Eric Cuadra

SFBG TV: Dinner with Cassava


“This place just sort of fell into our lap” says Yuka Ioroi, who opened the Richmond neighborhood’s Cassava Cafe and Restaurant earlier this year with husband Kristoffer. “We always wanted to have our own restaurant, but also wanted to start small with a cafe. So we thought, why not just serve a limited-seating dinner?”With Kris’s culinary knowledge, and Yuka’s eye for aesthetics, this small space in the Richmond is a treat, embellished with flowers, delectable foods. It’s a great space for community — you feel right at home here.

I was lucky enough to film a recent, one-off dinner the couple put together. The footage gives you a taste of their culinary chops, and will probably make you hungry regardless of any recently-finished holiday meal.

Not in the mood for dinner? During the day the cafe offers Ritual coffee, toasted sandwiches, pastries, and dishes that showcase Kris’s range of culinary talents. All ingredients either home-made or local.

Cassava Cafe and Restaurant

3519 Balboa, SF

(415) 640-8990

SFBG TV: Arse Elektronika brings new meaning to “grab my joystick”


It was Saturday before Folsom Street Fair 2012, and I found myself standing in’s recently-opened Armory Club, sipping on a well-crafted cocktail and waiting for people to arrive in the bar’s private backroom area. 

As I gazed about the bondage scene portraits on the walls, I think of San Francisco’s history as an extremely open, sexually-progressive city. Only more recently have we seen the proliferation of a tech industry fueled by the Silicon Valley, the city’s high-functioning contado. 

Given our epic confluence of sex and tech, it’s no wonder Monochrom’s Johannes Grenzfurthner created Arse Elektronika, a conference focusing on sex and technology that’s now in its fifth year of existence. This year’s theme of “Fucking Polygons, Fucking Pixels” underlay a focus on procedural representations of sex and gaming, with various speakers, seminars and performances taking part in the event. 

“People actually do this?” asked a bar patron, who was hearing about Arse Elektronika for the first time. “You’re not from here, are you?” I said, chuckling a bit.


SFBG TV: Pageant tidings from planet Faux Queen


In this city, you can’t walk, saunter, or sashay 50 feet without running into a drag queen. We are a queen-heavy city, and we love it. But ask the average Joe who their favorite faux queen is, and all you might get is a glazed look or a raised eyebrow.

Faux queens are drag queens stuck inside a woman’s body — women pretending to be men pretending to be women. A simple enough idea that got its due in 1995 when Diet Popstitute and Rooby Tuesday started the now-legendary Faux Queen Pageant. After a seven year hiatus, the tradition continued on September 16, bringing lashed lovelies from the deepest reaches of space who would give veteran drag queens a run for their money.

I got a chance to interview Bea Dazzler as she was briefly visiting earth from planet Faux Queen. I’ll be honest, I never met a extra-terrestrial who loved women and animals so much.


SFBG TV: Baklava bonding at the Armenian Food Festival


No lines? Space to move and breathe? This can’t be a San Francisco street festival, can it?

But it was. I made a dramatic entrance at last weekend when I was shooting the 55-year old Armenian Food Festival. I floated in like a cartoon character, led by the nose. Yes indeed, I defied all laws of gravity and let my senses guide me to the sizzling kebab meats and free-flowing draft beer, not to mention the whirling dancers and, of course, Armenian eye candy.

My foodie senses were tingling, and I wasn’t the only one. The event began as a get-together for the Armenian community, but more and more people come every year to visit the festival, which is tucked away in Ingleside Heights. And bonus: the event is a benefit St. Gregory’s Church and the KZV Armenian School.

While I did most of my socializing with the kebab stand and beer truck, I did get festival board members VJ Darakjian and Zareh Sarkissian on-camera for an interview. They were big on the fact that “first and foremost, we have something for everyone.” I think they’re right — the night was pretty much summed up when I ran into an old co-worker.

“Hey, Dom! What are you doing here?”

“Duh, dude. Baklava.”