hiro sandwich worship at urchin bistrot

by foodhoe on October 23, 2014

584 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110 |  415.861.1844 |  Website


When my friend Ben, who writes the evocative and lovely food blog Focus:Snap:Eat, told me that there was a new restaurant in the Mission whose menu listed a number of dishes featuring its namesake sea urchin, also known as the foie gras of the sea, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon.  Joining us was Brenda, the intrepid food explorer/marketing ninja who writes the smoking hot Bites & Bourbon blog.  The restaurant is located in former Wo Hing General Store space (the original location of the Slanted Door) on Valencia, and was opened by Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, the chef/owners of Terra and Bar Terra in St. Helena and Ame in the Hotel St. Regis in SoMa.  This is a playful homage to France’s cuisine bistronomique, serving market driven updates on classics along with modern artisinal cocktails.


The interior is dominated by a lively mural along the back wall that was designed by Chef Hiro, lined with bright red booths across from the long bar area where you can also enjoy a casual meal


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7 Courses of Beef at Anh Hong in Berkeley

by foodhoe on October 5, 2014

2067 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 | 510.981.1789 | website


For years I have wanted to try the Vietnamese feast called 7 courses of beef, and was very excited when my friend Brenda of Bites and Bourbon organized said feast at the venerable Anh Hong restaurant in Berkeley.  Joining us were Christina of East Bay Dish and Ben of Focus:Snap:Eat, for the specialty of the house, Bo 7 Mon, which arccording to their website, their family created.  In 1954 the Anh family established their first restaurant in Vietnam, and have since opened up branches in the US with 5 locations in California.  It’s a big roomy upscale interior with a stage in the back where a woman with a very sweet voice sang along to taped music.


Bò 7 Món, the Seven Courses of Beef is $21.95 per order, but you don’t need one order per person, that would be way too much.  We shared two orders between four hungry diners, and another specialty of the house, oven roasted catfish.  I was a bit intimidated about the meal, picturing platters piled high with slabs of meats and ribs, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the feast was not a total meat eating frenzy, instead it was very Asian, by which I mean the proportion of meat is in balance with other food groups.  While the star of the meal is beef, the dishes are accompanied with lots of fresh herbs and vegetables, thin rice vermicelli noodles, to be wrapped up with fresh lettuce in rice paper rolls and drizzled with savory sauces.  I advise to wash your hands before the meal, because you’ll be using your hands to make lots and lots of rolls.


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Capone’s Speakeasy in Alameda

October 2, 2014
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1400 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501 | 510.522.2391 | website Capone’s Speakeasy is a new venue in the tranquil island of Alameda, which is just off the coast of Oakland.  It’s smack in the middle of bustling Park Street, which is jam packed with many excellent restaurants that make the area a destination.  The former […]

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The lucky rice festival in San Francisco

September 22, 2014
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This is the scene at the Lucky Rice festival, the annual celebration of Asian culinary culture in America that was held at the dramatic Bently Reserve conference center in San Francisco earlier this month.  The Lucky Rice festival showcases Asian culture through cuisine and cocktails and shares it with food enthusiasts in a traveling road show where the chefs and bartenders […]

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Modern Mexican Cuisine at Papito West, SF

September 16, 2014
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425 a hayes st. SF 94102 | 415.554.0541  | website I met my friend DebbieG for a hosted dinner last week at Papito West in Hayes Valley.  A hosted dinner you ask?  One of the perks of being an obsessive chronicler of everything I eat is that I occasionally am invited to check out new […]

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Pieology, fast custom pizza in Pleasant Hill

September 8, 2014
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2380 Monument Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA. 94523 | 925.338.2475 | website Pieology Pizzeria is a chain from SoCal that specializes in customizable pizzas that recently opened up in Pleasant Hill.  It joins a block of fast food chain restaurants (Panda Express, Wingstop, Rubios) that is visible from the I-680 and is just off the exit […]

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Dining on Dim Sum at Hong Kong Lounge II

August 25, 2014
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3300 Geary Blvd San Francisco, CA 94118 | 415.668.8802 | website I recently met some friends for dim sum in the City at Hong Kong Lounge II which was opened in 2012 by Annie Ho who sold the original and very popular Hong Kong Flower Lounge, so she could focus her attention on a smaller venue.  The Chronicle recently […]

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