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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Nine: GastroMagic at Outside Lands, Foodie Nightlife at the Academy of Sciences

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 3:30 PM

click to enlarge "Earth," one of the five elements from Roka Akor's cocktail omakase. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • "Earth," one of the five elements from Roka Akor's cocktail omakase.

Plus there's a lot happening with restaurant-rating systems right now.

GastroMagic Returns to Outside Lands With Big Freedia, The Electric Beethoven Acid Test, and a Roast of Hipster Chefs
I may be biased cause it's my main beat, but having covered the last five Outside Lands in a row, I can say that the GastroMagic Stage is my favorite, and not just because it's so random and fun, but you can usually get really close with a minimum of shoving. (Last year, I got to hear some British DJ rudely turn down Sarah Rich's offer a fresh doughnut that she and her husband Evan were frying on-stage and lobbing into the crowd. "I'm gluten-intolerant," he sniffed, declining to make eye contact.)

Anyhoo, it's back! This year, we get to see a competition to make something delicious out of food waste, a tribute to Prince in ice cream, a commemoration of yacht rock in the form of lobster rolls, and a comedic roast of hipster chefs. Big Freedia returns for another Beignets & Bounce Brunch with Brenda's Soul Food, and Chris Cosentino and Major Lazer's Jillionaire will roast a full albacore.

Foodie NightLife at the Academy of Sciences is Aug. 18
Don't tire yourself out on music and food at Outside Lands, cause the California Academy of Sciences' Foodie NightLife is Thursday, Aug. 18, 6-10 p.m. Presented by Noise Pop, it'll have a look at the history of cured meats courtesy of flour + water and Central Kitchen, an exploration of the science of mixology with peeps from Trick Dog, and a burrito vs. burger showdown pitting DJ Mr. E of Papalote against DJ WesBurger.

The Bayview's First Starbucks Will Open Next Month
Hoodline has many details of this new harbinger of doom development in coffee, which will be found at 3801 Third St.

Asian Box Takes Over the Former Marina Tacolicious
I really feel like I'm being trolled by the name Asian Box, but if you're curious as to what's going into the former Tacolicious space at 2031 Chestnut now that Tacolicious moved to 2250 Chestnut, Inside Scoop reports that it is indeed Asian Box. (Incidentally, Tacolicious owner Joe Hargrave told Eater last month that that location basically sucks. It's dark, has one bathroom, and lacks a prep kitchen, and while we know the address has a liquor license attached, Hargrave called the lease "fucked.") Best of luck, Asian Box!

Yelp Moves to Quash Lawsuits Against Bad Yelp Reviews...
SFist caught an internal Yelp blog post that notes how the company is trying to thwart angry business owners from taking legal action against Yelpers who shit-talk them. Yelp will now stick "consumer alerts" on the pages of companies it believes have crossed the line. The pedant in me would like to point out that in citing the First Amendment, Yelp's premise is slightly incorrect. Constitutionally protected freedom of speech applies to the government telling you what you can or cannot say; it does not apply to private companies and their customers or users. It's great that Yelp is doing the right thing, but it's not as if the First Amendment compels them to.

...And Zagat Goes From a 30-Point System to a Five-Star System...
The Wall Street Journal reports that, five years after Google bought it, Zagat is altering is scoring system. Or maybe we should say the "slightly musty" restaurant-review "giant" is "recalibrating" its "algorithm" to help you "find great places" to "eat." The three categories — food, service, and decor — remain, and what do you know? Acquerello and The French Laundry are tied as the best-reviewed spots in the Bay Area, averaging 4.8 across all three categories.

...While Yet Another Rating System, Renzell, Is in the Works
It's looking at a fall release, but Inside Scoop reports that Renzell is meant to fix some weaknesses in the existing ratings services. One is the randomness of many Yelpers' comments, and the second is the restrictiveness of existing categories. Renzell will offer eight categories hospitality — service, value, food, design, vibe, cocktails, and wine/sake — while weighing them against an individual rater's priorities. Cool!

Food and the Party Conventions
"Politically, the ubiquity of food is both a strength and a weakness," says The New York Times. "Food can be a hunger issue, an immigration issue, an animal welfare issue, a labor issue, an environmental issue, a farming issue, a health issue, a trade issue." It's a good look at an underexplored aspect of a highly political issue, especially considering that people across the political spectrum want healthier food and smarter environmental regulation of agribusiness.

Olive Oil Is Really Gross
“We call the U.S. the world’s dumping ground for rancid and defective olive oil. We don’t know the difference,” says a "sensory scientist whom FiveThirtyEight talked to about the fact that a ton of olive oil in the U.S. is quite rancid. Rancid olive oil doesn't mean it's turned bad and we're too stupid to notice; rather, many people find it more palatable. But you're still being overcharged for it if you buy extra-virgin oil that's of significantly lower quality.
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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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