Heaven’s Dog has been a haven for superb cocktails since it opened, with excellent bartenders like Erik Ellestad (Savoy Stomp) and pre-Prohibition era cocktails ($10 each) from Charles H. Baker’s The Gentleman’s Companion, aka "Jigger, Beaker, and Glass." The bar still serves Baker classics, and with new bar manager Trevor Easter on board, receives a fresh infusion while keeping to its roots. Easter came from some of our city's best bars (like 15 Romolo and Wilson & Wilson inside Bourbon & Branch), and used to trek up from San Diego where he lived prior to SF for cocktails at Heaven’s Dog by bar director Erik Adkins.
CHEAP EATS One of my favorite places to be is at the foot of Potrero Hill in Jackson Park, where I played pick-up baseball in the 1990s and soccer in the 2000s. It's very unclaustrophobic around there, maybe you've noticed. Although: the air is thick with Anchor Steam hops and, for me, memories of athletic style glory such as grounding out to third.Read more »
APPETITE Southern food has a profound hold on me. No, I'm not a Southerner — but few cuisines the world over elicit in me such yearning and comfort. Finding the real deal in the Bay Area is tricky, although a recent Southern trend has helped. Aside from my beloved Brenda's and delightful Boxing Room, the following spots fulfill cravings.
After years of hunting, the day finally came when I could find proper cocktails in LA, even if the scene itselfwas years behind NYC or SF. I’ve covered LA cocktail bars in recent years as the quality has rapidly grown, with my latest visit yielding the most consistent drinks yet. The LA cocktail renaissance is indeed coming into its own.
There have still been a few hyped-up letdowns, like Next Door Lounge in Hollywood, which is a fantastic space: roomy, mellow, old world, with comfy leather couches, friendly service, and classic Powell and Loy movies playing on a big screen. I absolutely loved the environment which it made it even more disappointing in sampling four expensive drinks ($12-14) to find them unbalanced and generally unappetizing.
Perhaps Next Door's execution will improve to match the interior. In the meantime, here are some spots worth checking out down south.
Trust us, this holiday can be fun -- and not just in the annual Hunky Jesus contest sense (although that's pretty adult-entertaining as well). Here are some suggestions for grown-up hoppin' around as April 8 approaches.
>>Boozy Easter chocolates
Why eat a hollow rabbit when you could nosh on white chocolate ganache infused with fresh lime and anejo tequila? Why chew on a tasteless Peep when you could have brown sugar-caramel laced with Kentucky bourbon? Why would you ever eat a plain chocolate egg when you could have Moet and Chandon Champagne blended with dark chocolate into a creamy, velvety dream? This conversation is over, check out Christopher Elbow's local chocolate offerings for your snuggle-bunny (before last call.) Read more »
As a little girl, I used to walk by a cheese shop in the neighborhood, flare my nostrils and exclaim “One day I want to work in a cheese shop.” That funky, musty fragrance has an intoxicating draw for me and always will. My one-month stint as a vegan in college failed only because I missed cheese too much. I still haven't worked in a cheese shop, but when I heard about the cheese making classes with the Milk Maid, I just knew I had to go!
In the estimable 1885 tome Why Not Eat Insects? (charmingly reprinted by Pryor Publications) Vincent M. Holt puts forth a simple culinary challenge, not in the contrarian vein of Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal,” but apparently in earnest. Pointing out a few certain truths about bugs and arachnids often overlooked by the squeamish (their undeniable resemblance to crustaceans, their clean eating habits, and ready availability), Holt goes on to describe with epicurean delight the taste of butter- sautéed locusts and an equally buttery wood-louse sauce. Read more »
SF Flower and Garden Show, San Mateo Event Center, 495 S. Delaware, San Mateo. (415) 684-7278, www.sfgardenshow.com. March 21-25, 10am-6pm, $15–$65, free for 16 and under. This year's theme is "Gardens for a Green Earth," and features a display garden demonstrating conservation practices and green design. Plant yourself here for thriving leafy greens, food, and fun in the sun.Read more »
Last night's opening of North Beach's brand spanking new Penthouse Club and Steakhouse (formerly Show Girls, before that Boy Toys) was glittery enough and did have a two-story pole for the women to play on, but – and I will only say this once – ladies, when you are being introduced onstage in the first moments of a strip club officially being open and you are next to a two-story stripper's pole, and you are a stripper, you better get up there and show the crowd what they're going to be getting for its rumpled, sweaty single bills. Read more »