Interactive visualization of health inspections scores throughout San Francisco. Credit: Zipfian Academy & Jonathan Dinu.

Mike Conover knows data. He’s a senior data scientist at LinkedIn, and has a Ph.D. in complex systems analysis. Conover is also a Mission District resident and self-described foodie.

He recently combined the two interests — data and food — by reviewing San Francisco restaurant’s health scores, which the city now makes available online. Conover then cross-referenced the scores with restaurant review data from Mechanical Turk, helping him determine what particular types of restaurants score better or worse than others.

All of his findings are posted on Conover’s blog, but here are a few highlights (or lowlights, as it were):

– Out of the 11 San Francisco neighborhoods with the most eateries, the Mission District came in 7th place in terms of average restaurant health scores, at 90.74. The Dogpatch/Potrero ranked highest, while Chinatown/North Beach just barely beat out the Sunset for last place.

– Of all restaurants in the Mission, 45 percent were guilty of at least one of the nine violations Conover deemed “essentially unforgiveable” — moderate-to-high risk vermin infestation, sewage or wastewater contamination, re-serving previously served food, etc.

Mission Local is no stranger to restaurant health score reporting, but Conover’s findings still make us second-guess tonight’s dinner plans.

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He once tried to sell homemade sauerkraut. Now, Mark Kurlyandchik, a lifelong foodie from a Russian family of small business owners, writes about the business of food. He’s excited to explore how immigrant entrepreneurs influence the experience of eating in the Mission.

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