Last night The Layover took Anthony Bourdain to San Francisco, where he idly poked at the fires of the mythical East Coast/West Coast rivalry, ate a bunch of Asian food, and sampled the many (many) fine alcoholic beverages the city by the bay has to offer. Also, he hung out with local chefs Roland Passot, Chris Cosentino, and Danny Bowien, and got into an argument with the hipster owners of a Vietnamese food pop-up. (The hipsters won.) Below, the Quotable Bourdain — feel free to add your picks in the comments.
1) On the difference between the larger cities of this great nation: "If Los Angeles is the king of low-end eateries and New York dominates with its sheer number of high-end, then San Francisco is undisputed champion of the middle."
2) On his love of the Swan Oyster Depot: "Even if I'm eating on camera like every ten minutes, I find a moment to sneak in here and shove food in my face."
3) On crab fat: "If God made anything better, he kept it for himself."
4) On his criteria for a great town: "Daytime drinking is a tradition here, as it is in any great city."
5) On his musical preferences: "Most importantly, they boast a No Grateful Dead Policy on the jukebox, which ensures me the peace of mind and spirit I need to get a late morning buzz."
6) On what San Francisco needs to be invaded by New Yorkers: "If you had 11 million more people here, every chef in New York would be here."
7) On whether he'd want a ball gag for the all-gay episode of The Layover: "Well, I'd want a good jacket at least."
8) On proper tiki bar behavior: "You don't drink, like, scotch on the rocks here, man. It's girl drinks with umbrellas and shit, and you drink them proud."
9) On the extra long straws provided with a shared tiki drink: "You don't want to cross swords, I believe they call it?"
10) On tiki bars, after a few tiki drinks: "In a lot of ways places like this led me to whatever the hell it is I'm doing now."
11) A tiki toast: "To Don Ho, may he rest in peace. You gentle warrior, you Hawaiian Elvis."
12) On the type of person who doesn't like tiki bars: "If you have no love in your heart for this place you are a sick twisted lonely fuck with too many cats."
13) On eau de Bourdain: "I'm drunk and sticky and reeking of coconut and maraschino cherry juice."
14) On what he'd do if he ran a pop-up restaurant: "I'm looking at this, from the get go as I'm busting my ass, I'm fucking around with milk crates in cars, I'm driving out to buy this stuff, I'm working all month, I am gouging these hipsters for every dollar I can gouge out of them. Pay up sockhead."
15) Bourdain makes fashion observations at the Comstock Saloon: "You are wearing a tie, sir."
16) On the confidants: "The barkeep/drinker relationship is a sacred one. Like with a doctor, or a priest."
17) On the man who prepares his late night hamburger: "I think you are my walking buddha sir."
18) On cable cars: "That was like the most magnificently fucked up, disfunctionally wonderful means of transport ever."
19) On his kind of town: "Let no one say I don't love San Francisco...It is my kind of dirty old town."