• 2014

Year: 2014

FWD—Fishing with Dynamite

Hamachi I first learned about this restaurant in Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles) in a January 22, 2014 New York Times review. It is amazing that such a tiny restaurant in a beachy little neighborhood received coverage from the premier East Coast cognoscenti. First and foremost, Fishing with Dynamite is a knockout—East Coast meets West Coast for superb service either at the tiny bar (where we loved sitting) or at a table. The place is lively and even the manager chatted with us, offering his views on this new restaurant’s mission and philosophy in a down-to-earth manner. I really expected it to...

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“Olive Kitteridge”—Scenes from a Marriage, or A Bitter Edge

The HBO mini-series based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Olive Kitteridge” delivers big time! With a stellar cast led by the astounding Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins, we see the two main characters Olive and Henry vacillate between love and despair, kindness and absence of human connection. Scenes from a marriage with a bitter edge. The main character, Olive Kitteridge, is intentionally the most puzzling and difficult to empathize with. She is more an anti-hero than a protagonist you identify with and hope for. There are glimmers of her compassion as the story winds...

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La Balena—A whale of a meal

For a town like Carmel, it is exciting to find a restaurant that can really rival a good one in San Francisco.  I think La Balena nails it! We started off with Polpo Grigliato (grilled octopus with potatoes, anchovy aioli, lemon and parsley).   I have to confess that I am obsessed with this cephalopod. If octopus is on the menu, I have to try it. This is one of their signature antipasti, theirs is a bit salty but having said that, I would still order it again and let them know to be cautious with the salt. Others obviously like the polpo just the way it is. Then we had the Delicata salad: warm...

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TBD–Totally Beautiful Dinner

The second San Francisco restaurant in SoMa from the entrepreneurs, Matt Semmelhack and chef Mark Liberman, TBD –“To Be Determined”– serves a very different menu from AQ (their first restaurant located next door). The menu focuses on wood-fired small plates, mostly served in cast iron pans, prepared on a custom hearth and grill in an open kitchen in a more casual setting than AQ. Each dish was amazing. We started with warm Josey Baker bread with corn, cotijo and espelette, followed by a beet salad with grapes and walnuts just touched by a subtle fresh horseradish.   Beet...

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“Skeleton Twins” — A Second Chance

  [Guest blogger Anthony Berteaux is a sophomore at San Diego State University majoring in drama and journalism. He writes a column for The Daily Aztec, (an independent campus newspaper) and his most recent article is “Die-in Protests Fuel the Fire”.]   The best kinds of love stories are the ones that aren’t romantic and some can hit a nerve. In a culture of Nicholas Sparks, it is easy to forget that love stories aren’t just limited to romantic relationships, but encompass any authentic and special bond with someone else, whether it is a pet, a cousin or a...

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“Gone Girl” –Fast and Furious

Gone Girl Probably the blockbuster film of 2014, “Gone Girl” has received both critical praise and Oscar buzz since its debut on October 3. Sometimes, while bringing a book to life in a movie, a lot is lost in translation—-not in this case. Both the book and the film are so damn good, perhaps because the extraordinary author, Gillian Flynn, is also the screenwriter and she knows what is an essential distillation of the narrative.       The movie is a fast-paced dark and dangerous ride directed by the remarkable David Fincher (“Social Network”, and “The...

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