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Date Night: Unwinding in the Inner Mission

Hand roll happy hour at Tokyo Go-Go. [Photo: The Yum Diary]

If you want to have a successful excursion in this town, you need a plan—and it better be a good one. Since it's not always easy to strike that perfect balance between "pre-game" drink, food and a show, we bring you the Date Night series — a block-by-block guide to weekend itineraries that only require one parking space. Today, a fun night out in the Inner Mission. 

See: On Saturday, try to arrive around 6 p.m. for the opening reception of "Disrupture" at the icTus gallery (1769 15th St.) , because opening receptions are usually pretty crowded. The exhibit features some large, thought-provoking multi-media installations that explore how political disruption has entered our every day life. Works include volcano fumes rendered in ink, a documented shopping workshop called "Capitalism is Over," and horror-movie-esque drips suspended from the ceiling. 

Eat: Walk over to 16th Street and see if you can snag bar seats at Tokyo Go-Go. Or if you go between 5:30 and 7 p.m. you can take advantage of hand roll happy hour, when options like the "Sunshine" (hamachi, cilantro, wasabi tobiko, quail egg) are just $3.50 a pop. Great for date night: this is also the only nearby sushi spot that serves cocktails, but we'll still skip the strawberry Stoli for sake any day.

If you want something a little heftier in your stomach, try Little Star Pizza (400 Valencia St.) on Valencia by 15th. We get the "Little Star" deep dish pie and add sausage, some beers from the taps and a salad so we can say it was a balanced meal. People also freak out about the spicy chicken wings here, but we're always so honed in on the amazingly crispy-gooey pizza that there's never room. 

Drink: For well-priced beer on tap, an awesome whiskey selection and the obligatory PBR tall boys, you can't beat Thieves Tavern (496 14th St.) just a hop skip and a jump away at 14th and Guerrero. Did we mention there are two pool tables and a juke box too? Hot tip: avoid the bathroom , if possible.

Got another great weekend itinerary to suggest? Do tell, in the comments.