Russell Quan’s guide to the East Bay

The Chronicle asked garage rock legend Russell Quan to tell them about all the best stuff in the East Bay, and he delivered. Here’s what he has to say about Val’s Burgers in Hayward:

No other hamburger can compare with this one anywhere in the world, time, space or dimension. Since 1958, Val’s has made their burgers, steaks, fries and shakes with such utter deliciosity that it will convert the most devout veggies into raving, foaming-at-the-mouth carnivores for life. The flavors and smells are so hunger-inducing that a belly overstuffed to the point of vomiting could fit in a few more papa burgers — one full pound of the highest-quality ground beef.

Read on for lots more hot tips, and more words like “deliciosity” and “juiciosity.” (And then go see Russell Quan DJ the Musical Chairs Party at Make-Out Room tonight!)

I’m in Chicago and I’m pretty sure this bar Happy Village has the same wallpaper as Virgil’s Sea Room

Am I right?

(They also have ping pong.)

This dude just used a chainsaw to cut a boot off his car

(Thanks, Lizzy!)

Brooklyn taqueria promises to teleport you to 24th and Mission

While NYC may have us beat when it comes to pizza and bagels, there’s still no denying how difficult it is to get a truly decent burrito on the East coast.  Even if you manage to find a supposedly reputable spot, chances are you’ll walk away with a flimsy imitation wrapped up by some skinny-armed hipster (or even worse, THIS crime against humanity).  It seems like every year there’s a new taqueria claiming to offer that exclusive Mission burrito experience no matter how disappointing previous attempts have been, and B’klyn Burro is the latest to give it a shot:

Like Tony Bennett, I left my heart and my appetite in San Francisco’s Mission District.  But now San Francisco Mission burritos are coming to Brooklyn with a taquero (burrito/taco chef) from one of the most respected taquerias in the game. Bite into one of our amazing burritos and you’ll be teleported to 24th and Mission, San Francisco. Food this good needs to be on both coasts.  Well guess what, IT IS!

From the looks of things, this place will only be popping up at select locations this week rather than going the brick & mortar route, so any New Yorkers curious to test its authenticity better hurry up.  I expect a fully-detailed report!

Lurid wallpaper in the Santa Rosa Hilton

[via David Enos]

Urban Taco Fabricator

You can complain about how Tacolicious on Valencia Street is ruining the flavor of the hood and gentrifying the fuck out of the place all you want, but just be grateful that we don’t have an Urban Taco Fabricator like they do in LA.


[Via Vice]

Drink of the week: Fernet in Buenos Aires

Drink of the week: travel edition continues with a dispatch from Buenos Aires, the only place I know of that likes Fernet Branca anywhere near as much as we do. (My relatives from Italy, Fernet’s home country, don’t go near the stuff.)  Here in BA, it’s mainly mixed with Coke and consumed in the hours between dinner and sunrise. After a few tries, though, I’ve convinced bartenders to pour me a shot. “Sin coca?” “Si, sin Coca.” “Sin hielo?!?” “Si, sin hielo.”

I’m half convinced it tastes different, and better, here in Argentina. It’s smoother, slightly less mouthwashy, and it still dries your mouth out, but not quite so violently. It’s produced domestically here, so it’s certainly possible. But maybe I’m just imagining things. One thing is exactly the same as in S.F. though – out of the people I’ve spoken to, no one can explain why they drink it.


Drink of the week is brought to you by

Drink of the week: Sore Loser

Since American Tripps has been on walkabout over the last couple weeks, and I’m leaving the country tomorrow, it’s time for Drink of the Week: Travel Edition. While Tripps was in Portland, word came back of the Sore Loser, from bartending celebrity Jeffrey Morganthaler. (I’ve been meaning to make Morganthaler’s tequila and sherry egg nog for years now – hopefully this year I’ll finally get it done.)

The Sore Loser is bourbon, peach liqueur, sherry, pernod and bitters.

Drink of the week is brought to you by

California specialness

Some news from our pal Lizzy (who recently left California, incidentally):

I was just in a coffee shop with a lot of succulents and salvaged wood, serving Stumptown Coffee, and overheard someone saying “what I’ve heard is, if you leave California, you have to get used to not being special anymore.” [link]

Yup. Guess I won’t leave.

[Shirt by Cool Try]

Look out, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle — San Francisco is coming!

The Bold Italic is taking San Francisco on tour, showing off a bunch of the best of SF to our neighbors up and down the west coast. It’s called the Bold Rush and it kicks off tomorrow:

Between Friday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 7, we’ll be caravaning from Southern California to the Northwest with a few of our favorite San Francisco treats to share with our sister cities, including local goods in our pop-up shop, an art show curated by Dan Johnson Lake, Vietnamese spring rolls from Rice Paper Scissors, and Berlin-style ping-pong with American Tripps. We’ll also be collaborating with like-minded locals, including Poketo, Syrup Jeans (members of Beachwood Sparks), M’Lady’s Records, Eyes + Edge, Paxton Gate Portland, Hand-Eye Supply, Imaginary Authors, Hardly Art, Artache Market, Don’t Talk to the Cops!, the Maxines, and others.

(Emphasis ours.) RSVP and invite your friends to the Los Angeles event here, Portland here, and Seattle here.

During this period, the Bold Italic will be featuring content by writers from each of the other cities too, so us San Franciscans can get a taste of them while they get a taste of us.