It was the most anticipated restaurant happening so far this year, and since the opening of Waterbar and Epic Roasthouse (399 and 369 Embarcadero at Folsom) last Tuesday, the waterfront duo has yet to disappoint. The impeccably designed creations of Rincon Park impresario Pat Kuleto (of Boulevard and Farallon among others), the adjacent restaurants — Waterbar is the “surf,” Epic is the “turf” — are led by a team of industry heavy hitters including chefs Jan Birnbaum and Mark Franz. So what's good? "Our ceviche section is full of bright and vibrant flavors, and we've been getting an enormously positive response with it," Waterbar executive chef Parke Ulrich says. "When the waiters ask, 'What would you eat tonight?,' that's what I usually tell them." For more info, call 284-9922 or visit www.waterbarsf.com; 369-9955 or visit www.epicroasthousesf.com.
With the much-maligned ’70s dipping dish of fondue making a comeback, the SF Weekly's Meredith Brody was on the trail this week, turning up one Bay Area spot, Melt (700 Columbus at Filbert), worth its weight in cheese. After a few fondue near-misses for the writer, Melt turned out to be the real thing: "It's as heady, fragrant, thick, and characteristically elastic as the elusive fondue of my dreams." For more info, call 392-9290 or visit www.melt-cafe.com.
It’s time to switch cultural gears and help Bong Su (311 Third St. at Folsom) ring in the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Year of the Rat) at the Tet Celebration. Chow down on traditional good-luck dishes like lobster spring rolls, pork, and chrysanthemum soup, but not before putting the kibosh on evil spirits with fireworks and a 7:00 p.m. dragon display. For more info, call 536-5800 or visit www.bongsu.com.
Brush up on the mating behavior of wild animals at the San Francisco Zoo's 19th Annual Valentine's Day Woo (1 Zoo). Hosted by Jane Tollini, the popular, groundbreaking series offers a hilarious up-close look at the sex life of various beasts, while human participants cozy up to a roaring fire and get in the mood with a whole slew of lovey-dovey refreshments including chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, and sushi — not to mention a “delicious surprise.” Sat., Feb. 9, through Sun., Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. $75 per person. Reservations required. For more info, call 753-7236 or visit www.sfzoo.org.
Turn a boring Wednesday night into an instant weekend with the Rumble at SoMa dance club Harlot (46 Minna at Shaw), a monthly indie-rock dance party (yes, apparently you can dance to indie rock) featuring DJs Aaron Axelson of Live 105 and Lisa Light of the Lovemakers. But here’s the best part: Red Bull and Ketel One are served free from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m., and there are happy-hour drink prices all night, which is sure to get even the most emo indie rockers shaking their scrawny booties on the dancefloor. Admission is $5 at the door. For more info, call 777-1077 or visit www.harlotsf.com.
Every Wednesday in February, the SF Weekly brings you City of Spin, a DJ series featuring reggae, hip-hop and soul, indie-pop and mash-ups, and house/electronica. A different venue will host each night, with local DJs and free admission. Show your support and cheer on our local amateur DJs, who will be competing for a spot to spin at Ultra Music Festival in Miami. This Wednesday, Feb. 6, check out The Bashment at John Colins Lounge (90 Natoma at Second St.) featuring Mr. E, Shortkut, and Nowtime Sound. 10:00 p.m. For more info, call 543-2277 or visit www.sfweekly.com.