Faves and raves by Sydney Mintz
YEARS IN THE CITY: 20
NEIGHBORHOOD: The Presidio
OCCUPATION: Rabbi at Congregation Emanu-El for the past 14 years; its website is www.emanuelsf.org.
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Had to make the decision between becoming a stand-up comic or a rabbi as an 8-year-old; chose to do both at the same time, as it is wonderful to make people think and laugh simultaneously.
FAVORITE COFFEE JOINT
Trouble Coffee Company
WHERE: 4033 Judah St., between 45th and 46th avenues
WHAT: Incredible coffee, young coconuts and incredible cinnamon toast
INFO: (415) 682-4732 or www.troublecoffee.com
You have to see it to believe it. A surprising respite from the normalcy of most coffee joints. They serve three things, all incredible: coffee, young coconuts and the most outstanding cinnamon toast I have ever tasted in my life.
FAVORITE PLACE TO WALK YOUR DOG
WHERE: Mason Street in the Presidio
WHAT: Everyone is smiling
INFO: (415) 561-7690 or www.crissyfield.org
My dog met her canine guru here, and I swear everyone walking or running is smiling with that crazy “I can’t believe I really get to live here” look in their eyes. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge, seals and kite surfers is just so ...
FAVORITE PLACE TO SWIM
From China Beach to Baker Beach
The stretch from China Beach to Baker Beach is my favorite place to swim, unless I can hear the theme from “Jaws” pounding in my ears when my head is underwater.
FAVORITE YOGA STUDIO
WHERE: 1234 Valencia St., between 23rd and 24th streets
WHAT: Ashtanga Flow serves as the best alarm clock in The City
INFO: (415) 647-9707 or yogatreesf.com
Yoga Tree for Ashtanga Flow with Wendy Yalom, yogini extraordinaire. Her music mixes and glowing, downright sweet presence makes the 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. hour the best alarm clock in The City.
FAVORITE PLACE TO HAVE BRUNCH
WHERE: 609 Hayes St., at Laguna Street
WHAT: Your taste buds will thank you
INFO: (415) 621-5482 or www.barjules.com
Your taste buds and anyone special who you bring there will thank you profusely. Order anything — absolutely anything on the menu — and you will be back for dinner, I swear. I have not had the bacon.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOP FOR SHOES
WHERE: 4001 24th St., at Noe Street
WHAT: Shoes with personality
INFO: (415) 282-7861 or www.rabatshoes.com
I like shoes that have a personality: sophisticated comfort and rugged individuality. It’s a lot to ask for, I know, but this is San Francisco.
WHERE: 1658 Market St., between Gough and Franklin streets
WHAT: Outdoor seating for people-watching, perfect spot for a business lunch
I love their roasted chicken with bread salad, and the Caesar salad is scrumptious. The outdoor seating is perfect for people-watching; it can be a great late-night date place or the perfect spot in the middle to do a swanky business lunch.
FAVORITE PLACE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS
Sports Basement Presidio
WHERE: 610 Old Mason St.
WHAT: Assembled magnificence of equipment galore
INFO: (415) 437-0100 or www.sportsbasement.com
I am not at all embarrassed to report that adjacent to my favorite dog-walking spot is the place where I schlep virtually every out-of-towner. Whether they need it or not, we go to Sports Basement to “ooh” and “ahh” at the assembled magnificence of hats, raucous snowboarding equipment, climbing shoes and sunglasses galore.