San Francisco Suggestions

I’m going to be in SF from tonight (Sunday) through Tuesday night for a training class. Anyone have any suggestions of what to check out?

I’ll be staying in the Union Square area, and hopefully any suggestions are within walking distance since I’m not bringing my car.

Casual restaurants, decent bars, weird stores, that sort of thing. I’m already planning on hitting the MOMA and I’ll probably check out the Metreon to.

If anyone wants to have a beer or two in the evening, I’m up for that as well.

Hop a Hyde Street cable car and head over to the Marina. There you will find Gheradelli Square, The San Francisco Maritime Museum and a very lively street scene. Do not miss the Maritime museum. It has a stunning collection of ship models and an excellent photo history of the San Francisco bay. In Gheradelli Square there are numerous excellent restaurants and a plethora of shops. Many of them are exorbitantly overpriced, but then again this is a tourist zone. Walking back towards the cable car turntable, you will pass other art galleries and interesting shops as well.

Once you are back at Union Square, you are within walking distance (1-2KM) of Chinatown. This vibrant quarter of San Francisco is one of the historically largest Asian populations in America. Be sure to find a restaurant that serves dim sum, the extraordinary Chinese breakfast. You will want to do this today as they commonly serve it only on weekends up to 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Order up:

Har Gao (har-gow) Wonderful little shrimp filled dumplings.

Char Siu Bao (char sue bow) Delicious BBQ pork filled bread.

Hom Sai Gok (hom sigh gock) A glutinous rice envelope filled with spicy pork and mushrooms.

Siu Mai (shue my) Little nuggets of ground pork folded into a won ton wrapper.

Be sure to try the Chinese brocolli with dark garlic sauce. All sorts of little delicacies will be wheeled past your table in an endless parade of toothsome morsels. Just point to whatever looks good and it will be placed on your table and added to your bill.

As you stroll through Chinatown look for the Ivory stores with the incredible carved tusks that hold entire landscape scenes rendered in 3-D detail. The fragrances (and odors) will tantalize (assault) your senses as you wander through this amazing section of SF’s past.

In the evening, go to Sam Woh’s just up from the corner of Grant and Washington Avenues. This tiny little three story jook house ia a SF classic. Once home to the world’s most abusive waiter (Edsel Ford) and his cohort (Leaky Pan) you will be transported to the far east as you elbow in with other diners to get at your chow mein.

Back near Union Square, be sure to drop in at Shreve Jewelers. Used as a set in the movie “Another 48 Hours”, it is a treasure trove of fabulous gems and often has stunning collections of jewelery or other fine arts on display.

Do not miss another SF landmark, Gumps. The Gump family has been a SF society stalwart for generations and were some of the first to import fine Asian art many decades ago. There will be many superb samples of work for sale, but do not miss the collection which is also on display.

This will keep you busy for today. I will see what other ideas I can come up with for your entertainment. Feel free to IM me for more information.

Thanks Zenster. I’ll give some of your suggestions a try.

Here’s two locations for your evening repasts.

[li] John’s Grill[/li]
At one of the tables there Hashiel Dammet… I mean, Dashiel Hammet penned some of the chapters of “The Maltese Falcon”. It is a classic steak and chop house with no pretensions and Martinis so dry you’ll fart dust.
[li] The Tadich Grill[/li]
Down in the mercantile district near California and Montgomery Streets is the best seafood restaurant in San Francisco. Better quality than Fisherman’s Wharf and with sometimes lower prices to boot. Be sure to try their fabulous Bloody Marys, they have their own mixer recipe bottled for them. The swordfish is superb, sadly, they no longer serve the freshwater baby salmon (imagine a trout-sized white-fleshed salmon on your plate).

Sit at the counter and the service is the very best. Your waiter will pass your seat every 45 seconds. You will have to play vulture and stand behind someone who is about to finish dining to get a seat, but you won’t regret the effort. The Buich brothers have been in business since the Civil War and know a little about fresh fish. Scoff down lots of the fresh sourdough bread with a bowl of chowder while the main course is grilled up.