Archive for February, 2008
At Nopa (not to be confused with dive bar Nova), the crowd is as sophisticated as the food is fun to eat. This corner of Divisadero and Hayes is totally stylish, what with the open kitchen and two-story dining room that dazzles with sleek neighborhood charm. The little gems salad is one of the ever-changing menu’s many highlights. Skip the burger and order the flat bread pizzas, rotisserie chicken with broccolini, or giant white beans baked to perfection. The wait for a table can run at an upwards of one hour, so prepare to fend for a seat at the small bar or communal dining table.
Hypothetical situation: It’s Thursday night in San Francisco and you’re in the mood for a restaurant that has a lot of action going on (think DJ, power brokers in designer labels, and a dark and sexy atmosphere). Ozumo may not be the newest resto on the block, but it satiates a craving for people watching and garlicky edamame, which is unbelievably addicting. If you want to meet new people, devour them at the bar with some cold sake (options are plentiful) and the gorgeous and tasty Ozumo roll.
Our favorite restaurant du jour? Maria Maria La Cantina, the first of several upscale Mexican restaurants to open by the legendary Carlos Santana. Margaritas with plenty of expensive tequila (and Grand Marnier upon request) appease discerning diners, but it’s the chunky fresh-made guacamole, duck tacos, and slightly spicy chicken fajitas that steal the spotlight. Come for the food, stay for the rare Santana sighting.
Planning a dinner party to ring in the change of seasons? Inspired by beauty found in nature, Paper Table serves up placemats printed on synthetic, tree-free paper that’s tear-proof, waterproof and 100% recyclable. A smooth, matte finish imparts a modern elegance that can be wiped clean for months of use.
Wine lovers will enjoy the lively bar at Soquel’s Café Cruz. The classic California grill prides itself on locally produced fare, from organic baby spinach to Central Valley goat cheese. Order the crab cakes, served steaming hot, or any of the sustainable seafood items which are fresh as can be. A no-fail chocolate pot de crème, topped with a mountain of whipped cream, awaits you at the finish line.
WineStyles serves up a sophisticated selection of libations, from the rare to the recognizable (they’re an economy-appropriate $25 or less). Stop by the location nearest you for weekly wine tastings, or to pick up a gift on your way to a party. In-store wine cooler barrels allow you to chill your purchase in minutes and then be on your merry way. If you’re a budding oenophile, you’ll appreciate the store’s categorizations, ranging from crisp to bold and bubbly. Also buzz-worthy? A club that lets you jet set by way of international wines. Members receive two bottles per month, along with rewards, discounts and invitations to private tastings and special events. Go ahead, indulge in a little vinotherapy.
From the creator of the Um Bag, the Winepocket by East Bay designer Josh Jakus is a bottle-bag hybrid that’s entirely eco-friendly. Made from industrial wool felt that would otherwise go to waste, it stores flat and expands to fit most bottles. Bravo (hiccup)!
These new bowls are a part of Design House Stockholms fresh collection for spring 2008. Makes it easy to add art and style to your entertaining with the flair of these hand painted décor bone china bowls. Equally attractive as design objects or display pieces. Set of 3 Bowls in different sizes. Showcase all sizes together for heightened effect. Design Catharina Kippel.
You’d think we’d be sick of cupcakes. They have permeated the food scene like no other dessert, but we can never get enough. Sticky fingers is all about pretty designs, each one named after a song title like La Isla Bonita (coconut), Raspberry Beret (chocolate and raspberry), Margaritaville (key lime pie), Bittersweet symphony (chocolate and orange), Mellow Yellow (lemon), and Girls Just Want to Have Fun (multi-colored vanilla). The list runs on and on, but before you go searching for flavors to taste, we should mention that everything is home-made (no artificial anything is used) and fresh fruit, good butter, and great chocolate always seem to find their way into the recipes.
Hailing from the heart of Hollywood, California, John Kelly Chocolates are made by hand with only the highest-caliber ingredients. Some might argue that the result is the most delicious fudge in the state: creamy and silky, intense and luxurious. If you love refreshing candies, do try the chocolate mints boasting fresh peppermint with creamy, classic chocolate fudge.