Of course you’re too young to remember San Francisco back in the 1980’s, Gentle Reader, but I’m not. It was a time when we really only had one celebrity chef: Jeremiah Tower.
Like I say, it was the 1980’s so why not start up a “Romantic Polynesian Cuisine” joint at a former garage on Auto Row and name the place after the garage and use the same historic sign out front, right? The heck with what those people at Warnaco / Speedo USA might think. Like I said, kind of a jerk.
Anywho, the Speedo’s Garage sign is gone but the edges are still there, waiting to get filled in, with something:
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Anyway, that’s what crosses my mind when I ‘m crossing Van Ness. A fellow can remember a lot of things you wouldn’t think he’d remember.**
“I had the opportunity to work and eat at Chez Panisse throughout Jeremiah’s tenure and dined at his San Francisco restaurant Stars many times (not to mention his other afterthoughts, “Starfish,” “Stars Cafe” in any of its incarnations, “JT’s”, “Speedo 690″, etc) and the striking thing to me isn’t Jeremiah’s egomania or even his pathologic need for recognition–it’s how much bad food he produced.”
*Denise Hale “popularized the concept of the A List?” WTF to that. And don’t miss this nugget:
Denise Hale, the jet-setting philanthropist, denied that she once instructed Tower to secretly serve Haut-Brion to her and her friend, conductor Zubin Mehta, while the rest of her guests drank a far-cheaper Jordan Cabernet.
**You take me. One day back in ’96, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry. And as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in. And on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn’t see me at all. But I’ll bet a month hasn’t gone by since that I hadn’t thought of that girl.