Tim and Erin own Ichi Sushi in San Francisco.
What was the food highlight of your year?
Tim: Eating in Tokyo, Japan. Everything from phone booth style ramen service, to miso-marinated pig vulva, to skipping out on the lauded sushi bars of Tsukiji Market and landing in a local place having some of the best sushi of my life.
Erin: The Blue Plate’s tried and true meatloaf with my Mom and Pops. It’s been a few years since I’ve had red meat. That meatloaf brought me back.
What was the music highlight of your year?
The Flaming Lips show at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium here in San Francisco on Halloween. The overwhelming sensory displacement of a Flaming Lips show combined with everyone in costumes (even a mid-40s dude dressed as Miley Cyrus at the VMAs) was nothing short of a spectacle. Wayne Coyne dressed as Carrie and us, all at her miserable prom, was the ultimate way to see them — confetti canons and all. They ended the set, booming LOVE — LOVE — LOVE at the end of “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton,” sending the crowd back out washed in sound, and well, almost weirdly Flaming Lips-style hugged.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
We traveled to New Orleans for a wedding and found ourselves in Algiers, an old shipping neighborhood dating back to 1719 on the bank of the Mississippi. You get to the neighborhood by ferry, and there are only a couple of shops and the historic courthouse when you dock. We explored a little deeper, seeing old Victorian homes, banana trees growing along fences on the side of the street, bundles of flowering vines, and a real divide between well-kept homes and a poorer neighborhood heading closer to the bridges. We waited for our pals’ courthouse ceremony in a gem of a holdover from the late 1700s, The Old Point Bar. We were waiting out a tropical storm in this relic that had survived so much more, and while we were bellied up to the bar for beers and something a little harder, we watched a crew of musicians load-in for later (wanted to beat the oncoming rain). We were sad not to be able to stay.
Later that weekend, we were wandering in the Quarter, and stumbled upon a wedding recessional pouring into the street with the Algiers Brass Band playing the happy couple and their guests out into the night. There was something very special about the slow, sticky pace of our experience in the remote ward, and then seeing its finest playing what most folks picture New Orleans to sound like out into a gaggle of celebratory wedding guests and tourists. Somehow, we felt like we were in on the secret of how great Algiers was. Up the road, we popped into Coops Place for Creole Seafood Gumbo and Jambalaya, still charmed by the whole experience, having a local meal. Ever since returning to San Francisco, we’re plotting our way back to New Orleans.