San Francisco Journals

A Hill-Walking Adventure In San Francisco

Best of IgoUgo

An April 2007 trip to San Francisco by tigressa

Quote: Join me on one my favorite walks through the glistening city of hills, San Francisco

A Hill-Walking Adventure In San Francisco

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
I've never understood when people complain about the hills in San Francisco anymore than when they complain about the fog. These are two of the features that make the place so special. Once you stop focusing on how you need to replace your clutch every three years from the steep grades if you live here, you can wrap yourself in the pleasure of good long hill-walks. I've never joined a gym all my years of living here, just allowing the aerobic workout of climbing up and down countless hills to do the work for free. So join me on one my most frequent routes. We'll take off from the Ferry Building at the base of Market Street, partly because that's where I usually have come from, off the f...Read More

Sunflower

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Sunflower Café"

Quote:
Sunflower Café is one of the best unsung Vietnamese restaurants in San Francisco. There are actually two Sunflowers (around the corner from each other in the Mission District), one on 16th and one on Valencia. They share the same kitchen, but the Valencia Street one has a much nicer ambience. However, sometimes service is faster at 16th street since it's smaller.The food is amazing. San Francisco has a much celebrated Vietnamese spot called Slanted Door yet I find the food and service at Sunflower consistently better. And the tab about 1/2 the price!So many incredible dishes. If you want just a light snack, get the Fresh Spring Rolls, available in vegetarian or shrimp versions. These a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 13, 2007

Sunflower
3111 16th St
San Francisco, California 94110
(415) 626-5023

We Be Sushi

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Restaurant

Quote:
I don't know why I adore this place so much but I do. It's not that they have the most inspired sushi in the world, or the best, most gracious service. But there's zany decor and a great music playlist that makes me keep coming back. Every inch of the wall space is filled with crazy Japanese fans, hello kitties, and pictures of geisha and samurai. The music is wildly eclectic: one recent night they were playing old Roches one minute and Japanese girl groups the next. A good way to eat here is to show up between 5 and 6pm for dinner special. For $10 you will first receive tea, carrot sticks, a small seaweed or spinach appetizer, and miso soup with a bowl of rice. Then you get a 6 piece spicy tu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 13, 2007

We Be Sushi
3226 Geary St
San Francisco, California 94118
+1 415 221 9960

Herbivore-The Earthly Grill

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Restaurant | "Herbivore Restaurant"

Quote:
I have just three words for you: Chicken Soy Shwarma. That's it. Chicken Soy Shwarma. When you go to this healthy vegetarian place you have to ignore the abysmal service and the sterile, steely, "modernistic", utter lack of decor and the astronomical decibel level of every hipster in the Mission District packed into every seat of every table. Just focus on these three words and you'll do great.This is one of the most spectacular dishes I've ever had anywhere on the planet. I usually get it on top of their organic green salad instead of within the usual wheat wrap (which is a bit heavy and tasteless).The shwarma is lightly spicy and crisp, as if it was delicately sautéed in the ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Herbivore-The Earthly Grill
983 Valencia St
San Francisco, California 94110
(415) 826-5657

Cafe Gratitude

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Restaurant

Quote:
This is a very, very weird place. Sometimes my friends call it Cafe Attitude. Despite the fact that the food is often fantastic, I just can't get myself to go there much. It's too weird, and I don't mean good, twisted, interesting weird and unusual like I'm often drawn to. Just weird weird.It's a raw food vegan spot which draws heated mixed reactions. You'll either love it or hate it. The catch for me is that all the servers must take Landmark trainings (an off-shoot of EST) before they can work there. It sometimes gives a really creepy, cult-like atmosphere. The service, in any case, even when the waitperson is friendly and "normal" is still usually slow and scattered. You just can...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Cafe Gratitude
2400 Harrison
San Francisco, California
(415) 824-4652

Whole Foods Market

Restaurant | "Valencia Whole Foods"

Quote:
Even though this is just a great little healthy corner store, I have to put it in the "restaurant" section because they have the most amazing, kick-ass salad bar in town. Don't confuse this place with "whole foods market", this is just a little independent store run by a great family.And their salad bar is to die for. They only got it in the last month but they have the most delicious Mediterranean dips and toppings all for a per pound reasonable price. Hummus, tahini, baba ganoush, falafel, dolmas, garlicky mushrooms, pickled red peppers, fresh creamy feta. Also, the standard salad greens, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and so on. Freshly made wonderful dressings. Everything is so ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 30, 2007

Whole Foods Market
24130 Valencia Blvd.
Santa Clarita, California 91355
(661) 260-2377

Love of Ganesha

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Attraction

Quote:
This is one of the most magical places to shop in San Francisco. Although it was relocated last year from a space a few blocks away, the energy is still divine.Imagine an Asian arts shop packed to the brim with the most beautiful, well-priced statues from Thailand and India, gorgeous fabrics, jewelry, clothing, wall-hangings, everything you could imagine. The wonderful owner goes a few times a year to Thailand and comes back with an abundance of treasures, usually better priced than most similar shops in the bay area.But the good prices aren't all that make this store amazing. The Thai women who run it are some of the kindest, most generous people you will ever meet. A big po...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 28, 2007

Love of Ganesha
1601-A Page Street
San Francisco, California 94117
+1 415 621-3071

Osento

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Attraction

Quote:
This wonderful women-only bathhouse has been my personal bastion for sanity for the 25 years that I've lived in the Bay Area. It's a simple, adorable little spot, a haven of peace and serenity in the midst of the cool, hip urban energy of the Valencia Street corridor.For an entrance fee (sliding scale $12-$20 based on what you can afford to pay) you can spend the day, including in and out privileges. There is a lovely large Japanese-style hot tub (big enough for 8 women) usually kept at 106 to 108 degrees. Also, there is ample resting areas inside.The outside courtyard is my favorite. Wet and dry saunas and a cold plunge are out back as well as a wonderful upper deck for nude sunbathin...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 29, 2007

Osento
955 Valencia
San Francisco, California 94110
(415) 282-6333