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In San Francisco, law firms don’t only compete for clients and market share. They go head-to-head for menu space, too. Both Palo Alto’s Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Seattle’s Perkins Coie appear on the menu at Venture Frogs Restaurant, which names its dishes after tech industry players. The competition isn’t pretty. “Perkins Coie?” sniffs Wilson Sonsini corporate partner Martin Korman after hearing that the two firms share a menu. “You mean they’re the garden salad and we’re the prime rib?” Sorry, Marty: It’s a main dish, Perkins Coie Korean Pork Chops. “The only law firm with an entree on the menu,” boasts Perkins Coie managing partner Robert Giles. Wilson Sonsini’s tribute is a wimpy-sounding side dish — Wilson Sonsini Dry-Fried Beans. The snub renders Korman temporarily speechless. But menu position isn’t everything. Last month an American Lawyer truth squad visited Venture Frogs and found the Perkins Coie Korean Pork Chops to be thin and lukewarm. On the other hand, the Wilson Sonsini Dry-Fried Beans had a satisfying, bold flavor that surpassed the pork chops and such staples as the bland Priceline Pot Stickers and the idealab! Curry Chicken, which the chef had doused with spices. (The restaurant’s owners say the dishes are named with alliteration in mind, not prestige.) The next day, after looking at Venture Frogs’ Web site (http://www.vfrogs.com/restaurant), Korman seems satisfied with Wilson Sonsini’s place in the pecking order. “It does not bother me that we are not alongside Perkins in the entree category,” he says. “Everyone likes appetizers and sides better than entrees anyway.” Besides, he notes that on the side dish list, “Wilson is in the esteemed company of Cisco [Chinese Chicken Salad], Yahoo [Thai Beef Salad], and Benchmark [Baby Back Ribs].” Ah, yes. It’s always about the clients.

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