Macsen will be in San Francisco next week on business, any of my SF friends have some recommendations for places to eat and things to see while he's there?
I like the stinking rose (garlic restaurant) but it's sort of a tourist joint. My mom has good things to say about Appreciation (or Grateful, or something). You have to thank the waiter for your food and talk about the things you're appreciative of. Bit of a gimmic but good food.
I think I've heard of the Stinking Rose before, something about garlic ice cream which doesn't sound like my idea of gastronomic bliss but interesting still. The second restaurant sounds funny, reminds me of a more pleasant Elbow Room in Vancouver where their gimmick is being as rude as possible and making you get up and get your own coffee (damn lazy customers!) Thanks for your input. :)
now that i'm in the office, and not in a rush to get out the door:
has he been here before?
there are lot of places to eat, so knowing what he prefer would give me an idea on how to recommend. although i have to admit the stuff i like are usually stuff that you could get easily in london.
if he doesn't mind taking a short train ride, he can always come and dine at one of the 16 cafes at my office. people seems to enjoy the free food here :-p
also, i would be more than happy to take him around to some of the sights that are not easily reachable by foot.
let me know. you should still have my email...
He's never been to SF and neither have I, had the option of going but I'd have to entertain myself alone during the days all week so decided to visit sometime in the future when I would have someone to explore with. :)
No particular preference.. I'm sure he'd love to get some good sushi as it's harder to come by around here, but he's got wide ranging tastes so I'm sure he'd be up for nearly anything.
I'll tell him the googleplex offer, he might have some business to do there anyway. Most of the time he'll be at meetings/conferences, but I'll give him your email to contact if he can escape for awhile. Thanks for the offer. :)
I'm terrible when guests come here. I don't even know why I live here. I guess it's access to food and friends.
Universal Cafe. Serves what could be described as "California" food: daily changing menu, local fresh. Delicious. Go for brunch.
Sushi zone: there are a million sushi places in SF and I like this one the most, but it takes literally three hours between the time you show up and the time you're seated.
I personally dig this place called "Good fricken chicken"; it's sorta middle-eastern fast food.
Twin peaks: a hill in the city that overlooks the city and to the golden gate. Quite scenic.
Sutro baths: an abandoned, burned down bathhouse on the ocean. You might be able to walk to the golden gate from there, which is pretty.
Valencia street: hipster central along with Dave Egger's pirate store. Bar scene, art, food.
Ritual coffee roasters: on valencia, the web2.0 cafe. Also noteworthy coffee.
I spend a lot of my free time just sitting in Dolores park. There's always tons of people and often celebrations. But I dunno if sitting in a park is a good way to see a city. I don't go out much and I don't eat out much; I just enjoy, y'know, walking and biking around my neighborhood, cooking, etc.
Avoid the waterfront and cable cars; it's all tourists.
Haha - I feel the same way when I have guests in London asking for recommendations, my mind goes blank and then realize I've been going to the same noodle place for the past 3 months. Have to remind myself to try new restaurants and check out stuff while I still actually live here (which may not be for much longer).
Thanks for the input, he's treating this as a fact finding mission for when we eventually visit SF together in the future. It is one American city I've always wanted to spend time in, but never had the chance. I could have gone this trip but I prefer to explore new cities with someone and he'll be tied up with meetings most of the week.
Sushi would be great for him, it's hard to come by good sushi here and when you do the prices are quite high (compared to the pac rim anyway). Good Fricken Chicken sounds interesting, unless it's this kind of fried chicken joint which we have plenty of. ;)
A pirate supply shop, that is awesome. If he goes I will expect him to smuggle some goods back for me (Pirate perfume sounds a bit questionable though).
I'm much the same way.. a bit of a hermit and tend to prefer my central London outings few and far between if I can help it. I also cook every day and prefer it that way. :)
I will second Evan's recommendation of Universal Cafe.
For Sushi, Zushi Puzzle or Tokyo-go-go are both excellent examples of california-style sushi
Ino and Eiji are both excellent for their very serious traditional sushi.
There is a great russian/moroccan teahouse that i love called Samovar - I love them most for breakfast and dinner.
I am also a pretty big fan of valencia street - lots of little weird places to explore.
Both chinatown and japantown have their charms - but i bet you have your own versions in London. (But ours was in Big Trouble in Little China!)
My favourite bar in the city is Tosca - it's a real wooden bar- their house special is hot cocoa with brandy, opera records on the jukebox, and I think every single movie in SF has an obligatory scene in Tosca. Next door is the famous city Lights bookshop, Francis ford coppola's wine tasting restaurant, and it's right next to chinatown as well.
If he's up for a show- The Teatro Zinzanni show on the embarcadero is pretty awesome and part of an entertainer's cooperative. Near that is the Musee Mechanique - a collection of coin operated shows, games, and other mechanical delights.
One of the other excellent eateries is Emmy's Spaghetti Shack. Fantastic food and sometimes a long wait. We had to wait 45 minutes for a table- I don't think they take reservations. Thankfully, there is a bar next door where you can wait.
And if he wants someone to hang out with- I'd be happy to oblige!
Thank you for your suggestions, Cameo! I've compiled them with the rest of the recommendations here in an email for him, he's been there a few days now and it sounds like he's already very busy but I hope he's able to squeeze in a few of these. If not then we'll check them out when we visit together in the future which is looking probable. :)
The Russian/Moroccan teahouse sounds like my kind of thing. Speaking of I was just catching up with your journal (I am pretty out of touch with a lot of my friends journals these days sadly) and noticed you have a trip to Morocco planned. If you're going to Marrakech and haven't booked a place to stay yet I can recommend Riad Julia, it is very central yet in a quiet residential area (you have to follow a labyrinth of small streets to get to it). If you stay there make sure you have the homecooked Moroccan meal, you decide what you will have in the morning and she will go to the market that day to buy all the ingredients and cook them for you that evening.. probably some of the best tagines and salads you can get in the city (which you can enjoy on the roof terrace under a berber tent). Also try to get "Chambre Amir", it is the room we stayed in and I think the most beautiful in the riad.
Sadly Essaouira on the coast is pretty overrun with tourists these days, but it may not be too bad during the time of year you're going. It is still quite beautiful and the quality of the berber silver jewelry was much better and cheaper than most of what I could find in Marrakech. Each berber tribe has its own unique filigree pattern, some of them incredibly intricate. I look forward to reading about your trip (I hope you're still going), I never did write about mine or post the photos.. I found it pretty intense and almost want to keep it personal, but I may post them at some point. :)
Thanks for the recommendations. I really haven't done too much as it's myself and one colleague so we've been working and then done some obvious tourist stuff.
As we're at a conference right by Samovar I had lunch there (and very relaxing it was too) tomorrow and am intending to lunch there tomorrow too before I head home.