Is it Time to Get Over Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien?


According to our sister paper, SF Weekly, the answer is a resounding yes.

While New Yorkers storm the grimy Orchard Street gates of Mission Chinese Food, San Franciscans have been biting into Szechuan peppercorns with abandon since the restaurant first opened there in 2010. Anna Roth writes, “can we please call a moratorium on the ‘I Ate Sichuan Peppercorns With Danny Bowien’ story now, before it becomes the only story about Mission Chinese that anyone is telling?” Roth suggests that the fascination with Bowien will go the way of last year’s frequently produced, “I foraged with Rene Redzepi” style profiles, and soon lose an interested public.

December tends to be a good month for endings. Predictions for 2013 dining trends are beginning to emerge and Roth’s piece may signal that Bowienmania — filled with multiple-hour wait times and kidney-scorching dinners — may nearly be over.

But everyone eats. And if we’ve learned anything from the sheer volume of food-related news in the last few years (or, ahem, blogs like this one), it’s that there is always space for an annual reining star. If Bowien has already jumped the shark, intentionally or not, it will merely leave space for the next culinary king.