pumpktoberfest #43 -
treat yoself.

spice up yer nuts.

pumpktoberfest 2010!

#195 - links &
drinks 2011.

Entries in san fran (4)


the fifty states project #6: CA.

if i've learned one thing from 2 pac & dr dre, it's that california knows how to party, or at least they'll know how to do so in the year 2095. personally, though i've attended a number of rockin' parties in the san fran area in my time, i can't attest to southern california's partying skillz, so i'm just going to have to take their word for it. since the state's got the most people of any in the nation & an economy that's larger than canada's, i suppose that their ability to throw an acceptable party is pretty good. they could get beer from their hundreds of fine craft brewers, wine from their hundreds of fine vineyards & weed from their thousands upon thousands of fine weed proprietors. any cali band except for the red hot chili peppers or green day or blink 182 can provide musical entertainment. if all that cali party awesomeness doesn't do it for you, you can just drive east to vegas to gamble your face off amidst a blur of neon, hookers & adrenochrome.

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nosh nook #186 - monday, november 30, 2009

food fight! (link)
11.29.09 - mission loc@l - by lydia chávez & armand emamdjomeh

i've lived here in nyc for the good part of a decade now & during that time, i've come to realize one thing about this city: we're the most important city in the country. we're the city that has tons of awesome crap to do 24/7, the city that foreigners think of when they think of the united states & as a result, when it comes to our city, we also have pretty big egos. as an example, back in early october, nyc chefs anthony bourdain & david chang were holding a discussion as part of the nyc wine & food festival entitled "i call bullshit." during it, a slightly-inebriated chang showed off that nyc hubris by saying "i will call bullshit on san francisco...there's only a handful of restaurants that are manipulating food...fucking every restaurant in san francisco is serving figs on a plate with nothing on it." folks out in san fran got totally peeved about his comment & the asia society even canceled a book-promoting appearance by chang.

it's been almost two months since chang made those comments about san fran but yesterday, after the ny times ran an article on friday that gave san fran chefs a chance to respond, mission loc@l, a news site out of san fran's mission district, decided to take umbrage at chang's comments. they shot back at chang, saying that "obviously [he's] spent little time in the mission, the incubator of food trends." really? the mission? an incubator? i mean, there's a lot of good food there, but c'mon now. they also note that, in contrast to nyc, the food in san fran is "served up at prices a good chunk of eaters can afford" & that "the new york union square organic market compared to the ferry building farmers market is just plain sad." both of those facts may be true, but i really think they missed the point behind what chang was saying: san fran isn't living up to its potential.

in fact, chang speaks pretty highly of san fran & the mission in particular. about a month back on the sf weekly blog, chang said that "there's no reason why san francisco shouldn't be the culinary capital of the world: you've got great ingredients, a food-savvy public - and i'm not just talking fine dining, but food in general. the mission has amazing, amazing ethnic food." he just thinks that san fran chefs need to step up their game. until they do so, he should be able to call bullshit on them without having to endure months worth of backlash. after all, his momofuku restaurants are considered some of the best restaurants in the best city in the country. sure some of it may be hype (he even called bullshit on the amount of hype during the "i call bullshit" event), but if the head of the top-rated restaurants in the country can't speak his mind about other chefs, who can? seriously, san francisco...it's time to move on.


nosh nook #122 - tuesday, september 1, 2009

foodie festival's fare is cheap and healthy (link)
08.31.09 - sf chronicle - by robert selna

out in the bay area, people are basically a bunch of hippies. liberal commie pelosi-loving hippies. that's just a scientific and historical fact. what makes it worse is that they can't just keep to themselves & be content in their homes with their pornography & their jazz & medical marijuana & homosexuality. instead, they roam our streets, pushing their extreme counterculture ways on everyone else. it's a travesty, really. except for that mormon-funded gay victory, they've taken over the entire bay area. i bet tricky dick & anita bryant are rolling over in their graves over the current situation.

get this. according to the san fran chronicle (which is probably a liberal rag...or is that the examiner?), this past weekend, oaklanders attended something called the "eat real festival," a three-day sustainable food gathering held in a square named after socialist author jack london. it "featured farmers, brewers and street vendors with trucks selling mexican food, falafel and barbecue." i believe a falafel is an arab sandwich. hmm. the festival's purpose: to show "that cheap and tasty food can also be good for people and the planet." oh, brother. there they go again with the planet.

i don't get the festival's take on food. the reason why we're such an advanced nation is because we have such huge farms with such advanced technology & such advanced distribution chains that we can feed everyone. robert seina, author of this article mentions that "most items on sale at eat real were in the $1 to $5 range." $5? how is that sustainable? you can get a $5 dollar foot-long for that price! liberals love spin, i guess. as for the festival, it wasn't entirely bad. friday was "ice cream friday." i like ice cream. they had a "beer shed." i like beer. there was even a butchery contest, an event where "three teams of local butchers go head-to-head on quarter steers." i like butchering things.


snack away! #11 - my life as a rice cracker.

there is a specter haunting my life and its name is arare--a japanese rice cracker i’m sure you’ve all come in contact with without ever knowing its proper name.

arare are a little crispy snack made from glutinous rice and seasoned with soy sauce. often you see them wrapped in seaweed. they sell them at corner stores as “oriental mix” and they give them away like pretzels at some bars in chinatown.

my early life, as is the case with most people, is remembered in much the same way i remember dreams. little images stick around and others vanish with no real sense of rhyme or reason. much of modern psychology is based around what exactly it is we remember and what we forget. i wonder what a psychiatrist would make of how much of my memory is filled with rice crackers.

one of my first memories was the bulk isle in the local supermarket of my childhood home, boulder creek, CA. my mother would pacify me during grocery store trips by letting me get arare from the bins. the store called them “bar mix” for some reason. i called them chinese snacks--a mistake i wouldn’t really correct until i’d actually been to japan.

years later I’m in 5th grade at a hippie public school in santa cruz. my mother’s boyfriend brings me a big bag of chinese snacks. even at that age i wonder if there’s something wrong with their relationship. is he trying to win me to his side?

a little bit farther down the line and i’m in the tokyo airport with my dad, my stepmother, and my grandmother. the woman behind us is very happy to see a little white boy eating such a japanese snack. "much better than potato chips" she says. the ones i was eating were made in kyoto at the world’s best arare shop. when i get back home, i don’t call them chinese snacks anymore.

snack away! #11 - my life as a rice cracker.
guest blogger: damian lanahan-kalish, san francisco, ca

snack: arare japanese rice crackers
drink: nama sake

arare image from cansimage france / photo from shugtastic (via flickr) / nama image from ratebeer.com

next thing i know i’m in junior high. i spend my weekends in santa cruz, just looking for reasons to not be in boulder creek. every time i go to santa cruz, i make a special trip to a very specific longs drugs to buy my favorite brand of rice cracker--one that comes in a red and orange bag with a boat on it. later, i would find out it’s the best because it has the most MSG.

fast forward to the end of high school. i’d moved up to mill valley to live with my dad. everyday after the school i’d hang out downtown at the depot. i’d hang out with friends, drink coffee, try to get people to buy me cigarettes and i’d eat rice crackers. my friends teasingly called them "happy snacks" because the only brand mill valley market carried were called hapi. i never called them this. it was an inferior brand.

five years later, i’m living in new york city, in astoria, queens. i’m very exited about the variety of rice crackers at sunrise mart on 9th st., but even better, they have my favorite brand at the korean market just four blocks away. astoria truly is the happiest place on earth.

now i’ve been back in the bay area for about five years. two years ago i found out, after a long period of bad digestion, that i couldn’t eat wheat. no more bread, pasta or beer. but I could eat arare...they're rice crackers after all. i live just a mile or so from berkeley bowl, where you can buy my favorite rice crackers in large family size bags.

i think everything is going to be okay.

i got so carried away there writing about rice crackers that i forgot to mention a beverage in my post.

first off, i’ll start by telling you what i can’t drink. a wheat intolerance means that you can’t eat bread, pasta or burritos but it also means you can’t drink beer. this was a huge adjustment for me because i used to drink a lot of beer.

i can still drink wine and hard liquor but as any fan of beer knows, on a hot day or when you're tired that’s just not the same. sometimes i drink cider but all the sugar in that shit makes me almost as sick as the wheat.

a few months ago i made a surprising discovery. i was at the sake tasting room at the takara sake factory in berkeley. the sake expert there (who gives you all your tastes) pulled out a little green bottle of sake called nama, an unpasteurized draft style* sake he said was very much like drinking beer. i was skeptical. sake may be brewed in similar ways to beer but it tastes nothing like beer.

to my delight and surprise, my skepticism was quickly proven ill founded. there was something about this little sake in a green bottle that made it truly refreshing in the way only beer could be. the quality proved nearly impossible to pinpoint. it tasted nothing like beer. the alcohol content was nearly twice that of beer. still, it had something about it that just felt relaxing in the way only beer can.

*nama sake is an unpasteurized sake, so you need to drink it pretty soon after opening. that’s why it comes in little bottles.

20 years ago, high on a hilltop, a stray bolt of lightning from an unexplained source - there was not a cloud in the sky - struck a lone female physics professor and her boyfriend, a bongo playing weed merchant, and when the smoke cleared, one figure remained: cloaked in black, the master of all he purveys, damian lanahan-kalish, owner of over 100 thoroughbred ponies and pervert extraordinaire. he's also a founding member of sleepwalkers theatre, mishap productions & brandywinecooking and the writer of gotprojects.blogspot.com.