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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday Nine: Basalt and The Den Open, Mister Jiu's Sets a Date

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 11:45 AM

  • Nick Vasilopoulos
  • Basalt
Plus GQ looks at the phenomenon of celebs getting paid enormous sums just to show up at clubs for about an hour — or, if you're Nicki Minaj, 34 minutes.

Basalt Opened in Napa Last Evening
Town Hall alum Esteban Escobar's casual downtown Napa restaurant, Basalt, opened for dinner last evening at 790 Main St., and the menu looks pretty tasty. There are chicharrones with lime salt and honey ($7), Swiss chard pancakes with mint pea creme fraiche and sweet pepper ($10), a braised oxtail tamal with king trumpet mushrooms and cilantro butter ($14) and a whole fried branzino for two, with saffron-braised baby fennel, creamer potatoes, and peppers ($48.) Look for brunch to follow soon.

Want to Eat at Mister Jiu's, One of 2016's Most Anticipated Openings?
Brandon Jew's beautiful dining room at 28 Waverly Place that looks out onto a lot of neon signs on Grant Ave. opens April 12. 

Craftsman & Wolves Soft-Opens The Den in the Bayview
Just as Four Barrel opened in Portola a few years ago, famed Valencia Street bakery Craftsman & Wolves has opened a satellite location at 1598 Yosemite in the Bayview. The Den, according to Inside Scoop, has coffee and a daily staff meal pizza and lots of baked goods (from a brown butter financier to a Japanese-style milk bread).

Wage Theft at Calavera

Gov. Jerry Brown signs a law raising California's minimum wage to $15 in stages by 2022, and suddenly wage theft cases are popping up at Bay Area restaurants. The latest is Calavera, which according to Inside Scoop was the site of a 100-person demonstration timed with a lawsuit alleging that management denied workers adequate breaks and forced them to work off the clock, among other labor violations. (Calavera denies this.) Among the ownership and management structure named in the suit is Christian Irabien, who recently left for Cala in Hayes Valley.

But in Other Labor News, You Deserve to Sit Your Ass Down
This goes for cashiers, mostly. According to the Business Times, the California Supreme Court ruled that "There is no principled reason for denying an employee a seat when he spends a substantial part of his workday at a single location performing tasks that could reasonably be done while seated, merely because his job duties include other tasks that must be done standing." Gendered grammar notwithstanding, hurray!

How Much Celebs Get Paid Just For Showing Up to the Party
And speaking of sitting down, GQ looks at the insanely lucrative side gigs that famous-for-being-famous people can get just for going to a megaclub and drinking some Champagne. Minor, outlying figures from the Kardashian equivalent of the Oort Cloud like Scott Disick can get $70,000 or more for an hour. They even whine about the fact that that hour can "take two whole days" (what with flying there and all), and Nicki Minaj fought with Vegas club Chateau over $236,000 after arriving at 1:19 a.m. instead of at midnight, staying for barely half of the hour that her contract stipulated. (She did have to perform two songs, too.) Industry experts naturally trace this phenomenon back to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, the latter of whom is of course the daughter of Lionel Richie, who will be playing Outside Lands this year because he still knows the value of hard work.

An Excerpt from Meathooked
Since I make fun of vegans a lot, I try to balance it out with honest appraisals of how disgusting and vile the meat industry really is. Salon excerpted a chapter from Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat, and it's worth scrutinizing. From getting laws passed that criminalize documentation of what really goes on in production facilities to permanently rewiring our brains to associate Aaron Copland's "Hoe-Down" with the tagline "Beef: It's What's For Dinner," the meat industrial-complex's P.R. acumen is frightening.

A Look at the Business of Meal Kits
Blue Apron and Purple Carrot are big businesses now, so the New York Times looked into how the meal kit industry operates. It's much less gross than a hog lagoon from Meathooked.

The Rise of the Fake Crab Festival
Munchies looks into this dispiriting development

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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