EAT BEAT Since the dawn of Chuck E. Cheese, food and tunes have been intertwined in the human psyche yielding not only musical fruits, Meat Puppets, and that wine by Train entitled, yes, "Drops of Jupiter" (sorry, Wine Country), but also all manner of melodious dining experiences as well. Of course, the Bay is brimming with tasty music-food mashups: Ethiopian and ivory-tickling at Sheba Piano Lounge, chicken mole and goth at DNA Lounge, sushi and jazz fusion at Yoshi’s, biscuits and blues at Biscuits and Blues, kielbasas and punk at Zeitgeist. Here are some of our current favorite local freeform music-food mixes.
SHRIMP ‘N’ GRACE
Even if all you’re currently worshipping is this Fillmore Street cornerstone’s lemongrass-ginger house-cured salmon with cornmeal pancake and molasses glaze, 1300‘s weekly gospel brunch is sure to inspire devotional highs. A live band belts rousing hymns, and attendees down bottomless pomosas (bubbly with splashes of pomegrante liquer) with plates of chef David Lawrence’s global take on soul food in swank dining room settings.
Sunday seatings 11am and 1pm, $6 entertainment fee. 1300 on Fillmore, SF.
(415) 771-7100, www.1300fillmore.com
"Bacon Crack" chocolates, vegan soul food, and champagne funnel cakes go fabulously with a ukelele chanteuse as any attendee of Forage SF’s upcoming Night Market will be able to attest. The organization dedicated to promoting ultra-local nourishment has been striking gold with this recurring nightlife-snack event, at which local small vendors rub elbows with the Bay’s musicos, DJs, and of course, party-hard foodies. Check out Uni and Her Ukelele, the 29th Street Swingtet, and Izzy*Wise this Friday at Public Works.
Fri, September 7, 5-9:30pm, $5. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com
BEEP BEEP EATS
Why don’t gay bars have better food? Unfussy Mission hangout Truck isn’t in the Castro (which explains why it hosts some of the neatest non-pop dance nights in the city, ranging from ska to witch house), so maybe that helps. And although our clogged arteries adore its equally unfussy burger and fried pickles daily menu, we’re stoked about its sporadic Truck Stop Cafe pop-up. Featured? Duck-fat Chex mix, manchego gougères, and bourbon and coke floats. Also look out for Truck’s monthly (third Wednesdays) other pop-up, Swallow.
Wed/29, 6-10pm. Truck, 1900 Folsom, SF. www.facebook.com/TruckStopCafe
FAT LADY SINGS
You didn’t go to the opera tonight? Ugh. Thankfully, at least La Traviata restaurant in the Mission doesn’t care the red sauce, white tablecloth dining room is open to Philistines and Leontyne Price fans alike. Walls are lined with signed photos of famous ariaists, which you will peruse only until congenial waitstaff piles your table high with baskets of piping-hot bread, antipasto, caprese salad, chicken piccata, and wine. You can also try Tosca for opera eats, but rumors of the cafe’s imminent replacement with a strip club may yield savory beats of a different nature.
2854 Mission, SF. (415) 282-0500
RIBS ARE GONNA COME
R.I.P., punk rock BBQs at Richmond neighborhood mainstay 540 Club. But viva DJ Al Lover, who has occupied the vacuum with tunes of a different nature: soul 45s that lend a sunny quality to the mistiest of Fundays. Couple this with a bloody beer and a BBQ spread assembled by scrappy bar regulars that can feature greens, ham, cornbread, and more and you have yourself a neat little Sunday at the monthly Sam Cooke-Out.
Third Sundays, 1-5pm, free. 540 Club, 540 Clement, SF. (415) 752-7276, www.540-club.com
Compared to the shiny surfaces of Yoshi’s well-known sushi tables, the ambiance at Savanna Jazz Club has more down-and-dirty jazz-person cool. The barely-lit Mission room hosts trumpeter Eddie Martinez and crew every Thursday starting at 7:30pm ($5 cover) arrive early to grab the semi-circle booth table, order a safari platter (rice, beans, avocados, salad, plantains, and a meat option) and a bathtub-sized Manhattan, and take in the parading guest musicos and friendly onstage banter.
2937 Mission, SF. (415) 285-3369, www.savannajazz.com
Amasia Hide Sushi near Duboce Park is one of those idyllic neighborhood Japanese joints that offers succulent little rolls of inventiveness, rainy day sake specials, origami kits at every table, and lovely views of tree-lined, boulevard-like Noe Street. On select evenings (call ahead) it also offers beautiful live koto music, played by Shoko. The koto is an imposing, many-stringed zither that takes up a substantial portion of the small space, its enchanting notes floating among the dish-laden tables.
149 Noe, SF. (415) 861-7000
We actually can’t remember what music they play (your standard strip club Def Leppard-meets-Snoop Dogg, we imagine) but we do remember the high-velocity cracking of plastic heel hitting the floor at Gold Club’s free lunch buffet. The luxe gentlemen’s club in the middle of downtown provides a robust fried chicken spread, with enough fixin’s salad, potatoes, lasagna, dessert, whatever the kitchen is serving up on the blessed day you enter that vegetarians can get their mid-day boobie fix as well. Just remember, finger lickers, free scarfing does not give you permission to forget to tip.
Monday-Friday, 11am-2pm, $5 admission. Gold Club, 650 Howard, SF. (415) 536-0300, www.goldclubsf.com