There's a little bit of everything in San Francisco this week. Sushi shines at a new off-shoot of the Michelin-starred Omakase. For last minute Valentine's Day plans, head up to Napa Valley for a four-course dinner at Castello di Amorosa's Royal Hearts Gala. Or, opt for a more laid-back popcorn and soda while catching a flick through the SF Independent Film Festival or taking in a documentary of San Francisco's not-so-distant past. If you'd rather hear more than see, your place is at the Oakland Symphony's premiere of a local musician's newest work.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
February 11 | Film
Straight Outta Hunters Point
Kevin Epps’ 2003 documentary Straight Outta Hunters Point is a below-the-radar local classic that’s having a rare public screening this week. As a filmmaker chronicling his own neighborhood, Epps captures the pulse and pain of an overlooked inner city area that has been indelibly altered by gentrification and development since the film's release. As San Francisco becomes increasingly more unrecognizable to its natives, this is a slice of history that deserves more light.
7 p.m. | Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., San Francisco | (415) 863-1087 | From $12 | website
February 12 | Music
Longtime Oakland Symphony conductor Michael Morgan will lead the talented ensemble and guests in “Notes From Vietnam.” The program features the world premiere of “Lullaby for a Country” by local dan tranh zither player Vân-Ánh Võ, a fresh composition that they’ll perform alongside classic works by Benjamin Britten (narrated by actor Michael Urie) and Antonín Dvořák, all for surprisingly affordable prices.
8 p.m. | Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland | (510) 465-6400 | From $10 | website
February 13–15 | Escape the city
The Royal Hearts Gala
If you’re planning to seek refuge in the warm waters of Napa Valley's Calistoga this weekend, why not consider a formal, over-the-top Valentine’s affair after dark? Only a few reservations remain for The Royal Hearts Gala, a red carpet party with fresh oysters, bubbles and a four-course dinner paired with Italian wines and set to the sounds of live opera, so you’ll want to register ASAP to make sure you and your plus-one get seats at the table.
7–11 p.m. | Castello di Amorosa, 4045 Saint Helena Highway, Calistoga | (707) 967-6272 | From $245 | website
Now through February 25 | Film festival
SF Independent Film Festival
The 18th annual SF IndieFest takes place across five different venues in San Francisco with an almost overwhelming slate of 53 different movies and events. Our top pick this week? Don’t miss the chance to fall in love with #BeRobin The Movie, a documentary featuring Margaret Cho’s efforts to raise money and kindness for San Francisco’s homeless population in the name of her late friend Robin Williams. See it at the Roxie Theater on February 14th or 15th.
Times vary | Locations vary | From $12 | website
Now open | Restaurant
Hip-hop streams from the stereo at this new Japanese izakaya. Next door, the Michelin-starred Omakase serves traditional-style sushi made from fresh fish flown in from Tokyo three times a week. Okane is the latest venture from the Omakase team. It's Omakase’s more casual companion, a place to let loose over sake and small plates. There’s also a sushi and sashimi menu utilizing some of the same premium delicacies that are served in the $100-200 prix fixe menus at Omakase, but at a fraction of the cost.
669 Townsend St., San Francisco | (415) 865-9788 | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.