Mission and Castro Area
I would add Thai Express on Castro @ 19th for the best thai in those neighborhoods. You can ask for less sugar or more heat and they will accomodate graciously.
Also, if you are interested in seafood at all, try Anchor Oyster Bar on Castro at 19th, great for crab louis (if crab season actually gets going this week), and lovely mussels, raw bar, etc.... + their sourdough is goooood!
Breakfast in the Castro is always fun and affordable at the Cove on Castro at Market, not innnovative like Tangerine, but satisfying, good quality, and fun for people watching.
Here are options for you-
La Mediterance- on Noe Street @ Market- $ not bad not great but good for an expensive lunch/dinner. patio.
Chow- on Church at Market- extensive well rounded menu, fine for lunch or dinner, simple nice food. patio in back $ pretty basic. a staple
Home- on Market street, a staple in the area, california american food, lively and straightforward, dinner. $$
Asqew Grill- 16th street, near Market- grilled seafood, meats, stirfrys, fresh good for lunch $
Samovar Tea Lounge- 498 Sanchez, nice tea house, good for small plates (snacks) or breakfast is nice. Pretty room.
Thai House- 599 Castro this is set back from Market towards to Doboce Park in a neighborhood. Not great but not bad. $
Sumi-4243 18th street cozy and the food is pretty good. This place has been here forever. $$
Cote Sud- 18th street-$$
Mecca -on Market for drinks they did change chefs and I hear the food is pretty good, this is a lounge bar very dark inside but a fun spot.
Mission- so many places!
Pork Store Valencia-3122 16th street real greasy spoon breakfast, the one in the Haight is always packed have not been to this location.
Tartine- on 18th street good breakfast spot
next door to Delfina and Delfina Pizza both great!
Osha Thai Noodle- Valencia/21st street is good, $$. Lunch or Dinner
Dosa- on Valencia/21st Indian really nice food, my new fav. $$ Dinner
Bar Tartine- Valencia/16th love this place good for a nice relaxing dinner, food is great. $$ on the moderate price range
Arnell Pizza- Valencia/16th street good pizza or quick bite.
Tangerine (16th Street at Sanchez) serves a weekend brunch. I've only eaten dinner there, but friends have said the brunch is good, too.
I like Yum Yum House on Valencia (between 18th & 17th Sts, I think) for Chinese.
I suggest walking down Valencia between 16th and 24th Streets. A lot of nice restaurants have opened up there in the past few years (some cheap, some not so cheap).
Hey New York Michele, sadly, I've never felt the Castro has had any really good restaurants, which is a shame because it has a good walking neighborhood feel. And the Mission is more known for Latin cuisine that Chinese.
In the Castro, a decent restaurant is Cote Sud, but that's French. Still, it's a very nice place for a fancy meal. In the other direction but still in the Castro area is 2223 on Market Street. It's an old standby that is still popular for brunch.
There are a few more restaurant choices in the Mission. Of course, the popular "Italian" restaurant is Delfina. (I think it's more California-Italian myself.) And Limon is Latin cuisine but still one of my favorites. (See my review I recently did on my blog: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...)
I feel like the Thai and Chinese restaurants in those two neigbhorhoods are all the same, nothing really special. You really have to go to Clement Street or Irving Streets for some good Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese food.
Edited to add: Oh, a couple of weeks ago I was walking on Guerrero and noticed a Thai restaurant that looked pretty popular and almost club-like. My friend told me that it was the second restaurant of a Thai place in the Financial district. I can't think of the name but it was on Guerrero between maybe 17th and 19th? Maybe some of the chowhounds in the hood might know which one I'm talking about. The decor is very industrial modern, not a very large space, glass walls, very hip like. I'm thinking something like Ansu Thai? Ring a bell with anyone?