When I was informed that Thistle Juices churns out its product at night, my first thought was, "That is so goth. Is this some kind of anti-macrobiotic thing?" But it turns out that these radiant, colorful juice blends -- which are the very opposite of Siouxsie and the Banshees or a dead flower corsage -- are made during the wee hours because that's the only time they can run the machines and still average a mere 24 hours from farm to bottle.
And they're gorgeous, at around $5-6 for 8.5 oz, $9-10 for 17 oz. Packaged in the kind of glass bottles the milkman might have brought, and transported from Berkeley in a vehicle that's soon to run on biodiesel, Thistle's juices are hippie-tested, hippie-approved. Unpasteurized, cold-pressed and cloudy with nutrition, they're meant to be consumed within 72 hours of purchase. (Everything is organic and farmed in California, except for some of the Fuji apples, which are from Washington State, and the cucumbers are from Arizona).
Apart from straight-up seasonal juices, such as grapefruit or orange, Thistle has some tasty blends that run across the deliciousness-masochism juicing spectrum, from Autumn (carrot, orange, turmeric) to Hunter (kale, celery, cucumber, spinach and parsley). Lots of detoxifying herbs pop up on the menu, particularly turmeric and burdock, which can either repair the grave damage you've done to your liver or enable you to get really wasted, guilt-free.
While the Hops & Hominy pop-up is closed for some sprucing, the only place in San Francisco to get Thistle Juice is in front of West of Pecos, on weekdays from 9a.m. - 4:30 p.m. -- although you can arrange office deliveries via their "Thistle While You Work" program. (That's not the only pun, either. The website is "thistlechangeyou.com.")
It's so odd that juices seem to be one of very few food-related areas in which S.F. is way behind New York in L.A., where juice cleansing has been absolutely everywhere for years. Leave it to the Bay to do it for hedonism's sake alone, with sustainability a close second.
Thistle Juice, outside West of Pecos, 550 Valencia St.