Anyone catch Willie Brown's column last week:
"I went over to Nopa on Divisadero the other night for a great meal and a real lesson in celebrity.
We pull up and the place is packed.
I walk in. I have no reservations, and first thing the young host says is the wait is an hour and 45 minutes.
Then his co-worker steps up and says, "Mayor Brown, your table is ready. How many did you say?"
The owner sees me and personally walks us to our table.
As he seats us, he says, "Mayor Brown, so nice of you to join us. Now tell me, where the hell have you been for the past 4 1/2 years?""
One of the things I have treasured about San Francisco since moving here from NYC twenty years ago is the absence of "celebrity status" in the restaurants. In NYC, I usually ate in what the good restaurants refer to as "Siberia." When I came to San Francisco, it was amazing to see celebrities not being shown to tables in front of everyone else and to be able to ask for a table not under the stairwell or next to the kitchen doors.
Brown's report shows that some restaurants don't want to be San Francisco restaurants. I wrote Nopa as soon as the online version appeared (Tuesday I think) and explained that I would stop eating at the restaurant and recommending it. It has long been one of my favorites.
The response from Nopa: NOTHING. Clearly Nopa doesn't care about ordinary diners in SanFrancisco, no matter how much they love food and great cooking. Celebrities are important to them, and that's their prerogative, but, as the feedback on the Chronicle site shows, many people are pretty resentful of a restaurant with two classes, "you" and "important people."
Oh well, there's still plenty of restaurants that treat people equally, a San Francisco tradition.
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117