The San Francisco Diet

Juhu Beach Club Chef and Top Chef Alum Preeti Mistry Loves Sightglass, Can’t Get Enough of Una Pizza

Mistry says any day she has Una Pizza
Mistry says any day she has Una Pizza “is a great day.” Photo: Courtesy of Preeti Mistry

We San Franciscans are big fans of the cleansing. And certainly, if you work in the food and beverage industry, a little reset is often in order — if only out of sympathy for our poor, workhorse livers. Thus it shouldn’t be surprising that our latest San Francisco Dieter, Preeti Mistry, was just finishing up a no-booze, no-bread, no-meat cleanse as the first day of her food-record-keeping began last week — much like fellow local Top Chef alum Jen Biesty was on a no-carb kick when she shared her week of food with us.

Below, Mistry shares her full week of eating with us, post-cleanse. Take it away, Preeti.

Thursday, July 21

This was the last day, thankfully, of a mini “cleanse” my partner, Ann, and I had been on for about two weeks. Nothing crazy like the Master Cleanse, just no booze, no red meat or pork, nothing fried or fatty … mainly just eating plants and juices. The one concession we had was coffee. So I started my day with a cup of coffee. We normally keep a collection of whole beans from Sightglass and Ritual in the house. Today was Ritual with a small bowl of Aunt Maple’s Granola and Straus Nonfat Maple Yogurt. Once I got to work I also had an Evolution Green Juice, I added a pinch of salt.

At the Juhu Beach Club I tasted menu items and sauces throughout the morning. After lunch service I had the same lunch I have had every day for the past two weeks our Navi Mumbai Salad with no crispy (fried) samosa strips. The salad has organic mixed greens, radishes, watercress, heirloom tomatoes and our grilled chicken. The chicken is marinated with cilantro, fresh turmeric, ginger, garlic and my green chili spice mix. The dressing is a mixture of our cilantro chutney and citrus-ginger vinaigrette, very zingy.

The last night of the cleanse started by taking an acidophilus pill, a fiber drink and 4 detox cleansing supplements which we had been doing every day for the past two weeks. I had a Gingerberry Kombucha while I cooked my favorite healthy dinner, Kimchi and Red Miso Soup with Dino Kale and Hodo Soy Medium-Firm Tofu. I added a few extra jalapenos, and the kimchi juice from three previous jars to bump up the flavor. It was very comforting, and healthy.

Friday, July 22

Started the day with coffee. Ann always makes it because she is an early bird and I am most definitely not. Again, I had a small bowl of Aunt Maple’s Granola with yogurt followed by another Evolution Green Juice when I got to work.

After lunch service I sat down with my two staff members, and finally after two weeks I had a sandwich … I had missed bread really more than anything. In this case, it was our Chowpatty Chicken Sandwich. The sandwich is on an Acme burger bun with the same grilled chicken from the salad and our turmeric and curry leaf cabbage slaw, pure joy. My cashier, Leejay, is also a friend we used to work together at the deYoung, so we headed to the Homestead to celebrate the post-cleanse Friday. The Homestead is my favorite bar … I like a lot of the bartenders and have been coming here for many years. I had two Racer 5 IPAs and my friend, Leejay, had Jameson with a Bud Light back.

I met Ann back at our place and we decided to go to Una Pizza Napoletana — it’s in our non-borhood and I love pizza. Alas, it was closed for some odd reason. [Editor’s Note: See below. Mangieri and his wife went on an unannounced maternity leave.] So we came back home, had a glass of Pinot Noir and ordered a delivery thin crust pizza from Patxi’s with pepperoni, mushrooms and red onions. Not the same as UPN but it hit the spot regardless.

Saturday, July 23

Once again the day started with Ritual coffee made by my love and a small bowl of Aunt Maple’s Granola and Straus Nonfat Maple Yogurt. I have wanted to get out of the deep freeze of S.F. in July for the past few weeks so we decided to make a day trip to Sonoma. Ann did some research, while I was still sleeping, and found that Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood had some pretty snazzy picnic grounds and a deli on-site so we headed out, Sonoma bound.

At Chateau St.Jean we tasted all that was on offer, bought a 6-pack to take home and couple glasses of the 2009 Pinot Blanc for our lunch. I headed to the deli and gathered up the picnic goodies. We had a tub of mixed olives, a cheese platter including Mimolette (big fan) and Bellwether Carmody (adore), La Querica Prosciutto, Columbus Peppered Salami and half a loaf of Ciabatta. The weather was super hot, we sat in the rose garden and soaked up the the Sonoma sun.

On our way to CSJ I spied a spot called El Molino Central, the sign said “Tamales, Tortillas, Blue Bottle Coffee”… I was drawn in. We stopped in on the way home and grabbed some snacks to go and two Blue Bottle Ice coffees.

That night we met my sister, Sejal, for dinner at Canteen. I still had never been and it is one of her favorite places. I had a glass of Unti Rose, and Ann and Sejal both had a glass of the Abraxis. I had the chilled tomato soup as my starter, it was very refreshing and perfectly seasoned. For an entrée I had the albacore tuna with a smokey eggplant puree and haricot verts — the tuna was meltingly yum. Sejal and Ann both had the game hen. We all shared raspberry clafoutis for dessert, and that was very comforting.

After dinner we went to the Burritt Room for drinks. We sat at the bar and were told they are currently changing the drinks menu … which meant there was no menu for us to look over. What sorts of drinks do we like? Well, I love a Hendrinck’s martini with a twist. The bartender made me a drink that included these two ingredients but also had some orange zest and orange liquor of some sort, I was so very happy with this drink. It was everything I like in a cocktail but somehow more nuanced and delicate than my usual. Sejal and Ann both had a cucumber gimlet. We had a great time chatting, and then somehow out of nowhere my sister fell off her barstool on to the ground. She was down, like a dead bug, on her back, feet and arms in the air. I was totally embarrassed and she just lied there and giggled. We left soon after.

Sunday, July 24

Ann made coffee again. We enjoyed the coffee and then were off to brunch at SPQR. We usually go to Zuni or Foreign Cinema or Zero Zero, but we were meeting friends, Jill and Derek, who live in Russian Hill so we thought Fillmore was a bit more meeting in the middle.

Brunch at SPQR. I had a glass of the Rosato. The four of us shared starters: chopped chicken liver with strawberry jam and garlic toasts, rabbit fritters with saffron sauce, insalata with ricotta salata and a tomato tart with buratta cream … how can you not order a dish with buratta cream in its description? We also got some gifts from the sous chef, Sheree: a chard and tomato gratin besciamella and strozzapreti pasta with fava, cranberry bean, lamb’s quarter, pancetta. All of it was delicious but the chicken liver mash up of sweet and savory and the divine pasta were tops. Then our entrees, I had the poached farm eggs with toasted farro, that was just all yolk saucy goodness. We ordered some Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous ice cream and were also gifted the citrus and basil granita. The Mr. and Mrs. Misc. ice cream was just amazing, as always. I love them and their ice cream…it might be my current favorite. The manager, Esteban, then gifted us two different dessert wines a Moscato and a Brachetto, they were both wonderful ways to end a meal and just a whole lotta wine for brunch.

I have been wanting to check out the new Sightglass coffee bar so we met my sister Sejal, who was brunching at Nopa prior, to basically discuss her fall the night before and drink coffee. The new space is amazing gorgeous, I had an iced coffee, Ann had a cappuccino. We walked around and checked the whole space out. Most exciting feature, public hand washing with bar soap outside the toilets. I brought up Todd Kliman’s piece in Lucky Peach about “authenticity” in food that I had read that morning. I was all fired up about it (in a good way) and we needed to continue chatting so we headed around the corner to Terroir, I continued with where I left off and had another glass of Moscato.

We headed to Rainbow to do some grocery shopping for the week. I had a piece cheese at the little cheese snack corner. I scored; it was one of my favorites, Aged Gouda. That night we decided to make dinner out of the snacks we got at El Molino Central. We had thick cut fresh tortilla chips with guacamole and chipotle salsa. I had bought some cranberry shelling beans at Rainbow so I cooked them with pasilla peppers, dried chipotle peppers and heirloom tomatoes. We spooned the beans over cheese and green chili tamales from El Molino.

Monday, July 25

We picked up some whole beans at Sightglass, the day before, so we started the day with a cup. Once at Juhu Beach Club I drank an Evolution Green Juice. There was all kinds of tasting and snacking throughout the day, snacking was mainly our toasted cumin croutons that go on the curry leaf gazpacho and those crispy samosa strips…I heart crunchy salty carbs. Lunch was a glass of our Darjeeling hibiscus Iced and our Holy Slow Braised Cow Sandwich, spicy short rib with cucumber raita on an Acme torpedo.

Ran errands for the pop-up all afternoon and regrouped with Ann that evening over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. We decided to order Mission Chinese, since we have not had it since they got back from their hiatus. We had the Szechuan pickles, thrice cooked bacon and the Westlake rice porridge. All of it was so good. The pickles were crazy spicy, the thrice cooked bacon was smokey sweetness and the rice porridge complete with soft cooked egg was the perfect end to a Monday…it’s like Danny is giving you a big hug of rice, oxtail and crab.

Tuesday, July 26

Ann made Sightglass coffee, we drank it together, and went our separate ways. I stop at Acme bread at the Ferry Building every morning to get my bread for the JBC so today I decided to get a Ham n Cheese turnover to share with Leejay. I warmed it a little in the oven to get the cheese all melty, it was very buttery, flakey and porky.

After tasting and snacking through lunch service I had the special of the day, Uncle’s Chicken Curry Tacos. I have been tweaking the recipe a bit every week and think they are just getting better and better … and spicier. I enjoyed them thoroughly.

Another glass of Sauvignon Blanc with Ann and then I made dinner. We have a plethora of heirloom tomatoes from Comanche Creek farms at the JBC so I brought some home for dinner. I made a tomato sauce with them and herbs from my rooftop deck, a little thyme, oregano and basil we had this with whole-wheat spaghetti and a some shaved pecorino.

Wednesday, July 27

Again, Ann made Sightglass coffee, we drank it together, and went our separate ways. I was still a bit tired right before lunch service started so I went across the street to Bar Agricole and got a Blue Bottle Iced Americano and I picked up an oolong iced tea for Leejay.

I was starting a new side dish that I’m super excited about. It’s pretty simple but totally delicious. It’s a play on the grilled corn you get on the street in India with a lime, red chili powder and salt. I made a compound butter with these three ingredients, little bit India…little bit America. I had a cob after taking a photo for our FB page… it was so satisfying. After lunch service I had our Shrimp Po’Bhai Sandwich, I have not had it in a while and just wanted to make sure I still love it. I do still love it.

Una Pizza Napoletana was supposed to be opening back up this evening so I met Ann and friends, Lori and Paul, there for dinner. Turns out Anthony’s wife, Ilaria, had her baby … and it’s a girl! Thus, the two-week closure. We shared a bottle of red wine and had two Filletis, one Margherita and one Bianca. They were all as I remember them totally the best pizza I have ever tasted. The dough is just so chewy, smokey and perfectly seasoned. Any day I eat this pizza is a great day.

Earlier SF Diets: Boz Scaggs Loves Bar Tartine, and Eats Many a Loaf of Acme Bread
Top Chef Alum Jen Biesty Breaks Her Carb Fast, Falls Hard for a Pistachio Truffle
Jonathan Kauffman: ‘It’s a Wonder I Don’t Have Gout.’
How the Tablehopper (a.k.a. Marcia Gagliardi) Works Through Turkey Leftovers, and Everything Else She Ate Last Week
Tasting Table Editor Jessica Battilana Likes Her Wines Gutsy, and Her Cookies at Night
S.F. Drag Star Juanita MORE! Loves Herself Some Four Barrel, and Slanted Door
How Sommelier and Budding Winemaker Rajat Parr Eats and Drinks His Way Through Harvest
Publicist Andrew Freeman Eats Fries With His Steak Tartare, and Popcorn With His Peanut Butter
Bar Star Brian MacGregor Likes a Good Slider, and Occasionally a Cocktail With Lunch
The Cooking Channel’s Aida Mollenkamp Is a Girl Who Can Really Eat
Timothy Hollingsworth Ate Some *Really* Spicy Sh*t in Sydney
Chris Kronner Loves Sebo Almost as Much as Ryan Farr’s Burgers
Where Didn’t Michael Bauer Eat This Week?

Juhu Beach Club Chef and Top Chef Alum Preeti Mistry Loves Sightglass,