Appetite: Sticky toffee, casual clambake, Mama mia, Jimmy the Greek. and more

Pub date May 6, 2009
SectionFood & Drink

Each week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter,, shares foodie news, events, and deals. View the last installment here.

Scottish Eggs, Chips & Pastie at Martins West. Photo by Chris Andre



Martins West helps you wash down fine eats
Time to trek down South (the Peninsula, that is) to Redwood City for this week’s hot opening, Martins West Pub. The original Martins is in Edinburgh… this locale is an homage to that gastropub (I’ll admit, an overused term) where comfort, hand-crafted beers, and hearty food meet seasonal, gourmet sensibilities. Like the beer, cocktails and scotch selections are extensive so you can wash down Michael Dotson’s (of Tahoe’s Plumpjack Cafe) quality "pub grub" (think Ploughman’s lunch, herb-crusted marrow bones or house-made charcuterie). Pastry Chef, Kelly Fields (of Sens and some of New Orleans best restaurants) stays sweet with sticky toffee pudding, drunken raisin ice cream or hot toddy pot de creme. Inside the 1896 Alhambra building, once a theater and saloon, you’ll feel the spirit of Wyatt Earp, who used to frequent the place while his wife, Josie, sang from the adjoining theater. Belly up to the 25-foot bar, boys!
831 Main Street, Redwood City

Sake bar at Otoro Sushi. Photo by Virgina Miller

Tiny but chic Otoro Sushi makes three in Hayes Valley
Hayes Valley already hasSebo and Domo for impeccable sushi, but why not one more? A couple blocks away from the heart of Hayes, lunch and dinner of the fresher kind can be had at tiny but chic Otoro, just opened a few days ago. I’ve already enjoyed a generously-portioned lunch and look forward to more. There’s a snug, eight-seat sushi bar, sake bar and a handful of tables, with plenty of sashimi, udon, and rolls like the Hip Hop Roll, topped with garlic white tuna.
205 Oak Street

Fly Bar debuts in Brick space with pizza and video games
Brick morphs into a Fly, or rather, into sister location to ever-popular Fly on Divisadero. Responding to the times with nothing over $12, Fly Bar will surely win some fans. A 4:30-6:30pm Happy Hour offers drink specials and half-price pizzas (like Southwestern or Jimmy the Greek), while the usual menu means apps, pizzas and sandwiches galore. Playful cocktails are only $7-8 at full price, like Island Root Beer (dark rum, Abita root beer and house-made ginger syrup), or Scrum: Boddington’s with a shot of Jameson. Sneak to the back room for a four-player arcade, snazzed up with cup holders and free games! It’s good to reinvent oneself from time to time.
1085 Sutter Street



May 10 – La Festa Della Mamma at Bar Bambino
It’s time to honor Mama. If she’s in town, or you want to raise a glass to her, Bar Bambino has a special Mother’s Day prix-fixe. Starting off with a choice of crespelle di frutta, a crepe-like dish with strawberries and ricotta, soup or sformatino di porri (a cheesy leek flan with Dungeness crab salad), you then move on to main courses: either a Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg, frisee salad, a braised leg of lamb, or grilled swordfish marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano. Still hungry for dessert? It’s sorbet and biscotti or chocolate tarlets with berries. With Mamma the beating heart of Italian life, you know she’ll be treated right, Italian-style, at Bambino.

2931 16th Street



Cali-Casual Clambakes at Nettie’s Crab Shack
I don’t know why the word "clambake" evokes nostalgic memories for me – I partly grew up in Jersey, not nearby New England. But when I heard Cow Hollow’s Nettie’s Crab Shack turned Sunday nights into California Casual Clambakes (replacing Sunday Crab Feeds), I got a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. It’s all family-style, from salad, cornbread, a pot of whole prawns, mussels, clams, Delta crawfish, spicy sausage and boiled potatoes, to Whoopee pies for dessert.
$35 per person
Sundays, 5–10pm

2032 Union Street