2021 California Food Journalism and News [SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, the rest of California and Northern Nevada]

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(Note: Ho and the Chron have now appended a correction that Le Cirque was indeed the restaurant being referred to.)

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Lauren Saria, former Food, Dining + Nightlife Editor at The Arizona Republic, is the new editor at eater sf

from azcentral.com:

Raised in northern California, Lauren Saria moved to Phoenix in 2009 to attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU. She graduated in 2013 with Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Mass Communication degrees. She went on to become a food writer and later food editor at the Phoenix New Times, and in 2014 she won Best Newspaper Food Feature from the Association of Food Journalists for a cover story about efforts to grow heirloom wheat in Arizona. In 2016 she joined the local restaurant group Chamberlin Hospitality as marketing director. During her time with the fast-growing company, she helped open three restaurants including two new concepts. In her free time you can find her running, hiking with her dog, or practicing yoga.

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I am glad Luke wrote that article and about the painful history the Ohlones endured.

Another one like Belcampo.

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“The red trout was super popular and beautiful — it’s amazing how much more beautiful it is when you’re told it’s sustainably raised.”

Offer of SF Chronicle digital only for 99 cents for 26 weeks, offer good through July 12. After 26 weeks, rate goes to $3.99/week automatically unless you cancel. I had used a plan like that and when it expired I wrote the Chronicle and they offered a digital sub at about $4/month. I currently pay about $50/year for the digital LA Times, after arguing them down, and got the Washington Post digital for about $30/year for the first year. The deals on the East Bay Times or Mercury News are terrible and their owners are butchers.

And the new drive-through Taqueria El Mezcal in San Pablo, 14260 San Pablo Ave., has Hot Cheetos Burritos (meat, nacho cheese, fries, Cheetos, cheese, and sour cream)

California grows about 80% of the world’s supply of almonds, a high-value crop with a mechanized harvest.


Jesse Newman

| Photographs by Janna Ireland for The Wall Street Journal

Updated July 5, 2021 11:04 am ET


The drought, which began last year, has spread across nearly all of the western U.S. Combined with looming restrictions on groundwater usage, it is prompting a reckoning in California’s $6 billion almond industry, which grows about 80% of the world’s supply. The situation is reshaping the state’s food sector, forcing farmers to reassess which crops they will have the water to produce, and where. It is also challenging food-company executives tasked with keeping grocery store shelves filled when reservoirs or wells run dry.

Blue Diamond, a century-old grower-owned cooperative, has reaped the benefits of the almond bonanza. The coop has grown into the world’s largest almond processing and marketing company with sales last year totaling $1.6 billion, more than double the previous decade. Grocery sales of Almond Breeze, the company’s most profitable product, topped $800 million last year.

It takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow one (1) almond, or 1,900 gallons to grow a pound. Almonds and almond milk are unsustainable. Agricultural water use in California is crazy because it’s unregulated. I think the state has finally decided to meter agricultural water use. Until now they didn’t…so farmers pulled from ancient aquifers with zero regard.

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Tanya Holland lsst week in Newsweek:

After living and working in France, where I learned the foundations of classic French cuisine, I returned to New York in 1992 with the goal of working my way up in the business and eventually cooking food that would be worthy of multiple New York Times stars. I wanted to bring my high standards to the cuisine of my heritage, launching an upscale African American diaspora concept. I sought mentors in the industry who looked like me and understood my vision. One mentor, the late chef Patrick Clark, suggested that I leave New York City, citing that it would be easier for me as a woman to go to a smaller arena to launch.

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Several dishes from Mama D’s African Cuisine, including ndolé, served with shrimp, left, and egusi stew, center.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)


Wanki most loves eru, also a stew of greens but with a different, forest-dense richness. Okazi, the leaves of a climbing vine, are cooked down with chopped pieces of beef stew meat, tripe and cow’s foot until the textures are melded and nearly indistinguishable. Palm oil adds nuttiness and carroty sweetness. You can’t see its telltale red-orange glow in the black takeout container — at least not until you dip in a mound of fufu, molded in your hand and indented with your thumb for better scooping. Then the palm oil bleeds and stains, and the mellow, meaty flavors coalesce, and you understand why it’s Wanki’s favorite.

Mama D’s African Cuisine

1240 S. Soto St., Los Angeles, (213) 610-5322, mamadsfood.com

Prices: starters $5-$15, entrees $15-$25

Details: noon-8 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays. Credit cards accepted. No alcohol. Lot and street parking.

Recommended dishes: puff puffs, ndolé with shrimp, eru

In the fall, La Guerrera’s Kitchen will take over the space formerly used by La Cosecha in Swan’s Market in Old Oakland.

“The Guerrero region of Mexico is home to both beaches and mountains, its cuisine a unique mix of breezy seafood dishes and hearty, comforting meat offerings. The current menu at La Guerrera’s Kitchen is a vivid representation of this richness and variety, with anything from seviches to barbacoa plates.”

" [Popular California-Salvadoran pop-up] Popoca is currently operating as a pop-up at Degrees Plato, 4251 MacArthur Blvd. (near High Street), Oakland on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Mondays from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Follow Popoca on Instagram for the latest menus and any changes to hours. Popoca’s permanent location at 3525 Fruitvale Ave. (at MacArthur Boulevard) is expected to open in 2022."

Esther Mobley yesterday in the SF Chronicle -

A fire crew keeps watch at Vineyard 29 as the Glass Fire burns between St. Helena and Calistoga in September 2020.

Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle 2020

“We are living in constant fear now,” said Martha Barra, who was quoted a $290,000 premium to insure her Ukiah winery, up from $38,000 last year. “Everything is more extreme now — more winds, unusual frost events, all these wildfires. It’s all just such an unknown.”

Jeff Edalatpour today in the East Bay Express on new Afghani in North Oakland. The Qabuli Palow, the Uzbeki Palow, and Mantu look interesting.

Twins Halal House & Bakery, 2608 Market St., Oakland. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10:30am to 8:30pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 8:30pm. 510.922.1972. twinshalalhouse.com



Qabuli Palow

Ingredients: Brown Rice, Carrot, Raisin, Lamb, and Seasoning. Served with salad, bread, sauces, daily side Veggie dish.


Uzbeki Palow (Family)

Big catering family dish made for up to 12 people, is $120 dollars. Special Afghan rice cooked with carrots, raisins, and spices. Choice of: lamb, chicken, beef, or vegetarian.




Afghan style dumplings filled with ground beef OR chicken, onions, bell pepper, cilantro, oil, and seasoning. Topped with a homemade sauce and cilantro.


Janelle Bitker yesterday in the SF Chronicle -

NBC Bay Area - Livermore Winemakers Look to New Grape to Fight Climate Change

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold