Hot August Nights: Out the Door and More

Keeping it Casual
Had a quick ladies' dinner at Charles Phan's Out the Door in the Westfield Center, as pre-game for the Campari urban sustainability chat at YBCA.

The Slanted Door offshoot reopened in July and appears to be running smoothly since a nasty water leak shut the place down in early June 2008.

Daikon rice cakes? Fab.
Fresh spring rolls? A little too spring-y (read: rubbery).
Caramelized prawns? Dark and lovely.
Baby bok choy? Bo-ring.
Manifesto SB by the glass? Yum.

The cellophane noodles with Dungeness crab are still delicious, if only the teensiest bit dry and less flavorful than what you get at the Ferry Building papa bear. Things must have shaped up since the Yelpers went ape.

That said, after many tasty meals at both the Slanted Door and Out the Door, I have yet to be blown away by the cooking.


We set off to the Campari open bar at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts -- and exhibited a fair amount of brand loyalty.


The Sustainable Systems 3 talk in the YBCA Forum was truly excellent, and the room was packed!

We got a great overview of the LEED platinum certified bells and whistles on the new California Academy of Sciences
from Arup's Shruti Narayan, the project manager on sustainable design strategies for the facility.

Fun fact: the 2.5 acre roof garden is planted with natives and will absorb approx. 2 million gallons of rainwater per year -- water that would otherwise run off into storm drains and tax water treatment facilities.

(Photo: The Architect's Newspaper)

We also got a recap of REBAR's green conceptual art projects from architect and designer John Bela, the guy behind the City Hall Victory Gardens. It was rad.

(photo: The Trust for Public Land, who has licensed PARK(ing) Day from REBAR, incidentally.)

Chez Panisse chef Jerome Waag then gave a rundown on Bay Area urban farms, and talked a bit about the upcoming OPEN Restaurant dinner at New Langton Arts on Sept. 13, for which all of the food will be sourced from urban gardens and farms -- even the chickens and the eggs.

For dinner reservations, contact New Langton Arts at 415.626.5416.

(photo of recent OPEN SOIL event: New Langton Arts)

YBCA's Mara Sohn: what an event coordinator.

After the talk, friends caught up over negronis and Campari and OJ...

and photographer Daniel Dent smiled for the camera.

Then SF Station writer Chrissy Loader and I headed off to yacht rock land, but not before showing off our summer-light dresses. Look ma, no winter coat!

The new Contemporary Jewish Museum on Mission, lookin good at night.

Smooth Sailing
The screening party at Rickshaw Stop for the hit web show Yacht Rock was packed as well, and the crowd of 200 was game for smooth sailing, belly laughing, and grooving to Christopher Cross in their captain's hats and sailor shirts.

I was a little bit camera-happily star-struck to meet show co-creator J.D. Ryznar, a.k.a. Michael McDonald...

...while my friends were happily drink-struck -- but only a tad.

After all, it was a school night.

KALX DJ Roscoe 2000 made the turntables sing with deep catalog smooth hits...

And Cocoon: The Movie: The Band (a Guitar Zeroes side project) effectively cleared the room with their half awful/half amazing stylings on modified Guitar Hero video game controllers.

I was undeterred; to be honest, I was in heaven watching Cocoon on the backdrop.

(I might have even gotten inspired to swing by the Mint afterwards for a rendition of Kenny Loggins' "This is It," but only the summer breeze knows for sure.)

Just another hot August night in San Francisco.

photos: TB


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