Escapes: SoCal food-truck legend makes Bay Area appearances


Chef sighting

The mere mention of Roy Choi’s Korean short rib tacos sends foodies drooling.

Earlier this month, Choi, the Southern California native credited with launching the mobile food revolution with his fleet of Kogi BBQ trucks, released a memoir published by Anthony Bourdain’s Ecco book imprint.

“L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food” documents Choi’s nontraditional culinary journey. It’s peppered with 85 recipes that reflect each stage: Abalone porridge reminds him of childhood; ketchup fried rice comes from his drugged-out, bad-boy phase; seared scallops with chive beurre blanc harkens back to culinary school; and kimchi-and-pork-belly pupusas signal the start of his food truck career.

Northern Californians can get a taste of Choi’s style at a book signing at Oakland’s Hawker Fare restaurant (2300 Webster St.) from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Choi will also make an appearance at San Francisco’s Omnivore Books at 3885 Cesar Chavez St. for a talk at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Both events are free, and more info is at


Holiday cheer

What: Can’t wait until December for all the holiday hoopla? Get a sneak peek at Chico’s 36th annual Christmas Preview, where shops unveil festive decorations, carolers roam the streets and Santa

arrives by horse-drawn carriage.

When: 4-8 p.m. next Sunday

Where: Downtown surrounding Third and Broadway streets, Chico

Cost: Free



Model railroads

What: A series of special holiday shows give model train enthusiasts several chances to gawk at more than 4,300 feet of hand-laid track. The Diablo Valley Lines is one of the world’s largest and most mountainous model railroads.

When: 8-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society, 2751 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek

Cost: Adults: $3. Seniors and children 6-12: $2



Bee-ing grateful

What: Michael Thiele teaches a class about bees that goes far beyond honey. In honor of upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations, contemplate a bee colony’s social order and wisdom, and become thankful for bees.

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Healdsburg Shed, 25 North St., Healdsburg

Cost: Free



Nature’s gifts

What: The 29th annual Arboretum Gift and Wreath Sale features succulent planted art pieces and wreaths among other handcrafted items by local artists. Proceeds benefit the Arboretum’s educational programs at UC Santa Cruz.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday

Where: Norrie’s Gift and Garden Shop, 1156 High St., UC Santa Cruz

Cost: Free



Feeling crafty

What: The fourth annual Jingle Fest brings artists, designers and their wares directly to holiday shoppers. A free crafting station adds DIY ornaments to the mix.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Napredak Hall

Montague Expressway, San Jose

Cost: Free


– Janelle Bitker