San Francisco is a six-hour drive from Los Angeles—a good distance for a long weekend getaway from the city. If you’re an Angeleno, or are simply more familiar with L.A. than the City by the Bay, a trip up to the foggy north could be just what you need to ward off end-of-summer blues. Here, the stops to hit while you’re in town.
Catch SFMOMA’s Comeback
You may not have gotten around to checking out The Broad, what with the L.A. museum’s tendency to book up months in advance, but rest assured that it’s far easier to roll up to SFMOMA, which recently reopened after a three-year, multimillion dollar overhaul that yielded almost three times more exhibit space. The appreciation for modern art even extends to the museum’s new restaurant In Situ, where chef Corey Lee leads a culinary team in executing an ambitious and ever-changing menu of dishes contributed by famous chefs from around the world. The novel concept allows you to roam from the hills of Kyoto to cosmopolitan Copenhagen without leaving your table on Third Street. The dining room is reservations only, but you can also just drop into the lounge and try some bites—which adhere to the same concept, but are a little less expensive.
See the New Old Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown is forward looking, all the while maintaining its important cultural ties to the past. The food especially embodies this. Eateries like Mister Jiu’s, just the third restaurant tenant in the banquet hall space on historic Waverly Place in 100 years, is one of the most exciting additions to the neighborhood in at least half a century. Chef Brandon Jew honors his new place in Chinatown’s history by pushing the cuisine forward into a more refined space. The result deserves conversation space alongside the city’s finest restaurants of any style. Meanwhile, the Great Star Theater, which originally opened in 1925 as a majestic opera and performance space (legend has it that Bruce Lee’s parents starred in theater productions here), is now open for special events including last-minute “Secret Cinema” events. Follow the Facebook page for updates.
Keep Your Tab Open
It’s been a year of splashy bar debuts in the city, and your options for libations are more varied than ever. You can go for caviar and fine sherry at The Treasury if you’re feeling fancy, learn about the art of gin at Whitechapel (from the makers of awesome rum tiki bar Smuggler’s Cove), inhale some Japanese whiskies at the reservations-only Louie’s Gen-Gen Room, or sip down some tea-infused craft beers at Barebottle Brewing Company—and that’s just to name a few. Services like Lyft and Uber make it relatively easy to zip around this compact city, which will be a welcome change from the long drives needed to get from place to place down south.