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San Francisco, consulting, Scotch cocktail and Thai food with the familia!

February 27, 2010

I hope this finds you with the great taste of a meal lingering in your mouth and a smile on your face.

Wow! Just got back from ten days of restaurant consulting in San Francisco. I helped my friend Ken open his third location of the Grove. The Grove is a very cool San Francisco restaurant. They are open for breakfast at 7:00am and go straight through until 11:00pm everyday. You can have everything from a bagel or huevos rancheros to salads, grill-pressed sandwiches and several classics like mac/cheese, lasagna and chicken pot pie. Ken insists that every menu item is “best in class”. I have been working on the menu and the overall operation front door to back door for almost a decade. Check out the Moroccan salad with harissa roasted garbanzo beans, oil cured black olives and feta cheese. Or keep it simple with the Lasagna. We just tweaked the Bolognese sauce taking it to a whole new level. The Cuban grilled pressed sandwich has a shallot/orange/black pepper glaze that adds a sweet spice to the tender Prorchetta. I am very proud of what we have done there. Check it out next time you are in SF and let me know what you think.

We are moving to SF in July so the family was up for a couple days so we could check schools for the kids and have some time together. It was a great balance of intense work, family and of course a couple great local SF meals. One was at Pizzeria Delfina and the other was at Salt House. That is a couple blogs worth of pleasure alone.

I landed at LAX last night on an early flight than the familia so I went to the store and got the ingredients for a Thai beef dinner. Skirt steak marinated in oyster and fish sauce, basil, ginger and garlic cloves ground to a paste all in the wok and served over rice.

I was staring at a pile of unused chopped ginger as I was pondering what cocktail to make. I decided on a ginger simple syrup (super easy. Mix equal parts sugar and water and bring to a boil with the ginger. Boil for a minute, turn off and let cool). I took a couple tablespoons of that over ice with a shot of scotch, a splash of deep, dark stout beer and some soda water. A quick shake and it was awesome. The Scotch was prominent but its power was tamed by the soda water and the viscosity of the stout beer. The stout added an almost cream-like affect to the texture. The ginger made itself known but only as a compliment to the complex peaty flavors of the scotch and the toasted barley and malt flavor of the beer. There was just enough sweetness to bring everything into balance. Cheers!

Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy

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