Lamb Jam champ: A Korean-style dish from Oakland's Pican took top honors at the fifth annual San Francisco Lamb Jam competition and will move on to the finals.

Chef Sophina Uong created Smoked Lamb Bulgogi in the lamb shoulder category, winning both that category and best in show on July 13. She and her team will now cook the dish at the American Lamb Board's national finals on Sept. 28 at Sunset's Savor the Central Coast event in San Luis Obispo.

By the way, there's a streak to keep alive here. The Bay Area contest's top lamb dish in 2013 went on to win the whole shebang. That was San Francisco's Salt House executive chef Vernon Morales' Vadouvan-Spiced Lamb Riblets, served with tamarind barbecue sauce.

Chef Sophina Uong, left, pours curry vinaigrette on the spaghetti squash, curry apple and radish salada as her daughter Roan Pearl, 11, looks on at her
Chef Sophina Uong, left, pours curry vinaigrette on the spaghetti squash, curry apple and radish salada as her daughter Roan Pearl, 11, looks on at her Pican restaurant in Oakland Calif., on Friday night, Nov. 15, 2013. The dish mainly made of spaghetti squash includes fennel, radish, beets, basil, mints, salt and pepper, curry vinaigrette, Champagne vinegar, olive oil, topped with parmesan cheese. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) ( RAY CHAVEZ )

Lamb Jam attendees voted for their favorite, too. Chef Telmo Faria of Chino -- that's the newish Asian restaurant from the Tacolicious team in S.F.'s Mission district -- snagged the People's Choice for his Spicy Braised Lamb Noodles.

Doukkala adds brunch: Oakland's newish California-inspired Morroccan restaurant, which was recently reviewed in these pages, has announced the debut of weekend brunch with service on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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Doukkala executive chef Eric Lanvert's debut brunch offerings ($8 to $14) include Moroccan baghrir pancakes with assorted jams, honey, roasted Marcona almond butter; Doukkala Benedict with poached eggs, grilled Merguez sausage and harissa hollandaise; and baked egg chakchouka, poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce and bell pepper coulis. No word yet on the mimosas. See you there. Details: 4905 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. www.doukkalarestaurant.com.

Burlingame's 'Farm and Sea': A new restaurant has taken over that prime position next to Highway 101 that was held for years by Kuleto's, then by Medallion Steakhouse.

Fattoria e Mare is owned and run by chef Pablo Estrada, a veteran of Rose Pistola in San Francisco's North Beach. He creates his Venetian-style menu with California seafood and local seasonal produce -- hence the restaurant's name, which translates to Farm and Sea. All charcuterie and pasta are made in house.

The inaugural menu features a seafood stew with haricort verts and tomato brodetto; stuffed casonsei pasta with fresh corn, pole beans, chervil and green garlic butter; and starters that include grilled octopus and wood-fired pizzas. Fattoria e Mare serves lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends and dinner nightly. Details: 1095 Rollins Road, Burlingame. www.fattoriaemare.com.

The Rok: After several years in Sunnyvale, Rok Steakhouse & Grill has opened a second location, in the @First center in San Jose's tech corridor. For the uninitiated, the "Rok" is a sizzling, 700-degree volcanic rock brought to your table. If you're a fan of rare steak or rare ahi, you know the value of controlling the cooking yourself.

Those who like their meat well done can also enjoy the theater of Rok, or let the chef handle the honors. And if you haven't been to either Rok before, we have two other words of advice for you: cheese fondue. Details: Open daily for lunch and dinner. Highway 237 at North First St. www.roksteakhouse.com.

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