Friday Favorites: Dining, the city and gift ideas

It wouldn’t be a happy Friday if I didn’t share another round of “Friday Favorites.” We’ve covered a lot of things this week, including class reviews, the top six reasons to work with a personal trainer and my workouts and eats, so let’s get to something a little bit more informal. 

My favorite recent dining experience: Stones Throw

Because Dave and I go to so many new restaurants in San Francisco, I rarely write a full review or detail every meal for you. However, last Saturday we had some noteworthy food and customer service at Stones Throw in the Russian Hill neighborhood. Stones Throw is a busy new spot, and I had to make reservations more than six weeks out to get a table for four on a Saturday night at 8 p.m. Dave and I were joined by another couple, including my work friend Lauren, who you see frequently in my class review posts.

The setting of Stones Throw was the typical San Francisco laid-back scene, but for some reason all the patrons were dressed a little fancier than normal (so it’s a good thing I had on my red lipstick, which you see pictured below). There was a big bar at the entrance and a larger dining room around the corner, so it wasn’t as small and cozy as other neighborhood spots. 

Ashley and Dave at Stones Throw

We arrived right at 8 p.m. and met our friends near the busy bar area. The hostess immediately took our drink order and apologized for a short delay for our table. Instead of having us go to the bar ourselves, she brought drinks to us, and even put Dave’s beer on ice in a little ice bucket. It was a great touch and was above and beyond what you would expect upon arrival. When we were finally seated, she gave us a complimentary appetizer snack, the Crispy Tomato Cream Wafers and Fresh Fava Dip, for our troubles. 

Stones Throw food via A Lady Goes West

Shown from top left to bottom right: Fava Bean Dip, Tuna Tataki, Menu and Salmon.

Dave and I split an appetizer snack, the Heirloom Melon & Tombo Tuna Tataki, which was small but tasty. For our entrees, I had the Pan-Seared Salmon with Pureed Corn, and Dave had the famous “Da Burga a.k.a Da Disaster” — yes, that’s really the name of it. My salmon was some of the best I’ve had (and believe me, I’ve had a lot of salmon), and I can attest that Dave’s burger was mouth-wateringly incredible. I may or may not have finished the last corner that he left of it on his plate and didn’t even get a picture.

We didn’t get dessert at the restaurant, wanting to save that for later, but were super impressed with everything. In fact, Stones Throw is a good contender for my next iteration of the top 25 restaurants in San Francisco.

My favorite thing about walking in San Francisco: Sights

It’s no secret that it was a big transition to get into this city life that I lead now on foot around San Francisco. Having moved from Florida, public transportation, a walking lifestyle and an urban setting were entirely new to me. Now that Dave and I are officially reaching the two-year mark, I like to stop and appreciate the good moments of being on foot. We won’t live in the city forever, and I’m so glad I’m getting this experience.

Although I can get tired from marching around with a backpack and sneakers going from one gym to another, many times I enjoy the cool breeze, city buzz and fun sights of traversing the urban core. Earlier this week as I was walking to teach BODYATTACK on a Wednesday evening, I felt moved to take a picture of this functioning retro MUNI train. Why? Because it’s just one example of the old and the new you find mixed together here. And those sneakered feet take me everywhere I need to be.

San Francisco city living via A Lady Goes WestSan Francisco city living via A Lady Goes West

Shown above: MUNI bus at Market, Montgomery and Third in the Financial District.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of times when I’d rather rely on the ease of driving and parking to get places quickly. But if I was always in the car, I’d miss these great intersection moments.

My favorite gifts: Personalized signs

Have you ever ordered anything from Etsy? For our wedding, Dave and I received a wooden sign with our last name on it and the year we were married. I love the sign (shown below), and it has now been hung in three different apartments over the years. I’m a big fan of personalized gifts and since receiving the sign, I’ve given three other couples similar signs for their respective housewarmings, weddings and new babies. I always order from Etsy and have always been impressed with the customer service. My latest order was from this shop owner, and he was great.

When we moved into our current apartment, we had one little corner wall that needed something tall and narrow, so I selected a big red, wooden rustic “P.” I ordered it from this shop owner, and it’s such a high quality wood piece. I love it.

Wooden Etsy signs via A Lady Goes West

Shown above: Rustic P and Customized Sign.

These pieces hang in different parts of our apartment, and they both make me happy every time I look at them, so I felt it was time to share.

Ok, friends! That’s the end of today’s “Friday Favorites.” At lunch-time today, I’m heading off to try a new barre class and then teach BODYPUMP tonight. Dave and I have a few fun things on the agenda for the weekend, and I’ll be sure to pop back in for some pictures and updates. Have a good one!

And one more thing …

But before I go, I will leave you with something to laugh about: Have you seen the Celebrities Read Mean Tweets segments from Jimmy Kimmel Live? These videos have me cracking up. The other night, Dave and I went through and watched every single one. Please enjoy!

Other entertaining Friday Favorites

Check out all of my previous “Friday Favorites” posts below. And for even more, visit the the link-up hostess, Heather

  1. A snack, a purse and a ritual
  2. A delivery, a bra and a guy
  3. A sweet, a wine and a read
  4. A drink, a gadget and a plan 
  5. A time, a bottle and a powder
  6. San Francisco edition
  7. Beauty edition
  8. Beach vacation edition
  9. Hidden meanings
  10. Kicks, a book and a bowl
  11. The very best sweatshirts
  12. Party hosting and froyo
  13. Fourth of July daytime activity
  14. Beauty basics edition
  15. Workplace edition
  16. Shopping, sales and a show
  17. The foods I always buy
  18. Sushi, a game and pants
  19. Fitness apps
  20. Delicious and healthy products
  21. Comfort, fitness and function
  22. Beauty, buddha + blog events

Questions of the day

Do you have any fun weekend plans? Any new favorites to share? What’s the best service you’ve ever had at a restaurant and what made it so great?

Ashley signature

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    1. That’s funny you should ask. When I was first offered the Friday evening class, it was a new time-slot and I said no. I figured everyone would be at happy hour (and who wants to work out on a Friday night), but I changed my mind and gave it a try. That was six months ago. My first class had 6 people and now it completely fills up many nights and people are turned away because we run out of weights, maxing out at just over 35 in the room. It’s actually my favorite class of the week, and I look forward to it. All it means is I wear my sweaty clothes out to dinner rather than a nice outfit, because I’m coming from teaching. No big deal! Hahah. You’d think people would rather head home or go to a bar, but people show up every week. Hope you have a great Friday!

  1. Ha, I love that Jimmy Kimmel bit! Makes me laugh every time 🙂 That restaurant sounds yummy. And I absolutely love walking cities! Coming from another Orlando native who now lives in the COLD (not really walkable or reliable public transit) Metro Detroit area, a city like San Fran sounds absolutely dreamy!! Enjoy the walks and awesome weather for me, will ya? 😉 Thanks for linking up, hope you have a great weekend! xo

  2. Those signs are so cute – what a nice idea to keep in mind for wedding presents. I’m sticking that idea in my back pocket for the next wedding we attend.

    I love walking cities! The city I live in now is definitely not a walking but prior to living here I lived in Toronto for 5 years and LOVED walking or taking transit anywhere I needed to go. I walked 40 minutes each way to work and actually looked forward to it everyday – it was my “me” time and set me off on the right foot every morning and allowed me to decompress from work each night.

    I’m going to be a golf widow this weekend since my husband is trying to get the last few rounds of the season in. I’m actually looking forward to some alone time and plan on knocking out a few workouts too. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    1. Hi Catherine, hhheeh a golf widow? That’s funny. My husband has a golf weekend planned for next month, so I’ll be sure to use that term then. Hope you enjoy your alone time!

  3. I came from Nebraska originally, so I get the weird transition from needing a car to function to a car being one more hassle. I love being able to walk in the city, it’s my favorite part and the one thing that makes me never want to leave!

  4. I’m heading to Boston for a girls weekend before one of my beasties has her first baby!!! Mini baby shower and shopping to be had!!

    I’m all about the personal touches restaurants can do for you! One of my fav breakfast places hands out mini muffins while you wait because the line up to get a table is always so long!! That to me keeps me coming back!!!

    Have a great weekend!!!

  5. THANK YOOOOU for posting that big ol’ wooden P from Etsy! I’ve been looking for a huge letter of our last name to hang in our living room! How huge is it? Is it huge? I want it to be huge. Lol.

  6. Just read your “about” page and found out you moved from Orlando — that is my hometown too! I just moved to Naples last month because my fiancé lives here. We’ve always contemplated moving to California so I’m excited to start following your adventures! Love your red lipstick you’re wearing in the first pic btw – what kind is it?

    1. Hi Christa! We LOVE San Francisco, but it was definitely a big move from Orlando. So fun you’re in Naples. I head back to Southwest Florida a couple times a year to hang out with my family and we usually fly into Fort Myers. My red lipstick is a mix of liner – (Rimmel Ravish) and stick – (Loreal Refined Ruby). I also have some awesome pink lipstick from a recent Birchbox. I save those for Saturday nights only, of course 🙂

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