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25th & Clement

exboonie Sep 21, 2006 01:43 AM

We are moving into the neighborhood and there seem to be a plethora of good looking restaurants in the area. Any locals out there ranked them?

I ate at Bills years ago and had a good sandwich at AK (sic) meats but would love to know more about the crab place and the sushi joints.


  1. e
    exboonie Oct 21, 2006 07:23 PM

    We had a lovely birthday dinner for 5 at Rumblefish on 23rd & California. It is a Japanese bistro with French influences and not a typical sushi restaurant.

    Our octopus and scallop carpaccio appetizers were very fresh and served in a light vinagrette. We tried their vegetable roll and a couple spicy tuna and tempura rolls. The salmon teriyaki and grilled chicken both came with crisp sauteed vegies on the side.

    There is only one chef and waitress so the food procession was uneven. They suffer from the catch 22 of all new restaurants--not wanting to have more staff until they have more customers.

    Rumblefish has been open for 6 months and I hope they stick around.

    1. r
      rgj Oct 21, 2006 05:17 AM

      I recently tried Um Ma Son for lunch (5850 Geary @ 22nd). It's Korean, the lunch specials are especially good value. The mother cooks, the daughter serves the food. The service is wonderfully friendly. I especially liked the panchan (side dishes), a couple of unusual ones like pea sprouts. I had the soon tofu w/ seafood...yum. Perfect for a cold, grey day in the Avenues.

      1. f
        figrrl Oct 2, 2006 06:33 PM

        We live in the neighb and I would add Bai Som on Clement/23rd for always great Thai food. PPQ mentioned above has great Vietnamese food. Both deliver too. We also love Karamanduka -- don't be put off by the negative comments above. Yes, Peruvian food is unusual, but do try it.
        Dry cleaner - we love the folks at golden star on calif/23rd.

        1. tacos Oct 1, 2006 06:13 AM

          I live above Mescolanza. It's good - better than Ernesto's.
          There are no good taquerias or coffee shops in this neighborhood, but plenty of decent Thai and Vietnamese.
          Taste of Formosa is something different for a change.
          The pastrami at AK is surprisingly good.
          India Clay Oven is a classic.
          It's not too close, but House Of Bagels is above average for SF bagels.

          by the way, I'm not sure if Ocean King is actually a real restaurant, so be careful

          1. chowaddict Sep 29, 2006 07:01 AM

            so beyond park presideo, you have:

            be my guest thai bistro - upscale thai food that is worth a try
            my tofu house - love the tofu soup, stoneware rice, and spicy pork
            brothers - still the standard for me when it comes to kbbq
            taiwan - my fav little dive - xlb, pot stickers, shanghai noodles, minced meat over rice for 1.95!, lots of other stuff
            clementine - good neighborhood french, though i still prefer chapeau
            the richmond - loved the food, the atmosphere was a little weird bc it feels like it wants to be upscale, but it is neighborhood, and it just seems very remote and yet see all sorts of traffic through the windows
            sushi place on the corner of 5th and clement - quick, sushi boat, nothing exciting, but its a safe bet

            On Balboa,

            americana grill - good bfast, although i havent been there often since they remodeled and the prices went up; but you can get viet/ital/diner fare here
            little henry's - neighborhood viet/italian again
            kam's - go only for the general's chicken and nothing else

            One omission I made from my original list was Tia margarita - all i can say is wow, huge portions, decent mexican, great drinks

            1. m
              Maya Sep 28, 2006 04:55 PM

              Troya on Clement is awesome. Turkish/mediterranean.

              1. k
                kay06 Sep 28, 2006 03:00 AM

                for indian, my vote is for great india on geary and 25th, ernesto's on clement and 24th (?) is not bad for basic pizza and joe's on geary and 18th definitely has the best ice cream in the 'hood......

                has anyone tried the new mediterranean place (layala?) on clement around 24th? or the peruvian place (karamanduka or something like that...) on clement near 19th?

                1 Reply
                1. re: kay06
                  calvarez Oct 1, 2006 01:14 AM

                  We went to Layaly last night and had the meza platter appetizer, mixed kabobs, and stuffed eggplant. Our dishes were all well prepared, though the menu is not terribly imaginative. The price-performance value is pretty good - the appetizer plus two entrees was far more food than two hungry people needed, for under $45.

                  The Peruvian place Karamandukula is *bad*. First of all, they were out of half the items on the menu, including the wines. The service was pleasant and apologetic, but that definitely set us off on the wrong foot. We ordered one of the ceviche dishes, a peanut, shrimp, and potato dish, and a creamy stew over rice dish. (apologies for not remembering the exact names).

                  The ceviche dish was fine, but the others were just ... weird. Bland, very fatty, and a strange combination of flavors. At the end of the meal, we both felt strangely unsatisfied - not hungry, but just not settled, as though we had eaten an assortment of varied leftovers. I don't think I've ever had Peruvian food before, so maybe it's just a combination of flavors I don't care for, but I like most things and this is definitely not a place we'll be returning to.

                2. k
                  KateC. Sep 27, 2006 04:14 AM

                  I second Ton Kiang for dinner or dim sum and Tommy's for the margaritas. As for a drycleaner, since you asked, the one on the corner of 20th & Geary is an excellent basic cleaner. They send it out but they are very careful and will listen to you and re-do things. I never had them ruin anything. For more delicate jobs, it doesn't get any better than Peninou French Cleaners on Sacramento St.

                  1. e
                    exboonie Sep 27, 2006 12:17 AM

                    I look forward to trying all of these places. My wife and I had lunch at Pizzetta 211 and loved the food (the braised greens side dish was especially good). We did think it was a tad expensive.

                    However, as to the service, we loved the attitude. Granted I grew up in NYC and the owner/cook is from Brooklyn so there was a bit of a mind meld there but...He said a lot of people don't like his attitude but it is all in good fun and I suspect the food is good enough and the restaurant busy enough to allow him to indulge in his NY behavior.

                    1. Mari Sep 22, 2006 05:12 PM

                      I went to the renovated Indian Oven location on Clement a few months ago and really enjoyed their stuffed naan. The food was quite good and super spicy.

                      1. chowaddict Sep 22, 2006 04:59 PM

                        Welcome to the neighborhood.

                        It is very foodie friendly.

                        Pizzetta 211 - very good pizza as mentioned above
                        Gordo's (on 24th) - my go to cheap eats
                        Kitaro - crazy lines for cheap japanese
                        The other 2 on the same block are pretty good as well
                        I do not recommend the sushi place on the corner of 26th and clement - always empty, ate there once and the nori was stale
                        Patpong - solid thai food
                        Mescolanza - reviewed in the SFChron today - I have never been though
                        Gaspare's - nice neighborhood Italian joint
                        AK - great huge sandwiches
                        Yet Wah - the second best dim sum in the area
                        The place next to Ton Kiang - The best dim sum
                        Khan Toke - good thai food with traditional seating
                        Chapeau! - very popular on this board, service is better than the food imo, but the early bird price is unbeatable for French food

                        If you want to go beyond park presideo or up to Balboa, let me know.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: chowaddict
                          Maya Sep 22, 2006 05:52 PM

                          Please do continue your recs for the area! I live nearby and a good list is always very handy to have.

                          1. re: chowaddict
                            Ruth Lafler Sep 27, 2006 12:20 AM

                            Yet Wah makes my all-time favorite potstickers. If I lived in the nabe, I'd be in there eating potstickers ... more often than I'd probably want to admit.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                              Mick Ruthven Sep 27, 2006 04:28 AM

                              How's the rest of the food at Yet Wah? I liked it a lot way back when I lived in the city. Their incarnation in San Rafael is pretty bad.

                              1. re: Mick Ruthven
                                Ruth Lafler Sep 27, 2006 06:10 AM

                                I don't know. See, way back in my mispent youth, I worked on Pier 39, where there was a branch of Yet Wah. I fell in love with the potstickers and had them often. They became my potsticker benchmark.

                                That branch of Yet Wah is long gone. Then a couple of years ago when I was out on Clement I decided to check out Yet Wah and see if the potstickers lived up to the ones in my memory. Amazingly, they did. But since I only ordered potstickers and a couple of other dim sum type offerings, I can't really vouch for the food there generally.


                                1. re: Mick Ruthven
                                  calvarez Oct 1, 2006 01:26 AM

                                  Yet Wah is my favorite pick for dim sum (Ton Kiang is a little too delicate for my tastes, and the only dim sum I'm willing to wait more than an hour for is Koi Palace in Daly City). They do all the standards well, plus they rotate in other more unusual dim sum offerings - it seems like every time we go we see a "new" thing to try.

                                  We've never been to Yet Wah in person for dinner, but we've ordered takeout from them twice and both times it was disappointing and on the expensive side. Don't know if we just ordered badly, or if they really only do dim sum well.

                                  Does anyone have a rec for good Chinese TAKEOUT in this neighborhood? We used to love the Shanghainese place on Clement and 20th or so, (when it had some nature-y name like Spring Garden -- then they renamed to Mao's Garden and the food quality went downhill).

                                  We've tried Yet Wah and Mayflower and Mao's Garden and Bok Choy Garden and haven't really been happy with any of them.

                                  1. re: calvarez
                                    rworange Oct 1, 2006 08:47 PM

                                    Don't know a thing about it, but just saw it driving by. There's a newish place in the area called Panda Country Kitchen ...
                                    4737 Geary Blvd
                                    (415) 221-4278

                                    1. re: rworange
                                      calvarez Sep 14, 2007 03:44 PM

                                      Panda Country Kitchen is very good, btw. I was thinking it would be your standard Cantonese generic cheap fare (a la Best Panda farther out in the avenues), but it's Szechuan and very good and very reasonably priced. Better than nearby SPICES, IMHO.

                                    2. re: calvarez
                                      Sarah Oct 21, 2006 03:46 PM

                                      Somewhere between TK and Mayflower on Geary lies Kirin -- we've had really good dinners there and I'm sure they do take-out.

                              2. shortexact Sep 21, 2006 05:28 AM

                                This isn't a sushi joint, but there's also a nice, comfy little Italian trattoria near Clement at 23rd, Mescolanza, which has gotten a bit of discussion on this board. Pizzetta 211 has already been mentioned, and when in the mood for pizza, I would also go with Pizzetta 211. But Mescolanza has some quite respectable gnocchi and housemade pastas. Nothing too innovative, but they do nice renditions of the classic items. A really nice little neighborhood spot.

                                I did a review of Mescolanza recently on my site, so if you're interested in a few food pictures:


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: shortexact
                                  SteveG Sep 21, 2006 07:28 PM

                                  Have you ever eaten at Il Borgo in Hayes Valley? I'm always on the lookout for competently made fresh pasta at everyday prices, so I'll have to do a comparison.

                                  1. re: SteveG
                                    shortexact Sep 21, 2006 08:52 PM

                                    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to check out Il Borgo yet, though it's been on the list. When you do a comparison, please report back! It'd be great to hear your thoughts.

                                2. l
                                  lawrence Sep 21, 2006 05:01 AM

                                  love that area. my friends lives right there. there's a lot of good places to eat. formosa cafe on 26th and clement serves taiwanese dishes that generally are good. just don't order from the chinese side of the menu.

                                  as for sushi, my favorite place in that area is cocoro on 23rd and geary. good quality and friendly service. you can see my last visit here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/323117

                                  shimo on clement and 26th also looks like it has high quality/quanity sushi too, although i've only tried non-sushi items there. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                  kirin and mayflower on geary still get solid reviews on this board and are great for chinese banquet style dinners (or for a casual dinner too).

                                  there's also a vietnamese restaurant on geary and 21st (i think) that serves pretty good chicken pho.

                                  1. m
                                    ML8000 Sep 21, 2006 03:48 AM

                                    Gordo's taqueria is good for fast, simple take out. Nothing extraordinary but a good solid buritto.

                                    1. e
                                      exboonie Sep 21, 2006 02:55 AM

                                      Thank you all for your quick response. Now, all I need are a dry cleaner, pediatrician and vet.

                                      1. m
                                        Maya Sep 21, 2006 02:35 AM

                                        Don't forget Pizzetta 211, very close by. There's also Khan Toke right next to Tommy's, which I like for Thai.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Maya
                                          calexander16 Sep 21, 2006 03:42 AM

                                          pizzetta 211 definitely has the charm and some nice dishes - but betware of the attitude. kind of makes the dining experience a bummer.

                                          1. re: calexander16
                                            adampaul Sep 21, 2006 02:28 PM

                                            I have heard this comment before about Pizzetta 211. I've been there perhaps a half dozen times and have had no issues with any attitude. Can someone clarify what this is referring to? Is there a particular person or a particular time (we tend to dine early and on weekdays).


                                            1. re: adampaul
                                              Neilo Sep 21, 2006 03:33 PM

                                              Every time I've been there (various times of the evening) the crew does not look at you as you come in. There is a hurriedness to the transactions, and when other diners have asked simple questions, their heads have been lightly bitten off. I haven't had any problems because I treat places like this as if they were "soup nazi's"(shuffle, shuffle). I used to see this same thing at the Thai version of Yamo.

                                        2. s
                                          spicygirl Sep 21, 2006 02:32 AM

                                          Oyaji is on Clement and 32nd street. my boyfriend recently took me out to dinner here, it was great. delicious sushi and japanese tapas. my favorite dish was Butano-kakuni: Stewed pork belly meat served with Karashi mustard. i cant wait to eat it again.


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: spicygirl
                                            calvarez Oct 1, 2006 01:19 AM

                                            Oyaji is uniformly excellent. Since discovering it a few months ago I think I've been there 8 times :)

                                            I second the Butano-kakuni rec; also the duck and tongue skewers, the hiryu-zu veg dumplings, and chawan mushi. They also do excellent renditions of "standard" dishes like grilled rice balls, tempura, and grilled beef.

                                          2. l
                                            Lord Griffin Sep 21, 2006 02:04 AM

                                            tommy's has some good mexican food and great margaritas. its at geary and 24th. aziza is on geary right around there, one of the chowhound board favs.

                                            1. s
                                              spork Sep 21, 2006 01:57 AM

                                              on geary between 21-22nd ave. there's turtle tower. northern pho (peppery/ginger soup). good. very good. i recommend this place to everyone basically.

                                              there's also PPQ on your block for southern pho (basil/sprouts) this might be the place you're refering to when you ask about the crab place. its a garlic crab. its good. order some garlic noodles too. its a good place if you know what to order for dinner. no pho for dinner though.

                                              there's a small japanese place on 25th and clement or 26th. its pretty good. prices/slight high for the quality. but if you dont' feel like driving. its your best bet in the area.

                                              ton kiang for chinese (mixed reviews form the site) for dim sum. or the place next door (also mixed reviews, particulary for dinner)

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