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Oct 26, 2001 04:11 PM

restaurants with smoking

  • m

I can only think of a few restaurants in the bay area that allow smoking, via cigar bars.... Occidental Grill, Shanghai 1930. Anyone know of others, cigar bar or nay?

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  1. There's 850 (850 Montgomery @Pacific) which is a cigar bar with live Latin jazz.

    1. I've been in some French restaurants (namely Plouf) near closing time, when the waiter would ask the few remaining tables if anyone would mind if some patrons (and presumably staff) lit up. However, this is completely against California state law, which made smoking in restaurants illegal several years ago. Now if only that no-smoking-in-bars law would actually be enforced...

      6 Replies
      1. re: dixieday

        To this food-and-wine lover, the words smoking and restaurant in the same sentence make the ultimate oxymoron.

        Little by little--too slowly for the health of workers and the general citizenry--the rest of the country is catching up with California on this basic public health issue.

        1. re: Fine
          Zach Georgopoulos

          While I agree that smoking and dining simultaneously is anathema, enjoying a nice cigar with port or brandy after a meal is one of the few great pleasures in life. If a restaurant or bar can make it in business while allowing this (within the confines of Ca. law -- e.g, fully owner operated), then more power to them.

          1. re: Zach Georgopoulos

            I suppose it would be "blowing smoke" to point out the serious health risks involved in this "great pleasure," despite myths to the contrary.

            1. re: Fine

              I'm with you, Fine.

              We are fortunate to live in a state that understands.

              Go to Europe and most non-smokers smoke just due to the "glam of it all".

              Your senses are compromised, even sitting near-by a smoker. Taste buds are jewels in your mouth. The true "sensors" of any person /chow hound. Coat them with a layer of nicotine layden smoke . . . tastes like flint, ash, hot tobacco. Good for the food memory.(I doubt it.) Smell is also compromised by smoke. Sight, if sitting too close. Sound, if someone wants a woosh of hot smoke blown their way.

              Without seeming a total jerk. . . to waste the eloquence of a great food experience in any restaurant to search for the opportunity of supporting smokers and their ignorance of what the true meaning of "senses" (and health) is amazes me. Keep the smoking about smoking poulty, fish; anything culinary.

              Or take it to general topics board.

              1. re: Fine
                Zach Georgopoulos

                "I suppose it would be "blowing smoke" to point out the serious health risks involved in this "great pleasure," despite myths to the contrary."

                He, he... Yup, it would be. That's why I made the distinction that this should be confined to legal smoking establishments -- e.g., owner operated. If I want to endanger my health, and am surrounded by people who are hellbent on doing the same, I don't see why it's anybody else's business. I like Ca's smoking laws -- I don't think I have a right to force my smoke on people who don't want it, but I think I certainly have a right to smoke among people who are also smoking.

          2. re: dixieday

            I think its interesting that this occured at Plouf. Plouf employees are overwhelmingly French. That this occured there is interesting in that the French, along with many other Europeans, have a far more tolerant attitude toward smoking than Americans.
            American attitudes toward smoking, and so many other things, come from its Puritan tradition. What other industrialized modern secular nation has the same restrictions on smoking and drinking, as well as harsh punishment of drug use as America? In this way Amierica is not a beacon of freedom, but an anachronistic theocracy like some middle eastern sheikhdom.

            I am a proud smoker. I enjoy smoking and I will not quit. If I die at 58 like George Harrison, so be it. I will die a happy man. I don't think anyone lies on their deathbed thinking "well, at least I didn't smoke." I will not deny myself simple pleasures that harm no one.

            Recently, I have begun avoiding bars that do not allow smoking. What is better than a drink and a smoke? And lets put to rest this "second-hand smoke" silliness. A federal judge dismissed the EPAs claims about second hand smoke as "junk science." I highly doubt any waiter, bartender or other restuarant employee died from second-hand smoke.

            Smokers of California unite! Lets share which bars and restaurants let their patrons make choices about smoking (its a free marketplace) instead of big government.

          3. If you chosse to sit outside and dine, then Foreign Cinema allows the patrons to smoke.

            1. Maybe a list of places that (illegally) allow smoking, so we will know where NOT to go.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jim H.

                I'd add to that suggestion a list of those places that permit smoking at their sidewalk tables then open adjacent windows or, in the case of Enrico's, doors, so the smoke is sucked into the dining room and it's virtually as smoky as the bad old days.

                1. re: Fine

                  Amen...for twist on that, we ate at a great little place in the 22 or 23 arr in Paris, and we sat on the sidewalk to avoid the smoke. Viola!!! the smoke from the inside permeated the sidealk to make the meal less than enjoyable.

              2. The strange thing is, all of the really talented chefs I know smoke like chimneys. Explain that!!! :-)

                3 Replies
                1. re: gourmandise

                  I have known many fine to brilliant chefs who never smoked, even back when no one knew how life-threatening it was to the smoker and those nearby.

                  Perhaps, given our contradictory experiences, one might conclude there isn't a high correlation between recklessness (or even intelligence) and culinary skills.

                  1. re: gourmandise

                    This tells us about peer pressure and the difficulty of giving up smoking. None of these people were chefs when they started smoking.

                    In general, most of the workers in restaurant kitchens smoke. If your first job at 16 years of age puts you in this peer group, and especially if the only way you can get breaks is to need a cigarette, you may start smoking and never stop.

                    1. re: gourmandise

                      I'd be curious where these places are that these "chimney smoking great chef's" work. (answer to many of the mediocre meals we all endure while dining out).

                      Most top end kitchens in Calif. do not allow cooks/chefs to smoke during their breaks (whats a break?)while in their kitchens during working hours, period. This is something considered a personal privelage/problem that is saved for before clocked in or after.

                      In the kitchen I work in, I do work with smokers who try, try & try to quit and because of the grueling work pressure, always fall back. They are the ones with colds, the ones with re-acurring headaches, insomnia, I could go on & on. It pretty much depends on my trust in that persons common sense and passion for their work, because on the over-all, their taste buds are compromised (can't taste clearly when sinuses are smoked impacted), their over-all health is compromised and their emotional attitude susceptible to that nicotine craving. It's all pretty pathetic.