5 Streets - San Francisco

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Three from Fillmore Street

This weekend was all about Fillmore Street. Fillmore starts at Duboce street and stretches all the way to the Marina. Riding on the 22 bus line from one end to the other shows you the amazing diversity of the city as it takes you through the Lower Haight, the Western Addition, the edge of Japantown, Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow, to the Marina and the bay.

Saturday night, we started at the
Indian Oven. Some argue that it’s some of the best Indian food in the Bay Area, and I tend to agree (there’s also some darn good Indian in Berkeley, but that’s another five streets!) and I always find it baffling that there are three Indian food restaurants within thirty seconds walk of each other when Indian Oven is so good (more on this one later). Show up early or make a reservation, or you’ll have to wait, but the wait is well worth it. We waited for about thirty minutes for a table, and got seated upstairs (the seating’s better upstairs). The four of us split a bottle of Riesling and shared samosas (one of the best foods ever invented) and the assorted tandoori sampler and several kinds of Na’an. By the time the entrees had arrived, we were all pretty full, but I’m a sucker for Murgh Makhani so of course we all had to sample some more.

After dinner, we hopped in a cab to go to the
Boom Boom Room on Fillmore and Geary. It's located in the Fillmore district, and the club is one of the more intimate and authentic places in the city to see live blues, funk, and soul. Lucky for me, a friend’s band (Sila and the Afrofunk Experience -- yes, Sila really is that adorable in person) was playing this night. By the time we arrived, the band was well into its first (maybe even second) set, but we had plenty of time to get down with their funky rhythms and horn section.

Today was the perfect day to go to my favorite new café: Café Du Soleil on the corner of Fillmore and Waller. It used to be a bar called Movida Lounge which I only went to once and didn’t really appreciate, but now it's transformed into this lovely little French bistro. The food is very simple: pastries and salads and open-faced sandwiches, but it’s all so tasty, I never notice the simplicity of the menu (sometimes simple is sublime). In fact, while I’ve sampled a few things on the menu, most of the time I order the open-faced smoked salmon sandwich with crème fraiche, fresh herbs, and shallots. On a good day, I’ll also treat myself to the decadent (their words, but I tend to agree) chocolate pot de crème. It’s quite possibly one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. I love sitting either inside or outside. Inside, it’s brightly colored and always rather lively but still calm enough to read a book or write in my journal. Outside, on a sunny day, it’s the perfect spot to people watch while seated at a sidewalk table.

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