Marina-Cow Hollow Insider

Legacies of quality

Crowds enjoy Tacolicious’s new location at 2031 Chestnut Street. PHOTO: Earl Adkins


When our Dyson handheld vacuum bit the dust, or more accurately, stopped biting the dust, naturally we headed over to Phil’s Electric Vacuum Center (2701 Lombard Street), which has been at the corner of Lombard and Baker Streets as long as we can remember — and then some (34 years to be exact, after being on Fillmore since 1941 when Phil began constructing small appliances from leftover parts during War II. Phil retired in the seventies after having passed his knowledge on to Bob Evans, who now owns Phil’s with his wife, Vicki — but we digress).

Though they couldn’t fix our handheld — only because only Dyson can fix Dyson — they were kind and helpful, and in the past, have defied Humpty-Dumpty and put our broken lamps back together again. Phil’s is the go-to for everyone we know for all things vacuum and lamps, and we’re glad they’re here.

With our passports expiring last fall, we clearly needed to move on this task in case we need to emigrate after November. We were delighted to find that Fireside Camera (2117 Chestnut Street), in business since 1954 — and the go-to for all things related to real cameras (like Canon, Leica, Nikon, et al.) — could snap our new pic, no appointment necessary. Strolling in on a Saturday afternoon, we were welcomed and ushered post-haste into the “studio,” and then enjoyed a humorous exchange with staff as we groused about our pictures: “Ten years from now, everyone says, ‘I want my new picture to look just like this old one.'” We’re pretty sure not.


If you haven’t checked out the new Tacolicious (2031 Chestnut Street) digs in the former we-still-miss-you The Grove space, you’re clearly in the minority or don’t like tacos, which also puts you in the minority. Every time we pass, scores of Marina-ites are lined up to get inside and are having a great time in the light, open space, or the sunny outdoor seating.

Beat the Taco Tuesday crowd by making it a Taco Monday, and you’ll be helping a neighborhood school through the Tacolicious School Project. From September through May, each Tacolicious location donates 15 percent of Monday proceeds to the project and has an alliance with 27 public schools. Your taco never tasted so good, right?


A Marina source told us that Scotland Yard (3232 Scott Street) has stopped serving food and cut back their business hours to four days a week; however, on a late Friday afternoon, there were no signs of life and an accumulation of mail on the floor inside the locked front door. We wish them well whatever their new plans — and will certainly miss that killer Yard Burger.

Not sure what all the recent hiring signs in the window at Real Food (3060 Fillmore Street) means either, but the shelves have looked bare in the last few months and the produce has been either nonexistent (no lemons?) or subpar (a half-yellowed parsley bunch?). A staffer cited “our suppliers,” but whatever is going on, we hope they figure it out. We love having a walk-to organic grocer to tide us over between our weekend farmers’ market hauls.


We were disappointed to learn Plate (3251 Pierce Street) abruptly closed last month. According to a posted letter on site, their concept “required multiple locations for success” and they were “unable to generate enough excitement in the investment community” to expand. We were hooked on their tasty, healthful to-go meals on a real plate, covered and ready to reheat, and we’ll sorely miss them on those days we don’t feel like cooking.


We needed some pampering recently, so we stopped in to see Mira Cussen at Rosewater Skin Care (415-292-6544, in the Cudworth Mansion (2040 Union Street). A Victorian jewel, the front steps are aligned with a riot of blooming flowers, and the wind chimes tinkled as we approached, already calming our spirits. Up the charming circular staircase, the treatment rooms and waiting areas are tastefully decorated in soothing seafoam colors and vintage Parisian prints. Whether a facial, massage, waxing, or lash treatments, either Mira or Heather Gillen-Singh will take care of you.

Downstairs at Milvali (415-409-1500,, the locally owned salon is celebrating their 10-year anniversary, so big congrats! They are especially noted for their hair extensions, and were listed among the top five salons in the 2016 Best Hair Salon and Best Waxing category in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Bay Area A-List. Milvali also offers bridal party styling and Pretty Parties for you and your best girlfriends, which includes lots of pampering (five beauty treatments), wine, and appetizers.

The Cudworth Mansion also houses La Lashista (415-601-0530, and Sugarcane skin care (415-748-1869,


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