Chow Before A Show
Hi - where's the best place for a real chowhound to eat
just before going to see a show in San Francisco? The theatre's
on Geary St, kind of near Union Square. The meal shouldn't
be too heavy. TIA!!!
Isn't there a Cheesecake Factory around there? (Just Kidding)
I don't have a sense of geography, but I once ate the Hayes Street Grill at the appropriate hour and I swear that half the restaurant left for the theatre all at the same time.
My most delicious meal that I think of as kind of near Union Square was at the Indonesian restaurant Borobudur. http://www.borobudursf.com/ I had the advantage of being there with a friend whose father was Indonesian, so I didn't need to think too much about the menu, just taste and enjoy. (This was several years ago and it was a bit of a dive back then; it seems to be fancier now, at least judging from the web site...)
Hayes Street Grill is on the far side of Civic Center, and serves primarily a ballet/opera/symphony crowd.
I think the most chowish place near the theater district is Sultan, which serves up some of the best Indian food in the city, in a much nicer atmosphere than most of the "Tandoorloin" dives for only a little more money, and is about two blocks (actually, one block and two half blocks) from the theaters on Geary. Ask Maryam (the hostess/waitress/chef's daughter) to recommend some dishes for you, particularly seasonal vegetables.
I would second Sultan as the best chowish pre-theater option. Maryam had the chef cook up a special vegetable dish which was fantastic. Everything was well spiced, fresh, and flavorful. Don't be put off by the hotel dining room atmosphere, Sultan is an excellent choice for a pre-theater meal. Don't forget to try the homemade Mango Kulfi.
If you like sushi, Sanraku's at Sutter and Taylor. Cafe Claude's on Claude Street, off Bush near Kearny, but their service can be slowish (good, but relaxed).