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First Taste: Nopalito

I don't have many restaurant phone numbers programmed into my cell phone (mostly just the few places I'll order ahead from and pick up on the way home), but last night I added Nopalito's number (415-437-0303) and you might want to, too. Because this new little Mexican cantina from the people that brought us Nopa does not take reservations. They will, however, add your name to a list if you call ahead, a boon when the wait on a rainy Wednesday night at 8 p.m. stumbles into the one plus hour territory.

 

Upside of the Recession: Killer Last-Minute Getaway Deals

If you didn't plan a weekend getaway for Valentine's or President's Day in advance, that might have been a wise decision. Whereas in holiday weekends' pasts, you'd be looking at a 500 percent increase on day-before bookings, 2009 has proven that it pays to wait and be flexible. In an effort to keep occupancy high, many hotels are offering killer deals--deals that are sometimes even better than their normal rates (and when does that ever happen over a peak weekend?). This is where new California travel site, LocalGetaways, comes in. Offering amazing new specials each week on regional travel, you won't find better proposals anywhere on the Web. Check out some of the ones still available this weekend:

Where to Shop This Weekend: Goldenbleu Going Out of Business Sale, .meggie. and Lovesick

One reason this weekend stands out: you won’t be able to celebrate Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day on the same weekend again until 2015. Here are three more:

Basque Happy Hour at Bocadillos

I can't say how pleased I was to get the press release from one of my favorite SF restaurants, Bocadillos, that it is now offering a Basque happy hour menu from 5-7. Having visited Basque, Spain for the first time last fall, I can verify that every hour in that wonderful town of San Sebastian is a happy one, especially come evening in San Sebastian, when the town's myriad bars open their doors. Inside, revelers find the txacoli (a light, tart, slightly sparkling white wine) flowing and set platters of the world's tastiest drinking food, pintxos--or tapas, as we know them.

Free Paul Madonna Print at Electric Works

If Valentine's is one of your less-than-favorite days, allow Electric Works and the artwork of Paul Madonna to sweeten it up for you. This Saturday, be one of the first ten people to make a purchase at the Electric Works store on 8th Street and you'll be gifted a limited edition, signed and numbered print by local artist Paul Madonna.

Price Chop on the St. Regis Penthouse

The penthouse at the St Regis at 188 Minna became national news when the press got a hold of the Sotheby's listing. Why? Because it was for a cool $70,000,000. Victor MacFarlane bought it for $30,000,000 as a raw shell in 2005, and it appeared on Sotheby's website with the $70,000,000 asking price and beautiful renderings of the soon-to-be interiors back in August of 2008.  The penthouse isn't ready yet, but when it is it'll be 20,000+ square feet (including 2,900 square feet of terraces); six bedrooms and seven full baths (in addition to the four half baths); a home cinema; 22 foot floor-to-ceiling glass walls; and six car parking.

Sidewalk Chic: Style Chameleon in Union Square

Name: Miguel Lopez

Age: 37

Occupation: Owner of Sui GENERIS boutique

Spotted: 7x7 Concierge Event at Infusion Lounge, 6:42 p.m.

Wearing: Brooks Brothers peacoat, John Varvatos tie, Ralph Lauren shirt, jeans, and wingtips

Fashion must-read: Fantastic Man

Most recent purchase: A black short and fitted wool pea-coat from Ralph Lauren. "(I) Have to have it for this end of the winter to replace the bit longer one."

Local Etsy Shop We Love: Kate Durkin

One of the best features about Etsy, the popular website that lets you buy and sell all things handmade, is the different ways to explore the site.  You can shop by color, by editors' picks, or by my personal favorite, locally.  Through Etsy, I discovered Kate Durkin.  A San Francisco artist who creates playful home items such as original works of art, pillows and tote bags, all under $65.  Kate works with a palette of subtle muted colors to create wonderfully original pieces that would be an excellent addition to any home.  To see more of her work, visit

Wilkes Madness: The Wilkes Bashford Warehouse Sale

Long before there was March Madness there was ... Wilkes Madness.

As in Wilkes Bashford -- the man, the legend, the bon ton boutique!

For the last 20 years, Bashford & Co. have swung open the doors at their San Francisco and Mill Valley boutiques to the sartorial masses for the twice-yearly (February and August) Wilkes Bashford Warehouse Sale.

Knife Classes and Cocktail College: This Week's Top Events

1. Heart to Heart
Kick off your weekend by attending the sixth annual Food From the Heart event at the Ferry Building, an evening of music, dancing, food and wine. This year, entertainment comes in the form of gypsy jazz, Tango and a classical music quartet—sample small plates from $2 to 4 per taste and wine pours from $4 to 6. Admission to the event is free; for more information click here.

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