What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
February 19, 2019

Party time! tablehopper turns 13 this week, but Zuni turned 40 on Friday! Pop Champagne! Read more in my posts on @tablehopper on Instagram. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Good evening! Buona sera! I’m running a little late today, I’ve been terribly busy coordinating the restaurant logistics for this Sunday’s 39th annual Academy of Friends Gala fundraiser! The lineup of 15 restaurants (and the dishes they’re making!) is blowin’ my mind. This year includes ALX, Avery (VIP), the newly opened Ayala, desserts from Bluestem Brasserie, Cento Osteria, Dongbei vegetarian potstickers from China Live, Gio Gelati, three dishes from the new Izakaya Sushi Ran (VIP), coffee and espresso drinks from Mr. Espresso, Michelin-starred Nico (VIP), Rooh, Slanted Door, Tank18, The Caviar Co. (VIP), The Saratoga, and Uno Dos will be making their carnitas tacos! It’s going to be a fun feast, with cocktails, entertainment, and more, making it the best Oscars party in town.

I know it can be a little more costly than some people can afford, but it’s a wonderful fundraiser to support…so have you thought about volunteering? We need help both this Saturday and Sunday (February 23rd-24th). Click here for details. Hope to see you!

You won’t want to miss either of my Table Talk columns, trust me on this. This week’s issue is about Tank18’s al pastor dish you’ll want to track down for Sunday brunch, where to enjoy Arabic or Ethiopian home cooking (and hospitality), a new monthly guest chef burger special, and an annual artisan cheese festival you won’t want to miss.

Last week’s Table Talk includes a hot tip on Sasa in Japantown, offering a quality and affordable omakase experience, get a sneak peek of Noosh at a pre-opening dinner and through delivery, and snag a seat (if you can!) at La Cocina’s Week of Women in Food.

I have another fun event for you, in case some of you are following tablehopper and my other venture, mymilligram. Next Wednesday February 27th, is the Crop-to-Kitchen Winter Meet Up with Stephanie Hua of Mellows and Coreen Carroll of Cannaisseur Series, plus other special guests! If you love food and cannabis, or you’re canna-curious, this event is for you! See you there!

Would you believe that tablehopper is turning THIRTEEN this Thursday? Whoa. Not sure what that translates to in freelancer years, but I can tell you that’s a helluva lot of hustle and late nights of writing. Thank you for all your support for my writing all these years and sharing your Tuesday afternoons with me.

You know what would be the best way to say “Happy Birthday, tablehopper?!” If you could forward this column to five friends and tell them to subscribe. Right now. Seriously, that would rock. Or post on Facebook, or send a friend to @tablehopper on Instagram. Anyone who is reading this column has great taste, mmmhmmm, so I imagine your friends do too. It would help me a bunch. Thanks, loves!

It’s Champagne o’clock!
Marcia Gagliardi

February 5, 2019

Meet the Emperor, one of the many chicken sandwiches at Paper Rooster in the Tenderloin, with housemade sriracha chips and ginger ale. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Gung Hei Fat Choy! Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Happy Lunar New Year, and year of the pig! If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate, I just saw this post on Bay Area Bites about lunar new year treats. And today’s tablehopper has some new dumpling places for you to check out as well—be sure to order some long noodles.

It’s also SF Beer Week, with more events than my inbox can handle. So, why don’t you just head on over to their site and see what you want to do? (Hint: click “types” to limit the kind of event you’re looking for, like food pairings.) You’ll also want to take a look at the lineup from today’s sponsor, The Monk’s Kettle!

And just in case you’re a (fellow) woman who loves whiskey, there’s an event with Westland Distillery (and master distiller Matt Hofmann) at Noosh tonight with a few tickets left! You’ll get a sneak peek of this almost-open spot and some great tastes (of both whiskey and snacks).

Last week, I thoroughly enjoyed my late-night dinner at La Calenda, the new Mexican restaurant from Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville. (A beautiful homage to masa, in all its forms.) Read all about it in my weekly Table Talk column, plus three Valentine’s Day dinners worth the expense and hassle of going out on a very busy night of hearts and flowers.

And don’t miss last week’s column, with a taste of what’s on the menu at the newly opened El Pípila in SoMa and Paper Rooster in the Tenderloin, plus a crab feast for Valentine’s Day, and two ongoing prime rib specials.

You may have heard about the new Udon Time (it’s perfect weather for noodles!) and soon-to-open Niku Steakhouse—I’m going to check them out this week and will have a firsthand report in the next tablehopper.

I’m busy once again curating the restaurants for this year’s Academy of Friends gala and Oscars viewing party! We have some fantastic partners this year, including Avery and Nico in VIP, along with China Live, Izakaya Sushi Ran, Cento Osteria, The Saratoga, Gio Gelati, Bluestem Brasserie, Tank18, and Uno Dos Tacos, with more to be confirmed this week! Get your ticket for Neptune’s Fantasy, and prepare for a fun evening! I will definitely see you there.

Keep warm, and enjoy all of your lunar new year festivities!
Marcia Gagliardi

January 22, 2019

Dream lunch: kanom jeen fish curry at Funky Elephant in Berkeley. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy peeps! Could you believe that eclipse and super blood wolf moon on Sunday night? Wowza. Don’t miss the moonrise over the city tonight if you can catch it, last night it was spectacular.

I’m keeping today’s intro super short, someone is running so late with this column today! There were other stories I was hoping to write today, but sometimes you just gotta call it. TIME! I was away for a retreat over the weekend, and was trying to slowly ease into this short week, but sadly the pile of emails in my inbox and other deadlines really don’t care! Where’s the off switch?

But I also have a bunch of food news and bites for you to track down in my weekly Table Talk column over at KQED Bay Area Bites! Last week’s post has a look at the food and drink at Obispo on 24th Street (bring on the rum and grilled chicken), and you can warm up with bone marrow ramen at Ushi Taro, plus there are two pop-up events: one with roasted pig (Prubechu is hosting it again this weekend, FYI!) and a wagyu tasting menu at Avery this week as well.

This week’s Table Talk post features two places for khao mun gai (whether you’re in SF or the 510!), plus deals for SF Restaurant Week, check out the Peruvian tasting menu at JORA, and the Pencils for Kids fundraiser next Thursday (which has great new restaurant partners, like Liholiho Yacht Club and ONE65)!

I’ll be posting more updates on cool things on @tablehopper later this week… Catch ya on the flip side!

Marcia Gagliardi