Remodeling your kitchen? Let's go out to eat!

I arrived in California in1982 from Massachusetts and Frank arrived in 1980 by way of New Jersey. We both still marvel at the fact that we East Coast transplants had never experienced an avocado or an artichoke until our happy hearts and feet touched down in Northern California (OK, my first espresso and ham & cheese croissant too in a little cafe on Bancroft Way in Berkeley).

My food journey had begun and Frank happily followed along!

While living in the Laurel Heights district of San Francisco, our first apartment together, I loved shopping on Clement Street where I had access to a myriad of fresh vegetables. The best were long green beans and shiitake mushrooms along with fresh egg noodles to make sesame noodle salad - which in the 1980s seemed exotic! I also began to expand my cooking enthusiasm by baking genoise cakes and Madeleine cookies that we enjoyed on our honeymoon in Paris which will be 30 years ago next year.

Another favorite San Francisco outing of ours was going to the Saturday farmers market off of the 280 Freeway where the sunflowers were enormous and the fresh basil bunches were huge letting us make enough homemade pesto to last throughout the year!

We bought our first home in the Rockridge district of Oakland since I had stumbled upon the Market Hall while visiting a friend in1987, so when we were outbid on several houses in SF and Marin, I said to Frank, “you know, I think we might want to look over in the East Bay near the Market Hall.” Best decision we ever made since they did and still do carry some of the finest food products around. Our home was located on Miles Avenue near Frog Park which FMSProjects, Inc. helped spearhead and build.

Our culinary journey and I should add my love of cooking and feeding people has been a great joy in our life. While my home cooking often rivals that of the top restaurants, I never decline the chance to go out to eat or the opportunity to chase down the latest and greatest dishes (which I try to then replicate at home)!

I’m happy to say, I can no longer keep up with the amazing Bay Area food scene, but I still have good instincts and good taste coupled with the belief of “bloom where you are planted,” therefore, I will share my favorite local haunts so while your kitchen is being lovingly transformed by your new best friend, your general contractor and his team, you can find a good meal in your neighborhood which will hopefully make the mess and chaos a little easier to swallow once you go back to your nest.

Next week more neighborhood places to eat!

Piedmont Avenue:

The Wolf





SAAP Avenue

Little Shin Shin

Holly’s Mandarin


Simply Greek


Lo Coco Pizza

Judoko Sushi

Raj Indian Cusine

Catos Ale House

Telegraph Avenue / Temescal:

Cholita Linda


Dona Tomas

Roses’ Tap Room

Bowl’d BBQ

Pyeong Chang Tofu House

Beauty’s Bagels

Mariposa Bakery (Gluten Free)

Bakesale Betty

Homeroom (40th St.)

Barcote Ethiopian

Marufuku Ramen

And Yes, I made the Paella! on the grill -

Here is the recipe I followed: