Bay Area Ingenuity

Tech Titans: Last week's passing of Apple visionary Steve Jobs and the Oracle OpenWorld Conference

I had the pleasure of working the Oracle OpenWorld Conference last week, which turned the tourist area of Union Square and parts of SOMA in San Francisco into the center of the universe for techies from 117 different countries.  The big event was expected to bring $100 million into the city’s economy.

As a local, I don’t usually hang out with hordes of tourists, but I do have to eat.  I discovered a few tasty standouts that are quick and relatively affordable.  On the corner of 4th and Mission streets, Tokyo Express offers typical Japanese fare, including sushi, various bento boxes of teriyakis and katsus and donburi bowls.  I ordered the chicken basil.  When it came to me, I was pleasantly surprised how ample the portion was and the nuggets of batter-dipped, deep-fried chicken were rather light and crunchy.

Cravery serves handheld pot pies.  With seating next door, it is a tiny storefront a few doors from Mel’s Diner in the 5th and Mission Parking Garage.  A self-avowed carnivore, I chose the vegetarian curry with lentils instead, which turned out to be a nice alternative to meat.  When I’m back in the neighborhood, I would try the other intriguing fillings, such as creamy chicken and pepper steak.  Since the vendor also caters, I’m thinking how well they would pair with wine.  At a wine dinner this year, I remember having a divine truffle mushroom tart with white wine, the Rombauer 2009 Carneros Chardonnay and Newton 2007 Napa Valley Unfiltered Chardonnay, which were very dreamy.  It’s another product and lifestyle innovation at its best on display here in Northern California.

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