Highlights from the 2011 Foodbuzz Food Blogger Festival

Foodbuzz Blogger Festival

I’ve been back home in San Diego for a few days now but I’m still so EXHAUSTED  from the 3rd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. And you would be too if you talked, ate, and uh—drank as much as I did!

Foodbuzz Awards Dinner

And truth be told, I’ve been racking my brain on how to accurately convey and depict all of the events and highlights that transpired over the weekend. From the Awards Dinner, Tasting Event, Gala Event, and even the delish cooking demo from Chef Tyler Florence……it was all a fabulous time!

Chef Tyler Florence

But through it all, the most fulfilling aspect of the festival was reconnecting and meeting with the talented food bloggers from all over. I reveled at meeting some writers that I have long admired and especially those who I have corresponded with but have never met in person.

And let me just say….there were some shenanigans! With that much delish food and adult beverages—how can there not be???  🙂

I’ve got a huge list of folks who I now will be following and I barely met a fraction of the attendees. So many bloggers, so little time!

Foodbuzz Festival 2011

Quick shot out to some amazing folks who really MADE my time at the festival—so thankful to have connected face to facel!

There were SO many of you that I was fortunate to have connected with and I CANNOT wait to give you a big ol’ hug next year! And for those who I didn’t get to see, I’ve got my eye out for you next year!

And although the festival was jammed pack,  I did get a quick chance to snag a few goodies outside of the festival…..

La BoulangeSalad Niçoise (not shown), Macarons and a Cannelé from La Boulange Bakery

Brunch @ Namu SFFrog Hollow  Blood Orange “Bellini”, Kimchee Fried Rice with Egg and Challah French Toast at Namu SF

Dosa FillmoreSpicy Mung Bean Dosas, Chicken Roti, and Bengali Gimlet at Dosa SF

THANKS so much FOODBUZZ….until next year!


Dosa….Revisiting Southern India’s Flavors

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to have spent some time in Southern India—Chennai to be exact. And in my days there, I took every opportunity to indulge in the colorful flavors of the cuisine. From street vendors, to food courts, to banquets and most importantly–the dishes prepared by our host family….I sampled everything I could get my hands on. More acquainted with Northern Indian and Punjabi cuisine, I was delighted in the discovery of what the Southern states of India had to offer.

Since I have been back, I had been hard pressed to find a restaurant that featured Southern Indian cuisine—that is, until my sister took us out to Dosa in the Pac Heights district in San Francisco. A somewhat “upscaled-urban” version of their other location in the Mission district, Dosa on Fillmore fuses modern chic décor with ornate Indian influenced pieces. The beautiful dark woods mixed with warm golden hues around the two-story restaurant are absolutely striking. And of course, let’s not forget to mention their long and swanky bar featuring specialty cocktails from mixologist, Jonny Raglin, of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar and Nopa.

Restaurant View from 2nd Floor

Statue of Shiva as Nataraja

Once seated and greeted, we were given delicious Papadam (lentil chips), which I happily munched on while my sister ordered for us. For our party of four, we settled on a family style selection of the Channa Bhatura, Spicy Mung Masala Dosa, Chicken & Eggplant ‘Baingan Bharta’, and the Kerala Fish Moilee.

I will try to describe the wonderful flavors as they danced around on my palette but how about I do it some justice first by showing a few pictures?

Papadam: Thin, crispy chips

Channa Bhatura: Chickpea masala with large, soft, puffy wheat bread

Spicy Mung Masala Dosa: Mung lentil dosa with green chiles, chopped onions, cilantro and spiced potatoes

Kerala Fish Moilee: Sustainably-caught halibut, coconut sauce, coriander, cumin, mustard seed & chiles

Chicken & Eggplant ‘Baingan Bharta: Organic boneless chicken with roasted & pureed eggplant, peas

First, let’s talk about how amazingly delicious and fun the Channa Bhatura was. Perfectly seasoned and tender chickpeas that are scooped up with pieces of lightly fried and puffy wheat bread (bhatura). And the most fun thing? The Bhatura comes served like a balloon ready to be punctured and used as a utensil. DEE-LISH and ENTERTAINING? that’s a Nguyen-Win Situation to me 🙂

The Spicy Mung Masala Dosa brought back many memories for me as I constantly ordered Dosas in Chennai. This particular dosa was not only stuffed with mung beans but also with potatoes and cilantro–quite possibly two of my favorite things. All Dosas here are served with three types of “dipping sauces”: coconut chutney, tomato chutney and sambar. As a Condiment Monster, this was also a Nguyen-Win Situation for me 🙂

Our two main entrees were also scrumptious–though I did prefer the aforementioned two items. The Kerala Halibut Moilee was extremely tender, moist and paired so well with the velvety coconut sauce. The Baingan Bharta was indeed succulent and earthy.

And although we were way too stuffed for any dessert (shocking, I know), we did indulge in a few cocktails. 🙂

Specialty Cocktails (Top Left to right): Batsman, Bollywood Hills, and Emerald Sound

Our dining experience was extremely enjoyable and I would HIGHLY recommend Dosa on Fillmore to anyone interested in Indian cuisine. True, although many dishes have been slightly modified from their original state to compliment San Francisco, you will be hard pressed to find a spot that serves such high quality, South Indian inspired cuisine. *Big Kudos to proprietors Emily and Anjan Mitra for being “the only Indian restaurant in the Bay Area that has a holistic commitment to primarily organic, bio-dynamic and sustainable ingredients and products.

Dosa on Fillmore
1700 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 441-3672