Magazine article Sunset

A Taste of Hayes: Food Is High Art in S.F.'S Hayes Valley

Magazine article Sunset

A Taste of Hayes: Food Is High Art in S.F.'S Hayes Valley

Article excerpt

San Francisco's Hayes Valley might just be the only neighborhood in the city where both corsets and ice cream sandwiches come custom-made, and where yoga students get distracted by the smell of fried chicken wafting over from the soulfood restaurant next door.

In this cultural hub west of the Civic Center, you'll find everything from one-of-a-kind clothing designs to fresh croissants. In fact, food and drink take their rightful places among the highest forms of artistic expression here. Case in point: Citizen Cake (closed Mon; 399 Grove St.; 415/861-2228). The popular pastry shop serves inspired lunches and dinners, but you can also stop in for a fleur de sel(ery) Bloody Mary or a s'more brownie.

At Arlequin (384 Hayes St.; 415/626-1211), choose a salad or sandwich--try the grilled pear and bacon with white cheddar--and enjoy your lunch in the community garden behind the building. Or have a Belgian beer and a cone of fries with wasabi mayonnaise or curry ketchup at Frjtz (579 Hayes; 415/864-7654), which also has outdoor seating.

Unique shops and galleries offer plenty of opportunities for browsing. Flight 001 (525 Hayes; 415/487-1001) sells high-style, retro luggage and travel accessories, including bags made of recycled seat belts. Get your gifts at Lavish (closed Mon; 540 Hayes; 415/565-0540), a new boutique with handmade jewelry, handbags, and more by local designers.

For a truly unusual gift, try True Sake (closed Mon; 560 Hayes; 415/355-9555), the United States' first dedicated sake store, devoted to demystifying the popular Japanese rice wine. …

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