Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Sign of the Times: Recession-Era “Dine About Town” Renamed as “SF RESTAURANT WEEK” – Max Price is $85, a 130% Increase

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Hey, you want a government program that actually works? How about requiring all restaurants to post their hygiene letter grades on a big poster at the main entrance, the way they do down in SoCal?

Take a look:

“In 1998, the County of Los Angeles set out to create a report card grading the hygiene of all restaurants. Phillip Leslie, associate professor of strategic management at Stanford GSB, saw the new law as an opportunity to study the effects of information on consumers and on market outcome. “We wanted to look at how responsive consumers were to that information and whether that translated to responsiveness by restaurants to improve product quality,” says Leslie.

“What he found was overwhelming evidence that not only did consumers change their behavior once the ratings became public by frequenting restaurants with better scores, but restaurants also improved their hygiene levels. And he saw an additional benefit: fewer hospitalizations due to food-related illnesses. “We found that better information causes a change in the behavior of restaurants and consumers, and resulted in an improvement in public health,” says Leslie.

Now that you’re up to speed, here’s the kicker:

He also found the new system had an apparent impact on restaurant-goers’ health. Leslie studied data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development detailing the number of people admitted to hospitals with specific illnesses. What he found was that hospital admissions for food-related illnesses fell 13 percent from the previous year for people living in Los Angeles, while they rose 3.2 percent in the rest of state. Overall, there were 20 percent fewer food-related hospitalizations in LA than the area would have been expected to experience if the grades had not been introduced.

Now, do you think that San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and/or any of his appointed minions, like Gavin Newsom or Ed Lee, think that this kind of letter grade requirement would be good for San Francisco? IDK. But so far nobody has dared to defy the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which super doesn’t want letter grades posted for tout le monde to see, even though such a requirement would boost sales overall, and have an even greater benefit for those who don’t skirt the rules set out by SFGov.

Oh well.

But I digress.

Hey, here are the new deets for SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANT WEEK. (Or take a look at this  well-reported Annie Sciacca bit from last month, if you want the complete history.)


The GGRA has taken over “Dine About Town” from the local tourist organization and this is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING? OK, maybe, we’ll see.

The top price for this program has gone up 130%? Yep. Boy, that sure is restaurateur-friendly, huh?

And the $xx.99 pricing scheme now goes to $xx.00? My, how posh we are.

And what’s this? “San Francisco has the best restaurant community anywhere. Full stop.” Really? Not New York? Not Paris? Not Rome? Not Tokyo? My, how provincial we are.

OTOH, “Restaurant Week” sounds like we’re simply copying other towns in order to sound more “world class.” And of course, it won’t be an actual week, so we’ll be 43% more world-class than everybody else!

And we need $85 deals to allow restaurateurs to “highlight farmer relationships [and] winemaker partnerships…” Like they don’t do that enough on their own already?

And what’s this, a “family-style whiskey-themed dinner?” We’ll be just like Italy!

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Why did the GGRA take control of DAT from SFT? What was wrong with the program before? (IDK myself. This one would write itself, huh?)

I propose a RESTAURANT YEAR, a year in which restaurateurs learn to accept the realities behind that Stanford study and relent on the letter grade issue. Oh what’s that, Yelp has the numerical scores hidden away so that they’re hard to see? No, what we need are simple old-school letter grades posted for all to see.

All right, here it is. Enjoy:


January 21 @ 10:00 am – January 30 @ 10:00 pm

(Under new leadership and with new program updates.)

San Francisco has the best restaurant community anywhere. Full stop. Imagine 10 days of celebrating that. This is the first year that the Golden Gate Restaurant Association has taken the reigns of SF Restaurant Week (a program formerly known as Dine About Town – presented by San Francisco Travel). Based on diner feedback, we gave the program a few updates and are excited to share the addition of a new charity partner: the SF-Marin Food Bank. We’re thrilled to re-introduce you to the new SF Restaurant Week and get your support building this into the ultimate celebration of our diverse restaurant landscape.

During Restaurant Week diners can choose from:

$25 – 2 Course Lunch Menu

$40 – 3 Course Dinner Menu


$85 Discovery (tasting) Menu – This is a new menu offering available at select restaurants designed to inspire restaurants’ creativity and delight diners. Look for menus that highlight farmer relationships, winemaker partnerships, special dishes or cocktails, or a chef’s vivid imagination.

Sneak Peek: Great Discovery Menu plans are in the works. Hog & Rocks will be doing a family style whiskey themed dinner in partnership with High West Whiskey. ThirstyBear Brewing Co. is planning a beer themed dinner with food made with beer. We’ll reveal Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, RN74, AQ and a number of others’ Discovery Menus soon! Stay tuned…

When is San Francisco Restaurant Week?

San Francisco Restaurant Week is a 10 day celebration from January 21 – 30, 2015. Why do we call it Restaurant Week? Because ‘Restaurant 10 Days’ just didn’t sound as good.

How do I find out which restaurants are participating?

We are curating a fabulous group of restaurants that reflect our unique and diverse culinary community. You will be able to see the list of participating restaurants and the menus they will be offering here on this website on January 5th, 2015. In the meantime, visit our Facebook page (join the event!) and see a sneak peek of who is participating and some of the dishes and experiences that will be on offer.

Should I make a reservation?

Yes! Not only to make sure you get to try all of the fabulous menus at the places you want to visit but also because $0.25 of every cover sold through OpenTable bookings will benefit the SF-Marin Food Bank. Your planning ahead is good for you, good for restaurants, and good for the Food Bank. We’re all for that, and think you should be too.

What’s in it for me?

A city-wide celebration with special menus isn’t enough? Ok, we’ll throw in a few extra goodies. We’ll be rewarding the most enthusiastic diners (those that eat at at least 4 or more participating restaurants during Restaurant Week) with 12 – $100 gift certificates. We’ll be collecting photo entries on our Facebook page. More details on that soon…

The Languid, Sexy Baseball Furies of Fulton Street: Physical Graffiti at Barrel Head Brewhouse Near Masonic

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

First she was all like this, back last year when the Barrel Head Brewhouse was going in at 1785 Fulton Street. A spontaneous act of street art, apparently:

But now she’s all like this, taken off of the street and placed indoors upstairs at the Brewhouse.

Note that the formerly-censored(?) bloodied bat has been restored. (That’s what makes her a Fury, IMO.)

Imagine that – the journey from street crime to high art took merely a half-year…

Fish: It’s What’s For Dinner in Chinatown – It’s Also What’s for Tomorrow’s Dinner

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Quite an assembly line:

Click to expand

Art Meets Commerce: The Colorful Corner of Haight and Clayton Celebrates the Year 1967, Urges Purchase of $14 Tourist Burgers

Friday, June 13th, 2014

I wish to declare Burger Urge, of 1599 Haight Street, a tourist trap.

Click to expand

Vox populi:

2.5 Yelp stars – ouch:

“It was one thing to charge 9-10 dollars for a mediocre burger and another to charge 2 dollars more just to put a slice of cheese on a regular burger, but now some burgers are 13.99?! NO fries, no sides? no sides? It’s an average burger  and absolutely not worth the huge spike in prices. I hope the tourists enjoy wasting their Euros and Yen.  $13.99? Utter rip off. Get a delicious sandwich across the way at Haight Street Market for $6.50 instead.”


“McDonalds – which is full of crackheads – is a better dining value.”

The People have spoken.

America’s Cup Party: Obsequious Ed Lee Laughing Along With His Boss Willie Brown, Cheesy $1430 Purse

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

One way that you can tell that the America’s Cup isn’t the third largest sporting event in the world is that our Mayor no-showed the opening ceremony.

Oh well.

Anyway, here’s your yachting match in a nutshell.

That Looey Vweetone Neverfull  bag says Piers “27-29″ on it, for some reason:

Click to expand – photo by Anonymous

In somewhat related news:

Firm tied to Willie Brown gets political boost for Hunters Point plan

Oh well.

My Dinner With Barack – Yet Another Trip to the Bay Area – June 6th – Only $64,800 Per Couple!

Friday, May 17th, 2013

[UPDATE: Carla Marinucci has some more deets.]

Just announced:

“Senator Michael Bennet

Chair, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee


Senator Harry Reid

Majority Leader, U.S. Senate

Cordially invite you to a reception & dinner benefiting the

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee


President Barack Obama

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Reception | 5:00 PM

Home of Marci & Mike McCue

Palo Alto, California

*Address provided upon RSVP

Dinner and Discussion | 6:30 PM

Home of Neeru & Vinod Khosla

Portola Valley, California

*Address provided upon RSVP

*Due to timing restrictions all guests may only attend one event.

Paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,

and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Thursday, June 6, 2013 | Palo Alto, CA

Dinner Guest: $32,400 per person ($64,800 per couple)
Ticket to dinner at the Khosla home & discussion and photo opportunity

Reception Chair: $12,000 per person ($15,000 per couple)
Ticket to VIP Chairs’ reception at the McCue home and photo opportunity

Reception Sponsor: $5,000 per person ($7,500 per couple)
Ticket to reception at the McCue home and photo opportunity

Reception Guest: $2,500 per person
Ticket to reception at the McCue home

I cannot attend the reception or dinner, but I would like to make a contribution of $__________.
*Due to timing restrictions all guests may only attend one event.

The maximum amount each individual may contribute to the DSCC in a calendar year is $32,400 ($64,800 per couple).

The DSCC will not accept contributions from currently registered federal lobbyists, registered foreign agents, political action committees, or minors under the age of 16 for this event. Contributions from corporations, labor unions, and foreign nationals are prohibited under federal law.

Please make checks payable to “DSCC” and mail with completed form to:
DSCC c/o Emily Sullivan
120 Maryland Avenue, NE Washington, D.C. 20002
For PERSONAL credit card contributions please fax this completed form to: (202) 314-3231.
Federal regulations require that all contributions drawn on joint accounts be personally signed by each contributor.

*A contribution of $32,400 enrolls an individual as a DSCC “Majority Trust” member and, along with other benefits, allows for attendance at the DSCC’s signature retreats.

Contributions or gifts to the DSCC are not tax deductible.

OMG OMG, the Cinderella Ball is Coming! Once in a Lifetime – May 3rd at our San Francisco Ballet

Monday, March 4th, 2013

This is it, the affair of the year.

Get your ticks soon:

Cinderella Opening Night Ball and After Party

Save the Date: Fri, May 3

The Cinderella Opening Night Ball comes only once in a lifetime, so reserve your space now! The festivities begin with an elegant cocktail reception in the Opera House, followed by a sumptuous dinner with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, designers of the production, and leaders of the dance world, in a spectacularly designed tent in the Memorial Courtyard, just adjacent to the Opera House. After the performance, dance the night away with the cast of Cinderella at the After Party, featuring music, cocktails, refreshments, and desserts. See the Cinderella Opening Night Ball trailer!

Download the RSVP form to purchase Cinderella Opening Night Ball tickets.

Purchase performance-only tickets.

Purchase after-party tickets.

You’ll see me there at the beginning scrubbing the floors looking like this, and then I’ll change to make my grand entrance:

A Disney character in “real life” via  Arts University College at Bournemouth 2009-2012. © Jirka Väätäinen

Suzy Kellems Dominik and Stephanie Barlage Ejabat
Co-Chairs, Cinderella Opening Night Ball
San Francisco Ballet Trustees

Sandy Katzman, Décor Chair
Shelby Gans, Dinner Chair
Karen Sonneborn, Marketing Chair
Elizabeth Pang Fullerton, Printed Materials Chair
Amy Burnett and Jan Zakin, After Party Chairs
Kelli Burrill, San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary Liaison

A Short Visit to the New SoMA StreatFood Park at 11th and Harrison: Food Trucks, Food Trucks, Food Trucks!

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Well, here’s the new SoMA Streatfood Park, betwixt the I-beams of the Central Freeway (near the western terminus of I-80) and Store #144, America’s First Urban Costco.

I guess I passed through the place early – it looked like a ghost town when I was there.

But the Yelpers, well, they love it.

As does Amanda Gold. And the Wall Street Journal reminds us that the SFP is just a short “stroll” from the $3.2 million penthouse at 9 Bernice.

And, oh, KQED’s Jenny Oh offers her photos and impressions here.

Say cheese!

The entrance at 428 11th:

Les mise-en-scene – reminds me of the spare vehicle lot / junkyard of Veterans Cab Co, which is what this place used to be. Instead of busted Plymouth Gran Furies we now have food trucks:

Open-air communal dining, redolent of the Main Pavilion at Jonestown:

Ah, here are the trees on Division shown in the plans. All this new activity has chased away the under-the-freeway stolen bicycle fences all the way to….

…just across Division Street:

Now, speaking of parking, here’s what you’ll see across the street from the main entrance: “PARKING IS FOR COSTCO SHOPPERS ONLY – Violators Will Be Towed”

So, you’ve been warned.

I don’t know, I’m sure it was a royal PITA to get the SFP up and running. And I know that the gestation period for this new baby was longer than a rhino’s, but of course a lot of that had to do with setting up the handicapped-accessible bathrooms and the pavillion and whatnot.

What I don’t know is how things will shake out for the SFP over the next year or two. This could be a case of a K-selection strategy in an r-selection environment.

We’ll see.

M-F: 11 AM to 3 PM and 5 PM to 10 PM

Weekends: 11 AM to 10 PM

People on the street eating chicken and meat
People eating pork with a knife and a fork

Cruel Shoes Update, Old World Edition: “These are pretty high for the airport!” – Plus, San Francisco Ballet Update

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Our San Francisco Ballet is on the road after just completing its 79th season.

This week it’s San Francisco>London>Moscow>Yekaterinburg.

Here’s the view from a baggage carousel deep inside Russia, from Maria Kochetkova:

Indeed, these are pretty high for the airport.

Here’s your ballet update for May 2012:

“The 80th Season

A world of dance awaits you as part of San Francisco Ballet’s 80th Season. The 2013 Season includes world premieres by Yuri Possokhov, Wayne McGregor, and Alexei Ratmansky; Onegin— back by popular demand! Hamburg Ballet performing John Neumeier’s epic dance-theatre work, Nijinsky; the return of audience favorites by Robbins, Wheeldon, and Balanchine; and the U.S. premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, a production you don’t want to miss!

View the 2013 Season Overview

Subscribers, renew now to reserve your seats, or call415.865.2000, Mon through Fri, 10am to 4pm.

If you’d like to join the SF Ballet family as a subscriber, call 415.865.2000, Mon through Fri, 10am to 4pm, and you’ll have access to the best seats in the house when seating begins in July.”


SF Ballet School Student Showcase
May 30 – June 1 

Each year, the SF Ballet School Student Showcase gives Bay Area audiences the rare opportunity to experience the extraordinary talents of the next generation of world-class dancers, many of whom will go on to perform with SF Ballet and other companies around the world. The performance highlights not only the breadth and depth of the School’s students — ranging from youngsters to SFBallet’s pre-professional Trainees — but also the outstanding caliber of its world renowned faculty. The performances are held in the intimate Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Watch highlights of the 2011 SF Ballet Student Showcase

Purchase tickets to Student Showcase


SF Ballet School 2012 Student Showcase Dinner and Performance Thu, May 31

Performance: 6pm, Novellus Theater at YBCA

Reception: 7:30pm, The St. Regis Hotel

Dinner: 8:30pm, The St. Regis Hotel

Hosted by the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary, the Student Showcase Dinner celebrates the SF BalletSchool. The event raises funds to support the scholarship and financial aid programs of the School, one of the leading ballet schools in the world. The evening features the Student Showcase performance in the Novellus Theater at YBCA, followed by a reception and seated dinner across the street at The St. Regis Hotel.

Information and tickets for Student Showcase Dinner and Performance


“Get in Front” Benefit Performance June 6 featuring SFBallet Dancers

The “Get in Front” Performance is the first-ever event of its kind, featuring performers from 11 of the Bay Area’s most respected dance companies. The creative team behind this event are SF BalletSoloists Garen Scribner and James Sofranko. They have partnered with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California to “Get In Front” of cancer with this one-night-only benefit. Enjoy performances by Yuan Yuan Tan, Maria Kochetkova, Sarah Van Patten, Frances Chung, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba, Joan Boada, and others in the intimate Herbst Theater.

Performance tickets start at $35. The After Party and Silent Auction, to be held upstairs in the Herbst Green Room, are included in tickets priced at $125 or higher. Buy tickets online  or call 415-392-4400.

Watch a “Get in Front” video featuring Garen Scribner and James Sofranko


Artist Spotlight: Vito Mazzeo

This month’s artist spotlight video features Principal Dancer Vito Mazzeo. Enjoy exclusive performance footage, and learn more about Vito’s life growing up in Italy, his training and career, and how he came to become a member of SF Ballet.

Watch Vito Mazzeo’s Artist Spotlight video.

The New SoMA StrEAT Food Park is “COMING SOON!” – Slowly But Surely – A Food-Truck Meeting Place Near the Costco

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

The SoMA StrEAT Food Park will be opening soon, or so they say.

Here’s how things look at the old location of Veteran’s Cab just across the street from America’s First Urban Costco:

Click to expand

Let’s hope the food truck fad doesn’t end before an existing parking lot can open up as a parking lot…