Jessica Battilana is a local food writer who has penned articles for 7×7, Sunset, Martha Stewart Living, and Gastronomica. Recently, in an otherwise positive review of the new Sandbox Bakery spinoff at 903 Cortland, Ms. Battilana wrote:
We can thank Sandbox Bakery–and owner Mutsumi Takehara–for many things: miso-filled buns, hot dogs wrapped in brioche, saving Bernal Heights from its food-desert status.
Hmmmm. Upon reading this, Neighbor Beth from the Bernalwood Culinary Self-Defense Forces took umbrage…. and sprang into action. Beth’s back-channel exchange with Ms. Battilana transpired follows:
FEB 15, 2012 | 03:48PM EST
I take strong issue with TT’s statement that “We can thank Sandbox Bakery–and owner Mutsumi Takehara–for many things: miso-filled buns, hot dogs wrapped in brioche, saving Bernal Heights from its food-desert status.” Food desert? in less than half a mile we have 4 Zagat-rated restaurants, the 331 Marketplace – which has 3 articles on Tasting Table, Avedano’s Market, the Good Life grocery, as well as many other decent, casual places to eat. Has the writer ever actually BEEN to Bernal?
Beth’s note prompted this response from Ms. Battilana:
FEB 19, 2012 | 07:24PM EST
Jessica B. replied:
Thanks for your note. I appreciate you taking the time to write. I have actually spent quite a lot of time in Bernal, and while I agree that Avedano’s and 331 are both bright spots, I still think the neighborhood has a long way to go, at least restaurant-wise. Food desert is hyperbolic, of course; I do understand that there are, as you say, many decent, casual places to eat. But a place as great as Bernal deserves more interesting, dynamic, food, like what Sandbox (and now 903) have brought.
Thanks again for reading, and for writing. And if there’s anything else in Bernal that you think I should check out, please let me know!
Well, gentle readers… is there anything that you would like Ms. Battilana to know?
PHOTO: Jessica Battilana