A highly recommended twice-monthly feast takes place at Harvest on Geary, and cannabis smokers who love savory Chinese dumplings should roll out to the Richmond District for this one. Dim Sum and Dabs combines piles of delicious bao and har gow with constantly reloaded dab rigs that keep you baked while you’re enjoying steamed rolls.
The best thing about Dim Sum and Dabs is that it doesn’t cost you any dough. Admission is free, although visitors must have a valid California medical marijuana ID card and join the Harvest on Geary collective. But once you’re in, you’re dabbing on complimentary cannabis concentrates while chowing down on a nonstop parade of shrimp dumplings, steamed pork buns, and veggie chow mein from some of the Avenues’ finest dim sum joints. (The specific restaurant varies each month.)
Harvest on Geary is one of the few dispensaries in town that allows on-site smoking in its back lounge area. Dim Sum and Dabs invites a rotating cast of cannabis companies — whose products are also on sale — packing you dab hits or serving microdose edibles to go along with your dim sum banquet.
“We give people munchies,” says Luna Stower, sales director for Jetty Extracts, whose syringe-like Dablicator was being used to refill the vaporizer at November’s dinner. “We always think of terpenes and palates,” she says, referring to the aromatic compounds in the plant. “Since we have the heavier porks, the soy sauce, and the savory, I’m using a hybrid which has pinene and citrene in it, which are terpenes that are more uplifting and euphoric. They match well, and they cut through some of the saltiness.”
While the event listing comes with the obligatory “while supplies last” disclaimer, there was absolutely no threat of the dim sum running out when SF Weekly attended. Staff kept bringing more and more of the tasty treats, delivering a genuine “all you can eat, all you can smoke” night out.
But don’t go in expecting a full-service restaurant experience. You’ll be eating off paper plates while using plastic forks and knives, and your primary beverage option is water. This is essentially a self-serve, casual nighttime picnic with friends, but one that turns Harvest’s luxurious smoking lounge into a magical land of wax, shatter, and delicious dim sum.
Even if you are a complete dab novice, the pros are on hand to teach you how to dab, and which concentrates work best with the food pairings served.
“When you’re eating heavy foods such as dim sum, it really helps to consume cannabis at the same time,“ Stower tells SF Weekly, noting that this applies to smoking, vaping, or eating marijuana products. “It helps the digestion. It’s an anti-inflammatory and it’s an adaptogen, so it responds well to inflammation.”
Let’s break that down. While those greasy dim sum rolls certainly are delicious, their oils and saturated fats tend to cause the “food coma” phenomenon of drowsiness and digestive issues. Believe it or not, doctors classify cannabinoids as an anti-inflammatory, and the compounds inside marijuana do indeed help with digestion.
An “adaptogen,” meanwhile, is the pharmacological classification of an herb that helps your body achieve homeostasis — a sort of return to its normal state. Since dim sum rolls are such high-calorie foods, they’re very disruptive to your digestive system. Cannabis can limit that disruption by calming your belly and intestines when you’ve buffeted a little too hard.
At this particular installment of Dim Sum and Dabs, Jetty Extracts was serving “cocktail” dab hits by mixing hybrid dabs of their Gold, Pure, and CBD Blend cannabis oils. Again, these were expert concoctions intended to get you high and help your belly cope with the incoming barrage of dim sum.
“Anyone who’s ever made a smoothie or an omelet or made anything for themselves at home knows what they like,” Stower says, mixing cannabis oils. “If I know that I want high THC, I’ll always use a base of a high THC and something terpy that smells good and tastes good, something that’s more of a whole plant. I like to have both, because I want the high THC of a distillate, but I want the terpenes of a raw.”
This is the sort of savvy guidance that you’ll get, and guests get to smoke with some really high-end vape pens and vaporizers. (Don’t worry about germs. The vaping devices are swabbed with alcohol between each use.) The star this evening was the VapeXhale, an impressive, top-tier, all-glass vaporizer that retails for nearly $600.
“It’s your desktop computer,” Stower says, justifying the price tag.
Most of us are not going to buy a $600 dab rig, but Dim Sum and Dabs gives you a fun opportunity to try out such upscale contraptions. Other brands handing out fabulous freebies included marijuana-infused coffee company Somatik, and the medicated, microdose cashews and almonds of Kush Nuts.
You’ll probably get hook-ups from different exhibitors at upcoming installments. And at Harvest’s other location in the Mission District, another twice-monthly event called Fried Chicken and Dabs does the same cannabis and culinary combination with the special magic of fried chicken.
This is a fantastically generous night out at Harvest on Geary, and a great opportunity to chow out while smoking out with old friends or new. Dim Sum and Dabs will keep you flying high over the Wednesday night mid-week hump.
Dim Sum and Dabs, two Wednesdays every month, 6-8 p.m., at Harvest on Geary, 4811 Geary Blvd. Fried Chicken and Dabs is held at Harvest off Mission every other Wednesday; harvestshop.com
Check out more from our feature on the best Dim Sum in San Francisco here:
A House With a Pig in It
The art of making xiaolongbao, dim sum’s juiciest dumpling.
The Best Dim Sum in San Francisco
Led by our love of xiaolongbao, of course.