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.