Mandoline held its third pop-up last night in San Francisco at Sun’s Banh Mi on Second Street. A ripple of eagerness ran through the queue, as it has at every pop-up that non-chef Doug Landers has put on. Everybody seemed to be thinking it: Could this be San Francisco’s second wave of culinary pop-ups?
“I’m not here to do food mash-ups in quirky locations revealed through secret tweets,” Landers said. “I’m here to slice shit up.”
Landers sees himself as a mediator between customer and restaurant. “The chef normally hands the finished dish to the server,” he said. “That’s when I step in with my mandoline.”
It’s always captivating to watch Landers work his slicer. Last night he slivered banh mi into 1/4-inch cross-sections, then presented them on light tables, more performance than food service. Landers’s influences? “Definitely not the Slow Food movement, and sure as hell not Modernist Cuisine—by the way, don’t people know the end of modernism was 1945?” Pressed, Landers said if he had to name an inspiration, it would be Yves Klein. “Not his Blue paintings but his Fire paintings.”