The San Francisco Holiday Survival Guide


16 ways to make from now until 2010 go as smoothly as possible.




1. Though you could drink the Tiger’s Milk No. 11 any time of year, this concoction of Spanish brandy, rum, sugar, cream and nutmeg seems perfectly appropriate for a rainy night. At Heaven’s Dog, 1148 Mission St., 415-863-6008,

2. The star ingredient of the Hickory Dickory Dock is a forgotten French orange liqueur called Picon, shaken together with scotch, Cointreau Noir, cream, lemon juice, ginger beer and nutmeg. Think spiked eggnog, but better. At 15 Romolo, 15 Romolo Pl., 415-398-1359,

3. If the idea of combining calvados, amaro, apple butter and lemon strikes you as delicious, sample the Apple Bottoms Up, Hot Buttercup. At Conduit, 280 Valencia St., 415-552-5200,

4. Heat up with a Fog Lifter (brandy, amaretto and coffee, topped with whipped cream) to help you shake the winter chill. At Range, 842 Valencia St., 415-282-8283,

5. Who needs a flu shot? Have a hot toddy—or two—for a germ-fighting antidote of brandy, hot water and lemon juice. At Elixir, 3200 16th St., 415-552-1633,

6. Shanghai Dumpling King/Balboa Theatre
Go early and have the Chinese version of donuts and coffee (fried dough and soy milk) before seeing that movie you meant to see last month. Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St., 415-221-8184,; Shanghai Dumpling King, 3319 Balboa St., 415-387-2088

7. Ton Kiang/Four Star Theatre
Dim sum first (don’t miss the delicate egg custard tarts), followed by a matinee—this is the gift you give yourself. Four Star Theatre, 2200 Clement St., 415-666-3488,; 5821 Geary Blvd., 415-752-4440,

8. Yank Sing/Embarcadero Center Cinema
After powering your way through a few dozen dumplings, catch a first-run at the Embarcadero Landmark, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835,; Yank Sing, 101 Spear St., 415-957-9300,

9. Xiao Loong/Empire Theatre
Go to Xiao Loong for the soup dumplings and the Empire for the holiday matinees—tickets are only $7.75 before 2 p.m. Empire Theatre, 85 West Portal Ave., 415-661-2539,; Xiao Loong, 250 W. Portal Ave., 415-753-5678,

10. Koi Palace/Century 20 Daly City
Shake off the Koi Palace food coma by watching a blockbuster at DC’s movie mega-plex. Century 20, 1901 Junipero Serra Blvd., Daly City, 650-994-2488; Koi Palace, 365 Gellert Blvd., 650-992-9000,

11. Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein’s home, located up one of the steepest streets in the Castro, is decorated to the kitsch hilt—make the pilgrimage once, and it will become a family tradition. 3650 21st St.

12. Take the guesswork out of everything with Lights of the Valley. This Web site catalogs the best and brightest throughout the Bay area—complete with a Google map—beginning Nov. 27.

13. Let mom unleash her (not-so) inner soprano for a carol sing-along with the SF Symphony Chorus. Dec. 13, Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., 415-864-6000,

14. Meditate on a female scribe who is taking a year and a a feather quill to copy the Torah scroll letter by letter. As It Is Written: Project 304,805 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., 415-655-7800,

15. Buy the whole family tickets to the Emerald Bowl, at AT&T Park the day after Christmas. 24 Willie Mays Plaza.,

16. Send your wide-eyed Midwestern aunts to do some day-after-Thanksgiving shopping in Union Square, followed by a stop-off at Infusion Lounge for “Posh,” a cabaret night with live music and hostess Anita Cocktail. 124 Ellis St., 415-421-8700,

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