Not long ago, we wandered into what could be the funkiest cooking store in San Francisco -- Cookin': Recycled Gourmet Appurtenances.
It took our eyes a minute to adjust to the dark interior of the store, and then we saw stacks of used pots and pans, baking trays, glasses and cups, tableware, bookcases full of cookbooks, vintage French signs leaning here and there...We couldn't even see the proprietor at first, although we heard her voice. It turned out she was on the floor, hidden behind piles, looking for something or other. You can find any type of cookware you could ever want at Cookin', although you might need some help finding it. While we were poking around, we listened to the owner help people who came in. Without checking a computer, she was able to tell customers exactly where in the shop they could find the cooking objects they were searching for. Rumor has it that if you tell her what you want to cook or bake, she can lead you to the right pot or utensil.
(Cookin' is just a couple of doors down from The Other Shop.)