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Hometown Guide: San Francisco Edition

Hometown Guide: San Francisco Edition

Hometown Guide:
San Francisco Edition

In partnership with our friends at Senreve

Coral Chung

Coral Chung, a business consultant with an MBA from Stanford, had a successful career in San Francisco as a tech company executive. Everything was going great. Except for one thing: She couldn’t find a decent handbag. “It was incredibly frustrating,” says the cofounder and CEO of Senreve. “I needed a bag that traveled well and could fit everything, including a laptop. But my style is very feminine. I wanted a bag that was also beautiful—it shouldn’t have been that hard to find.”

If there’s one rule to starting a successful company, it is: Fill a personal need. Create the thing that you actually want—and the world will respond. Chung and her partner, Wendy Wen, wrestled with the dichotomy of utilitarian and ladylike. Add to that the vague annoyance that the market was saturated with “bags more focused on logos than on serving a modern woman,” says Chung. Then you have an origin story. In 2016, the two women gave the world a collection of bags that would transition from work to weekend, from day to night, and were even convertible enough to fit any occasion at anytime. They called the line Senreve.

“The idea is that you can have this beautiful, elevated, handcrafted product for the everyday,” says Chung. (Senreve is a combination of the French words for sense and dream.) “It’s your fantasy bag and your everyday bag in one.” The fantasy, incidentally, is handmade in Tuscany, but Chung and her company are based in San Francisco. “I’ve been here for over ten years,” she says. “And I’ve come to see that San Francisco may be a small city, but it has such a strong sense of entrepreneurship. There’s spirit here. It’s just one of the most beautiful places anywhere.”

And it was that spirit that informed Senreve. As a city, San Francisco is agile and flexible and smart—qualities that are clearly apparent in every bag. So it follows that when Chung and Wen decided to open their flagship store, they wanted it to be not just in San Francisco but in their favorite neighborhood in the city: Jackson Square. Jackson Square, with its tree-lined streets, charming boutiques, and cool neighbors (Zimmermann and Allbirds have outposts here), is also in close proximity to the water, some of the city’s best restaurants, and all the revelry and cafés of North Beach. In other words, the new Senreve flagship will be in very good company.

We asked Chung for her other favorite stomping grounds in her hometown.

What to Wear

  1. Electric Sunglasses Electric Sunglasses
    Electric
    Sunglasses
    goop, $200
  2. G. Label Core Jordan Tee G. Label Core Jordan Tee
    G. Label
    Jordan Tee
    goop, $145
  3. G. Label Patrick Wide-Cuff Pants
    G. Label
    Patrick Wide-Cuff Pants
    goop, $495
  4. Senreve Doctor Bag Senreve Doctor Bag
    Senreve
    Midi Maestra Bag
    Senreve, $795
  5. Veja Sneakers Veja Sneakers
    Veja
    Sneakers
    goop, $150

Coral’s Picks

  • Boba Guys <br><em>Potrero Hill</em></br>

    Boba Guys
    Potrero Hill

    We love a good milk tea but often loathe all the sweetness that comes with–which is why we’re fans of Boba Guy’s genius menu option that allows you to customize your sweetness level (75 percent is ideal for an occasional treat, 25 percent if we’re opting for several a week) and milk type (organic whole, almond, or soy). There are several locations throughout SF (and three in NYC).

  • Saison <em><br>SoMa</br></em>

    Saison
    SoMa

    What makes this Michelin-starred spot stand out is that there’s no set menu. Instead, the team comes up with a multicourse meal nightly, depending on the day’s fresh catch and produce bounty. This also means that the bill can skyrocket to hundreds of dollars per person. That said, those who’ve been lucky enough to go swear you get what you pay for.

  • SFMoma <em><br>SoMa</br></em>

    SFMoma
    SoMa

    After closing HQ for renovation and running their programming remotely for nearly three years, SF MOMA opened its doors to the public again in 2016. This renovation nearly tripled the size of the museum’s gallery space, expanding it from 70,000 to 170,000 square feet and giving it more exhibition space than even New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The impetus for all the new square footage? To devote space to a generous loan from collectors Doris and Donald Fisher, whose collection comprises a survey of contemporary American art that starts in the 1980s and continues to today—visitors can expect to see Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, and Ellsworth Kelly well represented, plus a strong showing of German art from that timeframe. There are also plenty of other must-sees, including an expansive outdoor living wall, a room full of Clyfford Still behemoths, and Richard Serra sculptures that can be experienced for free by the public, as they occupy an open first floor. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the website.

  • SingleThread Farm <em><br>Healdsburg</br></em>

    SingleThread Farm
    Healdsburg

    SingleThread Farm is located on a stretch of five acres between the Russian River and San Lorenzo Ranch. The restaurant and inn are run by chef-owner (and Fat Duck alum) Kyle Connaughton, who created a multicourse Japanese-inspired restaurant, plus an intimate five-guest-room inn designed by AvroKo, all under one roof. Much of the menu inspiration comes from Connaughton’s own farm, a mere five miles away, which supplies veggies, herbs, flowers, honey, and eggs to the kitchen. The approach is very Japanese, and guests can choose from one of three eleven-course tasting menus (including vegetarian or pescatarian options). The exacting attention to detail threads through the guest rooms as well—they’ve got kind of California-meets-Japanese-ryokan vibe, with Toto toilets and binchotan charcoal toothbrushes in the bathroom and matcha served in a beautiful Japanese mug come breakfast. Photos courtesy of SingleThread Farm (Eric Wolfinger and Garrett Rowland).

  • Angler <em><br>Embarcadero</br></em>

    Angler
    Embarcadero

    Angler is where you go when you want a laid-back dinner by the waterfront in a place that puts all the attention on the food. Chef Joshua Skenes works closely with local fishermen, hunters, ranchers, farmers, and people who know the area and its spoils better than anyone. The result is a menu given to the best ingredients anywhere in the Bay Area—often grilled over an open flame.

  • Anthony’s Cookies <em><br>Mission</br></em>

    Anthony’s Cookies
    Mission

    Anthony’s is the holy grail of cookies in San Francisco. People who love it—which is to say people who know it—talk about it with such reverence and awe, you’ll think they’re a little out of their minds…until you try a cookie yourself. There’s nothing fancy or highfalutin about the cookies: They’re classic cookies, baked to perfection. The Classic Chocolate Chip and Cookies & Cream are house favorites, but they also serve Periodic Cookies—and if you get there on a day they have Coffee Cookies, lucky you.

  • Souvla <em><br>Hayes Valley</br></em>

    Souvla
    Hayes Valley

    Based on the quickie souvlaki restaurants all over Greece, Souvla is the easy, unfussy lunch place you go for a bright salad; warm, salty fries; or souvlaki. (There are a handful of outposts throughout San Francisco.) The ingredients are so fresh—crisp lettuce, humanely raised meat, tangy Greek yogurt—it’s hard to call it fast food. Think of it as a lovely Mediterranean meal when you don’t have a lot of time.

  • Allbirds <em><br>Financial District</br></em>

    Allbirds
    Financial District

    Allbirds has become a classic in the landscape of San Francisco shoes. The company is as revered for its comfortable, hipster wool sneakers as it is for the sustainability behind each pair. The shoes are made of animal-welfare-approved New Zealand merino wool, which controls odor better and regulates temperature more effectively than synthetic sneaker materials. Allbirds sneakers also take less energy to produce than their conventional counterparts. And because they’re so soft, they’re a no-brainer for anyone who is sock-averse.

  • In Situ <em><br>SoMa</br></em>

    In Situ
    SoMa

    The restaurant inside SFMOMA is as inspired and beautiful as you would want a modern art museum restaurant to be. But In Situ goes way beyond a sleek space and minimalist design ethos. The whole concept is to curate dishes from dozens of the best chefs from all over the world. The menu, of course, changes frequently, but be adventurous and expect surprises. Raw lobster with hibiscus (from Denmark), potato with herring and trout roe (from England), and spicy pork sausage with rice cakes (from New York) were all recent stars.

  • Asian Art Museum <br><em>Civic Center</em></br>

    Asian Art Museum
    Civic Center

    One of the largest collections of Asian art outside of Asia, this is the kind of museum you could spend an entire day exploring and feel as if you’d only scratched the surface. Some of the most exciting recent and upcoming exhibitions include Yoshitomo Nara, Au Ho-nien, Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, and an exhibition devoted to works of art recovered from shipwrecks. But the museum’s permanent collection is no less impressive—over 2,000 pieces from Japan, Korea, China, Persia, the Himalayas, and more. One of the missions of the Asian Art Museum is to attract and educate Westerners on Asian cultures and teach its visitors that Asia is not a singular place. It succeeds amazingly well.

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