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Best place to have some Lamb in SF, non-curry, non-expensive? POSSIBLE?!?!

I want to take my friend out to a place that has a great lamb dish, she doesnt want indian food, and i'm a bit on a budget.

Hopefully there is a place with entrees around $25 and under for a good lamb dish in San Francisco area.

This is for her birthday =)


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  1. I like the lamb burger at Bocadillo's in SF Financial District. At lunch, two of them with a garnish salad will set you back only $8.

    Another idea is the cumin lamb at Old Mandarin Islamic, on Vicente near 42nd Avenue. It's pepper-spicy and strongly cumin-spiced.

    1. Incanto in Noe Valley has an AMAZING lamb neck that may still be on the menu (was 2 weeks ago). I recommend it highly.

      1. Woodward's Garden - Braised Lamb Shank w. melted gypsy peppers, braised endive, cous-cous - cilantro oil - great value and tastes amazing - about $20.

        1. 2 thoughts

          ziryab, a place next to Nopa on Divisadero (cross is Hayes) has a fantastic lamb kebab entree for about $14. I wouldn't highly recommend much more on the menu (the meze were all pretty bland) - oh wait, yes I would - the olives are incredible, served nice and warm.

          chez nous, the small plates place on fillmore, has had a great dish on their menu for years - simply prepared chops served with rosemary salt. perfectly cooked. YUM.

          1 Reply
          1. re: laaronson

            A lot of the mezze we had at Ziryab were good. Great place if you don't mind friendly but amateurish service.


          2. Helmand has one of the best rack of lamb dishes in the city and it's only about $18.

            1. I second the Helmand -- they have a great lamb dish called, I think, seekh kabab -- cubes of lamb, not served on skewers. If you go there, also try the pumpkin.

              1. I third Helmand and then also suggest for something a little more special, Piperade, Fringale and South Park Cafe, where I hope the prices hover at around the $25 mark.

                I used to go to Chez Nous all the time for lamb chops, but it has probably been a couple of years since my last visit, in my day they used to use lavendar salt, not rosemary. Rosemary sounds better.

                1. I love the stewed lamb with charred eggplant at Aziza ($19).
                  Though if you like cocktails it's easy to get carried away with spending there.

                  1. Evvia in Palo Alto has wonderful braised lamb shank and I also enjoy the lamb shank at Cafe Gibraltor in El Granada although I would call ahead to ensure they have it. I imagine Kokkari also has the same since the ownership is the same as Evvia.

                    1. Tasty Lamb under $25? Totally possible!
                      I just tasted two lovely lamb dishes last night at Aziza both under $25 each.

                      Stewed lamb & Chard eggplant, a rich and savory dish $19

                      Niman Ranch Lamb Shank with apricots and cranberry couscous, sweet dish $21

                      Both were very large portions we could have just had the entrees and been very full, but we opted for the 5 course tasting menu, which I do not regret today because I will enjoy the leftovers in an hour for lunch!

                      Click here to see Aziza lamb photos:


                      Oh and if you go tell them it’s her birthday when you make the reservation, they will put a sparkler on her dessert with “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate, tell them her name and they will add that too. Saw this happen a few times last night and asked the waiter about it.


                        1. OK, totally lowbrow: Valencia Pizza and Pasta or Il Borgo (both in SF). I don't do lamb but the raves of friends say both are GREAT lamb dishes.

                          1. Bursa (Turkish) at West Portal has several lamb dishes for under $20. I'm not a lamb fan but several people I've went there with have tried the dishes on more than one occasion and enjoyed them.

                            1. Best lamb i ever had was at Slow Club in SF. Melted in my mouth and came with some kind of amazing french lentil dish. It was awhile ago so I don't remember the details, but Slow Club is in your price range and has excellent food consistantly. The atmosphere is pretty casual and can be a bit noisy, so it's not the most romantic setting but service is good and decent wine selection as well. I don't think they take reservations.

                              1. I just had a great stewed lamb dish at Bar Tarine last night with almonds, dates, and fried bread. It was one of the best stewed lamb dishes I've had. The lamb smell was well controlled by the dates and mirepoix. The entree was $21 I think.

                                Another reason to choose Bar Tartine is the nice ambience, great wines by the glass, and top notch desserts. Of course, the poached nectarine dish featured in San Francisco Magazine's Best of 2006 was all out by 10:30pm.

                                The salads here are really amazing. I'm not usually a salad guy but I was completely won over by the watermelon, heirloom tomato, cucumber salad with opal basal. That wonderful dressing also made an appearance in the frisse and nectarine salad that accompanied the quail. If anyone knows the recipe for that dressing, I would love to hear it. I'm guessing champagne vinegar and a little bit of olive oil (definitely less oil than the traditional ratio for dressing).

                                1. Not in SF but easy to reach by BART and way under $25: we had great barbacoa at place on International around 35th or 36th(don't recall the name, but it was on the bay side of the street and had a barbacoa sign in the window). Lamb soup, 1/2 lb of barbacoa, corn tortillas, and onion/cilantro/chiles/salsa, with chips, for $9 plus tax. Enough for 2 of us, esp combined with an order of freshly fried Powderface beignets.

                                  Very tasty if you're a lamb fan!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: jmarek

                                    Sounds like El Huarache Azteca. Barbacoa's usually weekends only, sometimes they run out before dinnertime. Great dish.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      I don't think it was El Huarache Azteca (if EHA is where I think it is). It was a couple blocks closer to the BART station and across the street (on the same side of Int'l as the BART station)

                                      Cannot compare the 2 barbacoas as I've never had it at EHA. Sounds like a comparison is in order...

                                      1. re: jmarek

                                        You're right, doesn't sounds like EHA, which is on the opposite side of International from the BART station.

                                        I can't think of any place in the location you describe that serves barbacoa. However, places come and go there quickly, so it appears I'm due for an update. If it pans out, I'll forgive you for being a bad chowhound and not remembering more about the place!

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          Sorry -- had I realized there wasn't existing chowhound coverage, I'd have paid more attention to the name! Some other clues... It was a long, narrow restaurant with a counter with cash register across the back and the kitchen behind that. They had a setup in the very front that looked like it could be used for takeout orders -- but it wasn't being used. I'm pretty sure they had a barbacoa sign in the window, but not positive.

                                          A quick Google search of Fruitvale businesses combined with a search through my memory banks of surrounding businesses suggests maybe (just maybe) it was "La Gran Chiquita"??

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            replying to jmarek....

                                            Ah, that does sound like La Gran Chiquita. I don't remember them having barbacoa, so I'll check it out. Was this a weekend or a weekday?

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              It was this past Saturday around noon

                                      2. This is pushing your price range a little, but Kokkari always has lamb dishes, and I've enjoyed their lamb in the past.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                          Kokkari's good but one way or another we always spend a pile there.

                                        2. Battambang, the Cambodian restaurant in downtown Oakland, has very good grilled lanb chops. Pricey, at 21.95 or so, but worth it

                                          1. This is going to sound crazy but I just had some of the best lamb in my LIFE at Zushi Puzzle. Call ahead and ask Roger to whip up some of his ridiculously phenomenal lamb chops. Cannot be beat.

                                            1. Oh - also - Kokkari - excellent!

                                              1. Had the best lamb dish ever at Taste Paul K this spring.