Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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…)

Takin’ It To the Street

August 16, 2010

Julie Flynn is the retail and communications program associate at La Cocina.  She man­ages all of La Cocina’s retail sales and handles communications and promotions.  She also supports the pro­gram par­tic­i­pants to help them grow and launch their food businesses.

The summer is in full swing, and the city of San Francisco has exploded with outdoor festivals, fairs, and markets. It seems that every weekend there is some fantastic, often delicious, community event going on in some part of this 7 x7 town.

Relatively new to this scene is the San Francisco Street Food Festival, which will celebrate its second year on August 21st in the Mission district.  The organization behind this much anticipated event, La Cocina, is a small non-profit incubator kitchen. La Cocina provides affordable commercial kitchen space and hands-on technical assistance to low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing, and formalizing food businesses. (more…)

An Insider Talks Outside Lands

August 2, 2010

Danielle Madeira is the vice president of marketing for Another Planet Entertainment based in Berkeley, California.  In addition to producing the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival and the Treasure Island Music Festival, Another Planet is also the exclusive promoter for the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, the Fox Theater in Oakland, The Independent in San Francisco, and Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheatre in Lake Tahoe.

What artist(s)/performers are you most excited for at Outside Lands this year?

This year is going to be tough since there are so many great live acts on the Outside Lands line-up.  I am really excited to see Phoenix. I saw them at the Fillmore a few months back and the show blew me away. I have been a fan of My Morning Jacket for a long time and their live shows never disappoint.  To have Golden Gate Park as their backdrop will be a perfect way to experience this band live. I think Al Green is another one not to miss. He is still an amazing performer and always brings out roses to the ladies in the audience – such a class act. Janelle Monάe is a new artist who has such style and energy – she’s one I’d recommend. She opened up for Erykah Badu at the Paramount and received a lot of buzz.

What can someone who’s never been to the Outside Lands Music Festival expect and be prepared for?

Outside Lands is so much more than music. We have created a food, wine and music festival with this two-day event. Definitely come hungry. We handpick local restaurants that are known for specialty food items that people love. It is definitely getting the best of the Bay in one place. This year we have Namu serving their Korean tacos; Farmer Brown’s Little Skillet serving their fried chicken and mac ‘n cheese; Anchor & Hope serving bbq and raw oysters; and so much more. The food is not your typical festival fare. In addition to the excellent culinary offerings, we can’t forget the wine. There will be more than 25 local vintners pouring wine in our Wine Lands area. The last thing to remember is bring your jacket. Summer in San Francisco can be foggy and cool, especially in the evenings. (more…)

Wild, Cool and Swanky

July 29, 2010


Swank, our hip lounge was just featured in an article stating that it was one of the best “Mad Men” style bars in the United States.  With its cool and understated feel along with a bartender that can quote Sinatra and Billie Holiday; it really is a perfect place to go back in time. Swank is nestled in the Laurel Heights district of San Francisco, far away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown scene.  It’s also one of the few bars in San Francisco with a fireplace! (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…)

Neil Young Country

July 22, 2010

(Neil Young playing Hank Williams Sr.’s guitar at the annual Bridge School Benefit, photo courtesy Paul Tomita)

Editor’s note: Today we are really excited to feature a post from guest blogger Chris Horn, a music lover who has followed Bay Area resident and rock legend Neil Young for nearly 35 years. We met Chris when we were doing a blog post on our Hotel Kabuki’s cameo the night of The Band’s last performance at the now defunct (and also legendary) Winterland Ballroom. Chris was gracious enough to let us use a wonderful photo he had taken of Winterland before its demolition in 1985. You can find his writings on music and some of his great photos here.

By Chris Horn

Neil Young is one of the most beloved and respected musicians of our time. Poignant, prolific, and fiercely independent he has followed his muse and penned songs that have touched the lives and consciousness of multiple generations. Writing and performing music since the early 1960’s he shows no sign of slowing down.

Neil doesn’t just play songs, he lives and breathes them. Whether he’s playing acoustic on a guitar once owned by Hank Williams Sr. or caressing punishing electric notes out of Ol’ Black, (both pictured) he can get into a zone that only he fully feels. We, the audience, have the joy of coming along for the ride.

He has toured the world and since making the San Francisco Bay Area his home in the early 1970’s, he’s played the widest variety of venues here.

While he’s performed in the area’s larger and famous venues (Shoreline Amphitheater, Oakland Coliseum-Arena, Winterland)  he has also played some much smaller places too (Old Princeton Landing in Princeton/Half Moon Bay, Saddle Rack in San Jose, The Inn Of The Beginning in Cotati).

I’ve assembled a list (below), with dates and set lists, of those varied sized venues.

I first saw Neil live on July 1, 1976 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York when he played with Stephen Stills as the Stills-Young Band.  I hadn’t followed him too closely but had heard his music on the radio and occasionally listened to Deja Vu. After the Beatles broke up, Poco was my favorite band. One day my younger brother came to me with Neil’s “Tonight’s The Night” and “Zuma” albums and insisted I listen to them. I knew he was really into Neil and I obliged. I then devoured all his other Neil LP’s and my music appreciation course had changed. The time came when he was going to play locally and I could see him live. With Poco opening, not only was it a dream concert it set the course of my live musical journey. (more…)

Vive Le Film!

July 8, 2010


On Bastille Day, July 14th our Hotel Rex will play host to the French-Language Disposable Film Festival. The Disposable Film Festival in a San Francisco based event that was created to highlight the potential and creativity that can come from the medium of disposable film such as cell phone cameras, point and shoot cameras, webcams and so on.  Short film submissions from around the world are selected, then screened and featured in these festivals.

For this particular soiree, the Disposable Film crew has put together their most intriguing French-Language short films for us to enjoy the Joie of Film at our very own Hotel Rex.  The screening begins at 8:00pm but we’ll be serving French-inspired drink specials in our Library Bar starting at 6:00pm. Attendance is free.

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…)

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…)