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Category: Bay Area

Food from Location within the Bay Area

Plow in Potrero Hill

Unless you wish to get into the lore of breakfast burritos, wax poetic about pastry, or are seeking outstanding examples of specific dishes, Plow in Potrero Hill is the best place to get breakfast in San Francisco. Notice the eggs, yolks cooked to perfection with no opaque color while the whites have just the right amount of crust. The herbed breakfast potatoes served with a pleasing crunch and the pancakes, simply divine in weight, size, and flavor. Artisanal house made pork sausage patties served slightly pink in the center, and perfect for soaking up stray syrup. My only issue with this beautiful display of breakfast mastery is the syrup actually – I would be surprised if it were a graded maple instead of an off the shelf imitation. A nice touch would’ve been to heat it as well.

plow sf

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b. patisserie and sesame kouign amann

A sous chef friend of mine and I were discussing the excellent tasting menu at Benu recently and he asked me about b patisserie. I had never heard of it, and nor was I a huge fan of what he reccomended I try there – the Kouign-Amann. Then he mentioned the magic words: Black Sesame, a flavor which could bring about world peace if given a chance (along with Taro). Try the Kouign-amann at b patisserie the next time I visit the bay area he urged me. I’ve never been a huge Kouign-ite. I often find the pastry a bit too flaky, kind of like the culture of Los Angeles. It is nearly impossible to eat one without resulting in a flaky mess.

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On a recent trip to the Bay Area I received the opportunity to try the newest restaurant from Chef Mourad Lahlou, Mourad. Several years have passed since I was impressed by not only the stellar cocktail program of Aziza (the restaurant named for the Chef’s Mother, widely considered the best Moroccan in the America), but the fantastic cuisine. I remember being particularly impressed by the rendition of Lamb bisteeya (or b’stilla). Although the version at Aziza was sans Quail, for me it was a transformative taste.

Mourad (13 of 28)
Chef Mourad sent an additional course with our tasting menu, a micro version of lamb b’stilla

Mourad features an extremely talented team, with the wine programed helmed by Master Sommelier Alan Murray, and the pastry program run by James Beard Nominee Melissa Chou. While we tasted quite a few delicious beverages this evening, the wine that not only worked well with nearly everything but captured my imagination was a Mosel Riesling from Egon Müller IV. Egon is bald, which makes him much cooler by default, and is a member of the prestigious PFV, or Primum Familiae Vini – an illuminati like group of twelve winemaking families.

Mourad (10 of 28)

As I learned from the recent Von Bodem tasting, while the label says Mosel, the Scharzhofberg vineyard is more specifically located in the Saar District, which says a great deal specifically (the Saar sits on Blue Devon slate, also called Hunsrück Slate). At a 10.5% in alcohol, this bottle had arrow like acidity, presence on the palate, mild petrol on the nose, and great under ripe fruit flavors.

Mourad (17 of 28)

As my dining companion is old friends with the chef; he agreed that we should try the tasting menu which seemed to strike a perfect balance between just enough and too much food. I am told that Mourad goes so far as to even weigh all the ingredients of his tasting menus to achieve the perfect level of satiation.

Mourad (2 of 28)

The cocktail program was created by the duo of Christ Aivaliotis and Troy Bayless, known as Wizard Oil Co (probably the coolest name for a cocktail company out there). 

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