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be kind to animals, don't eat them
   Monday, March 26, 2007
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Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

BARGAIN BITE
Medicine Eatstation
Olivia Wu
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This Japanese, Kyoto-style, organic and vegan restaurant has been taking some, well, medicine of its own.
The downtown spot, which serves until 6 p.m., now sports a more spartan menu that encourages takeout and is pared down from its opening days in 2005. The original dining room has been cut down by about a third. Noodle bowls, rice bowls and salads cost less than $10.
Last month, the restaurant unveiled the new menu and added seafood to its bento boxes. The vegetarian versions are $9.50-$10; salmon and eel boxes are $12.50 each. The fast-food overlay seems to work: A "value meal" deal is offered with the main dishes (soup and drink can be added for $2.95); the "deluxe value meal" adds a side and regular drink for $3.95. Unlike at most fast-food places, the food arrives on nice dinnerware.
You can also construct a meal from the short list of earthy, filling small plates and side dishes, such as the medicine roll ($5 for four pieces), mountain yam fries ($2.95), seaweed salad ($4.50) and shiitake croquette ($5), although the cost can add up quickly. Some veterans of the original Medicine complain about the prices, but servings are generous. The soboro tofu rice bowl ($8.80), for example, is more than one person can finish.
A short list of beer and sake is available.
Vitals: 161 Sutter St. (at Kearny Street, in Crocker Galleria), S.F.; (415) 677-4405. www.medicinerestaurant.com. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Olivia Wu, owu@sfchronicle.com
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/14/NSGV5QCA731.DTL

12:15 AM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

David Pressman, Patent Attorney & Author of "Patent It Yourself," featured in SF Chronicle

MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Patent attorneys, books, Web offer protection for widgets
Ilana DeBare
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Q: We are looking into copyright registration of the widgets that our company makes. Should we be trying to copyright our actual products or the patterns used to create the products? Also, as a very small company, I don't know if we can afford to copyright all of our different products. The attorneys want $300 an hour. Is there a place to get information on intellectual property that won't cost us an arm and a leg?
Confused about copyright
A: Let's start by getting the terminology right. Copyright protection covers the expression of creative ideas through media such as writing, music, artwork and software. Patents are typically used to protect inventions, devices and processes.
Since you're talking about widgets, it sounds like your company produces functional items of some sort. (Orange juice squeezers? Door hinges? That plastic grass that comes in sushi boxes?) So the right kind of intellectual property protection for you would probably be patents, not copyrights.
The most effective approach would be to patent the products rather than the patterns or blueprints, according to M. Henry Heines, a San Francisco patent attorney with Townsend and Townsend and Crew and the author of "Patents for Business: The Manager's Guide to Scope, Strategy and Due Diligence."
That's because you want your patent to provide as broad a protection as possible -- which includes protection from people who copy your item but use a different pattern.
"There could be people making your object who may not be using your blueprint," Heines said. "The broadest coverage would be to patent the product itself."
Keep in mind that you won't be able to patent your widgets unless they meet the criteria of being new, nonobvious and useful/workable.
You also can't patent them if they have already been on the market for more than a year.
"The U.S. gives you a grace period of one year from the time of your first sale to get your patent application on file," Heines said. "Inventors should start thinking about patents very soon after their idea has crystallized, once they have a good idea of what the final product will be."
Now, about cost cutting: There are some good do-it-yourself guides available, such as Nolo Press' "Patent It Yourself," by David Pressman.
But if you are building a company around these products -- and especially if you have a number of products -- it's probably worth spending the money on an experienced patent attorney. Look for an attorney with expertise in your type of invention.
"If you have chemical products, you want to find a patent attorney who knows chemistry well," said Steve Schneider, coordinator of the Sawyer Center at Santa Rosa Junior College, which offers free counseling on intellectual property to inventors and other small businesses. "If you've got a new kind of computer chip, you want someone who has written patents for Intel."
You're right that lawyers are expensive. Schneider estimates that attorney fees will amount to at least $3,500 for filing a utility patent, or $2,000 to $2,500 for a design patent.
Still, there are ways to shave a little bit off the cost:
-- Educate yourself in advance through books like "Patent It Yourself" so you don't end up paying a lawyer $300 an hour to answer basic questions.
-- It's possible that several of your products can be covered under a single patent. "If they're closely related, with just small variations, they could possibly be grouped together," Heines said.
-- If you file more than one patent application, the subsequent ones may be less costly. You can take on more of the paperwork and the attorney will be familiar with your line of products.
-- Patent agents can be a less costly alternative to patent attorneys. Both patent agents and patent attorneys are tested and licensed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
"The difference is that an attorney can also do licensing, accuse people of infringement and go to court," said Pressman, the patent attorney who wrote "Patent It Yourself."
Want more help? Your local SCORE chapter may include someone with patent experience in its roster of volunteer counselors. Go online to www.score.org for the chapter nearest you.
In the Bay Area, the Sawyer Center offers free help with patent, trademark and copyright questions. Go to www.santarosa.edu/instruction/jtwd/sbdc/the_sawyer_center/ or call (707) 524-1773 for details.
One more tip: Before applying for a patent, inventors need to make sure that no one else has patented a similar device or process. Google has a new feature allowing you to search the entire U.S. patent database for free. See www.google.com/patents.
"I used to contract out for searches, but I'm now having such luck with Google that I'm thinking of stopping," Pressman said.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/05/02/BUGLEPIT7B1.DTL

3:50 PM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

Underdog was recommended as one of “8 delightful delicacies” by The San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Feast Spring 2007: “Sometimes quality is all it takes to make something truly special. For example, when was the last time you had a hot dog that didn't ride waves in your stomach? Or a good veggie dog (or even any veggie dog) at an actual restaurant? You can find the best of both at Underdog, a hole-in-the-wall hot dog shop in the Sunset District. All quality, all tasty. And all links, fixings, chips, sodas, cookies, and candy are certified organic.” Underdog also serves Mission Pies and organic salads with dressings. http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=3271&catid=4&volume_id=254&issue_id=287&volume_num=40&issue_num=25

3:54 PM  
Blogger jada said...

Very useful, excellent information..


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8:39 PM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

From 2007 SFBG Readers’ Poll at http://www.sfbg.com/bob/2007/readers.php:
BEST VEGAN RESTARAUNT
Sustainable agriculture, local produce, and ecological responsibility aren't enough for our readers - they like their dinner alive. That's why they head to Café Gratitude. The communal seating, organic menu, and "eating in the now" mind-set also help make this their go-to vegan-nosh spot.
2400 Harrison, SF. (415) 824-4652; 1336 Ninth Ave., SF. (415) 665-0335; 1730 Shattuck, Berk. (415) 824-4652, ext. 3. www.withthecurrent.com

From 2007 SFBG Best of the Bay at http://www.sfbg.com/bob/2007/food.php#hot_got: BEST HOT DOG RENAISSANCE
For some reason, we don't know why, this phrase makes us laugh: organic hot dog shop. Ha! But if you think we're laughing at Underdog in the Sunset, not with it, you're dead wrong, because we simply can't get enough. Perhaps because the friendly staff sees our faces on a more-than-regular basis, Underdog is actually laughing at us. Before we discovered this teensy-tiny, totally tasty hole-in-the-wall, we thought we'd never encounter a hot dog that didn't come back and bite us on the ass a few hours later. And yes, when we think about what's inside the question-mark casings of most hot dogs, what comes to mind is that scene from The Simpsons in which they show pictures of a pigeon, a rat, and other decidedly nonedible urban denizens melding into a big steaming frank. But all qualms were quashed once we sank our teeth into one of Underdog's amazing yummies on a bun. (The fact that there were several vegetarian and vegan offerings made us feel a whole lot better too, in a safety net kind of way.) Underdog's chips, sodas, cookies, buns, and candies are certified organic, as are fixings like garlic aioli and spiced ketchup and the pi裥 de résistance of Underdog's side orders: Tater Tots. Yes, Tater Tots. Go now.
1634 Irving, SF. (415) 665-8881, www.myspace.com/underdogorganic

BEST CLASSIC VEGAN KOSHER CHINESE
One of the strangest paradoxes of the vegetarian life is faux meat. It seems that the concept of carnivorous ingestion is so engrained in our culture that society's knee-jerk reaction to those who don't eat meat is "Oh! Well, how about this meat that's not made from meat?" When done well, though, meat imitations made from vegetable proteins like tofu and wheat gluten can be healthy, delectable, and even a thing of beauty. Shangri-La is one of the best places to delve into the strange world of ersatz animalia. A meal at this Sunset Chinese restaurant, which has been serving since 1978, is always a new textural experience. There certainly aren't many other places that serve dishes like theirs: Shanghai-style gluten in honey sauce, vegetable goose, smoked veggie duck (which sounds like a superhero - "Save us, Veggie Duck!"). The not-to-be-missed Pie Pa Tofu balls with broccoli have a texture like crab cakes - crunchy golden brown on the outside, shredded and fluffy inside, and served in a thick and delicious sweet sauce. Oh, and bubelah, Shangri-La is kosher too, so it's great for any surprise visits from your New Age peacenik Orthodox Jewish relatives from Chongqing.
2026 Irving, SF. (415) 731-2548

2:06 AM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

KEEPING IT SIMPLE: SHANGRI-LA VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
The clamorous Irving Street strip of San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood has long been a destination to indulge in an outstanding selection of businesses. Here, one will find Vietnamese phô, Irish pubs, Hong Kong movies, and tapioca drink joints, just to name a few. Then, there’s Shangri-La Vegetarian Restaurant — a humble eating establishment that has been around since 1978, offering an array of vegetarian and vegan-friendly Chinese dishes.
What sets Shangri-La apart is that they are possibly the only Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area certified as kosher by a Jewish rabbi or rabbinical organization. This makes Shangri-La a preferred establishment for many in the Jewish community who “traditionally” dine out at Chinese restaurants during the Christmas season.
To be kosher means the establishment has met the requirements according to Jewish dietary law, which has its origins in Leviticus, the third book of the Torah. These strict regulations include the way the food is prepared, as well as the implements used to make them.
According to Shangri-La’s owner, William Sang, the restaurant’s kosher status brings in a large Jewish clientele from near and far. “I’ve had people call up, who just arrived from Israel,” Sang said. “They will take a cab and come directly from the airport to the restaurant.”
Howard Freedman, reader services librarian at the BJE Jewish Community Library in San Francisco, concurs: “In addition to being just a good restaurant, Shangri-La gives me the opportunity to try some great Chinese dishes that I never would have because of ritual dietary restrictions. In this way, it sort of performs a public service to observant Jews—both local and those who come to visit.”
“We are what we eat” reads the motto on Shangri-La’s menu, which boasts a robust selection of vegetarian, Taiwan- and Shanghai-style dishes, tonic soups and herbal entrees. Derived from recipes of a Shanghai university professor who advocated healthy eating, the tonics consist of things like vegetarian chicken boiled in a nutritious broth of wolfberry and lotus seeds. The herbal entrees are like culinary acupuncture targeting certain organs, such as one touted for “liver cleansing, nourishing eyes, and energizing mental clarity” and made with a concoction of wolfberry lycium fried with sliced vegetarian meat.
Shangri-La turned kosher when Sang, who was born in Shanghai and spent time in Taiwan, heeded the suggestions of Jewish clients after he became the sole proprietor in 1999. He sees the restaurant as a culmination of history and location.
“Here in the Sunset District, there are a lot of Jewish people who suffered in World War II,” Sang said. “Many fled [Nazi Europe] to Shanghai, and from there, eventually emigrated to San Francisco. Sometimes they would have reunion parties here — many of them were very old. One day, they suggested I turn Shangri-La into a kosher restaurant.” The rest is history.
Shangri-La Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, 2026 Irving Street, San Francisco, (415) 731-2548.
http://www.asianweek.com/?s=shangri-la

1:23 AM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

November 18, 2007
CHOICE TABLES | SAN FRANCISCO
Expanding the Frontiers of the Vegetarian Plate
By GREGORY DICUM
VEGETARIANISM is a simple idea — don't eat animals — with an ancient pedigree. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, 4.7 million American adults are vegetarians or vegans (people who avoid all animal products, including cheese and eggs).
Yet even in San Francisco, with its countercultural and fresh food traditions, only about one in a hundred restaurants in the Zagat Survey is vegetarian. And while new vegetarian restaurants have been opening in New York and Los Angeles, San Francisco's scene has been expanding differently as beloved restaurants open new locations.
This safe approach leaves some frustrated. “We don't have enough veg restaurants that are really good and exciting,” said Aurelia d'Andrea, managing editor of VegNews, a vegetarian magazine based in San Francisco. “I'm bored by what's offered here.” The city suffers a particular lack of South Indian vegetarian restaurants.
Still, San Francisco vegans like Ms. d'Andrea have the luxury of high standards. Virtually any restaurant in the city will accommodate them, with many going far beyond the hackneyed grilled portobello. Many newer restaurants feature extensive vegetarian offerings from chefs who respect the concept, rather than treating it as an irksome neurosis.
While this may reduce demand for strictly vegetarian restaurants, it also means that these establishments can't take vegetarian customers for granted. In this competitive milieu, certain standouts are influential, delineating the frontiers of vegetarian cuisine. . . .
Millennium, the other giant looming over the city's vegetarian restaurant scene, has become the gold standard of American vegan cuisine. In a cheerfully dignified space at 580 Geary Street (415-345-3900; www.millenniumrestaurant.com), Millennium draws a happy crowd of professionals, couples, and tattooed, Technicolor-haired young vegans dining with visiting parents.
Eric Tucker, the chef, is highly regarded for a polyglot style that marries ingredients and techniques from diverse cuisines with a sense of how best to celebrate Northern California's vegetable bounty. Millennium's menus are famously involved and difficult to parse — when I ate there with three friends, we were confronted with ingredients ranging from papazul to tempeh picadillo to sambal.
I have a soft spot for huitlacoche — the mushroom that grows on ears of corn and resembles distended, blackened kernels — so I ordered the masa pibes ($22.95), a steaming construction of savory, chewy hominy rounds beneath a mound of ragout made from the aforementioned fungi. The dish was set off with colorful accents: a cream of sweet corn and lobster mushrooms, plus roasted poblano emulsion and tangy, cilantro-spiked avocado-heirloom tomato salsa fresca.
Such is Mr. Tucker's skill that the food at Millennium attains a gustatory cohesion not suggested by the eclectic ingredients. The shredded Indian Red peach salad ($8.95) — which, besides tender peaches, included baby heirloom lettuce, green papaya, chili-dusted peanuts, and the sweet zing of a light Thai lime leaf dressing — blossoms on the tongue like a bouquet. . . .
Vegetarian traditions from the Far East are well-represented in San Francisco. Among better known restaurants are Golden Era (572 O'Farrell Street; 415-673-3136; www.goldeneravegetarian.com), and Bok Choy Garden (1820 Clement Street; 415-387-8111). . . .
Our final stop could not have been more different had it been an outright steakhouse. Café Gratitude, at 2400 Harrison Street (415-824-4652; www.cafegratitude.com; there are three other locations), has the air of a theme restaurant celebrating Northern California stereotypes. The space is intimate, with big tables that encourage sharing among a crowd of Burning Man enthusiasts, New Agers and earnest world changers — in other words, a friendly and lively scene.
The restaurant's décor is derived from a board game developed by the owners and built into each table. It encourages diners to express gratitude for one another and for the bounty the universe has bestowed upon anyone likely to walk in the door. After seating us, the hostess looked in our eyes and asked, “What's great about today?”
It's all so easy to make fun of, but I chose to just go with it. Gratitude's dishes are named for uplifting adjectives, rewarding self-affirmation with sustenance. I declared that “I Am Bountiful,” “I am Rich” and “I Am Elated.”
Nearly all the food at Gratitude is raw, which means the kitchen knows secrets about fruits and vegetables hidden to most of us. Familiar raw items like juices and salads take on a special vibrancy. I Am Rich ($7) is a big wineglass filled with vermilion beet juice floated on a base of orange, carrot and lemon to magnificent and tangy effect.
But you have to let go of expectations when ordering raw analogs of cooked dishes. Nina's I Am Mahalo ($10) was billed as a Hawaiian pizza, which, through the raw looking glass, meant a pair of triangular crackers made from dehydrated nuts and seeds, topped with chunks of mango, tomato, and cashew cream. “It's hard to know what you're eating,” Nina said, dabbing her lip with a hempen napkin and reaching for her I Am Succulent ($7), an exceptional juice of grapefruit, apple, celery and mint.
It's a bewildering cuisine, developing familiar ingredients into wholly novel dishes. The results can range from the frankly gross (a lavender cashew mousse that was indistinguishable from moisturizer) to the revelatory (almond hummus singing of raw garlic).
I finished the meal with I Am Devoted ($7), a raw coconut cream pie that delineated every aspect of the perfect coconut. It was sweet, but not cloying; fragrant, but not overpowering.
As dessert arrived, we were joined by the filmmaker Maurizio Benazzo, a recent convert to raw food. “What do you think of this,” I asked him, passing over a forkful of fresh mint and raw cocoa cheesecake (I Am Cherished, $7). “Is the green color from the mint?”
“Algae. It has to be,” he said in his rolling Italian accent. He handed me his I Am Splendid ($9), a surprisingly delicious “mojito” that blends agave sweetness with the fullness of sake. “It's absurd,” he exclaimed. “It's fantastic!”
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

1:05 AM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

Eating and Traveling Vegetarian
By PAOLA SINGER
March 11, 2008; Page D1

Problem: You have trouble finding good vegetarian dining options while traveling.

Solution: The International Vegetarian Union, a nonprofit organization that promotes vegetarianism, posts links to restaurant guides, associations and related news, in the U.S. and abroad. The group's site, ivu.org1, offers information divided by continent and then by country. The site also includes a few recommendations for hotels and bed and breakfasts that cater to vegetarians.

Happycow.net2 has a thorough and frequently updated guide to vegetarian restaurants and health-food stores in major cities around the world. For travel within the U.S., VegOut guidebooks, published by Gibbs Smith, list and rate vegetarian restaurants in big cities like San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Lonely Planet city guides generally include vegetarian options in their restaurant sections.

Though not strictly for vegetarians, eatwellguide.org3 lists restaurants, farms and stores offering local, sustainable and organic food nationwide.

Travel agencies that cater to vegetarians, such as Green Earth Travel (vegtravel.com4), help customers plan vacations that suit their interests, including vegetarian-friendly cruises, culinary trips and eco tours.

Write to Paola Singer at paola.singer@wsj.com5

URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120519542370425785.html


Hyperlinks in this Article:
(1) http://www.ivu.org
(2) http://www.happycow.net
(3) http://www.eatwellguide.org
(4) http://www.vegtravel.com
(5) mailto:paola.singer@wsj.com

12:58 AM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

Poleng Lounge named in Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants
Poleng Lounge
One of the most popular trends of late is dishes from many Asian cultures on the same menu. What sets Poleng Lounge apart is the young chef-owner Tim Luym, a 2007 Chronicle Rising Star chef. His heritage is Chinese and Spanish, but he grew up in Manila. His varied background shows up on the menu: Filipino ceviche with butterfish; curried corn fritters; Madras samosas; and bok choy steamed with shiitake sauce. Tea, a specialty, is also included in many drinks and some dishes. The interior feels like a tropical oasis, with a dance club in back that's also used for private events.
Specialties:
Buddha's Treasures (tea-sprinkled dumplings); garlic crab noodles; beef tenderloin with marrow; tea-based cocktails.
Prices: $6-$15
Seating: 62
1751 Fulton St. San Francisco
Tel. (415) 441-1751
www.polenglounge.com
Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner 6-10 p.m. Tues.-Sun. (Bar open 4 p.m.-2 a.m.)
http://www.sfgate.com/food/top100/2008/

11:36 PM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

Papalote Mexican & Café Gratitude named Best of 2008 in SF Weekly

Best Burrito (2008)
Papalote Mexican Grill
3409 24th St. (at Valencia) [Map]
3409 24th St. (at Valencia)
San Francisco, CA 94110
970-8815
http://www.papalote-sf.com
If you're doing a burrito stroll in the Mission, Papalote is a little off the well-trodden path by the standards of location, decor, and menu. Behind its bright-blue-tile facade, you'll find an ordering counter and a small but comfy dining room hung with cool framed photographs. The menu board includes some uncommon offerings in addition to the classic carne asada and chile verde: On the no-meat tip there's marinated tofu (tinted with achiote), soyrizo, and grilled veggies; for gourmands, there's chicken mole, and shrimp or fish sautéed in white wine and butter, plus your choice of regular, whole wheat, spinach, or roma tomato tortillas. Papalote's Web site features a mission statement (pun unintended, we think) over an adorable photo of the owners as toddlers in matching yellow T-shirts in Chapultepec in 1975: "To prepare outstanding Mexican dishes with the freshest meats and produce available, and serve them in a comfortable and exciting atmosphere."
http://bestof.sfweekly.com/bestof/award.php?award=1032591&year=2008

Readers' Poll Winners (2008)
Best Hidden Restaurant
Cafe Gratitude
http://bestof.sfweekly.com/bestof/award.php?award=1034012&year=2008

11:34 PM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

Papalote Mexican & Café Gratitude named Best of 2008 in SF Weekly

Best Burrito (2008)
Papalote Mexican Grill
3409 24th St. (at Valencia) [Map]
3409 24th St. (at Valencia)
San Francisco, CA 94110
970-8815
http://www.papalote-sf.com
If you're doing a burrito stroll in the Mission, Papalote is a little off the well-trodden path by the standards of location, decor, and menu. Behind its bright-blue-tile facade, you'll find an ordering counter and a small but comfy dining room hung with cool framed photographs. The menu board includes some uncommon offerings in addition to the classic carne asada and chile verde: On the no-meat tip there's marinated tofu (tinted with achiote), soyrizo, and grilled veggies; for gourmands, there's chicken mole, and shrimp or fish sautéed in white wine and butter, plus your choice of regular, whole wheat, spinach, or roma tomato tortillas. Papalote's Web site features a mission statement (pun unintended, we think) over an adorable photo of the owners as toddlers in matching yellow T-shirts in Chapultepec in 1975: "To prepare outstanding Mexican dishes with the freshest meats and produce available, and serve them in a comfortable and exciting atmosphere."
http://bestof.sfweekly.com/bestof/award.php?award=1032591&year=2008

Readers' Poll Winners (2008)
Best Hidden Restaurant
Cafe Gratitude
http://bestof.sfweekly.com/bestof/award.php?award=1034012&year=2008

11:34 PM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

Millennium
At the gates of the vegetable kingdom
By Paul Reidinger

Considering that San Francisco is the center of the vegetarian universe and home to one of the country's first, greatest, and most durable vegetarian restaurants — Greens — it has long seemed faintly odd to me that we don't have more Greens-like places: restaurants that reconcile the vegetarian impulse (with its complex ecological and ethical components) and high style. We do have Millennium, at least, and maybe its sustained excellence has scared off would-be copycats and competitors.
Millennium isn't as old as Greens, which turns 30 (!) next year, but it's been around the block a few times — in fact, it's even changed blocks. The restaurant opened in 1994 in a modest Civic Center setting; its neighbors then included, a few steps away, Ananda Fuara, a cheerfully plain spot whose curry-scented asceticism embodied what many people might have thought was a fundamental quality of vegetarian restaurants. But about five years ago, Millennium moved into much more sumptuous digs in the Hotel Savoy (now the Hotel California) at the edge of the theater district. In doing so, it displaced a French restaurant I'd long liked, Brasserie Savoy, but this sin can be pardoned, if only because there are plenty of good French restaurants in this city, but only one Millennium.
Millennium is special — but why? The setting is handsome, certainly — and not too different from its Brasserie Savoy days — but it doesn't call attention to itself beyond a gracious spaciousness, gently partitioned with drapings of gauze and lit by netted cylinders that dangle from the high ceilings like hemp hams being air-cured. Noise is carefully controlled despite the hard tiles of the checkerboard floor. The space tells people: this is a nice place, a serious restaurant, and we want it to look good, but we spend most of our resources of money and energy on the food.
And the food is marvelous. It is elegant, nuanced, interesting, and is the kind of food you would be sorely tempted to offer to a meat-eater without disclosing there's no meat in it — nor butter, eggs, cream, or any other animal product — to see if the meat-eater noticed. (My bet would be, probably not.) It's also the kind of food you'd never make at home, even if you knew how; the wealth of emulsions, purées, essences, and flavored oils is a triumph of saucing and reflects an investment of time and skill that make the best restaurant kitchens what they are and reminds us that some gastronomic experiences remain unique to restaurants. (Millennium's chef, Eric Tucker, has been running the kitchen from the beginning.)
One of the few dishes, perhaps the only one, I might have had a hope of recreating at home was a platter of seared romano beans ($5.75) — flat green beans — sprinkled with a mince of sundried tomato and dabbed with a rich black-olive tapenade. The gnocchi ($10.25), too, might just be within reach; these swam (with a cohort of similarly sized white beans) in a creamy morel mushroom sauce, with swatches of whole mushroom laid on top. (Morels are often described as resembling honeycombs, but they can also have the look of tiny brains.)
On the other hand, I would never attempt a dish like the black bean torte ($10.25), a disk-shaped layering founded on a whole-wheat tortilla and including caramelized plantains, a ladling of smoky black-bean puree, and some cashew sour cream. Rolling away from the torte's front door was a carpet of habañero-pumpkin salsa verde, while a salsa of strawberries and jicama completed the ensemble. At last, somebody using the tartness of seasonal strawberries in a savory rather than sweet sense!
As at many places around town lately, Millennium's menu offers excellent mix-and-match possibilities: you can make a nice little dinner for yourself with a couple of the smaller courses. But the main dishes do not disappoint; they're substantial and satisfying, and because they don't rely on meat, they're neither heavy nor oversimple. While the best meatless cooking, for me, involves dishes that traditionally don't have meat and don't bother with substitutes, we were impressed by the meatiness of spice-rubbed tempeh torpedoes ($22.95), blackened and plated with smashed potatoes and a mélange of summer squashes in a lemon-caper sauce of cashew cream. Also good was a napoleon ($22.95) of polenta-crusted zucchini spears, surrounded by white beans, braised baby carrots, and a corn-zucchini hash in a coconut-milk sauce.
The flavor palette draws on a world of influences. The kitchen has been known to use zatar, a spice blend common in the Middle East, and the value of seasoning practices from south and southeast Asia is certainly recognized. But the dominant flavorings are from the Mediterranean basin. This is particularly true of the dessert menu — but this is particularly not a criticism of the dessert menu, since making any sort of dessert at all without cream or butter is a formidable undertaking, and making a dessert that would be exceptional at any restaurant is nothing short of astounding.
Millennium offers such a dessert. It is the lemon trifle ($8.25), a slice of rum-soaked walnut cake, topped with lemon cashew cream and capped off by a helmet of basil ice cream (also made with cashews) that reminded me of a pesto that had died, gone to heaven, and been reincarnated as a sweet. Its strange and alluring radiance half-obscured an equally worthy panna cotta ($8.25), a pearly disk of coconut milk and rosewater served with raspberries, an intense apricot emulsion, and a pat of chocolate-raspberry sorbet.
The patronage is surprisingly and pleasingly heterogeneous in age and affect. Having developed a mild case of hipster fatigue from Mission restaurants, I was relieved to see even younger people dressed nicely but unaffectedly at Millennium. They, like we, came for the food, stayed for the trifle, and left happy.
MILLENNIUM
Dinner: Sun.–Thurs., 5:30–9:30 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 5:30–10 p.m.
580 Geary (in the Hotel California), SF
(415) 345-3900
www.millenniumrestaurant.com
Full bar
AE/DC/MC/V
Pleasant noise level
Wheelchair accessible
Wednesday July 9, 2008

http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=6693&catid=77&volume_id=317&issue_id=386&volume_num=42&issue_num=41

11:00 PM  
Blogger SFVS Discount Coordinator said...

SF Bay Guardian 2009 Best of the Bay: Judahlicious & Millennium

BEST SUSTAINABLE SHORE THING
Beach fare tends to fall into two food groups: snacks and beer. But where do health nuts go when they want to fuel up for sun and sand? A feel-good option for smoothie-drinking vegans and sustainability-conscious locavores alike is Judahlicious, a registered green business that serves sandwiches, raw vegan desserts, and fresh sandwiches hearty enough for a day of riding gnar gnar breaks or light enough for an afternoon of displaying brand-new hemp bikinis. Hippie jokes aside, though: we love that this independent business supports local organic farmers, uses compostable and recycleable products, and hand-sorts waste to contribute to organic soil for a small, native-plant nursery in the city. And it doesn't hurt that the food is delicious.
3906 Judah, SF. (415) 66-JUICE, www.judahlicious.com
http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=8926

BEST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
Millennium
580 Geary, SF. (415) 345-3900, www.millenniumrestaurant.com
http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=8921

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you create a vegetarin housing page so people who can offer rental room sharing or people who are looking for room for sharing housing can have a chance to meet

8:07 AM  

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