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Media Center seeks funding channels

Sausalito schools entering chartered territory? A paid consultant has recommended that the Sausalito Marin City School District consolidate its elementary and middle schools and re-emerge as a single charter school in order to right its wayward academic ship. San Francisco’s FSG consulting firm—following a year of interviews with district students, parents and teachers—is suggesting Sausalito Marin City close Bayside Elementary and transform Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School into a chartered K-8, similar to nearby Willow Creek Academy. For nearly 10 years, Willow Creek has found success among a growing number of charter schools, which are publicly funded, but establish their own “charter” of rules and education methods. Willow Creek describes itself as having a “flavor” of Montessori methods, which emphasize hands-on learning and parent participation. All three schools are at the north end of Sausalito on Nevada Street, just west of Bridgeway. FSG was hired as part of a five-year plan to curb achievement gaps in such Marin school districts as Sausalito-Marin City, San Rafael, Shoreline and Novato. A community meeting is slated for March 22 in Marin City.

Telecommunications Agency could pull plug on Comcast agreement by Pe te r Se i d m an


ince the Community Media Center of Marin began operations almost two years ago, it has blossomed. “It would be a shame to see it die on the vine,” says Michael Eisenmenger, the center’s executive director. Eisenmenger, as well as members of the center’s board of directors, wants the Marin Telecommunications Agency (MTA) to move from the current franchise agreement with Comcast to a new statewide franchise agreement that would ensure continued funding for the Media Center. The MTA contract with Comcast, which runs to 2016, was approved in 2006, ending six years of negotiations that involved three cable companies. The negotiations started with TCI, which provided cable service in Marin before AT&T moved in. (There’s an irony there. More later). Then Comcast took over, and it now provides cable service to about 62,000 customers in most of Marin. MTA, the joint powers agency comprising cities in the Comcast region as well as the county, worked to create the Media Center, which is the nonprofit designated access provider charged with supplying public, educational and governmental (PEG) programming. Public access programming is a federal mandate. When cable came on the telecommunications scene, the govern-

ment viewed it as similar to broadcast networks, which were mandated to offer programming in the public interest. Cable companies were required to do the same—providing free and open access on cable to fulfill the community commitment. Theoretically, cable companies would promote public access and help open the cable medium to new ideas and participants. Anyone could produce and cablecast any content as long as it met decency standards. In addition, the mandate fostered government-channel programming as well as educational content (PEG). And a cable company had to distribute it. But the federal commitment was diluted to the point that it was enough for a cable company to merely offer a channel or channels for public programming, without any responsibility for creating content or promoting access. The MTA had almost completed negotiations with AT&T when Comcast supplanted it. Comcast said it would agree to a fairly standard 5 percent franchise fee distributed to members of the MTA. The agency thought another key provision in its negotiations with AT&T would transfer to Comcast: a commitment of $12 million during the life of the contract to fund PEG. But Comcast had entered troubled financial water and started to look 9 >

CPUC gets Marinized! The California Public Utilities Commission may have a new Mill Valley mind-set, as Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed MV resident Mark Ferron to the state body charged with consumer protection and regulating utilities. Prior to his appointment to the $128,000-and-change CPUC position, Ferron, 52, had spent much of his career in banking—VP at Bank of America and global-market chief at Deutsche Bank highlight his resume—before taking on his most recent role as senior partner at a South Bay “donor network” called Silicon Valley Social Ventures. On July 1, 2010, according to, Ferron made a donation to Brown’s campaign for governor to the tune of $25,900. The appointment is still waiting to be confirmed by the state Senate. Ferron approaches a seat on the five-member commission as it wades through a storm of recent criticism that it has been too soft on the companies it is charged with regulating. Dominican taps ‘Dean Marcy’ Get ready Dominican students—there’s a new dean in town. Or at least there will be once Joseph Fink steps down after 23 years as the university’s president following the spring semester. School officials will be welcoming Mary B. Marcy as its new chief—only the ninth president the school has had since its founding in 1890. Marcy has most recently been head of Bard College in New York, working largely in areas of higher-education reform. Her official start date is July 1. SMART bike path may be hitting the skids SMART train officials said March 16 they are considering slamming the hand brakes on a stretch of the bike and pedestrian pathway portion of the controversial rail plan—a part that was crucial in gaining support for the voter-approved rail transit project from the local cycling community. A $104 million shortfall in funding for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train could be alleviated, planners believe, by about $14 million by postponing the construction of a third of the bike path—also floated at the March 16 cost-cutting meeting was delaying two-thirds of the path, which would save $28 million. The news didn’t sit well with Marin bike advocates, whose support for SMART was key in passing 2008’s Measure Q, a quarter-cent sales-tax proposal to build commuter rail and a pedestrian-bike path from Cloverdale to Larkspur. The dire economy has left SMART well in the red and the plan has already scaled back the length of the initial construction— which will at first simply be from Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael by 2014. Other savings measures bandied about by SMART officials include delaying the replacement of a Novato Creek bridge (about $5 million); strengthening—instead of replacing—the Petaluma River Haystack Bridge ($15 million); and postponing the establishment of rail stations at Atherton in Novato ($5.3 million) and Petaluma’s Corona Road Station ($11.5 million). Speed limit bumped to assuage Atherton lead foots Are the county supes creating Autobahn-Marin? Some Atherton Avenue neighbors are saying as much, after a two-and-a-half mile stretch from Highway 37 to Bugeia Lane in unincorporated land north of Novato will see its speed limit leap from 40 to 45 mph in a state-mandated move to stay in step with speed trends of drivers using the road. The supes said their hands were tied last week when approving the uptick after a recent traffic survey indicated that the vast majority of vehicles—as many as 85 percent—on Atherton travel at faster than 45 mph; if the speed limit were to stay at 40, it would be considered an unfair “speed trap” by the courts and any speeding tickets issued on that stretch would likely be tossed out. Neighbors, meanwhile, argue that increasing the speed on such a twisting, poorly lit rural road would become an even bigger safety hazard than it already is.—Jason Walsh


< 8 Media Center seeks funding channels for ways to bail; it said it would not put up the $12 million. After more negotiations, the MTA in 2006 finally approved an agreement with Comcast that called for the company to loan the agency $3 million in startup costs for the Media Center and PEG programming. Comcast also agreed to contribute $600,000 to help implement the MIDAS data network in Marin, which connects schools, public agencies and county sites. Of the $3 million from Comcast, $2.5 million was restricted to capital expenses; the remaining $500,000 could be used for operating expenses. A charge of 49 cents per month on customers’ bills goes to recoup the loan. The Media Center generates operating revenue to supplant the $500,000 in upfront money. In a projected 2011-12 budget, the Media Center estimates it will receive $138,000 in operating revue against $308,500 in operating expenses. Tapping the money left in the Comcast up-front account will help, but not for long, according to a report submitted to the MTA board in February. The budget projects that even with additional money generated from operations and anticipated interest and grants, the initial operating-fund tranche will last three years. The timetable is not unexpected; the economic collapse that has sent nonprofits into a financial tailspin, however, was unexpected. The Media Center has taken the up-front money and “stretched it out,” says Andy Berman, Mill Valley councilman and MTA board chairman. The money was never intended to last. The hope, however, was that the Media Center could seek sources of grant funding, perhaps create a membership model similar to PBS and find other ways to augment its operating revenue before the well went dry. When MTA board members approved the Comcast franchise renewal, the tele-

communications regulation landscape was undergoing change. It looked as though local agencies such as the MTA soon would lose the power to forge franchise agreements. Board members decided to go for the best possible agreement within that context, a decision that resulted in the 10-year franchise renewal. “Between the time that we created this Media Center and today,” says Berman, “it’s a very different world. The economy collapsed, sources of funding have dried up for these kinds of organizations. Media centers are closing all over the country.” In 2006, AB 3987, the Digital Infrastructure and Competition Act, passed through the state Legislature. This legislation does what MTA board members envisioned: It takes authority for franchise agreements away from local agencies and gives it to the state. Under the legislation, cable companies wanting to enter a market can apply to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a franchise agreement under state rules rather than to individual agencies within every market. Included is a mandate that cable companies should collect a PEG fee of 1 percent from gross sales to fund local public interest programming. (If a fee higher than 1 percent existed in 2006, a cable company could wind up contributing up to 3 percent for public programming. That’s not the case in Marin.) Under the state franchise agreement, the 5 percent franchise fee, which in Marin is distributed to MTA members, remains intact. What’s different is that the state franchise would generate that 1 percent PEG fee toward Media Center programming. The MTA board ultimately can decide where the money goes and how much. But based on the 1 percent assessment, the Media Center could see a revenue flow of about $500,000 to $600,000 a year. At the February MTA board meeting, board member and Larkspur Mayor Larry Chu noted that in its revenue projections

the Media Center shows it will generate about $10,000 in grants and donations. “It really doesn’t show the general community that you’re out there making an attempt to raise that money yourself.” He said the situation warranted a public relations push to garner community support. Eisenmenger says the Media Center soon will launch a viewer-support donation model. In about a month, the center will unveil a new website that will include a credit-card transaction module for contributions. “It’s unusual for PEG centers to do the whole PBS model,” he adds. It’s a matter of propriety. PEG channels “are here to serve community needs and ensure that peoples’ First Amendment rights are protected, and to pre-empt that for fundraising just wouldn’t seem ethical to me.” Grants could represent a substantial funding source to supplement operational revenues. But, says Eisenmenger, seeking grants is difficult when the future of a media center rests on finite start-up funding. Grant-making organizations want to see long-term financial stability to which they can contribute. Abrogating the 2006 franchise agreement and moving to the state agreement, with its mandated 1 percent PEG fee, would give the Media Center some stability. In an ironic twist (here it is), AT&T came back into the Marin market with U-verse, which distributes programming over fiber-optic lines and then distributes content to customer locations. The irony is that when AT&T entered Marin with U-verse, the company sought and was granted a state franchise agreement, and that allows the MTA to abrogate the current Comcast franchise agreement and call for a switch to the state agreement, with its 1 percent PEG fee. It “would establish a stable source of funding,” says Bruce Bagnoli, chairman of the Media Center board. “This is pretty much what’s going on all over the state.” But other telecommunications agencies are moving to the state franchise agreement after their local agreements expire. Marin would be the first to spike its franchise agreement before the end of the contract. It’s legal. CPUC code mandates that if a company (AT&T) enters a market already served by a company that is providing programming (Comcast), the local agency (MTA) “may require all incumbent cable operators to seek a state franchise and shall terminate the franchise issued by the local franchising entity.” The public relations stance from Comcast: The company and MTA have a contract. “We believe our customers should not have their monthly charges increased by the MTA,” says Comcast spokesman Andrew Johnson. “We have no interest in making any substantial changes to our agreement that would result in our customers paying more to support PEG programming.” Johnson says that initial chunk of start-up money on top of the 5 percent franchise fee “provides the neces-

sary resources for PEG in Marin to thrive.” But that 5 percent now flowing through MTA to the cities is a precious resource. The only dedicated PEG money in the Comcast agreement comes from that start-up pool. There are no other PEG funds. And these days, cities are unlikely to loosen their grip on the money and let it fall to PEG programming. “Our agency already has made a commitment to community media,” said MTA board member and Fairfax Mayor Larry Bragman at the February meeting. He noted that in addition to public access and education programming, plus carrying government meetings, the Media Center also provides other valuable content; for instance, information on disaster preparedness. The center had been offering programming about preparing for a tsunami when the tragedy struck Japan. “It’s about [nurturing a] media culture,” said Bragman. “If we don’t help [continue to] give birth to that, than we are failing our community.” The Media Center and PEG, said Bragman, give the Marin community a collective voice “and the tools to be heard.” Bragman urged his fellow board members to support a move to the state franchise. “It’s the next step,” he said. “And we’re going there.” The only question is when. Comcast and the MTA are discussing taking that next step, despite the company’s public stance. And if the MTA board wants to proceed and terminate the current franchise agreement early, Comcast cannot stop the process. But in the world of telecommunications, the process could take a long, long time. Eisenmenger is clear about the consequences. If the MTA doesn’t move to the state franchise within a reasonable time frame, the results would be “pretty dismal.” Current services would decline. The free support the Media Center provides to cities and schools might not continue. Low-cost video and production training also could be jeopardized. “It would be really hard just managing the three channels now operating,” one for public access, one for government and one for education. On Comcast, the Media Center distributes programming on channels 26, 27 and 30. On AT&T, the programming is on channel 99. The MTA board unanimously moved to continue working on ways to move to a state franchise and allow board members to take the idea back to the cities and the county for review. Berman says the unanimity gratified him. Bagnoli sees the Media Center and PEG as a public good. The PEG fee, he says, pays for a vital community benefit, and at 1 percent, it’s a fee virtually all Marin residents can afford. And thanks to the state franchise law, it’s coming sooner or later. Sooner saves the Media Center. Later jeopardizes it. < Contact the writer at

It’s your county, speak up at ›› MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 9

The prosecution witnesses said they saw no “I thought I got some feeling from you, medical reason for the examinations. and I misinterpreted it.” After she dressed following the examina“You thought I was accepting your adtion, she said, Newhard put his hand on her vances?” Freitas asked. Jurors at impasse on two counts in Newhard trial buttocks, pulled her toward him and kissed “Yeah,” Newhard responded. “I’m sorry.” her on the lips. “We were in here alone,” Freitas said. “I’m by Ronnie Co he n At first, Freitas told no one about the Satur- 61 years old. What’s going on here?” day incident. Two weeks later, Newhard called “What really bothered me is what would fter deliberating three days, a Marin off and on for about 30 years. Newhard also her. He asked how she was feeling on the I have done if you had been responsive,” NeCounty jury deadlocked over whether conceded in the tapes that he might have medication he had given her. Then he invited whard said. “That really worried me.” an elderly Novato doctor sexually acted improperly in 2007, when he hugged, her to Sonoma to see his son’s art show and, In July 2008, detective Sophia Winter molested his longtime patient. kissed and pulled Freitas toward him after he according to Freitas, made a comment about asked Newhard to come to the Novato police Jurors reached a 9-3 impasse, with the completed what she contended were sexualher bra. station, where, unbeknownst to him, she majority voting for acquittal, last week over ized and painful vaginal and breast exams. Newhard denied making the statement videotaped a 25-minute interview with him. whether Dr. Horace “Bix” Newhard used his “You have a lot of feelings for a lot of about the bra, telling Frugoli, “It would be Asked why he kissed Freitas, Newhard replied, position as a physician to sexually assault a people,” Guite told the jurors. “If you don’t act vulgar to make such a statement...” “I kiss a lot of my patients. You get old, and 61-year-old Sonoma woman. Because of the on them, that’s no problem. After the invitation episode, Freitas said you kiss a lot of people you haven’t seen in a impasse, Judge Paul Haakenson declared a “He’s a very honest guy. He apologized for she made a series of calls that led to a Novato long time.” mistrial and ordered the 80-year-old doctor to the hug and the kiss. But there was nothing police investigation of Newhard. In October In response to a newspaper article about return to court March 29. By then, the proswrong with the medical exam.” 2007, police taped a so-called pretext call Frei- the charges against him, nine other former ecutor must decide whether to re-try the case The defense argued throughout the tas made to the physician. The prosecution patients reported to Novato police what against the doctor who continues to practice trial that the doctor’s informality toward his played a tape of the call in court. they perceived as the doctor’s inapproprifamily medicine in Novato. longtime patient was out of friendliness, not In it, Freitas asked Newhard why he kissed ate and sexualized behavior. Detectives said The jury of eight women and four men fraternization. her. He responded, “Because I like you. I’ve that former patients accused Newhard of hung on two counts of sexual assault as a While cross-exambeen hugging and taking advantage of his position of trust and result of misrepresentation. The jury acquitining Newhard, Frugoli kissing my patients a violating professional boundaries in a variety ted Newhard on a third sexual-assault charge asked: “Are you testify- “Hug and kiss, yes, but I’m short,” lot more lately. I’m not of ways—from groping a patient’s breasts to under a different legal theory, by fraud in fact. ing that you hug and he responded. “So there aren’t trying to come on to volunteering to teach a patient to masturbate. The prosecution contended that there was kiss and pick up other you, Kathy. You’re a Some of the alleged indiscretions took place many patients I pick up.” no medical purpose for a vaginal and breast patients in a similar very attractive lady.” more than 30 years ago. examination the doctor performed on Kathfashion?” He went on to Throughout the trial, which began last leen Freitas in September 2007. Newhard— “Hug and kiss, yes, but I’m short,” he apologize for what he called his exuberance. month, many of Newhard’s patients sat with who testified in his own defense while his wife responded. “So there aren’t many patients I In November 2007, Freitas went to NeNewhard’s wife, Madalienne Peters, an educasat in the courtroom surrounded by friends pick up.” whard’s office under the pretext of talking to tion professor and director of Dominican and patients—admitted finding Freitas at“I wasn’t wooing her,” he testified. “I wasn’t the doctor about her thyroid lab work with University of California’s master’s program in tractive, hugging her and kissing her on the seducing her. I think she was fearful of that.” a tape recorder hidden in her purse. One curriculum and instruction. One patient who lips. But he and his attorneys maintained that Newhard graduated from Case Western Novato police officer monitored the tape attended the trial daily credited Newhard with his vaginal and breast examinations were apReserve University medical school in 1956, from the waiting room, and another officer saving his life by diagnosing his cancer. propriate and medically necessary. hung up a shingle in Novato in 1973 and monitored it from the parking lot. When prosecutor Lori Frugoli asked “There was no sexual intent on the part of has been practicing family medicine there The prosecution played the tape of Freitas’ Newhard if he has plans to retire, the physiDr. Newhard,” defense attorney Scott Guite since. After the district attorney’s office filed visit in court. When she asked him about that cian’s attorney objected on the grounds of told the jury during his closing argument. criminal charges against him in 2008, the state day in September 2007, Newhard replied, “I relevance. The judge sustained the objection. “He’s been doing these exams for 50-plus medical board restricted his license so that a sort of got carried away. I don’t have a good So Newhard did not answer. < years. There was a wealth of evidence they did chaperone must be present when he examines explanation for it. I’m particularly sorry that I Contact Ronnie Cohen at serve a purpose.” female patients. The medical board had never got exuberant. The prosecution and the defense each disciplined Newhard prior to that. presented two physician witnesses. The Freitas testified that she was used to prosecution witnesses contended the exNewhard’s off-color jokes. He would tell her, ▲ Call us crazy, but we like an▼ We’ve talked before about amination served no medical purpose; the for example, that she could always get a job as imals—even scary snakes, spiders backyard breeding and pet overdefense witnesses contended they did. The a topless dancer. But she described herself as and sharks. Since they’re essential population. I thought more about defense argued that Freitas pressed charges shocked when he insisted that she come in for to the welfare of our environment, the problem last week, as I watched against Newhard in an effort to win millions a Saturday appointment and sent his assistant we prefer to keep them around. an un-neutered dog “play” at the of dollars from a pending civil lawsuit. The home just before rapidly thrusting something That’s why we’re swimmingly Sausalito Dog Park. The dog’s prosecution insisted that Freitas’ only reason three times into her vagina. Freitas expected satisfied with the Shark Fin Ban, a guardian left it intact because he is for bringing the charges was to prevent the the doctor to examine her vagina, which had legislative bill co-authored by San considering breeding “for the mondoctor from harming other women. itched, but she was unprepared for the penRafael resident and 6th District ey.” The testosterone-laden pooch “In his exuberance, which is the word he etration, she testified. state Assemblyman Jared Huffman. If passed, repeatedly mounted his playmates, annoying uses, he did something inappropriate that he Wearing a suit and a tie, Newhard testified AB 376 would make the possession, sale and the “underdogs” and their people. When the shouldn’t have done,” prosecutor Lori Frugoli that he told Freitas only, “Let’s have a look,” distribution of shark fins illegal in California. dog began copulating with a smaller female, told the jury during her closing argument. before inserting his finger in her vagina. According to its authors, “This bill is designed folks grew downright angry. Havoc ensued, “There was no reason for him to do what he Freitas said the doctor then had her pull to curb demand for a product that results in including an unsuccessful attempt at pulling did to Kathy.” her bra above her breasts and examined her the slaughter of millions of sharks each year.” the dogs apart. The Humane Society of the On the other hand, Guite said in closing: nipples. Simply put, significantly reducing the shark United States estimates that more than 4 mil“Dr. Newhard was appropriate; he was honNewhard and the doctors who testified as population harms our ocean ecosystems. So lion dogs and cats are euthanized each year est; he admitted what he did do and what he defense witnesses said the vaginal and breast we sure hope the bill floats, no matter how in this country. Unless you’re a professional didn’t do. He repeatedly denied any nonexams were appropriate given that he had put many times we’ve watched Jaws. Hats off breeder, please be a responsible pet guardian professional purpose for the breast and the Freitas on hormone-replacement therapy. to Assemblyman Jared Huffman for caring by spaying or neutering. Otherwise, we might vaginal exam.” They said it made sense to check the breasts about our environment and sinking his teeth think you’re an irresponsible Zero.—Nikki In taped testimony played during the trial, at the beginning of the therapy because it can into the Shark Fin Ban. Silverstein the white-haired doctor admitted to both cause breast cancer, to check the nipple for Freitas and a police detective that he found discharge and to check the vagina to see if the Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to e-mail Freitas attractive; she had been his patient medication had begun to work to strengthen it. Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeros at ››

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10 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2011




â&#x20AC;şâ&#x20AC;ş THAT TV GUY FRIDAY, MARCH 25 Confessions: Animal Hoarding This woman keeps pit bulls and goats. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s either a dangerous situation or the premise for the next Pixar movie. Animal Planet. 7pm. Ghostly Lovers Apparently there is a word for sex with ghosts: spectrophilia. If you think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re experiencing spectrophilia, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably time for couples counseling. Travel Channel. 9pm. RuPaulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Drag Race The drag queens work up a message for the troops. That means gay people supporting the troops. This is the kind of thing that melts Newt Gingrichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brain. LOGO.10pm.

by Rick Polito

The Sprouse brothers have starred in the series since they were 13.Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be sharing a room in rehab before this is all over. (2011) Disney Channel.8pm.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29 The Biggest Loser The contestants compete in an Easter egg hunt.The winner will be the one who finds the most eggs. And eats the fewest. NBC.8pm. Body of Proof Yet another show about a medical examiner. This time itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gifted brain surgeon SATURDAY, MARCH 26 â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;So shines a good deed in a weary world,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solving crimes Scream of the Banshee through autopsies. It Lauren Holly has had three Wednesday at 6. turns out itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not brain surgery. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just really different network prime-time series. Now gross. ABC. 10pm. sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on this. Maybeâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Scream of the Bill CollecBe Good Johnny Weir Remember when torâ&#x20AC;?is a better title. (2011) SyFy.7pm. people were actually arguing whether a male Trading Places A couple of wealthy eccenfigure skater who owned two Chihuahuas trics stage a social experiment in which an was gay? LOGO.9:30pm. ambitious stockbroker and a con man trade Three Sheets A travel show about cocktails lifestyles.Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still trying to figure out how reminds us that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not alcoholism if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on a con man and a stockbroker are different in vacation. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;&#x153;immersingâ&#x20AC;?yourself in the local the first place. (1985) VH1.9pm. culture. Spike TV.10:30pm. More Sex in the Civil War This is the Ken Burns DVD they keep behind the curtain at the video store. History Channel.9pm. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30 Chocolate Factory Face Off They are showing 1971â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate SUNDAY, MARCH 27 CarFactory, right before Johnny pool Showdown Bay Area Deppâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Charlie and the Chococarpoolers compete for prizlate Factory from 2005.The es, the biggest prize being second film is followed by a who gets to choose the radio family fight over which one is station. KOFY TV 20.7pm. better. ABC Family.6pm. Chronicles of Narnia: Prince X-Files: I Want To Believe Caspian When the Pevensie Released six years after the kids step through the wardseries went off the air and robe and return to Narnia, 10 years after the first film, a they discover that 1,300 years better title would have been have passed and an evil king â&#x20AC;&#x153;X-Files: I Want To Care, I Just has exiled all of the magiStarved for attention, Wednesday at 9. Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.â&#x20AC;?(2008) FX.7:30pm. cal creatures. Most of them The Inside Story: Silence of the Lambs Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moved to Bolinas. (2008) SyFy.7pm. been 20 years since this movie. Hannibal Deadliest Warrior Tonight, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the CIA vs. the Lecter has already has shown up in a halfKGB.We used to think that the CIA won, but dozen more films. It canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be long before then we found out how much oil there is in heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Happy Meal toy. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to move on. Russia. Spike TV.7pm. Lifetime. 9pm. MONDAY, MARCH 28 Encounters at the THURSDAY, MARCH 31 Cape Fear An End of the World Werner Herzog filmed insane ex-convict stalks his former defense this documentary chronicling life at Antattorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family, getting injured in more arcticaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s McMurdo Station where 1,000 and more elaborate ways until the last scene people live in utter isolation in months when a large cartoon rock falls on him and of darkness and frigid cold. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like being the roadrunner gets away. (1991) AMC.5pm. married but with fewer cable channels. Taxidermy USA Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a reality show about fam(2007) Sundance Channel. 6:45pm. Monsters and Mysteries in Alaska We think ilies in the taxidermy business. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official.They we know who the monster is and the mys- are out of ideas. Discovery Channel.10pm.< tery is how she ever got elected. Discovery Critique That TV Guy at letters@paciďŹ Channel. 8pm. The Suite Life Movie Zack and Cody are enrolled in a strange scientific experiment Turn on more TV Guy at on twins that allows them to share each â&#x20AC;şâ&#x20AC;ş paciďŹ otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s emotions and physical sensations.












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ISSUE 2011


MARIN Empire burlesque JEEPERS! It’s Best of Marin 2011—and time to crank up the Stutz Bearcat for another skidoodle round the county’s finest in food, drink, customer service and entertainment. This year is our salute to the bee’s kneesiest decade of ‘em all, the 1920s—the age of jazz, bathtub gin and Charlestoncrazed It Girls. The decadence of the flapper era is one many Marinites can relate to, as we’ve come to expect the very best from our restaurants, nightclubs, home improvement centers and beauty supply companies. So never mind the Boardwalk Empire—come join the Marin Empire. You won’t have to speak easy when talking about who’s the Best of Marin. —Jason Walsh

Twenties-era Sausalito—shown here where Bridgeway meets Princess Street—was a hustling, bustling port for Marinites ferrying themselves, their autos and their illegal hooch to and from San Francisco.

When the suburb roared...


arin in the 1920s was, by all accounts, a pretty idyllic setting. The early years of unpaved roads, sparse telephone service and erratic running water were largely in the past, thanks to a post-quake program of civic improvements, but the county still had a bucolic quality that gave a trip hereabouts an away-from-it-all quality. Although the ferryboat ride from the Hyde Street Pier was only 20 minutes, Marin was a place of mountain greenery, seaside getaways, quaint villages and roaming wildlife. And it was Marin’s sylvan seclusion that made it a real and rollicking part of the Roaring Twenties. When the 18th Amendment made the production, sale and transportation of alcohol illegal, bootleggers saw the county and its hidden coves and wooded hideaways as an ideal drop-off point for San Franciscobound liquor. Pirate’s Cove, just south of Muir Beach, was a favorite illicit rendezvous; Sausalito’s foggy location near the Golden Gate made it especially attractive to Canadian rum-runners (as did

the town’s frisky, liquor-loving attitude). Domestic wine was another hot commodity. Under the Volstead Act, individuals were allowed to make and store up to 200 gallons of vino per year for their personal use, but a lot of the home brew was smuggled out of the cellar, onto the ferryboat and into S.F.’s speakeasies. Moonshine, on the other hand, wasn’t legal at all, and Mill Valley’s intoxicant entrepreneurs had to make their whisky in densely vegetated hollows along the town’s creekbeds. The speakeasy at Ethel and Montford, just up the hill from today’s 2AM Club, was especially popular, as was the Tavern of Tamalpais, since it was nearly impossible for the feds to arrive at the top of the mountain unannounced without hopping the scenic railway. Southern Marin’s primo speakeasy, though, was the Manzanita Roadhouse (later the Fireside Inn),

known for its amazing array of hooch and its monthly raids. Larkspur, another Prohibition hotspot, had been “safely wet” (in Mencken’s phrase) during Marin’s turn-of-thecentury temperance days, and the 18th Amendment did nothing to change the status quo. The 11 bars along Magnolia gave way to basement speakeasies and two dozen bootleggers, who built stills in the marsh and sold their wares out of arks erected nearby. When a raid was imminent, they’d throw the bottles into the creek and hire kids to retrieve them later. (The Blue Rock Inn was famous for its impressive liquor-stocked basement and was another popular imbibing spot.) Up in Fairfax, the wicked counterpart to law-abiding San Anselmo, you could get a drink at the Fairfax Hotel (today’s 19 Broadway) or at the Emporium Country Club at the end of Pastori Road. West of town, meanwhile, in the San Geronimo Valley, locals were scandalized

by vacationing flappers “scampering half naked among the trees, conducting revels at night and starting fires,” according to one contemporary account. And in the rough-and-tumble waterfront town of Tiburon, Maltese immigrant Sam Vella accessorized his (now 91-yearold) restaurant with a trapdoor through which he smuggled moonshine to the city across the bay. The decade wasn’t all about flappers and bootleggers, of course; the worst flood in the county’s history hit San Anselmo, Ross and Kentfield in 1925, College of Marin was established in 1926, future movie icon Eve Arden was Tam High’s 1928 Homecoming Queen and the Great Fire of 1929 swept down Mt. Tamalpais into Mill Valley’s Blithedale Canyon, destroying 110 homes. The Crookedest Railroad in the World took its last ride later that year, a few days before the stock market crashed, and, like that, Marin County wasn’t as idyllic as it used to be. —Matthew Stafford MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 13

Roaring MARIN




READERS’ P LL WINNERS JUICE JOINTS AND SPEAKEASIES + 16 ------------------------------

IT GIRLS AND DADDY-Os + 39 ------------------------------

Bakery Emporio Rulli Bar in a Restaurant Buckeye Roadhouse Breakfast Half Day Café Brew Pub/Sports Bar Marin Brewing Co. Burger Joint Phyllis’ Giant Burgers Burrito High Tech Burrito Chinese restaurant Yet Wah Deli Comforts French Restaurant Left Bank Ice Cream/Yogurt Shop Fairfax Scoop Independent Coffee House Dr. Insomnia’s Coffee & Tea Indian Restaurant Lotus Cuisine of India Italian Restaurant Il Davide Japanese restaurant Sushi Ran Local Winery Point Reyes Vineyard Inn & Winery Meal Under $20 Sol Food Mediterranean Restaurant Insalata’s Mexican Restaurant Taqueria Mi Pueblo Mill Valley restaurant Buckeye Roadhouse New restaurant 2010 Taj of Marin Novato restaurant Boca Pizzeria Mulberry Street Pizzeria Ross Valley Restaurant Insalata’s San Rafael Restaurant Sol Food Sausalito/Tiburon Restaurant Guaymas Seafood Restaurant Fish Thai restaurant Thep Lela Thai Twin Cities restaurant Picco West Marin restaurant Nick’s Cove Wine Bar Rick’s Wine Cellar

Beauty Supply Company Marin Beauty Company Day Spa Evo Spa Facial Evo Spa Glasses and Eyewear 20/20 Optical Hair Salon Brewer Phillips Jeweler Julianna’s Lingerie Chadwick’s of London Massage Mill Valley Massage Men’s Clothier Gene Hiller Nail Salon Three Sisters Nails Shoes Sole Desire Women’s Boutique Viva Diva

BIG SIXES & BABY GRANDS + 31 ---------------------------GOLF COURSE San Geronimo HEALTH CLUB Osher Marin JCC MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO Marin MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) PILATES STUDIO Fit First Pilates SPORTS SHOES AND APPAREL Arch Rival SWIMMING POOL Novato High School Yoga Studio Bikram Yoga San Rafael

PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ + 51 ------------- --------------Antique Store A Dove Place Beds and Bedding Duxiana Carpet Cleaners Atlas Window & Carpet Cleaning Carpeting Rafael Floors Cleaning Service Molly Maid Computer Repair MacRepair Deck & Fencing Contractor Clough Construction Frame Shop Cheap Pete’s Gift Shop Great Acorn Hardwood Flooring Rafael Floors Hauling Hurricane Hauling & Demolition Home Furnishings Mary’s Futons Home Organizer California Space Organizers Kitchen/Bath Remodeler Lamperti Landscape Design Brian Powell & Associates Lighting Shop Lights of Rafael Local Financial Institution Bank of Marin Lumber/Hardware Store Pini’s Ace Hardware Moving and Storage Johnson and Daly Moving and Storage Paint Store Marin Color Service Painting Contractor Kunst Bros. Patio Furniture Frellen’s Place to Buy a Spa or Hot Tub Creative Energy Plumber Peter Levi Plumbing Real Estate Brokerage Bradley Real Estate Roofer DeMello Roofing Self-Storage Bellam Self Storage Tile and Stone Store CTW Designs Town Other Than Your Own Fairfax Window and Door Showroom Mission Wood Products Window Cleaners Atlas Window & Carpet Cleaning

It’ll be a fountain of delights for any ’It Girls’ booking a table at the winner of our inaugural Best Sausalito/Tiburon Restaurant category—Guaymas.

MODERN TIMES + 67 ---------------------------Bike Shop Mike’s Bikes Business That Promotes Going Green Good Earth Natural Foods Nursery/Garden Center Sloat Garden Center Organic Produce Marin County Farmers Market Personnel Agency Nelson Staffing Place for Hiking Tennessee Valley Place to Bike China Camp State Park Resale/Consignment Clothing Shop Stella’s Fine Consignments Solar Supplier Solar Craft

THE CAT’S PAJAMAS + 72 --------------------------Art Supplies RileyStreet Art Supply Children’s Clothing Heller’s for Children Day Summer Camp Steve & Kate’s Camp Kid-Friendly, Non-Chain Restaurant Max’s of Corte Madera Overnight Summer Camp Walker Creek Ranch Pet Groomer Doggie Styles Pet Store Pet Club Place for a Kid’s Party Doodlebug Toy Store 5 Little Monkeys

14 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011

RAZZAMATAZZ ALL THAT JAZZ + 78 -----------------------------Art Gallery ArtWorks Downtown Live Music Venue 142 Throckmorton Local Bookstore Book Passage Movie Theater Rafael Film Center Music/CD Shop Mill Valley Music Place For a Wedding Marin Art and Garden Center Place For Dancing George’s Nightclub Place to Buy Musical Instruments Bananas at Large Theater Company Marin Theatre Company

MODEL T’s AND JALOPIES + 81 --------------------------Auto Dealer Marin Honda Auto Body Repair/Design Blake’s Autobody Domestic Car Repair Jack L. Hunt Foreign Car Repair CRO Import Auto Service Tire Shop Cain’s Used Cars California Motors

Roaring MARIN




Hall of Fame 2011 experience to the job for either repairs or purchases. With this Hall of Fame appliance business, you won’t be throwing your money down the drain. -----------------------------------------------Martin & Harris

2158 Fourth St., San Rafael 454.2021


Charlie Chaplin was known to party in Southern Marin on occasion—and the Edwardian-era Plaza Vina del Mar fountain in Sausalito would’ve been an ideal hang out for the famous filmmaker.

LOCAL BUSINESSES that have won their categories five times consecutively are elevated to the vaunted Best of Marin Hall of Fame. They remain in the hall for two years. This year, several new members join the esteemed group. Congratulations to all these winners who have been consistently voted tops for their terrific service.

Make that swimming pools. When you can’t decide if you want to dog paddle alfresco or pull a Louganis in more sheltered surroundings, head to Osher Marin JCC, where there’s a pool for each impulse. The outdoor option is a gorgeous 50-meter eight-laner with no-wave technology; the indoor natatorium is lane-free and 25 yards in length. The outdoor pool (which is open year-round, 100 hours per week) also features an adjacent pint-size swimmin’ hole (open seasonally) for kids up to 4 years old, while the indoor pool offers courses in swim instruction, aquatic exercise and hydrotherapy. (Swimming classes are offered outdoors during the summer.) You can also take a dip with the whole family on weekends in both summer (outdoor) and winter (indoor). It’s never been easier to perfect your turtle stroke. -----------------------------------------------Osher Marin JCC

200 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael 444.8000 www.


+1st YEAR + BEST CHINESE CUISINE In the deepest recesses of Marin County Chinese food lovers’ dreams, their fortune cookies will forever read: “You will soon dine again at Jennie Low’s.” But after 23 years in Marin, her regular customers don’t need any ethereal prognostications to get them queuing up for Jennie’s signature mango chicken, pot stickers and Cantonese noodles (her honey-glazed walnut chicken is a particular pleasure for many of us at the Pac Sun). In this Chinese year of the rabbit, county residents need no further encouragement to hop on over to Jennie’s for a hall-of-fame-worthy fine meal. -----------------------------------------------Jennie Low’s Chinese Cuisine

120 Vintage Way, Novato 892.8838

BEST HOME FURNISHINGS Thirty-three years on the home-furnishing scene hasn’t relegated Sunrise Home to the ol’ rockin’ chair—in fact this frequent Best of Marin winner has designs on the future by trending toward new green and eco-friendly designs. From contemporary to classic, Sunrise can make any home look like it’s just entered a brand new day. -----------------------------------------------Sunrise Home

631 B St., San Rafael 456.3939

BEST PLACE TO BUY APPLIANCES In this age of nasty leaks—at the government level and at home—it’s never been a better time to have Martin & Harris around. When your Whirlpool stops whirling and your Kenmore ken-do-no-more, M&H will bring its more than 50 years of

From all-time favorites like blocks and dolls to the latest and greatest name-brand toys, the folks at A Child’s Delight understand that a favorite toy is something a kid will remember the rest of his or her life. Which is why choosing the right gifts for your little ones is sometimes the hardest purchase a parent has to make. Have no fear moms and dads—the experts at A Child’s Delight have the toy know-how and the game gumption to steer you and your family in an educational and fun direction. -----------------------------------------------A Child’s Delight

105 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera 945.9221; Northgate One shopping center, San Rafael 499.0739

+2nd YEAR + BEST DAY SPA When Marin needs to steam off, it turns to Stellar Spa who’ll de-stress clients with the wholesome blend of moisturizers, massages, masks, lotions and facials that have found them in the Best of Marin winners’ circle more times than we can count. -----------------------------------------------Stellar Spa

26 Tamalpais Dr., Corte Madera 924.7300

BEST LANDSCAPE DESIGN The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence when you’ve got Cynthia Egger Landscape Design at the ready. No topographical problem is too prickly for Egger’s vast experience. So the next time you need a landscaper, definitely hedge your bets with Egger. -----------------------------------------------Cynthia Egger Landscape Design

149 Humboldt St., San Rafael 460.0858

BEST LUMBER/HARDWARE STORE The employee-owned, green-certified Jackson’s Hardware has really hit the nail on the head in the hardware game. With a showroom featuring bathtubs, faucets, showerheads, barbecues, outdoor furniture, a paint department and a plumbing showroom, you’ll find it all at Jackson’s— including the kitchen sink! -----------------------------------------------Jackson’s Hardware

435 DuBois St., San Rafael 454.3740

BEST PLACE FOR A KID’S PARTY Kids will have their cake and eat it too with a party at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, where anything is possible— literally. From themed parties of cowboys, princesses or pirates to blowouts centered on arts and crafts, the Discovery Museum will go to the end of the earth—that’s Sausalito, right?—to make that special day extra special. -----------------------------------------------Bay Area Discovery Museum

557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito 339.3900 MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 15

Roaring MARIN




No one can swat home runs on an empty stomach—that’s why Babe Ruth’s pregame warm-ups begin at Lotus Cuisine of India. We recommend getting to the buffet before he does...

Juice joints and speakeasies BEST BAKERY Dear unfortunate gluten-free souls, please don’t torture yourselves with a visit to Emporio Rulli. The heaps of freshly prepared desserts, loaves of tenderly kneaded and baked sweet breads and magically decorated specialty cakes will make you cry. The authentically Italian emporium of delicious wonder continues to bring a sample of sinful Italian delight to Marin pasticceria connoisseurs, with a wide selection of soul-quenching wines to wash it all down, for over 20 years. Owners Gary and Jeannie Rulli are the proud recipients of this and several prior years’ Best of Marin for best bakery. Yum! ----------------------------------------------Emporio Rulli

464 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur 924.7478 2ND Sweet Things, Tiburon 3RD Bovine Bakery, Point Reyes Station 16 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011

IN A DECADE KNOWN for booze-bingeing bacchanal, Jazz Age It Girls and It Guys would’ve been in desperate need of quality sustenance at reasonable prices—if only to recharge their legs for the upcoming Charleston marathon! They’d find no better place to park their Packards than in modern-day Marin—where the finest restaurants and top-o’-the-mark chefs would tantalize their taste buds, and have them jitterbugging again in no time. BEST BREAKFAST The most important thing about the most important meal of the day is that it taste good, and that’s where the Half Day Cafe comes in. Breaking your fast has never been more delectable: Kahlua French toast with house-made orange butter. A Wakeup Scramble with chorizo, avocado and queso fresco. Whole-wheat sunflower seed waffles. A special eggs Benedict involving pancetta,

fresh basil and house-made sausage. Buttermilk pancakes with raspberries and blueberries. Graffeo coffee from North Beach, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, hot chocolate with freshly whipped cream, not to mention the fragrant house-made biscuits, muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls. The Half Day is also a pleasant place for a meal, as its many loyal customers can attest to. “The key to our return business is the warmth of our amazing

staff,” says owner Tory Monahan. “Some have been here for 20 years, and they’ve become close friends with our customers.” The setting is airy and sunny, with lots of plants and soothing classical music, and there’s a tiled, foliage-draped outdoor patio for alfresco breakfasting as well. ----------------------------------------------Half Day Cafe

848 College Ave., Kentfield 459-029 2ND Dipsea Cafe, Mill Valley 3RD Marvin’s Restaurant, Novato

BEST BREWPUB/SPORTS BAR For over 20 years, Brendan Moylan’s teams of brew wizards have been filling up frosty pint glasses with thirst-quenching goodness at Marin Brewing Company. 17 >

Roaring MARIN

BEST Laura Miwa Comforts

Alexi Sien Rick’s Wine Bar

118 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley388.7002; 942 Diablo Ave., Novato 897.8083; 2042 4th St., San Rafael 485.0214; 484 Las Gallinas Rd., San Rafael 526.2188 2ND Grilly’s, Fairfax and Mill Valley 3RD Lucinda’s, Mill Valley Rick Mendell Rick’s Wine Bar

Patti Pathman Comforts

Candy Mendell Rick’s Wine Bar

‘I wish I could drink like a lady / I can take one or two at the most / Three and I’m under the table / Four and I’m under the host’—Dorothy Parker

Fine-beer connoisseurs flock to the Larkspur brewpub to quench thirsts with brewery favorites like Mt. Tam Pale Ale, Marin Hefeweiss and the refreshingly un-chick drink fruit beer, Marin Brewing Blueberry Ale. With all of the award-winning beers scrupulously prepared on-site, the careful crafting results in a local freshness that keeps Marin voting this haven for goodness time and time again. Add a giant avocado Swiss burger to the order and you’re pretty much in heaven. ----------------------------------------------Marin Brewing Company

1809 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur 461.4677 2ND Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant, Novato 3RD Iron Springs Pub and Brewery, Fairfax

San Rafael 456. 0866 2ND Pearl’s Phatburger, Mill Valley 3RD M&G’s Burgers and Beverages, Fairfax and Larkspur

BEST BURRITO Yes, they’re still at it! High Tech Burrito wins Best Burrito again with its sought-after menu, deliciously and satisfying dedicated to bringing Marin quality customer service.

924 Diablo Ave., Novato 898. 8294; 2202 4th St.,

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT (HALL OF FAME: JENNIE LOW’S) Smack dab in the middle of San Rafael’s downtown Fourth Street is Yet Wah, Marin’s favorite Chinese restaurant. With a clean, welcoming atmosphere that includes window seating for the people watchers, a bar for the drinkers and an affordable menu for us all, Yet Wah continues to serve up authentic and non-greasy meals until midnight almost every evening. Loved for menu items like cashew chicken, walnut prawns, Mongolian beef and vegetarian selections galore, the low-priced entree menu keeps people flocking to its doors. And for the homebodies of San Rafael, Yet Wah offers speedy and efficient deliveries of favorite dishes, which is awesome. ----------------------------------------------Yet Wah

1238 4th St., San Rafael. 460.9883 2ND Ping’s Mandarin Restaurant, San Rafael 3RDTommy’s Wok Cuisine, Sausalito

Tim Stone 142 Throckmorton

18 >

Gurpreet Singh Taj of Marin

Cheryl Craig 142 Throckmorton

BEST BURGER JOINT Although the masses are becoming more and more conscious of what types of foods they consume, there remains for many a strong hankering for big, hot, juicy burgers at the end of a long day. And for this, Phyllis’ Giant Burgers continues to lead the way in the Best of Marin Best Burger category! Stacking only the freshest ingredients and grass-fed organic beef together between freshly baked buns, Phyllis’ remains the burger joint that satisfies those longings for meaty goodness time and time again. “People keep coming back because they know we only use the freshest ingredients,” says owner James Cho of the four locations. “We’re proud to be a Pacific Sun hall of famer!” ----------------------------------------------Phyllis’ Giant Burgers

Diners don’t leave this less-than-typical burrito eatery with the achy, brick-of-doughand-meat-in-the-gut aftershock that is often the result of less careful ingredient planning, but rather with a refreshing, energetic satisfaction of having just consumed a light and taste-bud-tickling meal. With curry chicken, BBQ and Baja burritos just a few of the vittles on their creatively infused menu, High Tech continues to draw in adventurous eaters throughout the North Bay.

Steve Coleman 142 Throckmorton


----------------------------------------------High Tech Burrito

JJ Springfield Rick’s Wine Bar

Christine Van Dyke Rick’s Wine Bar


Mike Hitchcock Mission Wood Products

Mohan Singh Taj of Marin Adam Saville 142 Throckmorton

The persons of their world lived in an atmosphere of faint implications and pale delicacies’—Edith Wharton, ‘The Age of Innocence’ MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 17

Roaring MARIN


Kelly Hartman Nelson Staffing Betty Lima Guaymas

‘Darling, the legs aren’t so beautiful, I just know what to do with them’—Marlene Dietrich

< 17 Juice joints and speakeasies


Several sterling events at the Left Bank Brasserie last year helped lift the restauHealthy food can be comforting, too, and rant to a repeat Best of Marin win. Chef de Comforts was a pioneer in offering glutencuisine Sean Canavan and general manager free selections and foods made with fresh, Jennifer Courtney developed a “Head-toorganic, local ingredients. And that is, no Tail” dinner using a goat—every part of the doubt, the secret (although hardly a secret animal—and reat all) to Comforts’ peated their success success. “Everything with a wild game tastes homemade,” dinner. April 6 the January 16, 1920— explains takeout restaurant features manager Patti PathThe 18th Amendment to a suckling pig headman. “In a good way,” to-tail event. “We’ve the Constitution, banning adds Laura Miwa also developed more with a laugh. Miwa the manufacture, sale of a farm-to-table and her husband, or transportation of aspect,” says CaGlenn, are owners navan. “I’m conalcohol, goes into effect. of the deli, which stantly at the farmers will celebrate its market,” keeping his 25th anniversary this finger on the pulse July, perhaps with a of the seasons. He’s block party. The cafe also cultivated a relaserves breakfast, lunch tionship with Fallon and weekend brunch, Hills Ranch to raise and Miwa has spent the acorn-fed hogs, grasswinter cooking up fullfed beef and rabbits flavored soups, stews just for the Left Bank and pot pies for the deli, as well as the evermenu. Canavan grew up in Germany, so the popular burgers. “People tell me Comforts Franco-German Friendship dinners are a is the only place they order a burger,” she natural fit for his house-made sausage and says. There’s “nothing drastic” about them German dishes. Of course, outside of the she says, just top-quality ingredients such as special events, the restaurant serves up exPrather Ranch beef. Their Chinese chicken traordinary French fare in a splendid setting salad is notoriously good and an appropriday in and day out. Check out the website ate finish to any meal would be one of Comfor a look at the menu, a list of events comforts’ chocolate-chocolate cupcakes... wait, ing up and, naturally, instructions for saying did we start out talking about healthy food? “I love you” in French. Well, chocolate is, sort of... --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Left Bank Brasserie Comforts


335 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo 454.9840 2ND Michael’s Sourdough, San Rafael and Novato 3RD Perry’s, various locations

507 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur 927.3331 2ND Le Garage, Sausalito 3RD Le Chalet Basque, San Rafael

Coming up on a decade in business, Fairfax Scoop shows no signs of becoming a truculent tween. Using local, organic ingredients (70 percent from Marin, according to owner Ray Martin) and concentrating on doing one thing and one thing only: making delicious ice cream and sorbet in small batches on-site (cones are made in-house, too). Other than the standard flavors, the offerings vary by season. Although Martin says good fruit for ice cream and sorbet is iffy at this “transitional” time of year, he now has a farmer in the Central Valley supplying great citrus—which means blood orange sorbet, dark in color with a vibrant flavor. Chocolate lovers rely on the more available Mexican chocolate or Latin jazz flavor—bittersweet chocolate with red chili. Martin feels his business is part of the Fairfax community and exemplifies much of the town’s ethos. So don’t even think of asking for a disposable cup—samples are served on silverware, takeaway serveware is compostable. The storefront is tiny, but the staff is always patient and pleasant, no matter how long the line. And it’s definitely worth waiting in line for. ----------------------------------------------Fairfax Scoop

63 Broadway Blvd., Fairfax 453.3130 2ND Double Rainbow, San Rafael 3RD Woody’s Yogurt, Mill Valley



----------------------------------------------Dr. Insomnia’s Coffee & Tea

800 Grant Ave., Novato 897.9500 2ND Emporio Rulli, Larkspur 3RD Aroma Café, San Rafael

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT “We go by what our customers want, not by what we want to serve,” says Paul Sroa, owner of the award-winning Lotus Cuisine of India. In the Zagat-rated restaurant of 14 years, Sroa uses all-natural cooking oils when preparing his award-winning meals and serves only grass-fed lamb and hormone-free chicken on his meat-eaters’ menu. For vegetarian diets, Lotus offers a wide range of vegan alternatives and glutenfree menu items such as Aloo Gobi, Mushroom Mattar and Channa Masala, to name a few. “We never compromise taste with our meals,” says Sroa of his family-owned and -operated business. “We’re just health conscious and that’s what the customers want.” In addition to Lotus, Sroa runs restaurants in Fairfax and Novato and will open a new addition—Lotus Chaat and Spices, a takeout restaurant and spice/lentil market—at 1561 Fourth Street at the end of this month. ----------------------------------------------Lotus Cuisine of India

704 4th Street, San Rafael 456.5808 2ND Avatar, Sausalito 3RD India Palace Restaurant, Mill Valley

BEST INDEPENDENT COFFEE HOUSE The caffeinated anchor of Novato’s revitalBEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT ized downtown, Dr. Insomnia’s Coffee In a county with a heavy population of & Tea offers up a mellow, comfy atmoItalian restaurants, Il Davide keeps rising sphere for its guaranteed-to-get-you-going to the top. The constantly changing menu is coffee and coffee drinks, as well as the extensive and diverse, offering diners a vamilder teas and non-caffeinated smoothies. riety of pastas, fresh A selection of salads, seafood and brownies, coffeecakes innovative specials. and pastries makes Emphasis is always August 26, 1920— the perfect compleon local products, ment (chocolate and American women are sustainable seafood, caffeine—a match granted the right to vote organic, grass-fed made in heaven). meats and vegwhen Tennessee ratifies Separate seating aretables fresh from eas, plus the outdoor the 19th Amendment. The the farmers marpatio, invite patrons U.S. is the third nation ket. All pastas and to sit for a spell and gnocchi are made to extend suffrage to its make the most of the in-house as well as moment... or hour. female citizens. the creative touches Local mothers often such as infused oils gather in the back that keep customroom at the big table, ers coming back for which easily accommore. The current menu is large and varied modates six or more moms and a passel of with something for everyone, including babies and toddlers. There’s even room for gluten-free options. The lunchtime special all the strollers! Out of everyone else’s way, is renowned with 15 different pastas to they, too, benefit from the camaraderie and choose from alongside a generous pile of coffee without disturbing anyone else’s sipcrisp greens. Il Davide would like to thank ping pleasure. All hail the mighty bean— their loyal clients for all their support. many a writer’s best friend. 23 >

18 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011

Thank You to Our Loyal Customers for Voting Us into


The Hall of Fame 2009-20


Buckeye Roadhouse and Bungalow 44 Thank You for Your Votes We are proud to be among your favorite restaurants in Mill Valley #2 for Best Mill Valley Restaurant

44 East Blithedale, Mill Valley 415.381.2500

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For 57 Years Voted the Best for Everything that Matters to You in Dining Thank you to all of our loyal customers and thank you to all of our treasured employeesâ&#x20AC;Śwhose careful and precise execution of every satisfying and delicious dish makes every Marin Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dining experience a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best.â&#x20AC;?

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< 18 Juice joints and speakeasies ----------------------------------------------Il Davide

901 A St., San Rafael 454.8080 2NDIl Fornaio. Corte Madera 3RDSorella CafÈ, Fairfax

Judy Morris Great Acorn

Claudia Lyons Walker Creek Ranch Mary Hughes Mary’s Futons

Staff pick BEST IMITATION OF LITTLE ITALY Calling itself an “Urban Trattoria,” Vin Antico feels like a sleek restaurant in the middle of the city rather than an Italian cafe in the thick of the suburbs. With chef Ed Vigil at the helm, the eatery is committed to using local ingredients in season with an Italian flair. All the pastas and pizza doughs are made fresh daily so diners can choose from the likes of pappardelle with chanterelles, or a spicy sausage pizza with oven-roasted egg and garlic. Hog Island oysters, a hand-picked selection of wonderful local cheeses and a stellar wine list keep customers coming back. The menu is organized by small plates and big plates with pizza, pastas and salads in between so it’s easy to share lots of different dishes. Sophisticated yet homey, Vin Antico satisfies every appetite.—Brooke Jackson ----------------------------------------------Vin Antico

Sean Canavan Left Bank

Mary Rathbun Great Acorn

Jennifer Courtney Left Bank

881 4th Street., San Rafael 454.4492

There is a tree swinging, and voices are in the wind’s singing—more distant and more solemn than a fading star—T.S. Eliot, ‘The Hollow Man’

November 1, 1920— The Turkish Army massacres 10,000 Armenians after the country proclaims its independence.

----------------------------------------------Sushi Ran

107 Caledonia St., Sausalito 332.3620 2ND Sushi to Dai For, San Rafael 3RD Robata Grill & Sushi, Mill Valley

----------------------------------------------Point Reyes Vineyard Inn and Winery

12700 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station 663.1011 2ND Starry Night Winery, San Rafael 3RD Pey-Marin Vineyard, Olema

901 Lincoln Ave., San Rafael. 451.4765; 811 Fourth St., San Rafael

BEST LOCAL WINERY BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT Though Yoshi Tome didn’t set out to become a restaurateur, it’s pretty clear from Sushi Ran’s multiple awards, honors and recognition—including a Michelin star—that this was his destiny. Over the last couple of decades Tome has continued to expand and improve this bastion of fine Japanese cuisine. Top-notch ingredients, including the freshest fish available, prepared in both traditional and creative ways, keep diners streaming in. But it’s not only sushi and sashimi patrons clamor for: duck breast and Wagyu tri tip are handled and prepared just as carefully as the fish. Waiting’s not usually a problem, either. Patrons enjoy the wine bar, which serves not only wine and sake, but a delightful bar menu as well.

Arguably the most gorgeous and charming community of coastal California, Point Reyes continues to provide a refreshing abundance of fun and relaxation for tourists the world over. For Steve and Sharon Doughty, owners of Point Reyes Vineyard Inn and Winery, their community provides them with year-round business at their award-winning bed and breakfast and tasting room for the Doughtys’ own wine. “We are the first winery and tasting room in Marin since Prohibition,” says a proud Steve Doughty. The business, which includes a three-bedroom B&B and the tasting room, specializes in sparkling wine that is sought after from around the country, along with other award-winning vintages. The B&B is a wine-lover’s dream: get tipsy with nowhere to drive and wake up to do it all over again.

customers do not be distraught when you approach the Fourth Street location and find it empty. Turn around and cross the street. They’ve moved! ----------------------------------------------Sol Food

BEST SAN RAFAEL RESTAURANT AND BEST MEAL UNDER $20 Clear glass bottles of annatto oil arranged among jars of silverware line the counters of the festively crowded and lively colored Sol Food takeout restaurant on San Rafael’s Fourth Street, while lines form at the restaurant location just a block away on Third and Lincoln. It isn’t a special occasion that has brought the masses downtown for lunch, just a typical day of the scrumptious eats and gracious atmosphere at Marin’s best-loved Puerto Rican restaurant. “We try to keep consistency with our menu items,” says Sol Hernandez. The only changes we’ll see with Sol Food is an addition to the menu: shrimp cocktail salad and fried yucca, which is sure to complement the spicy, flavorful goodness she’s been dishing out for years. And loyal, hungry

Best San Rafael Restaurant 2ND Il Davide 3RD Panama Hotel

Best Meal Under $20 2ND Taqueria Mi Pueblo, San Anselmo 3RD Crepevine, San Rafael

BEST MEDITERRANEAN/ROSS VALLEY RESTAURANT There is always something new at Insalata’s, Marin’s best Mediterranean dining experience, because the menu is seasonal and the staff is always tinkering. Sous chef Mariko Wilkinson says chef Paul Irving and owner/chef Heidi Krahling are turning out some of the best soups 24 > MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 23

Roaring MARIN < 23 Juice joints and speakeasies ever—three new soups every few days, such as fennel apple, butternut squash, soupe de ajo—the possibilities are endless. And the soups have been doing really well, says Wilkinson, both on the menu and in the takeout section. Of course, some things never change—the popularity of the house-made hummus with warm pita, the Syrian fattoush salad and a new favorite: Calabrese-style braised stuff pork shoulder over creamy corn polenta. Look to Insalata’s extensive and elegant website for their menu, special events (the midweek prix-fixe menu March 29-31 celebrates France) and even recipes. (Mediterranean may be one of the world’s healthiest cuisines, but how ’bout those coconut macaroons?) ----------------------------------------------Insalata’s Restaurant

120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo 457.7700 2ND Picco, Larkspur 3RD Falafel Hut, San Rafael

Best Ross Valley Restaurant 2ND Marche Aux Fleurs, Ross 3RD Sorella Cafe, Fairfax

August 20, 1920— Left-wing American journalist John Reed dies in Moscow. He is the only American buried in the Kremlin.

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Several well-known higher end restaurants call San Anselmo home, but hidden in plain sight along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard— between a couple of the upscale eateries—is Taqueria Mi Pueblo, a small, unassuming spot serving up traditional, authentic Mexican fare. Owner Noemi Sahagun says the basic, simple dishes are like homecooked meals—except that some of us have never been able to prepare basic meals this good. It has a lot to do with fresh ingredients. Sahagun says not only is the dining room small, the kitchen is, too, so there’s no room for storing cans or pre-made items— definitely an advantage for diners because everything is made fresh daily on-site. Service is friendly and efficient; Sahagun and staff maintain a “comfortable, homey ambience,” which makes it a big hit with families—especially those with growing boys, because the portions are large and the prices low. Sahagun says it’s rewarding to watch patrons return again and again, par24 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 – MARCH 31, 2011

BEST ticularly families, whose kids she’s watched grow from tots to teens and beyond over the past 14 years. Takeout is a big part of the business, but those who dine in can enjoy a selection of Mexican beers, a house margarita or house sangria. And the chile relleno, the most requested item, is a must. ----------------------------------------------Taqueria Mi Pueblo

James Greenhill Marin Color Service



Melissa Bradley Bradley Real Estate

208 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo 460.1027 2ND Las Camelias, San Rafael 3RD Celia’s Mexican Restaurant, San Rafael

Staff pick BEST MOLE-IN-THE-WALL RESTAURANT Peeking through the gate of a spare medical complex in San Rafael, one is surprised to see a festive, happy little restaurant tucked in the corner of the courtyard. Casa Manana is a charming cafe with tables and chairs spilling out into the sunny garden and a Central American menu boasting traditional favorites as well as some unusual offerings. The chicken mole is always yummy as are the pupusas. Pork tamales, plantain enchiladas and pescado a la Veracruzana are just a few of the offerings that set this place apart from other taquerias. The “Secret Garden” setting is a relaxing place to sit back, sip a cerveza and smell the roses.—Brooke Jackson ----------------------------------------------Casa Manana

711 D St. #B, San Rafael 456.7345

Tory Monahan Half Day Cafe

‘We’re going to have a strange life’—Ernest Hemingway, ‘A Farewell to Arms’

he brings to the table, Marin diners keep heading back for more. ----------------------------------------------Buckeye Roadhouse

15 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley 331.2600

Best Mill Valley Restaurant 2ND Bungalow 44 3RD Piazza D’Angelo

BEST MILL VALLEY RESTAURANT AND BEST BAR IN A RESTAURANT Chef Robert Price of Buckeye Roadhouse not only wears the coolest red patent leather clogs in the North Bay, he whips up the most delicious and sought-after meals this side of the Ole Golden Gate. Head over heels with the accessibility and variety of farm-fresh and organic foods growing throughout Marin, Price is dedicated to bringing only the best of the best to the table. “I am very conscious about buying naturally raised meats and sustainably harvested fish,” says Price of his mouthwatering menu. Buckeye Roadhouse also provides diners with the yummiest drinks in Marin. With award-winning martinis and raspberry lemon drops as just a sample of their cocktail menu, it’s a surprise that folks would go anywhere else. Price, who also brings his kitchen magic to Bungalow 44 in Mill Valley and the new Bar Bocce in Sausalito, takes pride in his ability to draw in a diverse and hungry crowd. “We’ve got everything from motorcycle riders to people in black-tie attire and everything in between,” he says. And it’s no wonder. With the creativity and scrumptious ingredients

Robert Bradley Bradley Real Estate

Best Bar in a Restaurant

and by accommodating most dietary needs with low-sodium, gluten-free and vegan selections, when desired. And sometimes getting what we want—and need—to eat is what’s really delicious. ----------------------------------------------Taj of Marin

909 4th St., San Rafael 459.9555 2ND Brick & Bottle, Corte Madera 3RD Dish, Mill Valley

2ND Piazza D’Angelo, Mill Valley 3RD Marin Joe’s, Corte Madera

BEST NOVATO RESTAURANT BEST NEW RESTAURANT 2010 Suffice it to say, the fooderati of Marin have plenty of options for dining. San Rafael eateries, in particular, are highly competitive. So to deem Taj of Marin favorite new restaurant of 2010 must mean something very tasty is happening in the kitchen. Could it be the Chicken Tikka Masala—tandoori chicken folded into exotic, creamy tomato sauce? Perhaps the Bengan Bhartha— eggplant baked in a clay oven with onion, ginger, garlic and spices? The Lamb Vindalu, Boti Kabab or Tandoori Malai Tikka? Whatever North and South Indian cuisine specialty is your fave, if you dine on Thursday and Saturday nights, you’ll be accompanied by live Indian music. Taj of Marin is a family operation run by Gurpreet Singh, with Mohan Singh, who has 20 years of experience cooking Indian food in the U.S., as head chef. Gurpreet and his staff cater to their increasingly loyal clientele by offering fresh, largely organic ingredients,

While there’s no shortage of destinationtype restaurants in Marin, Boca Steak & Seafood Restaurant stands out—particularly in the northern reaches of the county. The modern, yet rustic-looking, eatery serves Argentine-style steak—both grass- and grain-fed beef— grilled over a hardwood fire, served with several different sauces, including two chimichurri varieties. Other Argentine-inspired items are sprinkled throughout the menu. And unlike many steakhouses, one needn’t be a card-carrying red-meat eater to enjoy a great meal here: High-quality fish, fowl and pasta are prepared with the same care. The handsome bar is fully stocked, and the wine list impressive. Dining here is as suitable for a family is it is for a romantic date. Though it certainly fits the bill for a special occasion, there are also ways to eat well while saving some dough. Weekday Happy Hour includes a range of starters and small plates—like the delicious empanadas—half-price. Wine is

BEST < 18 Juice joints and speakeasies a bargainâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;50 percent off bottlesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Tuesdays. And a three-course prix ďŹ xe meal is available Sunday through Thursday from 5-6:30pm. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no wonder PaciďŹ c Sun readers keep this place so busy. ----------------------------------------------Boca Steak & Seafood Restaurant

340 Ignacio Blvd., Novato 883.0901 2ND Hilltop 1892 3RD Toast

BEST PIZZERIA Ted Rowe, ownerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with his wife, Barbaraâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;of Mulberry Street Pizzeria, refers to himself as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a dinosaur about pizzaâ&#x20AC;? because he continues to serve, as he has since 1986, meal-size pizzas with â&#x20AC;&#x153;big, bold ďŹ&#x201A;avors that stand out,â&#x20AC;? using toppings that are generous in both size and amount. He and his staff make each pizza as if it were being presented to their own familyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;cutting corners is not an option. The Rowes work hard to maintain a clean, casual, fun restaurant with great foodâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which clearly appeals to the many regular customers who also appreciate the pizzeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contributions to and support of the local community. Rowe may say heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a dinosaur, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always rolling out something new, like the Tomato Pieâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with mozzarella on the dough, topped with a scrim of marinara sauce, chopped tomato and garlic, Manchego cheese and oreganoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an item popular back in the 1930s. Taste trials are ongoing for a meatball appetizerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; the chicken meatballs were a big hit, and may be back... House-made lasagna is a real favorite and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even a glutenfree pasta made from quinoa and corn that can be topped with the vegetarian or meat sauces. (Rowe notes that the pizza dough is hand-thrown, so the kitchen can never be completely wheat-free.) Pizza lovers sure know where to go for a good old-fashioned pie. ----------------------------------------------Mulberry Street Pizzeria

101 Smith Ranch Rd., San Rafael 472.7272 2ND Picco Pizzeria, Larkspur 3RD LoCocoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Terra Linda

BEST SAUSALITO/TIBURON RESTAURANT Location, location, location. For some restaurants, waterfront dining and magniďŹ cent bay views are all shell, no lobster meat. But at Tiburonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gloriously seaside Guaymas Restaurant, the discerning diners of Marin are telling us that they enjoy the seafood-centric, traditional Mexican-Sonoran cuisine, as well as the view. Local and visiting patrons return



again and again for Guaymasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Camarones Rocca, lime and cilantro marinated prawns grilled on rock salt; Pescado Veracruzana, wild Alaskan halibut with roasted jalapeno polenta cake; an assortment of tamales, fresh ceviche and chile-dusted calamari; and Pollo en Mole, roasted chicken draped in house-made chocolate-mole sauce. But Guaymas fans take note: New menu additions are expected soon! ----------------------------------------------Guaymas Restaurant

Dominican University of California A Graduate Degreeâ&#x20AC;ŚYour Path to Success You are Invited to an Information Session! Saturday, April 2, 10:00 a.m. Guzman Hall, Dominican campus Graduate degrees: Green MBAÂŽ MBA Global Management MBA Strategic Leadership MA Humanities, MS Biological Sciences MS Nursing, MS Counseling Psychology MS Occupational Therapy MS Education and Teaching Credential programs

5 Main St., Tiburon 435.6300 2ND Poggio, Sausalito 3RD Sushi Ran, Sausalito

BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Co-owner Kenny Belov (along with Bill Foss) says honesty is what sets Fish apart from many others. In other words, diners can be sure that the ďŹ sh appearing on the menu is harvested safely and is healthful according to the Monterey Bay Aquariumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seafood Watch list. Because the oceanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health, not food trends, is his â&#x20AC;&#x153;No. 1 priority,â&#x20AC;? Belov refuses to compromise and serve anything but the most sustainable species available. Belov says he hasâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and will continue toâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;come out to explain to patrons why a particular ďŹ sh is not on the menu. These guys arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just talking the talkâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not only is Belov out on his boat ďŹ shing, the owners supply other restaurants as well as their own. Belov spends time researching and speaking locally on the health of the oceans and their inhabitants. He is honored that Fish has been recognized and singled out by readers, but says he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to become complacent or stop striving toward his goalsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;particularly for ocean sustainability. To that, we say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serving.â&#x20AC;? ----------------------------------------------Fish

350 Harbor Dr., Sausalito 331.FISH 331ďŹ 2ND Seafood Peddler, San Rafael 3RD PaciďŹ c Cafe, KentďŹ eld

To RSVP, call 415-485-3280 or visit

Marie S. MS Occupational Therapy

50 Acacia Avenue San Rafael, California 94901

Marinivore Marinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide to Eating Local, Healthy and Green Renowned for its excellent food, farms and fabulous fare, Marin is the envy of health-conscious locavores the world over. In this premiere issue, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re setting the table with the farmers, ranchers, restaurants and markets that make up the mouthwatering menu of Marin. This county hungers for the best in its local foodshed, and Marinivoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s got your orderâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; bite after delicious bite...

Coming May 20th

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Academically rigorous and experientially rich

MA in Psychology Depth Psychology Program

BEST THAI RESTAURANT Natalie and Sak Kamloom, owners of Thep Lela Thai Restaurant, arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t resting on their laurels (repeat Best of Marin winners)â&#x20AC;&#x201D;theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re always striving to make their delicious dishes even healthier. They serve certiďŹ ed organic chicken, mostly the white meat, and use canola oil and fresh, seasonal ingredients. And their son Kirk, 21, a food science major, is ever egging them on to greater culinary heights. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He loves to eat good food,â&#x20AC;? Natalie explains. As a result, the Kamlooms estimate their clientele is 80 to 90 percent repeat customers, who enjoy the best in food,

Information Meeting

Saturday, March 26 2 - 4pm, Stevenson Hall 3042 Sonoma State University SCHOOL OF EXTENDED EDUCATION For more information call Laurel McCabe at 707.664.2130 or visit

26 > MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 25

Roaring MARIN


< 25 Juice joints and speakeasies

Anthony Algood Blake’s Auto Body

service and setting, all at a more-thanreasonable price. No wonder they’ve been in business for 21 years—16 at the same location in Strawberry Village. Of course, if you prefer your own setting, there’s always takeout. ---------------------------------------------Thep Lela Thai Restaurant

615 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley 383.3444 2ND Royal Thai, San Rafael 3RD My Thai, San Rafael


Marilco Wilkinson Insalata’s

Zak Lela Thep Lela Thai

Rebecca Brunk Blake’s Auto Body

Natalie Lela Thep Lela Thai

Robert Price Buckeye

BEST TWIN CITIES RESTAURANT Owner Bruce Hill says Restaurant Picco “provides a unique ‘city restaurant’ experience in the county.” The comfortable, casual atmosphere combined with the straightforward and meticulously prepared dishes have made Picco not only a standout spot, but a regular destination for many locals. (In fact, Hill says “lots of guests see friends and neighbors when they are dining.”) Plates—and there is a mouth-watering variety— are designed to share and the risotto, a time-consuming dish, is prepared fresh every half hour. The menu is seasonal— featuring some great asparagus dishes right now—with classics such as tuna tartare, always available. Start the week off right with Marin Monday—a tasting platter with five or six different small dishes, most of the ingredients from right here in the county. And Wednesdays bring a special of fried chicken with mashed potatoes, greens and a soft-serve root beer float—an ultimate comfortfood meal unlike Mom or Grandma ever made (unless yours used top-quality, organic ingredients...).


‘I learned early to drink beer, wine and whiskey. And I think I was about 5 when I first chewed tobacco’—Babe Ruth

--------------------------------------------Restaurant Picco

320 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur 924.0300 2ND Il Fornaio, Corte Madera 3RD Marin Joe’s, Corte Madera

BEST WEST MARIN RESTAURANT Wander into Nick’s Cove, another stellar component in Pat Kuleto’s restaurant empire, for an escape from the stresses of everyday life. The historic roadhouse, lovingly restored—and improved—to re-create its original 1930s atmosphere, sits over the water of Tomales Bay. Mark Franz and Adam Mali choose the best of what the bay and local area has to offer—sustainably harvested oyster, crab, fish, fruits and vegetables, etc.—creating dishes that let these high-quality ingredients shine through, adding another element to the restorative experience. Hungry hikers, travelers or anyone else


can get a great meal just about any time during the day—breakfast from 8am (only on weekends), lunch starting at 11am and dinner from 4pm on. Plus, a weekday Happy Hour from 3-7pm with food and drinks for $7 (pints of beer $3). Not hungry? The bar is a great spot to slake one’s thirst, soak in the ambience and relax. And if you just can’t bear to go home, one of the cottages just might be available... --------------------------------------------Nick’s Cove

23240 Highway 1, Marshall 663.1033 2ND Olema Inn & Restaurant, Olema 3RD Station House Cafe, Point Reyes Station

BEST WINE BAR Of course Rick’s Wine Cellar has a sterling selection of wines by the bottle and the glass (including French Champagne by the glass or half-glass), some wines from boutique wineries that are not sold

anywhere else (“Wine collectors have a blast here,” says owner Rick Mendell) and a vast variety of pinot noirs (Miles would approve), of course, of course, but Mendell and his wife, Candy, want it to be known that they are also becoming famous for their sandwiches. Big, handmade, slowbaked sandwiches. The “Rickenator” with pastrami, fresh mozzarella and horseradish cheddar is especially popular. It could make for the best spring picnic ever. If you’re going the more traditional route and heading to one of Marin’s fine dining establishments, Rick’s can sell you the perfect wine and stamp the receipt and that will take care of corkage fees at 20 different restaurants. Which will make you feel sophisticated and smartly thrifty at the same time. --------------------------------------------Rick’s Wine Cellar

207 Corte Madera Ave., Corte Madera 927.9466 2ND Sabor of Spain, San Rafael 3RD Wellington’s Wine Bar, Sausalito

Thank you for voting Nelson the top staffing service Best Personnel Agency s s s

Thanks to All for Voting Us Best Live Music Venue 2011 £{ÓÊ/," ",/" ÊÊÛi°ÊUʈÊ6>iÞ]Ê ʙ{™{£ 415.383.9600 www.142THROCKMORTON.COM 26 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2011

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Quality, Speed, Flexibility For Over 40 Years



101 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael

Food Network Gold Medal

Thank you PaciďŹ c Sun voters for 5 straight years! Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm Dinner: Every Day from 5pm Dine in or Carry Out





he families of San Rafael Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s have been proudly serving their customers and friends for over sixty years.

This downtown location is perfect for romantic dinners, special occasions, holiday celebrations and private banquets. Come visit us and enjoy delicious offerings from our extensive menu.



MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 27


THANK YOU FOR VOTING US IN THE TOP! ,/(+2+),a,0-+), ,+&%,a(&%--, '"-"(',a)'$,+'!-(,,'0"!,a,%,a),- $",&'.a+0"'






Stop by for Some Yummy Mexican Food to Carry Home



Mon-Fri 10:00am - 9:00pm Sat 10:00am - 8:00pm




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Best Bakery

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901 A St. San Rafael â&#x20AC;¢ 454-8080

Thep Lela


Thai Bestaurant Re s t

Thank You To All!

Open Daily For Lunch & Dinner 4USBXCFSSZ7JMMBHF .JMM7BMMFZ  Â&#x2026; 


28 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2011

Thank You To Our Customers for Over 22 years of Support WWW.RULLI.COM

Phyllisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Giant Burgers Thank You, Marin, for Your Votes! urger B t s Be Joint

7-08 9, 200 1997-9

3AN2AFAELs2202 4th Sts415.456.0866 .OVATOs924 Diablo Aves415. 898.8294 3ANTA2OSAs4910 Sonoma Hwy, #Bs707.538.4000

Best Mediterranean Restaurant

4HANK9OUFORVOTINGUS"ESTOF-ARIN Thank you for your vote!

INSALATAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Restaurant, Takeout and Catering

Hi! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Sprout, from Agricultural Institute of Marin. Thanks so much for voting our Marin Farmers Markets the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best of Marin for Organic Produceâ&#x20AC;? for the ďŹ fth consecutive year! While you probably know thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot to explore at our markets, did you know we have an educational team thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s here to help? Introducing Digginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the Farmers Market Tours, where eaters of all ages come to learn about local agriculture, healthy eating, and the role of farmers markets in our local food system. In 2010, we led 52 farmers market tours, inspiring over 700 K-12 students and 300 adult participants to dig in to where their food comes from! Now we have friends at Pleasant Valley Elementary, Sausalito Marin City School District, Tamalpais High School District, Venetia Valley Elementary, and beyond! To learn more about AIMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Digginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the Farmers Market Tours, please visit our website and then contact my buddy Tyler Thayer, AIMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Education Program Coordinator. You can call him Mr. Green Jeans. Come dig in!


Ask about events at our â&#x20AC;&#x153;sister-propertyâ&#x20AC;? Tomales Bay Resort located in Inverness.

Best Place for a Wedding

Marin FArmers Markets (Sun & Thurs, 8-1, Year Round) Novato (Tues, 4-8, May-SEPTEMBER) Fairfax (Wed, 4-8, May-September) AIM is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit







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When was the last time you bought flowers just because? Stop by and grab a few bunches of these fresh and gorgeous California tulips.

Three Bunches For




MILL VALLEY 414 MILLER AVE 415.381.1200 SAN RAFAEL 340 3rd ST 415.451.6333

30 PACIFIC SUN MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2011

MILL VALLEY 731 E. BLITHEDALE 415.381.3900 NOVATO 790 DE LONG AVE 415.878.0455

Pacific Sun Weekly 03.25.2011 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the March 25, 2011 edition of the Pacific Sun Weekly

Pacific Sun Weekly 03.25.2011 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the March 25, 2011 edition of the Pacific Sun Weekly