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Trader Vic's, San Francisco, CA (original incarnation), San Francisco, CA (restaurant)

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Name:Trader Vic's, San Francisco, CA (original incarnation)
Street:Cosmo Place
City:San Francisco


I'm reading "Oh the Glory of it All," Sean Wilsey's often-scathing account of growing up in San Francisco society. He writes this on page 10, but does not name the restaurant until much much later:

My parents' third home was a restaurant halfway down Nob Hill, toward the seedy Tenderloin -- run-down on the outside, clubby and leathery and lustrous on the inside. I was a nonspilling, silent-when-told-to-be child, so, also when I was nine, my parents convinced the management to make an exception to their unbendable no-children rule, and for nearly a year I almost lived there, too. It was like traveling overseas to a ruleless country. All proscriptions were thrown out. I got to stay up late. I was an adult. The maitre d' told us what a great table he had for us, down the hall, past the cigar lady in her closet -- who waved to me as from a ship -- past the bathrooms with their zebra-skin doors, in the dim, glowing hum of the main room, called the Captain's Cabin, which grew louder as we entered, as if we were newspaper thrown on a fire.
A waiter came, took Dad's drink order -- "Tanqueray gin on the rocks" -- and quickly came back. The air around Dad started to smell like fuel.
Mom ordered. Dad ordered. They ordered for me: an elevated silver platter of spare ribs with a candle underneath, accompanied by a butterfly-shaped dish, one wing full of hot yellow mustard, the other sweet red sauce. Dad looked deeply content. Mom smiled her radiant, irresistible-to-photographers smile. People came to say hello.
Dad drank his flammable Tanqueray gin on the rocks, slowly, and leaned back into the banquette, above which maxims were set into wooden plaques with chiseled Gothic letters. Above him it said:

No chord of music has yet been found
To even equal that sweet sound
Which to my mind all else surpasses
The clink of ice in crystal glasses

I knew about the clink of ice in crystal glasses: It was a sound that meant all was well, everything was in its place, no mistakes were being made, everybody loved each other. I looked at the maxim on the plaque above Mom and Dad and I knew we were doing everything perfectly, and as long as the crystal and ice kept clinking there was nothing to worry about.

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