July 31

The World Will Come to Us Review of Als Place

first_imgAl’s Place had been on my radar for months, because it’s across the street from one of our haunts, the Dovre Club. Chef Aaron London (“Al” being Aaron London’s initials), formerly of Ubuntu, the famed and now shuttered high-end Napa vegetarian emporium, had landed on one of those little-travelled corners of the Mission that appear to be under the dreaded failed-restaurant curse. It replaced a seemingly expendable burger joint, which replaced a god-awful Thai joint, which replaced a so-so tapas joint (as reported here). So, expectations were high.   A skeptical bartender I know said it looked way too hoity-toity, with overblown prices for veggies with a bit of meat on the side. But….it looked so cute! Plus, I was intrigued by a place of its credentials so unabashedly out of place in this little section of the neighborhood, a block away from Clooney’s bar, across the street from Goodwill…. And it is indeed the restaurant’s mission to flaunt vegetables and keep the meat and fish as a sideshow.So, when Bon Appetit’s teaser article showed up on my Facebook feed, touting to all the world that San Francisco was now the foodie capital of the country (like we needed someone to tell us that), and listed Al’s Place as their first example, I leapt into action. I was planning a dinner out with a vegetarian friend, so I emailed her about it. She went right online and immediately got us a reservation for 7 p.m. the following week. The story of Al’s being Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant of the Year in the country hit a few days later, with the ensuing running of reservations to eight weeks down the road. So we got in just in time. We were thrilled! Now, this is not a typical restaurant that I would normally review for Mission Local. It’s not a mom-and-pop place, not family run, not ethnic, and it’s not a dive. Nowhere near a dive. Does this restaurant – which was recently included in Open Table’s list of 100 best restaurants for foodies in America – further the cause of keeping the Mission the same as it ever was? Let’s find out. Tags: restaurant reviews Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img The drinks were all named after the aliases in the movie “Reservoir Dogs” (with the addition of Ms. Brown), and all in the same cute little Nick and Nora glasses. The cocktails seemed to follow a bittersweet theme (I had two, and a taste of my friend’s), owing to the preponderance of dry vermouths and bitters involved in most of them. I do like that sort of thing in a cocktail.My girlfriend ran into Chef London on her way to the restroom and they chatted. He told her that they still source their vegetables from a woman in Grass Valley that used to supply Ubuntu. She brings them into the City once a week, still in a bed of the dirt they grew in. That’s pretty cool.Speaking of cool, I have never seen so many topknots in one small place, ever, and I live here in hipster central. And I’m not talking about the customers; 90% of the dudes serving/cooking, including Chef London, were sporting the now uber-trendy manbun. It didn’t take away from my experience; but, if you’re hipster averse then… well then you may have to move out of the Mission. Which brings me back to the question: Does Al’s Place enhance our neighborhood? Is it just another sign of how much things are changing?The restaurant was definitely showing signs of its new-found fame; the hostess told me there had been a line out the door at 5:30 when they opened of people trying to do walk-ins, and they had to turn most of them away. They do hold back 2-3 tables a night for walkins, and you can also sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen and watch all that manbun action. But it’s going to be a while before things calm down. At 9:30, when we left, there were still about a dozen people waiting for tables. The hostess did say to try calling if you can’t get anything on OpenTable.I don’t know about “best new restaurant”; I haven’t tried the others. Was it the best meal I’ve ever had? I must say: No. Did I like it? Yes. I loved it, even. But I really don’t need to go back right away (even if I could, what with it being booked up for weeks in advance now.) Though I might want to go again as the seasons change (and the prices undoubtedly rise with the fame) to see what Aaron London is up to. Did we feel we got value for our money? Yes and no.   I left completely full. I just wasn’t as wowed as I thought I would be.But maybe you’re not supposed to be. Maybe the new hype is taking away the point of the food – mostly simply prepared veggies that become comforting dishes. Maybe it was actually supposed to be more of a neighborhood place than it is unfortunately going to turn out to be, thanks to Bon Appetit, and the hordes of people who will flock to the restaurant just because Bon Appetit told them to. I don’t begrudge them the fame – hooray for Aaron London! But just like with State Bird Provisions, people will come in droves from all over the country, all over the world. I’m just not sure if that’s what Al’s set out to be.But in the meantime, I do think it makes our little chunk of the City just that much more special. And let’s hope the curse of that corner is over! We ordered, to share:-French fries, smoked apple sauce-Royal trumpets, fava mayo, green peach and pluot relish-Lightly cured trout, crispy potato, smashed cucumber, bagna cauda-Stone fruit curry, black lime-cod, green bean, blueberry-Grits, goat’s milk curds, green tomato, corn, padrons-Campanelle, heirloom tomato, jimmy nardello (a pepper), goat’s goudaFries from Al’sThe fries were great. The potatoes had been lightly fermented before frying, and you could taste just a hint of an appealing funky sourness. But the texture is what I really liked. They were crunchy in a way that sticks to your teeth, as though the sugars in the potatoes had caramelized (if you’ve ever had 4505 Meats’ chicharrones, it reminded me of those). The smoked apple sauce (apple butter, actually) was indeed smoky, which I loved, but because there was mustard in the mix it didn’t taste a lot like apple. It was tasty, though, and we kept it to dip our bread in.Trumpet mushroom dish.The trumpet mushroom dish was a beauty – a light course, with earthy flavors, hints of sweetness from the fruit, and a whole forest of flora. The dish sang of summer and the bounty of freshly picked vegetables. The gorgeous bright green fava mayonnaise rounded the whole thing out. One of our favorites.Trout from Al’s.I love smoked fish of any kind, but the trout was my least favorite dish. It wasn’t bad, but it just seemed like a dish I could have had anywhere. I don’t think the sauce underneath was a bagna cauda (the menu online was slightly different than that night’s menu at the restaurant), and I’m not sure what it was – a little sweet, and therefore a little out of place. But mostly the dish was rather dull. The potatoes weren’t all that crispy. The cured trout was fine but not better than other cured trout I’ve had. The smashed cucumbers did add a fresh note. And, there was one tiny little element of surprise – perched artfully on the trout were these cute, miniature, cucumber-like things, which turned out to be Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers. They were very crunchy but unfortunately not super flavorful – I only got a slight cuke flavor from them.Grits from Al’s.The grits dish was fantastic. The grits themselves were the creamiest I’ve ever had, and the goat curds were just subtly, deliciously goaty. It was a rich dish, and the green tomato, charred corn and padron peppers cut through it all nicely. I have to say, I moaned a little while eating it. A really great dish.Curry from Al’s.I hadn’t even thought of ordering the stone fruit curry, until the hostess, before I could even finish my question, told me it was her favorite dish. “What’s your fav…” “Thestonefruitcurry!” is how that went. So I ordered it and was really happy I did. I know fruited curries aren’t a new invention, but this was my first. The lemongrass in the light, slightly spicy curry went so well with the ripe sweet/tart nectarines, peaches, and blueberries. The cod gave the whole thing a nice hit of umami, a silky texture, and was cooked perfectly. The pictures are before and after the curry was poured over the fruit and fish.Curry from Al’s.My friend’s campanelle (a pasta whose name means “little bell”, as they’re in the shape of bellflowers), was like a warm dish of mush – in a very good way. The pasta was not cooked al dente, it truly was a very soft pasta, and I’m not sure if that was the intent but it made for a real comfort dish. It was cheesy – again, just subtly goaty – and had Thai basil strewn over it. But the best component of the dish were the smoked tomatoes – to die for. They really elevated the dish to something more than a bowl of pasta in tomato sauce.Pasta from Al’s.Most of the dishes that we had, in fact, had a strong comfort factor – the fries, the curry, the grits, the pasta… maybe we just didn’t order enough light, summery dishes. I’m not complaining about it, it just wasn’t what I expected. I somehow felt that the dishes in this veggie-centric restaurant weren’t really veggie-forward, except for maybe the trumpet dish. They were homey, and rich. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just wasn’t what I had imagined. And, the only dish I felt so-so about was the trout.As for the service, while our server wasn’t particularly attentive, there were a lot of people bringing out dishes, water, bread (upon request, with a deliciously flakey-salted butter) and taking the time to explain dishes if you asked.   The Chef himself served some dishes to a few tables.last_img read more

July 31

Munis apology for crashing its own system arrives late fittingly enough

first_imgAlso: Construction company employing man killed in Twin Peaks tunnel has contractual clause rewarding timely completion, sources say Last week, Mission Local published stories revealing that Muni furtively shunted buses and drivers out of service on some of its biggest lines, resulting in thousands of hours of missed service, inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of riders, and creating unannounced service cuts of up to 33 percent.And Muni on Friday coughed up a response: Yeah, sorry about that. Solution one: Convert some 60 part-time operators to full-time, “providing nearly 700 additional driving hours daily.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter “Muni service in the past few months has been performing below our 98.5% service goal,” reads the agency’s official apology. This is a jarring and bewildering statement: Following the June 25 closure of the Twin Peaks tunnel for a scheduled two months of upgrades, Muni service has grown abysmal, citywide. That’s because, while the agency dutifully informed riders (and politicians) it would make up for the service of the K-, L-, and M-lines impacted by a tunnel closure, it didn’t tell anyone — not even the mayor’s office — that it would do so by backfilling that service via haphazardly whisking away buses and drivers from other lines citywide. For Muni to state that it “has been performing below our 98.5% service goal” is akin to starting a kitchen fire, triggering the sprinkler system, and stating “I’ve been performing below my ‘make a hard-boiled egg goal.’” It’s a dubious way to express contrition. To wit, Muni went on to note “We apologize and want to let you know what we’re doing about it.” Great — but one wonders why this solution wasn’t employed many months ago, prior to clandestinely wrecking citywide transit service. The Examiner, in fact, obtained an internal Muni memo dating all the way back to October 2017 warning of impending transit mayhem if such steps weren’t taken (spoiler alert: They weren’t). Also, while making up for 700 missed service hours would be grand, it’s just a down-payment on Muni’s current morass: The agency missed 1,172 hours on July 23 alone. Again, great. But, considering the aforementioned October 2017 memo warning of an impending transit meltdown without bringing in more drivers and expediting training, Muni ostensibly should have — again — been focused on beefing up its ranks long ago.  And yet, numbers obtained by Mission Local reveal that Muni hired 142 new drivers in the last fiscal year — but lost 171.A chart documenting Muni’s missed hours of service. The yellow arrow indicates June 25, the date of the Twin Peaks tunnel closure. Graphic by Steve Pepple.So, fittingly for Muni, this apology is inadequate — and it arrived late. The agency didn’t say it was sorry until it was caught, first by the Examiner in late July then by Mission Local in early August. As of Monday, there were exactly zero mentions in the city’s newspaper of record of the monthslong, deliberate, and unannounced daily torment of hundreds of thousands of Muni riders. It’s amazing when you think about it: Vandals putting sugar in the tanks and knocking out up to a third of service on Muni’s major lines would warrant major coverage; when the agency does it to itself, it didn’t even warrant a story.Our sources tell us Mayor London Breed is angry. But most anyone with a cursory understanding of the situation is angry. The mayor, however, has the opportunity to take action. Breed and her office have not returned our queries about what she plans to do. No members of Muni’s senior management have faced repercussions. As of now, the mayor’s chosen team to lead Muni out of this mess is the same team that led Muni into it.   Riders on the 14 Mission Muni bus line dismount on Mission between 24th and 25th streets, where the electric disruption occurred. Photo by Christine Mai-Duc.Absent major media coverage, hundreds of thousands of aggrieved Muni riders still might not realize that they’re victims of a planned scuttling of the citywide transit system. They might just grumble that Muni sucks. Both of these things can be true.But what if you live in Pacific Heights or Forest Hills and wouldn’t be caught dead on a bus or train? What if you drive or take Uber everywhere? The closing of the Twin Peaks tunnel and Muni compensating by appropriating buses and drivers from the rest of its system doesn’t affect you at all, right? Wrong. Mission Local has learned that so many transit inspectors are tied up in the tunnel project that the city hasn’t been able to proceed with long-planned paving, sewer, or water system jobs. Even transit-phobic San Franciscans drive on roads, flush the toilet, or bathe. So this situation is affecting them, too. It’s affecting everyone. Meanwhile, multiple city sources have told Mission Local that Shimmick Construction — the company employing 51-year-old Patrick Ricketts, who was killed by a steel beam Friday in the Twin Peaks tunnel — has an incentive clause in its contract with the city rewarding it for timely completion of the project. Construction work is challenging. Construction sites are dangerous. This may have been a wholly unforeseen and random tragedy. But it’s hard to ignore that, following the belated public revelation that Muni’s Twin Peaks tunnel project is responsible for the system’s self-induced citywide transit meltdown, a worker employed by a contractor with a purported incentive to meet a  pending deadline was killed on the job. This situation really is affecting everyone. Some more than others. Condolences to Ricketts’ wife and children. We look forward to a thorough investigation of his death.ADVERTISEMENT  – Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Apartments Available150 Van Ness Apartments at 150 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco CA 941023-Studios at $1140.00 a month; 27-1 Beds @ $1303.00 a month; 18-2 Beds at $1465.00 and 2-3 Beds at $1628.00 month.21 stacker parking spaces (size restrictions apply) available to BMR renters for an additional $100 a month and will be offered to households in lottery rank order. Must be income eligible and must not own a home. Households must earn no more than the maximum income levels below:55% of Area Median IncomeOne person – $45,600; 2 persons – $52,100; 3 persons – $58,600; 4 persons – $65,100; 5 persons- $70,300, 6 persons-$75,550, 7 persons-$80,750.00Applications must be received by 5pm on August 24, 2018. Postmarks will not be considered. Apply online through DAHLIA, the SF Housing Portal at https://housing.sfgov.org or mail in a paper application with a self-addressed stamped envelope to 150 VAN NESS BMR, P.O. Box 420847, San Francisco, CA 94142. Paper applications can be downloaded from https://housing.sfgov.org or picked up from one of the housing counseling agencies listed at https://housing.sfgov.org/housing-counselors. Please contact the 150 VAN NESS leasing team for more information at (916) 686-4126or bmr@150vanness.com.Units available through the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and are subject to monitoring and other restrictions. Visit www.sfmohcd.org for program information. END  ADVERTISEMENT Email Address Solution two: Increasing the size of all new operator training classes so as to bring in drivers more rapidly, and training more drivers for Muni’s new trams.last_img read more

July 31

JAMES Roby says he loves playing in the cauldron l

first_imgJAMES Roby says he loves playing in the cauldron like atmosphere at Headingley.The hooker, who looks destined for his second Man of Steel crown, is relishing the challenge of taking on the World Champions on Monday.And he says Saints will be drawing comfort from the last time the two sides met.“Last time we played Leeds it was on the back of everything that had happened with Royce and Kieron Purtill and we had two new coaches,” he said. “We had a lot of pressure on us, but we put in a great performance and beat Leeds pretty convincingly.“We can take the positives from that game and see what we can do, where we can copy and emulate. But I’m sure Leeds have been talking about that game and will be using it as a motivator.“It will be a great night. Playing at Leeds is always a good atmosphere and their fans are very vocal. It’s actually a nice place to play; I like playing in those places with those big environments and atmosphere and Leeds is like that. Hopefully the lads will be up for it and ready to go.“We will need to be tight around the ruck but across the field they are strong. If we concentrate on our own job, go out there and play well I’m sure we can get back to winning ways.“We aren’t used to playing on a Monday night but it shouldn’t affect the players too much. I like the aim of it; it is to get more people to watch rugby league and get them involved. If it does its job and gets the sport more widespread, it is worth it.”Ticket details for the match can be found herelast_img read more

July 31

MIKE Rush said Saints lacked a little composure at

first_imgMIKE Rush said Saints lacked a little composure at key times during their loss to Warrington last night.His side went down 22-12 at Langtree Park and ended a run of victories stretching back to May.“I thought the effort was good and I couldn’t fault the guys defensively at times,” the Acting Head Coach said. “We dug in in the first half when we had no possession and we have to look at the reasons why we didn’t have that.“In the second half we gave away two penalties on the fourth tackle. We spoke about that after the Catalans game and said we can’t do that against the good teams as you will get punished… and guess what, that happened tonight.“They played the field position better all night with Mickey Higham, Lee Briers and Michael Monaghan all influential. They got good ball sets and looked threatening. We lacked composure and didn’t get the repeat sets we should have.“We didn’t force drop outs and that is unlike us. Perhaps we worked too hard to score off a big play or a big pass; we should have built pressure and worked harder to win field position.“It’s out of our hands to finish second. We know if we win our games we will finish third so we know what we have to do. We still want to finish as high up the ladder as we can.”last_img read more

July 30

Large crowds show for Oak Island Arts and Crafts Festival

first_img It was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was moved to Sunday because of the weather.There were all kinds of creative homemade items like crafts, jewelry and paintings.More than 140 vendors were there selling their art and creative pieces.Related Article: 911 calls released in alleged Oak Island killingOne vendor at the festival, Diana Aklan, said she has been selling her products at this event for years.“It’s just a wonderful way for people to fraternize and show what people are capable of. Some of the talent here is, it’s amazing…it’s absolutely amazing and most of it is home grown,” Aklan said.This festival is held every year on the Saturday before Labor Day.Organizers said the event grows every year. OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Thousands came to the 28th annual Oak Island Arts and Crafts Festival.Organizers did not let the rain stop the event.- Advertisement – last_img read more

July 30

Driver wanted in hitandrun that killed Wilmington woman near Leland

first_img Sgt. P.M. Sanders with Highway Patrol says the accident happened in the southbound lane of 17 near Lanvale Road.Sanders said the victim, identified as Barbara Jean Cusatis, 71, of Wilmington, was driving a 2019 Volkswagon Beetle when she ran out of gas.  When Cusatis stopped the car, she didn’t engage the parking brake. The car was on an incline and rolled backwards, knocking her down into the road.A car traveling south on US 17 hit Cusatis as she was lying in the roadway and then drove off.Related Article: Concerned residents head up Cape Fear Crossing Citizens CoalitionInvestigator believe the suspect was driving a 2014-2015 Chevrolet Camaro with front end damage.Contact the Highway Patrol office at (910) 395-3917 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or the Highway Patrol Communications Center after hours at (910) 862-3133 if you know anything about the crash. LELAND, NC (WWAY) — One person is dead and a suspect is on the loose after a hit-and-run on US 17 early this morning.The NC Highway Patrol says the accident happened around 12:33 a.m. near Leland- Advertisement – last_img read more

July 30

Couple who lost two children in crash shares powerful message in new

first_img 1 of 3 Hadley Eddings and her twin boys (Photo: Hadley Eddings) (Photo: Hadley Eddings) In May of 2015, the couple were on their way home from a wedding when another driver rear-ended a vehicle and caused a chain reaction crash that instantly killed Dobbs Eddings, 2.Hadley, who was around 9 months pregnant at the time, was taken to the hospital and had an emergency c-section. The newborn baby, whom they named Reed, died shortly thereafter.The driver who caused the crash, Matthew Deans, was impaired at the time.Related Article: NC officer dies in crash investigating robberyA few months after the crash, he pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. While in court, he faced the couple before sentencing and apologized.  The Eddings family forgave Deans.“We hope to be holding hands with you in heaven with our children,” the Eddings told him.The couple mourned their loss, but also wanted to do something to honor their boys.Almost a year to the day they lost their children, the couple announced they were building a grade school in Haiti using money raised from donations made in memory of their sons. The school is named Dobbs and Reed Eddings Primary School and is located in Minoterie, Haiti. Today, the school is at max capacity and educating and feeding 500 children.The couple then received a double blessing. Nearly two years after they lost their children, Hadley gave birth to twin boys.WWAY spoke with Hadley about the upcoming documentary and got an update on the family.“The twins will turn 2 on July 10! They are so much fun and into everything! We are doing really well, Gentry is now the pastor at the Ballantyne campus of our church and I stay home with the twins,” Hadley said.The couple just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.The documentary, which followed the couple for more than a year, airs Friday at 10:00 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on Inspiration TV. You can also read more about the documentary and watch it here on Inspiration TVcenter_img CHARLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — The Charlotte couple who lost both their toddler and newborn in a Pender County crash share their story of heartbreak and hope in a new documentary.‘Be Still and Know: The Eddings Family Story’ takes an intimate look at the life of Gentry and Hadley Eddings and their strong faith in God.- Advertisement – Gentry Eddings and his twin boys (Photo: Hadley Eddings)last_img read more

July 30

WPD looking for suspect who robbed taxi driver at gunpoint

first_img Thompson said the driver told police after he arrived at the location, a thin black male in his 20’s opened the taxi door to get in and pulled a gun on the driver ordering him to hand over his money. Thompson said the driver handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and left the area.Thompson said the suspect was wearing black pants and a black shirt and had white paint on his face.If you have information about this robbery please use Text-a-Tip or call 910-343-3609.Related Article: Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scheme WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are looking for a suspect who robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint Monday.Wilmington Police spokeswoman Linda Thompson said it happened in the 1400 block of Harbour Drive just before 3 p.m. yesterday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

July 30

Merging social and ecological justice – Cacopardo

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson and European Parliament election candidate Carmel Cacopardo started that the European Greens merge the social with the ecological when it comes to justice.Whilst visiting the General Workers’ Union Head Quarters in Valletta, Cacopardo also said that there is a need for local and European industrial policies as the country is dependent on financial services, and gaming enterprises and phantom companies.WhatsApplast_img read more

July 30

PN is using abortion to cause fear – Alex Agius Saliba

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Alex Agius Saliba <> Alex Agius SalibaLabour Party MEP candidate Alex Agius Saliba declared that “as happens prior to every election where substance and arguments are poor or inexistent, the Nationalist Party is once again playing the game of abortion to cause fear.”Alex Agius Saliba in a press release condemned what he called “the irresponsible action of the Opposition”, with reference to the Nationalist Party’s leader Adrian Delia’s speech, where “he tried to create the illusion that the European Parliament elections are a referendum about abortion and that a vote in favour of the Labour Party can in some way or another insinuate a vote in favour of the introduction of abortion in Malta.”He declared that he is against abortion and that if elected member of the European Parliament, he will oppose any efforts that may take place in favour of the introduction of abortion in Malta.Dr. Agius Saliba highlighted the importance of having six Maltese MEPs which defend Malta at all times and in all places.WhatsAppcenter_img SharePrintlast_img read more