Food: Traditional and contemporary Japanese fare — everything from yakitori to sake to ramen — shines at Izakaya Sozai, an intimate spot in the inner Sunset.
Meet Your Mixologist: Thirsty Bear, the popular South-of-Market craft brewery, also offers unique cocktails and high-end spirits developed by bar manager Matt Gunderson.
On the town
Dance performance: To mark the 50th anniversary of The City’s Grants for the Arts, Theatre Flamenco, Patrick Makuakane’s Hawaiian dance company Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu and members of the cast of “Beach Blanket Babylon” perform a free show in Civic Center. [Noon, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, S.F., www.worldartswest.org]
Sitar maestro: Ravi Shankar, 91-year-old sitar master and India’s music ambassador, performs at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. [8 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]
San Francisco’s 12th annual literary festival is a nine-day extravaganza featuring some 800 writers, hundreds of readings and dozens of panels. Many events are free.
The devil’s lexicon: Litquake’s nod to the dark side of literature
“Devilish fun” is how programmers are describing Litquake 2011’s opening party, during which spirits are likely to flow as freely as words. Guests at the kick-off event may mingle with authors and readers, dance to DJs, sip cocktail specials in a no-host bar, vote in the “favorite lit-vid” contest and join the excitement as another amazing festival season begins. Admission to the 21-and-over event is free to Litquake donors of all levels, and $5 general. Space is limited; organizers recommend coming early. [8 to 11 p.m., Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St., S.F. · $5 at door; free to donors]
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market top picks
Sea and sky: Fleet Week events continue through the weekend. Saturday’s events include a parade of ships (11 a.m.). Air shows (12:30 to 4 p.m.) take place Saturday and Sunday. [Most events are at S.F. waterfront; www.fleetweek.us]
Plane speaking: Pam Ann, aka Australian comic Caroline Reid, brings her new show, “You F’Coffee,” to San Francisco. A “high-attitude ride in the glamorous skies” is promised. [7:30 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.]
Improvised espionage: Tiny Godzilla presents “Tuxedos and Explosions,” an evening of improvised theater inspired by the spy movies of the 1960s. [8 p.m., Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa St., S.F.]
Lit and liquor: Writers With Drinks, a literary event set at a local watering hole, presents its October edition with Rebecca Solnit, Jillian Lauren and Diana Turken. [7:30 p.m., Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., S.F.]
Rock art: Rock-poster artists and dealers take part in the annual Festival of Rock Posters. Scheduled guests include Stanley Mouse and Lee Conklin. [10 a.m. to 6 p.m., County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]
Italian celebration: The Italian Heritage Parade proceeds from the Wharf to North Beach, where festivities take place. Look for floats, food, wine and performances. [12:30 p.m. onward; starts at Jefferson and Stockton streets, S.F.]
Top dog: Susan Orlean celebrates her new book, “Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend,” and introduces a screening of “Clash of the Wolves,” the silent film featuring the dog star. [7:30 p.m., San Francisco Film Society Cinema, 1746 Post St., S.F.]
Charity walks and runs
Migraine run: The 2011 Miles for Migraine event benefits migraine and headache research and treatment. Courses include a 5K/10K run and a 2-mile walk. [9 a.m., 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.; www.milesformigraine.org]
Dance salon: Dancers’ Group and CounterPULSE host a “2nd Sundays” salon. Dance artists present and talk about works-in-progress. Featured artists include Katharine Hawthorne. [2 p.m., CounterPulse, 1310 Mission St., S.F.]
Book talk: The novelist duo known as Michael Stanley — Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip — talk about their latest mystery novel, “Death of the Mantis.” [2 p.m., “M” Is for Mystery, 86 E. Third Ave., San Mateo]
A great bike ride
Family Bike Day in Golden Gate Park: Enoy free fun hosted by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Teach your tot to ride in the “Freedom from Training Wheels” class, or let them hone their skills in the bike parade, bike skills “road-eo” and bike scavenger hunt. Learn about the best family bike gear and meet fellow pedal-loving parents. [11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 14th Avenue East Picnic Area juts off of JFK Drive, S.F., www.sfbike.org/family]