sunday, i had dinner with yc (at furaibo, which serves hanpen cheese: a piece of japanese fish cake sliced into a pocket and tempura-fried) and then we tried (and failed) to go to mandrake, the neighbourhood bar run by the gallery owners of the culver city gallery district in which he lives. he wants to be in the non-profit gallery business, which is nearly impossible in the best of circumstances. shortly, i'll post a couple of his photos -- they're pretty neat.

nearly a year after our maintenance visit to the cal academy cabin in the trinity mountains, andy, chris, and i finally and definitively exhausted the steven b craig endowment* with a dinner at chez panisse that began at 9 and went to midnight. this midweek menu was outstanding and i can still remember every component of dinner without needing to resort to the printed menu: picholine olives and lemon; green salad, grilled porcini, crisp-fried prosciutto, parmesan, fennel, lemon vinaigrette; scallop and lobster sausage patty, spicy lobster sauce, tarragon, grape leaf; sonoma liberty grilled rare duck breast slices, cherries, fava puree, spring onion rings; caramel ice-cream profiteroles, nectarine and peach slices. we had a navarro 2004 anderson valley pinot noir that was unusually bright and dry to start, then became all cherries and red summer fruit (but in the best possible way).

* the cabin is 8 hours north of san francisco and we'd assumed that room and board were payment enough for our services. not so, for, a week after we got back from trinity, a check for several hundred dollars showed up in chris's mailbox -- transportation reimbursement. we've had many opportunities since to toast steven b craig.