Just got back from our annual planning meeting for my Best of Barbecue products. (More on that soon. Anything YOU'D like to see for next year?)
Had some pretty amazing live fire cooking at Hi Lo BBQ in the Mission District in San Francisco. (The "Hi" represents high heat from the oak burning grill in the open kitchen. "Lo" comes from the barbecue pit in the basement. Highlights? Brassicas roasted in the embers. Thai brick chicken. Smoky brisket with spinach oil and micro-greens (hey, this is southern California).
In Berkeley, I ate at a hyper authentic Japanese yakitori bar called Ippuko. Chicken skin, chicken necks, chicken oysters, even keel bone grilled over a screaming hot bincho-tan charcoal fire. You haven't lived until you've tried the tsukune (grilled chicken meatball served with jidori egg yolk). And plenty of potent shoju (Japanese "vodka") to wash it down.
In Oakland, I had big flavor Thai street food at a funky new restaurant called Hawkers Fare. Thai beef jerky. Grilled short ribs. And string beans so flavorful they could rouse the dead--even if not grilled.
Where do YOU go for primo barbecue and grilling in the Bay Area?