory backyard get-together with bales of hay topped with cushions for bar-service only, and wood-slatted fencing in the dining area.

Indulge in a cocktail by bartender Eloy Martinez, who’s been with the restaurant for more than 15 years. The Apricot & Sage is a blend of brandy, apricot, sage, Contreau, bitters and lemon juice that get garnished with a fresh apricot half and sage leaf. It’s fruity with a nice bitter edge and a touch of menthol.

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Food Gal Contest: Win A Free Pair of Tickets to “Flavors of San Francisco: An Evening With the Masters”

Join yours truly at the “Flavors of San Francisco: An Evening With the Masters,” 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 13 at the H.L. Peninsula Restaurant in South San Francisco.

This gala dinner event benefits the research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Liver Foundation.

The evening includes a multi-course gourmet dinner, a cooking demo by celebrity Chef Martin Yan of San Francisco’s M.Y. China, and an auction.

There also will be a panel discussion about healthy eating, featuring myself, Yan, Chef Jesse Cool of Menlo Park’s Flea Street Cafe, and veteran broadcast journalist Alan Wang, founder of Newsworthy Media.

Tickets are $300. Food Gal readers receive a discounted price of $200 per ticket with the code: Foodie1.

I’ll be signing copies of my new cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1), at the event, with 10 percent of sales proceeds being donated to the American Liver Foundation.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a free pair of tickets to the “Flavors of San Francisco” event (a total value of $600). Entries for the contest, open only to those who can attend the event on Nov. 13 in South San Francisco, will be accepted through midnight PST Nov. 2. Winner will be announced Nov. 4 on this blog.

How to win?

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