THE HOLIDAY SEASON often finds us cozied up with home-cooked meals or, should we hit the town, chatting with regulars at a warm and friendly local bar, like the one at Bungalow 44. The bedimmed yet lively Mill Valley eatery — a sis- ter to county favorites Buckeye Roadhouse and Bar Bocce — has been popular with locals since its opening in 2005, serving up plates of California comfort
cuisine in equally comfy leather banquettes. In 2012, chef Michael Pihl took the reins. Pihl,
who moved to the Bay Area from Arizona at age 14, began cooking at Sonoma’s The Girl and
The Fig fresh out of high school, then relocated to San Francisco to try his hand in city-centric kitchens. It was then he really fell in love with the art. After a two-year stint at Cyrus
in Healdsburg — where he began what he calls his “formal training” under chef Douglas
Keane — he further honed his craft at Michael Mina in Union Square. At Bungalow, he says,
“I love cooking for our loyal, food-savvy regulars who are open to new and exciting seasonal
items and are willing to branch out and try something they normally wouldn’t.” Asked for a
slightly simpler dish to add depth to this year’s Thanksgiving spread, he presented this take
on a beloved standby: Black Garlic Mash. bungalow44.com CALIN VAN PARIS
Chef Michael Pihl shares Bungalow 44’s secret to marvelous mashed potatoes.
Out & About / FLAVOR
Black Garlic Mash
5 large Yukon gold potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 head of black garlic, peeled
½ pound butter
1 quart heavy cream
1 Scrub, peel and quarter potatoes.
2 In a large pot, cover potatoes with
cool water and add a pinch of salt.
Bring potatoes to a boil, reduce to a
simmer, and continue to simmer until
tender. Strain excess water. 3 Using
a food mill or ricer, mash the peeled
black garlic (a type of caramelized
garlic), followed by the potatoes. 4
Place pot — now containing mashed
garlic and potatoes — back on the
stove on low heat. 5 Add butter and
stir before adding cream to achieve
desired consistency. 6 Season with
salt and pepper and serve.
Black garlic mashed potatoes
are paired with a wood-grilled
pork chop, guanciale braised
kale and mission figs.