SAN FRANCISCO’s BEST ●Attractions●Performing Arts
image courtesy of venue
Asia SF 201 9th St./Howard St., South of Market. Reservations advised. This place seems to have everything going for it: good food, great entertainment, central location, easy parking, reasonable prices. All the waitresses here are actually men who dress as women. These “gender illusionists” also perform hourly--dancing and lip-synching atop a 40-foot-long runway on the red bar. This means everyone gets to see almost everything. Any wait to get in can be spent in a dance club downstairs, which offers more diversion at no additional admission charge. And though the show is the main draw, the East-West fusion food is tasty. Appetizers include chicken satay, Dungeness crab cakes, and a refreshing Thai shrimp salad, and scallops and filet mignon are among the entrees. Mixed drinks are colorful and fun—think Trina’s Pussycat made with Malibu Coconut Rum and Chambord or a Blue Margarita--and include some sake cocktails and a few non-alcoholic specials. For dessert, the tray of yummy miniature ice cream cones is the way to go. Lights are low, spirits are high, and wardrobe malfunctions and debauchery between shows is part of the experience.
Supperclub CLOSED 430 Mason St./Geary St., 1 blk. from Union Square. Surprises and naughty fun await diners here, where a bit of San Francisco butts heads with a bit of Roman decadence. It’s best not to know too much before arrival. Ideally, the experience begins with a drink in the circular bar area before the doors open to the club, and a Black Cherry Drop is a great way to go. Diners are led to their spot among a bank of beds that flank three-fourths of the all-white room. After taking off your shoes and climbing up on the beds, you can snuggle into pillow backrests. The rest of the room is left open for watching theater—the video screen that is reminiscent of a ‘60s light show, the DJs doing their thing, the bartenders shaking away, the chefs scurrying in the exhibition kitchen, and the night’s entertainment. The set menu (dietary restrictions are accommodated) multi-course dinner consists of sophisticated cuisine served on a bed tray to loungers. Scheduled entertainment might include anything from a delightful designer fashion show to a bit of divalicious drag queen debauchery. One night, anyone who wanted to be spanked was accommodated, and every night a foot massage is available for an additional fee. After dinner, guests have the choice of staying on past bedtime for the club scene or exiting through the oversize, shiny-brass double doors and seeing the envious looks of those who are still waiting for entry outside behind velvet ropes.