Dive bars with high standards, craft beer galore, and the smell of redwoods infused in the brisk air sounds like the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC. While Californians have a reputation for taking life easy, they definitely are uber serious about their food and beverage. Below are just a few gems from my trek through the Bay Area.
Bikes 4 Life Everyone in the Bay rides bikes and I mean everyone. Bikes 4 Life is a non-profit located in West Oakland that gives at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth the skills necessary to rehab used bikes for sale. They also fix bikes as well. I copped a bike while there and am having it shipped back to the District. Always support people making a difference in the neighborhoods that need your support the most.
Fly Stopped in for happy hour which is from noon until 6:30 EVERY DAY. Great local craft brews that are $1 off and $5 cocktails. Ended up having a Poppy Jasper Amber Ale and an enlightening conversation with a local neighborhood entrepreneur in the same line of work as Goldie.
Rice Paper Scissors Indecisive, I ordered two entrees. The lemongrass chicken rice plate took me back to my travels through the Malaysian fishing village of Malacca. I also devoured a tasty vegetarian smoked duck banh mi that was money too. This Vietnamese pop-up is at Mojo Bicycle Cafe on Divisidero every Thursday.
Burma Superstar I devoured the rainbow salad and pumpkin chicken stew paired with a Scrimshaw Pils. If I had more time, I definitely would have went back to try a few more dishes.
Namu Gaji I felt like I was cheating on Chef Yang and the crew at Toki Underground. Handmade noodles in a kimchi broth. Nuff said.
Mission Chinese OMFG. The best Chinese ever…well, Americanized Chinese but who cares. The sizzling cumin lamb breast was heaven. They could have just served the watercress, pickled long beans, and onions over rice and I would have levitated. The tea-smoked mouth watering chicken was bananas. And the tiki pork belly was phenom-nom-nom.
En route to airport, I dropped by Oaklandish to see what was crackin’ at the clothing brand/retailer. A certified B corporation, they donate ten percent of their sales to local non-profits. I copped a snapback and t-shirt in the classic Golden State Warriors’ colorway.