Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Loco for Mole

Hungry after a work out at 24 HR Fitness at Marin Country Mart in Larkspur, I paid the neighboring El Huarache Loco a visit for lunch.

All the offerings are neatly listed on adjacent blackboards. I chose the Mole "El Huarache Loco" ($10). It is described as "Veronica's recipe for chicken mole comes from her family's restaurant in Mexico City". Veronica is the owner and started this in La Cocina in San Francisco, a nonprofit food business incubator. El Huarache Loco is one of its success stories.

The mole was deep, rich and very satisfying. I detected hints of dark chocolate. It was accompanied by rice and creamy beans as well as tortillas. The service was prompt despite a hungry throng in the restaurant.

1803 Larkspur Landing Cir.
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 925-1403

Find address/phone number/directions on Anna's Map.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Devoto Orchards Cider

Stan and Jolie Devoto Photo credit: Devoto Orchards

Next county north of Marin is the place where Stan and Susan Devoto started their 20-acre farm in 1976 with a diversity of crops, including more than 50 varieties of heirloom apples.  Grown on the Goldridge soil of Sonoma county, 6,500 apple trees form the basis of Devoto Orchards Cider, and new brand, Golden State cider. Currently, Devoto Orchards Cider is owned and operated by Jolie Devoto and Hunter Wade.

The semi-dry Devoto Orchards Cider is pressed and fermented in stainless steel to preserve its bright acidity of the fruit and the aromas. There are several opportunities in August to taste and enjoy hard ciders sourced from the Devoto's organic and heirloom apples, as well as meet the owners.

August 23: 3:15 to 6:15 p.m. on a 150-foot yacht during Seven Stills first annual "I'm on a Boat" event. There will be 29 breweries and catered bites for 370 guests on a 3-hour tour while also listening to DJ curated tunes.  Devoto will pour with sister cidery, Golden State Cider.  Tickets are $100 for General Admission and $200 for the VIP Whiskey Lounge. Purchase tickets here.

Photo credit: Devoto Orchards

Devoto Orchards will also be participating in the Taste of Petaluma same day, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 23.  Devoto will be pouring alongside 40 participating restaurants and breweries. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.

August 24: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Santa Rosa's Farm to Fermentation Festival.  Devoto will participate in the cider and cheese pairing activities and libations lounge.  The event is at the Santa Rosa Finley Community Center.  Buy tickets here.

August 27: Golden State Cider, Devoto's sister brand, will debut with a public party start at 4 p.m. at the Southside Spirit House in San Francisco.

For more information about Devoto Orchards ciders, please visit www.devotocider.com or call 707-861-0595.   

Monday, August 18, 2014

There is a real Mary

Mary's Place in Novato highlights it's crepes as a speciality, the large sign at the top of the building reading "Mary's Place Crepes". Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner it is a versatile and friendly place with a real Mary who serves and oversees to be sure you have a good experience.  Although she didn't serve me this visit, I could see her watchful eye over my service and hot food coming out.  The house was not full, yet there were quite a few parties and it seemed that staff was on its game.

Crepes called to me that morning, so I had a breakfast crepe with home fries.

The crepe was dubbed "The Favorite" ($9.95).  It even looks better when you see the tasty filling. It contains sausage, mushrooms, spinach, scrambled eggs and Swiss cheese.  The home fries were dressed up with fresh and crisp chopped green onions. I enjoyed my meal and the thoughtful refills of my ice tea as I started my day with a fragrant and delicious treat. 

Mary's Place
819 Grant Ave 
Novato, CA 94945‎
(415) 897-9761

Previously reviewed:

Find address/phone number/directions on Anna's Map.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chinese Valentine's Day

Photo credit:Vanessa Karlsson 

Do you know about Chinese Valentine's Day?  It is August 2, and Fang Restaurant in San Francisco is celebrating with a special one night only dish for romantics. Chef Kathy Fang is cooking up Heart-Warming Spicy Beef Noodle Soup for Two ($15).  The noodle dish features a rich, flavorful broth made from beef bones, short rib, aromatics, and peppercorns, and is served with rice noodles and succulent pork wontons. Couples who order the special dish to share will also receive two sets of beautiful, satin-wrapped chopsticks which symbolize romantic love and are often gifted to newlyweds in the Chinese culture to encourage fertility. 

The background to this day is a love story between the Weaver girl (symbolizing Vega) and the Cowherd (symbolizing Altair).  They were in love but because their love was not allowed, they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (Milky Way), but once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day. Thus a pair of magpies came to symbolize marital happiness and faithfulness. Currently in urban China people take the opportunity to buy flowers, especially blue roses symbolizing hopeful love as well as chocolates to gift their sweethearts.

Chef Kathy Fang is the daughter of Peter Fang, chef/owner of the famed House of Nanking. Growing up in House of Nanking's kitchen, Kathy found her passion for cooking and received her formal training at  Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School.  Blending her schooling, Cantonese heritage and cooking style with her own native San Franciscan perspective, as well as her global travels she has created a menu with equal parts tradition and inspiration.

660 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 777-8580

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mill Valley's Toast to Close; Kitchen Sunnyside to follow


Enjoy Mill Valley blog reports that Mill Valley's "Toast" to close September 1 and Sausalito's Fred's Cafe owner, Steven Choi will open "Kitchen Sunnyside" after renovations later in Fall 2014. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Vive la revolution!

Left Bank

Bastille Day cometh!  Whether you are French or not  have fun celebrating the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille. On the day, July 14, Left Bank Brasserie in Larkspur will be celebrating in style with staff dressed in Moulin Rouge garb, as well as decorations in same theme, plus live music, and caricature artist Jon Casey will be available to sketch guests from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Live music will be provided by Orgue de Barbarie musician Michel Michelis who will play from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Besides the regular menu, celebratory al la carte menu specials will be served.  Selected menu items include smoked pistachio sausage wrapped in brioche dough with lamb’s lettuce salad and truffle sauce; herb rubbed Provençal roasted rack of pork with porcini sauce, green beans and baked potatoes; and Provençal fish stew with branzino, local snapper, mussels, clams and prawns served with garlic toasts and spicy aioli.

Left Bank Brasserie Larkspur 
507 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 
(415) 927-3331 

Previously reviewed:

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Point Reyes Farmers Market Opens June 28

Joanne Weir making gazpacho photo credit: Mary Olsen

The popular Point Reyes Farmers Market opens June 28, 2014 with the opening bell and a toast at 9 a.m.

Caterer Missy Will brings on the appetizers for summer with her quick and easy recipes, among the items will be a strawberry treat wtih Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese and Molly Meyerson's Little Wing Farm strawberry.  She'll also make a BBQ shrimp dish paired with Wild Blue Farm's fresh basil.

Jack Corwin, farmer of Wild Blue Farm, sells organic produc photo credit: Mary Olsen

In the heart of the village, Toby's Feed barn will feature bluegrass tunes played by The Fog Belters.  In the KIDZONE Mrs. Grossman's stickers and new books will be distributed, with bilingual storytelling by Elivira de Santiago all morning with organic popcorn snacks.

Joining Golden Brown and Delicious (grilled cheese sandwiches) will be Donna's Tamales, a new hot food vendor.

Point Reyes Farmers Market is open every Saturday throurgh October from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Toby's Feed Barn, Hwy One in Point Reyes Station.