Summer Sushi

Summer Sushi

The lively fish, wasabi and ginger creations at Sushi Totoro just get better and better. Here was a recent dinner of saba nigiri (center, with micro dice of lemon and scallion), tekka maki with shiso leaf and an ethereal trio of hamachi nigiri. (I used my iPhone for...

Avanti Romances the Salmon

Avanti Romances the Salmon

Local King Salmon, from Half Moon Bay to be exact, receives some expert handling at Avanti. This lovely entree I enjoyed a few days ago showcased a very moist piece of pan-roasted salmon presented atop a risotto laced with spring peas, favas and micro-diced zucchini....

Alfaro @ Ma Maison – Thursday June 2

A charming idea, this First Thursday Brown Bag Wine Dinner concept. Especially the appealing price tag. You can enjoy the authentic French cuisine of chef Lionel le Morvan, some pours of new Alfaro wines, plus the pleasure of a conversation with winemaker Richard...

Wine & Cheese Fusion – every Wed in May

It happens @ Vinocruz, after hours. Farmgirls School of Food & Wine. And it is the vivacious brainchild of wine czarina Amanda Rehn and fromagista Tabitha Stroup. The plan is simple and appealing. The duo will work you through the history, nuances, terroirist...

Gabriella Alumnus # 407

Gabriella Alumnus # 407

Sean Baker, former chef at Gabriella and now in charge of Berkeley's Gather, is featured in the current issue of Sunset Magazine (photo:Drew Kelly). Reminds us of just how creative and fertile that kitchen on Cedar St. really is. Chefs who have paid their dues at Paul...

La Posta

La Posta

Somehow this neighborhood dining room continues to disarm us. Last night four of us enjoyed a flawless series of plates, from a pizza bianca with crust as thin as a fashion model's thigh to a sensational emerald appetizer of wild nettle sformato custard smothered with...

30 Years of Kelly’s

30 Years of Kelly’s

Thank you Kelly Porter Sanchez for deciding three decades ago to do exactly what you wanted to do, and to do it your way. No compromises, no complaints. Congratulations! You've made a lot of people so happy that they barely realized how much went into their favorite...

Telos Delosil @ Gabriella

Telos Delosil @ Gabriella

The chef with the intriguing name has moved into the top slot at Gabriella, after a year getting to know the kitchen and clientele. We sampled some of Delosil's beautifully presented plates last night and came away smiling. Gorgeous beets, gemlike Dungeness crab...

Joze Goes Persian – March 27

Persian New Year comes to India Joze restaurant on Sunday, March 27, 2011 from 4-8 PM with a special evening of Persian food, poetry, and dance. If you think chef Joseph Schultz does Thai and Indonesian cuisine brilliantlyl (and he does, oh he does), then you're in...

Pasta La Posta

Pasta La Posta

Once again proving that some pastas ARE better than others, the kitchen at La Posta wow'd us last night with this plate of succulent pappardelle verde laced with housemade sausage and braised wild nettles. Tangy, buttery, utterly delicious, it had the four of us vying...

Cellar Door

Cellar Door

Here is something rococo—and delicious—we sampled last week from the hand of Cellar Door chef Jarod Ottley.  A froth of tender local squid, accompanied by pink grapefruit and pea sprouts dotted a long mound of quinoa. Brilliant crimson beet puree accompanied and a...

Red Oil Dumplings

Red Oil Dumplings

My current favorite, guilt-free, dining addiction.  And here's my appetizer order, minus the three dumplings I inhaled within moments of their arrival.@...

Cabrillo Does Chowder

Congratulations to Cabrillo culinary students and to Mike Wille, instructor at Cabrillo College's Advanced Culinary Arts program. Wille's inventive chefs-in-progress made a brilliant showing at this year's Clam Chowder Festival - taking First Place in the "Best...

Staff of Life

Staff of Life

Most of Santa Cruz swooped down on Staff of Life's humongous new digs last week, to check it out and to start getting familiar with their new neighborhood natural foods emporium. I spotted two more reasons to head over to Staff - fresh duck breast and fresh spot...

Nutty as a Fruitcake

Nutty as a Fruitcake

When my sister and I were little, we would make the annual trek to Aunt Mariana and Uncle Doodle's house for a holiday visit. Aunt Mariana would reach up high into her pantry and take down the fruitcake we were forced to eat each Christmas. My sister and I would...

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The other orange drink

The other orange drink

Little did I know that I would grow up to consume a breakfast liquid that closely resembles industrial effluent, or rain forest mud mixed with compost. But I do. And I love this stuff. It's loaded with carrot, celery, cucumber, collard greens, kale and parsley. It's...

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Tuna Can Rant

Tuna Can Rant

Actually, it could be about any packaged product on the market today. The incredible shrinking product. It started with the size of the cardboard roll inside toilet paper rolls.  The cardboard cylinder is noticeably (i.e. MUCH) wider in diameter than it used to be....

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Cigare Lands @ the Cellar Door

Cigare Lands @ the Cellar Door

A recent vertical tasting of Le Cigare Volant—the Bonny Doon Vineyard flagship creation—showed off the evolving style, and substance, of vintage 1993 through 2009 of Randall Grahm's main squeeze. Incidentally the odd-numbered years showed especially well. Doubtless...

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An idea whose time is questionable….

I admire the entrepreneurial spirit as much as the next woman, but I just have to wonder (to quote late-night talk hostess Joyce Riley) - "What were they thinking?" I am musing about the sign currently placed at the front of the former Bella Napoli, the former Il...

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More Manresa

More Manresa

Last month the dishes arrived like bright, colorful jewels from the kitchen of David Kinch.Here is a celebrated plate — Into the Garden — in which choice morsels of what’s freshest and most appealing from Kinch’s grower, Love Apple Farm. Served on an Annieglass plate,...

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@ la Posta

@ la Posta

Tuesdays, la Posta. The marvelous live mandolin and guitar music, the house Montepulciano, the neighborhood special....$15 for pizza and a glass of house wine. We added this sparkling fresh salad of watercress and fava beans, topped with a perfect egg from the house...

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Dynamite Davenport Dinner

Dynamite Davenport Dinner

We had a terrific dinner last night at the Davenport Roadhouse. All four of our entrees, including a mushroom risotto, steelhead with pesto, roasted local halibut on a bed of favas and lemon spaetzle and my order of rare hanger steak atop lemony fresh artichoke...

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