Archive for October, 2005

Meet The Bat Lady!

The Bat Lady?! Sign me up!

This Friday from 3pm – 9pm, the San Francisco Botanical Garden hosts a Harvest Festival in the County Fair building at 9th Ave and Lincoln in Golden Gate Park.

The event features harvest food and plant sale, local farmers, a plant doctor, a bat lady, and a hosted star gazing walk in the Garden (for a $5 donation, after dark – I’d presume).

Sounds like a great first date event and a nice kick off to Halloween weekend!

Trolley Dances – but not on trolleys

Because this is San Francisco and very few things have the ability to surprise me, I nearly walked by a group of people performing some sort of modern dance…hanging from the side of a building. On a mattress.

As it turns out, this was sanctioned mattress-dancing; in fact, it was one part of this weekend’s San Francisco Trolley Dances, a self-proclaimed “freewheeling festival of modern dance in the streets of San Francisco”. And while I’m aware that it would have been much handier to post this before the Trolley Dances finished, I thought I’d be handy and post a few photos of the fun, from the McRoskey Mattress Company stop on the tour.


Trick or Code Violation!

“All was not well Tuesday in the pumpkin patch, where orange vegetable met red tape and nearly got squashed,” begins a Chron article on apparent legal woes that befell the 19th Ave/Sloat Blvd pumpkin patch today. And the pun-filled article only gets better from there kids.

The patch’s proprietors probably don’t look at the situation as lightly, but really, how DO you cover a story about a patch going through a bad, er, patch without using a more jovial tone.

I’ve driven by the patch several times and it looks cute. Chancing life and limb to pull over in the vicinity of that intersection isn’t really my bag, but if I had kids, maybe I would do it.

There aren’t enough pumpkin patches in the world anymore, however. I hope this one and the city can come to an agreement. How much of a “disaster” can one patch be?

Dragonfly: Good Food And Fondue


A few months back, a new restaurant opened ridiculously close to my house. It took the place of one of the ‘hood’s many Chinese restaurants. Called Dragonfly, the place categorizes itself as “contemporary Vietnamese cuisine.” I like to think that I have a pretty good record of eating my way around the globe (all without having left the US, or this City, or even the Inner Sunset), but my knowledge of Vietnamese food was limited to Pho – which is quite possible the world’s greatest comfort food.

After procrastinating way too long, we were finally lured in by a sidewalk board advertising a 5-7pm Early Bird Special of free golden shrimp and special wine.

From the street, the restaurant is an especially lovely neighborhood nook – one that turns out to be more cavern than nook as it extends back away from its street front picture windows. We sat in this front room – decorated like an Ikea display room on sedatives. It’s soothing, pretty, and quite classy for a local joint.

The food, however, surpassed even my high decor-based expectations. Though I have limited Vietnamese experience, this food was, objectively and compared to nothing else, just plain tasty. Luciously fragrant rice presented in compact banana leaf sculptures that are then lazily released on your plant, sending intoxicating scents of ginger or coconut straight to your inner-most tastebud. Beautifully displayed main dishes were equally flavorful without overpowering or stuffing you to the gills. The golden strimp starter was light and crispy.

The service in the still-new Dragonfly is also worth checking out. We had possibly the most enthusiastic waiter I’ve ever met. He was eager and pleased to offer suggestions, unlock the mysterious banana leaf rice packets, and was patient and kind to us newbie Vietnamese food tasters.

We were too full to try the desserts wich sounded fantastic – especially the chocolate fondue (dip stuff! in chocolate! what’s better!), but I assure you, we’ll be hitting Dragonfly again. Soon.

Dragonfly: 420 Judah Street, San Francisco, 94122, 415-661-7755; serving lunch and dinner; dinner from $6-$20; wine and beer; ridiculously easy N-Judah access, exit at 9th Ave and Judah; go eat now – the really boring picture proves we were too busy chowing to remember to photograph the room or the food – both of which were stunning.

All Animals Emergency Hospital

Poor cat
Our cat has been acting really strange lately, and she erupted last night in a frenzy, biting her tummy which led to her biting a relative’s hand. Worried there could be something seriously wrong with her, we decided immediate action was in order. So we grabbed her, and headed to one of the only animal hospitals that was open at the time, the All Animals Emergency Hospital.

When we got there, we were relieved to find an incredibly helpful staff, who didn’t seem to mind at all that it was 1:30 a.m. The nurse took our information, weighed the cat, took her temperature, and called for the doctor. There were other pets there at the time too; we heard another cat yowling in another room (poor thing), and we saw a dog walk out relatively healthy. Our cat had calmed down then, and seemed stable. The doctor checked her out, and everything seemed okay except for her heart rate (it was way higher than normal). So they’re going to run a few blood tests to figure out what’s wrong. Hopefully everything will be fine.

The resulting cost of the visit, tests, etc. was hefty (over $300), but we were willing to pay almost anything for our cat. It turns out the All Animals Emergency Hospital is only open certain hours of the day, from 6 pm to 8 am generally, and works with local vets as an after-hours care unit. Overall I thought the service was efficient, the staff helpful, and the overall experience making me feel like my cat was in good hands.

So if your pet takes ill suddenly in the middle of the night, I highly recommend heading here for treatment.

All Animals Emergency Hospital
1333 Ninth Avenue @ Irving
Mon.-Fri., 6 p.m.-8 a.m. following day; Sat., noon-Mon., 8 a.m.

Two Wheels Are For Women, Too

Even though I ride a meek Vespa P200e, I can still relate to the women in this article. Living in a City with a lot of traffic and very little parking, riding on two wheels is a very economical. I can get about 55mpg, and it only costs $3 to fill my tank. Women riders rock!

Cafe de la Presse rocks my socks off

Daylight-drenched French cafe
Sometimes I hesitate to write these restaurant reviews because nothing I say ever does the place or the food justice. So I shall just say, that Cafe de la Presse is fantastic, awesome, and truly rocked my socks off. It’s a complete transformation of the former Cafe de la Presse, which was more of a cafe, with the rack full of magazines and newspapers, and decent offering of espresso, teas, etc. Well now it’s a complete full-on bistro, still with that rack of magazines and newspapers, that offers a decent array of reading material while you’re chowing down on lunch.

This is the way it works: If you want to grab a magazine to read while you dine, go ahead and take one off the rack. You’ll have to pay for it, and you can either choose to pay before lunch, or after (have it added to the bill). Then you can either sit on the upper level with a spot of espresso and some biscotti, or go down a level for some real restaurant dining. I chose the latter, and it was fabu. All the waiters are very French, and they’re quite attentive, never failing to ask you how you are and so forth. The place was nice and airy, plenty of sunlight, beautiful wood-tone furniture.

Duck confit, with mushrooms, potatoes
But back to the food. I decided to forgo the traditional salad/sandwich for lunch, and went straight for the jugular with the duck confit. And boy, was it worth it. Duck confit, with mushrooms, potatoes… absolutely orgasmic. Next was dessert, obviously. I was a little confused with the menu descriptions, but decided to pick this strange-sounding “Il Foundant.” It turned out to be one of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever had. It’s basically a slab of meringue poached egg whites sprinkled with almonds, sitting on top of vanilla sauce. The egg white slab is light and fluffy, which is a nice contrast to the rich sauce. Fantastic.

Il Foundant
So decadent, that I probably won’t recommend this for the typical everyday lunch. But for that occasional treat, this definitely fits the bill. I hear the place also makes a great dinner destination.

PS. Here’s an SF Gate story on the transformation of Cafe dela Presse.

Cafe de la Presse
352 Grant Avenue, SF, CA (near the gates of Chinatown)
7am – 11pm daily

Lollicup: Simple pleasures

Spam musubi

Simple pleasures include a trip to a local Lollicup that also happens to be an outlet for Da Kine’s Hawaiian food. An order of jasmine boba tea and spam musubi later, equals a happy Metblogger.

(Spam musubi is a piece of fried spam on top of rice, wrapped in nori. It is scrump-licious).

There’s Always Room for SF


Artist Liz Hickok has contstructed a scale-model of San Francisco in tasty, colorful Jell-o. Painstaking detail has been taken to many different areas, including this pictured replica of Alamo Square in its fruity glory.

What’s even better is that she has a video of an earthquake in the gelatinous city by the bay… this made me squeal with laughter. Watch it jiggle!

Ironically enough, this link was found via BoingBoing. Heh.

Oh My….Ew.

OK, a man is pulled over by the National Park Service in the Marin Headlands for what police say was because “he looked sick”. They decided to arrest him because he “looked sick” and upon searching his car and finding a corpse of a woman in the trunk. What kind of sick? Physically, emotionally, or both? At the end of the article, almost as a footnote, U.S. Park Police spokeswoman Christine Powell says, “The man is considered a suspect in the case”. Um, yeah. Maybe he bought the car that way and looked sick from the smell in the trunk.

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