2024 Northern and Central California Food News and Journalism [SF Bay Area, Northern California, Central California, Northern Nevada]

from SF Standard, Z&Y Peking Duck is in soft opening with a grand opening in a few weeks,takes the place of Z&Y Bistro’s spot, across the street from the original Z&Y.

Z&Y Peking Duck

:round_pushpin: 606 Jackson St., SF
:link: zandypekingduck.com

“[Chef] Han sources his ducks from Long Island, New York, where the ducks are the highest quality. And every Peking duck served on the dining table has undergone a 24-hour preparation effort in the kitchen, which includes soaking, blow-drying, freezing, brushing the skin with sugar water to ensure a crisp duck and, finally, baking.”


Fun and informative read on what is apparently our only Chinese-Venezuelan restaurant:

Why this SF restaurant will never raise the price of its $9 chicken
“… Today, as the owner of Cantoo, a Venezuelan Chinese restaurant in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, Wu Feng is celebrating the connection between those two cultures. San Francisco has no shortage of restaurants that meld different cuisines together, like Palestinian Cuban Asúkar or Persian Mexican Movida. But it’s not very often you find a restaurateur who has lived in both of the countries their fusion represents.”

Cantoo, 572 O’Farrell St., San Francisco. Open Sunday through Tuesday, noon-10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, noon-11 p.m. Closed Wednesday.


Oh man, I sure miss the Cuban-Chinese restaurants we used to have in NYC.

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On KQED FM radio 88.5 today Feb 5 at 9 am and repeated at 8 pm and will be available in the archive -

from KQED -

The nation’s largest grower of stone fruit, Prima Wawona, is shutting down leaving 5,400 workers out of a job. Four years ago, a private equity firm bought up two major stone fruit growers in Fresno to create the peach power house, which claimed it produced five times more peaches than the entire state of Georgia. Last fall, Prima Wawona shocked the Fresno community by declaring bankruptcy, blaming too much debt, bad weather, and rising costs among other factors.

Vietnamese Lunar New Year-Tet Festival in San Jose for 3 days on Feb 16th, 17th, and 18th 2024 at EASTRIDGE CENTER, former Sears parking space/Hello Ben Thanh in the future at corner of Quimby & Tully road.

from Oaklandside/Berkeleyside -

The Oakland YouTuber behind ‘Did You Eat Yet?’ shares the places Keith Lee should have visited

Victor Xie created the channel to share his love of the Town’s diverse food scene and the stories behind its culture.

Azucena Rasilla headshotby Azucena RasillaFeb. 1, 2024, 1:37 p.m.

Xie reccomends -

Tao Yuen Pastry, 816 Franklin St.

Al Pastor Puebla, 4930 Coliseum Way
Banh mi Ba Le, 1909 International Blvd.
Cambodian Street Food, 2045 Foothill Blvd.
Tacos El Último Baile, check social media for pop-up location

Deep East Oakland
Tacos Mama Cuca, see social media for schedule

Lion Dance Cafe, 380 17th St.

Kamdesh, 332 14th St.

Champa Garden, 2101 8th Ave.

Ok’s Deli, 3932 Telegraph Ave.

Burma Superstar, 4721 Telegraph Ave.
Moo Bong Ri, 4390 Telegraph Ave. STE #K
Teni East, 4015 Broadway
True Burger, 146 Grand Ave. or 4101 Broadway

Wally’s Cafe, 3900 San Pablo Ave.
Xie recommends the gyro plate.

Sfizio, 6099 Telegraph Ave.
Soba Ichi, 2311A Magnolia St.

Victor Xie’s YouTube channel, Did You Eat Yet?


I’m a big fan of Did you Eat Yet? I really like Victor’s knowledge and calm approach to telling us his food stories. I’m glad he’s getting some wider exposure.


For lovers of thick-crust square slices of garlic clam pizza who are closer to the west side of town, Golden Boy Pizza on Green St in North Beach is opening another location next month in The Parkside at 1472 Taraval St., replacing Marco Polo Ice Cream. Golden Boy currently has a San mateo outlet.

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Today Feb 7 on KQED Forum radio 88.5 FM at 9 am and repeated at 8 pm, available later in the online archive -

In many Asian families, the highest compliment you can offer a dessert is, “it’s not too sweet!” Bringing in flavor profiles from Asian cultures like pandan leaves, black sesame, and ube, bakers around the Bay are reimagining Asian- American dessert offerings. There’s choux pastry covered in almond crunch and filled with durian cream or a thumbprint cookie with an umeboshi plum center. On the next edition of All You Can Eat with KQED food editor Luke Tsai, we’ll talk to bakers and cookbook authors about Asian-American desserts and the role they play in Lunar New Year celebrations.


Abi Balingit, author, “Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed”

Kevin Quach, owner, CA Bakehouse located in San Jose

Clement Hsu, co-owner, Breadbelly located in San Francisco

Kristina Cho, author, “Mooncakes & Milk Bread” - Cho won the 2022 James Beard award for her cookbook, which focuses on recipes from Chinese bakeries

Luke Tsai, food editor, KQED Arts & Culture


Luke and artist Thien Pham -

Friends, this is the kind of crab feast you dream about. The crab comes out a little less saucy than similarly garlic-and-butter-laden versions you’ll find at Viet seafood icons like Thanh Long and PPQ, but perfectly juicy and topped with about twice as much chopped garlic — a salty, umami-laden counterpoint to the crab’s sweet, succulent flesh. Donning plastic gloves, we tore that crustacean apart with our hands in about 20 minutes flat, leaving behind nothing but an empty carcass and a stack of hollowed-out limbs


Birch and Rye Russian-style at 1320 Castro St. , SF
Easy Rider in Petaluma
Bake Sum new wave Asian baking at 3249 Grand Av in Oakland

Wahpepah’s Kitchen Native American at 3301 E. 12th St near Fruitvale BART station in East Oakland

Lion Dance Cafe vegan Singaporean at 330 17th St, Oakland

Besharam Gujarati in SF

Vietnam Town in San Jose


Hai Ky, Lers Ros, A La Turca and others

From SF Gate -

Situated on 22nd Street in the Dogpatch, Reno’s has been open since 1989, beckoning to passersby with its black awning and gold pinstripe sign that says, “Liquor, Wine, Beer, Lotto, ATM”. Like any reliable corner store, Reno’s offers the essentials — dry goods, sodas, snacks, basic produce — but more importantly, the store functions as a meeting place, a town square vibe where even cops and Hells Angels and find common ground.


Woo Can Cook, Sundays 10am to 2pm, West Oakland Farmers Market; Thursdays 5-9pm Dokkaebier; First Sundays 8am to 3pm, Alameda Antiques Faire. WooCanCookSoCanYou@gmail.com. woocancook.com.


Kadvany in the Chronicle -

Nearly two years after closing her groundbreaking Cambodian restaurant Nyum Bai in Oakland, chef Nite Yun is back with a new project.

Yun is opening Lunette, a casual noodle bar, this spring at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.



Excellent! I’m always at the Ferry Building on my way home from work.

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Broadcast this morning on KALW FM in SF at 91.7, 52-minute interview with writer and farmer Mas Masumoto.

Link to the audio of the show is in the article from KALW, below.

from KALW:

On this edition of Your Call, David “Mas” Masumoto discusses his new memoir, Secret Harvests: A Hidden Story of Separation and the Resilience of a Family Farm.

It tells the story of his aunt Shizuko, who was disabled and taken as a “ward of the state” in 1942, just before the rest of Masumoto’s family members were forced into WWII concentration camps. For 70 years, the family believed Shizuko was dead, until one day Masumoto received a call. She was alive — and living just a few miles away from their family farm.

In Secret Harvests, Masumoto attempts to reconstruct his aunt’s life and pierce the veil of silence surrounding her disability and survival, as well as his family’s incarceration in the Gila River Relocation Center in the Arizona desert, south of Phoenix.


David “Mas” Masumoto, organic peach and grape farmer and author of twelve books, including Epitaph for a Peach: For Seasons on a Family Farm.


The cheese pros interviewed for this story will all be participants at the 2024 California Artisan Cheese Festival on March 22–24 in and around the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Santa Rosa, either at the marketplace, leading tasting seminars or tours, or at the Cheese Crawl, a savory journey through The Barlow in Sebastopol for an evening of cheese tasting and discovery.



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The SF chronicle launches ChowBot, an AI-powered search engine that when queried about what kind of food and where you want to eat will respond with answers from the writings of SF Chron food reviewers.



Big news! We launched an AI bot that gives Bay Area restaurant recommendations (sourced from the @SFChronicleFood's reporting). Check it: https://t.co/hUIbUbBIGP

— cesar (@cesarischafa) February 26, 2024

I asked it for “cafeteria food in Oakland” hoping that it would tell me to go to the cafeteria at Kaiser Oakland at 3600 Broadway/275 W. MacArthur and this is the response I got:


"I’m looking for cafeteria food in Oakland "


Looks like that’s one dish I haven’t mastered yet. But here’s something I do know – check out these delicious guides:

I also tried looking for “borscht in Oakland” because I know that several of the cha chaan tang Hong Kong-style cafes in Oakland Chinatown have borscht and this is the response I got:


“I’m looking for borscht in Oakland”


Looks like that’s one dish I haven’t mastered yet. But here’s something I do know – check out these delicious guides-

I guess that I was too tough on the little guy.




Spiral curry puffs at Damansara, 1781 Church St, SF. No takeout, limit of 2 per table.


Starting March 8, and every second Friday of the month until November, a night market on three blocks of Grant St in SF Chinatown. From NBC Bay Area TV.

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Manadaly in the SF Richmond District gets Beard Classics award -

Mandalay opened in 1984 and quickly became well-known for its high-caliber treatment of Burmese staple dishes. The Richmond District mainstay is a must-try for its tea leaf salad which hews closer to a traditional preparation rather than its more inventive riffs found across the city. The James Beard Foundation also noted the sour samusa soup as a standout dish. Further, while not the first Burmese restaurant in San Francisco, the Foundation noted that Mandalay is the oldest still in operation.


Feb 8 update from National Park Service on healthier redd coho salmon runs in Olema and Redwood Creeks in Marin County -

Though the team has yet to process and analyze their data, the season continues to look like a great success. The latest coho redd estimate stands at over 70 for Olema Creek, which is at least five times more than when this generation of fish last spawned three years ago. In Redwood Creek, the team has now counted around 20 redds—a huge improvement over the single redd found in winter 2020-2021.