Faves and raves by Robert Strong
Years in The City: 10
Neighborhood: Laurel Heights
Occupation: Professional magician (www.strongentertainment.com) and producer/host of Comedy Talks (www.comedytalks.com)
Self-Description: Entertainer, dancer, promoter, connector, thinker, dreamer and doer
FAVORITE CHEAP EATS RESTAURANT
WHERE: 627 Irving St., at Eighth Avenue
WHAT: You choose the size of salad, type of greens, kind of meat
INFO: (415) 775-8867 or www.plutosfreshfood.com
No special ordering is required because everyone orders exactly what they wish. So, you won’t get those obnoxious rolling eyes from the servers when you say “extra cheese and hold the onions please.”
FAVORITE PLACE FOR DANCING
WHERE: 1330 Fillmore St., at Eddy Street
WHAT: Great Japanese cuisine and world-class jazz
INFO: (415) 655-5600 or www.yoshis.com/sanfrancisco
On weeknights, Yoshi’s SF hosts great local bands in their restaurant after it closes. The bands are always crowd pleasers, they sound great, the atmosphere is fantastic, and the crowds are sophisticated. I have swing-, salsa- and blues-danced into the wee hours of the night for chump change.
FAVORITE DESSERT PLACE
WHERE: 1417 Valencia St., at 25th Street
WHAT: Fantastic cookies, plenty of samples, and only $11 a dozen
INFO: (415) 655-9834 or www.anthonyscookies.com
If you want a fantastic cookie, simply walk into Anthony’s Cookies any day of the week, sample any cookie on the menu, buy a dozen for only $11, and chat up the owner. He is the nicest guy in the dessert business.
FAVORITE INDIAN RESTAURANT
WHERE: 1037 Valencia St., at 21st Street
WHAT: Family-run, perfect for large groups, try the Murgh Makhani (butter chicken)
INFO: (415) 695-0599 or www.aslamsrasoi.com
Aslam’s Rasoi is not just my favorite restaurant in San Francisco; it is my favorite restaurant in the world. It is a family-run business, and I feel like I am part of the family every time I step in the door. They remember the names of the customers and their favorite dishes. They are passionate about their ingredients and are happy to talk about them.
FAVORITE PLACE TO PERFORM MAGIC/COMEDY
WHERE: 199 Museum Way, off Roosevelt Way
WHAT: Nice theater and organizers, and gracious family audiences
INFO: (415) 554-9600 or www.randallmuseum.org
Since 1985, I have appeared on every major television network, in all 50 states, in 40 countries, and for two presidents of the United States. Nowadays, my usual gigs are entertaining in hotel ballrooms for corporate executives. But, my absolute favorite place to make people belly laugh is at the Randall Museum for The Buddy Club events. When they like your sense of humor, they let you know by laughing out loud, slapping their knees, and literally rolling in the aisles.
FAVORITE PIZZA PLACE
WHERE: 1330 9th Ave., at Judah Street
WHAT: The best pizza and crust in town
INFO: (415) 665-3773
I spent an hour chatting with the owner one night after they closed to figure out why they have the best slice of pizza in town. The crust is thick and chewy, the sauce is sweet and zesty, the cheese is delicious and stringy, and the toppings are fresh and plentiful.
FAVORITE PLACE TO DO YOGA
Jewish Community Center San Francisco (JCCSF)
WHERE: 3200 California St., at Presidio Avenue
WHAT: Chad Stose, the Tuesday and Thursday 2 p.m. instructor
INFO: (415) 292-1200 or www.jccsf.org
If you want to feel great about yourself and your body, meet Chad Stose. He is an expert in both biology and culture. He will challenge you no matter your level, while taking care of your special physical needs. At the same time, he will adeptly observe the class’s collective mood and will lead a conversation that will motivate everyone.
Jazz, cheap eats and some good belly laughs
Faves and raves by Robert Strong