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New Orleanian in search of great San Francisco dinner

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I am from New Orleans and will be traveling to San Francisco for the first time. I have often found during my travels that it's hard to beat what I get at home, so I am looking for some chowhound reccomendations on any great dinner and/or lunch spots in San Francisco. I will be attending a seminar at the Marriott, so anything in the area would be great.

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  1. Head north to Market and take a streetcar downtown towards the Ferry Building to California and head up California about a block and a half (you will be north of Market)to Tadich Grill for wonderful fish. Open for lunch. & Dinner. SF landmark. No res. Cioppino and sand dabs. Also, it would be nice for you to visit the Ferry Bldg. at the foot of Market. Buy take out to eat outside in back on a bench, or maybe eat inside at Slanted Door, upscale Vietnamese.

    1. The Ferry Building recommendation is a good one. Sand Dabs at Tadich would be a true San Francisco experience. I like Slanted Door, but despite the rep, I just don't think it would be one of my "first choices."

      Alternatively, you could go West on Market (under Market, actually) on Muni and have lunch (or dinner) at The Zuni Cafe. A San Francisco classic, indeed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DRR

        What are your favorites at the Ferry Building? Restaurants, and what are your favorite dishes there?

      2. I know it is probably in many ways not the best use of your time, but Andrew Jeager has a place here at Broadway and Columbus at the border of North Beach and Chinatown, that he opened just before Katrina and many of the NO staff was out here training newbies when she hit. They all stayed on and many have now stayed permanently.

        For at least some of the time one of your nights here, you may enjoy some serious quality bonding with them and get a good taste of home. The food is authentic New Orleans and so is the vibe (great bar and music scene). I'm a NO regular and always get choked up when I'm around those folks, they've been thru so much and are basically starting over here. They have a great time and love what they do.

        1. Though born and bred in the Bay Area, I have to agree with you that there is no place for food like New Orleans. I like Brigtsen's and Bon Ton Cafe and look forward to the day when I can try Herbsaint.

          If I were you, I would hop on BART and come to Berkeley to Chez Panisse, certainly the equal of the best of NO. Tadich would also be good choice as a uniquely San Francisco restaurant. You could also ride the California Street cable car to Polk and try Swan Oyster Depot. You could tell us how our oysters compare with yours.

          1. You know, as fine as some of the above food is, I would not come all the way out here and eat oysters, fish or New Orleans food. Going seafood to seafood, SF is going to lose and the poster is going to be disappointed. Even Tadich is more about atmosphere. I totally flipped out moving here from the East Coast and eating at Tadich I was so dissappointed. With the years has come understanding, but it is still no match seafood wise for great East Coast fish and oysters.

            Near the Marriot on Fourth Street is Coco500 which does Cal-Cuisine well. The Zuni recommendation is a good one. If you are in for some fancy stuff, you might give Michael Minna in the St Francisco Hotel a try.

            If you are here on Saturday morning, please stop by the Farmers Market at Ferry Plaza. It may not be soft shell season, but the one seafood item that I'd match against any NO dish is the soft shell crab at the Hayes Street Grill Stand. So much that is so good and lots of tasty treats to bring home too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rworange

              I couldn't disagree more. Being from Texas I'm use to eathing gulf oysters. The cold water west coast oysters put them to shame. A plate of fresh Kumomoto's are to die for. And, I never had anything close to sand dabs or petrale sole or cioppino in Texas or NO. Sure, fired catfish, redfish, sea trout, all good, but that's not sand dabs. The cold water seafood is outstanding, fresh halibut, salmon, dabs, petrale, rex, dungeness crabs, all is simply outstanding.

              1. re: rtmonty

                Yeah, this is just a difference in tastes. West Coast fish for the most part tastes watery to me, especially the crab and the oysters are often flabby. I like sand dabs well enough but when I moved here there was such a build up that the the reality didn't match the taste. Very delicate fish. Cioppino is the only good use of a dungeness crab, IMO ... and there isn't a cioppino in town that can match a good gumbo. Good salmon though.