Tag Archives: bento

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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Follow up: Peko Peko Early Spring Bento

crabgolden

Peko Peko’s Early Spring Bento arrived today in this unbelievably soothing printed paper and red string.  Perfect since it was an early birthday gift from me to Rimpletide!  I love the Golden Gate graphic+little cars!

rimpie

The pork cutlet and rolled omelette were amazing, but my Oprah a-ha moment was the crab and rice.  Ah-ma-zing.  Steamed Dungeness crab, Tamaki Gold rice, hand-made ginger pickle (ginger, sugar, umeboshi vinegar), sancho, and salt.  The hand-made ginger pickle really took things to the next level.  

We sat, ate, and smiled.  

Thanks Peko Peko!

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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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Japanese New Year with Peko-Peko

My father has a fascination with Japan that is ongoing.  When I was around the age of six it was at a peak.  He would take me to Little Tokyo in L.A. to buy obscene amounts of origami paper and instruction books.  Then we would eat a Japanese lunch and drive back to Hollywood.  I was a very accomplished origamist and quickly became a little Japanophile myself.  I read Sadako and the 1,000 Paper Cranes, mourned Hiroshima, and eagerly awaited my father’s return from trips to Japan with his arms full of Japanese silks and Geisha dolls.

geisha

During those years my father would take me and my family to his Japanese friends’ homes in Los Angeles for Japanese New Year, celebrated on January 1.  The Japanese New Year feast is composed of foods referred to as osechi.  My father would tell me that if I ate everything and was very polite and respectful that he would take me with him on one of his trips to Japan.  I was not a fearful eater and ate many different types of foods from a young age, but swallowing some of the more foreign elements of osechi (bitter orange or bitter melon, roes of various sorts) was a feat even for me.  

Years went by, and my father continued to travel to Japan from time to time, but tickets were expensive, my prep school schedule was demanding, and despite all my good eating of osechi, the trip to Japan never materialized.  

Two years ago I went to Belize and got engaged.  The engagement was long coming, and we weren’t going to wait.  The marriage would take place within six months.

When I got back to the Bay Area my parents were there waiting to greet my new fiance and me.  My father greeted me with two business class tickets to Tokyo for him and me.  It was August, so no Japanese New Year in Japan, but it would do.  

This year my husband and I are celebrating Japanese New Year with Peko-Peko, the fledging catering company from Chez Panisse alum Sylvan Mishima Brackett.  Our bento will include Crab Namasu: Vinegared daikon and carrot with steamed Dungeness crab, Misozuke Beef Tataki: Miso-cured grassfed tenderloin, Datemaki: Sweet rolled omelet with Riverdog Farm eggs and local rockcod for wisdom in the New Year, Yuzu Pickled Turnips, Kuromame: Sweetened black soybeans for health in the New Year, Chikuzen-Ni: Local taro, carrot, potato, and shitake with lotus root and Mary’s organic chicken, Kombu-Maki: Sardines rolled Hokkaido kombu for happiness in the New Year, and Black Cod Teriyaki: Marinated and grilled Bolinas black cod.  

osechi-flier

We are lucky to have relished Brackett’s creations before (click here for that menu).  The fried eggplant was sweet and tender and the summer tomatoes offered the perfect clean refreshment.  My mouth is watering just imagining the flavors our oseshi bento will offer.

I’m hoping this beautiful gastronomic experience will set the tone for my eating for all of 2009.  And as if that weren’t enough, A Rockridge Life is desperate to see Peko-Peko expand: how about a storefront on College Avenue?  Pretty please?  

kotoshi mo yoroshiku o-negai-shimasu (今年もよろしくお願いします) 

I hope for your favour again in the coming year

Click here for more information on Brackett and Peko-Peko.

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