A Bartender Explains How the Way You Pay for Drinks Says A Lot About You

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Photo by Ben N
Hello, Ladies!

Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

Work in The Biz long enough and it's gonna ruin how you deal with the general public. (I'm not talking about the fact that you'll probably not want to deal with them at all if you don't have to.) Put in your time slinging drinks or running tables and you'll turn into a veritable Obi-Fucking-Wan-Kenobi when it comes to reading people. There's stuff you pick up on quick as a bartender--like who's already wasted/shouldn't be served, the couple on the awkward first Tinder hookup and the 50-something-year-old guy posted up at the bar, nervously looking around to see if anyone notices that the bombshell brunette he's with isn't his wife (who's probably at home calling a family law attorney anyway). I'm talking about more subtle behaviors, like which cocaine cowgirl really has all the blow in the building and who is creepy-hover guy trolling for some (any really) chick at the bar. Whether you realize it or not, how you pay for your booze on a night out also says a lot about who you are and what you do for a living. Inside scoop? Drumroll...


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Developer Douchebags Score Again!

Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

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David C. Mau
Going

Dave Alvin's seminal album Blue Boulevard features "Dry River", a song of longing and loss, redemption and hope. When I saw him perform it live at Bogart's in Seal Beach back in 1991 it brought me to tears and still chokes me up a bit. One verse recalls his SoCal youth growing up near an orange grove:

"I played in the orange groves, 'til they bulldozed all the trees"
"Still, I'd stand up on the dead stumps and smell blossoms on the leaves"
"Someday it's gonna' rain, someday it's gonna' pour"
"Someday all those dead trees, well, they won't be dead anymore"

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In Search Of The Great American Cheeseburger!

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David C. Mau
"Merica...

Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

Fourth of July weekend means different thing to different people depending on where you live. Here in the OC it's beach city riots, drunken F-Town hijinks and hopefully we can all stay in town no matter what and stay off the 91. In middle America it's small town parades, tractor shows and cricket spittin' along with the usual fare including what I call the "Midwest Burger".

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Seven Ways Working Food and Beverage Will Ruin Your Life

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Medieval Times, 1989 (That's me on the far left hair and all)

Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

It's no secret. I'm a big fan of working in food and beverage despite all its pitfalls and pratfalls. It's not an easy life but every time I get too bummed out about it I thank God I'm not chained to a desk in a dark cubicle somewhere, dealing with an endless line of people while working at the DMV or stocking shelves at Big Lots. But, like any other industry, The Biz has its shortcomings and they are generally in the lifestyle department. The money is usually pretty decent, it's fun, and there are a lot of perks but the bad stuff is enough to make a real dent in your personal life (and maybe make you pull your hair out.) Here are my picks for the seven worst ways F & B will ruin your life.


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Long Live The Tonga Room's San Francisco Tiki Chic!

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The Tonga Room way back when

Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

San Francisco's Tonga Room is hardly a secret (especially since Tony Bourdain shined his spotlight on it awhile back) but it is off the grid for most uninitiated travelers, especially in a city awash in great restaurants. In fact, The City has 39.3 eateries for every 10,000 households which crushes the number two spot, (Fairfield County, Connecticut of all places) with nearly twice the number of shops by that measure. Simply put San Francisco is a perfect place to find some exceptional grub, almost the point of it being a cliche, and if you wanna see the phenomena at it's worst take a leisurely stroll down a sidewalk in Noe Valley and tell me what you think.

But there are some great, old spots like John's Grill, Tad's Steaks, The Savoy Tivoli and a few others holding court among all the newbie madness. TheTonga Room is an apt addition to this list and most definitely ranks among the finest of classic tiki joints.

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Inside the Foodie Matrix, Or: Why Food PR People Are Worthless

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David C. Mau
This is how restaurant people spend their days....

Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

Winter here in the OC may lack the simple charms of a New England one but it does have its advantages. We don't get many snowball fights, sleigh rides or other such trappings but we are granted a great time to surf. When the water warms up just a tad and that wind turns around with just the right swell, truth be told, I'll trade all the mittens and hot cocoa in the world for that. Awhile back one of those perfect days materialized and suddenly it was like mid-July at The Cliffs in HB and I found myself in the company of a couple other chefs along with one pal from outside the industry getting ready for a weekday paddle out. It was a rare, random gathering with a couple buddies who cut fish, a long-time server, one who works the line at a high-end steak joint and another that owns his own hipster restaurant in central OC. My non-industry friend was stoked to tag along. He's a desk jockey but considers himself a bit of a "foodie" and was excited to hang with us and pick our brains.


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From SanTana to Santorini: Travels through Greece With a Lot of Retsina

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David C Mau
Damn straight.......

Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

I know it's trashy but I love Retsina. If you've never had it don't feel bad, it's pretty hard to come by here. It's kind of hard to describe and I have the sinking feeling it's considered the Boone's Farm Kountry Kwencher of Greece but damn it's good on a hot afternoon there. It's a dry white wine, with a healthy dose of what tastes like Pine-Sol due to the addition of Aleppo Pine resin during the manufacturing process. It's been made for at least 2000 years, the origins being a bit cloudy but it appears the unique flavor started from the pine sap used to seal wine jars in ancient times. I'll drink myself silly on it while stuffing my face with fried sardines in a seaside taverna and it's just one of a thousand things I love about Greece-and I love it a lot.

Now, Athens can be kind of sketchy if you get too far off The Plaka, but the Greeks Isles are a joy to visit. It's a cliche for sure but damn they are stunning. Even more beautiful are their inhabitants and I'm not talking about physical appearance either (although compared to the sunburned and speedo-clad chubby German tourists there just about anything looks good). The Greeks have gorgeous souls and a wacky, obsessive hospitality that is hard to pin down. It's more than caring for caring's sake, it's sort of a one-upmanship on who can be more hospitable.

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Last Dinner with Dave Tonight! :-(

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David C Mau
Grub's on!!!!!
Every second and fourth Wednesday night of the month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau hosts Dinner with Dave at Memphis at the Santora, where he treats drinkers to a free meal and live music as the evening progresses. To remind ustedes of this great night, Dave treats us that week to a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

You will never read that again....

It's not that I'll stop writing this humble column, because I won't. But tonight is the last Dinner with Dave (at least at Santora) and the aforementioned introduction will no longer be relevant. I was really flattered when Gustavo wrote that intro a year and a half ago when I started contributing to The Weekly. "Legendary" can be hard to live up to but I'll take the compliment; it's been a long road and maybe I've paid my dues. I can't believe it has been almost 8 years and some 20,000 plates of food served for free (I did the math). What a run and little did I know that an otherwise innocuous comment from my friend Steeve Jacobs many years ago would lead to such an event. If it wasn't for him mentioning there were more people hanging out at my house on a Wednesday night than in DTSA it never would have prompted me to put two and two together and start serving up free grub like I did at my pad. Yep, it was slow mid-week 8 years ago.


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Dave Mau Appears on John and Ken Show to Talk About Ridiculous CA Law Requiring Bartenders to Wear Gloves!

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Photo by John Gilhooley
Don't try to Mau-Mau the Mau
When our columnist Dave Mau told me he had been invited to appear on KFI-AM 640's John and Ken Show, I congratulated him--and then told him not to mention my name. See, the show don't like me because I constantly call the two out on their anti-Mexican bigotry...but they sure as hell like OC Weekly in general, always giving shout-outs to our coverage of various matters 'cause everyone except me kicks ass. And I sure as hell didn't want me ruining Dave's fun.

Thankfully, that didn't happen yesterday at the 6 p.m. hour. JohnKen interviewed Dave about his recent column ridiculing California's new law that requires bartenders and chefs alike to wear latex gloves.

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OC Bartenders Smell The Glove! We'll See...

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All photos by Dave Mau
Every second and fourth Wednesday night of the month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau hosts Dinner with Dave at Memphis at the Santora, where he treats drinkers to a free meal and live music as the evening progresses. To remind ustedes of this great night, Dave treats us that week to a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!

You can find yourself in some strange situations in The Biz, thus it was when a good friend of mine (you can probably guess who) found himself cutting fish and making sushi to order at a giant swinger party in a seedy industrial space off the 73 a few years ago. What had been initially billed to him as a "gathering of a few friends" turned out to be an epic sexual free for all of Sodom and Gomorra-esque proportions. My buddy was stuck behind the sushi case wondering how the hell he got drafted into this one but the money was good so along he went with the program, as dismayed as he was. In the middle of said gathering was, well, how should I put it? Let's just say an attractive young lady was being kind enough to ("ahem") be entertaining several gentleman caller friends while she was on her knees and the banco de la boca was open for business.

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