Last weekend we were in San Francisco.
Ming headed down early in the week for Java One then Chelsea and I headed down on Thursday for work.
Thursday night Chels and I grabbed dinner at Bocadillos, a cute little Tapas place just north of our office; we definitely recommend it. We sat beside two folks evaluating what looked like next month’s cover of Dwell.
Friday night after happy hour with our San Francisco office we met up with Ming and John and tried to find some nice lounges in the Mission. We hit some of the top rated ones and they were a complete bust; thanks Yelpers! We then headed to south SoMA and went to Nihon, a whiskey bar, that was pretty reasonable. Then we tried to go to a few more Yelp recommendations but found one to be either non-existent or we were ringing the wrong bell, and one to be quite smelly. To save the night we went to the Redwood Room in the Clifton Hotel which isn’t rated well by the Yelpers but is enjoyable with its art.
Saturday we met up with Katrina for brunch at the farmer’s market and had an outdoors breakfast.
And then headed down to Room and Board and a string of modern furniture stores.
After Room and Board we hit the streets for some protesting:
And then hit up some more modern furniture stores. Some of the ones we enjoyed were Monument, Architectural Elements, Zonal, Propeller and X21 Modern. The highlight was X21 Modern, a store where weird stuff goes to be bought by the San Francisco trendies.
I really liked these binoculars:
Though more practical would be a light:
I also love the Winter Robin at Propeller Modern:
Anyhow, now you know what to get me for my birthday.
Saturday night we dined at Perbacco. Again so-so Yelp reviews but was highly enjoyable.
For drinks afterwards we headed to Bourbon and Branch, a reservations only, speakeasy, with many rules. We highly recommend if you’re into vintage cocktails, cool ambiance and able to play by the rules. After our allotted hour and a half we moved on to North Beach again using Yelp as our guide, only to fail. We then tried to recover by heading to The Matrix Filmore in the Marina where we’ve ended up a few times now.
Sunday we started out with bottomless Mimosas at Lime for brunch. Lime’s a fun dance music playing brunch spot in the Castro. Bring your sunglasses, it is apparently in to wear them to the breakfast.
Next stop was the northern piers for some sight seeing.
In terms of bars this trip was a definite bust and left a bad taste in my mouth. Usually I come home from San Francisco ready to move there but this time not. We really need to find a local guide to help us out because Yelp has failed us time and again. And unfortunately the locals we know are mostly gay or newly arrived and not much help in this department .
So Yelp… Yelp is the talk of San Francisco but yet I hate it. On many trips to San Francisco I have consulted the Yelp. I’ve visited places with high rating, I’ve visited places with low ratings. Much more often than not reality does not match up with the Yelp ratings.
What has worked for me is asking people I know for recommendations. For instance, Jane, is my goto person in San Francisco for restaurants and shopping. She knows where it is going on. Sasha had some good furniture recommendations. Jim knows where the gay’s brunch and Glenn always sends me a long email with sure winners for everything.
What I want is a site where I can get recommendations for people who have similar tastes to my own. Or a site where people I know can write up their recommendations. For instance a friend of my sister’s is visiting in June. What I need to do is point her to the Matt Recommends page, not to Yelp, where she’ll spend hours reading conflicting reviews.
All in all, still a good trip, though I was glad to be home and as always, be sure to bring good footwear. Even when you take the Muni there is still a lot of walking.
Oh, and what’s up with drinks being $10+ everywhere? I felt like I was in Manhattan.