Posts filed under San Francisco

7 Places to Score Poke Bowls in San Francisco

Green juices. Bone broth. Cupping. Forest bathing (no comment). Infrared saunas (more to come on that). And … poke bowls.

Are poke bowls the latest everyone’s-doing-it-because-Gwyneth’s-doing-it craze in the health world? Yes. Do I care? No. Because they’re SO FREAKING GOOD. Brown rice, lettuce, raw fish, avocado, all mixed up with a plethora of toppings and a healthy dose of spicy sauce … sorry, had to wipe away the drool. Seriously though, how can something guilt-free taste so insanely amazing?!

The truth is, we may never know. But what we DO know is that since poke is the trend du jour, there are happily more than a few places to get your fix in the city. So get out there before this fad goes the way of Brangelina. (Too soon? Nope because #TeamJen.) Here’s where to get ’em, and the best nearby spots to chow down al fresco.

Bamboo Asia (FiDi): I come here every chance I get for a delish workday lunch. Head to the Japanese station, get the salmon and ahi tuna with a mix of salad and brown rice, load on the avocado, and get it to go. (The custom rolls are also YUM). Enjoy it on: the Crocker Galleria rooftop

Blue Hawaii Acai Cafe (FiDi): This nondescript spot in Embarcadero Center offers tons of refreshing acai bowls … and one poke bowl, served over brown rice with an option for gluten-free sauce. Come early – they’re known to sell out by noon. Enjoy it in: Justin Herman Plaza

PokeBar (Mid-Market): Customize your own poke bowl in the Twitter building with proteins that include shrimp, octopus and scallops and creative add-ins like crispy onions and pineapple. Enjoy it in: Civic Center Plaza

Poke Delish (Castro): Stop into the Myriad food hall, grab a fresh bevvie from the nearby Raw Juice Co., and go for a large bowl full of goodness.  Tip: ask for a sample if you want to try something before you buy. Enjoy it in: Duboce Park

Poke Kana (Outer Sunset): Although this little shop is in a sad Park Merced strip mall, it’s bright and clean, and it’s easy to order: you check off your base, fish, and toppings on a paper menu and just hand it to the staff. The rice comes on the side, so you’ll have to do a bit of mixing before you get the hell outta there and get your eat on elsewhere. Enjoy it in: Stern Grove

Poki Time (Inner Sunset): This spot is right in the 9th and Irving hood, and a great place to load up on fresh poke with tons of toppings (like fried onions, whaaaat). Don’t leave without the Hawaiian mochi for dessert. (Psst: they’re also opening a new location in the good old KFC/Taco Bell on Lombard. Which I've never been to. I swear.) Enjoy it in: Golden Gate Park

I’A Poke (Castro): Build a bowl with up to four kinds of fish and unlimited toppings, or chow down on one of their signature sushi burritos (black tiger shrimp and sun-dried tomato guacamole, anyone?). Long line but so worth the wait. Enjoy it in: Dolores Park

Sammy’s Aloha (Embarcadero): Black rice, poached eggs, kimchi, rice cake tots? A typical poke place this is not. It’s a little takeout window inside Butterfly restaurant and a welcome escape from the horrors of Pier 39. Enjoy it in: Aquatic Park

Do you have a favorite poke place I missed? Let me know in the comments! #leavenopokebehind

 

Posted on September 30, 2016 and filed under Food, San Francisco.

8 Healthy Lunches in Downtown San Francisco (That Aren’t Salads)

8 healthy lunches in downtown San Francisco

Sick of salads? I hear ya. Luckily, there are other ways to eat healthy while you’re on the job. Here are a few of my favorite guilt-free lunches in the Financial District. Bonus points if you enjoy 'em somewhere other than your desk.


Hummus toast from Native Co: Wheat bread with house hummus, radish, fennel and herb salad (pictured). Add avocado, and get a small You’ve Got Kale smoothie to make it a meal.

Spicy trio bowl from Bamboo: Brown rice plus spicy salmon, tuna, yellowtail and veggies, topped with jalapenos and dynamite sauce. I can’t get enough of this place.

Burrito bowl from Eatsa: Lemon-herb toasted quinoa bowl filled with guacamole, salsa, corn, pinto beans, grilled corn and more. So filling and don’t worry – the line moves quickly.

Wasabi burger from The Plant: Veggie burger with wasabi raspberry aioli, sauerkraut and pickled radish. Add avocado (always), then get it on a whole-wheat bun or lettuce wrap.

Vegan lasagna from Proper Foods: Eggplant, squash, beets, spinach, mushrooms, marinara sauce and cashew cheese, all wrapped up and ready to serve hot.

California veggie sandwich from Boudin’s: Avocado, tomato, onions, lettuce, sprouts and more on toasted whole-wheat bread. You can also get a half sandwich and pair with salad.

Chicken spring rolls from Freshroll Vietnamese: Juicy chicken, fresh veggies and avocado wrapped up in rice paper and dunked in peanut sauce. Lots of options to customize too.

Kaiser bowl from Blue Hawaii Acai Cafe: Acai blended with spirulina and topped with bananas, berries, granola and honey. Perfect for days when you’re craving something sweet.


 

Posted on November 5, 2015 and filed under Food, San Francisco.

10 Tips for Successful Day Drinking

10 Tips for Successful Day Drinking

“Day drinking is not an activity. It’s a lifestyle.” - Anonymous

A bottomless mimosa brunch. A wine bus to Napa. A sunny Saturday in the park. Any event that takes place on a boat. Fleet Week.

Opportunities to day drink are all around us, all the time – especially if you live in San Francisco. And, needless to say, they are SO FUN. But once you enter the magical world of Bloodys and bellinis, it’s easy to get carried away. One minute you’re maturely sipping prosecco at Rose’s Cafe, the next you’re waking up with a Comet Club hand stamp and a $37 receipt from Pizza Orgasmica. It’s a slippery slope.

That’s why you have to be strategic and plan ahead in order to make it to the other side feeling...fine (what, did you think I would say refreshed? Fabulous? I wish). In honor of all the Fleet Week fun to be had this weekend, here are my top ten tips for successful day drinking.


  1. Remember the basics. If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a rookie and already know the obvious things you’re supposed to do when it comes to drinking: don’t drink on an empty stomach, alternate one drink with one glass of water, stick to the same type of alcohol, don’t drink crazy sugary cocktails, blah blah blah. You may not always do these things (been there), but you should at least give it the ol' college try.

  2. Push back your start time. That means 2 p.m. is better than 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. is better than 2 p.m. The later you take your first sip, the fewer hours left in the day you can drink, and the less likely you are to go overboard. It’s a simple equation that even we non-math-majors can keep in mind.

  3. Set your alarm. Decide in advance what time you want to go home...or at the very least, what time you want to stop drinking. I’d recommend six hours after start time being your maximum. Then set an alarm on your phone with a reminder to slow your roll. Do not snooze it or ignore it, although you’ll probably want to.

  4. Pack your medicine. No, not that – jeez – I’m talking about hangover-preventing pills. Take one after your first drink and you’re golden(ish). Seriously, they’ve really worked for me in the past. Placebo effect? Maybe. Do I care? Nope.

  5. Find a buddy. Partner up with a friend so you can hold each other accountable throughout the day. Figure out what your drinking plan is and how you’re going to get home. Strength in numbers, people!

  6. Switch locations. Go somewhere else. Anywhere else. Especially if you are walking. Moving the party from one bar or house to another will force you to take a break, get some air, and metabolize some of the booze before starting again at your new spot.   

  7. Don’t take shots. Feel free to ignore this step if you are 20 years old and living in Isla Vista. Everyone else: just say no. You’re day drinking. That means drinks are all around you. And you do not need shots. Trust me on this.

  8. Dance! Getting your whip and nae nae on will burn calories and kill time between drinks, since you need to put your drink down in order to get that serious arm action in. Plus you can show off your mad skillz. Highly recommended at pool parties.

  9. Eat protein. Protein-rich party foods will fill you up and help control your blood-alcohol levels. Think cheese and charcuterie, a handful of nuts, deviled eggs, sliders or mozzarella sticks (hey, YOLO).

  10. Prep your pillow. When you come home from an aggressive day of drinking, the following items should be resting on your pillow: two Advil, one B vitamin, one bottled water, one coconut water, one Pedialyte and one package of face wipes. Pajamas optional.

 

And there you have it! May we all achieve drinking success this Fleet Week. Hopefully I’ll see some of you out there!

Want more? Check out 25 Booze Hacks Every Drinker Needs to Know and How to Day Drink.


Have any additional tips I may have missed? Leave ’em in the comments below!

 

Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under San Francisco, Lifestyle.

7 Places to Score Avocado Toast in San Francisco

7 Places to Score Avocado Toast in San Francisco | Bellini Bootcamp

Ahhhhhh. Avocado toast. Although it may not be the trendiest item on the menu anymore, it still tastes freaking delicious. And honestly, smearing an almost-ripe-but-not-quite avocado on a piece of Oroweat in your kitchen just isn’t the same as indulging in a decadent, crusty, oil-soaked concoction that costs $4.50 (or more) and is worth every penny. Here’s where to get ’em in the city.


Frog Hollow Farm (Ferry Building): Fresh, toasted Acme green onion focaccia smothered with ripe avocado slices and topped with olive oil, pepper, sea salt and garlic. Get a full order or a half order with a peach side salad and snag one of Frog Hollow’s outdoor tables on the waterfront.

 

La Capra (FiDi): Two slices of crunchy baguette covered in smashed avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkled with togarashi chili powder. Enjoy with an almond milk latte and a side of hot, crispy, chocolatey beignets. Okay, now I'm drooling...

 

Jane (Pac Heights): Ask for the hummus, avocado and tomato toast on their deliciously dense gluten-free quinoa bread (hold the cucumbers). The long line moves pretty quickly, which will give you time to window shop up and down Fillmore once your belly is full.

 

Reveille Coffee (North Beach, Castro): Acme levain with olive oil, salt and pepper (make sure to add the fried egg). Grab a window seat at the North Beach location or post up on the outdoor patio in the Castro for priceless people-watching.

 

Park Tavern (North Beach): Seeded whole wheat sourdough plus avocado, chile, lemon and sea salt. Order as a starter at brunch before you move on to your Marlowe burger, and wash it all down with a bellini or four (duh).

 

Native Company (FiDi): Pain au levain with spicy smashed avocado, sea salt, lemon zest, micro greens and chili flakes. Get it to go (not a ton of ambiance here), along with a banana-date-lavender smoothie. Trust me.


Cafe St. Jorge (Bernal Heights): Wheat toast with creamy avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, chili flakes and sea salt in a quaint little neighborhood cafe. Want more options? Customize your order on a bagel, gluten-free toast or a Portuguese sweet roll. Holy yum.

 

*Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sample all of the amazing avocado toasts in the city (yet). If you have recommendations, let me know in the comments section!

 

Posted on August 3, 2015 and filed under Food, San Francisco.

The Best Workouts in San Francisco

The Best Workouts in San Francisco | Bellini Bootcamp

I’m the first to admit that I’m a workout whore. From marathons to mud runs to trampoline fitness (not my most graceful moment), I’ve spent years trying (almost) every workout in the city.  But even though a shiny new studio pops up every day, there are a few that I keep going back to again and again...because they’re awesome. Here are my favorites.

 

If you want...cardio & strength training

Barry’s Bootcamp (SOMA) Oh Barry’s. I love you even though I fear you. Sprinting at breakneck speed on a treadmill, hoisting heavy weights until your muscles scream...all while not-so-subtly ogling your ultra-hot instructor. You’ll leave feeling like a limp dishrag, but will probably come back for more. Fave instructors: Erica, Alvin and Nicole

TRX Training Center (Russian Hill) Full-body toning with TRX straps plus high-intensity cardio intervals to get your heart rate up. Tons of modifications so you can customize the workout to your fitness level. Fave instructors: Lielan and Jamel

Polk Street Boxing Gym(Nob Hill) No scented candles or dry shampoo here. This boxing gym is old-school and hard-core, and so are its workouts. Circuit Training mixes bodyweight work with stuff like jumping rope and ladder crawls so you’ll feel like a total badass. Fave instructors: Simon and Hank

 

If you want...Spin

SoulCycle (Cow Hollow, SOMA) The mother of all cycling. Packed pitch-black classes, amazing music, punishing arm work with weights, and instructors that could double as motivational speakers. You’ll leave drenched in sweat and feeling strangely wonderful about life. Fave instructors: Kasey and Kamelle

BodyRok (Marina) A polished and intimate studio with candles, fast beats and weights for arm work (bonus: the studio also features Megaformer Pilates and combo classes). Fave instructors: Katie and Ashley

Crunch Polk Street (Russian Hill) There’s a reason The Ride fills up in a hot minute. Super dark studio, flashing lights, pulsing music, and high energy all around. Fave instructor: Jorge

 

If you want...Pilates

Burn (Russian Hill, Mission, Inner Sunset, Hayes Valley) I’m a Burn instructor, but I promise I’m not biased – this workout is seriously great and HARD. A heart-pumping mix of cardio, free weights, ab work and Pilates with a mounted springboard. And no two classes are the same, which keeps your muscles (and you) guessing.

Core40 (Nob Hill, SOMA, Lower Pac Heights) One word: LOVE. 40 challenging minutes on a state-of-the-art Megaformer until your obliques and legs are jelly (bonus: the studio also offers Spin and combo classes.) Fave instructors: Laura, Jon, Melody, Madison

Pilates ProWorks (Marina, FiDi) You want Pilates? You got it - whether it’s on the Reformer, infused into a barre class, paired with boxing or mixed with TRX. Love how they feature so many ways to work your core. Fave instructor: Skipp

 

If you want...barre

Pop Physique (Russian Hill, Mission) Beautiful studio with hardwood floors and chandeliers, and majorly tough workout with straps, squishy pink balls and light weights. Fave instructor: Kaitlin

Pure Barre (Marina, Sunset) Intense and fast-paced workout with weights, loops and a firm ball. The ab work is serious business, and the loud catchy music is amaze.

The Dailey Method (Cow Hollow, FiDi, Castro, Ingleside Terrace) Form and technique are everything at this OG studio which includes weights, a firm ball and a strap. Tiny pulsing movements will make your thighs, arms, and pretty much everything else tremble. Fave instructor: Katina

 

If you want...yoga

The Pad (Cow Hollow) A spacious and serene studio with a great variety of offerings, including sweaty power yoga, special yoga retreats, hip hop yoga and even outdoor yoga at Off the Grid in the Presidio (bonus: they also have Pilates). Fave instructors: Caitlin and Ellie

CorePower Yoga (SOMA) Welcome to Sweat City. A seriously tough workout in a gorgeous, brand-new space including hardwood floors and a mini Lulu boutique in the lobby. Power yoga with weights that leaves you drenched and glowing? Count me in (bonus: your first week is free)

BodyTemp Yoga (Marina) You know what you need after work on Friday (in addition to an entire bottle of wine)? A soothing candlelit hot yoga class, obvi. This is your place. During the rest of the week, head here for intense sculpting and power yoga.

 

If you want...to be outside

Basic Training (various locations) This outdoor boot camp is the best way to experience the beauty of San Francisco. Run up the Lyon Street Steps, lunge around the Palace of Fine Arts...plus the people and the community feel are just wonderful. Highly recommend. Fave instructors: Jenn and Alex

OnBoard SUP (Sausalito) Imagine doing downward dog, planks, and savasana on a floating stand-up paddleboard, watching seals and the sun rise over the bay. Gorgeous, peaceful, surreal...and a core workout to stay balanced (and dry). Warning: not for the faint of heart.

Run! (Everywhere) It’s hard to imagine a better city to run in. We’ve got Crissy Field, Embarcadero, Golden Gate Park, the Great Highway and so many more fun paths. Just grab your sneakers, hit the pavement, and go (check out my favorite stairs to run here).

 

Want to try any of these workouts before committing to a long-term relationship? Check out ClassPass – I’m a big fan.

And please note: I have not actually taken every single class in the city, nor have I met every instructor. I know there are many more awesome workouts and teachers out there, so please let me know your favorites in the comments below!

The Best Workouts in San Francisco | Bellini Bootcamp
Posted on July 12, 2015 and filed under Fitness, San Francisco.