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TABLEHOPPING Doc Ricketts, Bistro L'Aviateur, Le Marais Bistro and Bakery, and more whip up some juicy new food destinations 

This Week's Paper

weekcoverPOT OLYMPICS: Weed-smoking pro athletes blow smoke at lazy pothead streotypes. Plus: Supervisor candidates tackle gun violence in the Bayview, Mezcal becomes a victim of its own popularity, and our Best of the Bay Readers Poll is here. Articles Online | Digital Edition | VOTE FOR BEST OF THE BAY

From the Blogs

Appetite: Uni dreams

Exploring sea urchin creativity at three local restaurants

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Slick, tongue-like uni, or sea urchin (part of the same clan as sand dollars and sea cucumbers), earned its urchin moniker from a Middle English term for hedgehog due to their similar spiny exterior. Uni is an acquired taste. My adventurous palate took a couple years to come around to appreciating its briny richness (to be fair, the initial uni I tried was less than fresh, tasting more like a stale tidepool - yes, it matters where you have it). Three upscale dining destinations have been sourcing immaculate uni and giving it the inventive treatment.Read more »

Flipping out

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Dear Readers:

I get a lot of press releases and ignore them unless they're for books, kid stuff, or sex toys. But I have been remiss on one count: I have not solicited any samples of sex stuff aimed at men. There is something inherently humorous about fucking an inanimate object (see Portnoy, Alexander and Pie, American) that simply doesn't seem to apply to the dainty art of buzzing yourself to glory . Object-humping is not dignified.Read more »

Come drink and put Lyon Martin over the top

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Labor and transgender activist Gabriel Haaland reports that supporters of Lyon Martin Health Services have almost reached their $250,000 to save the clinic. Almost. Come help put them over the top on Wed/9 when I and other "celebrity bartenders" will be pouring stiff ones in a benefit event at the Buck Tavern (aka Daly's Dive), 1655 Market, starting at 6 pm. Donation of $5-$20 requested. See you there.

Heart attack!

What to do with your love (or possibly find a new one)? Check out the whens and wheres of Valentine's love week.

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V-DAY Be still your beating valves — you'd have to sprint to make it to all the V-Day lovin' in town this week, whether you're domesticated, on the prowl, or straight-up taking a pass on Hallmark-mandated caresses.

 

Jungle Love Read more »

A public apology for recommending the recent Madlib live DJ set

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When you recommend an event, you're basically telegraphing expectations on an artist's body of work. However, there is risk involved with live appearances.

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Editorial: Stop the War on Fun

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A local nightlife producer has won a tentative settlement in a false arrest and police abuse lawsuit against San Francisco. The deal still needs the approval of the supervisors, but it involves a significant chunk of cash. And it comes on the eve of what would have been a very public and — for the city — embarrassing trial shows how costly and pointless the police department's crackdown on nightlife has been.

In the case, Arash Ganadan claimed that Officer Larry Bertrand handcuffed him and hauled him off to jail outside a South of Market loft where the 27-year-old party producer was meeting with friends. Bertrand, the allegations stated, was mad that Ganadan had filed a complaint against him after an earlier club bust. Bertrand has since been reassigned. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Charanjit Singh

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CHARANJIT SINGH
10 Ragas to a Disco Beat
(Bombay Connection)

Pure zaniness: acid house from 1982 -- up to four years before the genre was invented -- that demonstrates Bollywood composer Singh's intuitive and innovative proficiency with the genre's prototypical Roland keyboards and drum machines. This reissue removes the word synthesizing from the beginning of the album's initial title, to downplay the kitsch factor, I guess. The mix of repetition and raga variation runs from meditative to maddening and is sometimes outright revelatory. One of a kind. After the jump, check out a comic and informative short movie from last year in which an enthusiast seeks out and meets Singh, and a few tracks from the album. As one online commentator suggests, it's time to put a bindi on the acid smiley. Read more »

Snap Sounds: James Blake

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JAMES BLAKE
James Blake
(Atlas)

This is probably the most-anticipated album of 2011, thanks to the promise of Blake's lavishly praised EPs, which have conjured the ghost of Aaliyah ("CMYK" draws brilliantly from "Are You That Somebody?") while deploying a innovative sense of dubstep's space and silence. (See the starts and stops and teasing not-there quality of "I Only Know (What I Know Now)" for an example.) Here, Blake adopts a more traditional pop vocal songwriting approach akin to his cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love," which is included. The result teeters between Kid A-era Radiohead angst and something a lot more interesting and unique — a singular interplay between the possibilities of composition and production. Read more »

The Free University of San Francisco kicks off teaching -- to a lot of white people

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“A piece of blank paper means anything you want can happen,” SF beat poet laureate Diane Di Prima was imparting a rare free lecture on shamanic poetry, the marquee event of this weekend's popular first Free University of San Francisco teach-in at Viracocha. She had a packed the antique store-community center's first floor showroom, encouraging in regards to the FUSF collective's run at making free education available to all. But if the Free University wants to teach the world, why are the vast majority of its students – let's not parse words here – white?

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Appetite: A tale of two (French) bistros

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On a cozy winter’s night (admittedly not forefront in anyone's mind given the weekend we just had), French bistro fare becomes supreme comfort food. Whether it’s a cassoulet of duck confit, white beans, and sausage or a steaming bowl of les moules with a side of frites, the French are masters of satiation. While my favorite bistros in the city remain Chapeau and L’Ardoise, recent visits to two provided gourmet sustenance with authentic French cheer. P.S. They are both taking Valentine’s Day reservations...

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Deconstructing Cinderella, deconstructing La Llorona

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They say you shouldn't judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Ana Teresa Fernandez, the featured artist in Galería de la Raza’s upcoming video exhibition “La Llarona Unfabled,” (opening Sat/12) has obliged in regards to that feminist foil, Cinderella. For her video installation, Fernandez spent hours standing wearing a melting pair of “glass slippers” made of ice on a dirty West Oakland street. The experience, she feels, left her more than qualified to criticize the social constructs embodied by fairy tale's scullery maid-cum-princess.

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SFBG Radio: Why the HuffPo deal sucks

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Arianna Huffington just sold the Huffington Post to AOL for $352 million. Johnny and Tim talk about why it's a bad deal for everyone except Arianna and her investors. Check it out after the jump. Read more »

Richard Johns is closer to developers than preservationists

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The controversial mayoral appointment of attorney Richard Johns to historian's seat on the Historic Preservation Commission is being challenged in court by Gertrude Platt and a group of local preservationists calling itself The Prop. J Committee. They are asking the judge to remove Johns from his post.Read more »

I solved the state's budget problem

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And you can, too! The Sacramento Bee has a handy tool to evaluate options for closing the budget gap -- and unlike some of the other versions of this I've seen, it actually offers a wide range of revenue options. I cleared up the $26 billion shortfall without cutting anything at all (except prisons; I checked the box for letting out low-level offenders early. I'd go even further, and repeal three strikes and the death penalty, but those options weren't on the table at the Bee).Read more »

SFBG Radio: Is the recession over?

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Is the recession really ending? The government says so -- but what do small businesses need to make that prediction real? Johnny and Tim discuss after the jump. Read more »