Top 7 Dishes (+ Top 2 Openings) of January

New Chefs, New Menus My Zagat take on new menus from brand new chefs at Gather in Berkeley and Marla Bakery in SF. New Openings of the Month Starting the new year off with a bang, there is a lot of promise at Californios (initial Zagat First Look here), a creative, high end-but-reasonably-priced tasting menu with Mexican influences in an… Read more →


Best of Orange County 2014

Restaurants TACO MARIA, Costa Mesa Taco Maria is the kind of humble-yet-modern, “food first” kind of restaurant that made me fall in love with San Francisco when I moved there nearly 14 years ago — and I couldn’t find much of real quality in my old Orange County stomping grounds over the years. But times are finally changing in at… Read more →


Top Spirits, Wine & Beer in January

  Most days, 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 January, here are 3 wine standouts, a spirits highlight and a notable mead. WINES of the MONTH – 2013 Azienda Agricola COS Frappato from Sicily: On Shelly Lindgren‘s impeccable Italian wine… Read more →


January 15, 2015

This issue:

  • Top Tastes – My Food Articles, January 1-15: 12 of my current Zagat articles on the year in dining & drink, including new restaurants, under-the-radar spots and Wine Country travel.
  • Wandering Traveler – Los Angeles: The best in restaurants, cheap eats and coffee from latest travels in LA.
  • Imbiber – Tequila Time: Talking anjeo (aged) tequila with 1 new anejo and 2 new extra anejo releases.

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5 New SF Openings, Weekends in Napa, Pasta Menu in Oakland, Healthy Eating Spots for the New Year & More

From my many articles a week as Zagat Editor, I summarize and link to some coverage highlights here – you can follow along on Twitter @ZagatSF, where I post daily, or on my own @ThePerfectSpot via Twitter or Facebook. New SF Openings Californios & Chef Val Cantu’s Creative, Mexican-Influenced Tasting Menus Hot Dish: Chris Cosentino’s “Ham” Burger at the new… Read more →


Tequila Time with 3 New Anejos

Recently, I received no less than three new Añejo or Extra Añejos imports from Mexico. “Añejo” means aged in Spanish and this tequila category is essentially the clear spirit one starts with as a blanco tequila, but aged a minimum of one year (and less than three years) in oak barrels. Extra Añejo is a newer category that means the tequila… Read more →


January 1, 2015

- The Best of 2014, Restaurants – The best new Bay Area openings and the best meals around the US and the world.
– The Best of 2014, Drink – The best new Bay Area bar openings and the best cocktails & bars around the US and the world.
– Top Tastes – My Food Articles, December 16-31: 17 of my current Zagat articles on the year-in-review, 6 new restaurants, under-the-radar spots and Wine Country newcomers.
– Imbiber – My Drink Articles, December 16-31: 9 of my current Zagat articles on multiple new cocktail menus at restaurants, a new bottle shop & the year’s top new bars.
– Imbiber – 3 Spirits for December: Vermouth from Washington, rum from Monterey and Scotch from, of course, Scotland. Read more →


Best Restaurants of 2014: In SF, the US & the World

Another year, another 600+ restaurants (YES, this is my annual average). Though I didn’t repeat the marathon travel of 2013 (over 25 cities in 10 different countries!), this year was still packed, taking me from Japan and Hong Kong, back to “regulars” like NYC and New Orleans. 2014 was rife with revelatory flavors, regional dish discoveries, memorable newcomers and wonderfully… Read more →


Best Bars of 2014

  Another year, another few hundred menus tasted and perused around the globe. Though my 2014 wasn’t quite the travel schedule 2013 was (25 cities and 10 countries!) with my job as Zagat SF/Bay Area Editor, it was still a nonstop year that took me from places like Tokyo to New Orleans, NYC to Hong Kong. Here are my 2014… Read more →