Archive for the ‘Food & Drink’ Category

Pleased As Punch

September 2, 2010

Oh, how we San Franciscans wait so patiently for warm weather to come upon us. All through July and August we hear of heat-waves happening all around the country and sigh.  We see cute summer dresses in storefront windows that we know if we bought them would just look pretty in our closets and that’s it.  We daydream about tropical drinks and destinations all the while shivering in our boots, scarves and overcoats just waiting for our summer to arrive. Well, it’s been a long-time coming but I do believe that Indian summer in San Francisco is finally here. Let’s stay out past 5:00pm without wearing a sweater, let’s order iced lattes, and let the punch party begin! (more…)

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Chef Profile: Michelle Mah

August 25, 2010


Michelle Mah, Executive Chef of Joie de Vivre’s Midi Restaurant was born in Seoul, Korea and lived there until she was three years old. It was then that her family immigrated to the United States and put down roots in Southern California.  A career in the culinary arts wasn’t always in the cards for Michelle. While living in Southern California, she attended the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in Ethnic Studies, minored in General Literature and also had a focus in Photography.

From there, Michelle began working at Café Japengo and because of her love of the kitchen and guidance from chef Amiko Gubbins, she also began attending the College of Food in San Diego where she graduated with an A.O.S. degree.  Michelle then made her move to San Francisco where she attended the California Culinary Academy. Michelle worked in multiple restaurants throughout the city as well as an externship in St. John in the Caribbean before becoming the Executive Chef at Ponzu. It was there; at age 29 that Michelle was awarded the 2006 “Rising Star Chef” award by the San Francisco Chronicle. (more…)

SF Chefs Week (and a POMegranate Party)

August 9, 2010

This week our Northern California chefs are busy prepping for their upcoming participation in SFChefs Restaurant Week; an event highlighting the best chefs of the Bay.  For three days and nights starting on Friday, chefs rule in the middle of Union Square and judging by the feedback from the event debut last year, it will be a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. With world renowned chefs like Hubert Keller and Tyler Florence participating as well as our own chefs from Café Andree, Bar Adagio, Midi, Henry’s, and Americano on hand, the only thing greater than the amazing culinary offerings are the people involved in bringing such an event together. (more…)

Chef Profile: Hugo Campos

July 27, 2010

Hugo Campos is the head chef at our Bar Adagio in downtown San Francisco.  Although his family was originally from El Salvador; Hugo grew up in Southern California.  It was there, well to be more specific…in the kitchen of a diner in Riverside while working as a dishwasher that his love for the culinary world began.  When asked about his particular culinary influences; Hugo is quick to state that he doesn’t look up to the typical celebrity or high-profile chef.  The biggest influences on his culinary career have always been a number of sous chefs that he’s worked with since that job as a dishwasher right out of High School. (more…)

Scratching the Surface

July 23, 2010


Meandering down the Ocean Front Walk of Venice Beach, visions of eccentric storefronts and mystical characters fill your mind.  Your body begins to warm up with the heat of the sun while the ocean breeze provides an alluring sense of calm.  Thoughts of Jim Morrison’s, “Spanish Caravan” infiltrate your thoughts but just then, you start to hear another sound.  This sound isn’t the music of your past or future; but rather your present state of mind. It’s the sound of turn-tables mixing all kinds of beats and it appears to be coming directly from the sky above.  You’re not high yet…but you’re about to be.

Of course we’re talking about our “Scratch Academy” DJ classes we hold at our High Rooftop Lounge in our Hotel Erwin on Venice Beach. (What did you think we were talking about?) High has partnered up with Scratch Academy, which is an organization started by the late Jam Master J with the goal of making the DJ art form accessible to everyone.  Together, they are offering DJ classes on our rooftop lounge for those interested in learning how to mix the ones and twos. (more…)

Celebrating Our Independence

June 30, 2010

As the three-day weekend celebrating the 4th of July approaches, visions of warm weather, pools, and mouth-watering food and drink are already starting to penetrate the minds of most.  For after all, this is a holiday unique to our United States and as California tends to stand out in the unique department, we wanted to make sure Joie de Vivre has you covered throughout the State.  Below are just a few offerings from our own restaurants that will help bring those dreamy visions of an ideal holiday weekend to fruition.

Venice Beach: High Rooftop Lounge in Venice Beach is hosting an All American High Independence Day BBQ.  It will be an all you can eat extravaganza during the day with roasted corn, potato salad, hot dogs, hamburgers, mac & cheese, house-made chips and dip, watermelon and a S’mores bar! From 11:00 am- 4:00 pm everyone is welcome; after 5:00 p.m. the party is for adults only.  A champagne toast will be included and local fireworks will be on display. 11:00-4:00 $25.00 kids/$50.00 adults 5:00-Close $100.00 adults only

Sacramento: Grange; our restaurant in Sacramento that’s all about seasonal and local offerings is offering an All American BBQ three-course menu for $35.00/person.  The menu will feature a Little Gem Lettuce Salad with Kick’n Ranch Dressing, Slow cooked Riverdog Farm Hog with Carolina BBQ, Corn on the Cob & Potato Salad and for dessert a Summer Berry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  That sounds like an All American meal not to be missed.

Brentwood: WEST Restaurant in our Hotel Angeleno is offering a red, white and tropical blue sangria priced at $4.00 in honor of the 4th of July. Relax poolside while their grill master cooks up some house-made sausage prepared to order. For a casual and elegant day in the Southern California sun; the best advice we can give is to head WEST.

Oakland: Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Oakland is having a party in conjunction with all the fun-filled events happening in Jack London Square for the 4th.  Come by to enjoy the beautiful weather, a petting zoo and live blues bands and stick around while Chef Peter Jackson BBQ’s up some Andouille Sausage in their outdoor waterfront patio.  Miss Pearl’s is also featuring their famous $5.00 hurricanes where $2.00 of every one sold goes towards the Coast Clean up effort.  To be able to assist our fellow state of Louisiana this 4th of July makes us feel very patriotic indeed.

Going Back to (So)Cali

June 23, 2010

Today’s guest post is from Leah Corradino of Joie de Vivre’s SoCal team. Leah shares her vast knowledge of what to do, see, eat and drink in Southern California – including a few bon mots from our hotels in the region: Shorebreak Hotel (Huntington Beach), Hotel Angeleno (Los Angeles), Hotel Maya (Long Beach), and Hotel Erwin (Venice Beach). Stay tuned also for our new Pacific Edge Hotel, which debuts in Laguna Beach this month. Thanks, Leah, we can’t wait to get back to SoCali and try some of these!

1. Intellegentsia for the BEST coffee experience on Abbot Kinney in Venice

2. The Hollywood Bowl for the best “under the stars” summer performances

3. Temescal Canyon Trail for a hike and to see the waterfall and ocean views from the Pacific Palisades

4. Opening Ceremony just opened on La Cienega!  Serious competition for Fred Segal!

5. Paradise Cove in Malibu for a scenic Sunday drive up the coast and for their gigantic iced seafood tower

6. The Other Room for great people-watching and drinks on Abbot Kinney in Venice

7. The Wiltern, Troubador, and the Fonda for intimate live music concerts (more…)

Top 10 Things to Do in Sacramento

June 17, 2010


I’m a Bay Area girl, born and raised. One can only imagine my friends’ reactions four years ago when they heard I was moving to Sacramento to attend UC Davis. Shock and disgust were among many facial expressions, to give you an idea.

You see, my friends were moving to “cool” places for college, like L.A. and San Diego.  Sacramento on the other hand, known for being a “cow-town” and “hot as hell”, was always stereotyped as less than desirable.

Well, turns out the joke’s on them.  Sacramento is awesome, and I’m not afraid to say it out loud. Four years into living here, I have dined downtown, wined Midtown, ran a 10k around the zoo, attended film festivals at the Crest, and rafted down the river on lazy Sunday afternoons.

Without further adieu, here’s my personal list of the top ten things to do in Sacramento (and I hope if you visit, you will check out – or, even better, check in – Joie de Vivre’s gorgeous Citizen Hotel):

1. Catch a film at the Crest Theater. I think it might be accurate to say I have never seen a bad film here. If you’re into the Avatars and Iron Mans, this isn’t the place for you. If you’re into the interesting, hilarious, and educational indie films that nobody has heard of, this is your go-to theater. I am a bit of a movie snob and this is hands down, the best place to catch a good film in Sacramento.

2. Float down the river. I’ll be honest—it gets pretty dang hot in Sacramento, especially in the summer months. What better way to spend your scorching Sunday afternoon than lazily rafting down the American River? Tip: rent multiple rafts and tie them together with rope to float as a group. Add a cooler of classy beverages, a boom box, and you’re good to go. (more…)

Sonoma on My Mind

June 15, 2010

One of my favorite road trips involves Hwy 121 aka Arnold Drive in Sonoma.  Sonoma is a vast territory that spans from the San Pablo Bay in the south all the way up north to Santa Rosa and in between the Mayacamas Mountains and Sonoma Mountains.

Once referred to as the Valley of the Moon by the native Miwok, Pomo and Wintun peoples, the Sonoma Valley is now a mecca for wine enthusiasts, and all people in search for some Joie de Vivre.  Whereas Napa is seen as a little more upscale and refined, Sonoma is true to its country roots.  The Sonoma lifestyle is a little more casual and free-spirited.  It’s one of my favorite local getaways as it’s a quick 45 minute drive from San Francisco once you hit the Golden Gate Bridge.  My picks reflect places that hold great memories and are almost always on my itinerary when I make my way up north.

Angelo’s Wine Deli

Angelo’s is a small and unassuming outpost along the 121 also known as Arnold Drive.  If you’re not paying attention, you may miss it as you’re gazing at the surrounding vineyards.  Look out for the brown and white Hereford statue that graces the top of the sign to signal your arrival.  Most people know Angelo’s for its famous jerky.  It’s unlike any jerky I have ever had, instead of being dehydrated to the point of leather, it’s actually very moist and hearty, and comes in many different flavors. The VIP is my favorite.  Many people who are traveling to the wine country are maybe not in a position to buy perishable meats that need to be refrigerated, but the real treasure to be had at Angelo’s is their famous sausages that are hands-down the best I have ever had.  The Louisiana hot links and the Hawaiian Portuguese sausages are delicious and when braised in beer and onions and then placed on the grill for some charring – divine. (more…)

18 Reasons by Preeti Mistry

April 9, 2010

Editor’s note: Today we’re excited to share the words of a Bay Area chef some of you may have heard of, Preeti Mistry, who appeared on season six of Bravo’s Top Chef series. Preeti writes about a wonderful new outpost for local food, art, and community in San Francisco, 18 Reasons.

I moved to San Francisco, specifically the Mission district in the summer of 1996 when the gritty neighborhood was on the edge of major change… it was the dot-com boom.  One seemingly small alteration was the revamping and reopening of Bi-Rite Market.  I was in my early twenties and having a love affair with food and cooking.  Bi-Rite’s advent quickly became the epicenter of my affections.  The market has become much more than a shop, it was a place of inspiration for me and is undoubtedly, the beating heart of the Mission’s 18th St. Gourmet Ghetto. (more…)