It was eerie, the other morning, waking up to news of Susan Sontag's death, when I had had a gastronomic memory of her only the night before, sitting alongside the exposed-brick wall in Oola, South of Market, which reminded me of one of my favorite restaurants in New York, Miss Ruby's, in Chelsea. It seemed that every time I ate dinner there in the late '80s, the unmistakable, unmissable Sontag was dining there, too (it wasn't far from her house), often with Lucinda Childs, the dancer. I loved Miss Ruby's down-home yet sophisticated American cooking, her wonderful fried chicken, ham, gumbo, and corn bread. In the spring, there would be shad roe, fiddlehead ferns, raspberry pie. "What a wonderful place to have as your neighborhood restaurant," I'd think enviously, even though Miss Ruby's was just a brisk walk from my own apartment. Sontag's leonine head, with its trademark quiff of white, would be bent over her food: I knew she took her food as seriously as she did literature, music, art, movies, and politics ("A writer is someone interested in everything," she once wrote), because of a... More >>>
Fashionable Fare: Dark, stylish Oola has a compact
but alluring menu.