Friday Eight: Lucha Libre and Tacos at La Cocina!

Plus another automated restaurant cometh, E+O Kitchen and Bar honors restaurant workers every Monday this month, and Octavia's Melissa Perello throws a dinner to fete Alexandra Raij of NYC's famed Basque restaurant, Txikito.

[jump] La Cocina Throws a Taco Party and Wrestling Match
Remember how sad we all were that there was going to be no Street Food Festival at Pier 70 this year? Well, sequete las lágrimas, because La Cocina is throwing La Lucha de La Cocina, a substitute party on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 3:30-10 p.m. that Inside Scoop describes as half taco party, half wrestling match. It's the same place and time as the street food festival was intended to be, so you just need to un-erase the big excited circle you already drew on your calendar, as there will be food from La Cocina vendors and others, plus mezcal tastings, and live music. Tickets are $25-$50, and since Pier 70 still has that Tow Pound Beyond Thunderdome vibe, I assume that means the masked wrestling will be really intense.

Momentum Machines Accepting Applications for Robot Burger Restaurant
Sounds paradoxical, no? A Craiglist ad for an automated burger joint? Hoodline reported on it months ago, and Tech Insider says the day is drawing near for San Francisco, which is already home to two quasi-robotic quinoa bowl emporia (Eatsa). Your title will be “restaurant generalist,” and while it might be as lonely as a lighthouse keeper, at least you'll be working at 680 Folsom Street and not on some remote Aleutian Island. Eater's Ellen Fort muses about the economics of eliminating labor, but here's another off-the-cuff prediction: Automation will eat away at the lower end of service sector employment, and then someone will suggest that maybe robot surgeons could have a lower error rate than fallible human hands, and malpractice insurers will nod vigorously, and then panicking white-collar professionals everywhere will humbly request that we go back and think this whole thing through, please.

Txikito and Octavia: A Basque Dinner
In honor of Txikito's Chef Alexandra Raij's, The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito, chef Melissa Perello will cook a $150, four-course dinner with supplemental wine pairings on Tuesday, July 12, at Octavia (1701 Octavia). Reservations can be made through Expect some crazy toasts at this celebration of stellar restaurants from opposite coasts.

July Is E+O's Industry Insider Month
Are you a bartender, server, line cook, or other restaurant worker? E+O Kitchen (314 Sutter) wants to reward you every Monday in July with an all-day Happy Hour menu full of affordable bar bites like Indonesian corn fritters and steak satays, $6 Moscow Mules and other cocktails, and $4 draft beers. Show 'em a business card proving your credentials, and you'll get a surprise treat, too.

Firebrand Artisan Breads Has a New Menu
Coi alum Tommy Schnell, the new chef over at the post-Pal's Take Away Firebrand (2343 Broadway, Oakland) rolled it out, Inside Scoop got it, and it's looking good. There's a muffaletta, a lobster roll, and a chilled corn bisque on the lunch menu, but surprisingly breakfast looks to be the most decadent and original meal, what with a salmon mousse croissant roll and a pork tri tip with goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and hash browns.

Don't Eat Raw Cookie Dough (And It's Not Because of Salmonella)

Speaking as someone who once had salmonella (because as an eight-year-old, I didn't clean my turtle's tank well) I can tell you it's not pretty. But I eat at least some raw cookie dough every time I bake cookies. The FDA says not to do it, and it's not because of the raw eggs; it's the flour, which may harbor E. coli. People get sick from uncooked flour because of a very simple process, says yer gub'mint: “If an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.”

Cheese Comes to China

Ninety percent of the Chinese population is lactose-intolerant, but the New York Times profiles (briefly) a Beijing cheese shop that's selling 33 pounds of cheese every day.

A Big-Data Take on Competitive Hot Dog Eating
“There’s an inherent mystery to competitive eating, and we can’t know everything about what happened in the past,” said Sam Barclay, an official at Major League Eating since June 2011. “I think that’s part of the beauty of our sport.” Just in time for the Fourth of July, FiveThirtyEight looks at the numbers behind the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, which celebrates its centennial on Monday. Winners these days routinely down 60 or more hot dogs. Can you believe that it was as recently as the early '80s that eating a mere dozen hot dogs would guarantee you victory? 

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