The West is a big, big place, and every week our staff is all over it, digging up the shops and restaurants, beaches and trails, performances and, well, phenomena that make the region so vibrant. Here’s the Best of the West this week

Bi-Rite Deliciously Done Kit
Courtesy of Bi-Rite Market

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Hack

Courtesy of Bi-Rite Market

Whether you’re hosting the holiday feast or need to bring a dish to where you’ve been invited, the thought of being responsible for any part of the Thanksgiving meal can be a source of stress. If you’re in a pinch, SF’s darling of the curated food world, Bi-Rite, offers plenty of premade options for Turkey Day. You can pre-order cooked (or, of course, raw) heritage turkeys, a variety of holiday side dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, and delicious seasonal pies—or opt for the market’s Deliciously Done Holiday Meal Kit, a fully curated and complete holiday feast that just needs to be reheated at home (and is available in a number of sizes to tailor to the number of diners). All holiday pre-orders are available for pickup in the market’s SF locations or can be delivered within the city. Now that’s what we call deliciously—and conveniently—done! —Jessica Mordo, associate digital director

Fondue Friday in Portland

Morgan Joffe

I know everyone’s got turkey on the brain right now, but maybe, like me, you’re ready to start easing into the hygge winter vibe—to that end, there’s really nothing better than fondue. Sure, you can make your own (I personally have three vintage fondue pots), or if you’re lucky enough to be in the Portland area, you can bop on into Olympia Provisions for Fondue Friday, going weekly through the end of the year at their Public House (in SE Portland). If the vats of molten cheese weren’t already enough to lure you in (I’m personally powerless against that lactose-laden siren song), OP’s fondue party includes kielbasa, apples, boiled fingerling potatoes, a pretzel AND a baguette, plus house-made pickles. (Serves 2-4 for $40.) Best yet, bottles of Riesling and pitchers of Rosenstadt are 25% off.—Heather Arndt Anderson, garden editor

Oil and Vinegar from Pineapple Collaborative

Courtesy of Pineapple Collaborative

Have you heard of Pineapple Collaborative? It’s a woman-led group with chapters in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. They host events (a few of which I’ve been a part of, including a recent talk with Liz Prueitt about the re-release of the Tartine All Day cookbook) and foster community, while supporting women in the food industry. Now they’ve launched a new line of products in partnership with two businesses helmed by women. Their two products—olive oil and apple cider vinegar—are now available for pre-order. I can already recommend them both as Western-made items: The apple cider vinegar is from Little Apple Treats in Sonoma, CA, and the olive oil comes from olives grown by the Ricchiuti family at ENZO Olive Oil Company in Madera, CA. —Ellen Fort, food editor

Olive Oil, $28 from Pineapple Collaborative

Apple Cider Vinegar, $16 from Pineapple Collaborative

Hip Holiday Cards

Courtesy of Gold Teeth Brooklyn

’Tis officially the season for holiday cards! I’m not a photo-of-the-fam type (though a photo shoot with me and my dog Woody in matching sweaters is not a terrible idea), so I need another way to convey my seasonal well wishes from sunny SoCal. Enter Gold Teeth Brooklyn, an L.A.-based card company by local screen printer Jesse Levison, who makes colorful, cheery snail-mail options for every occasion. I’m particularly fond of her ornament-laden cacti and palm trees, but the rest of her holiday line (candy canes, strings of lights, non-denominational mugs of hot coffee) is just as sweet. I’m getting my order in before Thanksgiving so I can spend next weekend alternating between correspondence and leftovers. —Kate Wertheimer, travel editor

The Guild Hotel, San Diego

Dylan + Jeni

I hopped down to SD for the weekend to catch the Sunset-sponsored San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, and when I wasn’t stuffing my face with local delicacies I cozied up at the new Guild Hotel. The former YMCA, constructed in 1929, offered first-time hotel designer Sormeh Rienne a broad canvas, which she filled with items our senior home editor Sally Kuchar lovingly lauds for their “curve appeal.” Scalloped plinths; rounded tufts; oval-shaped travertine tables: The furnishings play beautifully against the straight lines of the box-shaped building and rooms. An interior courtyard houses a restaurant called Luca that specializes in Mediterranean fare; don’t sleep on brunch, though. It’s one of my favorite new spots to stay in SoCal. —Matt Bean, editor in chief

Guild Hotel

A Moment of Zen in the Suburbs

Creative Commons photo by Arup De is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I recently moved from the energetic city of Oakland to the far less kinetic suburb of Castro Valley. (It was a very successful move; the only thing that seems to have gotten lost was my street cred.) One thing I noticed right away is how quiet it is. I didn’t think it could get much quieter than my sleepy block, actually, but I was wrong. In neighboring Hayward, I found an oasis even calmer than my little patch of lawn. That’s the Hayward Japanese Garden, 1.5 acres of pagodas, koi ponds, and manicured greenery on the outskirts of the small city of Hayward. I knew it was a special place, but didn’t fully realize how special until I convinced my garden-expert friend John Lander to take an afternoon out of his San Francisco vacation to check it out. John makes a living in no small part by taking photos of Japanese-style gardens all over the world. He proclaimed himself knocked out by the Hayward garden, saying it was not just worth the 45-minute BART ride, but in fact superior to at least one of its better-known Bay Area rivals—high praise from a guy who’s seen a lot of red bridges in his day and is not easily impressed.

Which was good enough news to make me relax a little about leaving city life behind. (Another relaxing thing: Admission is free.) —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

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