55 Cyril Magnin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 12/23/15
Kin Khao is blogger Pim Techamuanvivit’s first restaurant, opened in early 2014. Here, Techamuanvivit shares the flavors of her Thai homeland with a slightly modernized take. The restaurant has received generally positive reviews including a Michelin star in the 2015 guide.
Kin Khao is certainly a bit ‘expensive’ for Thai cuisine, but I stopped in for a spontaneous weekday lunch to try a few items. The pricing is slightly more approachable at lunch, however the menu offers significantly less options.
8 Mint Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94103
Dining date: 12/24/15
Oro opened in September, the second restaurant from chef Jason Fox of the Michelin-starred restaurant Commonwealth. I’ve had some great meals at Commonwealth over the years, so I was very interested in trying this spot. The restaurant was one of the few that could welcome a party of 8 on Christmas Eve, so it was an opportune chance to try the restaurant with some extended family.
A la carte is available at the restaurant, as well as a blind tasting menu served family style for $75pp. To make things easier with such a large party, we opted for the tasting format. It turned out to be a ton of food.
1050 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Dining date: 12/19/15
Broken Spanish opened in June replacing Rivera in the South Park neighborhood of downtown LA. While Rivera had a notable chef (John Rivera Sedlar), notable partner (Bill Chait) and notable mixologist (Julian Cox), the restaurant never seemed to catch on. Chait partnered up this time with Ray Garcia (Fig) to open Broken Spanish, a modern Mexican restaurant.
Broken Spanish’s menu is very shareable, composed of a selection of snacks, tamales, tortillas, starters, and main plates. Between a party of two, we ordered one item from each section of the menu.
Dining date: 12/25/15
This year’s Christmas was just like years past, filled with tons of food and surrounded by family. In keeping with tradition, lunch is a buffet at my aunt and uncle’s on my mom’s side, while dinner is hosted by my grandmother (dad’s side). The following is the lineup of foods we had.
Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 11/30/15
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 omelettes 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.
222 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 12/12/15
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.