Faves and raves by Judi Leff
YEARS IN THE CITY: 47
NEIGHBORHOOD: West of Twin Peaks
OCCUPATION: Director of operations at Temple Emanu-El
SELF-DESCRIPTION: San Francisco-born and bred, public-school educated, parody lyric-writing, frugal food, film and fun addict
FAVORITE MOVIE THEATER
Embarcadero Center Cinema
WHERE: 1 Embarcadero Center
WHAT: Stylish popcorn toppings
INFO: (415) 267-4893 or www.landmarktheatres.com
Free parking and exotic popcorn toppings. But first, you have to eat at Fuzio across the way. Park free in the garage with validation.
FAVORITE BARBECUE RESTAURANT
WHERE: 3751 Geary Blvd., between Arguello Boulevard and Second Avenue
WHAT: Warning — corn muffin addiction on the way
INFO: (415) 221-7427 or www.roadside-bbq.com
You’ll need a 12-step program just for the corn muffin addiction you will develop. Wonderful veggies and amazing salmon from the smoker.
FAVORITE PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH
The Argonaut Hotel
WHERE: 495 Jefferson St. at Hyde Street
WHAT: Boasts a comfy, nautical-themed lobby
INFO: (415) 563-0800 or www.argonauthotel.com
Any hotel lobby’s a great place to people watch, but the Argonaut’s the best. Next door to the Cannery, the Argonaut has a comfy, nautical-themed lobby with a very cool, working astronomer’s clock. You can meet people from all over the world and advise them on where to go in San Francisco. Next door is the Blue Mermaid Restaurant — try the trio of award-winning clam chowders.
FAVORITE PLACE TO WANDER WHEN HUNGRY
The Ferry Building Marketplace
WHERE: 1 Ferry Building
WHAT: A walk-through meal, from dim sum to chocolate to …
INFO: (415) 693-0996 or www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
Do not miss the iced lychee tea and dim sum sampler at the Imperial Tea Court, the Prather Ranch hot dogs or any pastry from Frog Hollow Farm. Decide for yourself who has the best olive oil, hand made chocolates or organic produce, and finish the day off with sorbet or gelato from Ciao Bella.
FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE A WALK
WHERE: El Camino del Mar and 32nd Avenue
WHAT: Remnants of Sutro Baths and a spooky cave
There are several different ways to go, including up to the Palace of the Legion of Honor, or you can also explore the remnants of Sutro Baths. Don’t miss the cool, spooky cave.
FAVORITE PLACE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS
WHERE: Pier 29
WHAT: Make sure your guest is paying! Tickets are steep
INFO: (415) 438-2668 or love.zinzanni.org
If they’re paying, Teatro ZinZanni. Otherwise — Crissy Field.
FAVORITE EATING PLACE WITH A VIEW
WHERE: 902 Point Lobos Ave., between Great Highway and Merrie Way
WHAT: Killer view, 1970s decor and grandma’s clam chowder
INFO: (415) 387-6330
The decor hasn’t changed since the ’70s, the red clam chowder is grandma’s original recipe, and the view is killer.
FAVORITE ART GALLERY
North Point Gallery
WHERE: 407 Jackson St. at Sansome Street
WHAT: Art that’s legitimately good
INFO: (415) 781-7550 or www.northpointgallery.com
Because the art never looks like your drunk uncle or 3-year-old painted it.
FAVORITE PLACE TO LISTEN TO FREE MUSIC
WHERE: 2801 Leavenworth St. at Beach Street
WHAT: Music ranges from brilliant covers to off-key songs
INFO: (415) 771-3112 or www.delmontesquare.com
You might hear electric violin, off-key songs of angst and regret, or brilliant covers by my favorites — Damir Stosic or Clay Bell. They will let you dance and sing along.