Home + Design
I'm pretty much an old pro at writing about the completed interiors of restaurants, so when one of the owners of San Francisco's Flour + Water approached me and suggested I check out the empty, dilapidated old structure that he and his team are about to turn into the latest addition to their foodie family, Central Kitchen, I knew a different kind of story was in order.
While Flour + Water has been widely celebrated for its marriage of classic Italian and Bay Area culinary traditions, we were especially taken with its design—an atypical, somewhat rustic and slightly whimsical expression from Paxton Gate owner Sean Quigley.
The iconic Sir Francis Drake hotel just off Union Square in San Francisco is undergoing a renovation and I was hired to capture the new design. The outside is staying the same—both the Gothic Revival exterior and the welcoming Beefeater-style doorman who greets you as you enter.
I'm relieved that they're keeping the Beefeaters. Where else can you get a fully festooned doorman in a red velvet outfit and matching cap to help you unload a car full of camera equipment?!
Spring's the time for home revamps, and what better place to find one-of-a-kind spruce-ups than at flea markets. There's now another one to add to your Alameda/Alemany/Candlestick rotation: this time on -- how appropriate -- Treasure Island. The inaugural Treasure Island Flea is this Memorial Day weekend, and will feature hundreds of exhibitors spanning everything from shabby chic gems to up-cycled goods. The markets will continue on the last weekend of every month, rain or shine.
The seriousness of the San Francisco food scene is expressed by restaurants seemingly one-upping each other on every aspect of the dining experience: We use local produce…We grow our veggies on our roof! Our bar was custom made in Italy…Our plates were hand-thrown in Korea to custom fit each item onthe menu! We have art from a local painter on the walls…We have an artist creating art behind you as you eat!
Voting just kicked off for California Home+Design's latest reader poll: The Best-Designed Restaurant in SF. Readers nominated 23 spots around the city that they thought deserved the title, and now people are casting their votes on the site through January 30.
According to the nominations that I sorted through, the latest additions to the local dining scene are fresh in everyone’s minds, and may give some clues to who will take the title (25 Lusk, Bar Agricole, Benu). But to me, the best thing about this contest (and the ones that are coming up each month for the rest of the year) are that, in a culture obsessed with the newest things, there are some great reminders of the places that may not be new, but are none the less still worth some attention.