Thursday, March 13, 2008

Faux Gulch Jam: A Personal Jamoire

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca - I moved from the Mission to Chinatown. Far from being a lateral move jamwise, it has actually represented a significant fall in fortune, with uninspired jams abounding. Live birds, cooked birds with their pointy bits still attached, and dried lizards are the kind of Extreme Adventure jams I would be willing to party with at least once. Clearly, these exciting jams are being enjoyed in the home, prepared with care by the ladies who simultaneously buy vegetables and chill extremely hard on Stockton street. In commercial establishments, however, these options are either not on the menu, or (racialist-ly) not on the menu for me. Instead we get the ubiquitous bok choi, sopping listlessly in broth. Additionally the pork bun, with its friends the egg tart and sesame ball, the kind of things that can take away your will to jam for several hours after ingestion. The eponymous jam from The Pot Sticker is adequate; Sam Wo is okay but not necessarily a "multiple visit per week" jam in the style of beloved El Metate. Nanking is a true jam but there is some chemical involved in its preparation that brings one into a Long Dark Teatime of the Soul after. The list of Chinese jams that don't get results is long. Maybe this is a personal thing. For me, the dark horse Chinatown jams hail from Vietnam, with Golden Flower, Golden Lotus, and one other golden thing i can't remember, roundly trouncing their neighbors from the North.

The dearth of jams in our neighborhood, bringing to mind the old adage about "water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink" has led us to many satisfying, quality jams in the Loin and environs. So-called "Polk Gulch," already a major contender in SF dining simply due to the presence of Cordon Bleu therein, is packed with jams. However, I am not here to talk about them, but to relay news of a deeply Faux Jam Experience delivered at the careless, beefy hands of the people from Mykonos Restaurant.

Mykonos has played the siren to my Odysseus on several occasions, with its whiteboard out front announcing the advent of a rabbit stew (kouneli stifado), an exceedingly rare jam and kind of a jam without peer. This annunciation indicated the presence of a Greek somewhere in or near a managerial position which, I had hoped, might raise this eatery up from the realm of the mediocre blanket "Mediterrannean" jam to an authentic jam with a modicum of national pride. What I found instead was a shit sandwich wrapped in a Greek flag, which robbed us with fourteen dollar entrees and poisoned us with filthy pork gristle stuck on a stick masquerading as souvlaki. What I found was one tomato wedge and a circle of red onion atop lettuce, accompanied by an olive and some bottled Italian dressing, calling itself a Greek Salad. What one needs from the Greek is theXoriatiki Salata (meaning "village salad" and when prepared correctly, the last word in simple orgasmic jams) and particularly for seven dollars, is this:

In a place that trumpets its hardcore Greek status with posters of the Herodeon:

pictures of that fucking pelican on Mykonos

Nemean wines and so on, what I don't want on my meze platter is a goddamned falafel (and a shitty, beleaguered falafel nonetheless, tasting as if it had made the journey all the way from its region of origin). What I don't want is watery yogurt from the Turkish cacik family, instead of real strained tzatziki the texture of spackle. Lest you think I'm being some sort of racist ethnic douche-jammer, let me point out that my dining companion, let's call him Crock Pot, who has never jammed in the cradle of democracy, also thought the experience was utterly faux. The bill: fifty-some dollars, prohibiting further jams for more than a week. For that money you could get a decent selection of appetizers at Kokkari, truly the finest (maybe the only) in Greek dining but sadly hella expensive. When Benjammin starts selling chron and collaborating with Bright Eyes, I would like us all to go there.

Next: the chicken and the ladies of Yong San



At 9:52 AM, Anonymous spot said...

my work always has our xmas party at kokkari. i have jammed there twice and it's like being served ambrosia and nectar disguised as olive oil and roasted lamb shanks.

there used to be a good greek joint in noe valley, like near church and 30th maybe? they had a very tight brunch jam. gyro omelet.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous grape said...

I want a Gyro Omelet now!

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous 1/2 said...

gheeee rhows!


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