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Inner Sunset

  • c

Hi all, I recently moved into the area and am looking for rec's in Inner Sunset besides Marnie Thai and Parkchow. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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  1. For japanese food, I like Chika and Koo. Chika is more old school whereas Koo has fancier, more adventurous grub. Personally, I am not a fan of Ebisu and avoid it. For baked goods, Arizmendi Bakery has yummy scones and cheese rolls. Welcome to the neighborhood!

    4 Replies
    1. re: armaburrito

      I second that emotion as far as Ebisu. I went once and was very excited...that excitement waned when I walked in and smelled a strong odor of fish. Not impressed.

        1. re: cedichou

          I realize this is an old thread, but I only made it to Koo for the first time recently. It deserved its reputation. They have varieties of fish that are only found at a handful of places in San Francisco, and the fish is of very high quality. I had fresh (recently live) soft-shell crab tempura, something you can wait all year for.

          That said, Koo seems to have some issues with service and identity (high end creative sushi or UCSF hangout).

          The bar was empty when I arrived, but I was told rather brusquely that all the seats were reserved. Several were still empty when I left.

          Fortunately my server was friendly and knowledgeable. When I asked if the umeboshi were house made, she said yes, so I ordered them. But she returned to say she'd checked and they weren't, so I ordered something else.

          Prices are reasonable for the caliber of fish and sake aside from a few ridiculous markups for soda, miso, and goma ae; it would be easy to spend 50% more at Sebo.

        2. re: armaburrito

          A late comment... but I was a Arizmendi most mornings last week. Their English Muffins are fabulous. I actually bought a bunch to freeze before leaving SF. I've had their currant scone, blueberry pear scone, and cheese roll. All were wonderful. I didn't have a chance to try their pizza, but I did read that they made a lite bake... so you can finish baking it at home.

          Arizmendi Bakery
          1331 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA

        3. Plutos
          Arzimendi (brioche knots!)
          Wonderful Foods (23 & Irving) best Tapioca Milk Tea.

          1. Some more:

            San Tung (Irving near 11th Ave.) -- great dry fried chicken wings, dumplings, dry fried green beans, noodle dishes

            Naan & Curry (642 Irving St. near 8th Ave.) -- good, inexpensive naan, dal, tandoori chicken, eggplant, curried potatoes and cauliflower, etc.

            Pasta Pomodoro (816 Irving Street near 8th Ave.) -- good branch of this chain

            3 Replies
            1. re: Nancy Berry

              I wouldn't waste your time with Naan and curry, I think it is overrated, long lines and you leave smelling like a tandor. That other cheap Indian place on 9th is better (though the name escapes me).

              1. re: richgirl

                Tasy Curry on 9th. Although, you won't escape smelling like tandori either...but much less of it. IMO, better curries than Naan n Curry.

                1. re: Lamechop

                  Yes, but can they to N 'n' C's naan?

            2. SAN TUNG. Delicious food - so many dishes and only a couple "blah" ones out of the 20 or so that I have tried (dry fried chicken wings are the best, as well as the dumplings, soup noodles, pork with green onions, the list goes on!)

              Arizmendi, as others have posted. Great pizza by the slice (Cal style), brioche, bread, english muffins, and especially cheese rolls.

              Yummy Yummy vietnamese next to San Tung isn't half bad.

              Beanery for coffee.

              1. Everyone has had great suggestions. I might add:
                Nan King Road Bistro (for the warm duck salad)
                Yummy Yummy
                Arizmendi (not to belabor a point)
                L'Avenida Taqueria


                1. Like others have mentioned, Arizmendi is a must - my favorites are the cheese rolls, provolone olive bread and baguettes.
                  I like Pomelo, too, but have only been to the other location.
                  Sunrise Deli (Irving by 22nd) has some good Middle Eastern flairs.
                  Lotus (Noreiga by 21st) offers great steaks. I love the boned-in rib-eye.
                  Oriental Seafood Restaurant (Noreiga by 32nd) is a nice Cantonese restaurant w/ resonably priced fresh seafood.
                  Taraval Okazu Ya (Taraval by 27th) is my favorite Japanese restaurant. Lots of creative rolls and fish serves up fajita style.
                  Chouchou (Dewey by Woodside - Forest Hill) is great for brunch and dinner. French bistro food and a resonable price. The fruit and chocolate tarts are the best.
                  There are also several good places on West Portal (not too far from inner sunset) like Roti (Indian) and Bursa (Turkish, kebabs).

                  1. Hotei does all sorts of standard Japanese home cooking fairly well, e.g. udon, onigiri. (We don't care for Ebisu either)

                    Pluto's makes some of the best tossed salads in the city with choice of grilled steak or chicken.

                    San Tung for all their noodle dishes and their 'dry fried chicken, diced' which is addictive--do take out if you can't tolerate the wait or the dining room inside.

                    Tart to tart -- try their chocolate shortcake, which is our favorite choc cake ever.

                    The Sub place on Lincoln, now renamed to some Greek name -- this was the only halfway decent gyro in the area that I could find.

                    Yummy yummy is ok (I've had better pho in SF, but we keep going back because we always feel at home there).

                    1. I only go to Canvas for their Cobb Salad which is one of the best around. Groovy greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, bacon, diced chicken, cambonzola cheese and an excellent vinegrette dressing, served with an Il Fornaio roll.

                      1. no one has mentioned dragonfly, on judah @ 9th, a Vietnamese place that is maybe better than the slanted door.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: cedichou

                          I'll second Dragonfly, and was ready to list it if you hadn't!

                          Also, PPQ is on the other side of 19th, but it's close enough to mention. Some of the best Pho in the City, IMO.

                          1. re: Civil Bear

                            Ahem, point of order. Your second is 3 1/2 years late.

                          2. re: cedichou

                            Regrettably, Dragonfly, which we last visited perhaps two years ago or so, has declined radically in the interim. Went there last Friday evening and had only one dish out of four that was not plagued by some grievous fault, while the service, though not lacking servers, was indifferent at best.

                            The fresh spring rolls with shrimp were fine, and the sauce served with them was excellent, but aside from this everything else was tragic. The green papaya salad (admittedly a Thai dish) was heavy, bizarrely festooned with sweetened dried beef, and drenched in a too sweet dressing. The "beef carpaccio" was also too sweet (though the meat itself was quite nice) and buried under onions as if the dish was onions and beef were the garnish. The coconut pork was worst of all, with no coconut flavor to speak of and so sweet as to be almost inedible. Since the restaurant is not at all a bargain, these shortcomings were, in our opinion, fatal and we don't believe we will be going back for more. Really unfortunate given that it used to be an excellent choice.

                            1. re: Boythefoodtalksto

                              Is green papaya salad strictly a Thai dish? I've had some very tasty versions in Vietnamese restos (one of them at Bodega Bistro) that had beef jerky ... quite different than the Thai ones I've sampled but equally delicious in their own way.

                              1. re: grayelf

                                A couple of the hottest versions I ever had were Hmong or Cambodian. Had it with the spices ground in a mortar and pestle at the annual Xmas time festival here (Fresno), second year asked that the amount of pepper be reduced by half, still kicked my butt all the way home, but I loved every minute of it.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  Based "The Scent of Green Papaya," an Academy award winning film set in Vietnam, it is also a Vietnamese dish.

                                  I do love the Bodega Bistro version. Not that different from Thai som tum though aside from the beef jerky.

                                2. re: Boythefoodtalksto

                                  Green papaya salad is popular all over Southeast Asia, though I think in all cuisines it should have a balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and sour.