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Aug 10, 2006 01:27 AM

tiny gem of a resturaunt in SF?


I was wondering if anyone knew about a small, moderately priced place to have lovely fresh food in the SF area. I am coming to town w/ a friend who is moving to Hong Kong. We were hoping for interesting and creative fare, perhaps a pre fixe. 50.00 or so a person for the meal, not incuding wine or drinks is fine.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. There is no better small restaurant in SF than Canteen on Sutter Street.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Husky

      Second the vote for Canteen.

      Another spot to consider is The Richmond out on Balboa St. in the Richmond District. Upscale fare at moderate prices. More intimate than Canteen.

    2. Da Flora on Columbus at Filbert.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wineguy7

        My girlfriend and I went to Da Flora for our anniversary a couple of months ago, and thought that, though it was good, it was not as outstanding than Dopo, in Oakland, and substantially more expensive. We both love Dopo for its intimate atmosphere and superb food - I still remember the coarse paté I had the first time I was there, and my dad's fall minestre soup, which was better than the soup we had at Chez Panisse the next day. Da Flora, by contrast, was very, very rich and heavy, and the only really remarkable dish we had was the so-called signature sweet potato gnocchi, which came in a bacon cream sauce. These really were fantastic. The other dishes we had, a lamb shank and sweet pea ravioli, were merely very good, although they get bonus points for the bright, sweet flavor of the peas against the cream sauce they (also) came in.

        1. re: David Boyk

          I love Dopo, but I wouldn't call it intimate. Atmosphere's more like a crowded, very informal cafe. Tables are very close together.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Okay, that's actually true. But to be honest, I'd rather have cheerful white noise in the background than silence. By intimate, I really meant that it was small and allowed for romantic what-have-you, plus dessert.

      2. What about Aziza, $42 tasting menu (5 courses) pretty damn fantastic food, intimate atmosphere, and great drinks? Creative desserts, too.

        Also, Chou Chou which is on Laguna Honda in the Sunset/Forest Hills

        1 Reply
        1. re: Doodleboomer

          Although I consider Aziza a gem, I wouldn't consider it small, although the way it's set up can be intimate.

          I think Chapeau! is closer to a small gem. Piperade is a gem and rather small.

          For that matter, since you said "SF area" why not head over to Berkeley and the Cafe at Chez Panisse?

        2. Luella or Tablespoon. Luella is more friendly and a touch less expensive. Tablespoon is more creative. Both Russian Hill neighborhood spots.

          1. I would definately call Kiss Seafood a little jewel