My City: Thai food, thrifty finds and a source of inspiration 

Faves and raves by Erin Ohanneson

Personal stats

AGE: 48
YEARS IN THE CITY:
NEIGHBORHOOD: Mission district
OCCUPATION: Co-owner of The Dark Room Theater; its website is www.darkroomsf.com
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Former set decorator and prop master for the film and television industry, lifelong artsy-fartsy, DIY kind of gal

FAVORITE THAI RESTAURANT
Osha Thai
WHERE: 819 Valencia St., between 19th and 20th streets
WHAT: Sweet, creamy, multitextural ambrosia
INFO: (415) 826-7738 or www.oshathai.com

It can be had with a truly amazing bowl of soup and the appetizer of your choice for only $10.95 before 5 p.m. The interior of Osha is a unique mix of tropical jungle wallpaper and a peek-a-boo effect of screen in front of it. Stunning.

FAVORITE PLACE FOR RECYCLED BUILDING MATERIALS
Building Resources
WHERE: 701 Amador St., at Cargo Way
WHAT: Inspiration for a home remodel, if you keep an open mind
INFO: (415) 285-7814 or www.buildingresources.org

If you need inspiration for your house remodel, Building Resources is a must. Pink pedestal sinks, classically designed wood and glass doors, and one-of-a-kind hanging lamps can steer you in a whole new direction with your project if you keep an open mind.

FAVORITE VIEW OF THE CITY
Bernal Hill  
WHERE: Bernal Heights
WHAT: On a clear day, see the Oakland Shipyard, Bay Bridge, downtown, Twin Peaks ...

SF agenda: Curb pick-up at SFO at 10:15; Bernal Hill at 10:30. What better way to show off our beautiful city with all its hills and valleys than a trip up to Bernal Hill? On a clear day it’s the Oakland Shipyard, Bay Bridge, downtown (including that pointy building), Twin Peaks and a whole lot of cute little houses in between.

FAVORITE BEAD SHOP
 
General Bead
WHERE: 637 Minna St., between Seventh and Eighth streets
WHAT: Everything from Swarovski crystals to African tribal bead
INFO: (415) 621-8187 or www.genbead.com

Tucked away in SoMa is the magical General Bead, home of small, sparkly and beautiful things. This is a crafter’s mecca. Impulse buyers are welcomed and encouraged with excellent customer support.
 
FAVORITE PLACE TO GAZE
Dahlia Garden at Golden Gate Park
WHERE: John F. Kennedy Dr., adjacent to Conservatory of Flowers on East side
WHAT: The place to gaze at these other-worldly flowers
INFO: (415) 666-7001 or www.sfdahlia.org

From ping-pong ball sized pom-poms to record-album sized “Doris Days,” this garden will amaze with the variety of its flowers as well as stun with the complexity of colors. [Editor’s note: The garden is in full bloom in August.]

FAVORITE ASIAN/HISPANIC/AMERICAN SUPERMARKET

Duc Loi Supermarket
WHERE: 2200 Mission St., at 18th street
WHAT: Organic gooseberries, mochi ice cream, chopped cactus — they have it all
INFO: (415) 551-1772

Duc Loi doesn’t have anything that can’t be found in other stores in our multicultural city, but it’s the way they are combined in this neighborhood market that gives it its charm. Jars of mole sit next to peanut butter, and cereal lives in four separate places within the store, but that’s part of the fun, right?

FAVORITE THRIFT STORE

Thrift Town
WHERE: 2101 Mission St., at 17th Street
WHAT: Reasonably priced clothing, meticulously sorted
INFO: (415) 861-1132 or www.thrifttown.com

What makes this store special is that all of the clothing is sorted by type, color and size. There are lots of vintage goodies that slip by the pricers and can be found with the regular clothes, and upstairs is a wonderland for anyone who really knows how to mine these stores.

FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS SHOPPING

826 Valencia (The Pirate Store)
WHERE: 826 Valencia St., between 19th and 20th streets
WHAT: Wealth of random trinkets
INFO: (415) 642-5905 or www.826valencia.org

Where else can you find peg legs, vats of lard with a list of a zillion applications; mystery drawers full of corks, keys, old bottles or other “pirate booty”; and a salt water aquarium room with theater seating?

FAVORITE PLACE FOR EXOTIC PLANTS
Flora Grubb Gardens
WHERE: 634 Jerrold Ave., between Third and Newhall streets
WHAT: Myriad ideas for unique indoor and outdoor gardening, and an espresso bar
INFO: (415) 648-2670 or www.floragrubb.com

Open any hip magazine and you’ll find Flora Grubb and/or her gardens. Aside from the vintage car and bicycle that were turned into funky planters, there are a zillion ideas for unique indoor and outdoor gardening. The plants are unique with an emphasis on succulents and palms. The espresso bar is a nice touch, too.

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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