Thoughtul Gourmet Blog

Pitaya Plus Smoothie

Smoothies are a weekend staple in my home. Suitable as a fresh foil to January’s endless roasts and soups, they also make a perfect interlude on a warm summer afternoon. Quick to prepare, refreshing and satisfying, smoothies are like soup – you can toss in the kitchen sink and culinary odds and ends find new […]

Chef Ed Lee's Gochujang chile sauce

Long ago relegated by my partner to Hallmark Holiday status, Valentine’s Day nevertheless requires a little someth’n – someth’n to celebrate love. For my two young sons, that means making – and receiving – enough valentines for each child in their class. For me and my husband, that means steak for dinner. Steak is our […]

GEFU Spiralizer cuts carrots and broccoli stems into shreds

Last summer, it seemed everyone I knew had caught the spiralizer bug. Courtesy of the paleo movement, which asks its adherents to, among other things, give up carbs, spiralizers, a kitchen gadget that slices vegetables and fruits into curls and (duh) spirals, are having their moment in the sun. I jumped on the bandwagon to take […]


The Feast of the Seven Fishes, that Italian seafood bacchanal that arrives every Christmas, is a celebratory meal like no other. The wines you pour should match the flavors of the food as well as the spirit of the event. I recently spoke with Stevie Stacionis, who along with Josiah Baldivino, own and operate Oakland’s […]

Oro's zucchini soup with mint and vadouvan

Mint Plaza Redux –  What’s New and Happening Now San Francisco’s Mint Plaza, that L-shaped wedge of open space behind the old Mint Building at the corner of 5th and Mission, is bustling once again with restaurants, food trucks and events. Just steps away from the Westfield Center and Union Square, Mint Plaza is a […]


San Francisco’s taste for the flavors of the Southeast Asia shows no signs of slowing. New restaurants bring the food of Guam and Sri Lanka to the city while an established restaurant defines the food of Indonesia in elegant style. 1601 Bar & Kitchen Neighborhood: San Francisco, SOMA Located on a quiet stretch of Howard Street, […]

Grits & egg sandwich from 4505 Meats

Burger Week 2016 is still six months away, but San Francisco’s appetite for burgers cannot be confined to a small parcel of days. With beef under pressure from water conservationists, the new “it” burgers in town defy the drought by skipping the beef entirely. Let’s call them alterna-burgers (veggie burgers are so 1989) for they […]

Fine Dining: The New Normal

Casual but upscale dining is a national trend that only seems to keep growing in San Francisco. These restaurants turn on the culinary firepower yet keep the setting refined, luxurious and low key. Great food, a fun vibe , and maybe even a Michelin star. It is all here. Chef’s Counter at Saison Neighborhood: SOMA Chef […]