Last day in SF!
In order to shed a few of the pounds I most certainly have gained on this last voyage, I attempt a run. I strap on my running shoes (yes, the first time they've been on in the last three weeks), put on a t-shirt, some shorts, and the ipod. My route takes me down 3rd to Giants Stadium. I take a left and cruise along the waterline. I try to soak in the views as I make my way down the Embarcadero. I pass the Ferry Building, the Piers, the Wharf, the tourist traps, the parks and finally to the curved pier that connects to Van Ness. I say hi to the gulls and crabs and then head straight through the city. My route takes me through downtown, the financial district, and finally back to the Ritz. I'm thoroughly tired, but feeling good. Now it's time to eat again!
After a rest, some gatorade, a few emails and a long bath, I call up my buddies. We have reservations at Nopa restaurant. The place is simple and basic in it's design, but you can instantly tell it's a foodie heaven. The restaurant is packed and on a serious wait. The bar is two deep and the kitchen crew is rocking. We get a nice table and start to order. All of the food comes out perfect. It's all very simple and un-adorned but some of the tastiest food I've had all year. The pork and chicken are both brined and roasted. The chicken gets the love in the rotisserie and the pork is treated to the wood burning grill. From the crispy little fish to the dessert, I am blown away. It gets the mark for my best meal of the trip - and after six days, that's no joke. I highly recommend this spot if you want simple, utterly delicious food.
We are looking for Bourbon and Branch. It's somewhere down the street from where we are. Ok, let's just stop into this other bar for a quick drink. Maybe a dive bar, but the painting above the register makes it worth the stop...
Next stop is Bourbon and Branch. It's a speak-easy and that's all I'm going to say. Oh, that and the fact that the cocktails also happen to be the best I've consumed in the city. I don't take pictures, as it's against the rules (along with fighting, swearing and being loud). All I know is that these bartenders are serious about their craft. There are many surprises and everything we order is extraordinary.
Instead of going home, as we're all pretty tipsy at this point, we make it to CoCo's (I hope that's the spelling...). It's a Korean restaurant filled with like-minded (read: drunk) patrons. The proprietor recognizes us and starts bringing out the grub. And keeps bringing it. I think we sampled everything on the menu and then some. It was a fantastic time. We laughed, ate, drank, and ate some more. The dishes were so fun to eat - Korean omelets, kimchi soup, spicy beef,... It was hard to leave.
Thank you San Francisco for a wonderful time...