Welcome to p.m. Intel, your midday roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news from publications near and far. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Back in the halcyon days of 2014, Tenderloin resident Rob Reinhart launched meal replacement company Soylent from his apartment, crowdfunding the business and eventually pulling in at least $72 million in venture capital. For a brief moment, the slurry a was a favorite of tech company workers, but has lost attention in recent years, and in 2017 Rhinehart left the company (but remains on its board). Now he’s back in the news with a ranting, conspiracy-laden blog laden with misinformation (which we’re not going to amplify) that announces his support of Kanye West’s presidential bid. The New York Times says Reinhart’s screeds are an example of “a start-up culture war that has openly erupted in Silicon Valley.” For its part, Soylent says Reinhart (whose blog-based eccentricity is hardly new) does not represent the company, which “does not take political stances.”
- A recent press release from local chain Burma Superstar about an investment it received from delivery app DoorDash made headlines galore, but Hoodline is one of the few to note as part of its coverage that “Burma Superstar was forced to settle a million-dollar class-action wage theft lawsuit in June, brought forth by a staggering 353 current and former employees.” Add that to the lawsuit San Francisco’s own district attorney has filed against DoorDash for alleged worker exploitation (among other claims), and one might argue that the pairing is an excellent one, indeed.
- SF Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho and culture critic Peter Hartlaub are hashing out the pros and cons of the current “comfort food” movement. Ho worries “that this constant cycling back toward the food of the past speaks to something more unpleasant at work in our collective psyche,” while Hartlaub posits that “In times like these — especially times like these — we should wear nostalgia like armor.”
- Momo Masalas, an Indian and Nepalese spot near UC Berkeley, tells the Daily Californian that 90 percent of its business comes from students — so the closure of the campus has made it difficult to remain afloat.
- Popular Berkeley karaoke bar Nick’s Lounge is for sale, with owner Bryan Smith telling Berkeleyside that he’s hoping to retire. When asked what he’d do if he can’t find a buyer, Smith said “Well, I think we will. I suppose if we really don’t, I would consider reopening myself.”
- Following the death of food icon Cecilia Chiang, Hoodline posted a photo-heavy retrospective of the Mandarin, the San Francisco restaurant that catapulted her to fame.
- The sale of sandwich destination Roxie Food Center has been finalized, and KPIX has a nice interview with its founders, the septuagenarian Tannous brothers.
- Despite earlier announcements that San Francisco movie theaters would not reopen until concession sales were permitted, Cinemark and AMC tell Deadline that they’ll reopen their San Francisco theaters on Friday, October 30.