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Dinner in SF Friday 9/1 before swimming Alcatraz??

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I'm doing a swim from Alcatraz to Aquatic Park(!!!!!) on Saturday morning. We'll be staying on Lombard & Fillmore Friday night and want a prerace dinner that sings. Basic criteria are unique/interesting food (ethnic or really good fish) , quiet (at least no Friday night bar/mob scene), attentive service , walking distance if possible (say 10 blocks +/-) & prices at or below-say $40 pp w/out wine or dessert.. View or garden would be nice. Any suggestions??

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  1. I did that race in 1998 -- it's a great swim! good luck.

    There are so many great places to eat on Chestnut street, which is in walking distance to your hotel. One of my favorites is Isa, which has an outdoor patio. The inside can get loud because it's small, but the patio isn't quite as loud. Food is great.
    A16 is also good but might not fit your criteria for unique/interesting food of being quiet. It's not too bad if you go early. I especially like to sit at the chef's bar seats.
    Enjoy, good luck on the swim, and report back if you can!

    2 Replies
    1. re: sfmags

      Aloha & Hey,
      Sorry for the long delay in reporting(hope you didn't think I'd washed out the Golden Gate. YES-we did the swim! A little choppy(more than the first time I did it in 2002, lots less than 2003). I'd needed repositioning both times before, but this time I did it all on my own 1 hour 9minutes(that's flying for me).My partner Michael(who is 70) did it in 1 hour 8 min. I'm sure the previous night's dinner at Isa contributed to our success. It turned out to be next door to our hotel, so we ate at opening. Great service, great food, an extraordinarily good 1/2 bottle of Acacia chardonnay(unfortunately no longer available). They even had pea shoots-my favorite obscure vegetable. I particularily liked the "little plates" servimg style. I hadn't run across it before and it saved me my usually intrusive habit of eating off everyone else's plate.
      So thank you immensely. You contributed mightily to a great experience. If you ever want to go to Molokai and eat freshly caught pacific spiny lobsters(you burn more calories getting at the meat than you gain eating it) let me know, as I have a great condo there.

      The previous nifgt's dinner at

      1. re: sroseme

        sroseme ~ congratulations on the swim, and I'm so glad Isa worked out for you. It's one of my favorite neighborhood spots.

    2. A16 is really noisy, except the back patio is quiet, you could ask for a reservation there. But it's probably too late to get a Friday night reservation.

      Only place with a view I can think of around there is Greens, which is quiet.

      1. There are quite a few restaurants around Union and Fillmore as well. I haven't dine around there for a while so I'm not sure which restaurant would fit what you're asking for, especially the quiet part. Maybe someone who knows the area can make some suggestions.