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Alma Cocina – more Peruvian in the Mission

first_img 0% We are such a lucky neighborhood.  We have so many options for places to eat, at every price point and with such a variety of cuisines. Especially Peruvian! Almost everyone knows a Peruano, if you’ve lived in the Mission long enough, and I hope almost everyone has had Peruvian food.  Our newest addition to the Pantheon is Alma Cocina, which opened only a couple of months ago, in the former La Parrilla Grill space at 24th and Folsom. Alma is a little different, as far as I can tell, from other Peruvian restaurants in the area. First off, there’s not a single Peruvian tchotchke. The space is modern, with reclaimed wood and clean lines abounding, yet it feels casual and welcoming.Alma interior.Chef Alex Reccio has a lot of experience, both in the Bay Area and in his native Peru. He worked for a long while at Limon, another (perhaps more traditional) Peruvian restaurant in the Mission, and then took some time to go back to his homeland to work with renowned chefs there. Energized, he returned to San Francisco to make his long-held dream come true: his own restaurant, cooking the food he loves. It appears to me that Chef Reccio is trying to up the ante of his country’s cuisine by making it healthier and more accessible to people who follow vegetarian, paleo or gluten-free lifestyles.We started out with a glass of sangria made with Lillet Rouge, while the BF had Cristal (a Peruvian lager): We shared a ceviche — the Costeño, served in the coastal cities of Peru, with white fish, calamari, shrimp and octopus, in “leche de tigre” (“tiger’s milk” — the combination of lime and fish juices that emanate from the marinade) and toasted choclo, the big white corn grown in the Andes.Alma ceviche Costeño.Very fresh, great textures, a bit spicy, and I loved the pureed sweet potato that added a hint of sweetness.  For his main, the BF ordered Andean-style chicharron with uchucuta sauce — a creamy sauce made with rocoto, a small Peruvian pepper with a heat level about the same as a scotch bonnet or habanero — and huacatay, an Andean herb that is a cross between mint and cilantro in flavor.  Alma pork belly.The crispy pork leaned on potatoes confit, topped with an onion salad and queso fresco. I thought his pork was divine! The sauce tasted like a slightly spicy gravy, so it was a pretty homey dish.I got their signature pollo a la brasa (spit-roasted chicken), a Peruvian staple, but I was perplexed why it didn’t come with the typical aji verde, which in my experience is its standard companion.  Yes, it came with aji amarillo, and chimichurri, both of which were good, but nothing beats a garlicky aji verde with roast chicken. The chicken came with two sides, and I picked the arroz chaufa and the yuca frita: Alma pollo a la braza with arroz chaufa.Alma yuca frita.Arroz chaufa is Chinese fried rice.  There is quite a large Chinese community in Peru, going back hundreds of years (Japanese, too), and Chinese food is so common there, it’s been integrated in a sort of fusion-y style.  The rice here was flavorful, though I didn’t really need the crunchy “noodles.”  The yuca frita was nice and crispy, and the aji amarillo was the perfect spunky sauce for it.  As for the chicken, I only wanted it to have crispier skin, but perhaps it had sat a little while. Otherwise, it was good, tender and moist. You can choose between dark and light meat, a quarter chicken, half a chicken, or a whole chicken.On our second visit, a Monday night, the restaurant was much less crowded.  I started with a cocktail.  I went with a Fake News (timely — and bitter, as it should be), made with botanical infused soju, Lillet Blanc, antica, and a sprig of thyme. Alma Fake News cocktail.Loved the sprig of thyme; the aroma floats up to you as you sip the cocktail. Alma has only a beer and wine license, so they’re getting inventive with their cocktails, using sherries, amaros, sakes and sojus to great effect. They also have a nice wine list filled with South American, Spanish and California labels.We split the ceviche Nikkei, a nod to Peru’s history of fusion with Japanese cuisine, which I believe basically means they added soy sauce to the leche de tigre and, in this version, oyster sauce too:Alma Ceviche Nikkei.The marinade had an unexpected sweetness from the oyster sauce, but the ahi tuna was super fresh and they are generous with it.  Again, I absolutely loved the pureed sweet potato, along with the cool chunks of cucumber.The BF ordered what, to me, is my least favorite dish on any Peruvian menu: lomo saltado. It is a hugely popular standard, and I’ve tried to like it for 50 years.  It consists of quick sautéed beef — sirloin or something similar, cut into strips or cubes, cooked over very high heat, seasoned with a little soy, vinegar, and cumin, and then stir-fried with onions and peppers, usually served over rice and often with fried potatoes.   Alma Saltado Criollo.My problem with this dish is that the meat is always tough. Even at the high-end places I’ve tried, the meat is often dry and difficult to chew. My father would order it every single time, and the BF usually does, too. Alma’s was less tough than others, though the BF disagreed with me. (His other complaint was that there wasn’t enough meat, bringing to mind the old joke: “The food here is awful and the portions are so small!” I agreed; they were a little skimpy with the beef.) But Alma’s saltado was much more flavorful than many I’ve tried, and it came with a whole roasted rocoto pepper, and absolutely fantastic truffled mashed potatoes.  Truffled potatoes have really nothing to do with Peruvian cuisine, as far as I know, but who cares?  If this is the way Chef Reccio wants to gussy up his fare, who am I to quibble? I had a main that I was not sure was going to work, but I was curious about it. Another beloved traditional dish, papa a la huancaina, was transformed here. It is typically cold slices of potato with a luscious cheese sauce, and is one of my top three or four Peruvian dishes of all time. Here, Alma seeks to elevate the dish by bathing fettuccini and clams in the cheese sauce (I know, a number of you, particularly Italians, are probably cringing right now), with kalamata olive “dust” and, most curiously of all, cubes of manchego.  Fettucini a la huancaina.The dish was a knock-out.  Everything about it sang in my mouth.  I can’t even tell you why the manchego worked, or the chef’s reasoning for including them; I really thought they would take away from the dish (too much cheese?).  But they didn’t. It was delicate, the pasta perfectly al dente, and the olive dust provided a salty earthiness. And that beautifully cooked egg! This dish, of everything we’ve tried here so far, made me see that Chef Reccio can elevate his country’s cuisine without it becoming too precious, and without resorting to abstract art works on a plate.The BF almost ordered an empanada for his dinner, but decided to get one to go, instead, for a late-night snack (good thing, too, because it wouldn’t have been enough for dinner). Well, of course we broke into it as soon as we got home. Alma empanada.I’m of the school that empanadas should be fried, but this was really very good — chicken, very well spiced, with a half a hard-boiled egg tucked inside, in proper Andean style, with a kalamata aioli to go with.  They make it in vegetarian form, too. A must-try!I was so pleased with all the flavors this evening, I impetuously ordered dessert to go. What a shame, because it must have been a beautiful dish when we left the restaurant, but it got totally beaten up on our walk home. A lovely, dense-yet-light flourless coconut cassava cake was wrapped in banana leaves, and topped with caramel-coated bananas, cajeta whipped cream and vanilla sauce.  So many ways to be too sweet and yet it wasn’t. I don’t even care about desserts, and this was heaven.  The service at Alma is warm and knowledgeable, although we did have to wait a bit between dishes. But they’ve only been open for a few months, so that’s to be expected.  One server told me that they plan to change the menu often, which is always welcome to hear.  With all the Peruvian choices we have here in the Mission, I like Chef Reccio’s vision, and I hope he continues to expand on it.Alma Cocina2801 Folsom St. (corner of 24th & Folsom)San Francisco, CA 94110415.341.0389 center_img Tags: food • restaurant reviews Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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Thousands in SF march to end family separations at the border

first_img 0% Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address Tags: immigration • protests Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Thousands of people marched down Dolores Street on Saturday morning from Dolores Park to Civic Center to protest the Trump Administration’s hardline immigration policies and to demand that he reunite the children and families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.At present, 2,000 children remain separated from their families, despite a federal judge’s order on Tuesday that those children be reunited with their families within 30 days.“We are people, we are not illegal!” some chanted, as others carried signs denouncing President Donald Trump and the agency in charge of enforcing his border policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. By around 11:30 a.m. the army of protesters, marching to the beat of drums, flowed down Market Street and congregated at Civic Center in front of City Hall.Many marched because they or their parents had immigrated to the United States. “It’s affected generations of my family,” said Graciela, 25. “The government is inculcating fear so people can’t raise their voices against it.”  She said when she was nine and living in Chicago, she had to run from her home in the middle of the night out of fear of deportation. “So I know what those kids are feeling,” she said.Corina Aguilar, 28.Corina Aguilar, 28, said her mother had been undocumented for a long time. “When I was a kid, she had to make sure I had someone to watch over me in case she was deported,” Aguillar said. “The fact that this could have happened to me is why I’m here.” Photo by Julian Mark.Brenda Rodriguez, 24, with her son Benjamin, 5.“It’s important to show my son that not everything is like how it is portrayed in school,” said Brenda Rodrigues, who marched with her 5-year-old son. “Kids his age are being separated.” She said her mother came to San Francisco in the 1980s because it was a sanctuary city. “That was us in the ’80s,” she said referring to those crossing the border nowadays.Paty Ruiz-Ortega (left) and her mom, Patricia Ruiz-Ortega (right). Photo by Julian Mark.“The kids don’t have a voice, so we need to be the ones asking for justice for them,” said Patricia Ruiz-Ortega, who was marching with her 19-year-old daughter. “I’m an immigrant and I have kids. I can relate to the immigrant families.” Her daughter, Paty, was grateful for her mother’s decision to come to the United States.  “If she hadn’t made a decision to start a family here, I don’t know where I’d be today,” she said. Desiree Swanson, 33, with her partner and child. Photo by Julian Mark“I have a daughter and a family, so this is important,” said 33-year-old Desiree Swanson. “A lot of my family is from Mexico, so it affects me personally.” She marched alongside her partner and young child. She thought about the effects on the children who remain separated from their parents. “This is something that’s going to affect them for the rest of their lives,” she said. Nadia, 29. Photo by Julian Mark.The march had personal resonance for 29-year-old Nadia, whose parents came from the Philippines to seek a better life. “I’m also married to a previously undocumented immigrant,” she said. “This could have easily been him.”Xela. Photo by Julian Mark.“My mom is an immigrant, and because of her, I’m provided with opportunities today,” said Xela Vargas. She said, when her mother was six, she came to the United States from Mexico. “Her finding citizenship was super hard,” she said. “Whatever I can do to help the children being separated at the border is important to me,” she added. Photo by Julian Mark.Photo by Julian Mark.By 11:30 a.m., protesters had congregated at City Hall. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.last_img read more

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JAMES Roby took home the Top Metre Maker Award at

first_imgJAMES Roby took home the Top Metre Maker Award at last night’s Man of Steel dinner.He recorded 3,971 metres in the Regular Season but was pipped to the main accolade by Wigan’s Sam Tomkins.Zak Hardaker was named Young Player of the Year ahead of Saints’ own Josh Jones and Bradford Bulls second rower John Bateman.Former Saints Head Coach, Mick Potter, was named Super League Coach of the Year for his work with Bradford thi s year in the most testing of circumstances.The full awards were:Top metre maker – James Roby (St Helens) with 3,971 metresTop try-scorer – Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors) with 31 triesHit man – Danny Washbrook (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) with 991 tackles.Lifetime Achievement – Danny Orr (Castleford Tigers, Wigan Warriors, Harlequins), Ryan Hudson (Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity), Ben Jeffries (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Bradford Bulls), Carnegie Community Champion – Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos)Club of the Year – Wigan WarriorsMike Gregory Spirit of Rugby League – Jamie Peacock MBE (Leeds Rhinos)Young Player of the Year – Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos)Coach of the Year – Mick Potter (Bradford Bulls)Man of Steel – Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)last_img read more

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SAINTS have announced their 19man squad for Frida

first_imgSAINTS have announced their 19-man squad for Friday’s First Utility Super League clash with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.Adam Swift returns to the side in place of Luke Thompson.Nathan Brown will choose from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner (pictured), 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Paul Wellens, 18. Alex Walmsley, 22. Mark Percival, 24. Gary Wheeler, 26. Matty Dawson, 27. Greg Richards, 38. Shannon McDonnell.James Webster will choose his Wakefield side from:3. Dean Collis, 5. Reece Lynne, 6. Paul Sykes, 8. Scott Anderson, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Andy Raleigh, 11. Ali Lauitiiti, 12. Danny Kirmond, 13. Danny Washbrook, 14. Matt Wildie, 17. Taulima Tautai, 20. Jarrod Sammut, 23. Daniel Smith, 25. Max Jowitt, 26. Jon Molloy, 31. Chris Riley, 33. Richard Owen, 34. Lee Gilmour, 35. Tim Smith.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Phil Bentham.Tickets for the match remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

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YEAR 10 pupils from Cowley International College a

first_imgYEAR 10 pupils from Cowley International College are the current cohort of GCSE students to participate in the ‘Introduction to Rugby League Coaching’ programme delivered by St.Helens R.F.C. community coaching staff.Supported by the Sky Sports Rugby League Foundation, the scheme is designed to help strengthen the links between High Schools, Primary Schools and their local Community Rugby League clubs and will see the pupils assist feeder Primary Schools in a mini touch rugby festival held at Pilkington Recs. ARLFC.The Cowley pupils taking part in the programme are: Zack Aldred, James Bridge, Callum Cooke, Jamie Ellis, Kieran Hudson, Keiran Jones, James Khan, Andrew Lee, Connor Lees, Bradley Lloyd, Nathan Lowe, Leon McCugh, Jamie Morris, John Muldoon, Connor Platt, Kamron-Lea Powell, Jamie Smith and Benn Twiss.last_img read more

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first_imgWe have three huge home fixtures on the horizon – first up, Warrington Wolves (Friday 12 April) followed by Hull FC (Easter Monday 22 April) and finally Catalans Dragons (Sunday 28 April)As we prepare to go to WAR with the Wolves in less than two weeks time, the game is an ideal opportunity to be part of a huge clash between the two pace setters in the 2019 Betfred Super League!The Hull FC and Catalans games both take place on a Bank Holiday and Sunday respectively meaning it’s an ideal opportunity for new family and friends to come and be part of the action!2019 Members who have not already used the benefit, can secure their £5 ticket by visiting the ticket office at the Totally Wicked Stadium.You must present your 2019 Membership card to take advantage of the benefit.Please note: terms and conditions apply, only valid for a single match ticket at 2019 home regular Super League matches, excluding Wigan and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or hospitality.last_img read more

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This is a great start Local Starbucks customers react to racial bias

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you went out this evening for a cup of coffee at Starbucks you may have noticed it was closed. The reason for the temporary closure, Starbucks had racial bias training for its employees.“This is a great start, what they’re doing. I think it’s a hot topic and really big deal nationwide right now,” customer, Jacob Holland said. “So any efforts they can make in a positive direction I think it’s definitely beneficial for them and their customers.”- Advertisement – This move comes after the arrest of two African American men in a Philadelphia Starbucks which sparked an outcry of discrimination across the nation.“I like the fact that they are closing down their stores,” customer, Mya Huggins said. “I feel like it’s something that another major company or organization hasn’t done as of yet. I do honestly want to know what they’re talking about.”The training aims to help employees understand the history of racial discrimination and racial bias in public areas.Related Article: City leaders approve new apartments, retail at vacant movie theater site“What are you going to learn from those four hours,” Huggins asked. “How are things going to change?”A major concern about the training session is whether it will make a difference.“I do feel like it is something that you can’t teach someone,” customer, Laasia Payne said. “It’s all within the person. But I do like how they’re taking initiative and how they are showing people like, ‘Hey. We really do care.’”Overall many customers think the training is a step in the right direction.“I feel like a lot of other organizations wouldn’t have done this,” Huggins said. “They would have let it die down or hired someone to get rid of it or anything like that. So I really admire them.”Nearly 200,000 Starbucks employees participated in today’s racial bias training in 8,000 stores and offices across the nation.last_img read more

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UPDATE Police suspend search for mother and son

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Wilmington Police Department say they are suspending their search for a mother and son who were last seen late Friday afternoon.The mother, Jennie Bartholomew, 35 was last seen with her 2 year old son, Arthur, leaving Casey’s Buffet at 5559 Oleander Drive around 4 p.m. Friday.- Advertisement – Police ended the search Sunday evening saying on social media:UPDATE: June 10, 6:30 p.m.: After consulting Jennie Bartholomew’s attorney, who says the pair are safe in an undisclosed location, we are suspending our investigation.— Wilmington Police (@WilmingtonPD) June 10, 2018last_img read more

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UNSOLVED Man found beaten to death shortly after coming out in 1986

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department is looking for answers in a 1986 murder.Randy Hockabout was found dead in a park on South Front Street near his car in January 1986.- Advertisement – “I would just love to hug him one more time, but I know that’s not going to happen,” Patricia Rongotes said.Patricia Rongotes would give anything for just one more moment, one more conversation, one more memory with her brother Randy.“We went from school together, to graduation together to getting married the same year,” Rongotes said. “Me and him was so close and I’ve never been close to anybody like I was him.”Related Article: Body cam video from NC ‘accidental’ officer-involved shooting releasedOn January 25th 1986, Rongotes lost her best friend.“His car was nose down in the little creek by the railroad track,” Rongotes said.This was not a car accident. It was a murder. Detective Joshua Childress with the Wilmington Police Department said a few people found Hockabout’s body next to his car in Optimist Park on South Front Street that morning.“The vehicle had been crashed or intentionally set into that creek area partially into the water and the victim who was identified as Randy Hockabout was found pretty much naked and had been beaten very, very badly and he was already deceased when he was found,” Childress said.The day before, Rongotes said Hockabout was at their mom’s house and afterwards went out downtown with some friends.“He left my mom’s house about 2:30,” Rongotes said. “He was going to go to the exxon, get a pack of cigarettes and then he was going to go to Burger King to get a cheese burger and then he was supposed to come back home.”Hockabout never returned.“I just don’t know any reason for anybody to do something like that,” Rongotes said.Childress said detectives have one theory.“Mr. Hockabout had come out actually on the news as being homosexual,” Childress said.Hockabout had been married and had a child and then, later divorced.“We all knew he was gay, but that didn’t make a difference to us,” Rongotes said. He was my brother still.”Childress said it was the 80s.“At a time where that really wasn’t as accepted as it is now and due just to the violence of this case and just how horrifically beaten he was, we couldn’t help but wonder if that had something to do with why the suspect or suspects did what they did,” Childress said.Rongotes does not think that is the case.“I just think it was some people,” Rongotes said. “They said, ‘we found somebody to play with’ and they went too far.”After 32 years, Childress said detectives are still looking at all the possibilities.“We get some leads every now and then. We also have some new, potentially new ways that we can test old evidence that we’re trying to explore,” Childress said.He said the clock is ticking and they need witnesses to come forward whether they are new or old.“Anyone who knew something about where Randy went or heard somebody talk about something that happened back then even if you think maybe we’ve heard it before, it wouldn’t hurt to tell us again especially if it is someone who’s just never spoken to police before,” Childress said.Rongotes said she will not stop looking for answers.“I have stayed on the case for 32 years cause I don’t want him to be forgotten,” Rongotes said.While she hopes police find the person responsible, she said the family has already found forgiveness.“We have forgiven them. We’ve let that go. The anger, the bad feelings toward anybody we knew did this,” Rongotes said.She said they just want know why.“We want closure,” Rongotes said.If you have any information, please call the Wilmington Police Department.last_img read more

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Officials Swimming OK at some North Carolina beaches

first_img On Saturday, the state Recreational Water Quality Program lifted a precautionary advisory for swimming sites on Ocracoke Island. A day earlier, officials announced that bacteria levels at most ocean swimming sites in Carteret, Pender and Onslow counties meet state and federal standards for water contact.The department says a swimming alert remains in effect for ocean beaches and sound-side waters along Hyde, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.Water-quality testing is ongoing. Carolina Beach (Photo: WWAY) MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) — In the aftermath of Florence, officials say bacteria are at levels safe for swimming along some North Carolina beaches.Earlier this month, state environmental officials had urged the public to avoid swimming in any coastal waters, warning that excessive rains and flooding from the storm may cause high bacteria levels.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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