SANF May 2013 : Page 126

the seasons, its delicacies drifting from tempura-crisped asparagus with shrimp and sea urchin purses to egg-coated black cod basking in beech-mushroom seasoned broth. Grilled sesame tofu gives way to sashimi of Japanese snap-per as the evening builds toward the robust flavors of broiled Wagyu beef with sweet tofu pillows. Yamasaki’s wife, Mayumi, provides all the service needed for the serene 14-seat room, which books up a month out. Maybe it’s not such a secret after all. (J.S.) 115 de anZa BLVd. (at PaRRot dR.), 650-286-0410 $$$$ DRW (7/12) Fremont diner SOnOMa If Alice Waters had had her culinary awakening in Baton Rouge instead of Brittany, she might have created the Fre-mont Diner. The country-casual spot serves a menu of Southern classics with ingredients exuberantly sourced from local farms, ranches, waters, and winer-ies. To handle weekend crowds, ample outdoor seating is available on shaded picnic benches, and behind the restau-rant, a chicken pasture and vegetable gardens give way to rolling vineyards. Breakfast options include such items as black pepper brisket hash; lunch means a Reuben sandwich with house-cured pastrami, chicken and waffles, or a chubby, blue-ribbon burger. For dessert, milkshakes, with flavors like salted cara-mel, Ovaltine, and horchata, steal the show. (S.H.) 2698 FReMont dR. (at s. CentRaL aVe.), 707-938-7370 $$ W (1/12) North Bay NEW dRink heRe noW Where: The alchemist , 679 3Rd st. (neaR toWnsend st.), 415-746-9968 Belcampo Meat Co. THE PARTY On Wednesday, February 20, 2013, art lovers from around the country gathered for the Asian Art Museum’s Opening Night Gala for the sensational exhibition, China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy . The evening began with a cocktail reception and exhibition viewing in the museum. Guests had the chance to view the ancient terracotta warriors in the galleries as well as pose with real life versions of the warriors at the party. Dinner followed in a specially designed pavilion tent to reflect the theme of the evening. The tent walls looked like the walls of a cave with 12-foot tall terracotta warrior images looking down upon the guests. McCall Associates designed a seven course Chinese banquet to complement the evening and entertainment included dancers from the China Dance School and the Shaolin Temple USA Warrior Monks. The event was chaired by Gorretti Lo Lui with East West Bank serving as the lead exhibition and gala sponsor. MaRin You can get your fancy dry-aged beef here and eat it, too. A sustainable butcher shop meets a restaurant at this new landmark that has celebrated loca-vorist Anya Fernald at its helm. The menu is small and focused on comfort: burgers, French dip, beef tallow fries, chicory salad, and the like. But in Marin, where the dining choices are slim, Bel-campo is a very welcome addition. (S.D.) 12405 LaRksPuR LandinG CiRCLe (at LinCoLn ViLLaGe CiRCLe), 415-448-5810 $$$ W (2/13) Copita SauSaliTO The waterfront is just across the street from this tequila bar and Mexican res-taurant, opened by TV chef Joanne Weir and restaurateur Larry Mindel of Pog-gio. On a nice day, the doors open up completely to greet the sea air, a great accompaniment to the excellent, brac-ing ceviches, including one made with halibut and mango. Though the open-fire rotisserie spinning with chicken tempts, don’t pass over the trio of tamal-itos (tiny tamales) or the Mexico City– style quesadillas, deep-fried and filled with potatoes and chorizo. For dessert, order one Oaxacan chocolate milkshake each. You won’t want to share. (S.D.) 739 BRidGeWay (at anChoR st.), 415-331-7400 $$ RW (7/12) What: Former Gitane GM Kinson Lau runs this ballpark-adjacent bar, decked out in flickering sconces, pseudo-Victorian couches, and nary a flat-screen TV in sight. Crowd: Workers from nearby Adobe, Levi’s, and Ubisoft swarm in after 5 p.m. Prices: $11 cocktails, $5 to $8 beers, and wines by the glass are $12, max. Thai bar bites from Root (downstairs) are under $14. Look for weekday happy hour specials from 5 to 8 p.m. order this: The spirit-forward Room with a Vieux (pictured) or the B.A. Baracus: a mix of scotch, cider, and housemade ginger-habañero syrup that outsells every other drink for a reason. Mateo’s Cocina Latina ★★ ½ healDSbuRG Mateo’s Cocina Latina is a paean to owner Mateo Granados’s Yucatán past, sung in a wine country key. The slow-cooked meats and long-simmered sauces that anchor Yucatecan cooking lend themselves nicely to the pedigreed ingredients and deft preparation here, which underscore the nuances of the fla-vors, the interplay of sweet and heat. Cochinita pibil is the most pressing must-order. The cochinita, or suckling pig, is steeped in vinegar, rouged with annatto seeds, and slow-roasted in a banana leaf. The tomate fresca con ahu-mado (tequila, tomato juice, lime juice, and pickled white onions) is a world-class riff on a Bloody Mary. (J.S.) 214 heaLdsBuRG aVe. (neaR aLexandeR VaLLey Rd.), 707-433-1520 $$ RW (1/12) Mill Valley Beerworks Mill Valley This two-year-old pub recently remod-eled, expanded, and hired a chef from L.A.’s chic Gjelina to execute a new menu, raising its game from microbrews and snacks to market-driven dinners. Pig cheek with eggplant relish is the per-fect starter, followed by plump, roasted king oyster mushroom stems bathed in fennel butter. The roasted wild king salmon luxuriates with peas and trum-pet mushrooms. Like the food, the beers are clean, pristine, and creative—partic-ularly the Botanical No. 3. (J.M.) 173 thRoCkMoRton aVe. (neaR MadRona st.), 415-888-8218 $$$ RW (10//12) el Paseo Mill Valley Owned by celebrity chef Tyler Florence and rocker Sammy Hagar, this historic adobe building has been beautifully restored. Too bad that what operates here is a middling chophouse, where an under-seasoned Caesar salad makes way for an overcooked burger. A honking veal chop, with fried sage and porcini butter, makes you marvel over how so much meat can have so little flavor. Some solace can be found in feisty dev-iled eggs smacked with bacon and tomato-chili jam. Desserts, like choco-late lava cake, are rich, satisfying, and unsurprising. What looks like the back-drop for a bucket-list occasion turns out to be something different: an extra-ordinary-looking place for very ordinary food. (J.S.) 17 thRoCkMoRton aVe. (at BLithe-daLe aVe.), 415-388-0741 $$$$ DRW (4/12) Morimoto ★★ napa The latest outpost of the Morimoto empire sits in a spendy retail spread known as the Riverfront. It won’t be a shock to Morimoto followers to see the restaurant’s Noah’s ark of a menu, stocked with nearly every creature that has ever walked the earth or swum in its waters. The list runs on for pages: hot and cold appetizers; steaks; grilled entrées; and a multicourse omakase, or chef ’s tasting. A favorite moment came with the yose dofu, a housemade tofu cooked tableside. It was delicious, a vel-vety backdrop for soy sauce, ginger, scal-lions, and mushroom dashi. (J.S.) 610 Main st. (neaR 5th st.), 707-252-1600 $$$$ RW (11/10) PHOTOS BY: DREW ALTIZER PHOTOGRAPHY 126 San Francisco | May 2013

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