High Tide café and crepery in Pacifica

High Tide Restaurant has only recently opened its doors in Pacifica’s Pedro Point Shopping Center and already it is filled to capacity every day. The café is unique not only because of its hours (weekdays 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m. serving breakfast all day) but also its cuisine. The establishment is run by that marvelous Jordanian family that has peppered the bay area with its imaginative, delicious food: pancakes. French toast, sweet and savory crepes, omelets, salads, pastas and sandwiches all presented artistically with portions that are well worth the price. If you like a glass of wine with your meal, or prefer a mimosa, a beer or just coffee or a soda…it is all there prepared with imagination and attention to good taste. All the crepe houses in this family chain are known for their house potatoes grilled with olive oil, garlic and rosemary and for their courteous, prompt service. High Tide Restaurant’s staff is unique in its determination to provide a memorable dining experience. Sam, Jeanette and Lena will remember you when you return (for return you must, once you taste their delectable meals or tempting snacks), and they will modify any item on the menu to your own particular taste.

For the holiday, they offer $100.00 gift certificates for $90.00 and have added a pumpkin spice latte, peppermint hot cocoa and an eggnog latte. Their special holiday entrees are turkey crepes with cranberry sauce and a pumpkin soup to die for. If you prefer a dessert crepe, indulge yourself in a chocolate raspberry creation unequalled in the finest confectionary.

This is a reasonably priced family restaurant with a kid’s menu for $3.95. Every entrée is under $10.00, the portions more than generous. No one goes away hungry from High Tides Restaurant.

If you go:
High Tides Restaurant
Café and Crepery
550 Coast Highway
Pacifica, CA 94044
650 735 5871
All major credit cards accepted


Every now and then, a chef can transform ordinary foodstuff into magic combinations that elevate the act of eating into elegant dining at any hour of the day. Chef José Luis Ugalde has done that at Chez Shea, 408 Main Street in Half Moon Bay, in a casual, charming atmosphere that welcomes families. Patrons can view some of its specialties in the glass cased counter as they wait to order from an amazingly versatile menu.

The charm of this small hide-a-way is its appeal to children and adults alike. There are children’s portions that are very inexpensive and all the prices of these exotic and unusual dishes are under $10 for mid–day meals and under $14 for evening fare. Chez Shea is managed by Alfredo Ugalde who accommodates each person’s individual taste. Customers are encouraged however to be adventurous and experience such dishes as Bobotle, a South African twist on the classic sloppy Joe with ground Wagyu beef seasoned with apples, bananas, golden raisins, spices, curry, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Or give Torta Uglade a try and savor a blend of pork, ham, avocado and salsa on a Mexican telera bun with jalapeño mayonnaise. If you want to go Indian, there is an amazing falafel, a chick pea patty faired in rice oil and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, Tsatsiki and harissa-red bell pepper-pecan spreads served in a flat bread wrap.

For vegetarians there is a portabella sandwich grilled and layered with caramelized onions, roasted peppers and braised greens served with the house salad or a cup of soup.

If you prefer something familiar and comfortable, you can always order peanut butter and jelly. a grilled cheese sandwich, a super waffle topped with fresh fruit or six varieties of scrambled eggs.

Dinners at Chez Shea feel like an international tour, with Spanish tapas, a Lebanese Moussakaa Lubnani (a slow baked eggplant, chickpea, onion, tomato and chard combination.) How about an Italian polenta with mushrooms and herbs or an Irish Lamb Stew like nothing you’ll ever find on the Emerald Isle, served atop mashed potatoes?

Chez Shea is open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and you need to go early to get a table. It is filled with families who want to treat themselves to something Mom would never make at home for their coastal afternoon. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and dinners-to-die-for are offered Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

You can call 650 560 9234 for more information or browse their website at


In her wonderful and fascinating description of her life as a Cockette, MIDNIGHT AT THE PALACE, Pam Tent says, “Although PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI had long been germinating in the fertile mind of Link Martin, it was extremely fortuitous when the real Peking Opera played the stage at the Palace…..With this play, Link parted the bamboo curtain, his politics swept aside by his love of the mystery and intrigue of the Orient….His exotic singing sailors and witty whores, handmaidens and henchmen all took their places in the streets beside Asian aristocrats and gangland czars. The music was clever. Inspired by his love of the culture, he gave the stage as much eye candy as a Fabergé egg with high-cardboard décor loaded with vibrant images of pagodas and Chinese street-life.

“The Cockettes all shared a sense of the absurd – our shows were never known for historical accuracy. We thrived on mixing times, cultures and drag – as well as sexual perceptions – to concoct plots that defied traditions and classification. Nothing was sacred. PEARLS was a prime example.”

It is this very sense of extravagant absurdity and camp interpretation that fascinated Russell Blackwood, director of the new, revised and updated version of this wonderfully outrageous Cockette show. “Within three months of reading Pam Tent's "MIDNIGHT AT THE PALACE: MY LIFE AS A FABULOUS COCKETTE," I had a full on Cockette reunion at The Hypnodrome,” he said. “From there, we went to work with Fayette Hauser on Thrillpeddlers’ first Theatre of The Ridiculous Revival (Summer '08) which led to our being asked to mount a staged concert version of PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI for New York's HOWL Festival. It was clear then that Thrillpeddlers and The Cockettes were a good fit. Once we'd begun work on PEARLS then, there was no turning back. It burned in us. The whole essence of the piece is about thrift and skill and keeping a company that works to the very limits of their resources, talents, and joy.”

The result of this collaboration is presented through January 23, 2010 at the intimate and all too cozy Hypnodrome Theatre at 375 Tenth Street between Bryant and Division in San Francisco. This revised version of the timeless Cockettes Musical is based on the book and lyrics originally composed by Link Martin with unforgettable music by Scrumbly Koldewyn. If you have never experienced Koldewyn’s innovative and charming musical interpretations, you owe it to yourself to see this production. He is cast as Ilka, and adds his own magic touch to music that is always timeless in its appeal. Although he is not always at every performance, his spirit is very much a guiding force in its charm and infectious success.

As is Russell Blackwood, the colorful, shocking Mother Fu who sings, poses and tap dances his way through the production he adopted as his own and directed with his special and unique sense of the absurd. This version of PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI is politically incorrect in every way and far more sexually explicit than the original. The whores, Lotus Dancers, Chinese Angels and Handmaidens (all played by the same three talented performers, Kegel Kater, L. Ron Hubby (sporting a lovely goatee) and Linda Wang) are uncontained and choice. This is not a production for innocent children or prurient adults. It is filled with wiggling body parts and positions usually reserved for nighttime endeavors behind closed doors. But no gyration, no insinuation descends to the salacious. Every musical number, no matter how lewd or how uncensored, is too delightful to shock, too amusing to offend. The group numbers are powerful and delicious cupcakes of song and dance, that force you to tap your feet and clap your hands to their compelling rhythms. You would have to be deaf and mute not to laugh at the improbable lyrics that even the television censors of today would forbid. Every time Cockette Rumi Missabu (in his original role of Madame Gin Sing) takes to the stage, you get a sense of the flair and bravado that made every Cockette production a must-see experience for those lucky enough to be part of the San Francisco scene in the late sixties. “The Cockettes grew up together in the golden era of psychedelic euphoria where anything was possible,” says Pam Tent in her not-to-be missed book. “To put the matter simply: We believed we could change the world. It was an incredible journey.”

Russell Blackwood has captured just enough of that euphoric idealism and an abundance of that glitz in his present production of PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI. This was a low budget production that is as lush as and even more extravagant than any you will see on a full blown professional stage at ten times the ticket cost. Kara Emry as Lottie Wu captures the very spirit of this production when she and William McMichael sing JADED HUSSY. It is she who is responsible, with Louise Jarmilowicz and Tahara for the magnificently ornate and ridiculous costumes. Eric Tyson Wertz is the disillusioned Lili Frustrata. He plays the rejected lover with just the right touch of flamboyance and heart to win the audience. Petrushka is played by Judy Garland impersonator Connie Champagne with such style you cannot believe she isn’t the real materialistic hussy she is on stage.

The Hypnodrome Theatre is intimate enough create the feeling that each song is sung directly TO the audience. They become part of every production. They buy every boisterously rude song and love every wild, enthusiastic dance no matter how preposterous the concept, how unexpected the result. Do not miss this marvelous confection of fun and outrage, guaranteed to shock you and abuse your sensibilities just enough to question your own limitations. It’s too late to experience the real Cockettes, but thanks to Russell Blackwood, you can sample the hypnotic appeal that made them a San Francisco legend and is certain to make his Thrillpeddlers a must-follow group for as long as they dare to dazzle the Bay Area Theatre scene with their flamboyant and unforgettable productions.