Spotlight: Artís Coffee Hayes Valley

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As the coffee culture continues to rise in SF, the newest spot on the scene is Artís, which has its grand opening this Saturday (tomorrow!). I had the opportunity to check it out a few days early and try some of their drinks (including their Blossom iced coffee) and chat with Alex Lowe, one of the founders, about what makes Artís different than the rest of the flock.

When he was in the Navy, Alex went to Japan and immediately noticed the care and meticulousness that went into the country’s food and drinks – something I noticed as well when I was traveling. Back in Boston to complete his MBA, Alex and his soon-to-be cofounder, James Gutierrez, drafted the plan for Artís and entered a national business competition, not only winning it but also securing enough capital to move Westward to the best coast and open Artís’ first location in Berkeley.

  

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Restaurant Review: Gaspar Brasserie

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Whenever I get to eat cheesecake in the middle of the afternoon, I am one happy gal. And so a couple weeks ago, when I was invited by Andrew Freeman & Company to try the Market Lunch menu at Gaspar Brasserie, I naturally had to oblige.

Gaspar, the two-story restaurant tucked in FiDi, takes all the elements of French food and combines them with California flair. Their Market Lunch reflects the latest ingredients found at the farmer’s market that week, and so the menu could change as much as the seasons do.

  

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World Trip 2015: What to Do in Japan, Part 2

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I grew up in a predominantly Chinese and Japanese neighborhood, and so all throughout high school, I survived off of taro boba and ramen. Now, ramen is an extremely trendy entrée that even spawned its own festival last year in Japantown, but to me, it has always evoked a sense of nostalgia of my friends and I hopping on the bus to go downtown and slurp noodles while complaining about Statistics homework.

So while Japanese street food is fantastic, my real pilgrimage was to find the best ramen place in Tokyo and then top it off with the best sushi I could find. Within a week, I found both:

  

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World Trip 2015: What to Do in Japan, Part 1

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After Zurich, Prague, and an 18-hour layover in Amsterdam (of which I have no photos except a hazardous one of me eating waffles at 3am that will never see the light of day), we arrived in Japan. Until now, my life had been a series of flight check-ins, time zones, languages, cuisines, and pub crawls, and it wasn’t about to slow down.

Tokyo is New York hustle meets SF hipster. The city stretches seemingly forever, and with 38 million residents, I’m not surprised. 8.5 days suddenly felt like not nearly enough time to explore a single city, let alone the country, but we did the best we could. The fantastic public transportation system coupled with extreme hospitality of locals makes the city that much more accessible; one night, a bartender completely left his bar unattended and walked us through two alleys to drop of us off at the ramen spot we were searching for.

  

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GIVEAWAY: We the Minis and 4 Dozen Cupcakes

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Most of my friends know how obsessed I am with Instagram – I am constantly online posting, hashtagging, and commenting. Apart from finding fellow food lovers, Instagram is also a great tool in supporting local businesses, which is how I found We the Minis!

We the Minis is a venture by Wenter and Annie, who are based in Oakland. After traveling the world developing his own juices, Wenter met Annie at yoga class and became fast friends. A few months and extensive research later, the business was born.

  

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