I’ve written before about my love of Cremeux ex Machina, the gelato and sorbetto company run out of a Petaluma dairy farm. But until this past weekend I’d only sampled their gelato out of a pint; as I discovered when I found their stall at the Ferry Building farmers market on Saturday, it’s even more glorious when it’s piled on top of a cone. CxM is big on seasonal flavors, and on Saturday they included kadota fig. Being a fig fiend, I got a scoop of it plunked on top of another scoop of semi-dark chocolate, and the result was one of the best cones I’ve had in recent memory. Silky texture, big, happy but nuanced flavors, and, oh my, those figs. Normally I’m of the opinion that there’s nothing you can to improve upon a perfectly ripe fig, but thanks to CxM, I now see that in the right hands, they have a very important place in the frozen dairy case.—R.F.M
Tucked away on Mason Street, Mikkeller Bar resides on a block remarkably more threatening than the adjacent Powell shopping district, but once you're inside, it's all brick walls and Danish illustrations. On my last visit I ordered a beer that became an instant favorite: Mikkeller’s Prairie American Style IPA with Wild Yeast. It’s got the aroma of a summer herb garden and Lambic-like sourness, minus the hoppiness one expects from IPAs. Even more surprising was the Millionaire Salad, a heap of lightly dressed butter lettuce bedazzled with whole toasted hazelnuts, fresh hearts of palm, generous chunks of avocado and mango. It’s a salad worth savoring—and is also, somewhat shockingly, vegan. With two beers, it almost got me too full for bratwurst, but not quite. Juicy and swathed with thick pickly sour kraut (both sausage and kraut are made in house), Mikeller’s brat is a spruced up metropolitan version of a humble village classic.—S.Y.
A good breakfast sandwich can be a thing of beauty, and most definitely is at Sweet Woodruff. The one (pictured above) served at Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara’s little Tendernob spot is very simple, deeply satisfying, and chefly without being obnoxious about it. Though it comes with provolone, I ordered mine without it to better enjoy the healthy smear of vadouvan aioli (that’s the chefly bit) that covered two halves of the crusty ciabatta that encased a perfectly fried egg and a few leaves of arugula. Each of its precious few ingredients added up to an expertly constructed sandwich and a fortuitous way to begin the day.—R.F.M.
It’s taken me four years to finally find a really remarkable sushi restaurant in the Richmond district. Dinner Monday at Rumble Fish confirmed my theory that good sushi is magicaly healing. For $9, I shared the Rumble Fish salad, which is a perfect combination mixed greens, eight pieces of very fresh sashimi, and a ginger-ponzu dressing. Every bite was fleshy, green, and bright. The restaurant’s owners really stole my heart by offering five different spicy nori roll options beyond tuna. We chose the hamachi, served as a whole piece with julienned cucumbers, sesame seeds, and a jolt of hot red pepper. Lost in my cup of green tea, I absorbed the calm tones of little families at the tables around me, the Coppola movie posters advertising their Japanese releases, and the lull of The Ronettes on stereo. Good clean fish and Francis Ford Coppola references: Hallelujah, San Francisco.—S.Y.