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A Beautiful Thing

Lindsay Lohan got glitter-bombed on the way to jail. 

Played 31 times

"Tanlines - Real Life"

Great song. If I didn’t live in San Francisco and still went out, I would probably add this to my list of pump me up & get ready songs. It’s kind of a tropical, have a shot of Fernet and then go to a beach bar dance song.

By Tanlines, who are unsurprisingly from Brooklyn.

MH2MTQH8NP72 

Free Stuff! Amarena

2162 Larkin (Green & Vallejo) www.amarenarestaurant.com

I just came upon an absolutely excellent post on The Bold Italic regarding free food happy hour spots around the city.

While I haven’t had the chance to hit up most of these places, I have been fortunate to go to Amarena. Amarena is a decent Italian restaurant in Russian Hill which I normally would not go out of my way to frequent.

However, every Thursday from 5:30-9 there is a ridiculous deal offered. With the purchase of one drink, you get access to a huge Italian buffet normally consisting of salad, bread, pasta, and chicken. The food is actually quite good and you can really have yourself quite the nutritious dinner for free. This promotion does seem to attract large groups of post-college girls eager to be the next Bachelorette so it’s best to get there early to guarantee seats and avoid hearing too many brutal “oh my godddddddd!” conversations.

My Worst Nightmare: Loopt

From Mashable: “Geolocation service Loopt has just rolled out a new feature that lets users find out when their friends are nearby, whether or not they check in.“

I frequently run into moving traffic to avoid seeing people I know on the street. It’s not that I’m anti-social, but I just hate being surprised unexpectedly and forced into having a “how aaarrrrreee you?” conversation awkwardly in the middle of the sidewalk. To have people know where I am at all times will simply not do. Does anyone else find this amazingly creepy?

U-Lee

1468 Hyde at Jackson.

Upon moving to SF I have heard far and wide about the massive dumplings at U-Lee. Despite living a mere 4 blocks away from this fine palace of minced meat and dough, I just recently made the trek up that god awful hill between Hyde and Polk to sample its goods.

My thoughts? Ehhhhh.

I’m just going to lay it out there – with the exception of Yank Sing and House of Nanking, I have yet to find decent Chinese food in this city. I’m sure many will be shocked to hear this, but I really believe that NYC Chinese food is the ultimate. A creamy bowl of sesame noodles from Ollies, a few thick and greasy scallion pancakes from China Fun – nothing is better.

But I digress. I ordered take out from U-Lee (no need to sit, it’s a pretty small and dingy looking place) and got an order of pork dumplings (no other fillings available) and shrimp with vegetables. The dumplings, while a near perfect hangover food, were good but not amazing. The skin was doughy and very thick. I prefer my dumplings delicate, and my dough thin and tissue-paper like. The minced pork was standard, though the high ratio of dough to filling was disappointing.

The shrimp and vegetables were pretty crappy. Small frozen shrimp deep fried with canned vegetables, all in a mysterious brown sauce. I recommend that you pass.

In sum: U-Lee’s is not Chinese food at its best, though when I am next lying in bed painfully hungover, I may the schlep up the hill for a few dumplings.

Radius

Radius – Folsom between 6th and 7th.

Working on 7th and Folsom certainly has its disadvantages – inhumane smells, disorderly crackheads, human feces on the streets, etc. However it also has its advantages – Radius being one of them. Along with Siteglass, Vega, Terroir, City Beer Store and Bloodhound, Radius joins a few other local hipster establishments that are making the hood pretty cool. When I found out about Radius I was particularly excited because my lunch options are highly limited, and Radius’s cafe had much potential. I’ve now hit up Radius about three times, and have plenty to share:

The Good

  • The space is awesome. Really sunny and cool farmhouse-like vibe with fresh flowers and worn wood every where. The patio is also fantastic and has about 5 or so tables where I could hang out all day. Gets a lot of sun so is the perfect place to go for a mid-afternoon nap.
  • The people are just so damn nice. The owners are always there and you can tell they are just so excited about their first restaurant, and eager to please.  I have yet to leave Radius without having had a smorgasbord of freebies and samples (chocolate chip cookies, bacon cheddar scones, local olive oil, mmm).
  • Unsurprisingly, everything is incredibly fresh. The vegetables are crunchy and flavorful, and I can picture some bearded, flannel-wearing hipster in Oakland picking them from his rooftop garden.
  • Happy hour is a pretty good deal, with $12 carafes of wine and $4 pints

Boom Goes the Dynamite

  • Expensive! My god, I realize it’s local and all but come on! $14 for a tiny sandwich (no chips, fries, salads or sides or any kind included….), $12 for a tiny torte and $14 for a very basic salad with a few pieces of duck thrown on top. Food was tasty, but simply not worth the price.
  • As stated above, TINY portions. After lunch at Radius I went back to the office and promptly had a bag of Baked Lays.

Overall: It is worth going for the great patio and very pleasant service. Expect to spend a lot and pack a Luna Bar for post-lunch munchies. For lunch, there is no way you’re leaving without spending less than $12.

Reminds me of: The new Vampire Weekend cd. Pleasant and enjoyable, just somehow unfulfilling.

Free Stuff! La Boulange

I love free stuff. I will go to the ends of the earth for something free, and there is no better way to get in my good graces than to give me something. Case in point – I spent many years of my life hating Starbucks until my local outpost starting handing out free samples each day at noon. A couple free petite frappucinos later and I’m a lifetime loyal customer.

My love of the free can cloud my reason and make me utterly irrational. Which brings me to La Boulange. I want to love La Boulange. The bright airy layouts, the candy colored stores and convenient locations scream “come sit in me. Have a cappuccino and a pastry. Read the NYTimes and sit near the sun-filled window peacefully watching the SF crazies outside.” I have obeyed this calling many times, and each time I am amazed at the utter mediocrity of the food. The bread is dry, the pastries are boring and unsatisfying [with the exception of the croissant bread pudding which is heavenly], the sandwiches are greasy and NEVER get the granola & yogurt. The yogurt is essentially sweetened sour cream and will make you feel ill for days.

So why do I keep returning to La Boulange? Why do I choose to purchase the stale tasting coffee and sloppy cappuccinos despite the availability of many other worth cafes in my neighborhood (Crave, Royal Ground, Loving Cup, Peet’s to name a few)? The samples!

Every day there is a fresh plate of carefully cut pastries available for the taking. In order to not look like a mooch I have my sample-taking down to an optimized science. [I’m scarred by the time I was caught at Whole Foods eating from my salad bar pickings while in line to pay and forced to pay an additional $1 to make up for the lost weight]. I usually take one piece while waiting in line to pay, then grab a glass of water and take a few sips, mosey on back to the free samples and take another, pick up my coffee, and on the way out grab one more. I essentially have about half a pound cake for free. Pretty awesome and highly recommended.

Long Time Coming.

I really like food, and I really like music. I will try to write about these two topics, however there will likely be other random stuff along the way.