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Side Dish 

Men Are From Mars, The Kindest Cut, Five-Year Plan, Get the Red Out, and Comings and Goings

Wednesday, Sep 22 1999
Men Are From Mars
Those Mars bartenders are at it again: Andrew Finkelman and Brian Looby have taken over the lease on the Inn Justice on Harriet off Bryant Street. This old dive was a fave hang for off-duty cops, jail wardens, and the top-dog bail bondsmen. The kids are going to turn it into a lounge with small bites from the back kitchen. Sounds like the ideal place to wait while you're trying to get your girlfriend out of jail.

The Kindest Cut
Part and parcel of my job -- if you can call this a job -- is chasing down every little murmur, mumble, and aside that comes within earshot. And I have exceptionally large ears. Well, I happened to hear that a few purveyors were having troubles delivering to Elka Gilmore's Oodles last Friday. I called to find out what was going on down there, and no one answered the phone. Hmm .... A later drive-by revealed that the restaurant was indeed closed -- on a Friday night! My salivary glands kicked in immediately. "Toodles to Oodles" was to be the slobbery headline, under which I would outline in pugnacious prose the short yet bright life of another fine San Francisco establishment that went out with a flash.

The next morning I rang again, and someone answered the phone. Was it the equipment men pulling out the reefers for resale? No, it was the reservationist, and Oodles was open for business. What happened Friday? Was it all a strange flashback? Seems it wasn't a bad trip, but it was a bad day. Not one but two people had to be taken to the emergency room with unspecified, but I imagine quite messy, kitchen wounds. The pressure was too much, and the staff, superstitious about the bad things that come in threes, didn't want to wait around and see what the third would be; they shut the place down. Time to brush up on those knife skills, y'all.

Five-Year Plan
Millennium, in the Abigail Hotel, is celebrating its fifth year with a dinner on the 30th. The meal will be brought to you by the number 5: five courses, five-part dessert, 5 percent to PETA, and 5 percent to the S.F. Vegetarian Society. All for the low, low price of $45.55. (How did that four get in there? Patch me through to my numerologist!)

Get the Red Out
One of the urban myths specific to restaurant land is that if you add a certain off-the-shelf eye medicine (yeah, the one stoners go for) to somebody's cocktail, he or she will immediately find him- or herself running for the water closet with a terrible case of The Revenge. Now, I've been hearing this for years, and have even threatened to do it to a few really horrendous customers. But I have yet to talk to someone who has actually tried it, someone who has irrefutable proof that it works. What Harry's leading up to is a friendly little poll: Has anyone out there actually, uh, gotten the drop on someone? Will just a dab do ya? Write me.

Comings and Goings
Thaddeus Van Dyke, GM at 42 Degrees, has left for other longitudes. Where he'll land, nobody knows. In the meantime he's working on his lats -- I mean, his abs. ... Masao Mametsuka (try that three times fast), formerly at Roti and the Waterfront, has been grilling up a storm at Moki's. If you're not in the mood for dinner, why don't you just stop by for a bite of his nectarine napoleon?

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

About The Author

Harry Coverte

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