Side Dish

Let Them Eat Cake
Elizabeth Faulkner and the Citizen Cake crew are packing up their silos of sugar and heading uptown, closer to their constituency. The former pastry chef of Masa's and Rubicon and her coffee-roasting partner had a falling out -- and it's his building on 14th Street, so guess who has to move? Faulkner's nosing around Civic Center for pockets of wild yeast and fans willing to mortgage their Land Rovers for a piece of her pie.

South of the Slot
Here's another quiz for gung-ho Side Dish readers. Which of the following were former tenants of the V/SF/Oasis site in SOMA?

a) Drummer Club
b) Leatherneck
c) Hot Rocks
d) Sally's Covered Wagon
e) Who cares?

Fact is that a few sticks-in-the-mud are playing king of the hill in the South of Market area: They're requiring anyone who wants to run an establishment in the neighborhood to get down on his or her knees and beg like a rubber-ball-in-my-mouth-please-tug-on-my-leash slave on bondage night. But any way you stir, mix, or frappe it, San Francisco has a place for night life, and SOMA is its name-o.

Thanks to old-timer Jim Meko of SoMaRA for the history lesson.

Smokin' Gun
Harry was just hitting his second Manhattan when the bartender at 15 Romolo asked a patron not to smoke in his establishment. The customer begrudgingly stomped out his butt and skulked off to a darker part of the lounge to light another. This time the cocktail waitress informed our friend of Romolo's intent to uphold the nonsmoking law. Twice-rebuked, the errant puffer used a beautifully tiled pillar as an ashtray.

This drew the ire of another bar patron, who called the smoker on his "Glamour Don't." The confrontation came to a quick end, with the just-decked social pariah running for the police. Our boys in blue cuffed Mr. Manners the Assaulter until they heard his side of the story and the concurring tales of the cocktailer and the bartender. The cuffs came off and the man who started it all was slapped with a fine for smoking.

The moral of this story? The smoking law sucks, but it is the law. If the barkeep at your local asks you to put it out, respect his or her wishes gracefully. If you don't like it, go somewhere else where they'll let you light up.

86'd/68'd
You heard it wrong here first. Lynn Sheehan of Vertigo didn't leave in a huff: Sheehan and owner Nancy Mootz agreed to the conditions of her resignation, and Sheehan worked out her notice. Now she's searching for her next local project. As to Mootzie choking on her canape, it was the result of a particularly ribald joke, and it wasn't a canape ... it was some crudite.

Former Jack's whipping boy Lance Dean Velasquez has resurfaced at Draeger's on the Peninsula. No, he's not bagging groceries.

E&O Trading Co., no relation to the Banana Republic of yore, is still going strong on Union Square. Their new chef is Glen Willow, who just flew in from Skates in Berkeley (and, boy, are his arms tired).

Brian Lewis, Bix's chef for the last 2 1/2 years, is turning in
his toque. The split is amicable: Lewis just wants to spend more time with his family and less with the Wolf range.

All You Need Is Love
If you haven't secured reservations for Valentine's Day yet, you may as well forget about it. Anyway, who needs to lay out all that cash to spend the evening with a stressed-out host and staff and all those patrons having a good time at any cost? There are so many other ways to celebrate your love in San Francisco. You can ride the cable car up Nob Hill and pop into the Top of the Mark for a flute of bubbly. Sparking in the Sutro Tower fog with oldies on the radio can make anyone feel 10 years younger. Sourdough and cracked crab at the end of the Wharf are nice, if you remember to pack extra-moist towelettes. Or you can just stay home with a Trader Joe's picnic spread in front of the Duraflame, Martin Denny on the hi-fi, and a stack of temporary tattoos. Leave the expensive "romantic" meal for a time when you both really feel like it.

By Harry Coverte

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail Coverte@aol.com and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

 
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