Skip to content
June 16, 2005 / jnolen


I got back from SF on Sunday night. Sorry that there have been no updates since then, but my week has been busy. The weekend was killer. I had a great time. We went to some top-notch bars in downtown San Francisco. I feel like I'm really getting a handle on downtown. Unfortunately, I don't really know much about the rest of the city.

Friday night we saw Cleveland destroy the Giants (10-2). I had no particular stake either way, but one of my friends is a violent Dodgers fan and he was thrilled to see the Giants lose. So I was happy on his behalf. I can say, however, that Giants' stadium is really perfect. It's nice, new and clean. It's easy to move around. And it has to have one of the best views in baseball. We were sitting in the upper deck and had an amazing view of the bay and the bridge. It was happy that we'd ended up with crappy tickets — if we'd been sitting in the lower deck I wouldn't have been able to see any of that.

After the ball game, we ended up at The Irish Bank near Union Square. It's down at the end of the alley, and at first glance looked a little sketchy, but it turned out to be perfect. It's an excellent bar — friendly people, good beer on tap, six dozen kinds of whiskey and a killer jukebox: just what the doctor ordered. We stayed there until close, getting lessons on scotch appreciation and monopolizing the jukebox.

Saturday we took it easy — recovering a bit from the night before. We went to The Ferry Plaza for lunch. Though I didn’t get to eat The Slanted Door, which has been on my list for a year. I did stick my head in, and it looks as cool as everyone says.

(Photo courtesy of flickr and Thomas Hawk)

It was a gorgeous, Santa-Barbara-quality day, so we decided to walk back to our hotel near Union Square. We walked through the financial district to check out a restaurant I wanted to try. And then we walked through Chinatown (which I had never seen before) and ended up back at the top of Union Square.

We started the night at Swig, conveniently across from our hotel. Then over to Farallon because David wanted oysters — which were wonderful, by the way. A fine idea. The restaurant, I should point out, was pretty hideous. It looks interesting from the website, but is, in actuality, a complete monstrosity. The seafood we has was excellent, but don’t go there looking for atmosphere.

After that, we has just enough time to cab it over to Town Hall for our dinner reservations. I haven’t hit every San Francisco restaurant on my list yet (see also Quince, Myth, Delfina, Gary Danko, & al.), but so far this is my favorite. The food is wonderfully inventive but still filling. And I’m a sucker for the southern touches — I had an tuna tartare served on fried green tomatoes (which oddly enough I never learned to love until I left the South). It boasts a casual atmosphere, a competent bar, and attentive and accommodating service.

After dinner, we hit a place that I’ve been dying to see: Frisson. I’ve been in love with this place ever since I saw the photos on the website. It’s just gorgeous. And the room lives up to the photos. Unfortunately, the crowd was not nearly so spectacular. In fact, it was kind of dead. As much as I love the look of the restaurant, I’m not sure I would go back. Though perhaps I hit an off night. Everyone deserves a second chance.

From there, we cabbed it back to the hotel. We went back to Swig (I mean, it was right there — just calling to us) and by this time, the place was hoppin’. It was packed: people three deep at the bar, people on the dance floor (though the DJ left a lot to be desired). After a drink there, we headed down the street to The Redwood Room, which I like a lot. We got drinks, chatted with a few folk, and stayed there until close. After that, you’ll have to use your imagination.

Now I’m on my way out of town again. I’ll be in Charleston this weekend for a friend’s wedding. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never been to Charleston. And I’ll get to see my family and a few friends from home. Most of the time will be spent doing wedding-related activities, but we should be able to have a nice lunch on Friday, and probably do some bar-hopping on Friday night after the rehearsal dinner. I’ll be back online Monday.

%d bloggers like this: