Up until a few years ago, Chile’s Central Valley was center stage, with cabernet sauvignon playing the starring role.
Carmenere, which was brought from Bordeaux to Chile in the 19th century, is somewhat popular, but vegetal qualities give it a limited appeal and prevent it from taking off the way malbec did in Argentina. Read More
Common wisdom is that seekers of decent, authentic Filipino food need to trek southward from The City, into the badlands of the Peninsula. Here in San Francisco, offerings are meager.
But if you want a dose of in-town authenticity, a Filipino meal to placate the purists, your destination is obvious: the mall food court. Read More
The diverse crowd that recently turned out to celebrate the bar’s 17th year in business would probably be surprised to hear that one commenter on Yelp, when asked about the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, expressed his opinion that “Irish bar” is often code for “white.” As if to drive home The Mucky Duck’s sense of inclusiveness, there’s a copy of Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis’ classic WWII recruitment poster mixed in with the 49ers posters and shamrocks adorning the bar’s walls. Read More
In the heart of the Marina district, Mauna Loa Club is a cozy alternative to the numerous upscale nightspots — long on value and short on pretense. To the left of the curved bar, a large red-and-white sign informs patrons that during happy hour, which runs from 2 to 8 p.m. weekdays, draft beers are $1 off and well drinks are just $4. In a neighborhood where $12 cocktails are the norm, that’s no small thing. Read More
Over the years, this column has taken California wine prices to task. The cost of land and new oak barrels, especially French ones, are expensive, but I maintain my original position: The quality often does not justify the price, and finding bargains in this state is not an easy task. Read More
‘Can’t mac and cheese just be good? Isn’t that enough?”
I was caught. A friend and I were at Broken Record, everyone’s favorite Excelsior dive. I had just eaten some of chef Mark Furr’s mac and cheese, and made an obnoxious comment: “What’s interesting about it?”
Apparently the fresh pasta, pork belly, top-shelf cheese blend and pickled jalapeños didn’t adequately dazzle me. What a spoiled brat. Read More
In a town crowded with chic, sexy bars, Chambers stands out. Located in the Phoenix Hotel, the bar underwent a striking and modern remodeling. It once housed Backflip and Bambuddha Lounge. Unique and varied lighting in the two indoor bars, brocade and leather banquette seating, and indoor and outdoor fireplaces give it a distinctive, classy feel. A wall display with more than 10,000 classic LPs sometimes proves to be too tempting for customers, says bartender Richard Woodruff, noting that some go spinning right out the door. Read More
My apartment would fit six times inside Nespresso’s boutique cafe on Grant and Geary. But despite some revealingly huge plate-glass windows, it isn’t easy to tell what they’re doing with all that space.
You can’t find a menu or description of the cafe online, the phone number on Yelp leads you straight to Nespresso corporate headquarters, and it doesn’t look like any cafe I’ve seen. Read More
Australia is best known for shiraz, the funny name for syrah from Down Under. It so dominates the landscape that it is impossible to say there is one typical type of Australian shiraz. Read More
Burritt Room and Tavern Just steps before the Stockton Tunnel sits a cocktail gem in the Mystic Hotel where bartenders use swizzle sticks made from tree branches and eye-drop house-made tinctures into vessels of boozy glory. Red velvet stools, 12-armed chandeliers and the original layer of preserved flooring with dime-sized tiles decorate the refined yet approachable low-lit bar and adjoining restaurant. The film noir-inspired cocktail spot opened by iconic restaurateur Charlie Palmer is named after Judge Burritt and his farm, which once existed there. Read More