Months ago, I found a great fare to San Francisco on Hawaiian Airlines and decided to go ahead and book it! It did require a bit of making sure I completed work projects well before deadlines but I was able to pull it off! I also convinced Marla and Naone from San Diego (but really from Hilo) to meet us for the long weekend to hang out with Deaner in SF. We checked in for our Hawaiian Air flight and upon arriving at the gate, I found a couple of friends who were also headed to SF and found out that coincidentally, we booked the same walking food tour in Chinatown! Luckily we had enough miles to upgrade our seats so once we got on board, we settled into our comfy seats. But be aware that unlike years past, on this short flight, there is no seat cover nor are there any toiletry/amenity kits or a quilt in first class. I watched Jurassic World Dominion which helped pass the time. The chopped salad with olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes with an oregano vinaigrette dressing and the Asian-style braised chicken with bok choy and ginger rice was pretty good and the lilikoi guava chiffon cake was yummy. We arrived at night and luckily, we arrived at the same time as Marla and Naone and we were able to share an Uber to the hotel. After checking in at the Marriott SF Union Square (GREAT location), headed to find some bites and drinks and found some at Maru Sushi a block away from the hotel. We closed the restaurant down and then went to the Golden Gate Tap Room and closed that place down too. We sure hit the ground running!
The next day, we went on a Chinatown walking food tour together with Mel and Lyles! I highly recommend this walking tour. We had dim sum, egg tarts, tea, Peking roast duck, and fortune cookies. The tea tasting was surprisingly one of my favorite stops on this tour. Our tea educator was hilarious! I hope she was telling the truth with the benefits of the tea I bought. I’m enjoying my Iron Goddess King tea today and will brew some Angel Green a little later. I was so excited to buy a wok from the Wok Shop on Grant Street. I can’t wait to season the carbon steel wok and get cooking! We even bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket, since the PowerBall prize was already claimed. But–we didn’t even win $1! In the afternoon, we visited Salesforce Park and then Trader Joe’s. We found the Last Drop Tavern just steps away from our hotel where we indulged in some cocktails, fried olives, and tater tots. We headed back to the hotel since our resort fee includes a $25 credit on food and beverages. After that, we went to the Fairmont to visit the fun and kitschy Tonga Bar and Hurricane Lounge and enjoyed some live music while pondering whether it is worth the $1000 to jump in the pool. We ultimately stayed out of the pool so we could go to House of Prime Rib for an awesome dinner where we celebrated an unexpected birthday. So much fun! We ended the evening back at the Last Drop.
We took a day trip to the Russian River Valley. Our driver took us to the Golden Gate Bridge on the way where he got some photos of us. We next stopped at the new Russian River Brewery location for lunch and a sampling of brews. The Russian River burger and Pliny fries were so yummy. The next stop was at Martinelli where we had a tasty cheese and meat platter from Canetti to go with our wine. I loved Ridge that was my favorite of the day. It was a beautiful and delicious stop. We had dinner at our favorite Nob Hill neighborhood Italian spot, AltoVino. This was our third time here and the spaghettoni was still as outstanding as ever. The server said that the ‘nduja was coming in next week, so if you go, make sure you get it.
On our final full day in the city, we had breakfast at David’s deli for shakshuka. If you go, get it to share. The servings are humungous. I loved the kosher corned beef hash. We walked off the breakfast calorie with a walk to the Ferry Building and found some treasures at the Saturday market. Deaner and I stopped at the Hog Island Oyster tent and enjoyed a couple of freshly shucked oysters. Once we got into Ferry building, we found chocolates and then the CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR shop! That was such an indulgent stop for lunch! We ended the day with a rooftop cocktail at Restoration Hardware in Mission Bay. What a perfect way to spend this day with good friends. We enjoyed seeing the Broadway Touring production of Ain’t Too Proud, the story about the Temptations put to their awesome music. We walked back to the hotel on Taylor and stopped for a post-show meal at Cocobang for delicious Korean food and beer. Living Hilo Style in San Francisco.