Peak San Francisco?

by on December 31, 2016 at 4:37 am in Food and Drink, Web/Tech | Permalink

San Francisco’s Quince made news this October when it was awarded a third Michelin star, but in a sign that even the most prestigious restaurants are struggling to maintain their cutting edge we learn today that its chefs have cooked up a bold new plan to grab the Instagram-ready eyes of customers: Dishes served on iPads. And to make matters even lamer, they didn’t even come up with the idea themselves.

Chef and local firebrand Richie Nakano tweeted out the news this afternoon, and a quick Yelp search confirms the existence of the questionably plated “a dog in search of gold” dish (we called the restaurant for further details, but they were closed).

Described as “white truffle croquettes on iPads playing videos of water dogs on the truffle-hunt” by whoever sent the photo to Nakano, the plating raises some obvious questions. Namely, does the San Francisco Department of Public Health have an acceptable washing method for iPads? And, this being San Francisco, how long until someone reprograms one of those things to display one-star Quince reviews on Yelp?

According to the Daily Mail, chefs serving up dishes on iPads has been a thing in the United Kingdom since at least 2015. In other words, Quince’s idea isn’t just bizarre — it’s a rip-off as well.

Here is the link, via Michael Rosenwald.

1 Thiago Ribeiro December 31, 2016 at 5:15 am

There was a tim ewhen Americans were conquering the Moon, defeating polio, discovering how to split the atom, building the world’s tallest biilding, but I guess they must settle for iPad dogs now. Sad.

2 Just Saying December 31, 2016 at 11:46 am

This is a terribly sad, terribly cynical…terribly accurate comment.

3 Batou Kovacs December 31, 2016 at 12:01 pm

So true. Thank you Thiago for helping us remember the fallen.

4 Thiago Ribeiro December 31, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Glad to be of use.

5 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 1:54 pm


We have fallen a long way from a nation primarily of farmers, business owners, and self-employed trades people in the 18th century. We are now divided into classes – a bored elite; a struggling working class; overcompensated,underworked, indifferent government employees; and the government dependents. The bored elite are the most disgusting to me. Freed from the struggle for life most humans face every day, they seek gratification, thrilling experiences without danger, stimulating travel, passive entertainment (theater, concerts, etc), and sensual pleasures like eating frivolous food in unusual ways. They are fat and decadent but think everything is ok because they live aparthied lives surrounded by people like themselves. The hoi polloi come into their neighborhoods to blow away leaves, clean their toilets, and shuttle their children from home to school to ballet and back.

But do not worry, we will get our nation back.

6 msgkings December 31, 2016 at 1:59 pm

You are talking about inequality here Lanigram. The only way to go back to the 18th century distribution is to dramatically compress the income and wealth of the bored elites with the struggling working class. So, y’know, Feel the Bern.

7 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 2:24 pm

The Bern has no fire. The flame of soft socialism is flickering – Europe has stopped reproducing and is being changed from within by a fertile something very different.

A fertile people united by shared religious beliefs will win by multi-level selection pressure. You can look it up…

8 msgkings December 31, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Um, ok, so, back to your original post here, walk me through how ‘we will get our nation back’ to the 18th century, please?

9 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 2:40 pm



10 msgkings December 31, 2016 at 2:43 pm

LOL points for honesty in admitting you are just talking shit.

11 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 2:57 pm


Btw, I wrote “back”, not “back to the 18th century”.

You are correct that my message implies inequality. However, I am really talking about power. The elite – an unfortunate word but I can’t think of a better one – not only garner most of the economic gains but also capture the future via superior education and opportunities for their children. This problematic in a future where education and social networks are primary determinants of success.

I don’t have good answers, just questions.

What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions?

12 too hot for MR December 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Social and economic mobility is probably as good as it’s ever been, but resentment and sad stories seem to appeal more to people than do boring data.

13 dearieme December 31, 2016 at 5:28 am

“According to the Daily Mail, …”: a remark so often seen nowadays.

14 prior_test2 December 31, 2016 at 5:35 am

Well, on the Internet, it is hard to hear howls of derision. Sorry, that should be ‘HOWLS of DERISION.’

Besides, the Daily Mail has a lot of American page views – a real lot. Mainly because Mail Online is essentially the largest English language news source on the Internet. Oops – LARGEST English Language NEWS SOURCE On The INTERNET.

15 Axa December 31, 2016 at 5:43 am

Also for beer. Local and craft beers are $8-10 and not that good. The bitterness of IPAs became a race to the bottom.

16 anon December 31, 2016 at 10:32 am

There is a lot of hop juice out there, but many continue to make plain old pale ale in a traditional style. Sierra Nevada? There might be fewer choices for porters than there once were ..

17 anon December 31, 2016 at 10:43 am

Checking myself, there are a lot of porters:

But too many IMO are too cute:

“This Imperial version of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is aged in Bourbon barrels for months, lending smoothness to the smokey, salty, rich combo of maple syrup, fresh roasted coffee, and bacon.”

18 Moo cow January 1, 2017 at 12:15 am


19 Some Guy December 31, 2016 at 7:19 am

This reminds me of the line about modern art being about rich people showing off their wealth by spending millions on art that a first grader would think is embarrassing. The foodie thing is the same concept, but for people without money. “I was at this fabulous restaurant. Everyone is given a dog turd to hang off their nose in order to cleanse their sense of smell….”

20 Ray Lopez December 31, 2016 at 11:10 am

So true, it’s peak food fad time. I dined in Wolfgang Puck’s Santa Monica eats back in the 90s, when he was barely a celebrity and paid $100 a plate, but I was on the cutting edge. Now being a foodie IMO is the same as not being able to know how to cook… a sign of feebleness.

21 Dan Riley December 31, 2016 at 7:58 am

Peak MR.

The “obvious questions” have obvious answers. The food doesn’t sit on the screen, there’s a case (a custom box, actually, visible in the tweet pictures) with a sanitary transparent plate on top. If a diner does take the tablet out and mess with it, it gets reset.

wrt the “rip off”, is it really so awful that it has been done before? I thought restaurants copied each other all the time? And shouldn’t the prior art suggest that the “obvious problems” aren’t insurmountable?

Is the restaurant actually claiming this is anything like a “bold new plan” or is that just pejorative provocation?

Perhaps Tyler should give some actual thought to why he found this worth repeating.

22 Batou Kovacs December 31, 2016 at 12:05 pm

It’s worth repeating because it’s a bunch of sanctimonious assclown foodies that pay for this stupid shit. Die in a tire fire simps. The fuckies are coming.

23 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Oh yeah, there is still some fire in the belly!

24 dearieme December 31, 2016 at 8:30 am

All ‘creative industries’ involve rip-offs on a massive scale, don’t they?

25 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Google, FB, and now SNAP.

All you have to do is skim a penny off the top of EVERY transaction and you can be master of the universe – the world is your slave.

Whatever happened to the Trust Buster?

26 Heorogar December 31, 2016 at 8:57 am

San Francisco is a gorgeous city. I’ve been there many times and want to again visit. Sadly, I’ve seen reports that the city is about as bad as was NYC before Rudy Giuliani straightened it out.

27 Keith December 31, 2016 at 9:17 am

Yes, I live here and can verify your comment. The buildings and neighborhoods are getting renovated but the people are going the opposite way. There is lots of homelessness and drug use out in the open. Now California has decriminalized child prostitutes so expect to see more of that in SF.

28 prior_test2 December 31, 2016 at 9:47 am

‘There is lots of homelessness and drug use out in the open.’

So, pretty much like in the mid-80s then.

29 anon December 31, 2016 at 10:36 am


(but no, probably not. Pinkers’ stats probably work here as well.)

30 Thiago Ribeiro December 31, 2016 at 9:54 am

The American desperate populace has little option but trying to escape their awful lives throught drugs, mindless debt-fueled consumption and jingoism. The writing is on the wall.

31 Batou Kovacs December 31, 2016 at 12:06 pm


32 Heorogar December 31, 2016 at 4:03 pm

I was a desperate American. In 2016, I voted for Trump. Now, I’m a euphoric American.

Dulce Americanus inexpertis, eh Thaigo.

33 Thiago Ribeiro December 31, 2016 at 4:59 pm

The desperate masses created Hitler, Mussolini, the Bolsheviks, etc. It is the beiginning of the end.

34 Thor December 31, 2016 at 9:46 pm

So, you ARE a Cleveland Browns fan… I suspected as much.

35 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 2:13 pm

It might be dirty and you probably be accosted by agressive and entitled bums but at least it is cold, damp, foggy, and windy. What’s not to like?

I dread every in-law visit because of the inevitable visit to SF to take photos of the bridge, the winding street, and to smell the stink of that awful tourist trap by the docks.

If I’m really lucky I get to see the massive global warming exhibit/sales booth called the Academy of Sciences.

Did I mention the traffic sucks, the roads are incomprehensible and the parking expensive, if you can find any?

36 Jan December 31, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Sounds like you do all the crappiest things in SF. If you must visit, don’t do that stuff.

37 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 3:05 pm

The crappy stuff is what the in-laws want – I am just the unfortunate but dutiful driver.

I know SF as well as I want to know it. If I could choose to go anywhere I wanted to in SF I wouldn’t go to SF in the first place.

All that said, someday I would like to go to a Giants game in the new park. I’ve never been inside.

38 Jan December 31, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Maybe they think you like that stuff. I just returned from my 4th or 5th in-law visit to San Jose. The first time I visited we did all that typical SF crap, but after that I made it clear that I didn’t much care if we just skipped those things. Since then, we’ve been back to the Peninsula to eat, but not do all the touristy things. Your in-laws might be different than mine though.

39 too hot for MR December 31, 2016 at 6:18 pm

I spent my youth in CA, went to school in LA and Berkeley, and from my current observation post in Nevada think of Californians as I do of married men: “poor suckers, forced to bear it all with a smile.”

40 Rich Berger December 31, 2016 at 9:12 am

Just saw Bullitt on TCM again. San Francisco circa 1968 and it was a much more interesting place then. Regular folks could actually live there. They had the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, the Fillmore.

41 Autistic Econ Nerd December 31, 2016 at 12:21 pm

In what way is somewhere more interesting when “regular” people can live there? Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane? In today’s San Francisco one can mingle with a collection ultra-competent/smart people – from Machine Learning experts straight from finishing their MIT PhD to 19 year olds who have been contributing to major open-source projects since they were 11.

42 Alain December 31, 2016 at 12:54 pm


43 Keith December 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

LOL that is not the SF of reality.

44 Lanigram December 31, 2016 at 2:15 pm

You can throw rocks at the Google bus!

45 lvps1000vm December 31, 2016 at 9:21 am

Yes, it’s been done before. Here a restaurant addressed to the Jet-Set People of Ibiza – tablets under the plates, projections on the walls, sound and wind effects…

The bill: 1500 euros

46 anon December 31, 2016 at 10:39 am

It works if it sells, but it seems more like a fever dream.

47 Steve McSteve December 31, 2016 at 10:50 am

The modern version of the British tradition of wrapping your fish and chips in newspaper, I suppose

48 The Future December 31, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Could somebody tell me how to get chalupa juice out of my Nook?

49 Not Steve Sailer December 31, 2016 at 6:15 pm

First, you find yourself a nice white girl…

50 too hot for MR December 31, 2016 at 6:26 pm

^ good example of the importance of capitalization

51 Fazal Majid December 31, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Quince is my favorite restaurant in San Francisco. I haven’t been there in two years and probably can’t afford it anymore now that prices went from $100 to $300 or so per person before wine (and likely higher with the third Michelin star). This silly stunt notwithstanding, the food is very good, unlike other places like Coi where it is all about showmanship and not how things taste.

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