Monday, December 11, 2006

Drown Radio aka Doctor Popular finished the Drown Radio Nerdcore remix for Door to Door and I posted it on my site I also added an instrumental version and a remix called Door to Door salesman which sounds like a cheesy soundtrack for a commercial for a modern day Willy Loman selling vacuum cleaners. Doc Pop has a few more remixes up his sleeve and I am thinking of putting them out on a 12-inch.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hidden Gems:

Bed and Breakfasts in Ukiah, California

Ukiah is one of the many little towns along California's Highway 101 that boast historic architecture, organic restaurants, and wineries nearby. It's not a destination per se, but
my friend Alex Baker's parents have a ranch there that we sometimes visit on the fourth of July. We roll up in DJ Ziplock's white mercedez with DJ Neel N. Kizmiaz and Alex meets us at the gate of the "compound," wearing army green khakis and matching kangol, riding an ATV. This is the scene in the movie where the drug deal goes bad.

Next cut to a montage of a bunch of wacked out hipsters training as undercover Hapkido action heroes. Then night falls and everyone is sitting by the lake strumming guitars in the moonlight. Rumour has it Alex's dad was in the CIA and underneath the lake is where you'll find the evidence to support the eyewitness accounts of Wukalars roming in them thar hills.

But Alas, they are selling the place, so when that happens, when we are in Ukiah, we'll stay again at one of the two B&B's below that are both well worth the visit.

The Sanford House is a charming old (circa 1904) Victorian, walking distance from the old downtown shops, restaurants and farmer's market. The breakfast is gourmet vegetarian faire- absolutely to die for. There is a three legged cat named popoki and a couple of cute little dogs too, and the owners are very friendly.

Robinson Creek B&B and Flower Farm is another old Victorian in Ukiah's sunniest section of town that doubles as a flower farm. The breakfast is excellent and includes fresh eggs from their chicken run, and on those hot summer days, you can wander down to the ol' swimmin' hole.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Music update:

I'm almost done with a project that has taken over a year- creating the background music and doing the audio editing for a couple of Meditation CDs by Donna Morrish.

Also in the works, I wrote the lyrics and melody for a song by Drown Radio (Aka Dr. Popular)
the world class champion Yo-Yo-ist slash Nerdcore hip hop beat maker. In return he is working on a remix of Door to Door. So far, the remix is sounding really good. I'll let you know when it is available.

Meanwhile I am working on licensing music for synching to visuals- i.e. movies and television. Check out the music on Idnote for a bunch of my little electronic ditties.
Hidden Gems:

Focuss: Chicken Tikka Masala, in SF

Like Johnny Depp's CIA agent character in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" I eat the same dish
at each type of restaurant I go to, only I don't kill the chef (usually.) Just as I eat Bun Thit Noung at every Vietnamese restaurant, I eat Chicken Tikka Masala at every Northern Indian / Pakistani place. Here are my faves...

Masala Indian Cuisine, San Francisco: This place has the best ambience / price / taste ratio of all the Indian places in SF. The staff are friendly, the place is clean, the food is inexpensive and not greasy. The Chicken Tikka Masala rocks. What more can one ask for?
1220 9th Avenue (415) 566-6976

Chutney Restaurant, San Francisco: The Chicken Tikka Masala here is sooo good. The place is self serve, floors are greasy and it's in the tenderloin, but the Chicken Tikka Masala is sooo good... 511 Jones Street (415) 931-5541

Tasty Curry, San Francisco: While the ambience is lacking- greasy and self serve, the food does you right and the price can't be beat. Chicken Tikka Masala is very good- a little dry and I would like more chunks of chicken, but very good none the less. 1375 9th Avenue (415) 753-5122

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cousin Isaac making headlines- literally.

Kansai Time Out Magazine published a story I wrote called "The Pan in Japan" in the September 2006 issue. I just got my copy, due to slow mail service, so I guess it's old news by now.

The Article was published in the print magazine, but not online, so here is a pdf of it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Minh Tri, Sn Francisco, USA
For all of Yummy Yummy's charms, I still end up at Minh Tri more often than not because A) one of the owners is a sweet old man who is contantly laughing and making jokes and b) their Bun Thit Noung kicks ass. Word to the wise, go at night. Although the lunch specials are good, you are more likely to have Mr. Happy serve you than his evil twin Mr. Grumpy. They have names, but I have yet to learn them. I just call them "An" pronounced "On" which means older brother. 534 Irving St San Francisco, CA 94122 (415) 566-5335

The Inn at Lower Farm, Stonington CT
If you ever find yourself in Connecticut take pains to stay at this historic Inn. The Wily Wonka-esque sloping hall and doorways, the huge central fireplace, the wit and charm of the owners and the stories they tell about the witches who used to live there- all good reasons to stay the night.

Cafe De Lotus, Koyasan, Japan
Koyasan, which recently was dubbed a "World Herritage Site" by the U.N., is a town of monastic complexes, the holyland of Estoteric Buddhism in Japan. The temples are all old and beautiful and peaceful. But when you are all templed-out, go to Cafe De Lotus for Kohi and Ke-ki (coffee and cake) and check out the buddhist students from all over the world, the crazy mix-match interior and chat it up with the nutty owner Jun who is like no other Japanese person I have ever met. Constantly laughing and carrying on in her sing song voice, Jun is quite likely to forget what you ordered as she bussles about, but she is very sweet and kind and gives discounts to all the students. She used to live in Southern California, and has been to Vietnam, so you can get a vietnamese iced coffee on a hot day. tel 0735-56-1795

Monday, August 28, 2006


Focus Osaka:

Bread in Osaka, Japan- Home Bakery Brunnen - go to Nakazakicho on the Tanimachi line. Go out Exit 1. Inside the arcade to your right, on the opposite wall, a few doors down is the tiny bakery. Ask for the Sesame Walnut loaf- it's the best bread in the world. Don't worry, they speak English.

Nepalese food, Osaka Japan: The best "Indian" food I have tasted in the Kansai area is actually a Nepalese restaurant named Kantipur near the bakery Brunnen. It's in the same Nakazakicho mall, the one purported to be the longest in Osaka. From Nakazakicho Exit 1 on the Tanimachi line, turn right and go four short blocks into the mall and take a left. You should be able to smell the Tandori oven and you'll see a green tent of a building with a plastic entrance. The phone number is 0663-593-884.

Pizza, Osaka Japan: If you crave pizza, like I do, at the very bottom of the Namba Nankai station in the Namba City mall, at the very back is the best pizza place in Osaka. Their pizza is a true Italian thin crust pie that comes very close to pizza we've had in Italy because the family that owns the restaurant sends their son Shunsuke around the world to taste different foods and learn how to prepare them for their various restaurants. Shunsuke was educated in the US so his English is excellent and he speaks Spanish to boot. The name is La Campagna.

Monday, August 21, 2006



Bikitan Bar, Tokyo, Japan
Truly a hidden gem this tiny little wood building nestled between highrises that house gay bars and sex shops in the heart of Shinkjuku is over a hundred years old. The name has something to do with toads, but there are lots of cats around. Get Someone who knows Japanese to help you find it:: 〒160−0022 東京都新宿区新宿2−15−9 tel 03−3352−8317

Bed Supper Club, Bangkok, Thailand
Ok it's not so hidden, but it is cool. With it's all white interior (including white leather doors) it feels like you are walking into a dystopian movie set. The patrons of the restaurant eat while lounging in beds, and notice how the chair-table-chair configuration of the bar furniture spells the word bed when looked at from the side. Only drawback, I don't think they are licensed to allow dancing so it's strictly a lounge.

Coffee and Whiskey, Kamakura, Japan Named after the Jim Jarmusch movie "Coffee and Ciggarettes" this tiny Jazz bar is a great place to have a Suntory Whiskey and a chat with the friendly owner. I'm having trouble finding the contact info, but it's close by the main train station in Kamakura, which is a gem of town in it's own right. For now, Just ask somebody.

Dagoba Chocolate, Ashland, OR, US- the holy grail of chocolate if you ask me. Have you tried their chocolate chips? Holay Mole!
(OK it's not so hidden)

Bananas, Chiang Mai, Thailand- Best bananas in the whole world come from one tree at the Siamese Traders' Chinese Tea Pavillion- property of the Austrian Tea Baron Nikolaus Prachensky. The bananas are insane, as is the tea of course... Here are directions taken from "Siamese Traders Tea Pavilion is located near the Lanna Hospital. Drive down the Soi and turn right on Soi 2. Drive toward the ancient who tree and look for the sign with the elephant logo."

Airlines: ANA, Japan: (Also not so hidden) I know most people love Singapore Airlines, which I do too, the service and food are great. But for my yen, it's all about ANA. I have been bumped up to business class on more than one occassion, and for the price of a Y class ticket, that can't be beat. Granted, I go the extra mile for them as well: when I go to Osaka I take their SF-Tokyo-Itami route instead of another airline directly to KIX. It's actually cheaper, adds FF miles and gives you half a day to wander around the temple in the town of Narita before your flight home. No airport town can claim such beauty.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

CDs i'd hope to have if I crash landed on a desert island
Aimee Mann, Lost in Space
Duke Ellington Money Jungle
Mad Finder, Hit the Grass
Jimmy Cliff et al: the Harder they come
Air, Moon Safari
Beatles Rubber Soul and Revolver
Beck, Mutations

Of course, there are many more, but that's all I can think of at the moment.

BBQ Pork Bao aka pork bun or Butanikuman in Kobe, Japan: I am always on a search for good Pork Bao which are so easily found at any dim sum (Yamcha) joint in Chinatown, the Sunset or the Richmond distrticts in San Fran. Likewise, in Japan you have to go to China town to get the sweet kind. Don't be fooled by 551 Horai's or any convenie's nikuman- they are salty. Only the anman are sweet. The pizzaman are interesting in a fast food kinda way, but for the real deal, get yourself to kobe's chinatown and ask for "amai butanikuman."

Bun Thit Noung, San Francisco- Can you tell I am a pork eatin' yid? The best Bun (Vietnamese Vermicelli) to be had thus far (including in VietNam) is from Yummy Yummy 1015 Irving Street, (between 11th and 12th avenues), San Francisco. It's well, yummy.

Plastics- New York, NY- One bit of advice for you son- "Plastics." Canal Plastics on Canal street is plastic fantastic.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Hot Chocolate in Sapa, Vietnam- go to the french hotel where they teach kids the hospitality bidness. Best cup of cocoa on the planet.

Hole in the wall bar in Dubrovnik, Croatia- along the western edge of the old city is literally a hole in the wall with a sign that says "cold drinks." The name in Serbo-Croatian is Buža which I think means hole. Best damned bar in the world, run by a former eye model for Stern Magazine who was a hero in the war. Hopefully the place is still there- it's been a few years.

Bagel and Cream Cheese with Lox in Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi, Vietnam- Cafe Au Parc and Au Lac respectively. Same owner? Perhaps not the best in the whole world, but when you are jonesing in VN for your bagel fix, these are the places to go.

BBQ chicken in San Francisco, CA: Memphis Minnies on Haight St- so good the chicken is.

more later...
Apparently about a millionbillionkabillion new blogs are started each day. This is the zillion and one-th blog added to the bloggety blogosphere.
Will it be complete drivel? Or will the random thoughts of this demented fool change the world? Who knows? I'll keep you posted.