Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Eating SF: Heaven on earth at b. patisserie

April 10th, 2014
By



kouign amann
SAN FRANCISCO — When you live in Hawaii, far from any great land mass, you at one point will become a mule. You know the drill. You're getting on an airplane to get off this rock. Friends find out. They tell you beforehand to deliver this to so-and-so, and bring back things. Even if you don't speak to them beforehand, they will find out from Facebook or Twitter posts and text you.

So it is that I received a text while in San Francisco to go straight to b. patisserie and bring home kouign amann. "You have to go! It's orgasmic!!!!"

OK, so it's hard to ignore that many exclamation points, so I made friends with my cab driver and had him at my beck and call on the day of my departure. After dropping me off at the Persian restaurant Maykadeh for lunch, I promised a pear croissant in his future if he picked me up a few hours later and took me to b. patisserie en route to the airport later in the afternoon.

b. patisserie is the work of Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute.

Leong began her career as pastry chef at Gary Danko, before leaving for Europe and working at restaurants and patisseries in Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen. She seems to have brought back all their secrets because her pastries are divine.

People are particularly enamored by the kouign amann, a caramelized croissant with light candy crunch exterior and fluffy interior, that originated in Brittany, France. The ones I ordered were filled with chocolate, at about $4.50 apiece but soooooo worth the trouble of lugging them onto the plane.

I went straight from the plane to dinner, and they still tasted fantastic 11 hours later as my friends and I surreptitiously gobbled them up after dinner, like drug addicts in the dark parking lot beneath the restaurant.
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If you want to go or have a friend headed to San Francisco soon, b. patisserie is at 2821 California St. @ Divisadero St., Pacific Heights. Call 415.440.1700.

Hawaii chefs need votes for Food & Wine honor

March 25th, 2014
By



Food & Wine magazine is inviting the public to help discover The People’s Best New Chef. The award, an extension of the Food & Wine Best New Chefs award, honors talented up-and-coming innovators who have run their own kitchens for five years or fewer.

The field of 100 nominees for the award includes 10 chefs in 10 regions across America. Restaurant devotees can cast their votes on foodandwine.com/the-peoples-bnc through 11 a.m. March 31.

Nominees from the Northwest/Pacific region include Hawaii’s Chris Kajioka (The Vintage Cave, Ala Moana Center), Kevin Lee (Prima, Kailua), and Sheldon Simeon (Migrant, Kihei).

The chef with the most votes in each region will be named a finalist; the finalist with the most votes overall will be named The People’s Best New Chef, to be revealed online on April 2. The winner will also be featured in the July 2014 issue of Food & Wine, the same issue that profiles the Best New Chefs. (Nominees for The People’s Best New Chef award are also eligible for the Best New Chef award.)

To learn more about the 100 nominated chefs, visit foodandwine.com/the-peoples-bnc.

Meet the chefs:

chris

kevin

sheldon

The earlybirds got the ramen burger

January 15th, 2014
By



keizoKeizo Shimamoto behind the grill at Taste Table, where he's cooking up his famous ramen burger.Nadine Kam photos

People started lining up at 8:30 a.m. this morning for a taste of Keizo Shimamoto's famous ramen burger, which caught national attention when it debuted at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg last fall.

All of a sudden, my New York friends were emailing me stories about this new food phenom created by Shimamoto, a ramen aficionado who started his Go Ramen blog to document his tasting and cooking adventures. In fact, one of these friends just found out about the Honolulu event and reports that the ramen burger still has the longest lines at Smorgasburg, which is why she hasn't been able to try it, even though she's in a condo that overlooks the event!


Non-flash video

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Five months later, Keizo is here in Honolulu, where he has family, to cook up 700 burgers for those who might never be able to travel to NYC.

Of course, Hawaii diners (and shoppers) seem to have no problem with lines, and this one stretched around the corner from Taste Table, past Cocina, down to Ala Moana Boulevard.

Sadly, with about 400 people in line, and a three-burger per person limit, at $10 per burger—with many expressing the desire to pick up the maximum—not everyone will be able to get a bite, which is pretty much as you'd expect.

What's funny is that the first two women in line—Jean and Jane—both said they dreamed about the burger after learning about the special event, and when I asked Jane to describe her dream, she said she imagined soft cake noodles around a juicy burger, which is exactly what it is.

As an added treat, TT's Mark "Gooch" Noguchi added his own mashup of pork with gravy slaw on a ramen bun. Unfortunately, I didn't get to try this one. I was hoping to try it this morning, but after one look at the line, decided to go around the corner to Hank's Haute Dogs.

ralineThe line for the ramen burger stretches to Ala Moana Boulevard, about 400 people for 700 available burgers, and three burger limit per person. You do the math.

kraKeizo with his OG ramen burger, with noodle bun, grass-fed Kulana beef patty, shoyu glaze, green onions and arugula.

ra1Got a chance to try the burger last night, which tastes exactly what it sounds like, hamburger between soft, toothy cake noodles.

rabunsUnpacking the Sun Noodle ramen "buns."

Keizo Shimamoto brings his famed ramen burger to Taste

January 13th, 2014
By



ramenb

Keizo Shimamoto's famed ramen burger is coming to town.

The creation of the blogger-turned-chef became an instant hit when it debuted at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg last August.

In the beginning, 300 people lined up for one of his 150 ramen burgers. These days, he can sell 700 burgers in four hours.

You'll be able to get a taste at Taste Table in Kakaako, beginning 11 a.m. Jan. 15, until 700 burgers—at $10 a pop—are gone.

In a press release statement, Shimamoto said, "My grandfather was born in Hawai’i and many of my relatives from the Shimamoto family tree still live there, so it was only natural that I take the Ramen Burger to Honolulu."

The ramen burger comprises a burger patty sandwiched between fried Sun Noodle ramen noodles, with a secret shoyu-based sauce and spiced arugula.

Shimamoto, who's second-generation Japanese, began exploring his culinary roots by sampling ramen everywhere he went, and writing about it on his Go Ramen blog.

When the subprime mortgage crisis hit, he quit his mortgage company job and moved to Japan, where he worked at noodle shops and saw people eating a ramen sandwich with chashu pork, fueling his idea for a Japanese take on an all-American classic.

Can't wait to try it!
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Taste Table is at 667 Auahi St.

 

First Course: The Pig & the Lady at home in Chinatown

November 14th, 2013
By



pl2

The pho tsukemen served at the grand opening of The Pig & the Lady was terrific. Loved the texture of the silky noodles with the crunch and burst of salt from the fried shallots and garlic, and fantastic slow-roasted brisket.Nadine Kam photos

After two years of pop-ups, The Pig & The Lady, or, The Pig & the Le Family, has a true brick-and-mortar home at Lemongrass Cafe at 83 N. King St., partnering with The Pacific Gateway Center in developing programs to promote its mission of supporting and assisting immigrants, refugees and low-income residents.

As part of their partnership, TP&TL will be employing participants in the PGC's work training program and using produce they are planning to grow on their farms.

The dining area was built with community effort as well. Le took time to thank Daniel Anthony of Mana Ai for donating five beautiful, communal handcrafted mango wood tables. Someone I was talking to suggested the tables would be great for an Oktoberfest party. Other decor was the work of Fishcake.

The new restaurant will continue serving Vietnamese street food-style lunches and tasting dinners—based on Le's food memories—that have been hits with its pop-up and farmer's market clientele ever since TP&TL first popped up at Hank's Haute Dogs.

The restaurant hosted a private grand opening party Nov. 12, before opening to the public on the 13th.

For now, the restaurant is only open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering popular dishes from the farmer's markets and expanding its selection of banh mis (Vietnamese sandwiches), and noodle and rice dishes.

A few new additions featured at the grand opening party were:
>> P.L.T. melt banh mi: Fried portobello mushroom filled with cheddar, sprouts, local tomato and "Srirancha" sauce (Sriracha and ranch dressing).
>> New noodle soups: Including Vietnamese posole and pho tsukemen.
>> Doughnut- and Specaloos-flavored soft serve ice cream.

Dinner service will start on Dec. 12, when the restaurant will be serving Southeast Asian-inspired food.

Future events include the ever-popular “Dinner and a Movie” and “Trough Dinners,” and an oyster bar is in the works.

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At the bar.

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Chef Andrew Le and the lion.

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Chef Andrew with his sister Allison and mom.

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The ingredients for Vietnamese posole soup with chickpeas, pig head, shishito pepper paste, lemongrass and radish, before the broth went in.

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The P.L.T. (Pig & the Lady, tomato) Melt with a center of portobello mushroom, topped with spicy Sriracha sauce.

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Dessert of Speculoos ice cream sandwiches.

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The red brick walls and high ceilings gave the feeling of being inside a New York City or Boston restaurant.

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A tribute to the family.

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A friend of the family also dropped off a pink cake in the shape of a pig, with a dragonfruit in its mouth.