Despite being unanimously declared (read: self-appointed) America's Finest City, it's only natural that a small few don't quite match up with our stellar reputation (read: opinion of ourselves). In the spirit of bettering ourselves, if that's even possible, our heroes of hospitality reflect on what makes us look bad.
Adam Stemmler, Blind Tiger Cocktail Co "It's disappointing to see so many bar owners say they want to run a cocktail program, but when it comes time to man up and actually commit to the effort and training, they don't want to do it. I'm disappointed to see the city continue to fish in the Vegas pond and put out more and more soulless entertainment. Downtown in general f***ing disgusts me right now. How many venues do you need playing Lady Gaga, and the Black Eyed Peas? If you go out on the streets of downtown after 2am, it's disgusting. What happened to culture in this town? What happened to intellectualism? If one more nightclub that plays the Top 40 opens in this town, I might slit my wrists and sit in a warm bathtub. There are plenty of places in other cities that are actually embracing intellectualism, crafting original ideas, and providing quality entertainment, but business owners in this city want to fish in the lowest-common-denominator pond, and it needs to stop."
David Cohen, Owner, Uptown Tavern "That David Cohn has not adopted me as his long lost restaurateur son.
Jason Gethin, Executive Chef, Union Kitchen & Tap "1st. Once again Foie Gras why? I guess I just have to move to Chicago since they can get it together to keep it. 2nd. The bastardization of old dishes. Take Shrimp & Grits, it is a perfect dish the way it is why f*** with it? No it doesn't need goat cheese or whatever other ingredient someone thinks they can put into it to reinvent the wheel. Some things are better left as is.
Erick Castro, Beverage Director/Proprietor, Polite Provisions "Service -- I believe that the service in a lot of cocktail bars around the country hasn't caught up to the quality of the cocktails yet.
Kevin Templeton, Executive Chef, Barleymash "The biggest disappointment this year would be the banning of Foie Gras. Need I say more????
Joe Magnanelli, Exec Chef, CUCINA Urbana "It's funny, recently I've seen a lot of young chefs using all of these crazy avant-garde techniques. Someone recently posted a picture of a "caprese salad" with a mozzarella balloon, Parmesan powder and balsamic caviar -- all on top of a poor quality roma tomato. The tomato is supposed to be the star of the dish! You don't need to manipulate ingredients to the point of non-recognition. Let's get back to basics.
Anthony Schmidt, Head Bartender, Noble Experiment "San Diego restaurant critics... Making nice isn't a solution to mediocrity.
Chad White, Exec Chef/Owner, Plan-Cha Baja Med "That prop 37, the mandatory labeling of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), was not passed. It totally makes sense, right? I mean really who wants to know what giant food corporations put in our food. Monsanto, best know today for its agricultural biotechnology products, has a long and dirty history of polluting this country and others with some of the most toxic compounds known to humankind... What are they putting in our food to make it grow faster, and withstand harsh environments so we can have tomatoes year around in any climate? In some cases animal DNA is added (FYI: vegetarian/vegans) creating frankenfood. And some companies who use these products actually label them “natural” yet create them in a lab. Hey, who knows? Maybe my daughters will start going through puberty at 9 instead of 12. I mean, the sooner they grow up, the sooner they will leave, start their own lives, and the sooner I cant start walking around my house naked again. Oh, and don’t get me started on foie gras, enough with the sensitive bullsh*t, its f***ing delicious."