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Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

Luke makes many good points here about privilege, the comfort zone and expectations of audiences, etc. However, I do think the media plays an even larger role than Luke states. Los Angeles has Jonathan Gold, who is as adventurous and knowledgeable about all kinds of cuisine as any critic in existence. Many really great places, a majority of which are run by immigrants cooking food from their culture, are given business-altering attention by Gold's writing. This has a cascade effect, in that illuminating the often challenging Southern Thai cooking of Jitlada then opens up people's palates and minds to other Thai places doing unfamiliar things. Is Luv2Eat Thai a huge success within its first year (!) without the groundwork of Jitlada and Jonathan Gold? I doubt it.

The Bay Area (and primarily SF) has traditionally been covered by Michael Bauer and collectively the places he writes about are very different than Gold's portfolio. This has undoubtedly informed the palates of the Bay Area. Why is it a big surprise, then, that people prefer Comal to El Paisa when nobody even bothers to review El Paisa (until Luke did so last year, 7 years after it opened)? For years, Chowhound was a far better place to learn about interesting eateries than any of the normal media outlets (and its descent into uselessness is a sad story for another day). But CH fame isn't enough by any stretch to lead thousands of people to try a place or cuisine or dish that's outside their comfort zone, to turn Jitlada into JITLADA. It's not impossible: Burma Superstar has turned everybody into a tea leaf salad expert; Turtle Tower is the reference for many people's pho ga. These places are out there, but we need help separating the good from the mediocre.

Therefore, the way to balance the scales is for media members who have a broad audience to considerably expand what kind of restaurant is considered “review worthy”, and to write knowledgeably, adventurously and engagingly about them. This is not a small thing to ask. Who will take the time to understand and explain the characteristics of Jiangsu cuisine, and where to go to experience it? Who has the depth to say that this Sinaloan mariscos place stands above the others? Gold certainly wasn't born with an innate understanding of homestyle Korean food, but he can write about Soban with enough authority and enthusiasm that some people will go check it out, and some fraction of them will have a great experience and tell their friends, and so on. Whoever the Bay Area's Jonathan Gold is, she or he will need a lot of time to build trust and an audience. Maybe it's a group effort. Luke is clearly doing his part and I thank him for his efforts. I believe he's easily the best critic we have right now, and maybe in time he will be enough if he is given a platform with a wider geographic range. There's definitely a market for this type of criticism -- we just need the right guidance.

N.B. The South Bay is filled with places that are known mainly only to the immigrant populations that they serve. Would someone please start writing intelligently about them?

Posted by Peter Chang on 08/26/2016 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Oakland-Alameda Authority Confirms Unreleased Renderings of Possible Raiders Stadium at Coliseum Site

The shrewd and late Al Davis came back to Oakland for a reason. Although football passed him by, he had the presence of mind to realize the extreme value of the bay area market. It would be foolish for his very unstable son to flirt with moving the franchise. So far he has dealt with Oakland very disrespectfully, Sit down and be still Mark. Oakland will get this done.

Posted by Anthony D. Benton on 08/26/2016 at 4:39 PM

Re: “More Details on Those Rumored Oakland Raiders Coliseum Renderings and Images

Zienie is a joke he only spits out misinformation other bloggers have confronted him about what he is saying and he shows no proof and spits out hatred for any other cities that want the Raiders watch all of his vids on vegas you will see the misinformation

Posted by ridahraiders on 08/26/2016 at 4:20 PM

Re: “Court Ruling Shuts Kitchen Staff Out of Tip Pools, Prompts Some East Bay Restaurants to Consider Going Tipless

Why not make the owners of the businesses pay the kitchen. I can tell you right now the owner of the place i work takes several vacations a year. He has a huge house and owns the property. His retirement is set and he is a lot better off financially than me. So why can't he raise the prices and pay his bills? Instead of taking my hard earned cash.
People like you sicken me. You obviously are not a server. Try living the life before you tell me how to give away my hard earned cash/.

Posted by Steve Nottingham on 08/26/2016 at 1:57 PM

Re: “Six Ways to Fried Chicken in the East Bay

Merritt Bakery is closed. Although someone told me they took over the old Kwik-Way drive-thru, so maybe they have their chicken there.

Posted by BTP on 08/26/2016 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Mid-Week Menu: A Hotel Restaurant Reinvents Itself, a Sandwich Pop-Up Re-emerges, and a Fish Market Shutters

Luke, I'm so glad we have you to read at the Express.

Posted by Jono Schneider on 08/26/2016 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Oakland-Alameda Authority Confirms Unreleased Renderings of Possible Raiders Stadium at Coliseum Site

Raider did not file trademarks for San Antonio or Carson Jody Payton... Lane Blue filed for the trademark San Antonio Raiders, which cornered Mark Davis to change the Raiders name or it would force Mark to pay a hefty fee to buy Blues Patent Trademark... Carson Raiders never happened... Los Angeles Raiders I believe, still belongs to the Raiders from when they patent it back in early 80's

Posted by Adam Dyer on 08/26/2016 at 9:18 AM

Re: “Oakland Tenant Advocates File Ballot Initiative to Strengthen Rent Control and Eviction Protections

When the government disturbs prices and wages, a black market is created, because humans are always financially motivated. Renters sell the opportunity to live in their rent-controlled apartments. Workers sell employment opportunities. Physicians sell disability certifications. I'm not arguing that the disturbance of prices and wages is bad policy. I'm arguing only that these effects should be considered, not ignored.

Posted by Brett on 08/26/2016 at 8:42 AM

Re: “The Black Choreographers Festival Brings its First Summer Series to Laney College

Brilliant article. Kudos to the writer.

Posted by Rolly Viray on 08/26/2016 at 1:50 AM

Re: “Oakland-Alameda Authority Confirms Unreleased Renderings of Possible Raiders Stadium at Coliseum Site

The Raiders will stay in Oakland bc they will get the new stadium they want. Davis is just using the move to las vegas to scare the city of Oakland to agree to the new stadium! Vegas is a tourist city keyword tourist. vegas will never have a pro football team they just got a hockey team i give that 5 years tops before that folds and proves to all major sports leagues that vegas is just a tourist city!

Posted by RaiderNation86 on 08/25/2016 at 10:38 PM

Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

I guess Apple shouldn't make smartphones either because they are culturally an Illinois, Espoo and Seoul thing

Posted by Dave Campbell 1 on 08/25/2016 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Starving Students Movers Company Caught on Video Dumping Furniture in West Oakland

The company is paying absolutely NO price for this crime!!! They are putting all of the blame and fines on the employees of the company who were caught on camera!!! The management of this branch and the lack of proper training and safety practices are to blame!

Posted by Code Jammer on 08/25/2016 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Oakland-Alameda Authority Confirms Unreleased Renderings of Possible Raiders Stadium at Coliseum Site

Bill Drawdy- Vegas is a much better city than in many ways for the Raiders. Oakland is a broke city right now and that is why they are having so many stadium issues, while Vegas is doing much better and major league franchises in all sports are dying to get into the Vegas market because there are over 2.2 million people in the greater Las Vegas area. We know what Oakland can bring to the table, NOTHING. While Las Vegas is an untapped market with endless possibility. Also, the stadium in Vegas will be used for UNLV Football, and a possible MLS expansion franchise.

Posted by Ryan Canfield on 08/25/2016 at 4:39 PM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

@Charlie Pine

Could you provide links to the Berkeley studies please? Your description suggests they only looked at the price-change of soda (i.e. half the tax showed up in price increase of soda), rather than any other goods.

Also, with regard to personal attacks, I cited the prof's credentials in response to your claim that he "might know law, but he clearly does not understand the first thing about comparative price elasticities." You said he doesn't know economics, I responded by showing that he does. I did not introduce the tactic of personal attacks.

Posted by Tommy Katz on 08/25/2016 at 4:36 PM

Re: “Oakland's Street-Repair Deficit is Deep. The Mayor Says a $600 Million Bond Needed to Address the Problem.

Bonds are public debt, plain and simple. While they are a legitimate source of revenue for needed new infrastructure projects, cities and states need to plan for maintenace costs using revenue, not MORE DEBT.
As for Mayor Schaaf's plan for affordable housing. She wants to use rent control and more rent control to push small property owners (buildings with 1 to 4 units) into financial distress and then take them over as "NOAH's" (See Schaaf's "Housing Blueprint") using funds from measures A1 and KK (more bonds). Can the City really handle all the expenses associated with owning old buildings - the lead paint, galvanized plumbing, knob-and-tube wiring, not to mention buildings aquired due to financial distress will not be in great shape in many other ways.
Schaaf's plan will push Oakland deeper into debt and saddle it with old buildings (newer construction is not rent controlled per state law). Oakland needs more housing. Not to push small property owners out of business.

Posted by Ilona Nesmith Clark on 08/25/2016 at 4:31 PM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

@ Tommy Katz: The grocer compares whether he will lose less revenue if he a) raises the price of a quart of soda 32 cents or b) raises the price of that bottle 12 cents, the price of diapers 17 cents, etc. Two studies of Berkeley sugared beverage prices found that about half the tax showed up in the prices of those beverages. *** As for ad hominem argument, you introduced that tactic by citing the professor's credentials.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 08/25/2016 at 4:04 PM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

@charlie Pine

It seems like you'd rather make ad hominem attacks than address the issues.

The micro-economics here aren't challenging: changing the marginal cost of one good (sugary drinks) won't impact the price that a retailer charges for another good (e.g. produce).

For an illustration of this, look at cigarette prices: the cost of a pack of cigarettes has skyrocketed as states impose more taxes on cigarettes. The price of Tic-tacs and other goods sold at gas stations (or other cigarette retailers) didn't change when cigarette taxes were implemented.

Posted by Tommy Katz on 08/25/2016 at 3:35 PM

Re: “Oakland-Alameda Authority Confirms Unreleased Renderings of Possible Raiders Stadium at Coliseum Site

Anyone who really believes the Raiders are moving to LV are only fooling themselves. The Raiders also filed a trademark for San Antonio and'd that work out? Lol

Posted by Jody Payton on 08/25/2016 at 3:03 PM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

@Tommy Katz: You're right, the professor might well know about price elasticity - in which case he simply threw out fog because he favors this tax on the poor. Maybe that is his lawyer side in action. As for the argument about why wasn't the price raised before the tax, the tax would changes the grocer's calculations of price and net revenue - go study it if you're interested.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 08/25/2016 at 2:47 PM

Re: “Oakland-Alameda Authority Confirms Unreleased Renderings of Possible Raiders Stadium at Coliseum Site

"..this came out today, dont file trademarks for nothing!...its all a process already rolling!....Las Vegas Raiders coming soon!

Posted by Eddie Aguilar on 08/25/2016 at 2:17 PM

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