Farewell and F*ck You, Michael Bauer
Corrupt and corporate San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer has finally been put out to pasture, ending his way-too-long 32-year run as San Francisco’s shadiest restaurant reviewer. Bauer mailed it in for his final review last Friday, a four-star blowjob to the “reimagined Michael Mina” which has been there for seven fucking years and whose review is just an obvious favor to Mina himself.
This is typical Bauer. His Chronicle platform is no longer a journalistically sound place for objective food analysis, but instead a horse-trading favor bank meant to empower Bauer, his partner, and a double-dealing old-boy network of millionaire restaurant investors.
Sure, Michael Bauer may be a very capable food writer from a technical standpoint. I understand fine dining about as well as I understand Portuguese, and I have taqueria food for dinner, like, five nights a week. But it’s pretty well established that Bauer’s work devolved into a cesspool of ethics violations in which he and his partner were completely on the take.
Food critics generally change jobs every four or five years, so they can remain anonymous and restaurants don’t recognize them and treat them differently. Bauer’s whole point was to be treated special and differently.
Michael Bauer retire Bitch
Sorry just tweeting my drafts
— Richie Nakano (@linecook) July 13, 2018
An amazing July 2016 San Francisco magazine takedown of Bauer detailed how his reviews were obviously influenced by whether a restaurant did business with his partner’s company. That partner, Michael Murphy, is a head consultant for the “Make-A-Wish for rich people” called IfOnly that was founded by local asshole inheritee and Trump administration official Trevor Traina.
San Francisco magazine’s Rebecca Flint Marx details this unusually unethical relationship. “While Bauer is relatively shy and affable in public, Murphy is ‘the pit bull, the enforcer,’ known to lash out publicly at those who have criticized Bauer. In 2013, after then–Eater SF editor Allie Pape wrote a post on the site mentioning that Fog City Diner owner Bruce Hill had had to turn down a request to cook dinner for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian because he was expecting Bauer at the restaurant, Murphy took to Twitter to slam ‘resident ‘idiot editor’ Allie Papp-smear.’”
Golly, sexist much? Bauer also once said that accomplished local chef Dominique Crenn “cooks the way the men are cooking,” (he meant that shit as a compliment!) and he still included sexual harassment scandal-plagued restaurants in his Top 100 list right up through this year.
And let’s not forget the very entertaining beef between Bauer and well-known and quite funny local chef Richie Nakano, whose social media jabs at Bauer may or may not have cost him his job at the now-defunct Hapa Ramen.
Michael Bauer represented a useless voice in the culinary scene, and his reviews degraded into quasi-bribe-taking and complaining that Millennials don’t make reservations. His work spoke to none of us, no one will miss his columns, and his insights could have fit into a doggie bag.