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Brenda’s French Soul Food (San Francisco, CA)

Brenda’s is one of the city’s most popular brunch spots (although it is open for dinner too), serving up a mashup of southern soul food and American brunch standbys. That means gumbo, po’boys and beignets on the menu next to omelets and French toast.

This was my first time to the restaurant; we were able to squeeze into the last two seats available during a busy Monday lunch rush. Breakfast is served until 3pm while lunch is served from 11am onwards, and we arrived right in that sweet spot where both menu options were available. We tried a couple of items from each.

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Otium (Los Angeles, CA)

Otium is one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year. Part of the new Broad Museum development, the restaurant is a collaboration between Bill Chait’s Sprout Group and Tim Hollingsworth (ex-chef de cuisine of The French Laundry, Barrel & Ashes).

I’ve been following Hollingsworth since he departed TFL and came to LA. From his first dinner at The Strand House, to opening BBQ restaurant Barrel & Ashes, and to making tacos at the Petty Cash Taqueria soft opening, Hollingsworth has made a number of appearances around town. However, Otium promises to be his flagship restaurant. The restaurant has been open for about a month for lunch service, recently debuting brunch and then dinner service.

octavia sf
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Octavia (San Francisco, CA)

Octavia is Melissa Perello’s second restaurant following the success of Michelin-starred Frances. Frances has been consistently popular since opening in 2009, so it was no surprise to hear Perello would open this sequel six years later. Opened in April, Octavia’s garnered mostly positive reviews including its very own Michelin star this year.

I stopped in for a late, rather spontaneous dinner over the Thanksgiving holiday. Pictures were taken with my phone for this post.

the progress
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The Progress (San Francisco, CA)

The Progress is Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s follow-up to uber popular State Bird Provisions. Opened for almost a year now, the restaurant is located just next door to State Bird and has also gained mostly positive reviews (though not quite to the same crazy hype as their first restaurant). I was able to dine in with the parents as the last meal in SF over the Thanksgiving holiday.

slanted door sf
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The Slanted Door (San Francisco, CA)

It’s been five years since I’ve been to the Slanted Door, Charles Phan’s flagship Vietnamese restaurant in the Ferry Building. The restaurant is as popular as ever since opening eleven years ago, recently noted as the highest grossing independent restaurant in California last year. Given the announcement of the second Slanted Door location opening up in downtown Los Angeles, I thought it was a good time to revisit. I made a reservation pretty far in advance for a Saturday lunch while the Ferry Building farmers market would be open. Two birds, one stone.

petit crenn
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Petit Crenn (San Francisco, CA)

Petit Crenn is Dominique Crenn’s follow-up to her two Michelin starred Atelier Crenn. This restaurant is very different from the Atelier’s haute multi-course tasting menus; Petite Crenn is a small neighborhood restaurant serving a daily family-style menu inspired by Crenn’s childhood in Brittany, France. The food is seafood and vegetable-focused and is priced at a relatively reasonable $79pp for five courses (inclusive of service).

Thanksgiving 2015

Dining date: 11/26/15 This is my seventh time recapping my family’s Thanksgiving on this blog. As with many traditions, our family’s Thanksgiving is something we all reliably look forward to. The food on the table does not vary much; there are a number of staple dishes with a few new ones each year. And, true…

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