Meet Zagat’s 30 Under 30 San Francisco Honorees

We’re honored and excited to be involved with this year’s Zagat 30 Under 30, San Francisco edition. To celebrate the exceptional talents being honored, we decided to spotlight some of the stars so you can learn a little more about them. If you’re an SF chowhound, there’s a good chance you’ll already be familiar with some of these faces. To see the full list of honorees, click here.


Elijah Kai Villegas | Beer Guru/General Manager at Blackbird’s soon-to-open Brewcade

Photo by Molly DeCoudreaux

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
I don’t like being trapped in my apartment on my days off but am terrible at making plans so I go out and see where the day takes me. Typically I’m meeting up with friends to check out a new bar or restaurant or grabbing some beers and relaxing at a park.

What are your top three SF go-to spots?

  • Cellarmaker Brewing in SOMA is definitely a go-to for me. Nothing beats brewery fresh beer, good people and good times. Plus, City Beer Store is around the corner so it’s a two-for-one trip.
  • If I’m in the Mission, I can’t help but stop into Zeitgeist for a beer or three on the patio.
  • As much as I love me a glorious meal from the many delicious fancy restaurants in San Francisco, I have three go-to food spots that I like to recommend and I refer to them as the ‘three T’s.’ Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach, Tommy’s Joynt on Van Ness and Geary, and Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in the Richmond district.

What’s your favorite music venue in the Bay Area?
Definitely The Fox Theater in Oakland for bigger shows. Not only is the venue beautiful but they get some awesome talent traveling through there. And you can’t beat Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley for smaller, more intimate, shows.

How long have you been using Uber?
I have been using Uber for a few years now. There is usually always a car available just a few minutes away and almost always cheaper, and nicer, than a cab.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
The most common ride would probably be to my apartment after work when public transportation isn’t running. But let’s be real — Uber makes traveling anywhere in San Francisco more convenient because you don’t have to spend an hour looking for parking.


Akeel Keane Shah | Assistant General Manager at Lazy Bear

Photo by Molly DeCoudreaux

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
If it’s not sleeping, most likely you will find me outside hiking and rock climbing. I also like to explore the culinary seen of SF Going to try new restaurants with friends.

What are your top three SF go-to spots?
I live in Noe Valley. There is a small wine bar around the corner from my house called Noeteca. Super simple french cuisine with excellent wines by the glass. Getting a cheese plate there with a few glasses of wine sitting outside is my ultimate favorite thing. Other than that I go to Mission Cliffs to rock climb. I also frequent my friends bar — Summer Place in Nob Hill. It’s like a real life Cheers.

What’s your favorite music venue in the Bay Area?
Slims or the Boom Boom Room. Both equally great places to enjoy amazing music.

How long have you been using Uber?
Three years.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
Home to Work — Work to a Bar — Bar to Home. Repeat.


Kevin Dowell | Bar Director at Foreign Cinema and Laszlo, Consultant at Outerlands, NorCal Representative at The 86 Co.

Photo by Molly DeCoudreaux

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
When I can actually find the time to get a day off, I’ll spend it with my girlfriend and dog. If we have any remaining energy after the work week, we’ll try to visit and support our industry friends at their bars and restaurants. Far too many to list.

What are your top three SF go-to spots?

  • Caffeine: Trouble Coffee in Outer Sunset. Best staff, best iced coffee, best atmosphere and best hangover remedy (whole coconut with the top chopped off and a shot of espresso tossed in.)
  • Tattoos: Blackheart in the Mission. Home to several of my favorite artists, friendly team and close proximity to Zeitgeist for a recovery drink post-tattoo.
  • Drinks/Food: Impossible to name only one … ABV in the Mission — some of my favorite people in the world work here (including my lovely girlfriend) and Kevin Cimino’s food is incredible. LoLo in the Mission — fun, creative food and drinks by bar managers David and Leon, talented and welcoming staff, perfect ambiance. Their owner, Jorge, is probably the nicest, most humble guy in the city. Prizefighter in Emeryville &mash; enormous spirits selection and casual, relaxed atmosphere. It also happens to be my dog’s favorite bar.

What’s your favorite music venue in the Bay Area?

  • The Independent for the amazing sound system and great lineup of medium-sized tours.
  • The Warfield to see some of my favorite, older bands come back to town, since I was too young to see them in their heyday.
  • The Saloon for a sloppy, dirty, good ol’ blues bands paired with cheap drinks and good conversation.

How long have you been using Uber?
I began using Uber a few years ago after continuously getting turned down for rides by taxis in the early hours of the morning. I’d flag one down after closing up the bar and they didn’t want to drive the 20+ minutes to the Outer Sunset. Started using Uber and they were not only happy to take me home, but were incredibly friendly as well.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
Outer Sunset to Mission — Mission to Outer Sunset … although I’m moving to Oakland next week, so that’s all going to change now. When I’m visiting bars working for the 86 Company, I’ll use Uber throughout the entire evening.

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