Sunday, November 25, 2018

Long Weekend By the Bay

Trip date: May 2018

A friend was finishing a week of business in San Francisco and invited me down for the Memorial Day weekend.  I flew down on Alaska Air on Thursday afternoon, the plane was one of the Virgin Aircraft. I didn't love having to order and pay for my drinks via the seat-back entertainment device, but other than that it was fine.

The city was fairly quiet when I landed that evening so I took an Uber and met him at the W where we would be staying. We had a great big corner room, with a cute little seating area, and nice views. The W is a great central location as well.

We walked to Liholiho Yacht Club, put our name in for a table, and then walked to The Progress Hotel for drinks at their rooftop bar Charmaine's. It was a gorgeous night to sit outside next to the fire pit.
Liholiho called well before the 1 1/2 time they told us our wait might be. We had a great dinner, including the game hen katsu, japanese curry, crimini mushrooms, chinese eggplant, daikon kimchi! Believe the hype, highly recommended.
The next day we did a little tour of the Salesforce towers. It's quite a compound they have with towers on 3 of the 4 corners. One of the large offices is called Puppyforce and you can bring in your dog for the day (also great for people who are allergic or don't want to be around dogs). And the park that they are building looks incredible.
We walked over to The Treasury for lunch, which had just opened on my last trip down but I hadn't had time to check it out. The space is absolutely gorgeous! And the cocktails were great! Lunch was ok. I'd say come for the cocktails and eat somewhere else. Not bad, there is just much better food in the city.
We decided on a little day drinking bar hop and made our way down to the waterfront. After a quick shop through the Ferry Plaza Market, we grabbed seats at Hard Water.
I don't know how this bar hasn't been on my radar! It's owned by the Slanted Door group, is visually stunning, and has a huge selection of whiskey as well as some excellent cocktails. I really liked it, if you are down by Pier 3 I'd definitely stop in!

We grabbed a trolly, cuz San Francisco! and continued down the waterfront to the wonderfully touristy Buena Vista. The home of the Irish Coffee never disappoints!
Dinner that night was in Chinatown so we wandered around a bit as the window shopping here is always great. We ended up stopping inside the Buddha Lounge which I've walked past so many times but haven't ever been inside. What a throwback! Cash only, family owned, very fun.

Dinner was at Mister Jiu's, where I'd eaten on my last visit, and it was just as delicious this time around, although the menu was different as it didn't have the tasting menu style from before. All dishes were great and the space is still lovely. One of my favorites!

The next morning we walked next door to the SFMOMA for the special exhibit of René Magritte. It was a great showing of about 70 pieces of his work. I especially liked the outdoor paintings "within paintings".
A friend had told me about a new champagne cafe in Hayes Valley so we headed there to have brunch at The Riddler. Absolutely adorable spot with an amazing menu of champagnes by the glass or bottle. They don't have a full kitchen but offer tater tot waffles, like this one with smoked salmon and caviar.
It was good, but both of us thought there was a bit too much topping, which took away from the crunchy tators. I'd recommend The Riddler mainly for the bubbles and maybe just a snack.

The neighborhood here is great for shopping so we spent some time wandering before walking across town (and up the hill!) to the Cable Car Museum.
I had never been! It's small, wasn't crowded, is very interesting, and free! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

That night we had a great seafood dinner at Anchor & Hope followed by drinks at the newly opened True Laurel.  The cocktails were interesting and good but our service was a bit off and the couples next to us at the bar were actively trying to squeeze 4 into a space for 2, so basically halfway sitting on our laps.

We were a bit annoyed so left and went to my favorite San Fran bar, Trick Dog. The menu here is always so fun, and this time the theme was worldwide airports. Very clever.
Best of all our bartender was Katie, who was my bartender the first time I went there, and she is awesome. Such a great bar!

The next morning we took BART to Oakland. We had tickets to the A's baseball game and it was a fantastically sunny and warm day! On the advice of our server at The Riddler we had a delicious brunch at Hopscotch before. Absolutely wonderful service, very good Ramos gin fizz, corned beef hash, all while sitting outside. Highly recommend.

We arrived at the stadium by Uber and had the best seats, 2nd row at 1st base. The stadium is so old and it's pretty bare bones but the game itself was very fun!
Still full from brunch, we skipped eating at the stadium. But after it ended we both were wanting a little bite so we grabbed BART and took it to 12th street and then walked up to Starline Social Club. Another excellent recommendation from our Riddler server.
This area of Oakland is super cool! Lots of nice little spots and a real hipster vibe. I'd never been and was happy to spend a little time here.

It was an easy ride back to the city on BART where spent our evening playing the free Frogger, PacMan, and Galaxy game in our hotel bar.

And when we boarded our flight home the next morning,  I knew to order my mimosa on the seatback screen before the carts came down the aisle! Always a great time in San Francisco!

All San Francisco photos here.

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