Jazz, cheap eats and some good belly laughs

Faves and raves by Robert Strong

PERSONAL STATS

Age: 38

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

Pluto’s

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

Yoshi’s SF

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

Anthony’s Cookies

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

Aslam’s Rasoi

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

Randall Museum

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

Milano’s

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.

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