Friday, May 20, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO Part 3: It's where I left my heart and found my soul.

Hotel Tomo is the best. I know I'm going out on a limb by sharing this with you, but, I was taught that sharing is caring so here it goes. Hotel Tomo is, as aforementioned, undeniably the best hotel to stay in while staying in San Francisco. With a design concept based on Japanese pop-culture, Tomo rooms have J-pop mural painted walls and are minimalist furniture filled. The beds are really comfortable and spacious, as are the rooms (which is not the norm in S.F.), plus! they have (actual) late check-out at 1pm--which is perfect, and appreciated, because after a night out in the city by the bay, all you want to do is sleep in at the Tomo. This is, exactly what we did on our last night in the city.

Immediately after we checked in, we hopped into the shower, spruced up, and headed to the creme de la creme of new restaurants in San Francisco. The Wayfare.

Introduction to the Wayfare was actually serendipitous. The same day that was spent hung-over walking back to Tomo from the Ferry Building and Gott's Roadside, was the day I found the Wayfare. During the traipse back I wanted to avoid two specific amounts of stimuli, sunlight and people. 

So, we took side streets through the financial district and at one point passed this restaurant that made us so jealous of the people carousing at the outdoor seating--which is in an alley--so you have to just picture the ear-to-ear smiles these folks had on their smug faces. They were dining on the freshest looking oysters, the juiciest bone-marrow, and the most bubbly of bubbled spirits. 

All we wanted to do was go back to the Tomo, take a cat nap and then spring to life, and head to this new find. So we went back to the hotel and realized (after the meow-meow nap) that we didn't get the name of the restaurant, nor remembered the exact street it was on, AND the only computer for guests was being used--it seemed--like for ever. So here we are, laying in bed, waiting for this "perfectly desired" meal, desperately trying to find where it was on the smallest of cell phone screens. Both the guy and I truly reconsidered our aversion to being the snobs who cared about having the iphone in this exact moment. To end this long and drawn out moment short (even though it was really long and drawn out when it was experienced), our dreams were crushed, we couldn't find anything resembling what we truly desired and ended up having a crappy slice of pizza. I know, the only crappy slice in S.F., we found it! 

Anyhow, little did we know the restaurant we wistfully pined over was ahem--celebrated celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s new “it” restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. Where almost every new restaurant this day in age is attempting to sublimate classic American dishes--using novelty ingredients or Molecular Gastronomy to mixed results--Wayfare is practically exploitative towards my taste buds in its near perfect execution of dishes that buck this trend only by being vastly superior in execution. Using accessible ingredients in straightforward preparations, Florence strips the pretense, elevating standards like Deviled Eggs and Poutine to the point where you are unlikely to want them from anywhere else. Which is exactly what we had, plus, the California Dates wrapped in Bacon, a half-dozen oysters, the juiciest Bone Marrow, and the  Organic Butter Lettuce Salad. Dessert was stupendous, and I'm actaully developing a craving as I write. Eeeessh. It is called Chocolate & Hazelnuts; warm, flourless, Scharffen Berger cake, brown butter Frangelico ice cream and hazelnut pavlova. Oh. All plates were in the starters section of the menu, but trust me you can't have everything you want on one visit here. But I guess you could try to, we did.

After our satiation was acquired, we decided on being romantic (yeah, like we really decide these things) and had our favorite couple-y night cap, the Irish Coffee. No sir, not just any Irish Coffee, the absolute Irish Coffee, from the Buena Vista Cafe. Delish, and around since the 1900's and, specifically, in terms of the Irish Coffee,  it's origination stems from the Buena Vista in 1952. It is really a spot, yes, maybe even "the spot" to view the sunset dip behind the horizon while tipping back a classic Irish Coffee. I've included a picture of the ingredients for the "Classic" below. So try to make one on your own, but definitely try one, or six, from the Buena Vista Cafe. Woo!

After a much needed digestion sleep-a-thon, we arose to greet our last day up North. As sad as I always am, we had a full day ahead of us and wanted to get as early of a start as we nocturnal folk can. So we had a lovely breakfast and headed to the de Young Museum. We had heard about the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit and I made the plea that my guy hadn't been to the Observation floor and off we were. We didn't make it in time for the Observation floor (Big Sorry) but he wasn't too upset, especially when we realized we were also too late to enter the museum. Bum Bum Bummer and now I have a stuttering problem. To make up for it, we tried to explore the grounds we have both thoroughly explored before. This time through a lens and with me as the exhibit. So interesting. There is a lot of dry humor happening here. But, we actually captured some great shots. Our imaginary film stills were inspired by Fellini.

The second to last stop before our departing drive was the Tonga Room at the Fairmont. Everyone who is nostalgic for the Tiki craze popularized in 1932, and in the mid-century, should congregate here every year or so to celebrate everything mid-century and Tiki, island style! There are Pina Colada's, a band playing in the makeshift waterway, and they are famous for their Mai Tai's. The decor is obviously Tiki, and definitely has it's kitsch here and there, but, it is also so genuine (even with it's "Surprise Thunder and Lightning" show) and it really does feel like a time warp. We went in when it was light out and came out when it was dark, so, it might actually be transporting--or it could be the Mai Tai's. 

The last visit of the day before the ride home was to another eatery. This one is called Tataki. I am especially in love with Tataki because as a proud member of Oceana, I only eat fish that is sustainable, and fished in environmentally friendly ways and Tataki caters to that specific cause AND it's tasty too! We had the Seaweed Salad, Miso Soup, the Extinguisher roll, the Spicy Tempura roll, the Rainbow roll, and I can't quite remember the name of the other Nigiri we had, but it was all such a delight. Fresh isn't even the word friend! 

After dinner, we were on the road again, and not in the direction I particularly like heading--back home. When everything had reached homeostasis in the car, music check, pillow check, each other check, I began to think about why I truly love San Francisco. There is a lot of visible pain in this city, but, with pain comes plight, and stories, and even sometimes for the lucky, success. San Francisco feels the plight of everybody's pain and transforms the plight into a fight. No one ever want's to feel the plight of another's pain...but, we do. Liberals, Tree-Huggers, Feminists, Anti-War Activists, Peace Mongers, Poets, Writers, and Activists, in general--most of these people culminate here in San Francisco. All of these people feel the exact same pain and pang at several increments throughout their lives. A pain caused by knowledge, an undying hope for and in humanity, and a desperation for logic and idealism. This plight is aided by selflessness and knowledgeable guilt. The guilt spawning from always feeling unfinished, and, feeling like there is so much more to accomplish in terms of peace, comfort, and world wide health. However, with this pain comes the motivation to cease it. A little idealism goes a long way, and the benefits of pushing forth may include these increments of pain and loss, but, it will also include many a victory--even one victory is worth all the pain and desperation that comes with believing in an intelligent, selfless, and morally sound (regardless of religion) humanity. This is San Francisco to me.

"Wayfare Tavern, Buena Vista Cafe Outfit"
Trench--Vintage, Ebay

"de Young, Tonga, Tataki Outfit"
Trench--Vintage, Ebay
Dress--Vintage, Handmade
Belt--Vintage, Ebay
Brogues--Vintage, Ebay
Sunglasses--Vintage, Family
Earrings--Vintage, Hodgsen's

"Philip's Wearing ...Wayfare"
Coat--J. CREW
Button Down--Ralph Lauren
Tie--The Hill-side

No comments:

Post a Comment