HILLS NEWSPAPERS: August 51, 2014
As a traveler, there are many ways to connect with the people and places you visit. There are museums and cultural tours and even immersions where you stay with local families. But writers have another way to survey the landscape and find out what makes a town tick — the local pubs.
Like seawater. Not the liquid that laps up on shore, but the kind found in kelp known as sea grapes. Mixologists add sea grapes to their signature martinis at Seaglass in the new Exploratorium. Turns out the buds add a burst of salty flavor when they squirt in your mouth. Just a few blocks north, the Fog City Diner (now just Fog City) is a favorite for foodies and the cocktail crowd. A complete renovation has opened up the iconic space to impressive Bay views, a V-shaped center bar and an open kitchen with wood-fired oven and seven-foot grill.
Sipping a drink while you’re taking in views of the San Francisco skyline is its own natural high. Hands down, the best view I’ve found is from what used to be a revolving restaurant at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. The Regency Club lounge is for overnight guests who book the club level, and the lounge serves continental breakfast in the morning and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres each evening.
A word to the wise … cocktails can sneak up on you. It’s better to sip than to gulp, and a water back chaser is your best friend. But when it comes to soaking up the local color, the cocktail culture is an interesting option.