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  1. #1
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Places to eat in San Francisco

    We're visiting San Francisco next week for our anniversary (no bike, unfortunately) and I want to find a nice place to take the wife for dinner on the special day (Aug 5... I can remember!). Chinese food is her favorite, but good Italian, Mexican, and steak are also good. So, what do you recommend?

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    2 Wheeler airrix's Avatar
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    Where in SF are you going to be staying at? There are TONS of great food in San Francisco. I recommend using yelp.com to find out more recommendations.

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    Senior Member powpow's Avatar
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    Ozumo is amazing for Japanese. Slanted Door for excellent Vietnamese. NOPA for a cool atmosphere and great food. Chapeau is an awesome French restaurant.

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    And more importantly, what are you looking to spend, $, $$ or $$$.

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    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Don't know about SF, but just short BART ride away there is a great Chinese Restaurant in Berkeley:
    yelp, Their Website

    Their Peking duck is amazing! This was my favorite place to go for lunch, and dinner with friends.
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    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    It's been a few years, but Scoma's was my restaurant of choice for Italian/seafood.
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    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
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    The best steak dinner I've had so far but $$ is the Lark Creek...It's in the Bloomingdales complex. Afterward you'd have lots of shopping, movies and more in one area.
    Lot's of quaint local eaterys too. We love the Grubsteak Pine/Polk, crazy good pork chops. Next door is Myconos "GreeK" the best. North Beach Fiore de Italia.............and way out is Kathy's California Cuisine (organic Chinese) across from Laguna Honda. Then you could alway's just close your eyes and throw a rock, where ever it hits go there...you'll probalby have a great experience...after you pay for the window : )

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    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    We try to visit the Cliff House as often as possible...last time was Dec. before their renovation. But it was good. And spendy. But good. Mmmm.

    When I'm in SF my kid takes me to some off-the-wall vegan places, which are always an adventure. I can't recall a single name, except on Haight St., toward the west end, is an amazing Lebanese restaurant; you can even get a hookah there. The atmosphere is almost as amazing as the food. I that place.

    We visit the Buena Vista about twice a year as well -- usually because it's at the end of the cable car run and we're taking friends and/or family for a ride -- the service and food quality are very dependable.

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  9. #9
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    We're staying at the Heritage Hotel and would like to take public transportation as much as possible.

    As for price, I guess I'd like to keep the bill between $50-100 total.

    Now she's saying little Italy might be nice.

  10. #10
    one good leg jinws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powpow View Post
    Ozumo is amazing for Japanese. Slanted Door for excellent Vietnamese. NOPA for a cool atmosphere and great food. Chapeau is an awesome French restaurant.
    If you want Japanese, check out Kiss Sushi in Japan town. now they are amazing. I've tried Ozumo, and I would not order food there again. it's a pretty cool spot to chill and drink.

    Good chinese? Koi Palace in Daily City. very expensive but the food is pretty good.

    Or try a local favorite, San Tung restaurant on Irving in Sunset district. Cheap, always a line and anything that starts with "dry fried..." is good.

    Then there's always May Flower on Geary, Richmond district.

    Sorry I can't help with Italian or Steak. There's uth's Chris on Vaness. But I personally think their steak is over rated. If you have a car, Alexanders steak house in Cupertino has great meat.

    Edit: if you guys decide to rent a bike and ride around, stop by ocean beach and have a glass of beer or wine at Beach Chalet. Grab a window seat and enjoy a nice sunset.
    Last edited by jinws; 08-01-08 at 03:20 AM.
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  11. #11
    Come on, it'll be fun BenRidin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    We're staying at the Heritage Hotel and would like to take public transportation as much as possible.

    As for price, I guess I'd like to keep the bill between $50-100 total.

    Now she's saying little Italy might be nice.
    The absolute BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT in the City is L'Osteria de Forno. This place is small, doesn't take reservations, cash only, has won numerous awards (James Beard, Bon Appetite, etc).

    And, It is within walking distance from your Hotel.

    Give it a try. You can thank me later.

    BR

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    Senior Moment Member Gee3's Avatar
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    If you want meat the House of Prime Rib is also on Van Ness (1906 Van Ness). I haven't been there in a few years but that was the place for good prime rib!

    My sister used to rave about Harris' Restaurant on 2100 Van Ness as well. She said the service was excellent too. There's also a seafood place right across the street from there that always looked good. But I can't recall the name. (I used to work at the Jiffy Lube up the block from there!)

    If you want Chinese my Texas friend loves Brandy Ho's on 217 Columbus. That might be more of a cab ride though. Although you are centrally located for lots of good places/tourist spots in the area including the wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39/Waterfront area, Chinatown, Embarcadero, etc...

    For Italian... try Olive Garden! J/K!!!

    For microbrews you can look up Gordon Biersch and try the garlic fries! Bring breath mints! Then walk along the waterfront right across the street. Also 21st Amendment on 2nd is cool too! The food is good as well.

    And if the Giants are in town go catch a ball game at AT&T park! Tickets are easy to get... Doh! you'll literally run into scalpers or just go to the box office at the stadium or go online.

    Have fun!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxi777 View Post
    Next door is Myconos "GreeK" the best.
    I've been there. Very good dressing and spicing of the meat.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Rushfan's Avatar
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    The local PBS station runs a tv show called "Check Please Bay Area." It takes 3 normal folks, sends them to the favorite restaurants of all 3, then with a host reviews all 3 restaurants together. Might give you some ideas.

    http://blogs.kqed.org/food/

    Here's another vote for Beach Chalet. Cool place, good beer.

    http://www.beachchalet.com/

    Yank Sing for dim sum.

    http://www.yanksing.com/

    When the SF Grand Prix bike race was still around, we'd grab lunch at the Ferry Building.

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    Bourbon junkie ricebowl's Avatar
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    Some good choices have already been posted. But I'd advise against Beach Chalet. The place has a great view and a nice selection of beer but the food is terrible. Yelp reviewers agree
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/beach-chalet-san-francisco

    One place not mentioned I'd suggest is an Italian place, Tommasos. Between Broadway and Pacific on Kearny. Small family run place with great food. The pizza is really good. Went to school with the daughter of the owner. Her uncle and aunt are waiters/waitresses, her mom's the owner, Aunt's the chef, and the hot sister's the hostess.
    http://tommasosnorthbeach.com/
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/tommaso-rist...query:tommasos
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  16. #16
    Mo No steelblue's Avatar
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    For fancy smancy Chinese food, try south sea seafood village on 1420 Irving St. It's only a one block walk if you take the N-Judah street car from Market st. For really fancy smancy $$$ chinese food, try Tommy Toy's. If you like dim sum, New Asia on Pacific Ave and Stockton St. in Chinatown. There is another one Pacific but on the other side of Stockton that is good too but I can't recall the name.

    Henry the VIII is another for prime ribs. Ruth's Chris steak house is suppose to be good too but I have not try it.

    Enjoy your stay and dress warm. It's foggy and windy here, at least where I live.

  17. #17
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenRidin View Post
    The absolute BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT in the City is L'Osteria de Forno. This place is small, doesn't take reservations, cash only, has won numerous awards (James Beard, Bon Appetite, etc).

    And, It is within walking distance from your Hotel.

    Give it a try. You can thank me later.

    BR
    Without reservations, is there usually a long wait to eat there?

    And thanks everyone for your numerous suggestions! We might just try a few of them since we'll be up there for a few days.

  18. #18
    Come on, it'll be fun BenRidin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
    Without reservations, is there usually a long wait to eat there?

    And thanks everyone for your numerous suggestions! We might just try a few of them since we'll be up there for a few days.
    Depends on the time of evening. I've had to wait up to 20 minutes and then on other evenings, I've had no wait. Well worth it though.
    Looking for a chateau. Twenty-one rooms but one will do. I don't want to buy it. I just want to rent it for an hour or two.

  19. #19
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Chinese - Brandy Ho's (already mentioned - Columbus and Jackson) is very good. http://www.brandyhos.com/ So is Henry's Hunan on Samsone just north of Broadway. http://www.henryshunanrestaurant.com/home.nxg I have lunch at one or both at least once a week. Both will make it mild or mouth-searingly hot, as you prefer. Neither one is that "special occasion" place you are looking for, but are great for another, "not the blowout" dinner or lunch.

    Tommy Toy's (also already mentioned - Montgomery b/w Clay and Washington - across the street from the Transamerica Pyramid) is the "special occasion" place. It is expensive by Chinese standards, but the food is excellent and unique, and the service is good, if a tad obsiquious. Your budget sounds about right for the place. http://www.tommytoys.com/

    WARNING ABOUT EATING CHINESE IN SF - Do not go to Chinatown (or anywhere else, for that matter)expecting to get a good Chinese dinner unless you have a recommendation for a specific place,whether from us, or Zagat's, or yelp.com, or somewhere else. There are great hole-in-the-wall Chinese places all over San Francisco. But there are many more that are mediocre at best. There has long been a joke in SF about there being a secret underground mega-kitchen that cooks up all the Chinese food served in town, and there are a frightening number of places that have food that gives credence to this by serving food that tastes exactly (and blandly) like every Chinese restaurant you can see.


    Steak - Alfred's is a tremendous steak house. It's on Merchant Street, which is actually the alley that runs from Montgomery to Kearny and is between/parallel to Washington and Clay (Tommy Toy's is actually on the corner of Montgomery and this alley). Excellent beef, excellent service. You cannot go wrong there. http://www.alfredssteakhouse.com/


    Souflees - Yes, I said souflees - Cafe Jacquline (pronounced zhock-uh-LEEN) is perhaps the best little romantic, different, tasty, memorable experience you could do in SF. Souflees, and almos tnothing but. It's been some years since I was there, but from what I've heard others say, it's every bit as wonderful as when I was there last. This one deserves very serious consideration, even though it's probably the hardest one to get to (not on a bus line, as far as I know, and the parking absolutely sucks donkey balls). http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...100REST_CG.txt

    All of these are a cab ride away from your hotel - as for taking the bus, you really don't want to be riding Muni in your Sunday-go-to-Meetings to and from your big romantic night out. Trust me on that.
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  20. #20
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Delfina. It's down in the Mission, so it's a cab ride away from your hotel, but worth it. www.delfinasf.com
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  21. #21
    niteridar
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    http://www.acquerello.com/
    a bit pricy for an italian restaurant, but it is zagat's number 1 rated italian restaurant in the bay area.

  22. #22
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    Would refer you to the dining section of the SF Chronicle's web site (www.sfgate.com). It has a good search function for its reviews and ratings. For Italian, I would second Delfina for a very SF experience in a great part of town. Within your price range in North Beach, check out Trattoria Contadina, right on the Mason Street cable car line at Union St.; small, old-style. Also good are Perbacco, and A16 and its sister restaurant SPQR. SPQR is a particularly good value, but they also don't take reservations, so try to get there at 5:20 or so to get in line. If you want Delfina, try to get a reservation ASAP.

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