Noodle Theory

I can't believe I haven't written about Noodle Theory yet.  I almost cried when the one in my neighborhood went out of business and now I have a hard time eating anywhere else when I find myself near the one location in Rockridge.  So to be clear, I LOVE Noodle Theory.  I think my love is two-fold.  First and foremost, I am kind of obsessed with noodles, especially when served in a soup.  I crave them at least weekly...particularly Udon, but really any noodle with an Asian-inspired broth will do.  Second, I don't like to feel guilty about my noodles.  So greasy noodles with poor quality meat or barely identifieable vegetables just won't do.  I like my noodles to be dressed up with high-class, respectable ingredients.



You would think in a city like San Francisco with such an deep Asian history and influence, noodles like this would be pretty easy to find.  But I tell you, that just isn't true.  I still haven't found a go-to place since the Noodle Theory in the Marina closed!  So my noodle craving often goes unsatisfied...unless I make them myself which still just isn't the same.
Chimayo in Park City, UT

Ah, Sundance Film Festival! I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to go last year for work and so I thought in honor of the 2012 Festival kicking off this week I'd share a bit about a restaurant we really enjoyed while there last year, Chimayo.  While I'm not necessarily a huge film buff I had so much fun...more than I ever thought I would.  So much so that I think I'd like to go back again in the future, on my own dime even, so I can bring Christian along as well!



If you've never been to Sundance, I strongly encourage you to check it out.  Honestly, I'm not really a huge film buff (I have pretty low entertainment standards...ask Christian!) but I had so much more fun than I ever thought I would.  The movies were great (and only like $25 a ticket...way less than I thought they would be), Park City is amazingly adorable and the people watching was fantastic.  I really wish that I had Christian with me since he's is so good at identifying celebrities and the town is just crawling with them, but I had a few star sightings of my own!  I even got a picture taken with two...cutie Adrian Grenier from Entourage and the legendary Harry Belafonte! But I digress...back to the restaurant.

Louis’ Lunch

Okay, so can I prove that this is the birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich?  No.  But Louis' Lunch in New Haven, CT is confident enough in the claim that they put it right on their website and after trying these bad boys I'm not disputing it!  These are some damn tasty hamburgers.  Since I grew up watching my dad make hamburgers at home on the stove-top and throwing them between two slices of white bread slathered with mayo (seriously, so good!) I knew he would love checking this place out too, so last time I was home visiting in MA we took a drive down to CT to check it out.



This place has been around since 1895 and developed the hamburger sandwich back in the early 1900s in response to a customer in a rush who requested something that he could eat on the run.  Ground steak trimmings were thrown between two pieces of toast and the beginnings of hamburger history began!  It's exactly the type of place that I love, too.  Line out the door full of regulars, local workers on their lunch breaks, and of course the requisite tourist or two.  But really you get an immediate vibe that this is a locals place with the staff behind the counter chatting everyone up and calling them by name.  It's super small, but cozy and has a great atmosphere.  Grab a spot as soon as one opens up even if you're still waiting in line to place your order...especially if you can get one of the seats built into the wall, so cool.  

Chotto

Chotto, a Japanese Izakaya, is a relative newcomer to the Marina food scene having been around for only a little over a year.  But if you haven't discovered this gem yet, you're missing out.  Traditionally, an izakaya is a Japanese drinking establishment with samplings of food and small bites to go along.  Order a dish here and there along the way while you drink until you've had your fill ....both the menu and service are set up at Chotto to fit this traditional izakaya experience perfectly, allowing you to linger and socialize while satisfying your hunger at intervals that suit your fancy.

So, first things first for an izakaya....the drinks.  As expected, Chotto has a great sake menu.  If you're new to sake, the sampler is a perfect way to start off.  They give you enough to share between two people if you want to use it as a way to decide which larger sake to order for the table.  One of our favorites though, is the cold unfiltered Ozeki Nigori...cloudy in apperance with a deliciously complex flavor.  Somewhat nutty while also a bit sweet with a slightly creamy finish.  Divine and pairs so well with all of their food, especially from the raw portion of the menu.  While we don't typically venture into the cocktail portion of the menu, friends always seem pleased with their unique concoctions...all either shochu (distilled liquor, similar in taste to vodka) or beer/wine based.

Bar Bocce

I don't know if there's anywhere in the world I'd rather be during the Fall than in the Bay Area.  Fall in San Francisco is always spectacular, and this year has been no exception.  Bar Bocce, in Sausalito is one of the best places to experience this phenomenal weather.  Grab a glass of Prosecco from the bar and play a round of bocce on their water-front court while you wait for a seat on their great big outdoor patio and you have yourself an afternoon!

If you happen to get to Bar Bocce a bit later in the day or didn't hit it on one of our spectacular fall days have no fear...they have a great big fire pit and cozy fleece blankets for you to wrap around yourself while you stare wistfully at the shimmering water and idyllic house boats.

So...how's the food?  Well, Robert Price of Buckeye Roadhouse and Bungalow 44 is in charge of the kitchen so you're in good hands.  But like so many restaurants with amazing spaces and views, the food doesn't quite live up to the ambience.  It's good food, but not great food...but the spot is so fantastic that I do always find myself coming back for more.  Some of our recent samplings from the menu...

Umami Burger Arrives in San Francisco

Most of us living in the Bay Area know that there is a, shall we say, friendly little competition between those of us living in San Francisco and those living in L.A. Why? I'm not really sure. They're such different cities they're honestly hard to even compare but the back and forth continues. Which city is better? Nor Cal vs. So Cal? The prettier people? The smarter people? Which is better...having prettier people or smarter people? The best restaurants? It goes on and on. Silly really, but it's here to stay.

So when I heard that L.A. import, Umami Burger was opening it's first northern CA location in my neighborhood I was intrigued to say the least. So intrigued that Christian and I popped in for lunch on day 2, right in the middle of their soft launch. So not really fair to assess the restaurant in it's entirety so early but since we did check it out I thought I'd share:
Incanto

I'm embarrassed to say that I've lived in San Francisco for almost 5 years and last night was my first time eating at Incanto. I've heard so many good things about executive chef Chris Cosentino's food (and have been following his career for a while) that I was honestly a little worried Incanto wouldn't live up to the hype I had built up in my mind...but not to fear, Cosentino's food and my first Incanto experience absolutely delivered!

If you don't know much about Chris Cosentino there is one important thing to note in order to be prepared for the Incanto menu.  Chris is a big part of what I will call the "whole animal" movement...meaning he is passionate about using every part of the animal in his cooking.  Snout to tail if you will, including all of the delectable organ meats that I personally love so much.  Take a quick spin to his site, OffalGood for all of the delicious and gory details on his work in this area.  For me, and my dining partners for the night, this was very exciting and we tried our hardest to sample as much as we could on our visit.
…and, we’re Live! Check out SavoryGirl on TV!

CPBAphoto

Woo, hoo!  The Check, Please! Bay Area Season 6 Opener featuring yours truly aired a bit earlier tonight and if I do say so myself it was a pretty great episode!  As promised, I have posted the link to the episode for those of you who missed it: Online Season 6 Opener of Check, Please! Bay Area...did you watch?  What did you think?!  Are you going to Saha ASAP?! Since my post on Tuesday I’ve had quite a few questions about what the Check, Please! Bay Area experience was like...especially after my “I hope I’m not a total fool after all of that wine they fed us in the green room :)” line!  So here goes, for those of you interested I strongly encourage you go submit an application yourself!
SavoryGirl on Check, Please! Bay Area this Thursday!



I have some exciting news to share...your very own SavoryGirl is on the Season Six opener of Check, Please! Bay Area on Thursday at 7:30pm on KQED!  5 other airing times as well...check below!

I have to admit I love being on camera, especially when talking about food!  The restaurants reviewed on the show are as follows...along with a slight teaser regarding what I thought about each one, but you’ll have to tune in to get the full scoop:
Zero Zero



Continuing on my pizza theme this week, time to talk about Zero Zero!  Now I know Zero Zero has been open almost a year now, but somehow Christian and I just haven’t been able to get there until now. What was the occasion?  My best friend’s husband was in town for work and staying at the W so we wanted a good place nearby...enter Zero Zero, yippee!

The risk?  Our friend Jeff is a New Yorker, born and raised...so he knows his pizza.  Given all of the hype and positive reviews I was confident in our choice (although I did find myself wishing that we could take him to Una Pizza Napoletana where I 100% knew he would have been impressed! But we were just there and I have weird rules...I digress).