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I'm on the lookout for a seductive bowl of ramen — one with porky broth slippery from boiling kilos of bones all day. Well, what I had here wasn't the rich and slick bowl of ramen I expected. However it was a tasty, MSG-free bowl of goodness with bouncy noodles. Toppings of green onion, hard boiled egg, roasted pork or pork belly and more can be added for $1 each. The bowl is delicious and desired by many, as can be noticed by the line forming outside. No reservations, just get there early and wait. It's a tight fit. I went three days before my due date and parked myself at counter seating — not recommended, but it didn't bother me. I was happily slurping a formidable bowl of ramen.
There's a vegetarian bowl of ramen on the menu, too.
They're good-to-great burgers, not the best, and on the pricey side. But it's a great place to grab one of many burgers on their exhaustive menu of burgers, sandwiches, breakfast and more and dine inside or out in their large patio area. Especially a go to spot on warm and sunny days in Hayes Valley, of which there have been many lately. The Cesar salad falls flat and isn't worth an order. Loved the California Sunshine burger with cheddar, avocado and alfalfa sprouts.
I can only imagine the brainstorm for this venue concept began with, "How can we make bowling cool again?"
Well bowling is now stylin' with six lanes, a bar stocked with heady cocktails and whiskeys, and a menu to entertain foodies. You can't eat at the lane, but you can order food and enjoy it in the common standing area next to the lanes.
The staff is friendly and accommodating. Make reservations online or call in for both bowling and dinner. We held my husband's birthday bowling party here – low key and fun. It's easy to keep separate checks here. We covered the lanes and everyone paid for their shoes and drinks separately. This is a truly a great place to entertain a big group of friends with flexibility of interests and budgets. We won't wait for another birthday to return. It would make a great date night as well.
Always a good place for an American breakfast without being too greasy of a spoon. The service is formidable. I first ate here 14 years ago when I lived in the area. What I remembered was breakfast all day and the blueberry coffeecake. The coffeecake I remembered was delicious but I'd forgotten how tall a serving it was. Order the BDBIT (Best Damn Breakfast In Town) and you'll get a simple yet satisfying breakfast with the towering blueberry coffeecake.
If Lady and the Tramp were humans, they'd park their tails at a table here. The pizzas, pastas, salads, desserts and wines are all great choices. This makes for a sweet, casual date without the tourist riffraff. The waiters are friendly and never forget a face. The pasta is freshly made. The lasagna is heavenly. And those who swoon over truffle oil will enjoy some of the pizzas here.
Reservations are a must for this small yet popular place. It's casual, but not cheap. But the food is worth the money spent.
This place has been around since I was a little one. The service is super friendly and the decor is as homely as I can remember it – not much has changed since the '80s.
A bowl of ramen commands $7-11. While the ramen is freshly hand-pulled, the broth fails to support its intentions of winning. The flavor and texture of the broth lacked an opiate or two – actually it lacked the sumptuous slick from pork. The broth was clear and invaded by hoards of chopped spring onion rendering my mouth offensive and bitter.
Again, the service is sweet but the entire operation needs a muse, an injection of inspiration. The poor noodle master in the back needs a tantalizing broth brewer and maybe another viewing of the film Tampopo.
Great place for an inner-city escape. It's a Turkish style bath house offering massage services, scrubs, and soaks. There's a cafe as well which serves surprising good food, with wine, beer, and Champagne to order. I went here with some girlfriends to relax before my wedding. It's in Bayview, but trust me, it's worth the trek south and it has a beautiful view of the bay.
A real treat while pregnant is a prenatal massage. Don't play the hero. Go and get your back and feet rubbed. They'll know the pressure and which parts of the body are off limits to apply pressure. There are great deals online for first time visitors. LivingSocial has discounted deals at $35/hour for a Thai massage. You can apply the voucher to your prenatal massage as long as you pay the difference.
Get your qi rechanneled here. It isn't just hocus-pocus, voodoo that she do. I came here during my first trimester to help ease my kidney pains and temper morning sickness. Christina Martin, founder, specializes in fertility as well. It's a great alternative to Western medicine and a holistic approach to treating ailments. I managed to survive my first trimester without throwing up once, albeit still queasy.
The best croissants in the Marina, hands down. It's a small shop, with a beautiful artisanal feel and a few tables. There's always something baking and the place is warm with the scent of temptation. Here you can find that chocolate croissant with the trifecta of flaky and buttery while moist inside.
On a drizzly day in San Francisco, chicken noodle soup sounds perfect. Order the pho ga, a bright broth of chicken filled with rice noodles and shredded chicken then garnished with spring onion, onion, and cilantro. A squeeze of lemon really perks up the flavor. There's beef noodle soup and roast chicken also on the menu. It's a small and intimate shop, perfect for lunch. They aren't open past 7pm and they're closed on Sundays. There's Vietnamese coffee and they serve Blue Bottle. The tables could be less sticky, but the service and food are worth repeat visits.
We aren't supposed to like this place if we're concerned with our health. But what's a little (or a lot) real sugar going to hurt if we indulge once in a blue moon. The buttermilk bars here are gigantic and the best cakey donut to sink your teeth into, provided it can fit through your mouth. The jelly donuts are also a treat. Just writing this makes me want to cash in my blue moon and brave the acid reflux.
It isn't a hang out and laptop while nursing a coffee spot, but if you're hankering for good baked goods that are gluten free, come here. But be warned, their gluten free items are really good and they tend to be sold out. I'm a fan of egg and biscuit sandwiches. If you are too, the ones here (gluten free or not) won't disappoint. There isn't much space for seating but there are a couple tables to seat four in the rear (albeit no sunshine) and there's barstool seating in the front as well as two two-tops out front (very sunny tables).