Tag Archives: 826 Valencia

Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko at Mission Street Food

Post updated 10:55pm PST 6/18/09: This Saturday at MSF from the MSF blog

I first heard of Mission Street Food (a pop-up restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco) through Chris Ying of the McSweeney’s clan.  Rimpletide had bought me a ticket to see Michael Pollan, Bonnie Azab Powell, and Harold McGee on a panel at 826 Valencia moderated by Ying back in February of this year.  The whole thing was lovely, and perhaps loveliest was Ying and his vintage volume of Beard.  I’m not totally clear on the connection (perhaps Ying knows the two who started this whole madness?) but my understanding is that Ying cooks at MSF on a regular basis.

I never really followed up on MSF, since I, as a devoted resident of Rockridge, rarely venture across the Bay (and dine almost exclusively at Oliveto, but you all know that), but when I got word of a new collaboration, my curiosity was piqued.

The word: Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko will be a special guest chef at MSF this coming Saturday and I’m just too excited not to shout it from the rooftops (and by doing so making it harder for myself to get a table, but, well, all in the name community service).

And the best part is, I even got my hands on the menu! Dishes are no more than $12 each and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Mercy Corps and St. Vincent de Paul. Apparently, Brackett got his hands on the last of the season’s freshly dug bamboo shoots harvested localled in Livermore.  And in addition to the notable shoots, the menu consists of:

Buta no kakuni
Braised pork belly and daikon with sake and ginger; with hot mustard and mustard greens

Kare karaage
Whole fried local petrale sole with mori tsuyu

Asari sakamushi
Tomales Bay clams steamed with fresh dashi, sake and mitsuba

Hirame kombu-jime
Local halibut cured with kombu; with little lettuces and radishes

Korokke
Panko-fried potato and cream-corn croquettes

Ochazuke
A bowl of rice with green tea and dashi, salt-cured steelhead salmon, scallions and nori

Oshinko
Cucumber with shiso, napa cabbage with kombu and red chili and green pepper and katsuobushi pickles

Aisukuriimu!
Apricot and boysenberry ice cream with apricot sauce and noyeaux whipped cream

My mouth is watering just thinking about the amazing flavor combinations.  One of my favorite things about Brackett’s cooking is his ability to balance fresh delicate moments with crunchy deep-fried indulgence.  Consider the Oshinko and the Kare Karage, or the Korokke (I must try that–there are few people I trust when the work “croquette” is involved, they are too often too mediocre, but I have a feeling these will be the dark horse hit of the evening).  I’ll be lining up early.

But if for some reason you don’t make it, the line is too long, the fog is too thick, you live too far away, or heaven forbid the inevitable happens–MSF runs out of food–you can experience something close with Peko Peko’s most recent bento featuring a Tonkatsu Sanwhich for just $12.50.  A truly authentic Japanese experience, the Katsu-Sando bento is a recreation of the humble but extremely popular lunch of students, salary men, and OL’s alike.  I am loving the new boxes…

katsu

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Announcement: What\’s Hot in Local Eating~Peko Peko!

I recently attended this fabulous event at 826 Valencia, moderated by the talented and beguiling Chris Ying.  How can you resist someone who dug up a mid-50\’s copy of James Beard\’s Cooking Fish and used it as his sole prop during a panel on the politics and science of food?

Each of the panelists talked about why we\’re interested in food and what about it interests us now.  If you, like these esteemed food journalists, are passionate about delicious morsels that meet Bonnie Azab Powell\’s critera for SOLE food (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) you\’ll LOVE Peko-Peko.  The mastermind behind the affair, Sylvan Mishima Brackett, cut his teeth as assistant to Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and editing The Slow Food Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area.

This month, Peko-Peko  has created a Spring bento box available for delivery in the Bay Area.  

The bottom level of this two tier bento is filled with kanimeshi: fresh steamed Dungeness crab, seasoned California-grown Japanese rice, pickled ginger, and sansho pepper. The top layer includes three menchikatsu: Marin Sun pastured pork and onion cutlets and dashi maki tamago: rolled farm egg with fresh dashi. Made primarily with ingredients from around the Bay Area, it’s a taste of Tokyo by way of San Francisco. This bento serves 2-3 people and is $65.

Deliveries will be made every Wednesday in March. Orders must be placed by the Monday prior to delivery.

We had their osechi bento for New Year\’s and it soothed hard.  In other words, open a bento box and say hello to Soothistan!   


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Advice for the President from the Youth

As I scanned the “Most Popular” of the NY Times, I clicked on “Dear Sir Obama: Presidential Advice.”  I thought the title a little strange, was this going to be another OpEd from a pundit?  

I was THRILLED to find out that the piece was by Jory John, an old friend and mentor from 826 Valencia, the absolutely inspiring and seminal writing center on Valencia Street in San Francisco (otherwise known as the location of where Saddleshoos was “discovered” as a teacher).  Jory is a fabulous writer of everything from essays to children’s books and one of the passionate and energetic people who makes 826 happen (visit his website to learn more about his many talents here).  He and the teams of employees and volunteers at the 826 centers across the country enlisted their youth to write letters to President-elect Obama.  How exciting to see the kids get to have a voice at the level of the New York Times.  Check it out!

Dear Sir Obama,

These are the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Make everyone read books.
2. Don’t let teachers give kids hard homework.
3. Make a law where kids only get one page of homework per week.
4. Kids can go visit you whenever they want.
5. Make volunteer tutors get paid.
6. Let the tutors do all the thinking.
7. Make universities free.
8. Make students get extra credit for everything.
9. Give teachers raises.
10. If No. 4 is approved, let kids visit the Oval Office, but don’t make it boring.

— Mireya Perez, age 8, San Francisco

You’ve got to love a child interested in giving teachers raises and getting volunteer tutors at 826 paying gigs.

And another:

Dear President Obama,

Here is a list of the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter.
2. Walk in.
3. Wipe feet. 
4. Walk to the Oval Office. 
5. Sit down in a chair. 
6. Put hand-sanitizer on hands. 
7. Enjoy moment. 
8. Get up.
9. Get in car. 
10. Go to the dog pound.

— Chandler Browne, age 12, Chicago

Don’t we all need 12-year-olds to remind us to “enjoy moment.”  Dig it.

You can view the full article here.   

There is a slideshow of drawings by kids of Obama associated with the article.  I especially like this one.  I think the expression in the eyes that this child captured is genius.

karina-aldina-8by Karina Aldana, age 8

And look out for the upcoming book:

Jory John, program director at 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center, is the editor of the forthcoming “Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: A Collection of Kids’ Letters to President Obama,” from which some of these letters are drawn.

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