Best of the Bay 2011

Best of the Bay 2011: BEST SAX 'N' SUDS

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Who doesn't like a little Miles with their rinse, a little Bird when they scrub, or some sweet, sweet flights of Mingus while they watch the tumble-dry? If your washing life seems culturally impoverished, then put a little Louis in your laundry at the Fillmore District's Jazz Wash. Piped in scat, bebop, swing, and jazz standards help lift spirits while the state-of-the-art washers help lift stains. This little Laundromat has free Wi-Fi and a friendly, responsive owner who likes to mingle. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2011 Editors Picks: City Living

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Best of the Bay 2011 Editors Picks

City Living

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Best of the Bay 2011 Readers Poll: Food and Drink

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BEST OF THE BAY READERS POLL 2011

FOOD AND DRINK

 

BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT

Nopa

560 Divisadero, SF. (415) 864-8643, www.nopasf.com

 

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Wayfare Tavern

558 Sacramento, SF. (415) 772-9060, www.wayfaretavern.com

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Best of the Bay 2011 Readers Poll: City Living

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BEST OF THE BAY 2011: READERS POLL

CITY LIVING

 

BEST STREET FAIR

Folsom Street Fair

www.folsomstreetfair.com

 

BEST HOTEL

The Fairmont Hotel

950 Mason, SF. (415) 772-5000, www.fairmont.com

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Best of the Bay 2011 Editors Picks: Arts and Entertainment

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Best of the Bay 2011 Editors Picks

Arts and Entertainment

BEST 'PICKS OF PASSIONRead more »

Best of the Bay 2011: BEST FAMILY ITALIAN (WITH FREE CHEESE!)

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The eponymous vintage painting of two blondes and their reflections that hangs inside an alcove of this classic Sunset District Italian resataurant is far from its sole golden attraction. Complimentary sharp cheddar cheese with crackers awaits you at the bar — not quite as epistemologically relevant, but certainly a nice prelude to your veal piccata and housemade tiramisu. The Gold Mirror Restaurant started as a 1940s Fillmore District cocktail lounge but relocated in the 1950s. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2011: BEST ROBBER BAR-ROOM

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Revisit the era of California's four robber barons — those capitalist tycoons who plundered their way to railroad riches in gold-rushing 19th-century California — at the Huntington Hotel's Big Four Restaurant. Kitty-corner from the austere spires of Grace Cathedral (built on the earthquake-ravaged land of the Big Four's Charles Crocker himself), the Bay's premier lounge pianist Michael Parsons tinkles the joint's keys while congenial barkeeps Ty and Jeffrey reside behind a 10-stool counter of gleaming brass. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2011: BEST PLACE TO YUCA IT UP

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Yuca — sounds like yucky, often looks and tastes like same. Turquoise-splashed Puerto Rican restaurant Parada 22 in the Upper Haight turns that yuca to yum. Rarely eaten here, yuca is the deliciously inescapable side dish for the bulk of the entrees, the centerpiece of the vegetarian platter, and the base of the yucca, avocado and garlic soup. Even as a standalone side, mashed and marinated in onion, olive oil, garlic, and spices, it shines. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2011: BEST FRENCH KISS (ON BOTH CHEEKS)

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Ah, the French. They may be derided as pretentious and spoofed for pomposity, but really, is there anything more irresistibly charmant than a mâitre d' with a French accent who runs to greet, addresses you as "monsieur" or "madame," kisses your hand, and almost renders you dizzy with the inebriating bonhomie wafting from his person? We don't think so. And when we want this kind of treatment — and some superlative food and wine — we head to Bistro Central Parc. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2011: BEST AQUATIC SMOKES

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We love smoked salmon. Cold-smoked, hot-smoked, maple-smoked, pepper-smoked — especially wild and locally caught salmon purchased from a seasoned Half Moon Bay fisherman named Pietro Pavarrano. But we also recognize that there are other fish in the sea, especially the Caspian Sea. And when we're in that transoceanic frame of mind, we head to New World Market in the Richmond, where the no-nonsense Russians who run the place offer dozens of species of smoked fish, ranging from sturgeon to sea bass to fish you've never heard of. Read more »