Triple Threat: Galleries and Grub around Union Square
If you want to have a successful night out 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-dinner drink, food and a show, we bring you the Triple Threat series — a block-by-block guide to weekend itineraries that only require one parking space. In this edition, check out a few art exhibits and nearby watering holes around Union Square and the Tenderloin.
See: All of our Top Five Gallery Openings This Week are nestled just above Market St., in the Union Square area. It's ambitious, but you can hit them all if you stay properly fueled. Luckily, loads of affordable options are nearby in the TenderNob and Tenderloin.
Eat: A chic little hole-in-the-wall eatery Farm:Table (754 Post St.) is just a few blocks away from the Cain Schulte Contemporary Art gallery ("Directors Choice" in our guide) on Post Street. Check the website for today's menu, which details the crusty toast of the day. If it's soft egg and bacon, go for it. And if you make this one of your earlier stops of the day, grab a cup of slow-drip joe and one of their ridiculously crave-worthy kouign-amman.
Dinner: We can vouch for the curry at Jones St. newbie Kare-Ken (552 Jones St.), which brings a rare dose of design-forward, clean decor (as in dirt-free) and friendly service into the Tenderloin. The traditional choice would be Katsu Curry, and at Kare-Ken the meat is white, and the deep-fry is impeccable—not greasy as it can be at other joints. Our choice is always the Dry Beef Curry, like a Japanese bolognese sauce with chunks of veg. Spice fiends should ask for extra heat. Also, get the onion rings because they're well done and, well, it's the weekend.
Drink: After Kare-Ken, you must hit Bourbon & Branch offspring Mr. Lew's Win Win Bar, which recently moved right next to its former location at 441 Jones St. Despite deep red walls, wine barrels, and candlelight, it still feels casual, making it the perfect place to wind down and rest after a day at the galleries. If Jesse is your bartendress, know that she makes a mean Oaxaca Old Fashioned, subbing mezcal and tequila for the expected whiskey. Next year, they'll smash down the wall between this bar and the one next door to make something like a mashup of Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch, so now's your chance to experience it as a humble dressed up dive bar.
Got any other suggestions for this neck of the woods? Write us a note or tell us about it in the comments.