La Lengua

The Lovable Scumbags of 1970s La Lengua

With San Francisco's resident population of immaculate assholes ever hungry for microhood coverage, SF Chronicle columnist Carl Nolte took a page out of The Hold Phallic's microhood-drizzled playbook and explored the dainty enclave of La Lengua.  While most of the news is neither news nor particularly interesting (they have a parklet!), his look back at the neighborhood shitheads of a generation past is worth the read alone:

It was a tough part of town in the 1970s. “Blue collar,” said Richard Perri, who used to own Cavanaugh's, a 29th and Mission landmark bar.

“We had a customer named Ice Pick Larry who had a big scar on his face,” he recalled. “We had Gorilla Doug, who would come in and say, 'I can lick anybody in the house.' And he could, too. We had Lyle the Swamper, who would clean up the joint after hours in exchange for drinks. Real Damon Runyon stuff.”

How long ago was that? “We had a grand opening and served 86 proof whiskey, 35 cents a shot, three drinks for a dollar,” Perri said. “Long time ago.”

But Cavanaugh's wasn't tough all the time. “We had poetry readings once in a while,” he said.

The .35¢ whiskey sounds pretty clutch, but I suppose I'm all set with getting slobbered on by Gorilla Doug (even if it is La Lengua).  I guess this is what they call progress.


The Bold Italic Renames "La Lengua"

Due to the distressing lack of microhoods in San Francisco, the pioneering cartographers at The Bold Italic have been dicing up San Francisco's large and unwieldy neighborhoods into smaller, more digestible blocks of hip happenings.  It's led to fashion corridors like Valencia Bottoms, non-lether, asexual drinking along FolSoma, and the “cool but still crappy” Mid Riff—quaint corners of San Francisco previously in a sorta need of some distinctive flag to fly.

This week, the Bold Locals noted they were “never quite sure what to call the strip of Mission south of Cesar Chavez and north of Cortland.”  We always thought it was “La Lengua” (and so did Google Maps, CBS 5, The Examiner, and even Old Bruce over at the Bay Guardian got hip to what all the kids are callin' it these days), but apparently we were wrong.  It's “Bernal Flats”, so don't get it confused.

This revelation makes way more sense anyway—it's near Bernal Heights, but it's flat.  Get it?  Bernal Flats.  Isn't that easier?  Besides, I never saw tongues around the neighborhood, and licking the Mission Street sidewalk sure as shit doesn't taste very good.

(Interesting side note: commenter Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable thinks he accidentially coined this whole “Bernal Flats” confusion two years ago.)

[The Bold Italic]

Rock Bar Turns Our Disgusting Habits Into Beautiful Art

Hopefully this is the last time I take close-up shots of stepped-on chewing gum.

Since there's nothing that compliments a pint like chewing on a fat wad of gum, it makes sense that the sidewalk outside of Rock Bar is littered with it.  But instead of letting their sidewalk be yet another grayscale leopard print glue trap, they've busted out the paintbrush and turned the minefield of Big League Chew into a bunch of germ-ridden gold nuggets!

Now, I'm sure they're not thinking that big or anything about a bunch of gum stomped into the sidewalk, but this definitely has the chance to become the Google Doodle of Mission bars.  Think of the painting opportunities:

  • Red, white, and blue gum on the 4th of July
  • Orange and black on Halloween/the playoffs
  • Red and green for Christmas
  • The rainbow for SF Pride
  • Green, white, and red for Cinco de Mayo
  • Bile for New Year's
  • Blood red for the week of Burning Man

Anyway, painted gum!

Caffeinated Comics becomes The Way Out! Café

Caffeinated Comics closed some 5 months ago, much to the chagrin of lazy neighbors that never made the time to visit and comic book fans alike.  But it's an empty storefront no more, with The Way Out! Café taking over the Mission and Valencia St. space just days ago.

Unfortunately, being a “busy” lazy neighbortype myself, I was unable to stop in and give the joint a proper once over.  But the initial Yelp reviews are positive:

The Way Out Cafe just opened at Mission and Valencia—no announcement, just there.  And it's GREAT!!  They owner is really nice—great service.  The lattes are yummmmmy—one of the few cafes in the Mission that offer almond milk lattes.  The goodies are scrumptious.  I'm happy to have it in the neighborhood.  She's doin' it right.

Also worth noting is their homemade espresso ice cream and foosball table.  That's right, a foosball table.  We all know the neighborhood damn well needs more of 'em, and theirs is sitting smack-dab in the middle of the cafe just waiting for you to play it.

Intrepid Food Blogger Aspires To Eat At Pizza Hut

Glorious Bernal Pizza Hut pic from Yelp. Thanks, Kevin Y!

Newbie food blogger Dave MP only arrived in San Francisco a few weeks ago and has already taken on the ambitious task of eating at every single restaurant in his new neighborhood, La Lengua. 

Since I like exploring food options in my neighborhood, I've decided to embark on a little project – eat at every restaurant on Mission Street between Cortland and Cesar Chavez. I finally got around to making a list of all the places I have to try, and will be reporting on all of them. The aim is to have this completed by December 31st, 2012.

There are a lot of delicious and pretty unusual cuisines located on that stretch of Mission between Cortland and Cesar Chavez, so it seems weird that Pizza Hut and Burger King made it onto his must-try list. Props to him for creating a comprehensive list, but seriously, you're living in the neighborhood that boasts SF's only Indian pizza restaurant, and the city's only Cambodian place. Take Pizza Hut off the list and make an extra trip to El Zocalo or something, would ya?

You can keep track of his progress as he reviews every restaurant on the Chowhound discussion boards under the title La Lengua Chronicles. Good luck, dude! Don't forget the Pepto!