Random header image... Refresh for more!

Vietnamese restaurant Quan Bac delights the Examiner

Last week, SF Examiner food critic Patricia Unterman gave high marks to Quan Bac, a Vietnamese restaurant located at
4112 Geary Boulevard between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Quan Bac was opened by by owner and head chef, Sarah Le, who has other small pho spots in the city. But Unterman says Quan Bac is Le’s “defining moment as a businesswoman and a chef.”

She devotes the first two paragraphs just to describing Le’s Vietnamese chicken salad, which she calls “one of the culinary masterpieces of San Francisco.”

Imagine a multicolored haystack mounded high on a white plate, the pale green of slivered cabbage, the orange of carrots, the pink of red onion, the beige of grilled chicken, interwoven with dark-green threads of kaffir lime leaf, cilantro and basil.

Unterman also praises Quan Bac’s lotus-root and jellyfish salad and says that the restaurant’s food is as authentic as any she has eaten on the “low plastic stools on the sidewalks of Hanoi.”

One of Quan Bac’s pork dishes got Unterman very excited:

Le’s Bun Cha Ha Noi ($8.95)… This bowl of juicy little charcoal-grilled pork patties, so moist and fragrant, and thin slices of charcoal-grilled pork chop comes with the same setup as the crepe, but with cold, rice vermicelli topped with chopped peanuts.

The pork, hot off the grill, is splashed with dipping sauce, which migrates to the bottom of the bowl and picks up the meat juices. Be sure to spoon this rich sauce into your lettuce rolls.

Read the full review at sfexaminer.com

Quan Bac is open daily from 10:30am to 10pm with dish prices ranging from $6.95 to $14.95. Unterman’s top recommendations: Pho ga, cha gio, Vietnamese crepe, chicken salad, lotus-root salad, fish cake, Vietnamese barbecue chicken.

Have you tried Quan Bac? Leave your review in the comments.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 10:15 am | Posted under Food | Comments Off

All-in-one listing for local summer camps

A reader sent me a helpful website last week that makes it easy to browse the summer camps for kids that are available in the Richmond District (and elsewhere).

The website, Sign Up For Camp, offers an easy to use search feature to find camps within your zip code. You can also search by timeframe, the age of your child, as well as more specific criteria like activities provided and the type of camp.

The site has listings for dozens of summer camps that range from acrobatics to adventure to sports to the arts. There’s even a chess camp in there. So no matter what your kid is into, you’re likely to find a camp close by that they’ll enjoy. I did a quick search for 94118 for 1st graders and up and found 58 camps.

Not included on the site are day camps run by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Departments, but you can visit their website for more information on the many programs they offer at local parks, playgrounds and recreation centers in the summer.

The de Young Museum also offers “Art in the Summer” where children ages 4 to 12 are taught by professional artist-teachers, explore works in the museum’s galleries and engage in hands on visual art activities. Click here for more info (PDF).

So there was this one time at band camp…

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 7:29 am | Posted under Kids, Recreation, Sports | Comments Off

Police Blotter – April 30, 2010

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of April 30, 2010. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

On 04/24 at 4:10am, an officer was on patrol in the area of 30th & Geary when he heard, then observed two vehicles racing westbound on Geary. He was able to stop one of the vehicles, a red Pontiac, several blocks away. The officer asked the driver for his license, and upon receiving it, realized this subject was a suspect in an auto burglary that occurred in Golden Gate Park on April 17, 2010. The officer detained the driver and discovered cell phones and a laptop in the vehicle. The driver had a suspended license and is also on probation. The 24 year old male was charged with possession of stolen property, driving on a suspended license and a probation violation.

On 04/27 at 2:45am, an officer at Richmond Station received a call from Dispatch that a person had called 911 regarding a car that was chasing him. The dispatcher had the caller drive to Richmond Station and provided the officer a description of the suspect’s vehicle. The officer went outside as the victim drove up and pointed to a black SUV, telling the officer “He’s chasing me.” The officer approached the driver of the black SUV, who denied he was chasing anyone and was just trying to get home. The officer noticed that the address on the suspect’s license showed he lived in the opposite direction. The officer determined that the male was on probation and was driving without a license. A search of the vehicle revealed narcotics. The 30 year old male was charged with a narcotics violation, and driving without a license.

On 04/28 at 9:30pm, officers were called to 7th and Fulton on a report of a vandalism to a parked vehicle. The caller had observed the suspect punch the driver’s side mirror, knocking it off its base. Officers located the suspect down the street and detained him. He told them he had been arguing with his girlfriend, who was no longer present. The 22 year old male who is on parole was charge with the vandalism and a parole violation.

Between 04/24, 8:30pm and 04/25, 7:45am on the 1700 block of Broderick, a suspect gained entry into a garage and stole the vehicle parked inside. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 04/25 at 4:10pm, the victim was walking on 20th Ave near Anza St. The suspect came up from behind her and grabbed her purse off of her shoulder. The suspect was described as a male, late teens to early 20’s with short spiky hair. He was wearing dark colored clothing and fled west bound on Anza.

On 04/25 at 6:00pm, the suspect walked into a business on the 3200 block of Geary. He wandered the store for 30-40 minutes, asking questions of the employees as he looked around. At one point one of the employees noticed that the bottom of the suspect’s pants leg was bulging as if he was concealing items. The employee confronted the suspect who refused to show her what was there and started for the front door. The employee stood at the front door and was pushed and pinched by the suspect, and he fled out the front door to an awaiting vehicle. The suspect was described as a male in his late 20’s wearing a red headband, long sleeved shirt and blue jeans. The vehicle was described as a white 4 door sedan.

On 04/27 at 12:33am, the victim had been working in his garage on the 700 block of 18th Ave. He exited his garage, closed the door and then walked up his front stairs. The suspect came up from behind him, pushed him down and took cash from his pocket. The suspect, a male in his late 40’s fled south on 18th Ave.

On 04/27 at 2:45pm the victim was walking westbound on the 1700 block of Clement. The suspect exited a silver vehicle, ran over to the victim and grabbed her purse from her shoulder. The suspect re-entered the vehicle which drove off south on 18th Ave.

On 04/27 at 10:48pm, two victims were doing their laundry on the 700 block of Arguello. One of the victims had their laptop sitting on a counter in full view of the front window. The two suspects entered the business; one of them had a handgun and pointed it at the two victims. One of the suspect’s took the laptop from the counter and they both fled north on Arguello. The suspects were described as males in their late teens wearing dark clothing.

On 04/28, between 2:00am and 4:00pm on the unit block of 7th Ave, a suspect gained entry into a backyard through a gate. The suspect then took two bicycles from a rear storage unit.

On 04/29, between 11:30am and 6:30pm on the 400 block of 14th Ave, a suspect gained entry into an apartment by prying open the front door. Once inside the suspect took a television, jewelry and a camera.

On 04/29, between 11:45am and 12:45pm on the 4300 block of California St, a suspect entered a laundromat and pried open the coin boxes affixed to the washing machines. The suspect took several hundred dollars in coin.

Bookmark and Share
 2:56 pm | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

Beach Chalet soccer field renovations put on hold for environmental review

The Chronicle reports that the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department will halt plans to renovate the Beach Chalet soccer fields to first complete an environmental impact review (EIR).

The Rec & Parks Commission had unanimously approved the renovations just two weeks ago, despite dozens of opponents to the project testifying and requesting that the Commission demand an EIR before moving forward.

The City Fields Foundation, in partnership with the Rec & Park Department, are proposing that the current fields be replaced with new, artificial turf. In addition, their plan calls for renovating the restrooms, adding tower lighting to allow for play up until 10pm, resurfacing and repainting the parking lots, adding a small children’s play area, a spectator area, and the planting of over 100 trees and other landscaping.

After the Rec & Park Commission’s approval to move forward with the renovations, opponents vowed to appeal the decision to the Board of Supervisors.

Though the EIR will delay the start of renovations for a year or more, Rec & Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg is undeterred, telling the Chronicle, “Our playfields initiative has added 30,000 of hours of play each year on our poorly conditioned fields and has improved the quality of life for San Francisco’s families. If additional review of the Beach Chalet project will help us build on that success then we’ll do it.”

Project organizers estimate that new, artificial turf fields will triple the amount of playing time at Beach Chalet since the current fields are closed on Mondays and often more frequently due to rain and drainage issues. In addition, Beach Chalet is completely closed for four months out of the year during the rainiest season. With the new turf in place, games can be played year-round and into the evening hours.

The City Fields Foundation, in conjunction with the city, has renovated and installed artificial turf at several playing fields including Crocker Amazon, Sunset Playground, Garfield Square Park, and Silver Terrace Playground. Renovations are currently underway at Kimbell Playground in the Western Addition.

For more information on the proposed Beach Chalet renovation, visit the project website.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 7:14 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Recreation, Sports | Comments Off

Latest update from Richmond PD on the Mt. Lake Park incident

This entry was posted today, May 1, on the Richmond District Police Station’s website. For convenience, I have highlighted the new information in this latest update.

In regards to this incident, I know many of you have been commenting and discussing it heavily here on the blog. But I ask that you please do not post information that is unconfirmed or that is rumor. If you have information or hear of other incidents, report them to the police immediately by calling 911 or 553-0123.

Do not leave them here as comments on the blog. It only serves to further alarm other readers and residents and often, they turn out to be false or unfounded.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Sarah B.


Richmond Station Advisory, May 1, 2010
by Captain Richard Corriea

On April 21, 2010 Richmond Station was alerted though a widely circulated email about suspicious activity by a lone adult male at Mountain Lake Park . The email stated the individual had been using his cell phone to take photographs of other people’s children near the park’s play structures. He did not have any children with him and was doing pull ups while wearing casual street clothes. A parent used a cell phone to take a photograph of the subject, which she included with the email. Police were not notified at the time of the incident.

I live in the Richmond; my children are fifth generation Richmond residents, and I take my role as your Police Captain very seriously. Your sense of safety is paramount and that’s why upon receipt of the email we started an investigation. Our intent was to identify the individual, determine if he had violated any laws and ascertain if he presented an actual risk to our community.

On April 26, 2010, plain-clothes officers identified the subject and met with him at his home. While surprised at being the subject of a police investigation, he was cooperative and unguarded. Officers interviewed him and reviewed his background. He allowed officers to examine his cell phone and his laptop computer. I responded to his home and spoke with him. He stated that he hadn’t taken any photographs. He explained that he was looking at his phone’s screen while using the telephone’s stopwatch feature as part of his work out. Such an activity could be perceived as a person taking photographs. Our investigation did not disclose any facts that suggest that the individual had engaged in illegal activity or that he presents a risk to our community. We informed him about signage in the park that prohibits adults from entering the children’s play area except when they are accompanying children.

As for the blog entries concerning “recent sightings” and additional unusual acts reported to police subsequent to April 26, 2010, please remember that we sometimes attach meaning to equivocal facts using previously held beliefs and fears. This tendency works well to protect us all from extreme danger. However, we should be sensitive to those aspects of an observation that are inconsistent past incidents. In both recent reports the individuals were using tripods, video and one explained to those concerned what he was doing. Also, a different vehicle was involved.

The Officers at Richmond Station are available twenty-four hours a day to respond to your calls for service. I think that the many emails, forwarded emails and blog entries during the last week of April were helpful while we as a community sought answers to assuage our fears. As we return to a more general sense of vigilance for all risks, please remember to call 911 immediately anytime you see a person engaging in suspicious activity.

Captain Richard Corriea
Richmond Station

Bookmark and Share
 11:10 am | Posted under Crime, News | 6 comments

Great photos from de Young’s “Bouquets to Art” exhibition

In case you missed it during its brief run, below are some photos from the exhibition taken by MsYuppieScum.

The exhibition, which displayed fresh flower arrangements alongside pieces in the museum’s collection, was themed this year with the upcoming Impressionism exhibitions from the Musée d’Orsay that will open at the de Young in May.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 10:13 am | Posted under Art, Golden Gate Park, Museums | 2 comments

Richmond District YMCA Silent Auction, May 7

Next Friday night, the Richmond District YMCA will host their 4th annual Silent Auction on Friday night from 5:30pm – 9:30pm. In addition to a silent auction for special items, there will also be a raffle giveaway.

Silent auction items include a romantic Monterey getaway, a Schug Winery private tour and tasting for 10, a Russian River weekend getaway, a trip to Ashland, Oregon – home of the Shakespeare Festival – and much more.

Raffle tickets can also be purchased for a chance to win a digital camera, Yoshi’s tickets, ski lift tickets, wine tasting and more.

The event – “Winning, Wishing & Wine” – takes place at the Richmond District YMCA at 360 18th Avenue; you must be 21 and over to attend. Advance tickets, available at the YMCA, are $20; otherwise $25 the night of the event. All proceeds from the auction support Teen programming at the Richmond District YMCA.

Childcare is also available at the Silent Auction. Contact Raquel Espana at 666-9605 or respana@ymcasf.org to sign up.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 8:06 am | Posted under Events | Comments Off

Argonne Elementary turns local officials into poets

On Thursday, Argonne Elementary School held their first annual “Poem in Your Pocket Day” in recognition of National Poetry Month. Donna Campbell, a teacher and librarian at Argonne, says the event has become a tradition in many schools across the country.

“The idea is simple – students select a poem that they love (original or otherwise) and carry it with them, ready to share with anyone who asks,” Campbell said.

So who showed up with a poem in their pockets? None other than Richmond District Supervisor Eric Mar and his playground buddy Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of SF Rec & Parks Department. Mar read “I, Too, Sing America” and “The City,” by Langston Hughes. Ginsburg read “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer.

Richmond District Police Captain Richard Corriea and City Librarian Luis Herrera also came by to share their favorite poem with students and teachers. Herrera read different poems in each classroom and included a couple of Shel Silverstein classics, “The Crocodile’s Toothache,” and “I Often Repeat Repeat Myself.”

Donna wasn’t sure what Captain Correia’s poem was but she says “it was about spaghetti and quite humorous.” Officer Feliciano from the Richmond PD also came along and read “The Joke” by Jack Prelutsky. He also handed out police badge stickers, which were a big hit with the kids.

Thanks to Donna for sending in the news and photos. Can’t wait to see who turns up next year with a poem in their pocket!

Sarah B.

Supervisor Eric Mar

Richmond District Police Captain Richard Correia

Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of SF Rec & Parks Department

City Librarian Luis Herrera

Bookmark and Share
 8:01 am | Posted under Eric Mar, Kids, Schools | 1 comment