a quick foodie drop into another neighbourhood of San Francisco was tasty, with a side order of design, new architecture, bold culinary techniques, park benches, and fun people watching. Octavia Park ( at Hayes) is the nexus, with a first stop at Taste tea at 535 Octavia st. a sweet oasis of calm owned by a charming Chinese American young couple who wanted to offer unusual teas served in a traditional manner in a contemporary and stylish environment.
You can sniff your tea before ordering from this wall display of jars, and pair your tea ( I chose misty mountain) with a hot wheat bun ( curry vegetable ). It is an experience, a meditation as you fill you little cup and drain it into a smaller one, draining the excess water through the slats of your tray.and you sip, slowly to get into that imaginary slope,breathing the leafy smells released by the moist plumes of fog.
I really liked the creative and artsy touches. Specially the room partitions, hand tied with strips of natural linen.
Then, it was of to Octavia park, where a couple of containers had been reused and turned into a couple of take out businesses:
a coffee stand, where you cup is brewed on demand, and an ice cream stand where you scoop is prepared on demand. I guess there is a trend for the ultimate in freshness and a respect for the utmost individual taste.
I love the greys and reds, the industrial meeting the trendy.
The other container hosts Smitten, a new ice cream shop that takes the molecular to the streets.Once you pick your flavor ( they use seasonal, premium ingredients),the liquid mix goes into a contraption which uses liquid nitrogen that will freeze your scoop in a matter of seconds: ice cream on the spot ! I indulged in the salted caramel and it was all that I expected: smooth texture, rich mouth taste,and yes delicious caramely salty tones.They have a "kiddie" scoop, which I renamed " the french scoop": perfect size for that kind of indulgence, and feeling even more French, after sitting on a park bench next to the stand, watching tourists go by and dogs on the grass,licking my little scoop.