November 20, 2002

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Wasser man

THERE IS TO be no end, apparently, to bottled-water mania, especially since the city's tap water was recently criticized as being of "poor" quality for containing some residual badness. And in the world of bottled-water chic, we seem to be in some danger of falling behind Los Angeles. I know this because just this past week I ordered a bottle of Evian at one of our most Hollywoodish restaurants (can you guess which?) and was told that the place doesn't offer Evian. It does, however, offer Voss, a Norwegian water packaged in a handsome vitreous cylinder that looks like something you might find mounted on the underside of one of our much vaunted Predators.

Voss, we were told, is the only water some famous movie producer I'd never heard of will drink. Madonna too, for a bit more vogue cred. Does she bathe in it? I wondered. An excess of money does breed the most curious obsessions.

I will say that the Voss water was agreeable to drink – very soft in the mouth. It helped that the food was superlative, but the food has always tended to be superlative at Postrio, despite the encroachments of time (the restaurant is in its 14th year) and the challenge of maintaining a passion about gastronomy in the midst of celebrity glitter. Credit for the latter surely belongs to the brothers Rosenthal (Mitchell and Steven), who in their eight years in Postrio's kitchen have consistently turned out the sort of elegantly lusty food that made their boss Wolfgang Puck's first Spago such a huge success. But that West Hollywood restaurant is now closed, succeeded by a fancier spot in Beverly Hills, and that leaves Postrio as the only place I know of where you can still get a taste of the old Spago.

The Rosenthals, meanwhile, are laying some plans of their own. They hope to open, perhaps late in the spring, a restaurant to be called Town Hall, in a century-old brick building at Fremont and Howard. Presumably, the glitter quotient will be somewhat less than Postrio's (the law of glitter mathematics being what it is). Will Voss water be available at the new venue? Or will Madonna have to bring her own?

Blunderdome: In a recent review of Vogalonga ("A Long Row to Hoe," 11/6/02), we described the restaurant as being on 22nd Street between Mission and Lexington. Mea maxima culpa. The restaurant is just west of Mission, near Bartlett. So if you've been looking between Mission and Lexington and not finding Vogalonga, you are not crazy. The address (which we did manage to get right) is 3234 22nd St. And I meant Barry, not Tony, Zito.

Paul Reidinger
paulr@sfbg.com