bay bursts 5

Fridays were my date nights with SK (in hindsight, many of our nights were date nights; this one was just official). Like the hippies we aren’t, we made a freeform plan on the first Friday. After a quick stop-in at an “underground farmer’s market,” supposedly illegal because none of the vendors had permits, we headed up to Bernal Heights to see what struck our fancy.

This wee neighborhood exists way up in the hills of San Francisco. Far from the heart of the city, Bernal Heights has hints of a Sicilian mountain village, with winding, narrow streets, cute shops and restaurants, and stunning views for miles around. The illusion of faraway-ness is so complete that it’s jarring to see a city bus lumbering through the toy streets.

Photo from NYTimes.com

After a hike around Bernal Park (at left), we hit Cortland Ave., the main drag. We looked at several places before settling on Little Nepal. Articles in the window said it was the best Nepalese restaurant in SF, not to mention the only one. Rare food adventure? Sold.

We ordered the National Nepalese Bhojan for 2, which included Momo, Samosa, Chhoila, Alu Tama Bodi, Sizzling Kukhura and more. Unsure what most of those things are? Us too! We didn’t have time to distinguish between the different dishes, as they briskly brought out plate after plate after plate of spicy mystery food, with potato cubes in one sauce, lentils in another, fried chunklets of something-or-other (see why I’m a food writer?), rice, paan, chicken, and on and on. I complemented my dinner with a bottle of Indian beer called Kingfisher, literally the size of a wine bottle. By dinner’s end, I was stuffed like Augustus Gloop, but managed to find room for a wee dessert of rice in sweetened milk. And after all our copious consumption, we still had tons of leftovers to take home for my Saturday breakfast.

End of date night? Oh no, only the best for my lady. I insisted on a whiskey digestif after the meal and after rejecting a couple of bars (too fashionable, too dangerous), we ended up in…a lesbian dog bar. Country music. Free popcorn. Big dogs. Big flirting. I thought it was awesome. SK? Sometimes our tastes stray.

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