- Jeff Shore
I'm an LA resident working temporarily near Second and Townsend, right up from the ballpark. I'd love to hear people's suggestions for places to "chow" -- from the dingy coffee shops to the swanky dining establishments. About the only two restaurants I know in SF are Sam Wo's and Kuletos...
For a classic SoMa "hip" bar, I highly recommend El BoBo --- good menu ---- cheap ------ need to put up with the Post-Punk music --- check out the bar - Folsom between 11th and 12th - across the street from Hamburger Mary's
Luna Park in the Mission is another great deal ---- wonderful American fare ---- Valencia and 18th
You've got some really good choices in your immediate neighborhood. South Beach Cafe for espresso and light meals. Fly Trap at Folsom & 2nd - clubby feel to recreate old SF, revival of some classic SF recipes such as white salad (recommended - hearts of palm, water chestnuts, and other good stuff) and celery Victor, it's been a couple years since my last visit. Wonderful bistro/brasserie type places - Bizou (Cal-Mediterranean) and Fringale (French Basque) at 4th & Brannan, Lulu et al at 4th & Folsom, and in South Park, Ecco (Italian)and South Park Cafe (French). At the top end, Hawthorne Lane is nearby (chef change) and Boulevard at Mission & Steuart isn't too terribly far. Insiders will tell you to have lunch at Boulevard and avoid dinner time. If you're into wine, check out the honor tasting bar at the Wine Club.
A friend from San Diego was on assignment in the City for a few months last year, living in your nabe. He'd mentioned that Palomino and Elroy's aren't very good.
If you're in the mood for exceedingly good but simple food, I'd recommend Dine on Mission and New Montgomery. I loved the appetizers of seared chicken livers there.
Le Charm (5th St and Folsom) was a great bargain for delicious French food - was there about a year and half ago, but I've never been back recently. When I was there, the escargot were plump and crunchy, which is much better than many versions elsewhere. Love to hear an update about Le Charm if you go there.