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Need a trendy eatery near Geary/Market

My Gen-X artsy step-daughter is visiting this week and we'll be in SF Thursday night. I need a cool place to take her to dinner within walking distance of Geary & Market. Emphasis on trendy, hip, cool, but it needs to be someplace we can get into without being personal friends of Gavin.

Tragically unhip in Benicia

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  1. Far from ultra-cool or hip, but it was a trendy international scene at B44 when I had dinner there last Saturday. Good food to boot. Walking distance from Market/Geary.


    3 Replies
    1. re: grocerytrekker

      I absolutely adores B44. I love the food, the service and the atmosphere.

      If you're looking for the ultra-hip and cool, some folks like the Supperclub (www.supperclub.com). It's about 4 1/2 blocks from Geary and Market in SOMA, not sure if that would be too far to walk at night.

      1. re: anna

        I'd pass on supperclub. My company had our holiday party there this past Christmas: while the food was decent, the service was H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E! Yes, it's hip... but I really object when staff feel they are "too hip" to "bother" with their patrons. Every single person I came into contact with that evening was downright rude. My company dropped an insane amount of money to reserve the space: regardless of the open bar people were tipping quite heavily, but still I received chortles and rolled eyes when asking for a drink... scoffing when questions were asked about the food, etc. You couldn't pay me enough money to return (ok, maybe THAT'S an overly zealous proclamation - the recent Mega Millions payout would have been enough ;) ).

        It's a late reservation, but there's a 9:30 opening at Myth - a bit of a walk, but doable, particularly given the weather... more NYC than SF in feel, it's one of the "hotter" restaurants right now, and great food to boot.

        Salt House would be another good option, as mentioned - I've had a couple fantastic meals there since they opened. I feel that Bar Crudo can be a bit hit or miss, but definitely take the advice and try to sit at the "bar-like thing" in the window - not only does upstairs feel cramped... but, at least where I was sitting the one time I was upstairs, I could feel EVERY step that people took up there. It felt like constant mini earthquakes! lol

        1. re: anna

          Y'know, if this weather holds up B44 is probably the right choice. If she
          comes from a place that actually has winter, being able to sit outside
          and eat pretty decent food served by hot foreign men will totally trump
          any perceived lack of trendiness. B44 and the mussels at Plouf are
          reliably good spots on Belden Place. The others, in my experience,
          are not.

      2. How about Salt House? http://www.salthousesf.com/index.htm

        It's new, and I think it's supposed to be even "hipper" than it's sister restaurant, Town Hall.

            1. Bar Crudo might do it. On Bush above Stockton (literally, it's on the top of
              the Stockton tunnel).

              Reviews have been both good and not-so. My experience has been on the good side.
              The chowder is very, very good. A seat at the odd little bar-like thing in the window
              is much nicer than getting jammed in upstairs if you can swing it.

              The Tunnel Top bar next door might be decent and trendy-enough place to
              have a pre-dinner drink if your step-daughter could bear the idea of being
              seen in there with you.

              Lots of reviews, here's a positive one:

              1. I went with my artsy S.F. daughter and her equally cool fiance - I'm a semi-desperate housewife from Walnut Creek - to Salt House last night and we all loved it. If they can keep it up, they are going to rival Zuni! (Particularly if they add a killer burger...)

                We recommend the truffle/honey sea-salted nuts, the yummy chicken with chorizo potatoes, the roasted bass and all the desserts. I'm embarrassed to admit that while Michael Bauer wrote that a normal person could eat only one quarter of the poutine appetizer - potatoes smothered in fontina cheese and short-rib gravy - well, just order it and see!

                5 Replies
                1. re: Marie

                  Well, Salt House does have a burger at lunch. I just had it today. It was very good, but at $15 I would take Zuni's any day (similar price). Or Slow Club's for that matter.

                  Salt House paid attention to my medium-well request, and my companion's medium-rare. It comes with a side of lightly fried red onion rings.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      How to explain? They are billed on the menu as "onion rings", but to me that means something else. Extremely finely sliced red onions in light batter, and fried. There is nothing heavy about them; therefore the term "lightly".
                      These are not heavily breaded, half-inch thick "onion rings".

                      1. re: Frosty Melon

                        Lightly battered like a fritto misto or tempura, or even less than that? Sounds good.

                2. Step-daughter wore a real dress and looked lovely. She LOVED Belden Place - thanks all you hounders for the great recommendation. We sat at our little table sipping vino blanco and feeling very Continental.
                  The host was gracious enough to look embarrassed about the my appetizer. I really didn't say "You call THAT Jamon Serrano?!" but I guess it must have come out that way. He mumbled something about Serrano being banned until recently (true) and promised he would have the true pata negra jamon in a couple months.
                  Our waitress was cute, charming, recently arrived from Minorca, and amused by my few words of Catalan. She recommended against the traditional paella (they call it the B44) and suggested the Fiduea Negra but the wife wanted the traditional style. I should have listened to the waitress.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sisiutl


                    44 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104