Running through the park and down along the Great Highway brings us to the end of the N Judah line by design. We're usually too lazy to run back uphill through Golden Gate Park and would rather take MUNI back home. What's great about this area is that in the recent few years a number of quaint little cafes and restaurants have sprung up - Outerlands most distinctively, Trouble Coffee, and, from the owners of the venerable Java Beach Cafe - Beachside Coffe Bar & Kitchen.
My long run one beautiful January Sunday was for 13 miles. Usual course through the park, down Great Highway, but this time with the addition of a loop around Lake Merced and back up the Highway. I remember not feeling good that day. It might have been psychological. I managed to run part of a DSE 10k course and kept getting passed up by too many folks bent on their speedy 10k pace... DD was also not with me, having run his first really intense trail - Steep Ravine - with Owen on Saturday. Though miles 5-7 is when I usually hit my stride and begin to feel comfortable, I was tired and felt sluggish. At around mile 9 (I was looping Lake Merced by then), I needed to stop completely. I took a GU and drank some water and pretty soon got going again. Eventually I made it to 13.01m and headed home on MUNI.
If ever there was a space that could inspire dreaming, it would be the inside of Outerlands.
It’s gorgeous, with walls, chairs and countertops made out of reclaimed wood. A slanting driftwood mosaic covers part of the kitchen counter. Proprietors David Muller and Lana Porcello initially started by feeding friends out of their ocean beach abode; soon the initiative blossomed into a full-fledged restaurant. And indeed, they seemed to have captured the feel of Ocean Beach perfectly. It’s moody, but warm, the grey light from typically overcast Outer Sunset filtering in via only 3 windows. There’s a sense of escaping to the end of the earth, and its distance from the rest of the city out on Judah and 45th may be both curse for some and a boon for those of us who live relatively close by.
Toyose is way out in the Outer Sunset, Noriega and 45th to be exact. So close is it to the beach I wonder whether folks have taken their orders of Korean Fried Chicken down to the coast, perfect for an evening picnic or twilight bonfire. It didn't hit my radar until the New York Times ran a story on late night eats in San Francisco, focusing on where folks from the restaurant industry tend to congregate after work. We live in the Inner Sunset, but it still took us 10 minutes or so - even late at night on a Sunday - to make it out to the outer avenues. It's a Korean restaurant located in the garage of a residential building and its only distinguishing sign is the one above of a winking chicken. Cheeky and appropriate.