Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jay'n Bee Club

Like a moth to a flame..
For some reason the SF Alcohol Beverage Control board is friendlier to establishments where food is prepared and served than those that do neither. I won't get into the ongoing drama between ABC and various "cabaret" establishments. You can read about the battles between the DNA Lounge,  some Polk Street and SOMA establishments embroiled in decades long battles with city authorities but suffice it to say if you have a food license attached to your liquor license, it behooves you to keep on serving food.

Tecate, on tap. F'reals.
In some cases, that food can be pretty grim, but in many the food is excellent. Bender's makes a terrific burger (and serves them with delicious fried tater-tots), as does Zeitgeist (with home-fries), Tommy's Joynt is of course world famous for their corned beef and cabbage, and conversely every fine dining establishment that comes to mind has full liquor service (Zuni, Jardiniere, Bar Crudo, Twenty Five Lusk, etc).

[Editor's note: people, enough with the dumb flash splash pages. Give me the menu, the hours, the address and the fricken phone number and if you have online reservations, they had better garshdratted work!] [Other Editor's Note: And don't make me download a PDF, you bastards!]

The Jay'n Bee Club is nestled in what used to be the edge of the vast wasteland of warehouses and industrial space in the eastern part of the Mission along Potrero. The area is now larded with luxury condominiums.The bar serves good bar food, on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but the Jay'n Bee Club is a largely unknown treasure outside of the neighborhood.

Haute cuisine it is not, nor would it ever pretend to be. The Jay'n Bee Club is decidedly blue-collar despite being surrounded by million dollar condos. When my friend first discovered the bar sometime back around 2005 the small kitchen, dubbed "Marta's Kitchen", was cranking out some of the better Mexican platas in the Mission (the most scrumptious and rib sticking were the enchiladas). Marta has since moved on to open her own restaurant (which this intrepid reviewer will be reviewing soon, I imagine), and since nature (and the ABC) abhors a vacuum the Jay'n Bee Club has welcomed a group of skilled pizza spinners into their tiny space.

Garlic and clam sauce, great for dates!
Just like the previous incarnation of the Jay'n Bee Club's food offerings, you ought not be in a hurry if you order food there. The small kitchen churns out food at a glacial pace (estimate in your mind the time to prepare and bake a pizza and add at least 10 minutes), so we suggest you belly up to the bar or find a seat in their back patio (which is conveniently covered and open even if it's raining out) and have a draft beer while you wait.

The pizza is thin crust and uses a relatively wet dough, yielding a crunchy, chewy pie. The whole bar smells of wonderful, sweet, concentrated tomato sauce love. Sandwiches and salads are also available. Beware of the "Atomic" pizza, which replaces the tomato sauce with a chile paste - this is the stuff of dares and drunken heroism; moreover, we expect the Travel Channel to send some chump to eat the whole thing in one sitting any day now (please don't).

Big bar, tiny tiny kitchen!
Much kerfluffle has been made of the new-fangled "internet jukeboxes" popping up around town (we're looking at you, The Unresolved Love Life of Evelyn Lee). You'll find no such fancy contraption here at Jay'n Bee. As was intended by the forces of good taste and bartender sanity, the jukebox is seeded with choices made by the staff - Motown, 1980s and early 1990s hip hop, R&B and soul, classic rock and punk.

You won't be hearing none of that skinny-jeans wearing stuff any time soon at the Jay'n Bee, because the bartenders have good taste.

Motown. Beer. Pizza. If there is a God, this is how She intended things to be. The natural order.

Come on down for a pie soon.

Jay'n Bee Club
2736 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 824-4190