"Welcome to San Francisco, where the women are strong but the men are prettier."
- transgendered emcee at Asia SF
Last week, I turned the big 3-0. Having just thrown the biggest and best party of my life last month when Dave and I got married, I felt a little guilty about more celebrating "me," so I didn't want to do anything too grandiose. Looking through my bucket list, the answer was pretty simple: Asia SF. What better way to spend my 30th birthday than dinner with my closest pals and a few beautiful trannies?
Let me back up. Before I delve into my night, for those who have never heard of Asia SF, let me explain what I knew about it going in. Asia SF is essentially Asian cuisine-inspired dinner and a show - while you eat dinner, your waitresses - beautiful, coulda-fooled-me "gender illusionists" hop onstage and perform for you. As it turned out, Asia SF did not disappoint.
Asia SF is only open Wednesday through Sunday nights, and my birthday fell on a Monday this year. I was busy the Friday and Saturday before, and Sunday was Father's Day, so I chose to do it the Wednesday after my birthday. Wednesdays there are, I believe, a little more low-key than weekend nights, and It was also probably easier to make a reservation for 18 people. You can choose from 3 prix-fixe menus, all of which are served family style. Since I was making my friends celebrate during the middle of the week, I chose the cheapest option at $40 per person.
Cocktails rule the day here, and my thirsty friends and I wasted no time ordering from their flamboyant drink menu (not included in the price). Being situated in the land of good food and fancy restaurants has clearly taught this place some things, and the night started off with an amuse bouche soup shooter that wasn't on the menu. I read beforehand that the food wasn't that great here, so my expectations were already being exceeded.
All in all, this was a great way to spend my 30th birthday. It felt like a very quintessential San Francisco experience, the food and drinks were worthy of the price, and my friends and I had a lot of fun. I can imagine it is a bit wilder on a weekend, and I was jealous of the elaborate dance floor I saw downstairs when I went to use the restroom, which is only open on the weekends. Oh well, maybe next time.
I definitely recommend this bucket list item to anyone open-minded and adventurous. I can imagine going here for any number of reasons: birthdays, a treat for out of towners, a way to shock your parents a bit, or even a date if you really want to start things off with a bang. Man, woman, or somewhere in between, you are guaranteed a good time at Asia SF.