Monday, July 13, 2009

Tourist-y Sightseeing

Last week was un-flippin' believable. My cousin Leah and my Aunt Amy came to visit from New York. Hence, the entire week was devoted to family, the San Francisco sights and-- God forbid-- food. I'm still recovering, believe me.

Since we covered so many restaurants and places, here is Jenna's List of the week:

Le Garage
This moderately-priced French bistro is located on a pleasant marina and, as the name suggests, a once-occupied garage. However, the bistro, located off the main drag, was inconvenient and hard to find (we had to take a cab). The service was slow while we waited to be seated, even for a party of five during a late-lunch hour. In any case, the food was offered from a seasonal menu from locally grown farms. I took a risk and tried the Pan Begnat, the Ahi tuna sandwich, which tasted deliciously fresh and included a very generous portion of gourmet French frites. I definitely wish to visit this bistro again, though not for lunch and not on foot.

Union Square
Downtown San Francisco
Of course, the streets are always packed with tourists and kids out of school (such as my cousin and myself) in the summer. However, the shopping was good--H&M was having a phenomenal sale so I picked up a couple of summer dresses ($10 each) and a pair of bright pink shorts ($5).

Beard Papa
Westfield Mall Food Emporium
Downtown San Francisco
The best cream puff I have ever had. They offer a variety of irresistible puffs including: vanilla filling, chocolate filling, caramel filling, a "Flavor of the Week" filling, a chocolate dipped pastry, and a cookie crunch pastry. Originally from Japan, I'm so grateful that this "Sweets Cafe" has come to San Francisco's Bay Area.

Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park, San Francsico
The Academy of Sciences is a magnificent place for learning and enchantment. Not to mention, a great place for summer camp field trips and tourists. It's no wonder that the museum was packed when we got there, especially on a summer weekday. Among the attractions are the aquarium, the planetarium, and the live rainforest, which included an almost impossible wait but were all-in-all worth it, I guess. Boy, I felt like I was in line at Disneyland! Anyways, I've visited this museum a few times already and have gotten the feel of the place. In my opinion, the Academy of Sciences is hands-down the most fun museum in the City (maybe even in California). However, it may be a bit overrated, especially when compared to the old Academy. Oh well, maybe I just dislike crowds.

Park Chow
The Sunset, San Francisco
When I was younger, this neighborhood restaurant used to be one of my favorites. I used to think going there was a treat. Now that I'm older, my attitude towards the eatery has completely shifted. It's finally clear to me that the restaurant hasn't changed-- the joint has always been crowded, the food has always been fine, the prices have always been too high, and the service has always been pretty disappointing. Today, going to Park Chow for a meal is a joke-- no matter how popular a restaurant, the service will remain very slow. By the time your drinks, food, and check have arrived, your one-hour lunch break is over and you're late for work. Trust me, it's simply not worth your money or time.

Haight Street
Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco
This bustling street never fails for satisfactory shopping, a unique atmosphere, and free laughs. Among my favorite stores are Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads for consignment, Ambiance and Generation X for full-priced clothing.

The Goorin Brothers hat shop is definitely a place of interest if you're into stylish, quality, and classic hats. Ben and Jerry's ice cream, nestled right on the corner of the legendary Haight and Ashbury streets, is the perfect place to stop for a treat.

Also, I've just recently discovered a smoke shop call Distractions...which I went into with the accom-paniment of my mother and aunt. I know what you're thinking, a smoke shop, but that's only half of the store!

The rest of the shop, adorned with record covers, sells handcrafted jewelry, Haight-Ashbury souvenirs, a selection of funky hats, and of course, the most random odds-and-ends. I guarantee you'll have a blast in that shop while getting a genuine feel of the Haight.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jenna,
    Your blog has already traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina.I enjoyed your honest reviews of all the places you visited with your NY family. When we come to visit your Nana we will ask you to take us to some of your favorite spots. Keep on writing... I will be following your blog!