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Scouting Michael Krasny's San Francisco Food Stops

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Marin resident Michael Krasny, Ph.D., is the radio host of KQED's Forum, a popular public affairs program that has aired mid-morning weekdays since 1993. According to Krasny's bio, he has "interviewed many of the leading newsmakers and cultural icons of our time, including Saul Bellow, former President Jimmy Carter, Cesar Chavez, Noam Chomsky, Francis Crick, John Kenneth Galbraith, Newt Gingrich, Jane Goodall, V.S. Naipaul, Rosa Parks, Robert Redford, Salman Rushdie, Carl Sagan, Susan Sontag, Gloria Steinem, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu." Krasny is also a SFSU English professor, author (Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life), and has hosted and moderated for charity and corporate events. Krasny's latest book is called Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic's Quest and will be published in October; Joyce Carol Oates is scheduled to write the foreword.

Full disclosure: My husband Oscar Villalon has been a guest on many Forum programs, and lunches occasionally with Krasny. The radio legend agreed to share his favorite Bay Area eating spots over lunch at Slow Club on a recent afternoon. He ate a plain burger sans toppings and a Caesar salad. The accompanying French fries remained mostly untouched by Krasny. After our lunch and talking with his wife Leslie at home, Krasny emailed over some date-night picks after getting scolded by Leslie. "We like Kokkari (Estiatorio) and do go there not infrequently and love Ton Kiang for dim sum and Mescolanza for Italian. I also have long enjoyed El Mansour, Spruce, Bistro Aix and Town Hall." The Krasnys celebrated their forty-first wedding anniversary this week, are longtime Greenbrae residents, and have two daughters. When asked for the secret to staying married for so long, he said, "I have no idea."

Krasny admitted his picks for the most part revolve around his stomping grounds--KQED and SFSU. Its no surprise that many of his spots reflect his week day routine of commuting to San Francisco.

The Gold Mirror Italian Restaurant
800 Taraval Street (at 18th Avenue) Map
(415) 440-9411
(415) 564-0401
Hours: Lunch Monday-Friday: 11am to 2:30pm
Dinner Monday-Friday: 5pm to 10pm
Saturday: 5pm to 10pm
Sunday: 4pm to 10pm

Krasny: "I used to eat at this Italian place with Brian Copeland, Jerry Nachman, and Bob Sarlatte. Eating there makes me think I’m in Cosa Nostra."

Restaurant Gary Danko
800 North Point Street (at Hyde St.) Map
(415) 749-2060
Hours: Dinner nightly: 5:30pm to 10pm
Bar Hours nightly: 5pm to 12am

Krasny: "Gary Danko is out of this world. We went there for my birthday."

The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building #3 Map
(415) 861-8032
Hours: Daily 11am to 12am

Krasny: "When my daughters asked where to go for Father's Day, I picked The Slanted Door. I just love the food there."

Double Play Bar & Restaurant
2401 16th Street (at Bryant Street) Map
(415) 621-9859
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7am to 8pm or later, depending on number of customers
Saturday-Sunday: 8am to 8pm or later, depending on number of customers

Krasny: "It’s like a little museum. I usually order chicken or sausage."

The Street Restaurant
2141 Polk Street (at Vallejo Street) Map
(415) 775-1055
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 5:30pm to 2am

Krasny: "They have awfully good food."

Lakeside Café
2529 Ocean Avenue (near Junipero Serra Boulevard) Map
(415) 337-0359
Hours: Daily 7am to 9pm

Krasny: "I'll grab a BLT or something at the Lakeside Café."

Yank Sing Restaurant
101 Spear Street (at Mission Street) Map
(415) 957-9300
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11am to 3pm
Saturday-Sunday: 10am to 4pm

Krasny: "Who doesn't love Yank Sing?"

Yet Wah Restaurant
2140 Clement Street (near 23rd Avenue) Map
(415) 387-8040
Hours: Daily 10am to 10pm


Bill's Place
2315 Clement Street (Baker) Map
(415) 221-5262
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11am to 10pm
Friday-Saturday: 11am to 11pm

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