May 1, 2021

For the Interim Time — John O’Donohue
You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld. 
The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.
“The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.”     
….What is being transfigured here
is your own mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

(Full poem here)

Dear friends ~

North Block Yountville’s trout crudo

Twenty years ago in April 2001, I moved to San Francisco.

After a life-changing year overseas (including 3 months in Southeast Asia and 3 months backpacking around Europe), I moved from LA/OC to SF on what I thought was a stop on the way back to the East Coast/NYC — or to move out of the country entirely.

But here in SF and NorCal as a whole, I found home like I never thought possible. The best of all of my many travels in one place, of my bi-coastal & Midwest homes in 4 states growing up, the best weather and vast range of terrain all in one region, from ocean to forest, mountain to farmland and vineyards. A place born of water, earth and sky. Here I found opportunity and openness to make even the wild dreams possible and to create a borderless, full life.

Here I found every kind of friend, dreamers and boundary-pushers in each of their realms, always keeping me sharp and challenged yet rich in celebrating life. Here I found the romance, roots & depth of history with ever free-spirited vision for the future… all in one walkable, quirky, artistically and architecturally lush, beautiful package. Here I found nature and city at each other’s doorsteps, rich and abundant, cosmopolitan and pure.

Here’s to 20 years in a place where I could become. A place that still inspires daily. A place where life lives boldly, diversely, creatively… and unfolds in endless layers. Here’s to home.

Per usual, I’m posting my daily research in dining and drink (takeout to outdoor dining) at @ThePerfectSpot on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.


Red Window cocktails and pintxos


Top Tastes/The Latest — April’s Top 10 Bay Area Restaurants: 10 Bay Area newcomers and longtimers, from SF, Oakland & Napa (Yountville), including standouts in Spanish, New American, Japanese, Chinese bakery, Korean, South Indian and sandwiches.
Wandering Traveler — The Mother of Invention: Six bartenders/bar managers taking on COVID in creative ways in Guadalajara (Mexico), San Francisco, Bogota (Colombia), Seattle, Vancouver, Singapore.
Imbiber — Distiller Bottle Column: In my latest column, I review vermouth, rum, gin, non-alcoholic spirits, tequila, bitters, Scotch, RTDs (canned cocktails) and rye whiskey.
Top Tastes — Sichuan/Szechuan on the Table: Sichuan delights and communities in San Francisco.

I am also available for consulting, moderating, leading classes and tastings and more (info at