Spectacular Kyoto

May 15, 2015

– My Top 5 Cocktails of the Month in SF
– Edible Kyoto: Exploring the canals, temples, gardens, markets, coffee, restaurants and cafes of this magical Japanese city.
– Drinking in Kyoto: Cocktails, sake and spirits, including a couple of the most memorable bar experiences in the world. Read more →

Lolo's 2 Birds 1 Stone

Top 5 Cocktails of the Month

From mid-April to mid-May, here are the standout cocktails and new menus I’ve been tasting around the Bay Area. 1. Alembic’s SF Confidential A newcomer on the menu at the excellent-for-a-decade Alembic is bar manager Larry Piaskowy’s new SF Confidential ($13), on the chalkboard. What makes it special is the harmony and balance of the ingredients and its easy drinkability.… Read more →

Okakita Kyoto-Virginia Miller

Wandering Traveler: Edible Kyoto

Where Tokyo is expanse, towers, lights and endless depth, Kyoto is the stillness of gardens and temples bearing a silence unlike anywhere else, encompassing and lush. It’s the charm of an ancient village, shockingly intact, yet with the offerings or range of a mid-size city. Amsterdam meets Japan in Kyoto’s canals (particularly magical at night) and its temples, gardens and… Read more →

Vegan soups in Mendocino

May 1, 2015

This issue:

– My Top 5 Dishes & New Openings of April.
– Weekending in Mendocino: Anderson Valley wines, coastal organic fish, vegan ice cream and more.
– 3 New Spirits of the Month: Talking Colombian and Minnesota gin and 3 unique rye whiskies aged in wine casks. Read more →

ICHI Kakiya scallop crudo

Top 5 Dishes & New Openings of April

When not enjoying cheap eats from hole-in-the-wall favorites like Mexico-authentic chilaquiles from Dona Mago or fantastic xiao long bao, sesame balls and dumplings from Dim Sum Club, I am out exploring new openings, new chef’s menus and returning to places, most recently Amoura, Schroeder’s and Boxing Room. These two low-key newcomers work well for takeout, though no one dish initially… Read more →

View from our Little River Inn deck

Weekending in Mendocino

Mendocino remains one of our most magical NorCal getaways. The craggy coast, majestic redwood forests, the Victorian village of Mendocino itself — a weekend in Mendo, as locals call it, is always a relaxing proposition. The pace slows down, and the spirit of the hippies who popularized the town in the ’60s and ’70s remains, while dramatic vistas from forests, farmlands and hills to the rugged shore and deep blue sea all refresh from city life and a long work week. Read more →


3 New Spirits of the Month

Almost daily, I’m tasting a wide range of spirits, wines and beers, whether at restaurants and bars, distilleries, wineries or breweries or as samples crossing my desk. For March, here are recently-released spirits standouts. WhistlePig Old World Series: Sauternes, Madeira, Port ($117.99) WhistlePig’s Old World Series was just released, showcasing WhistlePig Rye aged in three different types of wine casks… Read more →

Hopscotch's Your Cheatin' Heart, one of my top 8 cocktails of the month

Top 8 Cocktails of the Month

From mid-March to mid-April, here are the standout cocktails and new menus I’ve been tasting around the Bay Area. 1. BDK’s Shiso It’s always good news when Kevin Diedrich is back manning a bar. At brand new BDK (my Zagat feature on the restaurant here), his two pages of cocktails ($11 each) are named after a single leading ingredient or… Read more →