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Why Is This Man Cooking?: How Michael Mina Said No to Fame and Built a Restaurant Empire 

Wednesday, Jun 18 2014
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It is a beautiful space, with rich suede banquettes, delicate murals of cherry blossoms on its brushed concrete walls, and a rope-and-sail motif in the ramen bar. It's set up to be an immediate success with tourists, expense-account diners, and the FiDi lunch and happy hour crowd.

The 49ers project, though — that's what Mina's most excited about. His face lights up when he talks about it. Mina's had season tickets to the 49ers for 23 years, ever since he opened Aqua. The new stadium will house a 180-seat Bourbon Steak & Pub open to all 68,000 stadium visitors during a game, but Mina's looking forward to the tailgate party he's going to host for season ticket holders.

It's Mina at his most micro and macro: The intimacy of a party for friends, for which they've built a 13-foot rotisserie you can put a whole ox on, boiling pots you can drop a few hundred lobsters into at a time, and a massive 8-by-8-foot wood-fired grill. It's the machinery of empire, and the food will no doubt taste great.

About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Bio:
Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.

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