SAN FRANCISCO ●Attractions●Neighborhoods/Shopping
SOUTH OF MARKET (SOMA)
AsiaSF 201 9th St./Howard St.
St. Patrick Catholic Church 756 Mission St./4th St.
American Bookbinders Museum 355 Clementina St./5th St.
California Historical Society Museum 678 Mission St./3rd St.
Cartoon Art Museum 655 Mission St./3rd St.
Contemporary Jewish Museum 736 Mission St./3rd St.
Museum of the African Diaspora 685 Mission St./3rd St.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Two entrances: 151 3rd St. & off /Howard St.
Metreon 101 4th St./Mission St. Originally built by Sony, this 4-story urban entertainment complex has a futuristic-style interior. It holds a movie
theater with 15 screens--including an IMAX theater that is the largest west of the Mississippi and that also shows 3-D specials and screens feature films.
Inside, an assortment of casual restaurant venues include:
●Jillians A spacious sports bar with a 50-foot-long video wall and a bank of large half-moon booths.
●Sanraku Serves traditional Japanese fare.
Outside, you’ll find more:
●Lemonade 781 Mission St. Fast and casual, this link in the L.A. chain offers cafeteria-style service. When the line is long, it can feel disorganized because they encourage line-jumping but the people ahead of you don’t like it. Customer service is very good and cheerful but can’t overcome this irritating glitch. Food is well seasoned and highly flavorful and includes creative prepared salads such as arugula and Asian pears or BLT panzanella, and mains such as barbecue brisket or avocado-salmon Louie. We opted to share poached salmon with a Thai-style sauce and sides of spectacular Brussels sprouts and spicy Indian-style cauliflower plus some crostini. Not sure? Ask for a sample. Comfortable seating includes some booths and a banquette and is available both indoors and out (with heat lamps). As you might expect, lemonade is a specialty and includes everything from a refreshing cucumber-mint to tasty blood orange; I really liked the guava version. More images . . .
●SuperDuper Burgers 783 Mission St. Tasty, well-priced fast food.
South Park On South Park Ave./2nd St. This tiny park is particularly popular with tech workers in the area. It has a large grassy area, picnic tables, and a children’s playground. Jack London Alley is named for the author, who was born nearby at Third and Brannan streets.
The Butler & the Chef Bistro 155 South Park/betw. 2nd & 3rd sts./Brannan & Bryant sts.
South Park Cafe 108 South Park Ave./2nd St.
image courtesy of venue
Yerba Buena Gardens Mission St./4th St., South of Market. Free. Situated atop the Moscone Convention Center, this complex holds a variety of attractions designed for the education and recreation of young people. It also features an outdoor stage, two cafes, a butterfly garden, a redwood grove, public sculptures, and a 50-foot waterfall with a multi-language memorial to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. seen along a pathway behind it. Expansive lawns, fountains, a maze and play circle, and robotic sculpture invite open-air relaxation.
●Ice Skating & Bowling Center 750 Folsom St. Fee.
●Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission St./3rd St. Fee. This center presents art shows and live entertainment emphasizing the diverse artists and communities of the region.
●Children’s Creativity Museum 221 4th St./Howard St.
Samovar Tea Lounge 730 Howard St./3rd St., Upper Terrace of Yerba Buena Gardens. The whole-leaf teas and sweet or savory treats found on the menu here are just the things to enjoy inside in the airy, high-ceilinged interior space or outside on the sprawling patio overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens. The Upper Terrace space is enhanced by Sister City Gardens, which is planted with flowering plants from San Francisco’s thirteen sister cities. Try the housemade Masala chai paired with a cherry-oat scone or smoked wild salmon quiche, or maybe one of the cultural tea services—the Moorish spread comes with veggie kebabs, mint salad, edamame hummus and roasted eggplant spreads, chevre-stuffed dates, and mint tea.
MORE AREA RESTAURANTS
Delarosa 37 Yerba Buena Lane. Featuring Roman-style pizza and small plates, this roaringly-popular spot has mostly communal seating. Tabletops and floors are hardwood, and big windows open to views of the outside walkway--all adding to the potential for an ear-splitting noise level. My favorite menu item is the Margherita pizza topped with creamy melted burrata--soooo good! Pizzas are served on raised stands, and napkins are generously-sized kitchen towels--a boon for those of us who run through numerous paper napkins at every meal. Though to accompany it we chose broccolini with garlic and really hot little red peppers as well as deep-fried asparagus with caper aioli, others were chattering about the marinated olives with fennel and citrus and the crispy tagliolini dumplings. Non-pizza panini and pastas are also enticing. With only a little room left for dessert, we shared three Bomboloni caldi (warm housemade donuts) with chocolate, raspberry, and marscapone sauces and wound up leaving one behind. Note that a vegan cheese substitute is available on pizza. Drinks include craft beers, Italian and Californian wines, and delicious cocktails. I ordered the most popular cocktail--a murky-looking, smoky-tasting Painted Ladies (mezcal, tamarind, chili tincture, lemon bitters, lime)--and my partner ordered a slightly more colorful Golden Coast bourbon (batavia arrack, apricot, pineapple, orange, lime). My mouth actually watered as I read this menu in advance. One visit just won’t do it. I’ll be back. More images . . .
The Grove Yerba Buena 690 Mission St.
House of Shields (bar) 19 New Montgomery St./Market St.
Yank Sing 101 Spear St./Mission St., in Rincon Center.