Report Cards Move To The Streets

Los Angeles food trucks may no longer be immune to the dreaded report card that ubiquitously grades restaurant and food industry establishments. If approved, health inspectors will classify the omnipresent street food vendors of Los Angeles- from taco trucks and Korean barbecue to churro stands- with a letter grade certifying hygienic and safe food handling practices. The proposal will be voted on next week and if put into effect, will affect nearly 10,000 food vendors in the LA area. Those stands that don’t compile with county health rules could be shut down. Gradings would come unannounced and be scaled as ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C.’

Food trucks have long been a part of LA’s food culture, catering to those looking for good, cheap food on the run. In recent years, the food-truck enterprise has changed, as trendy, cultural and upscale trucks featuring innovative eats have pervaded the scene and have inspired a whole new food on-the-go demographic.

There’s no doubt that if implemented, the report card will cause quite the stir. No one wants to get in the way of a loyal patron’s food fix. Let’s hope they grade on a curve.

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Sunday Supper in the City- CUESA

This year’s celebrity chef lineup at the annual Sunday Supper fundraiser will be sure to wow foodies, winos and do-gooders alike. The event, hosted at the San Francisco Ferry Building on Sunday, October 3rd, is presented by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), a non-profit that works to educate city diners and promote sustainable, seasonal and local dining.

Over 60 of the Bay Area’s most celebrated chefs will create dishes inspired by CUESA’s mission for the seated supper, a five-course feast accompanied by wine and beer pairings composed by award-winning sommeliers. A few namedrop-worthy culinary talents comprised in the lineup include Craig Stoll of Delfina, Chris Cosentino of Boccalone and Incanto, Thomas McNaughton of Flour + Water, Liza Shaw of A16, Chris Jones of the girl & the fig, Bruce Hill of Bix, Picco, and Zero Zero, and Staffan Terje of Perbacco.

The event will kick off with a reception featuring around 40 hors d’oeuvres stations, cocktails, and a vast selection of wines. Guests, with drink in hand, will schmooz with chefs, local farmers and food artisans.

Buy your tickets here. Urbanites, meet local farmers.

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Olive Oil Gets Its Press

La Stampa, a national Italian newspaper, published a fascinating article today documenting the health benefits of antioxidants found in olive oil, namely polyphenols and oleuropein, which together are capable of stimulating cells growth that aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. The study is particularly interesting because although the Mediterranean diet, of which olive oil is a large component, has been tied to longer life longevity and overall health and wellness, its association with bone growth has long remained a mystery.

October is the month in which olives are picked and pressed, so now is a great time to start scouting around for high quality extra-virgin olive oil. Italians have long called olive oil “liquid gold” and swear by it for optimal health and cooking.

Stand tall and start eating the good stuff.

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Le matin French fix- Le Garage

The morning ambiance of Le Garage, Sausalito’s chic dockside French Bistro that literally extends outside an airy metal garage- seating 20 inside and another 20 on the outside patio along the sail-boat filled docks- blissfully combines Sausalito’s laid-back kayak-crowd with that of simple French fare. The tucked-away waterside bistro, owned by two avid soccer-player Frenchmen, sought for its trendy lunch and dinner menu, is open in the morning, unbeknownst to many. The morning vibe, unlike the rest of the day, is casual and simple- locals dutifully grab pains au chocolat, croissants and coffee, displayed along the bar- and sit undisturbed en deux or in the company of a newspaper. Pastries usually run out by 9am, so get there early.

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Cocktails in the City

Best to sober up now in preparation for San Francisco’s Cocktail Week, running from Sept 21-27. Think happy-hour gone very, very happy.

The week-long festival was created by three local San Franciscan bartenders: Duggan McDonnell, Jeff Holinger and H. Joseph Ehrmann and is sponsored by the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail. The cocktail week schedule (festivities expand far beyond pure drinking) span from beverage classes, seminars, abundant tastings, a cookout and workshops (including a farmer’s market inspired happy hour). Visit the official website here.

These folks don’t take their drinks lightly.

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Calling All Chocoholics

The weekend of September 11-12 marks San Francisco’s 15th annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival, expected to lure 40,000 bona-fide chocoholics. The festival will feature tastings, live music, wine-pairing seminars and chef demonstrations. Eat your chocolate knowing that you’re doing good: all proceeds go to Project Open Hand, an SF nonprofit. The festival is free, but tickets for tastings cost $20. Tickets may be purchased online in advance or on the day of the event. Go on, get your chocolate on.

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The Filling Station, Chelsea Market’s newest addition, is worth getting excited about.  Although not novel in the least (Italians have been doing this for years)- the concept behind bringing your olive oil bottle back for refills is environmentally friendly and plainfully genious (think bottomless soda gone Euro). The Filling Station specializes in extra-virgin olive oils, dark and white balsamic vinegars, sea-salts and sugars. Local and imported craft beer will be available in the fall. Fill ‘er up.

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