Flora

On my 21st birthday, my passenger a 300 pound studded dog collar wearing fellow named "Clutch," I rode my motorcycle into the Kingfish Pub. By "into" I mean we rode through the bar and came to a stop next to the shuffleboard. The bartenders were angry...not about the stunt, but about the fact they had been serving me for two years already. Their irritation surprised me. I thought I was grown. I'd graduated from drinking Coors light to Guinness and had started having something called a "latte" with my morning croissant. It was 1982. I was working on shedding my juvenile ...

Mua

I can't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting someone I've dated. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but living in the same place for more than fifty years is a heck of a thing. You live with your past. For instance, you may think that Mua is at Webster and Broadway, but to me it's that place across from God's Gym, which is the place run by that bodybuilder I used to know about in the space that used to be World Exercise Equipment store where my friend worked and I hung out a lot back in the ...

Roy’s

They don't think I'm a bitch in New York City. My propensity for speaking directly and not wasting time with meaningless pleasantries about the weather doesn't count against me there at all. It's appreciated. New Yorkers, in my experience, tend to be efficient in their approach to most things. I love it there. It's my spiritual home. There is a sense that no one has time to waste. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the service in New York restaurants. It is, in a word, professional. And while we have food in Northern California that rivals New York in terms of ...

Doc’s of the Bay/Art Murmur

I love going to Art Murmur (it happens every first Friday of the month in downtown Oakland starting at 6:00). I love the vibe, the art, running into friends, and the food. My favorite truck is often there: Doc's of the Bay. They make hamburgers. Ok, I guess they also make chicken sandwiches and black bean burgers and fries and fried green beans. But. The burgers! I always get the Doc's classic with bacon and green chiles. SO good. I am very happy that Doc's comes to SF during the day on Fridays sometimes so I can get my ...

Wayfare Tavern

When I was a kid, I was constantly killing off my parents. Well, not killing them maybe, but definitely disappearing them in my mind. It's not that they were terrible parents (they weren't). It was just that I really wanted to be an orphan. I was a voracious reader and I loved books about orphans (The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Jane Eyre, The Jungle Book). Something about coming from no family and finding the exact life you were meant to live (the common theme) was so appealing to a lonely only child like me. Anyway, astute readers will notice and ...

Split Bread

On nice days I like to take a walk at lunch. Up near the Moscone Center and Yerba Buena Gardens is Split Bread. Split Bread is the artisan sandwich place started by the owners of Mixt Greens, another of my favorite SF places. Both places source locally and use organic ingredients. I usually get a salad...the Split Cobb is really good with fresh avocado and rotisserie chicken. But today I got the Braised Short Rib sandwich with the side kale salad because I have not been able to get my favorite green kale drink all week. Both ...