Hot Italian

Hot Italian Mangia & Bar

Emeryville Public Market
510 922 1369


hotitalianWe were in the neighborhood, having done a run to the Emeryville Ikea, and decided to drop by the Emeryville Public Market for the first time in more than a year. It’s a shadow of its former self. Several food stalls have disappeared. Remodeling has reduced the seating area. Once a vibrant space (remember the fish market? the gourmet cookware shop?), the Public Market has clearly seen better times.

Hot Italian is the exception. It’s a bustling upscale pizza joint with a thoroughly Italian menu and vibe. Our Basso pizza with artichoke hearts, heirloom cherry tomatoes, roasted olives, basil pesto, mozzarella, and tomato sauce ($16) was delicious. The Izzo salad (baby spinach, plums, goat cheese, and marcona almonds ($9) was tasty but could have used a little more dressing. My Bellini ($7) was perfect.

The restaurant feels like a warehouse, but a sparkling warehouse in Milano.

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This week

Gumbo at Angelina’s

Crab melt at Pacific Catch

Jack Satan margarita at Comal

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Fourth Street


This tasteful Japanese-inspired restaurant has taken the place of the former O Chamé, my one-time favorite restaurant in Berkeley.iya2

The new place retains the furniture and feel of O Chamé. I’m disappointed they covered up the fresco buddha in the main dining room; for feng shui  it was carved into the wet plaster with a fork.iya3

Service was excellent. My waiter was attentive. iya4My salmon was perfection. More food pics.

Iyasare isn’t cheap, but neither was O Chamé. The menus and pricing reflect what came before.

I’d love to see them resurrect O Chamé’s bowls of soba with great toppings.

I’ll be back.


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Decadent dessert

To finish lunch at Il Davide in San Rafael, I ate a lemon semifreddo to die for.

semimIt was served on a block of salt!


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Windy day at Internet Time Lab

We awoke this morning to find tree-sized limbs from our redwoods littering the new redwood deck in back. No major damage done.

Deck after storm

Deck after storm

Deck after storm

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The new travel experience

trip logo

Go to TripAdvisor

berkeleyPick a place you know

trip3Select someone with hundreds of reviews

trip4Click “Rating” to dredge the bad reviews to the top

Read this stuff — and the replies from the struggling hotel manager

Some reviewers are sick people

Other reviewers are the competition in disguise


Click “Rating” again

Can this be the same place?


I’m scouting out places to stay in Zurich and Berlin next month

You know it ain’t easy

You know how hard it can be





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La France

I spent the last week in October in St. Jeannet, about half an hour out of Nice, with my fellow adventurous eater Philip. The eating was memorable.

Aphrodite, David Faure’s restaurant in Nice, is serving an insect menu. Note the worms protruding from this foam creation:

Nice - eating bugs

And a few crickets and foie gras:
Nice - eating bugs

And cod with tiny worms:
Nice - eating bugs

All matched with the proper wines:
Nice - eating bugs

The overall experience was great fun. Service at Aprhodite was excellent. As for the food, it might better be described as a menu with bug garnishes.

Despite the lovely bugs, Aphrodite can’t compete with my next fantastic meal.


Bruno is the Emperor of the Truffle. Five of us enjoyed an all-truffle meal at Chez Bruno, a lovely place out in the countryside. We started with truffle toasts:

Chez Bruno

Next up, a chestnut velouté with foie gras and truffles:

Chez Bruno

Then a potato in truffle sauce, topped with white winter truffles:

Chez Bruno

Pigeon with truffles and celery remoulade:

Chez Bruno

And the pièce de resistance, truffle ice cream:

Chez Bruno

And a few shots of vieux calva:

Chez Bruno

A glorious meal.

Chez Bruno

Chez Bruno

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Osteria Stellna, Point Reyes Station

Delicious Italian take on fresh local ingredients. Worth a detour.








Pricey: 3-course lunch with a carafe of house white set me back $115.

I prefer this place to the Station House Cafe, and coming from me, that’s an immense compliment.

The water buffalo gelato (safran and plain) was out of this world. The oysters tasted perfectly fresh. The fish stew would be better described as simply steamed shellfish but I finished every lovely bite and wiped the bowl with Stellina’s crunchy bread.















The tab for lunch with a carafe of house white wine, two appetizers, two mains, and two desserts came to $115, a bit pricey for farm country.



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Uh oh. Internet Time Lines implicated in NSA intel shipments

Tourists failed to notice as the NSA began secret shipments of compressed Palantir streams and TOR logs into secure storage in bunkers in the Swiss Alps.


Switzerland’s Alpine hideaways contain more servers than Google’s worldwide computer centers. One tank car of compressed intel is enough to change world history in significant ways.


More on the NSA story at



This is n-gauge. That’s tiny.nscale

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Google Account Activity

Forgive me, I’m thinking about digital nourishment at the moment.

Google can  report your monthly emails sent and received, events scheduled, # of searches, YouTube videos watched, and most popular YouTube contributions.

I send about 300 emails/month and receive 10 times that many. I scheduled only 22 events – a slow month. I searched the web 756 times.

I watched 111 YouTube videos (really?).

922 people watched video’s I’d uploaded. 27% of them chose this relic from 2005. That’s 250 people.

It blows my mind that I’m not a social media maven yet 38,707 people have watched this 10-minute video on experiential learning.

I just watched it again for the first time in years. It’s quite compelling. In your face but prescient. It leads people to an obsolete URL.

10 minutes used to be short but now it’s ponderous. I will re-cut this into 2-minute chunks, put the year on them, and give a modern viewpoint alongside. News at 11.

Anyhoo, the point is that your Google account stats can be enlightening.

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