Some bars to check out if you’re trying to get a head
After spending time in SOMA, I often ponder one of life’s greatest mysteries: why do so many bars in San Francisco have the same stuffed heads? The only logical answer is that hipsters love taxidermy. To wit: remember the anthropomorphic mouse craze? Remember the first time you stepped into Paxton Gate in the Mission?
I like macabre décor, and I’m from a small town in Oregon where huntin’, fishin’ and muddin’ are major pastimes. Because I enjoy a good dive bar with real taxidermy, I’ve captured a range of San Francisco’s many mounts. Behold the myriad local dives where you can gawk at large mammal heads.
You can park anywhere you want for as long as you want for free with my new disabled person parking permit. Do you want to take me to dinner in San Francisco’s SOMA? Giants game anyone? Whole Foods? When my boot comes off I will love parking my car in front of my apartment in downtown Berkeley and everywhere else until October 31st. My broken foot doesn’t seem so bad all of a sudden.
Kristin Parke knows not to play with handcuffs unless she has a key within easy reach. Kristin, a security consultant and alumna of Hackbright Academy (a software-engineering school for women), was one of 60 women to attend a lockpicking workshop in San Francisco put on by Women in Security and Privacy (WISP). In addition to Kristin, a white-hat hacker and penetration tester by day, I met law students, professionals and techies while learning about delay mechanisms and lock design at the one-day workshop that SFGate dubbed one of the weirdest classes in the Bay Area.
I’m full of the hulking slab of prime rib I ate yesterday. I’ve always wanted to go to San Francisco’s House of Prime Rib and I finally got to go. Other notable meat eating experiences in my life include attending a graduation dinner at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills with the granddaughter of Richard Frank (brains behind the Beef Bowl) and the time my friend A and I went to a churrascaria and begged for vegetables.
My date ordered fish because he is (said with some degree of fondness) a pussy. I ordered the biggest portion of meat available the King Henry VIII Cut. Did he have a huge meat stick or something? Internet says yes, his codpiece was quite substantial. They carve the meat tableside off an unpleasant looking (even for me) giant slab of cooked cow hanging out in a zeppelin.
We also enjoyed sour dough bread, salad dressed tableside, baked and mashed potatoes, creamed corn and spinach and Yorkshire Pudding (not actually pudding.) I couldn’t handle meat “seconds” offered by the waiter. I was satisfied by Henry.
My friend T told me recently that Casa Orinda in Orinda has better prime rib than House of Prime Rib. I like the idea of an “old west” theme at Casa Orinda even though Yelp says it’s an Italian restaurant. My only beef about HPR was that it wasn’t dark enough. I like my steakhouse dim like Taylor’s in Koreatown in Los Angeles.
A date took me for margaritas to Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco’s Little Russia neighborhood. Tommy’s was opened by the Bermejo family in 1965. Tommy’s son Julio is recognized as one of the world’s top experts on tequila.
My margarita consisted of 100% pure agave tequila, agave syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice. The date was good but the margarita was just OK. OK enough to drink two. It would have been better to sit at the bar, get a tequila lesson, and taste a few instead of just ordering “a margarita.” What I know about tequila is to order Cazadores on a budget and never order Patrón unless you want the bartender to mock you.
The restaurant had old timey character. I didn’t eat so I can’t say if the food is any good. We sang Happy Birthday to a kid making a wish over his flan at the next table. Is it true that tequila is the only alcohol that’s an upper? I choose to believe this.
Poke is trendy. Spelling it, “poké” is trendy. Berkeleyside’s Nosh writer Kate Williams said that poke is, “the new burrito-smoothie-bubble tea-13 dollar salad.”WeWorkers, Cal students and everyone everywhere flock to Simply Bowl in downtown Berkeley. Is the poke they serve there “real?”
My boss thinks that the Simply Bowl(s) do not contain “real” Hawaiian poke. His reasons are: it’s not marinated and the bowls contain squid and wet stuff (seaweed?), which are not authentic ingredients. Regarding his marination accusation, Kate’s response is, “most poke isn’t marinated, just tossed in sauce.” She says the fact can be verified in, “ALL OF THE STORIES about poke in Serious Eats.” I thought marinated fish was ceviche.
Poke comes from the Hawaiian verb “to section, slice, or cut,” so it’s open to a chef’s interpretation. I’m not a chef, but I say that avocado cubes do not a poke make. I’m pretty sure you need raw fish to make poke.
People in these parts flock to Simply Bowl. I had a spicy poke salad today and now my gut hurts. Kate also pointed out that Simply Bowl doesn’t allow you to build your own poke bowl. You have to go to San Francisco for that. Or you can build your own cinnamon roll down the street at at Cinnaholic.
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem (Animal!) will be at Outside Lands in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park this year. It’s not too soon to start planning what you’re going to wear. You’ll want something beautiful, practical, breathable and fun. You should pick up something special from Tilden.
I’ll be featuring Tilden in an upcoming story about festival fashion in The Bold Italic. I met with him last night at Jupiter in Berkeley to discuss the plan. He brought me an amazing bag (see photo above) as an example of his work. I don’t want to give too much of the story away now, but I will say that Tilden is absolutely the designer you want to dress you for Outside Lands or anytime really. He makes women’s’ and men’s clothing (natural fibers, 100% vegan) including selvedge denim. Check out Tilden’s clothes on Instagram.
I love my little bag with the blue cacti print so much!