Restless_Nomad Comes to the Bay Area!
posted December 27, 2013 7:08 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sun January 26 at 5:00 PM, Jupiter
2181 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA, USA (Map & Directions)
I'm visiting a friend in the general vicinity of San Francisco and want to meet all you crazy West Coast people! We'll be closer to Berkeley than SF proper, but my host assures me she's willing to go into the city.
The current plan is 5pm on Sunday, January 26th at Jupiter. Looking forward to seeing everyone!
posted by restless_nomad to Meetup (92 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I personally prefer SF proper (because I am lazy), but just to let you know, we often meetup in the east bay, and plenty of mefites live there. Either way, close to BART is better!
posted by mollymayhem at 7:52 PM on December 27, 2013


What molly said. (Except that I'd prefer East Bay, because I am also lazy.)

Mission Bar seems to have replaced Frjtz as the canonical SF meetup spot, although we haven't been there in a while. (Dive bar, close to burritos/taquerias, and they're cool about bringing food in.) There's also Rosamunde (sausages and beer), although that'd probably be bonkers on a Saturday night.

If we do the East Bay, well, there's a Rosamunde not far from BART in Old Oakland. Or Jupiter (pizzas/salads and beer) in downtown Berkeley is literally across the street from a BART stop.
posted by asterix at 8:08 PM on December 27, 2013


We've been to Frjtz more recently that Mission Bar, so maybe we should go back to Mission Bar? Don't have strong feelings about it. Also happy to do East Bay, as long as it's BART-adjacent.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:22 PM on December 27, 2013


I'd do BART-adjacent in the East Bay--I'm in Berkeley. I was thinking Jupiter too!
posted by c'mon sea legs at 12:20 AM on December 28, 2013


Oh excellent - another mod to add to our collection!

I mean, um, I look forward to meeting you!

Like gingerbeer said, either of those sounds good. Would Jupiter be crazy crowded on a post-work Friday evening?
posted by rtha at 7:19 AM on December 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I and Mrs. Scrump are in like two things that are inside other things, or perhaps on this like a thing that is upon another thing.

Me being there guarantees a 35% increase in the Randomness Quotient, and as much as a 15% increase in indictability.
posted by scrump at 10:08 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ooh, yes! Count me as another "anywhere near BART is feasible (and I am East Bay-based and lazy)" vote.
posted by Lexica at 10:39 AM on December 28, 2013


Willing as I am to go to the city (Hi! I am restless_nomad's friend), I am observing a notable East Bay contingent here, so I'm thinking Saturday at Jupiter would be ideal. Sunday, unless we were to meet midday, might be a little harder on folks who have bright-and-early work on Monday.
posted by Alex Haist at 10:48 AM on December 28, 2013


Sounds fun!
posted by radioamy at 11:34 AM on December 28, 2013


I should probably still be around by then, so I'll throw my hat into the "Please be close to a BART station" ring.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 1:02 PM on December 28, 2013


Hey, I can have met r_n on both coasts! Def looking forward to meeting the SF area peeps, too. Nthing close to BART.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:26 PM on December 28, 2013


My vote is for the 26th and Mission Bar, because: a) I work until 8:30 pm on the 25th; b) the Dogcow can come with if it's at Mission Bar; c) lazy; and d) contrarian.

If it's East Bay and on the 26th and close to BART I might be able to swing it, but probably not because of (c) above and also it's very hard for me to leave the Dogcow on my day off.

Anyway, enjoy your time here, nomad!
posted by trip and a half at 1:46 PM on December 28, 2013


Oh oh oh how about the semi-new Mikkeller bar near Powell St. Bart?
posted by aubilenon at 2:08 PM on December 28, 2013


Unfortunately I will be in Baltimore for business on those dates.
posted by kalessin at 4:22 PM on December 28, 2013


Don't worry, I will be back!

I'll let this roll for a while longer and then pick an actual date/place. I'm seeing Jupiter on Saturday as being plausible, but I haven't actually counted votes or anything.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:25 PM on December 28, 2013


Comal is also close to the Downtown Berkeley BART station. The food is good but it might be a bit difficult to manage if a lot of people are going to show up.

The Cal student in me says we should just have this at one of the eight million cheap Asian places scattered around campus, though. Some of them are really good!
posted by Noms_Tiem at 5:38 PM on December 28, 2013


Comal is also close to the Downtown Berkeley BART station. The food is good but it might be a bit difficult to manage if a lot of people are going to show up.

Comal is impossible for large groups and groups of variable sizes. We can't simply rearrange tables. There are picnic tables in the back but they wont let you order any food except for chips and salsa. Not really suitable for a Mefi meetup. Jupiter has mediocre pizza and crappy beer but they excel at accommodating groups of any size.


The Cal student in me says we should just have this at one of the eight million cheap Asian places scattered around campus, though. Some of them are really good!

Please god no.
posted by special-k at 7:40 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


We (notpeter, aka the boyfriend) and I would love to meet y'all at Jupiter! We are East Bay and lazy, too. yay!
posted by missmary6 at 8:04 PM on December 28, 2013


All the ways in which Jupiter is not perfect are outweighed by the ways it is. Also, I have had perfectly tasty beer there. I like it better than most of what's at frjtz - though to be fair, I don't like Belgian beers much.
posted by rtha at 8:12 PM on December 28, 2013


Well, they don't think much of you, either.
posted by scrump at 8:38 PM on December 28, 2013


Please god no.

Just because I could spend more than seven dollars on a huge plate of tasty food doesn't mean I want to.

Also, yeah, Comal is pretty bad if you're going there with more than three or four other people.

Oddly, I don't think I've ever been to Jupiter. I'd be down to try it.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 8:52 PM on December 28, 2013


I live in South Berkeley and have lived in and explored the UCB/Downtown Berkeley area cheap and expensive for the past couple years.

For more spendy options:
- I agree on Comal. Good food but not a good venue for a big, variable party. I've sat comfortably with a party of 6 on an off night but I can't imagine trying for 8 or 10 or more.
- You might want to alternately check out Revival. Food is admittedly not as good as Comal's, but they have a big bar area and depending on the night it could be a good choice. Also, the food is quite good, just not quite as good as Comal's. :)
- Gather is not a good choice for flexible parties. Not a huge bar area and it wouldn't be trivial to rearrange tables
- Venus would be good for a small party - it's a farm to table place like Gather, Revival and Comal but smaller. They could possibly rearrange tables, but there's not room for large parties
- Kirala on Ward near the original Berkeley Bowl doesn't take reservations but usually has a line. It's walking distance but kind of far from Ashby and Downtown Berkeley
- Ippuku has great food and service but no movable seating. They do have booths with tatami mat seating and sunken wells for legs and feet which seat 6 - 8 and they have a great sochu bar and service. I'm a big fan, but they'd be hard pressed to seat even those booths with a variable party. You'd have to arrange and arrive with committment. Reservations highly recommended.
- I'm also a big fan of the very upscale Daniel Patterson Group's restaurants in Oakland/SF (Coi, Plum, Haven), but none of them are really good for big impromptu groups. Small impromptu groups, possibly, but not big ones. Also the exec chefs have switched around recently and I haven't had a chance to check them out since.

For more moderate/cheaper options:
- Near Oakland 12th Street (Chinatown) are a bunch of possible Chinese and other Asian options. The requirements for a gathering actually remind me of New Gold Medal (formerly Sun Hong Kong) on 8th between Webster and Franklin
- Also Peony might work. It's a bit more upscale than New Gold Medal, closer to 12 street BART and sits atop the best parking garage in the area. Not sure how flexible they'd be.
- Another good spot from the point of view of Chinese cuisine might be Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Emeryville (not to be confused with the East Ocean Restaurant in Alameda). Unfortunately you can only drive there. And it's probably a bit spendy compared even to Peony. Nice views though. Note: do not under any circumstances order the Hashmar Soup.
- Of the near-campus Asian places I'd recommend the Bangkok Noodles and Thai BBQ place on Shattuck near University. It's reasonably close to BART and the food is good. Seating would be possibly challenging depending on the size of the party but the staff is friendly and willing, so you could potentially give it a shot. My friends and I are choosy and still we like this place and its partner restaurant in SF on Powell.
- I also want to recommend La Val's Pizza on Euclid. This would require a walk uphill through UC Campus from Downtown Berkeley BART but again it fulfills the variable crowd requirement and serves beer and a decent pizza.
- Also, Great China is newly reopened and highly lauded. Haven't had a chance to check it out myself but it comes greatly recommended. Apparently so are reservations.
- I do agree, mostly with arguments against Jupiter. They've been pretty squiffy with me about getting orders to a smaller table (just two) and getting orders wrong. I know this is a symptom of being in a central part of a college town but it's dodgy and it's not made up for by quality of food. The atmosphere is nice, but it doesn't outweigh the faults and risks in my opinion.

One thing I do want to recommend is staying the hell away from Telegraph Ave unless you have a strong recommendation for a place from someone who knows. That area has changed so much since my high school days. What was once a very vibrant bar and restaurant and shopping scene has become pretty distressingly burnt out. What bits are vibrant are vibrant more to students than older folks and it's a gauntlet also of panhandlers after dark.

In contrast, both Shattuck and College/Claremont have gotten quite affluent and neat shopping areas, even in the evenings, though Shattuck has its share of panhandlers too. Nothing hugely dangerous or shocking, just a potential distraction to hanging out with new friends.

I wish I could join you all. Consider this my contribution if it's helpful. If my travel plans change and I can attend I'll make every effort to do so.

Ooh, and I can probably come up with some reccs for the SF spots too if needed (respond here or drop me a memail), though those seem to be better covered by people who already live in SF.
posted by kalessin at 12:43 AM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find Jupiter to be mediocre. What about the new pizza place opened by Cheese Board alumni on Center Street, in the same block as Ippukyu? They have beer etc. and great pizza.

Also happy to go to SF as long as it's near BART.

Please god no cheap student Asian place.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:21 PM on December 29, 2013


All the ways in which Jupiter is not perfect are outweighed by the ways it is.

I have also found this to be true & have never found it dodgy. However Sliver (foxy_hedgehog's pizza place) does sound like it could be a good alternative.
posted by grapesaresour at 4:40 PM on December 29, 2013


Anyone been to The Beer Hall? Very close to Civic Center Bart...
posted by jasper411 at 4:47 PM on December 29, 2013


I vote for Jupiter, if we're sticking with East Bay. It's worked well for previous meetups -- the tables upstairs are easy enough to pull together as the group grows. And I vote Mission Bar if we want to do SF.

FYI, Comal worked quite well for the last meetup we did there. It was a smallish group (10 or 12?), but the tables in the back worked fine, and then we got the large table up front for food.

I have been to the Beer Hall -- they have fantastic beer, but get quite crowded. Don't know about on a weekend, but they don't have an easy place to locate a large group. It's all small tables and the bar. Do go, though, and have their beer. I'd even meet you there after work one evening, jasper411.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:11 PM on December 29, 2013


FYI, Comal worked quite well for the last meetup we did there. It was a smallish group (10 or 12?), but the tables in the back worked fine, and then we got the large table up front for food.

I had a hard time hearing what was going on at the other end of the table from me, though I'm not sure if that's because my hearing is poor or because it was pretty noisy. It also doesn't look like they have the space to handle bigger groups than what we went with unless you want to distribute people across tables.

What about the new pizza place opened by Cheese Board alumni on Center Street, in the same block as Ippukyu?

Can that place handle big groups? I've never been in there.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 5:41 PM on December 29, 2013


Sliver is a little small but will sell pizzas to go just about as fast as you can order them (this is because they make one type of pizza per day and your ordering choice is just the quantity of pizza you would like). If we do an afternoon thing there are plenty of outdoors spots on the UC campus two blocks away where we could sit and enjoy sun and pizza.

Seconding the "please god no cheap student Asian place". That was four years ago and I don't need to revisit it. At least, not unless I'm way less sober than I usually am at MeFi meetups.

Bobby G's Pizzeria on University (also a 5 minute walk from BART) is largeish and has decent beer and tasty pizza.

Oakland options:
- Phnom Penh House serves tasty and inexpensive Cambodian food in Chinatown, a 10-minute walk from 12th Street BART. I haven't tried them with a large group but I've seen other people come in in parties of 8 or so and we would probably do just fine if we called ahead.
- Zachary's Pizza (tasty deep-dish) has a location in Rockridge right next to the BART station. Not advised for groups larger than 6 or so though.
- Another picnic option if we wind up with an afternoon thing: Ike's Lair is close to 19th Street BART and to Lake Merritt which has lovely outdoorsiness too.
posted by spitefulcrow at 6:12 PM on December 29, 2013


If we do an afternoon thing there are plenty of outdoors spots on the UC campus two blocks away where we could sit and enjoy sun and pizza.

Please no outdoor meetups. Some of us hate and fear the daystar.
posted by asterix at 6:31 PM on December 29, 2013


Having said that, I'm going to vote for Jupiter if East Bay and Mission Bar if SF. The canonical places are canonical for a reason.
posted by asterix at 6:32 PM on December 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


You guys are adorably enthusiastic, but it's probably time to move from "Let's list seventeen places" to "let's vote on one place we like best."

Note: I am gluten-intolerant so a place that serves pizza and only pizza gives me a sad.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:32 PM on December 29, 2013


Oh god I'm sorry - I have another suggestion: Virgil's Sea Room. It's in SF, on Mission just south of Cesar Chavez. I timed the walk once from 24th and Mission BART - 7 minutes if the lights line up in your favor.

Advantage, especially if it's an afternoon-ish/early evening-ish meetup: Nice back patio, good cocktails, good beer, very often a delicious popup restaurant selling food. And if not, there are many places just steps away where you can get food to go. Including, r_n, a pupusa place that makes pupusas from rice flour. They are killer.

gingerbeer is checking with our friend who is a part owner (and a very nice guy) to see if there are any events planned for those times and those days.

Jupiter does have more than pizza - salads, and chicken wings, e.g. Mission Bar has no food, but there are foraging options nearby, though they tend toward the taqueria and I can't guess if any have gf tacos/burritos.
posted by rtha at 7:05 PM on December 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


WOMAN STOP COMPLICATING THINGS WITH YOUR "OPTIONS" AND "FRIENDS"
posted by scrump at 11:15 AM on December 30, 2013


NO!!!1! NEVER!!
posted by rtha at 1:13 PM on December 30, 2013


Ooooh MEETUP PARTY. I'd like to request the 26th, because there are less SF Sketchfest things happening, and I happen to have tickets to The Thrilling Adventure Hour on the 25th.
posted by politikitty at 1:28 PM on December 30, 2013


Sadly, I can only do weekends. Also, East Bay will add another half an hour to my hour-long Caltrain ride into the city.
posted by Nomyte at 2:02 PM on December 30, 2013


Nomyte, we're definitely talking about either Saturday or Sunday (I get in late-ish on Friday and won't be up for anything social.)

I will run this by my Gracious Hostess, the Holder of the Car Keys, and nail it down. Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by restless_nomad at 2:28 PM on December 30, 2013


OK! After talking it over with Alex, and discovering that Jupiter has live music on Saturday, we are thinking 5pm on Sunday at Jupiter. Does that sound feasible for people?
posted by restless_nomad at 4:23 PM on December 30, 2013


Resolving: WORKSFORME.
posted by asterix at 7:43 PM on December 30, 2013


Sunday sounds good (and chances are much better than Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey won't be working that night than if we did it on Saturday). Yay!
posted by Lexica at 8:08 PM on December 30, 2013


This mostly-lurker wants to meet you all! I can do the Sunday the 26th at 5pm at Jupiter. Will be BARTing from San Francisco. For future SF Bay Area meetup reference, The Little Chihuahua is awesome for groups of 5-10ish people and is only a few blocks from the 16th Street Mission BART station.
posted by Munching Langolier at 9:59 PM on December 30, 2013


Jupiter on Sunday sounds great!
posted by gingerbeer at 10:57 PM on December 30, 2013


So it looks like I may get back in town by late 1/25. So I may show up, even though I didn't enjoy Jupiter before, it seems like I might enjoy the company.

We'll see, no promises.
posted by kalessin at 7:51 AM on December 31, 2013


5pm on Sunday at Jupiter

YOUR PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTABLE
posted by aubilenon at 12:29 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait a minute, the 25th is a Saturday, isn't it? Are we talking Sunday 1/26 or Saturday 1/25?
posted by jasper411 at 6:59 PM on December 31, 2013


Sorry to confuse. My mention of 1/25 was because I originally said I wouldn't be in town that weekend and now I've got new info saying I should get back on 1/25. Assuming good things for my travel, I should be free to attend the meetup on 1/26.
posted by kalessin at 7:52 AM on January 1, 2014


I am also returning to the area just in time for a 5 pm Sunday meetup at Jupiter! I may arrive at the bar with luggage.
posted by expialidocious at 11:51 AM on January 1, 2014


Hi, I might be in the Bay Area that weekend, in which case I would love to stop by... I've never knowingly met a MeFite in real life before.
posted by désoeuvrée at 12:48 PM on January 1, 2014


Now that I have access to a keyboard, I've confirmed the date/time. This should be a blast!
posted by restless_nomad at 7:19 PM on January 1, 2014


I see no date/time confirmation!
posted by rtha at 8:18 PM on January 1, 2014


Turns out that as a mod, I have one too many edit buttons. Works now!
posted by restless_nomad at 9:34 PM on January 1, 2014


Is there a time zone issue? The time is listed as 8 pm.
posted by expialidocious at 10:22 PM on January 1, 2014


It seems to be showing up as being on Wednesday, 1/8. Screenshot of the sidebar as it's currently appearing.
posted by Lexica at 9:14 AM on January 2, 2014


Weeeird. Fixed?
posted by restless_nomad at 10:21 AM on January 2, 2014


Yes, fixed.
posted by rtha at 11:00 AM on January 2, 2014


So since this is my first meetup and Jupiter is usually busy: how do we recognize one another? Someone in a comically large MeFi-themed hat?
posted by c'mon sea legs at 11:30 AM on January 2, 2014


I will likely be looking geeky and wearing a bow tie.
posted by kalessin at 11:52 AM on January 2, 2014


Possibly a Penguin hat.
posted by kalessin at 11:53 AM on January 2, 2014


Notpeter and I will definitely be there! Our first meetup! I'm so excited, squee!!!
posted by missmary6 at 7:49 PM on January 2, 2014


For maximum visibility, I will wear my Actinic Lime Green Polo Shirt, which is approximately the same color as an airport fire engine.

As I am approximately the same dimensions as an airport fire engine, it should be easy to find us.

(rtha, please wear your most fetching trousers, so that I may properly critique them.)
posted by scrump at 8:47 PM on January 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I tend to show up to these things ridiculously early, so I'll be the short, scrawny guy in a black flat cap.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 11:34 PM on January 3, 2014


Well strangely, someone just gave me a bow tie so I guess I'd better wear it too!
posted by aubilenon at 7:01 PM on January 4, 2014


(Don't worry, I will also wear other clothing as well)
posted by aubilenon at 7:02 PM on January 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


There may not be beer of hedgehogs, but instead foxy_hedgehogs?
At any rate, I'll plan on being there, assuming no flight debacles. :)
posted by susiswimmer at 9:56 PM on January 23, 2014


I am in the Bay Area and looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!
posted by restless_nomad at 12:44 PM on January 25, 2014


Woo hoo!
posted by rtha at 1:10 PM on January 25, 2014


Haha, I almost left for BART but thought I'd check the thread first. Good thing I did, because it's not until tomorrow! So I guess I'll take off my bow tie and stay home until then.
posted by aubilenon at 5:17 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


You can still wear your bowtie.

See you tomorrow!
posted by gingerbeer at 6:50 PM on January 25, 2014


Hey guys, argh, I hate to be a flake but I'm not sure if I can make it. Just put myself down as a "maybe" though.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:27 PM on January 26, 2014


It'll probably be 5:15 for us - we need to get the groceries in the fridge.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:44 PM on January 26, 2014


I'm running a little bit late myself. Leaving the house right now.
posted by brundlefly at 4:59 PM on January 26, 2014


PBZM and I are on BART now and should be there soonish.
posted by Lexica at 5:02 PM on January 26, 2014


We're waiting for The train. Will be there in a half-hour or so.
posted by rtha at 5:04 PM on January 26, 2014


I'm also on BART and will probably arrive 5:30-ish.
posted by expialidocious at 5:08 PM on January 26, 2014


We are here and upstairs!
posted by restless_nomad at 5:15 PM on January 26, 2014


So uh is anyone here yet? 'Cuz I'm here.
posted by zsazsa at 5:16 PM on January 26, 2014


Oh!
posted by zsazsa at 5:16 PM on January 26, 2014


I am sitting at one of the big tables in the front. Inside.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:21 PM on January 26, 2014


Oh shit, I just realized this was tonight and I'm still in SF.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 5:46 PM on January 26, 2014


Beware a bart delay if you're coming from SF.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:55 PM on January 26, 2014


Such meetup! So hip! Wow!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:47 PM on January 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am an asshole and forgot to leave money for my one beer before I left somewhat early on. I will buy rtha a drink next time.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 7:47 PM on January 26, 2014


Ok we've covered your beer. Just one?
posted by gingerbeer at 8:01 PM on January 26, 2014


That was rad.
posted by rtha at 8:22 PM on January 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


It was hella rad.
posted by grapesaresour at 10:11 PM on January 26, 2014


Heck of rad.
posted by aubilenon at 10:13 PM on January 26, 2014


"Heck of"? Are you from southern California by any chance?

It was good to see all of you!
posted by Noms_Tiem at 10:29 PM on January 26, 2014


No I just picked that up from Achewood. Is that something they say in southern california?
posted by aubilenon at 10:32 PM on January 26, 2014


Sorry I couldn't make it out. Hope you guys had fun and am looking forward to the next meetup :)
posted by en forme de poire at 10:48 PM on January 26, 2014


Sorry all. I feel like a super putz for basically sleeping through it (jet lag).
posted by kalessin at 6:45 AM on January 27, 2014


Great to see ya'll!
posted by brundlefly at 9:29 AM on January 27, 2014


Thanks to everyone for coming out! It was lots of fun. I'll be in town again soonish and maybe we'll do it again!
posted by restless_nomad at 9:54 AM on January 27, 2014 [5 favorites]



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