I’m glad that I’ve been here long enough that I can gauge where to go based on where people’s hotels are.
Last night my friend Amanda was in town for just one night and since she was staying in the Financial District, I decided North Beach would be a good spot to hit.
I built the evening around good ol’ standby Vesuvio, but turned to Twitter for suggestions on food and other drink. Twitter truly rarely fails for advice from locals and yesterday was no different. We were directed to É Tutto Qua! for dinner and it was definitely the Italian experience. Adorable waiters, tasty chianti and palette pleasing pasta. Unfortunately my vegetarianess limited me to the gooey gorgonzola gnocchi (incredible in its own right), while I drooled at Amanda’s sea urchin linguine. The experience was absolutely fantastic and I would recommend this place. I know there’s additional hidden authentic gems in the neighborhood and I look forward to going to those as well.
Erica on Twitter also advised going next door to Tosca, which looked delightful, but unfortunately was closed on Monday. This ended up being serendipitous though as we followed a quirky crowd into an enclave between the two buildings and discovered what is now one of my new favorite places on earth. Who couldn’t love a spot called Specs Twelve Adler Museum Café? Quirky, divey and a fantastic bartender (Mark) combined to make this a lovely place to have stumbled upon. The walls are covered with the craziest things (I’m guessing there’s a shrunken head in there somewhere) and I can only imagine it’d be the best place to be stuck on a dark and stormy night. We reluctantly left to continue our brief tour, but not without being advised to hit up The Saloon after Vesuvio, and before we called it a night.
So following a quick round across the street, we found The Saloon. You may recall I’d been there before, but had to Google Map it since it’s easy to get lost in the winding alleys over there. The effort did not disappoint and this was the perfect way to highlight a quirktacular first San Francisco night for Amanda. I don’t know many other cities where you can a) find live music on a Monday b) find a bar packed to the brim for said music c) find surferbilly guitar players wailing on the bar counter and d) find a band accompanied by a topless hula hooper mesmerizingly choreographed for each number.
Amanda delivered the exciting news that my international travel buddy, Jason, may be making an appearance in the Bay toward the end of August. Since there’s a chance I might get him for a whole weekend versus a couple hours, I look forward to continue to up my SF tour guide game. Perhaps with some help from Twitter, and of course with a healthy helping of wandering down back alleys.