San Francisco 2011 – San Francisco Food Guide

I spent most of my time in the city centre hence most of the time I ate around Union Square. These are the place that I like around Union Square. Since it’s within a tourist area, food is slightly more expensive.

Ted’s Steakhouse

Ted’s Steakhouse is my favourite. It’s affordable and tasty. Almost everyday, I have breakfast here. Their breakfast set is quite nice. My personal favourite would be their french toast with maple syrup.

Ted’s steaks comes with a thick but tender piece of beef steak served with delicious gravy. It is complimented by a cheese baked potato. Condiments are optional. I love it with vinegar!

120 Powell St
San Francisco, California 94102
Tel: (415) 982-1718


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Sears Fine Food

Many says Sears Fine Food is a tourist trap. Indeed the place is packed with people on a normal day but the food and ambience is well worth it. The place has been around since 1938.

Sears is well known for its dollar sized Swedish pancakes. It’s perfectly moisted and airy. It comes with warm maple syrup and whipped butter. Alternatively, you can have bacon strip or sausage.

Meat loaf

Their blue plate special is good as well. Everyday they would have a different dish. I had their meat loaf and it was awesome! However, roast breast of turkey was mediocre.

439 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1503
Tel: (415) 986-1160


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Boudin is a chain of bakery and cafes around San Francisco. They’re well known for its sourdough French bread. The word sourdough intrigued me as I am a big fan of sourish stuff.

I’ve never tried sourdough before hence I ordered the sourdough sandwiches. I thought the bread would be very sour but it was merely a tinge of sourness.

It was so huge that I had the same bread for breakfast and lunch!

Boudin’s website:

Cheesecake Factory

If you have a sweet tooth, do head down to Cheesecake Factory at Macy’s. They have numerous cheesecakes to choose from. I had the strawberry cheescake and I must say it was damn good!

Getting a spot to sit is quite difficult. Hence, you may consider packing it back home.

251 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: (415) 391-4444


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Lori’s Diner

Lori’s Diner is one of those nostalgic themed restaurants. This one would be the fabulous 50s theme.

The milkshake here is awesome. So awesome that it come with free refill!

My Spanish and Macau friends and I had dinner here.

This is Cheres from Macau. She was here to attend the conference as well. It’s rare to see young people in this conference hence we clicked quite well.

Their French Toast is highly recommended. Don’t miss thiss!


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161 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-2203
Tel: (415) 362-8001

San Francisco 2011 – Castrol Street

On my last day, my new Spanish friend Manu brought me around San Francisco. He used to study in San Francisco hence he is quite familiar with the city. When he said, “There were naked people on this street”, I replied, “Let’s go there!”.

We ended traveling to Castrol Street, the gay capital of San Francisco!

Castrol Street has a small row of shops consisting mostly boutiques and restaurants. It’s gay community’s heaven. Manu said we should hold hands while walking there -_-

It was Rapture day and the gay community had a little event on a junction.

And there he was…the legendary naked man on the street -_-

America, the land of the free!

Handjob anyone?

Sexy postcards anyone?

Gay stuff aside, Castrol Street has a little pet shop selling many pet accessories.

Dessert for pets!

Obama soft toys!

There have some cute tshirts and I bought one. Their “changing room” was special. It was a store room cum toilet. -_-

Manu then brought me to a place apparently famous for its hippie movement in 1960s. There wasn’t many things to see except for some unique buildings. We had quick lunch before parting our own ways.

I headed back to my hostel to pack and had my last dinner at my favourite restaurant, Tad’s Steakhouse.

I took a bus to the airport. It only costs me around 15USD. Flight home was rather uneventful. This trip doesn’t feel so eventful as my previous NYC trip. I guess NYC is far more fun than SF.

Nevertheless, I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to visit San Francisco.

San Francisco 2011 – Cycling – San Francisco City

Jetty back to the city. Got to see the Alcatraz

Upon reaching the jetty, we had to cycle back to Blazing Sandals to return our bicycles before closing time. But before doing so, we cycled around the city.

It was no easy task. The roads were extremely hilly. My thighs were about to explode but I pushed on.

Lady saying Hi! XD

We cycled to Lombardi Street, a well known street famous for its steep road with eight sharp turns. It’s a perfect place for pictures.

Our last stop was Blazing Sandals’ bicycle depot. This was where we returned our bicycle. It came with a “FINISH LINE” banner.

Upon returning our bicycles, we headed back to our hotel for a quick rest before dinner. It was a rather quiet dinner as everyone was tired. We bade farewell to each other and vowed to keep in touch.

It’s been almost 3 months since this cycling trip. I haven’t spoke to them since. So much for keeping in touch. XD

San Francisco 2011 – Cycling – Sausalito

Upon reaching Sausalito, we stopped by for lunch at Scoma’s. This place caught my eye as the restaurant is in a form of a boathouse. This 19th century boat house apparently boast to serve the freshest seafood in San Francisco.

We sat outside the boathouse – right underneath the sun. I think it aggravated my sunburn. I remember few days after cycling, a lady at a shopping center commented that I have bad skin -__-

Each of us ordered a meal each to be shared. Our Brazilian friend was amazed with this as he said this was never practiced in his country.

Crab cake burger was recommended by the waitress.

Overall, the food and venue were great. Unfortunately, it’s been two months since I ate at this place. I can’t remember how the food tasted like -_-

Nevertheless, I would highly recommend anyone at Sausalito to try this place.


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Address: 558 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

After lunch, the 4 of us went on our own to explore Sausalito. I dropped by an antique shop called Nana’s Treasure. Nana’s Treasure has all sorts of antiques for sale. I bought some vintage cufflinks and a pendant for A.

Riza, the owner, was kind to show me around. She showed me many things but the thing that caught my attention was this binoculars looking gadget called Stereoscope. According to Riza, it is one of the oldest form of 3D vision gadget – more than a hundred years old. By using the stereoscope toward a stereoscopic card, I could see a 3D version of the picture! Apparently children in the old days used to play with it.

Woah! 1897 photo by B.W. Kilburn!

I was supposed to meet the gang at Scoma’s at 5pm so that we could take a ferry back to the city. When I left Nana’s Treasures, it was already 5:15pm and the gang was gone! I had no idea where the jetty was but fortunately I had a map and managed to navigate myself to the jetty. I found the gang at the jetty waiting for me. Phew.

San Francisco 2011 – Cycling – Golden Gate Bridge

[Just realised that I forgot to post this! Should have been posted before the post below]

The view gets better and better as we arrived at Golden Bridge.

However, the paths are quite hilly. Most of the time I end up pushing my bike up the hill.

There’s a wide pathway on the bridge – wide enough to fit cyclists and pedestrians.

Although built in the 1930s, I did not see any old graffiti or scribbles on the bridge. The oldest I could find was a 1978 graffiti.

With the looks of this, I guess there are many people who committed suicide by jumping off the bridge here.

View of the other side of the bridge!

San Francisco 2011 – Cycling – Bay Area

[Back to my San Francisco posts!]

Upon crossing the bridge, we made our way to Sausalito. Cycling to
Sausalito wasn’t easy. It was hilly and the roads were tight. In fact, we actually got lost and ended up at Bay Area, which is just next to the Golden Gate Bridge.

However, it was a blessing in disguise. We got to see some parts of nature!

When we arrived, it started to get sunny and soon it became it little bit warmer.

This is before I got sun burnt. If you’re wondering how bad was my sunburn..see below..


Around going round and round for half an hour, we found out way to Sausalito. To get to Sausalito, we had to cycle up a hill. It almost killed my thunder thighs.

San Francisco 2011 – Cycling – East Beach

As tourisy as it may sound, cycling in San Francisco was extremely fun. A friend of mine suggested that we go cycling after the conference and she invited 2 of her others friends from Japan and Brazil.

I haven’t cycled for more than 10 years hence riding a bike was quite difficult for me. Nevertheless, my friends and I cycled from 10am to 7pm. In the end of the day, I had sunburn, my bum hurts and it almost destroyed my thighs!

We started off our journey by taking the vintage cable car from Ellis Street to Hyde Street. It’s US$5 per trip and there’s usually a queue to get on it.

We got off at the last station and walked towards the Blazing Saddles to rent a bicycle for ourselves. The rent is US$9 per hour.

I wonder how to ride this..

We were given a short briefing on where to go. Our main destination was of course the Golden Gate Bridge.

Directions to our destination. In text form.

My friends rode the bikes without any problem while I struggled with it. It took me a while to get used to it.

We passed the East Beach. I was there a day before. Loads of activities going on there. We stopped by there for a rest and pictures.

Mummies congregation!

To be continued..

San Francisco 2011 – Golden Gate Bridge – Pacific Catch

After finding our way to a bus station from the East Beach, we had a quick dinner at Pacific Catch. I chose this place because it was packed with people. They say a packed restaurant normally serves good food (but not always true).

The recommended meal here is their fish and chips which is served with sweet potatoes fries. It was my first time trying sweet potatoes fries and I must say it was damn good! I wiped the plate clean!

Hot chili – something reminding me of home.

The dinner was so quick that we threw our money on the table when the bus home arrived. We didn’t even wait for the change!

2027 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123-2701
Tel: (415) 440-1950‎


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San Francisco 2011 – Golden Gate Bridge

I didn’t see much of San Francisco until the end of the conference. Some people say you haven’t been to San Francisco if you haven’t seen the Golden Gate bridge. Since my my colleague is leaving earlier than me, he was determined to see the bridge before leaving.

We took a bus from the city and ended up in a remote housing area. The roads were empty and no one was on the streets. We were lost! The bus didn’t drop us at the correct location and I didn’t bring my map!

Fortunately, we found a man recommended that we head to the East Beach to see the Golden Bridge. Without a map, we walked toward the direction that the man recommended.

We were greeted with the sight of a yacht harbor and joggers. We were on the famous Marina Blvd.

It was freezing cold but yet some joggers were in their tees and shorts.

Along Marina Blvd, there were loads of nice waterfront houses. All with unique designs.

After walking for few minutes, we reached Crissy Field. It looks like we were walking towards “the Light”.

Behold! The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge!

And Alcatraz!

After taking a few pictures, we were head home. Again we were lost. Fortunately, some strangers guided us to a bus stop to the city.

To be continued..

San Francisco 2011 – Overview

After 10 days in the San Francisco, I’m finally back in Malaysia. Home sweet home!

Union Square

San Francisco is a beautiful city. It’s extremely hilly – even hillier than Sheffield. It has plenty of beautiful buildings with great architecture.

A shopping centre just for ladies!

The only complaint that I have is that there are many homeless people on the streets.

The demographic of San Francisco is quite strange. On one street you have all the high end retail outlets but on the next street, you’ll find homeless or dodgy looking people roaming around.

Many of these homeless people harass passerby for spare change or even to make strange comments. Some were out of their mind – screaming incoherent words out of nowhere. I’ve learned that the best way to deal with them is to ignore them. It works!

There are many street buskers too. This one took a photo with Will Smith!

The weather wasn’t very kind. It was extremely cold and even rained at some days. I had to wear 3 to 4 layers of t-shirts before going out. One friend got sick and was slapped with a USD300 medical bill after seeing a local doctor. Fortunately for me, all I had was sore throat.

I spent 5 days attending the International Trade Mark Conference (INTA). This is my 3rd time attending this conference and it was good. Great networking sessions and met plenty of new (probably 60 over) and interesting contacts. I met some old contacts and spent great time with them. Networking is not the amount of people I meet but the amount of quality time I spent with them.

Conference area. Spent a lot of time here meeting people. When I have free time, I will chat with some random stranger.

We arrived a day early to accustom our body clock to US timing. Unfortunately, we took a nap at 2pm, with the intention of waking up an hour later, but woke up at 7pm instead. Gah.

With regret on our mind, we walked to Chinatown for dinner.

Took us almost 20 minutes – went through a tunnel

Was briefly entertained by a Chinese band

But was served terrible food. Uh.

During the conference, day time was spent on meetings and night time was spent on receptions or dinners.

Had meeting at an associates’ office. Great view!

Receptions were held at very nice places except for one reception where we lined up for 45 minutes under the rain. The bouncers were only allowing 2 to 3 people every 5 to 10 minutes. Some people gave up halfway and went away. When we were about to get in, the bouncer announced that the venue is full and they are no longer taking anyone in! Some chaps were so furious that they started swearing at the bouncers. We, on the other hand, adjourned to a cafe nearby with our Chinese associates.

I stayed in a boutique hotel called Hotel Abri. It was a nice hotel with excellent facilities and location. It’s just a few minutes away from Moscone Center, the conference venue.

After the conference, I moved to Globetrotters Inn Hostel, which was a far cry from Hotel Abri. My hostel has only a bed, a sink and a chair. No heater and table! I had to use the window ledge to put my laptop :s

The hostel is pretty much run down and not very clean. However, service was great. When I was waiting for my bus to take me to the airport, I bumped into a staff of the hostel. She was concerned that my bus was late and even called the bus operator for me. It was very kind of her.

I extended my stay for 2 nights to check out San Francisco. I went cycling, did some shopping and visited the gay center of San Francisco namely Castrol Street.

The journey back to KL took me around 20 hours. It was rather uneventful except for one occasion where a lady decided to disembark from our flight before flying. I thought she had some prediction that the flight will crash. At that point, I thought this flight will be the end of me :s

More details about the trip later!