Saturday, June 20, 2009

From SFFoodMaven to an NYC UrbanFoodMaven...

So it's done.
I made the move from SF to NYC...
And am lovin' every minute of it.

Since making this move, I decided to broaden my scope by moving this over to
where I will not just be eating New York but Urban Locales around the World as well.. I love to Travel, so who knows where I will be next..
This is an exciting time and would love to continue to share my Dining Experiences with all with you... So come along with me to NY and Beyond!

If you'd like to receive updates, you can sign up at UrbanFoodMaven where all the action will be moving forward...

See you there!

Yours In Food...

The Urban Food Maven

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Eating My Way Out of San Francisco: The Final Week

My Final Week...
I can hardly believe it.
Realization sets in...
I won't be able to hit every place on my list!
Ah well...  It's not like I'm not gonna be back, right?
So here goes...

Brothers II Korean BBQ with Cris.
Don't be jealous...  

View actual photo below and weep.

I heart Panchan...

We decided to wrap our Brothers II Lunch at Genki with a Nutella and Banana Crepe.  

Me Raptor.  
Me SO happy.

Baby Blues BBQ with G and Billy

Original one in Venice, CA and the brothers who own them are originally from Philly.  Woot!
Anyhow, see spread below.


Pulled Pork, Corn Bread and Mac&Cheese

Memphis Ribs and Baby Back Ribs with Corn Bread and Sweet Potatoes

Sushi Groove with Nee

Needed something a little on the lighter side to break up my final week...

The Slanted Door

Here were the highlights...

Hamachi with Crispy Shallots and Thai Basil
Niman Ranch Shaking Beef with Cubed Filet Mignon, Sausalito Springs Watercress, Red Onion and Lime
Oven Roasted Sonoma Liberty Duck Breast with Cherries, mint and Sausalito Spring Watercress

My Last Supper with Nad & Murph and Kuya Mel & Tim.
We came.
We ate.
It was Aweseme.

Some highlights below...  
Full review to follow soon. 

Green Garlic Sformatino with Mussels and Fiorelli

Prosciutto-Mascarpone Ravioli with Lemon Herb Burro Fuso

Pancetta-Wrapped Rabbit Saddle with Farm Carrots and Fava Beans

Murph was adamant, that I could not leave SF without having the Morning Bun.
He hunted.
He gathered.
We ate.

Morning Bun on the right and Gougere to the left

Croques Monsieur

And so...
In Sinatra's word more or less..
The End is Here.
And I'm glad to say
I did it 'My Way'....

Thank You San Francisco for all of your Gastronomic Bounty!
I Came.
I Ate.
And I Loved it All...

So Long San Francisco

       Hello New York! coming soon...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Eating My Way Out of San Francisco: Week Two...

Eating San Francisco continued...

Mango Cafe in Palo Alto

Hot Curried Goat Roti at the Mango Cafe in Palo Alto.

Pho at Turtle Tower in the 'Loin

Pho with Rare Beek & Well Done Flank.

Sushi Groove South

A Selection of Nigiri.


Above is their selection of Breads - Bread Sticks, Bread with Star Anise and the wheel-shaped one with Olives and soaked in Olive Oil, which was a Favorite at the table...

A surprisingly good Paine Farms Smoked Squab with Black Cabbage-Porcini Mushroom Strudel and Sunchoke Crema.


Eggplant Caponatina with Burrata.

Margarita Pizza with Burrata Cheese and Sausage

Last but not Least,

the Infamous Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog from one of the Bacon Dog Carts in the Mission...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eating My Way Out of San Francisco: The First Week

Since I made the decision to move to NY, my time has been dominated by packing up, selling and donating my stuff, as well as farewell and birthday Lunches and Dinners, leaving little time for writing anything elaborate or extensive. So all I can do is just do what I can, right?

It is now mid-May and the plan is to chronicle my Meals as I eat my way out of San Francisco during the last 30 days before I leave in mid-June. Since we're a week into it, I'll get right to it...

My first Meal was at Postrio and although the majority of the Meal was nothing to write home about, one Dish stood out enough to make the blog.

Postrio - Poached Egg atop Angel Hair Pasta, Wild Mushroom and Frisee Appetizer.
Ok, now that I look at it, the Dish was a bit of a hodge podge and perhaps the best part of the Dish was the perfectly Poached Egg...

Next was a Medium Rare Prime Rib at Houston's...
That's the way, uh huh uh huh.. i like it.

I had Ryoko Sushi, of course, and was getting down with the Jumping Tuna and some serious Hamachi - both Sashimi- and Kama-styles...

Then I had Pho at Golden Star on Walter U. Lum Place with my friend Billy, who's eyes have always been WAY bigger than his stomach. hahaha...

Crustacean was next on the list and I had yummy Roasted Crab and Garlic Noodles...
It got messy..
It was worth it.

First week down, 3 more to go.
So who's next and where?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ch-ch-ch- Changes...

It is Time.
Time for what you ask?
Time to make that move back east to the NYC.

This move has been on my mind for a year and a half now and I almost made the move exactly a year ago.  But the timing was not right.  A year later, I still feel the same way and it is time for this Food Maven to move on after 11 years in San Francisco.

So what does that mean?  Obviously, I cannot be the 'SF' Food Maven any more and naturally, I had been toying around with changing my name to be something broader.  My new name will soon be the Urban Food Maven and the site will change over to  Nice, eh?

So, I will keep you posted on the changes as they come...

As Always, I really do appreciated your continued support!

Yours In Food,

The SFFoodMaven, soon to be
The Urban Food Maven

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This is just a quickie...
Went to Restaurant Lulu for dinner with friends last week and I just had to share a few pics and the SFFM Fave of the Evening...

Sardines atop a Fennel Salad.
How Beautiful is the Dish?

And the Winner is...
The Roasted Duck.
Crisp Skin.
Juicy, Tender and Falling Off the Bone kinda Delish.
Although, I have to say that it has not surpassed the Roasted Duck that I had at Osteria Mozza.
Still good nonetheless...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I had the best sushi experience last night at Ryoko.  This sushi place is literally a hop, skip & jump from where I live and I frequent the joint on a regular..  It's a little neighborhood gem that serves great sushi, is open til 2am and is popular with the industry crowd.  The place itself is underground, quite literally as you have to go downstairs to the restaurant upon entering.  The decor is what one would call eclectic with it's electric blue walls accented with black vinyl, Asian kitsch and a shiny black Baby Grande in the center of the restaurant, where a dj spins atop it on Friday and Saturday nights.
Simply put, this place is best described as badass.  
So last night I went with my friend Maria and it was awesome.  So much so that I felt compelled to write about it here.

Naturally we ordered up some Sake and opted for a bottle of Nigori (Unfiltered making it Milky and a Mildly Sweet for those that are unfamiliar).  Now I've had a lot of Nigori in my life and I thought that this Nigori was especially good.  I have to say that it went really well with everything we ate.  
A Perfect Sushi & Sake Pairing if you will..

It was Maria's first time here, so I ordered the Jumping Tuna which is one of my favorite rolls here.  It is a roll that is made with Fresh Tuna, Cucumber and Shiso wrapped in Sushi Rice and then dipped in Tempura Batter and flash-fried.  Together with the Sweet & Spicy Sauce, it makes for a great combination.  My friends and I always order this whenever we go.  You gotta try it..

We also had Hamachi Toro, Hamachi, Sake and Uni Nigiri that were all great, although we found the Hamachi to be much better than the Hamachi Toro.  Again, all went extremely well with the Nigori..
The Hamachi, Sake and Uni were all great, but the Hamachi was Damn Good!!  
So Fresh and So Buttery! Like all Sushi experiences should be...
This one is still imprinted in my mind, it was just that good.

The last roll that we had was another fave of mine, called the Pokemon, which is Salmon, Mango, Avocado, Fresh Lettuce and Rice wrapped in Soy Paper.

We topped off the night with Tempura Fried Ice Cream garnished with Chocolate Sauce and Toffee bits.  
Yep, that's right..
A Very Happy Ending.
The End...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Big Eat SF: 100 Things To Try Before You Die on 7x7

The Big Eat SF: 100 Things To Try Before You Die on 7x7 is now on Facebook.

Now you can track just how many things on the list that you have tried.
Click here for the link.

Ben & Jerry's Ameri-Cone Dream by Stephen Colbert

I have a new crush right now...
And it is Ben & Jerry's Ameri-Cone Dream by Stephen Colbert which is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Waffle Cone Pieces and a Caramel Swirl.
The combination is intoxicating...

Be forewarned. Can be Addicting..

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Michael Bauer's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants

Michael Bauer of the Chronicle has come out with his annual Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list...
Click here for the full list.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Taste of the Nation - San Francisco

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® is the nation’s premier culinary benefit dedicated to making sure no kid in America grows up hungry. Each spring, the nation's hottest chefs and mixologists donate their time, talent and passion at more than 45 events across the United States and Canada, with one goal in mind: to raise the critical funds needed to end childhood hunger. Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $70 million.

Taste of the Nation - San Francisco

DATE: This Thursday, April 23, 2009
TIME: 6:00 PM - VIP Reception Entry at 5:30 PM

LOCATION: The Field Club Lounge at AT&T Park (Tasting Reception) and Traci Des Jardin's Acme Chophouse (VIP Dinner & Auction)

TICKETS: VIP Dinner + Tasting Reception- $250, Tasting Reception - $75

Tickets available clicking here.

They will have an amazing line-up of chefs for this year’s Gala Dinner which include Michael Symon (Cleveland's Lola/Lolita), SF’s own Traci Des Jardins (Acme Chophouse/Jardinière/Mijita), Chris Cosentino (Incanto), Gavin Kaysen (NYC's Café Boulud), and Koren Grieveson (Chicago's Avec).
Chef Elizabeth Falkner will once again provide the dessert course, and Host Chef Thom Fox has graciously opened his Acme Chophouse kitchen again to host.

Kicking off the event will be a Tasting Reception featuring an array of the Bay Area's best chefs & restaurants, including:

Honorary Tasting Event Chair Jamie Lauren - Absinthe
Liza Shaw - A16
Jordan Grosser - The Alembic
* Percy Whatley - The Awhanee Hotel
Jason Fox - Bar Tartine
Loretta Keller & Michael Morrison- Coco500 & The Moss Room
Robbie Lewis – Oracle
* Jenn Puccio - Cortez
Cal Stamenov - Marinus at the Bernardus Lodge
Scott Youkilis - Maverick
Michelle Mah - Midi
Staffan Terje & Sarah Ballard - Perbacco
Tim Luym - Poleng Lounge
Seis Kamimura - Postrio
Jennifer Biesty & Tim Nugent - Scala's Bistro
Charles Phan - Slanted Door
Chris Behr - SPQR
Mark Sullivan - Spruce
Parke Ulrich - Waterbar
Hoss Zare - Zaré at Flytrap

An incredible Mixology Program celebrating the upcoming SF Cocktail Week in May. Sample signature cocktails from the City's best bartenders at the Tasting event.
Participating Bars Include:

* Elixir

* 15 Romolo

* Beretta

* Bourbon & Ranch

* Conduit

* Heaven's Dog
Taste the best of San Francisco's original cocktail culture and sample some new inspirations from the country's best mixologists.
Bid on unmatched food and wine experiences in exciting silent and live auctions at the gala dinner, or buy raffle tickets for a variety of fun packages at the tasting event.

Best of all, Fight Hunger in San Francisco and throughout the US with your generous contribution. 100% of your ticket purchase goes directly to Share Our Strength.

Ticket sales will benefit Foodrunners, Children of Shelters, and Sports 4 Kids, San Francisco.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Panel in SF this Thursday: A New National Food Policy - But What About the Hungry?

Check out this great event, presented by the SF Food Bank and the Commonwealth Club. The panel will include the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture and other food policy leaders.

A New National Food Policy - But What About the Hungry?
Thursday, April 23, 2009
A.G. Kawamura, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
Paul Ash, Executive Director, San Francisco Food Bank
Paula Jones, Director of Food Systems, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Michael Dimock, President, Roots of Change
Amy Sherman, Food Blogger & Author - Moderator
Michael Pollan, Alice Waters and other food activists have advocated for radical changes in U.S. food policy. But those changes could have a surprising impact on people living in poverty. This panel examines the future of food in our country and state – and the impact reforms may have on the 150,000 people in San Francisco (including one in every four children) who are unsure where their next meal is coming from. How can we create a food system that is good, clean and fair for all?

PG&E Theatre, 245 Market St. (at Beale St.), San Francisco (Note: event is NOT at the Commonwealth Club)
Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program
Cost: $8 Commonwealth Club members, $15 non-members, $7 students
Tickets: Available online at or call 415-597-6700

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Osteria Mozza in LA...

I had THE Best Meal, and am even proclaiming it as the SFFoodMaven Favorite Meal of 2008 at
Osteria Mozza in LA. This is what I was talking about in my previous post about 'Italian as the new French' as one of the latest Food Trends and I'm excited for you to read about my experience here.

This past December, I traveled down to LA on an impromptu trip with my girlfriend. We stayed at the London which was awesome. I had stayed there many times, many years ago when it was the Belage and was completely amazed at the transformation. The rooms were spacious and gorgeous and the bathroom was an absolute spa dream! Not to mention that The London is a perfect location nestled between Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards and we absolutely loved it there!
But what was even more Memorable of course was what I ate while I was
there... The concierge scored us a rezzie at Osteria Mozza, a Restaurant by three Veritable Virtuosos of the Food World - Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery.

The Meal literally blew me away and it was my idea of the Perfect Trifecta of any Memorable Dining Experience that I so often look for - Great Food, Great Atmosphere/Decor and Great Service.

From the moment that I walked in I felt the warmth of the decor, a classic yet contemporary space, which enveloped me as if to welcome me within its embrace, and at the same time, I felt a frisson of excitement by the energy buzzing in the room. I had been wanting to eat here for quite some time and thus far it was living up to my expectations even though I haven't even tried the Food yet! Perhaps it was just me and the fact that I live for and obsess over all things Food, but I was absolutely beside myself and the Food did not disappoint...

Here is the Breakdown...
Bear with me on some of the photos as it was a bit dark in there and I hate using a flash when it comes to Food..

We were given an Amuse of Creamy Ricotta on Toasted Crostini topped with an Olive Tapenade and Basil Chiffonade. The simplicity of it tickled our Palates and was a sound start to our Meal...

Osteria Mozza is known for its Mozzarella Bar, so naturally we opted to start with the
Mozzarella Tasting, which offered 3 kinds of Mozzarella from the Bar - Burrata, Fior di Latte & Bufala Mozzarella. All three were Rich, Creamy and Light versions of Mozzarella that were nothing short of Dreamy. The Fior di Latte being our favorite of all, because it was just Divine...

Ever since first trying Agnolotti pasta at Quince long ago, I have been a devotee. Agnolotti is very similar to a Ravioli or Tortellini, but it is made with one thin sheet of Pasta which is essentially folded over and made into tiny little pockets filled with Meat or Cheese. So whenever I see it on a Pasta or Secondi Menu, I always have to order it. Perbacco here in San Francisco usually has a couple versions of it, one made with Roasted Veal and Savoy Cabbage and the other with Roasted Rabbit and a Truffled Sugo D'Arrosto. Can you say YUM?

But Osteria Mozza's
Agnolotti, Burro e Salvia filled with Veal, Chicken, Capiccola and Pancetta far transcended any other Agnolotti that I have ever had! They were Silken, Little Pockets of Heaven in a Sage Butter Sauce. I mean, I had one of those SFFoodMaven 'Moments' while eating it, where my eyes rolled back and I just didn't want the Dish to ever end! It was THE BEST thing that I have consumed, devoured and indulged in all year! And I STILL salivate at the just the thought of it. This is the kind of Moment that I LIVE for...




The socks are not just off, they're gone!

Outta the Park!
See Ya!
Believe me, I am still recovering... And the only remedy, may be to go back for more.

Gimme a moment to get myself together...

Grilled Quail wrapped in Pancetta with sage & honey...

I had the Crisp Duck al Mattone with Pear Mostarda & Brussels sprouts which was pretty amazing! It was served on a huge cutting board so it felt like it was a hedonistic sacrifice fit for a goddess... Yes that would be me... The Skin was Beautifully Crisp yet the Meat was unbelievably Tender and Juicy, so much so that the Meat just fell off the Bone...

For Dessert we had the Bombolini, very Light, Round Fritters served with Vanilla Gelato and a Mountain Huckleberry Compote, which I thought were Unique and Happy Ending to a Truly Memorable Meal...