Great Eastern stays open late, as does Bacar.
Yuet Lee is open till 3.
Rose Pistola serves a reduced-choice menu fairly late.
(All this comes from my memory; always possible for places to change their hours, so always check first!)
Zuni serves late too.
Of course, "downtown" is as much a point of view as a geographical locale!
Don't know if Black Cat still serves late and haven't tried its changed menu either.
Seems to me several new places have been listed in the paper as serving till midnight, but I'm drawing a blank. My mental image is south of Market though.
Hope some of this helps. And also hope others will chime in since we always eat after everything and some of our faves--Korea House, 42 Degrees--cut back their hours.
re: Melanie Wong
Went to Jianna with a friend from out of town last Monday. The food was very good, but it was so uncomfortably hot that I couldn't wait to get out of the restaurant. I am normally a cold person (always dressed in layers) , but my friend agreed that my face was red by the end of the meal.
In addition, I was envious of the tables next to us with the smiling happy server. They seemed to be having a lovely time. Our server was fairly sour the whole meal, and scornfully looked at my mostly empty plate 3 times before offering to take it away (I was too hot to eat any more and had pushed my seat back and the plate to the side to make it clear I was done - not to mention appropriately placed silverware). When asked if I wanted a doggy bag, I said happily no, I didn't need to take the onions home. Our server replied, "They could feed someone!". Waiter was again entirely disapproving when we declined to order dessert and finally cajoled us into getting the plate of cookies, which was fantastic...but still more than I had wanted to eat (or spend).
Will go back again, only because my friends swear by it and the food was delicious...but am hoping to please get a different server on the next visit.
Thanks for the validation on the food and grumpy waiter alert at Jianna. Can't believe the doggy bag deal! Yet, I'll mention that one of my complaints about service in general are that the staff are too eager to clear the tables. It especially grates on me when they take plates away when others in the party are still eating.
Monday was an unseasonably warm day and most places don't have the A/C systems to handle it. I was at Chez Panisse Cafe with some friends, and it was pretty hot upstairs. I rolled up my sleeves and drink lots of ice water. We kept our bottle of white wine in an ice bucket and served small pours because it was warming up in the glass so fast --- something that's rarely needed in our climate.
re: Melanie Wong
I've been using Jianna as a late night dessert stop in North Beach. Desserts are good and inexpensive (under $5 I believe) - last had a butterscotch pot de creme. Also enjoyed their banana creme brulee with banana bread on the side. The service I've experienced there so far were decent, but not exceptional. Thankfully, I haven't had the misfortune of getting that particular waiter.