San Francisco: Ike’s Place, Absinthe, Fresca & Beretta

When I got to San Francisco last Thursday, my flight had been delayed by 40 minutes. I hadn’t wanted to eat anything at the airport knowing I would be arriving to a culinary adventure. It was quite lunch time yet but we decided sandwiches were in order.

Ike's Place- Nacho Boy

At Ike’s Place, I ordered the Nacho Boy which featured roast beef and avocado. Ike’s is known for something called “dirty sauce” which sounded like an aioli to me. I tend to avoid mayo but what the hell, I’m on vacation. And dude, look at all that avocado. Did they use three avocados in one sandwich? We took our sandwiches to Delores Park where we pondered the crunch of this bread. Mine held up against the simple ingredients but I thought Carina’s was a real mess. She got the Reuben. Maybe that’s the sandwich I want next time!

Ike’s Place

3506 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114-1611
(415) 553-6888

Some sweets and a few hours later, we were ready for our two happy hours. First up was Absinthe, a French themed bistro in Hayes Valley.


The cocktail menu had too many things I wanted to try. I finally settled on the Galapagos simply because I love Kurt Vonnegut and that is my favorite book of his. However, the drink was just sorta sweet. Maybe I should have gotten Old Havana or Daedalus.


Carina’s Wonderlust was much better. She opted for a salad while I had some oysters.

We had more places to visit so only one cocktail each this visit.


398 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-4421
(415) 551-1590

After another couple of hours and some more walking, we hit up Fresca, a local Peruvian chain. We went to the Noe Valley location. We were lured in by the $1 oysters sign. Oh boy, I should have known better. The oysters were horrible but the drinks were fine. The bartenders were cool and I liked the atmosphere. Hell, the chef even came out of the kitchen and handed us tequila jello shots. It’s a party!

We probably should have gotten the cooked food. The mussels looked much better than our off ceviche which had not only had frozen fish but it was off-tasting as well.

At least this oyster shooter was out of the weird icky flakey shells. No slurping or else you’ll get shell on your lips.

Time for dinner! It’s Battledish SF time.


3945 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 695-0549

Improved Whiskey Cocktail & Il Gitano

After dinner at Lolo and dessert and Spork, we headed over to Beretta for another cocktail. I had just read marvelous things about a bartender there. When I walked in, I scanned the bar for him but didn’t see him. It was SF Chefs Week so that may be why he wasn’t there.

Carina had the Improved Whiskey Cocktail and I had the Il Gitano. Again, I had trouble deciding if it was going to be a rum or whiskey day, er…night. The Il Gitano doesn’t have either. It had amaro which I thought was interesting. I’ve been getting into more of these Italian liqueurs lately. It also had gomme syrup which is a bit like a simple syrup but thicker.

What a great first day in SF!


1199 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 695-1199