Good Weekend for Oct. 16-18



Farina Focaccia & Cucina Italiana: Mandilli di seta is the restaurant’s iconic dish, which comes from a Ligurian cook — Farina’s Paolo Laboa, a master of the technique. [3560 18th St. between Guerrero and Valencia streets, S.F.; (415) 565-0360l;]


5A5: The stylish steak lounge serves some of the best steaks, as well as some of the best cocktails, served up by aspiring environmentalist Aimee Jacot. [244 Jackson St., S.F.; (415) 989-2539,]

On the town

Reel thing: The 2009 San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, featuring films about everything from big oil to paper folding, begins. The festival kicks off with “The Entrepreneur.” [7 to 11 p.m., Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F.]

Funny biz: “Comedy in the Castro,” a monthly showcase for levity, TV personalities and local drag talent, launches. Comics Loni Love and Nene Leakes headline the evening. [8:30 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.]

Artists in love: West Bay Opera presents Puccini’s “La Boheme.” A tragic story of bohemian love unfolds in turn-of-the-century Paris in this popular opera. [8 p.m., Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto]


Ferry Plaza Farmers Market top produce picks:
Dry Farmed Ketchup
Raw olives
White pomegranates
Muscat grapes
Chiogga beets
Almond butter

A great bike ride

Start: 1:30 p.m., meet at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, Land’s End

San Francisco is the West’s West, but when was the last time you pedaled all the way out to the Pacific Plate? This ride will take a loping, loving look at The City’s western edge, stopping to explore curiosities and celebrities, ruins and relics and remarkable riches along the way. Two-hour ride; have a big lunch beforehand, we’ll stop somewhere for a snack. SFBC recreational rides are free for SFBC members (a $5 donation from nonmembers is appreciated); rain cancels rides.

— San Francisco Bicycle Coalition;

Fairs and festivals

Fun on the hill: The Potrero Hill Festival features a jazz brunch and a street fair. It benefits the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. [9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 20th Street between Missouri and Arkansas streets, S.F.; brunch: 9 a.m., 953 De Haro St.]

Health fair: The Chinatown Community Health Fair features health information, health screenings and a kids’ area. “Living Healthy at Every Age” is the theme. [10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Donaldina Cameron House, 920 Sacramento St., S.F.]

Orange bounty: Half Moon Bay’s Art & Pumpkin Festival happens all weekend. Look for carved pumpkins, pumpkin treats, prizewinning pumpkins and crafts. [9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Main Street between Miramontes and Spruce streets, Half Moon Bay]

Literary events

All lit up: Litquake presents its 2009 “LitCrawl,” a pub-crawl-style literary event with dozens of venues and hundreds of authors. San Francisco’s Mission district is the place. [6 to 9:30 p.m.;]


Andean music: The Sukay ensemble’s “Carnaval de Bolivia” features music and dance from the Andes. Performers include Bolivian music virtuosos Eddy and Gabriel Navia. [8 p.m., Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St., S.F.]

Flamenco concert: Ines Bacan, a Gypsy flamenco singer from Spain, performs. Arte y Pureza, a flamenco dance act, join her. [8 p.m., Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, S.F.]


Arab cinema: The Arab Film Festival continues though Oct. 25. The day’s lineup includes “Fawzeya’s Secret Recipe” (Egypt) and “Casanegra” (Morocco). [2 to 11 p.m., Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Charity walks

Diabetes walk: The Walk to Cure Diabetes, benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, offers a scenic Presidio route. New features include a “Walktoberfest” beer garden. [10 a.m., Crissy Field, Presidio of S.F.;]

Lung walk: Breathe California presents its Breath of Life Walk and Boot Camp. Lung health is the focus. [9 a.m., just west of Rose Garden, Golden Gate Park, S.F.; map and info at]


A great city walk

Explore the history of the Tenderloin — from its isolated rural village beginnings to the San Francisco bootlegger wars and the start of the California movie industry. Learn about famous madams, see where Billie Holiday was busted and discover neighborhood poker clubs. Meet at Powell, Eddy and Market streets at 9 a.m. [Visit or call (415) 557-4266 for more information]


Fantastic four: The Juilliard String Quartet, regarded as having set the standard for today’s string-quartet form, performs in San Francisco. [7 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Rock notable: The Adrian Belew Power Trio performs at Slim’s. Guitarist-singer Belew’s résumé also includes frontman duties for King Crimson, playing in the Bears and lots of session work. [8 p.m., 333 11th St., S.F.]


Comics expo: The 2009 Alternative Press Expo features indie and alternative comics and their creators. Comic-Con International presents the event. [11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Concourse, 620 Seventh St., S.F.]


Solo hit: Charlie Varon is back as “Rabbi Sam.” The multicharacter solo play is about a man who wants to reinvent American Judaism, and the congregation that hires him. [7 p.m., The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., S.F.]


Stand-up show: Comic Jim Breuer performs. Sirius Radio’s “Breuer Unleashed” and a recent Comedy Central special, “Let’s Clear the Air,” are among his credits. [8 p.m., Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.]


Family fare: It’s Target Family Day in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena area. Enjoy free admission to four museums, plus kids’ activities and performances. [11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; (415) 614-3216 or]

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