Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015 San Francisco - Day 7 - Afternoon

(Link to all 2015-April San Francisco / Berkeley trip blog posts)

Last day in San Francisco, and my last day of eating. I had already checked off Tartine and all that was left was Scoma's and that odd Mongolian place.

Scoma's proved disappointing, though in part because expectations had been set so high. When I went to Urbanspoon in preparation for writing my review of Scoma's, I couldn't help noticing some reviews from apparently long-time diners: David (2014-Nov-22 "I like changes, but..."), Richardhyppa (2015-Mar-6 "Used to be our favorite"), and Steven Teachout (2015-Jan-19 "A part of San Francisco restaurant lore has vanished").
Which reminds me that sometimes we go to a restaurant and have a great time (or a lousy one), and we carry that experience with us as if restaurants will never change.
But like people -- because they are run by people -- restaurants do change.
So when you read reviews or get recommendations, be aware and maybe dump everything that is over a year old because it's very possibly not reliable anymore.
Is change fair?
Scoma's sounds like they had a good formula and stuck to it for a long time. And when that familiarity was lost, so was the comfort that it provided. Is it fair for David to complain about broccoli and cauliflower being replaced by seasonal vegetables? That his beloved Shellfish Saute Sec had also been tampered with?
People obviously won't always stay the same, nor will their changes always be to your liking. But when they change what you liked about them -- and especially what was good about them -- then what? Simply agree to disagree?

Got to Let's Jam at 1:30 PM, and it was true! Mongolian food for the asking. Sadly they did not have banshtai tsai, which they described as dumplings in milk soup and which was far and away the most interesting thing that the Mongolian girl I met after Kirtan on Saturday wrote down in my diary. Everything else was sort of boring-sounding, including borsh, which was basically like Russian borscht. I ended up with a light lunch of ice chai tea latte with soy milk and a half order of three banshtai shol (deep-fried dumplings) for a mere $10.

My Berkeley friend called me while I was at Let's Jam to check in on me and sort out my final plans. I had borrowed a mug from her (to avoid wasting the individually-wrapped paper cups at the Golden Bear Inn) and too many mandarin oranges left over, so I wanted to return those. She was spending the afternoon with other parents, babysitting at "junkyard park" (Adventure Playground) and the playground at the Berkeley Marina. No problem, I'd meet her there, but if I didn't show up by 5 PM when she had to leave, then could she meet me at the Inn?

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