Just north of Geary Boulevard, a compact, reborn Japantown includes the Japan Center mall, several ramen and sushi spots, the graceful Peace Pagoda and the stylish Kabuki and Kimpton Buchanan hotels.
Head north on Fillmore Street from the auditorium and within a few blocks you’ll notice the shops getting fancier, the prices getting higher.
This is Pacific Heights. If you keep climbing to Broadway, you’ll be able to see San Francisco Bay from the top of the hill.
Along the way you’ll pass dozens of boutiques and restaurants, including the Grove at 2016 Fillmore (where I had two hearty breakfasts); Jane at 2123 Fillmore (where I waited in a close-quarters line for a good lunch); and Chouquet’s, 2500 Washington St. at Fillmore (where I enjoyed a better lunch, smoked trout salad, at a sidewalk table).