Eat + Drink
I stopped by the House of Shields (39 New Montgomery St.) to get a quick peek inside yesterday. Chef Dennis Leary of The Sentinel and Canteen—who is turning the turn-of-the-century H.O.S. back to its former glory and reopening it as a bar with light bites of food—told me they're months away from opening, while pointing out a ceiling fan opaque with dust. "They operated this place like that!" he said in disbelieve.
Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. Beer, Bites, and Bikes at Show Dogs: Every couple of months, Show Dogs offers up one of its famed all-you-can-eat parties, with $20 buying unlimited brews, mini-sausages, and the famous onion rings. This outing benefits the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's Great Streets Project, and attendees are encouraged to arrive on two wheels (they'll have valet bike parking) in order to take advantage of all the Speakeasy Prohibition, Black Butte Porter, 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon, and Scrimshaw Pilsner on offer. (Thursday, July 22, 6-8 pm, at Show Dogs, 1020 Market Street, Mid-Market.)
The problem with opening an ice cream parlor is that you’re always in competition—with neighboring scoop shops, of course, but also with an even fiercer adversary: nostalgia. Ice cream inspires deep loyalty, and whether you’re a Häagen-Dazs vanilla fan or a Bi-Rite salted caramel booster, chances are good you have strong feelings about your choice.
Life has been nothing but boxes in recent weeks. After eleven years spent in the Mission, Nopa, and the Haight, I'm moving out to the avenues. I'm excited about the new neighborhood, but also a little worried I'm going to have culture shock. Not because of the fog, the Haight is little better and the view from my window is pure gray at the moment. Nor am I worried about nightlife, my carousing days are long behind me. Rather, I'm worried about my ability to get a decent cup of coffee or shot of espresso with any regularity.
Jen Susman's work, on exhibit at the Silverman Gallery.
DJs and Street Food
If you want to get your fix of both beats and beets, head to the “Dirty Dishes” event on July 22nd at the Lookout. The event will feature DJs and food carts, including Seoul on Wheels, Toasty Melts and Cookie Wag SF. The party begins at 9 p.m. and continues until the wee hours. Admission is $3—RSVP here.
On a windy, sunny day, I showed up at chef Corey Lee's SoMa loft for the cover shoot for 7x7's food issue and for the feature article "Closer to Fine." I'm continually amazed by how much work it takes to do these shoots. We had seven people there, from a publicist to 7x7's design director to Frankie Frankeny, the photographer. On the electric (!) stove, there was a sea cucumber rehydrating. Tacked on the fridge was a mysterious map of Mt. Sutro.
The city’s current Golden Age of cocktails continues to be inspired by the past. Drinking by today’s standards requires a high tolerance and a local history lesson. It also provides a great excuse to play dress-up.
I am a carbohydrate freak—noodles, rice, dumplings, you name it. But it’s char siu bao—barbecued pork buns—that I am really addicted to. I might need an intervention. I get them twice a week, two or three dozen at a time to bring to my staff at the restaurant. But while I’m driving back, I eat one, then two, then before I know it I’ve eaten six: chomp, chomp, chomp. I like both steamed and baked, but I usually get the pork-filled steamed ones. At Clement Street Bakery, they’re 80 cents apiece. The dim sum there is also pretty good, and their coconut buns? Oh, god.
On the wheels of the street-cart movement, in an economic time by no means robust, a French Laundry disciple is attempting to reinvent a dining genre in a city called casual. (But really, Mr. Lee, no pressure.)