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Old 02-15-2007, 12:37 AM   #51
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Best thing to do on a first date in the East Bay.

Motorcycle ride at night to the pier in Berkeley. I would ride all the way out on the pier, which is certainly quite illegal. Then ride up into the hills to the Lawrence Hall of Science and go around back to where they have a bunch of big tubes that play notes like flutes in the wind.

You might not all be up for this though. Don't blame me if you get arrested or killed.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:04 AM   #52
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

so there are going to be a couple of repeats on my list, but some of my faves and affirmations of others are:

sushi groove south is a total must.

oola in the soma, el d will atest to the ribs there, yummy.
great for late night eats and drinks.

tadich grill for a three martini lunch with a bunch of investment bankers and lawyers. in the financial district.

great shopping for the hip set in hayes valley on like a two block stretch. others will have to elaborate on this.

check out lingba lounge on potrero hill. fun tiki bar vibe, good tropical cocktails, generally a hot girl or two and maybe a good dj spinning.

americano in hotel vitale for after work cocktails is a good spot right by the often mentioned ferry building.

one of the best meals i have ever had in the city (and i have ate a ton of them) was at ame in the st. regis hotel.
esquire magazine loved this place and so did i, omg.
eat anything that is said to be their signature dishes.

city lights is my all time fave book store, it is a must imho and a beer at vesuvio after.

hope this adds to things a bit, i will expand on anyone of these places if more info is needed.

cheers. J.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:51 AM   #53
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

When is the best time of the year to hit San Fran? Im planning Mar/Apr trip.
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:33 AM   #54
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Sept/Oct
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:14 AM   #55
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Re: Your favorite things to do or places to go: San Francisco Bay Are

Quote:
Evan,

My favorite burrito place in SF is La Taqueria on Mission near 25th. El Farolito is my second favorite.

Is this the place that's pretty big and open late? If so, best chicken tacos I've ever had. Althogh I think I might be thinking about a place more like 28th and Mission. Like a block or two from Army. I think there's a #1 and #2 pretty close to each other. But it's not El Toro.

I think the best thing about the Bay Area is the sheer beauty of it all. I lived there 5 years, I never got numb to the scenery. I lived in SF and work in Marin for a few years. On a regular basis the bay would take on some new, stunning look that I'd never seen before - either low clouds hanging over the city, or the water smooth as glass with the moon shining off, or a crystal clear sunset.

To that end I think the view at sunset, from Mt. Tamalpais on a clear night, is the best view I've ever seen. It's hard for me to imagine there being a better one on earth, and I've seen some pretty good ones. Other sweet views are coming up over market street at sundown, or Pt. Lobos on a beautiful day.

Other stuff, if it's still going (I've been in LA for 6 years now):

Ali Baba falaffel wrap things in lower haight. Best late night drunk food in the world. I had never had anything like that before I moved to SF. Trying one of those first time late at night, drunk, hungry as hell was a memorable experience.

There's a bar called Finnegan's Wake in Cole Valley that always had tons of cute girls. Somehow the balance never got out of whack with a bunch of moron dudes moving in. Which is rare.

My favorite burrito is (was) a place called Pancho's on Polk St. Kind of dry but I love the char-grilled meat and sweet mango salsa they had. LA does tacos better in general, but SF burritos are the bomb.

I waited tables at McCormick and Kuletos on Fisherman's Wharf for a while. The food mostly sucks. But if you ever find yourself stuck there, the oysters are good, and the dungenes crab if they have it. Also they have a ton of good scotch, and the bartneders really know their [censored]. Also there's a thing called a boat burger in the crabcake lounge, but you can get it downstairs as well. It's a burger with capers and garlic, topped with blue cheese that is still one of my all time favorite burger. Also for brunch the crabcake benedict is awesome.

Loved the oversize martinis at the Red Room, if it's still going. Two of those was all it took. Also Blondie's maritinis rocked.

Loved the Tapas at Timos.

Little Vietnamese place called Cordon Bleu at Van Ness and California (I believe).

Brother in Law's BBQ on Divisidero was the best I had in SF.

Always a nice day to go hiking in Marin somewhere then have dinner at Gyuama's (sp?) in Tiburon.

I always thought Transmission Lounge was a good place to see bands. The ones I saw there kind of sucked except one acid jazz kind of thing I really liked. But good venue.

Probably most of the clubs and bars I would know have rotated in and out of coolness or disappeared. Well that' about all I can think of. Hopefully some of these places are still around.
North Beach Pizza. But ONLY after it was reheated in a toaster oven. The first time too soggy. 2nd crispy and some of the best pizza I've ever had.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:37 AM   #56
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

The Millennium in the main floor of the Hotel California Downtown The Millenium. El D recommended this completely vegan high end restaurant last time I was in town and I was very impressed. I ordered the prefix menu during the summer that worked in seasonal tomatoes/heirloom tomatoes into every dish, even desert. I was with my non-vegan meat-loving friend who is normally not so into the vegan cuisine in Seattle and he flipped out over this place.

El D: Your offer still on the table if I visit next month?
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:00 AM   #57
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Can you go to the beach in SF in the summer, or still too windy/chilly?
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:00 AM   #58
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Mavericks Beach, just north of Half Moon Bay is a great little trip to the beach. In the winter is when the big waves come in and you can kind of see the surfers. I like when the tide goes out. You can walk a couple hundred yards out on a rock ledge and check out the tidal pool sea life. Just near Mavericks is a biker bar that is kinda fun to get a beer. There is also a restaurant that used to be called the Moss Beach Distillery. It is an awesome place to take a lady if you can finish dinner right before sunset. Or you can skip dinner and just have a drink and watch the sun go down. The restaurant sits atop a cliff that drops in to the Pacific Ocean. Just south of Mavericks is great little beach to go boogie boarding that is right off the highway.

In Palo Alto I recommend La Bodeguita Del Medio. Great Cuban influenced food and an expensive liquor selection that is worth almost every penny. Their Rum selection is second to none. Other great restaurants are Osteria (Italian) and Evvia (Greek).

On the East side of the San Mateo bridge is an awesome place to go bird watching. You can rent binoculars for a $2 donation. Bring your own field guide. I also really, really like the Berkeley Botanical Garden on the Berkeley campus.

On Sunday afternoons there is usually a pretty mellow Ultimate game at Mills College in Oakland. There is a more intense pick-up game in Greer Park in Palo Alto on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I'm not sure how often this game still goes.

Arastradero Open Space Preserve has some pretty kick-ass single track. This is right outside of Palo Alto.

Apple Jack's is a good bar to check out the local color in La Honda.

Passport Day, a quarterly tour of Santa Cruz mountain wineries is loads of fun. For the low, low price of $25 you get a tasting at all of 60+ wineries. Designate a driver and bring a good map.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:03 AM   #59
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Quote:
Can you go to the beach in SF in the summer, or still too windy/chilly?
too cold. I may end up moving there, but the lack of a real hot summer with beach trips and swimming bums me out to no end.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:14 AM   #60
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

I can confirm that Cordon Bleu is on Van Ness and California, and it is delicious. Great chicken and rice plates, relatively cheap, crowded everytime i go. Tommy's Joint is also great.

some other food ones i didn't see mentioned:

Sushi Rika, on Polk, has all you can eat, decent sushi for $20 on Sundays.

The Gold Club (strip club) has a free buffet on Fridays around lunchtime. $5 cover. Fast food style, but delicious fried chicken, and I like the cafeteria style spaghetti. either you will hate or love the food, but its such a great value overall. again, $5 cover.

Liberty Cafe in Bernal Heights has some of the best hamburgers ever, definitely not a standard hamburger, I'm not really sure how to describe it other than that its delicious.. on Wednesdays only (may have changed).
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:06 AM   #61
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Quote:
I can confirm that Cordon Bleu is on Van Ness and California, and it is delicious. Great chicken and rice plates, relatively cheap, crowded everytime i go.
On California and closer to Larkin St. Delicious food, but really, really small place if you're planning on eating in.

Burritos

Taqueria Guadalajara : New place on 24th st. and about Folsom. My new favorite burrito place since Vallarta closed down a few blocks away.

La Taqueria: It's alright. I think it's way overhyped.

Taqueria El Grullense (South Bay): Easily the BEST BURRITOS I've ever eaten (I've sampled around the Bay Area and LA). I guess you have to like Al Pastor and Carnitas, but they are unreal. Their tacos are also the best I've ever had. There are multiple locations but the best ones IMO are on El Camino in Redwood City and on the 84 in Redwood City.

Tacos

El Tonayense Taco Trucks : You can find these all along Harrison St. in the Mission. The best tacos I've found. All the tacos at the burrito places are pretty average in my opinion.

Other restaurants :

Ali Baba's Cave : Just to echo what other people have been saying, delicious Shawermas and Falafels. There's one on Valencia and one on Haight.

Axum Cafe (Ethiopian) : Great place on Haight st. I love Ethiopian food.

Barney's Gourmet Burgers : Really good sit-down burger place. Milk Shakes are really good.

Big Mouth Burgers : Great take-out burger place on 24th and Valencia. They have a couple beers on tap if you feel like sitting down for a while.

Mama's on Washington Square Usually a 45 min line out front on weekends, but well worth it. Best breakfast in the city and the best Monte Cristo I've ever had. Their banana nut french toast is ridiculously good.

Pick-Up Basketball (Anybody know of any good places?)

Dolores Park : Windy, uneven court. Crappy games. I think it sucks.

The Cage (on Webster and Bay) : Pretty decent court and games down in the Marina. Not much run in the winter, but plenty of games in the afternoons and weekend mornings/early afternoon during the other parts of the year. Really weird scoring system: new team starts with the ball, up to 12, 1s and 2s, switch sides and ball goes to the "winners" at 6 points. Just bizarre, but definitely the best pick-up I've found in the city.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:06 AM   #62
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Bridge School Benefit Concert at The Shoreline Amphitheater

For the past 20 years, The Bridge School has held a benefit concert in the fall to raise money for its school. The school was founded by Neil Young to help their son and other children with speech, communication and physical disabilities. Its a great cause and the shows are awesome. Major and minor acts from all types of music come to perform in the all accoustic format. This past year's lineup included Niel Young(of course), Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Brian Wilson, Gillian Welch, Trent Reznor(yes accoustic), Death Cab for Cutie, Dave Mathews. Over the years any major act you can think of has performed there form The Who, Van Halen, Paul McCartney, REM, Wilco, David Bowie, Tom Petty, CSNY, Elvis Costello, Tony Bennett etc. Too many to mention. You never know who will show up. Anyway, if your looking for some good music with a good cause, this is it, you won't be disappointed.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:48 AM   #63
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

How far south do you have to go for beach weather?


Quote:
Quote:
Can you go to the beach in SF in the summer, or still too windy/chilly?
too cold. I may end up moving there, but the lack of a real hot summer with beach trips and swimming bums me out to no end.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:32 AM   #64
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Santa Barbara. Actually Stinson can get pretty nice in the summer, even swimming temps on El Nino years. And any beach, including Ocean Beach can have gorgeous days. Just never count on it. And if it's been nice for 2 days, it will be disgusting the next.

According to my cousin, who AFAIK is a pretty smart guy, this cyclical phenomenon in the summer is because of the central valley. It heats up, the air rises, and this sucks air from all around, including off the ocean through golden gate. This air turns foggy when it gets near land. The cool air cools the valley down, it stops sucking, and SF is nice for a few days. Then the valley heats up again and the process starts all over.

Which reminds me. the BEST THING about SF is when you get those rare freaky warm spells in the spring or fall. Where it can still be 80 at night and beautifully still. People are out in t-shirts at night. You can hear your neighbors for the first time because everyone is outside and has their windows open. Most magical time to be in the city, especially because it's so rare.

Sort of like in LA when you get that rare crystal clear day and realize you have a view of the mountains from your block. Magical.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:04 PM   #65
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

I have fond memories about a Sandwich joint named Pluto's, somewhere in the Marina area.


ahhh I love SF. I hope to move there sometime in the near future
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:35 PM   #66
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Quote:

Liberty Cafe in Bernal Heights has some of the best hamburgers ever, definitely not a standard hamburger, I'm not really sure how to describe it other than that its delicious.. on Wednesdays only (may have changed).
Liberty Cafe is pretty cool in general, supposedly the best Pot Pie in the bay though I haven't tried it yet. Great place for morning coffee on the back patio. Also just a nice neighborhood to walk around and you go up to Bernal Hill Park which has great views.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:37 PM   #67
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Sunday brunch at Boogaloo's then walking over to Dolores Park to digest on a warm day rules.

I also love Izzy's. So underrated. I don't even think we've ever talked about Izzy's. I like the filet, and the creamed spinach is the best I've ever had.

I need to do the Anchor brewery tour. It's weekdays only. But, hey, why do I care? mad meetz and I are going to have to hit that up sometime.

Also, The Ramp's food is mediocre but hard to beat some eggs and a bloody mary sitting on a deck by the Bay when it's nice out.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:38 PM   #68
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Re: Your favorite things to do or places to go: San Francisco Bay Are

Quote:
I like tacos more than burritos and pretty much get them without exception at northern california mexican places because I love all the different choices of meats. Which place do you think is better for tacos?
Tacos at La Taqueria are excellent though I do usually get a burrito.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:40 PM   #69
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Quote:
For some outstanding fried chicken and soul food, Powell's Place is a great place to go. http://powellsplace.citysearch.com/p...9/Menu.html<br />
Hard Knox Cafe at 22nd and 3rd has surprisingly good, cheap soul food.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:41 PM   #70
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Re: Your favorite things to do or places to go: San Francisco Bay Are

Quote:
- Dittmer's Gourmet Meats and Wurst-Haus
Seconded! I used to get lunch there all the time when I worked in Mtn View.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:42 PM   #71
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Some of my faves:
Lucky Chances
Sunsets from Bolinas Ridge.
Breakfast at Point Reyes Station
Running/walking/biking along the water from PacBell/ATT/Balco Park to the GG Bridge.
Joe's Cable Car (tasty overpriced burgers)
Martha &amp; Bros for coffee every morning.


the kids love:
Paddle-boats at Stow Lake (2 boats and some water guns make for a fun family naval battle)
breakfast at the Beach Chalet
Yerba Buena (playground, bowling, ice skating, zeum) + metreon


Love SF but can really hate it in the summer when I haven't seen the sun for a week and I know that just 10 miles away it's like 90 degrees.
So we just get out more in the summer.

It can be a love/hate thing with the weather.
But raising kids in the suburbs is not for me.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:46 PM   #72
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Quote:
check out lingba lounge on potrero hill. fun tiki bar vibe, good tropical cocktails, generally a hot girl or two and maybe a good dj spinning.
Good Thai food there as well.
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:55 PM   #73
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

A lot of good info here. I'll try to name a couple things not mentioned, mostly food related.

Bissap Baobab- Senegalese restaurant on 20th/Mission/ couple doors down from Cha Cha Cha...great mixed drinks like Pomegranite Margarita. Excellent food and good value.

Tartine- bakery in Hayes Valley and 19th/Guerrero...delicious pastries baked fresh every morning and the hottest lil' french girls working behind the counter. Dolores park is just a couple blocks away.

Kate's Kitchen- lower haight...good ole American breffast foods, but try the French Toast Orgy= giant plate of french toast, syrup, granola, yogurt, etc.

Daimaru- sushi joint on corner of Sanchez/16th...the chef is former pro golfer and used to work with Nobu in LA back in the day. I used to live 2 doors down from here and ate there 2-3 days/ week.

Elixir- pub on corner 16th/Guerrero....basic neighborhood pub, but good beer selection and great place to watch sports events like March Madness. Doesn't get nearly as crowded as other sports bars, like Kezar or Final/Final(which are both decent in their own right)

Playa Azul- Mexican food restaurant at 30th Mission/Valencia...Pacific style Mexican food with some great seafood. This is a super popular family place for many Hispanic mission residents, complete with mariachi band. Try the crab/shrimp NAchos and the Camarones El Diablo

Kirin- authentic Chinese food place on Geary/25th Ave. I was just introduced to this place 2 weeks ago by Chinese friend of mine. This place was ridiculously good!

...and a shout out to Oaktown, where the whistle tips go whoooo whooo!

Koryo- sushi and Korean BBQ on Telegraph/43rd.....this place is always packed on weekends. Also, open late on weekends, which is rare in Bay Area

Bake Sale Betty's- corner of 51st and Telgraph...small corner bakery. The signature is a Fried Chicken Sammich with a slaw in a light vinegarette,with some jalapenos and onions mixed in, served on sweet roll. This is a must try in Oakland.
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:34 PM   #74
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Do not think this has been mentioned yet but it is the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival, lasts at least a week). So, I would think that right now some fun and festive things would be going on in San Fan (Chinatown) and surrounding area that would be enjoyable to see or participate in.

It is the Year of the Pig (or boar) so celebrate and make a pig of yourself.

-Zeno
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:52 PM   #75
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

b and others,

Very good recommendations. I especially wanted to highlight one: Tartine - just an amazing bakery.
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