Food & Drink

Deeper into sushi

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paulr@sfbg.com

Opera Plaza doesn't look like restaurant heaven, and, for the most part, it isn't. The development's long-running success story is Max's Opera Café, a faux deli that deals in mountainous portions, with dill pickles and fries. Over the years there have been a few places with more style, among them Carlo Middione's Vivande and Bruce Cost's Monsoon, but in neither case was traction established, and neither concern lasted long.Read more »

Tossing the bone

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Crawdad de la Cooter has a new squeeze. I called him up and said, "Hey, man, let's go eat, huh? You hungry?"

And he said what anyone would have said in his position. He said, "Who is this?"

"It's the Chicken Farmer," I said. "Crawdad's ex?"Read more »

The burger hopper

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paulr@sfbg.com

The hamburger has a certain Zelig quality in America: It turns up all over the place, in guises high and low, at fancy metropolitan restaurants and greasy truck stops on the outskirts of every Podunk and Palookaville from coast to coast. Some, like the famous Zuni burger, are made from carefully ground high-end beef; many others many, many others are made from meat whose provenance we probably don't care to think about.Read more »

Wild Pepper

Do you know the way to San Jose?
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222 Club

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REVIEW This jazzy, Euro-cozy joint in the ’Loin just got licensed for hard alcohol, but don't let that stop you from enjoying its Spanish-inflected wine list and sparkling sojuladas (a lovingly crafted combo of soju and limonada). Read more »

Intelligence

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CHEAP EATS "Did you hear about the barn swallows in Minnesota?" Earl Butter said, while we were waiting for our waffles.

"This reminds me," I replied. "This idea that there are more alive people now than dead ones where did you get it?"

"Late Night," he said.

"David Letterman?"

"Yeah."

"Ah."Read more »

Cuvee organica

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Organic wine is on the rise, and the French, no dopes as regards marketing, are on the case. A recent tasting of organic and biodynamic wines by the importer Louis/Dressner (at K and L Wine Merchants) included offerings from some small producers from the south and northeast of France and the Loire Valley and served as a reminder that (1) French winemakers do right by chenin blanc in a way that American winemakers, to my knowledge, cannot yet even crudely approximate, and (2) if you are going to buy French organic wine, you might be better off with a white than a red.Read more »

The steak-out

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EDIBLE COMPLEX In a very 20th-century way, steak connotes adulthood. A turning point for me was a visit to one of those cook-it-yourself steak restaurants with my extended family when I was 12. I aspired to be a grown-up at the time, and so I determined to take steak-eating seriously. I chose a big hunk of meat and grilled it until the outside was totally charred and the inside was thoroughly gray. The whole thing seemed very manly. Read more »