First of all, an admission of my current un-ease: I am in downtown San Francisco killing time before I jump onstage at a dear friends’ Variety Hour at the Exit Theatre on Eddy. As proven by my recent wide eyed adventures in Los Angeles, I really do enjoy inner-weaving myself into the fabric of a culture. Today should not be an exception, but it is for some reason.
This city is (or at least was once) my city. I had a bar and grille in the financial district and have walked (stumbled) over every square inch here. In my quest to locate the theater hours before we start tonight I wandered, like I do, and located “The Exit,” one block… in the wrong direction. I turned the corner into urine and pot smoke—loud, scary people eyeing me suspiciously. I felt unsafe and appalled. Have I become that reliant upon my own vacuumed life that I can’t wander around a place I used to be a part of? I walked ten blocks in vain, trying to find my comfort, and finally found it at a diner in Union Square surrounded by tourists. Really sad.
Ok-enough. Let’s talk good food!
Mixed Grain in Walnut Creek gets it! A new Korean restaurant specializing in the healthy way to eat, isn’t that big of a stretch because Korean food is generally healthier. Their specialty is their purple rice. Their menu talks about it, their shirts yell about it and everybody eating it sells it with their smiles! It is a combination of white, sweet white, barley brown and sweet brown rice. You feel super eating it. No really, like you have powers all of a sudden.
I won’t dive too much further into the menu past their specialty entrees because if you haven’t been there, this is what you should get—The Works (Bibimbop). Twelve different veggies served over rice with your choice of protein (beef, chicken, pork, salmon, shrimp, tofu or mung bean pancake). Throw a sunny side up egg on top of it all and side that with Korean spicy chili paste and you are set for the night. Mind you that this meal comes with all of the accoutrements that come with traditional Korean eating.
I am not sure if we went there why all the staff still had that new restaurant haze, but the staff seemed to be hoarding Prozac. So happy and helpful. Not nearly the jaded individuals that I usually encounter with any establishment that has been open longer than a month. Food and beverage has a way of doing that to us over time. This staff acknowledged and played with my son before bringing him a tiny yogurt drink for finishing his meal and then spent time cooing my new daughter. Always smiling, always happy and securing that we will make this a regular stop.
Mixed Grain is located across the street from the Walnut Creek Yacht Club, where I used to call home as a manager once upon a lifetime ago, and is actually housed in the structure of an older Korean restaurant of yester-year. I actually didn’t want to go to Mixed Grain because I had an affinity for the old place. Their menu saw me through a bout of salmonella poisoning and if nothing else I am a loyal patron, but my wife had seen a write up on the place and in her infinite quest to improve our health (I love her for that) we packed up the brood and went. Boy am I glad I did.
Since that first time we have ordered food for pick-up, not expecting much, and once again got floored with service. “Water while you wait sir?”
Bottom line is if you like feeling good after a meal, then Mixed Grain is your place physically and emotionally. Have I steered you wrong before? Don’t answer that.
1546 Bonanza St. Walnut Creek ,925-938-5959