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Suggest some places I may never have been- Polk Gulch, TL, Mission...

I'm in the mood to try something new. Looking in the area bounded by Franklin, not more into the Marina than, say, Washington. Polk Gulch, Tenderloin, Mission (all the way out to Bernal) all fair game. I live in a neighbourhood I like to call the "Tender Addition" (Sutter/Van Ness area) and I've yet to really find good eats around there. Other than Tommy's Joynt.

We love new experiences and ethnic food. Would like sit-down, but not super schmancy. Is Brick worth trying?

This is for a late dinner and (ideally) drinks tonight.

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  1. Ozone is on Sutter and Polk. They're good if you order the right stuff. They have plenty of drinks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Problem Child

      Thai food, right? Next to Vertigo across from Hemlock? I'll look into it, thanks!

    2. You might like to try O'Reilly's Holy Grail. It is located in the former Mayes Oyster House. Good food and nice setting.

      1. Bodega Bistro, with its divine Vietnamese, is right there on Eddy/Larkin and is perfect for your requirements. Great food, nice place not too fancy. Amazing value. I have eaten there 2x in the last 3 wks and am very impressed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BlaineResident

          You can start the night with drinks at Bambuddah (corner of eddy/larkin) or Olive (larkin at olive) before Bodega, which serves b&w only.

          Also, have you tried Sauce (gough and grove or hayes)? I think that's within the parameters you mention. I really liked it the one time I went. Simple dishes, prepared well and the room is comfortable. They have a full bar there and, though I drank wine while dining there, the bartender was squeezing the fruit juice to order. I saw a slew of mojitos and other drinks flying from the bar.

          As to your question about Brick, if you do a search, you won't find any glowing reviews. Maybe an "OK" at best, but most people seem to have been disappointed by it.

          1. re: fine wino

            Bambuddah serves dinner, too, and has nicer atmo than Bodega Bistro. Good value wine list, too.

            Between Sauce and Brick- hard call. I thought they had very similar style menus ("eclectic" small plates pulling from many different cuisines) and found a lot of the food at both places was too many ingredients in too small a plate- flavor circus! If I *had* to go back, Brick was at least a bit more inventive than Sauce.

            Chowsmurf should definately hit Little Saigon- on Larkin from Sutter down to Turk, there's Turtle Tower (good pho), Bodega Bistro, Bambuddha Lounge, and Saigon Sandwich (super cheap). I've heard Pagolac is good, too, but not checked it out yet. Skip Mangosteen.

        2. Farmer Brown has gotten a lot of ink (pixels?) on this board. Check out some reviews here.

          Also, if you're going all the way out in the Mission, try Front Porch.

          I have not yet been to FP, but FB was wonderful, and the 1/2-price cocktails until 7pm are delicious. Great scene, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodiegrl

            I super-second farmer brown! But be warned that tonight (thurs)is "live music night" and the band is LOUD! Actually the restaurant is pretty loud so if you want to have intimate conversation with your dining conpanion(s), it will be hard to do there unless you really snuggle. Hey, that could be cool though!

          2. We went to Farmer Brown on Saturday night- it is a favorite! (I was pleased to see that the pork tenderloin- which for me was dry and inedibly overcooked- has been replaced with a chop. I had the fried chicken, but I bet the chop is way better than the loin.)

            Oh! Front Porch! I've been meaning to try that. Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to check that out. Also Sauce sounds good- he's a sucker for fresh squeezed juice drinks.

            I did a search for Brick right after I asked that question. Yeah-- I'll be taking a pass on that until I hear overwhelming chatter to the contrary.

            Thanks all!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chowsmurf

              Good call on Brick. We tasted their tartare appetizer at the SF mag event in July, and it was a bland yucky mess. They really missed out on making a good first impression with us and about 1,000 other food enthusiasts. I will not be going there soon (for food, at least).

            2. Stop by El Nuevo Frutilandia, 24th St. between Harrison and Folsom. Tomorrow is Bacalao Day...

              1. Sound like you live mere blocks from Little Saigon. From Sutter, walk south down Larkin and try Mangosteen, Bodega Bistro and (although it's not sit-down) Saigon Sandwiches.

                Also, on Geary and Larkin is A la Turca, delicious and inexpensive Turkish food.

                1. A la Turka has been on my list for a while now!

                  1. If you like Thai, give Modern Thai a try on Polk, near Sutter I think. They have a fantastic crispy basil tofu. This place is underrated IMHO.

                    1. Have you ever been to swan oyster depot? It's on Polk at California...also, Thai House Express is supposed to be very good (Larkin/Sutter thereabouts) though I have never eaten there.

                      1. Swan Oyster Depot has been on my list for ages, but the hours are prohibitive for me.

                        VERDICT- We went to Ozone

                        It reminded me of someplace you'd have a high school dance. Very strange. The shrimp "egg rolls" (just whole shrimp in an egg roll wrapper) were good- how can you go wrong with that, though? The Chicken Wings were very good- not stuffed with rice noodles as I'd expected, though, but tasty. Nice sauce, nice and meaty wings, not like your traditional "buffalo wing" size. (They leave the wingtip on, so it's clear they get the wings whole.) The Tom Yum soup was passable- OK, nicely flavoured. My DC got the yellow curry- this was super yummy and I have some for lunch today! I got the Thai Spicy Noodles Pan Fry and it was completely inedible. There was so much cornstarch in the soupy sauce that it was impossible to find the flavour or spicy through the glop. Also, I didn't think there were any noodles in it- until I found some hidden under some stuff. They were a gummy mass of nasty. Thumbs down on that.

                        Also thumbs down on the Soju Ginger Cosmo- served in a white wine glass with a few floating chunks of ginger. Room temp and overwhelmingly Soju-flavoured.

                        My dining companion would like you all to know the beer was good- Anchor Steam. :)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Chowsmurf

                          Too bad you didn't try any of the unique dishes that Ozone excels at. If you could be convinced to go there again, check some of the past reports for the specialties. Hardly anyone around here makes a good tom yum soup, it's rarely a marker for the kitchen's skill.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            I'll do better research next time- it's literally a block from my apartment, so no doubt I'll be back again.

                            1. re: Chowsmurf

                              Try to order from the rice porridge menu where you can get free rice porridge with 3 orders of dishes. The ones that I liked were Thousand yr old egg with crispy basil and ground pork, On-Choi, Crispy pork belly with Chinese brocoli, Chai-po with eggs.
                              I also liked their duck salad from their regular salad menu.

                              Melanie might have other favorites.