Yesterday, old/new Mayor Edwin Lee was officially inaugurated to a full four-year term in a special ceremony at San Francisco City Hall. The reception immediately following the ceremony in the temporarily carpeted dome room included: string quartets, choruses of children singing, some light Opera and two hosted all-you-care-to-eat buffets in the North and South Light Courts. We skipped breakfast to bring you all of the highlights.
Appropriately enough for a Sunday morning event in a town full of coffee snobs, the coffee tasted surprisingly decent and the speed of the coffee line was only held up by people picking through the dregs of the fruit plate (honeydew, the king of the melons, was spotted), rather than some sort of slow-drip machinery. Our initial disappointment with the cookie selection (brittle, Costco-grade) was tempered when we struck buffet gold in the South Light Court where caterers were replenishing an impressive spread of tiny sandwiches.
Although the meat was maybe a bit stringy for our liking, we found the roast beef with horseradish mayo to be an easy crowd-pleaser. There was a saucy mushroom/veggie option that was a thoughtful concession to the city's meatless folks, but it was decent at best. The turkey sandwiches with spicy aioli and cucumber however, really shined amongst a selection of milky cheese cubes. Not a single person mentioned the word "sliders".
Rounding out the Mayoral menu items in the South Light Court were tiny pieces of Lox on toast — well done with the zing of the capers and easy on the onions. While it may disappoint some readers who still think sushi is the world's greatest culinary achievement, lingering hangovers prevented us from sampling any sushi served inside of a city government building.
Later, across the street at the post-Inauguration reception for Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi at the Herbst Theater overlooking Van Ness Avenue, the scenic backdrop was overshadowed by an awkward cloud. No, not that awkward cloud — the awkwardness here stemmed from the wave of eager Mirkarimi fans trying to cram in to a room to get a piece of the new Sheriff's Persian meat. And we mean that quite literally: the new Sheriff and his chief of catering eschewed the buffet in favor of sending cater waiters around the the room carrying trays of spiced meat. It was a pokey toothpick affair. We heard rumors that there was a tray of dolmas floating around for the vegetarians, but it remained elusive.
Mercifully, wine flowed freely at the packed Mirkarimi event. After navigating the nightclub-like one-in-one-out policy to get in to the Herbst Theater's Green Room, we promptly forget about the 30-minute-plus speech Mirkarimi just subjected us to when we were greeted with an army of wine glasses. In true Mirkarimi style, however, attendees had to be sure to recycle their stemware between rounds of red and white — There simply weren't enough clean glasses to go around. At least one attendee bravely wiped a discarded glass clean and headed back for another pour.