(415) 876-2300, www.almasrisfca.com
BEST PLACE NOT TO ORDER A COCKTAIL
Heaven's Dog is nirvana for cocktail lovers which is exactly why you should never order a cocktail here. Don't get your usual. Don't examine the drink list. Instead, look the bartender in the eye and confidently say these three words: freedom from choice. By doing, so you'll be putting the fate of your drink order in the hands of the ridiculously talented bar staff, which specializes in flawless, bespoke libations. When your drink arrives, be it a Biarritz Monk Buck or a Bumble Bee, your guide who is not only a master bartender but also a font of liquorous wisdom will serve it up with a side of fascinating history. This is one bar that control freaks and those who fear change need not belly up to, but people with a little faith will be deliciously rewarded with the best drink they've ever had the good sense not to order.
1148 Mission, SF. (415) 863-6008, www.heavensdog.com
BEST FOOD CART WITH A CIVIC HEART
What would the pop-up food stand be without Twitter? In the case of the Creme Brulee Cart, it would be less of a community service organizer. Thanks to the micro-blogging tool, fans of Curtis Kimball's fine desserts can find out where in the city he's selling his lavender or orange Creamsicle-flavored delights (all costing less than a BART ticket to Berkeley). But lately, it's also how Kimball is getting the word out about My Dolores Park, a new project focused on reclaiming and cleaning up the Mission's favorite sunny-day stop. We're fans of all three of the newest pop-up restaurateurs, including Murat from the Amuse Bouche Cart and Kimball's brother, the Magic Curry Man. But we have a particular soft spot for the guy who's dedicated to expanding hipster bellies and their civic engagement.
BEST HAM 'N' EGGS 'N' HAM 'N' HAM 'N' HAM
In this town, necessity isn't the mother of invention eggs are. But whom should we credit for S.F.'s extensive ovo-innovation? Dr. Seuss, whose Green Eggs and Ham may have presaged the pesto or avocado scramble? Whatsisname Benedict (or was it Benedict Whatsisname?), who put the English muffin under the ham and hollandaise? The Mexicans, who added chili and tortillas and begot chilaquiles? The Jews, who threw unleaveded bread into the mix and made matzo brie? Locally, we're voting for the Pork Store Café, home of the best nouveau melding of somethin' 'n' eggs so far: the Scralifornia. Although the concoction of eggs, salsa, feta cheese, and avocado doesn't seem particularly Californian (well, OK, the avocado does), the result transcends mere scrambles and statehood. Of course, the Pork Store didn't get its name by doing right only by vegans. Word is that the ham, chorizo, pork loin, bacon, and other homages to the pig also go down real easy. Scralifornia, here we come.
1451 Haight, SF. (415) 864-6981; 3122 Valencia, SF. (415) 626-5523
BEST FROZEN YOGURT OF THE FUTURE
Remember when we used to refer to froyo with two separate words, flavors were limited to chocolate and vanilla (or, if you in a particularly exotic suburb, peanut butter), and people behind a counter decided how much to put in your cup? Times they are a-changin.' And we like it. Especially at Icebee, the cheerily strange frozen yogurt shop behind the Westfield shopping center.
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