2008 Michelin Stars, San Francisco Bay Area

I've been to the French Laundry a couple times and it really is that good but it's really intense and goes a little overboard. It's more like a clinic than it is a dining experience. Bouchon (bistro food) is so much cooler and cheaper. The only other restaurants I've been to are Boulevard, Chez Panisse, and Gary Danko.

I'd love to check out more but it's pricey to be eating out.

Three Stars
The French Laundry, Yountville

Two Stars
Aqua, San Francisco
Chez TJ (new), Mountain View
Cyrus, Healdsburg
Manresa, Los Gatos
Meadowood, St. Helena
Michael Mina, San Francisco

One Star
Acquerello, San Francisco
Ame (new), San Francisco
Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford
Bistro Jeanty, Yountville
Bouchon, Yountville
Boulevard, San Francisco
Chez Panisse, Berkeley

Coi (new), San Francisco
Cortez (new), San Francisco
Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Farmhouse Inn Restaurant, Forestville
Fifth Floor, San Francisco
Fleur de Lys, San Francisco
Gary Danko, San Francisco
L Bistro, Sebastopol
La Folie, San Francisco
La Toque, San Francisco
Madrona Manor (new), Healdsburg
Martini House (new), St. Helena
Masa's, San Francisco
One Market (new), San Francisco
Quince, San Francisco
Range, San Francisco
Redd (new), Yountville
Rubicon, San Francisco
Sushi-Ran, Sausalito
Terra, St. Helena

"good morning" runs

I do these runs that are between 3 – 6 miles (6 on a good day) in the mornings.  I call them "good morning" runs because I like to say good morning to whomever I run past.  Sometimes I just say good morning to buildings or landmarks too, there's a lot of cool buildings in Oakland and Berkeley.

I also like running to see my neighbors and to see what's going on around the neighborhoods (like that 2 bedroom house that's for sale for $789,000! yikes!).  It doesn't seem like much crime happens in the mornings.  I'm not sure why that is, and maybe I'm wrong, but that's what it seems like.

I'd like to think I can be Mayor of Oakland one day and run the streets surveying the City on my morning runs.  People will come up and say, "good morning, Mayor" and I'll say "good morning" back.  Maybe when I'm 70 :-)

I do these good morning runs twice a week and then I try to do a longer run on the weekends.  That's pretty much my run program.  Running can be good for the soul too.

red and green salsa

My favorite salsa recipe comes from my roommate senior year college. It's addicting. The green salsa one, we got stuck with a bunch of tomatillos via our CSA so had to make it. It's good though. Both of these are my College or NFL Football watching snacks.

Chips, I like Native Chips. These guys are local, based out of San Leandro and they give people (like my CSA) their used oil so they can make biodiesel. I have this weird local food circle where it seems everyone's connected with Eatwell Farm e.g. Joseph Schmidt, Hanger One, Blue Bottle, Native Chips, etc.

New Mexico Red Salsa

6+ New Mexico chiles dried
1 small can of tomato sauce, and 1 can of water
couple cloves of garlic

Put everything in a blender. Blend away.

Green Salsa

Some tomatillos
2 small onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
bunch of cilantro

Put tomatillos, onions, garlic in a cast iron skillet and char them a little bit. Put tomatillos in a blender. Add the cilantro. Chop up the garlic and onions and toss in. Add salt to taste.

Oakland as a model city per Ron Dellums

This reporter and I were at this same meeting, a North Oakland Community meeting where this time Ron Dellums, our mayor spoke. I have some different takeaways from what she wrote, though top of mind for everybody at this meeting was how to control the violence in North Oakland. You'd think the easy answer is get more cops on the street but it's not that easy. If it was easy, it'd be already done.

So violence was the main issue, the expansion of Children's Hospital/zoning in general was the other top issue. I should be more concerned since several murders and shooting have happened within a one/two block radius of my house, but I know the neighborhood is getting better. I see it everyday.

What I did like hearing was what Ron Dellums had to say with Oakland as a model city. I think he's right about the opportunity. There's a lot of Oakland pride and there's a lot to like about Oakland, people just see the violence in Oakland but don't see the there there. People outside of Oakland don't get it and that's fine with me.

What I believe we're going to get from Ron, is a lot of resources (money) poured into the City of Oakland from Foundations, the State, and Federal governments. As a former Congressman with quite some power, we're going to get that funding and it's going to be pretty cool.

Anyway, the next 4 and hopefully 8 years of Ron Dellums term as Mayor of Oakland will be great to participate in. Only problem is Ron isn't tech savvy; but his people seem to be so that's fine.

Oakland, East Bay restaurants

Been going out lately to some nice restaurants in the East Bay.  Here's what I thought anyways…

Recently went to Rivoli finally on Solano Ave in Albany.  Very tasty, a little pricey.  Italian/California Cuisine type restaurant.  It's a small restaurant.  Awesome service.  The street is very cool.  Nice to walk up and down.


  • Oliveto's (upstairs) – one of the best restaurants in Oakland, Italian/California cuisine, pricey, great food, nice atmosphere.  It's a special occasion place.
  • Hiro's Sushi – been going here a lot.  family style, laid back Japanese food, very homey; guaranteed no line, so perfect if you get stuck at Kirala and you're hungry.  Up the block, Uzen is pretty good too.
  • Somerset – hard to characterize the food here, I guess upscale American.  The food is good, good for brunch, the decor is classy but lots of wood.  A friend of a friend owns it.
  • Soi4 – trendy Thai, nice place for a hot date

Wood Tavern, haven't been yet but supposed to be good.  Pearl is supposed to be good.  We also go to Cactus Taqueria, Citron or Acote on special occasions.  We also go to Zachary's pizza when the mood hits.  Haven't been yet to Pizzaiolo in Temescal.  And I do like LaneSplitter's Pizza also in Temescal.


  • Pyung Chang tofu house.  Not as good as My Tofu House on Geary but pretty good.
  • La Calaca Loca – quick Mexican food.  good chicken soup and fish tacos.
  • Tanjia is this Moroccan place.  Very cool with Belly Dancing, food is ok.
  • Bakesale Betty's of course – oatmeal cookies, chicken sandwiches are too dangerous

Haven't been to Genova lately for sandwiches.  Need to go back to Dona Tomas (fancy Mexican) to give it another chance.

Piedmont Ave

  • Bay Wolf – kind of every day fancy, California cuisine.  Food is good.  Strangely went here twice this year.
  • Jojo – my all time favorite restaurant, country French, menu doesn't change much, best steak frites – my favorite dish
  • Went to Fenton's for an ice cream sundae.  The first few bites were good but their ice cream kinda sucks.  Tango Gelato down the block has no line and is 10x better.

Haven't been to Lotus Thai this year… :-)  Cesar (spanish tapas) is so overrated, always packed.  Dopo (Italian) overrated and packed too.

On the hit list to try next is:

  • Art's Crab Shack, Ohgane
  • And non-Oakland: Bistro Luneta (in San Mateo), Foreign Cinema (SF), Ozumo (SF) and that should do it