Peruvian/Spanish/Mexican/etc for 8?
OK, so I've been tasked with finding a restaurant for a get-together this Friday for 8 people, and I'm having a little trouble thinking of the right place. The guests of honor are a friend and her husband, originally from Mexico, now living in Boston, but maybe thinking about moving here. She has requested Latin American/Mexican/Spanish food, and, in her words, "picking a restaurant in a funky neighborhood that will give [her husband] an idea of the latinoness of the city would be good." (He's not sure about moving here, and she's trying to convince him!) I'm thinking this means probably I should look for something in the Mission, fun, nice but not too nice, no more than $30-40 a person, and, of course, great food.
This is the list of choices I've come up with, looking back at other recs that seem to meet these criteria. I've never been to any of these places, so I'm not sure if a table for 8 is feasible at all of them.
Mi Lindo Yucatan
Platanos (appealing because they have table for 8 open at 7:30 on Open Table)
Not in the Mission but also a possibility: Bocadillos (but, since they don't take reservations, how feasible is it for a table of 8 to come in on a Friday and get seated?)
Would any of these work? Are there other restaurants I should consider? I think that she'd be open to other cuisines, especially if the restaurant is in the Mission and otherwise fits the bill. (For example, Maverick has a table for 8 open later in the evening.)
Thanks for your help!
I think Mi Lindo Yucatan would be great. Share the mixed appetizer platter (antojitos). The Shrimp Tostadas are also a nice app.
Destino is more upscale, but right near the Mission, good food and still in your price range.
My favorite Peruvian place is Mochicas on Harrison, they have some dishes that other places don't have, like Pastel de Camerones, a shrimp and potato cake, and Escabeche de Pescado, lightly pickled fish fillets with vegetables.
Pastores is like eating at your Grandmother's place, the food is the closest you will come to eating at someone's home in Mexico City, but the service can be very disorganized. Too bad Charanga has gone downhill, it used to be a great Pan Latin place for a happy night out.
Esperpento is a fun place for a party and gives a good sense of the neighborhood. The food (Spanish tapas) is good and unpretentious.
The Mission's ethnically very mixed even by San Francisco standards, latinos are a minority and Mexicans are a minority among the latinos. A lot of the Mexican restaurants are actually run by Salvadoreans.
I agree. Bocadillos and Piperade are certainly Spanish, but hardly speak to the latino-ness of San Francisco.
If you want upscale and hip, then Limon is good. If you want to leave the city and want upscale and hip, go to Tamarindo.
If you don't want hip, but you want great Mexican food, go to Pastores. Just call her ahead of time and let her know that eight of you are coming in and that you want a special me.