Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.
1. Oh, yeah? Sunset magazine has just posted a online feature that tries to ignite civil war between Los Angeles and San Francisco by challenging San Francisco's Josh Sens and LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold to a debate: Which is the better food city? As trumped-up as the concept is and as suspiciously close as the final score stands (50 to 49), that old hometown pride puts me on the defensive. But ... but ... if the Bay Area didn't have all that damn photogenic water and if San Franciscans actually drove to Milpitas and East Oakland to eat, Los Angeles' advantage when it comes to culinary diversity would shrink. (God, I can't believe I get worked up about this kind of thing.) Also: our coffee and cocktails are at least one extra point better. I call tie.
2. Dong Bei Mama addendum. If you haven't yet been to Dong Bei Mama, the northeastern Chinese restaurant in the Richmond I reviewed last month, check out the Chowhound reports of a group meal from last week -- the Chowhounders tried a number of dishes I didn't get to. With pictures!
3. School lunch news. Speaking of Los Angeles, I missed linking to last week's great LA Weekly feature about the city's problems with school lunch, made famous by Jamie Oliver's latest television series. The best part of the piece is that the author ignored Oliver to focus on the people who live with the problem every day. For a more hopeful take on feeding kids, the Bay Citizen just reported on Oakland's new summer lunch program. There are no income tests, no ID checks -- anyone under the age of 18 can eat for free.