Chefs & Restaurants Transforming Fine Dining Across the U.S. Now

My VOICES Magazine interview (London publication) with Junghyun and Ellia Park of 2 Michelin-starred, #8 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Atomix in NYC and with chef Peter Hemsley of 1 Michelin starred and Green Michelin-starred Aphotic in San Francisco… talking about the state of fine dining in the U.S. now, where it’s going and how they’re visioning it differently.

In addition, talking examples across the U.S. in San Francisco (Merchant Roots, Osito, Noodle in a Haystack), Chicago (El Ideas, Parachute), New Orleans’ (Mosquito Supper Club, Lengua Madre) and my birthplace of Oklahoma City (Nonesuch, Grey Sweater). Read more →

SF’s Korean Wave Continues as Michelin-starred SSAL Matures

Their swoon-worthy fried chicken and uni boxes were a lifeline in pandemic, and their pivot since reopening to modern Korean tasting menu format has swiftly earned them a Michelin star in December 2022. But what is the reinvented SSAL like in its remodeled, more refined, soothing space? First off, it’s more fine dining, though still relaxed and intimate, a restaurant that would easily fit in with the Michelin-starred restaurants I dined at recently in Seoul, S. Korea. Read more →

November 1, 2023

THIS ISSUE:
— Yokai: Japanese food and vinyl records come to life in SoMa with superb skewers and plates, rare Japanese whiskies and elegant cocktails in one of my fave new SF hangouts.
— Aromas of Turkey and SF’s Presidio Park: Eastern Mediterranean magic at the new Dalida.
— Top 10 Charleston Bars Now: My latest at Distiller Magazine.
— Las Vegas Dining Guide: 15 places to eat in Vegas now, from upscale to casual + where to stay.
— 13 Harvest Time Wines to Suit Every Palate: From rosé and sparkling to natural wines and complex reds, 13 bottle recommends now.
— New Healdsburg dining and drink destination that defines Sonoma Wine Country now
— My Tenderloin Eats Guide
… and more articles Read more →

Molti Amici: A new Healdsburg pizza-pasta-crudo destination that defines Sonoma Wine Country now

Healdsburg is already known as a foodie haven, despite being small town Sonoma. Yes, it’s home to global restaurant destination, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ SingleThread, but also casual cocktail-food greats like Lo & Behold. I’d posit newcomer Molti Amici, debuting June 30 2023, from owner Jonny Barr, is already one of Healdsburg’s very best. Epitomizing Sonoma Wine Country now, it’s a wood-fired pizza, housemade pasta, seafood crudo and cocktail hang with bocce hidden in an inviting back patio. Read more →

Yokai: Japanese food and vinyl records come to life in SoMa

Yokai is an ode to jazz with quality 1970s JBL Pro Series studio speakers and sound-proofing, making music the soul of the lofty space that was home to Salt House for years. The steel, brick and wood-lined bar and restaurant on Mission Street opened just last month, adding a feather in the caps of Marc Zimmerman, Ben Jorgensen and team behind Gozu, one of the great modern Japanese restaurants in the nation since 2019: Read more →

Las Vegas Dining Guide: 15 Places to Eat Now from Upscale to Casual + Where to Stay

While many seek the bustle, party, slots and commercial lights of Vegas, I’ve never been such a person. The nearly-gone Rat Pack, old school, kitschy-glitz Vegas is much more my scene, growing up a jazz and old movie lover as a kid in the 1980s and 1990s. I don’t find much of that anymore (see Golden Steer below), even as I saw glimpses of it during my first visit to Vegas in the 1990s before the Flamingo and other great pieces of history changed their look dramatically.

Despite the exhaustion I feel even after one day of Vegas’ heat, crowds and partying, even since my 20s, there are gems worth seeking out. Here are 15 places to eat, from high to low, upscale to fast casual — and three hotels with different strengths. Read more →

Aromas of SF’s Presidio & Turkey meld in the Eastern Mediterranean magic of new Dalida

Turkish food is having a moment locally, thank goodness. And from some masterful chefs. Fresh off the heels of my review of new Turkish restaurant, Meyhouse in Palo Alto, chef duo Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz opened Dalida in San Francisco on June 30, 2023, in one of the Presidio’s striking brick buildings lining the Main Parade Lawn, within eyesight of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, surrounded by forests. Read more →