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My visit from NYC

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urbanp Apr 2, 2007 07:21 PM

My husband and I returned from a trip to San Francisco this past week and the trip, food and otherwise did not disappoint. I did a lot of research beforehand though. Anyway, onto the reviews:

Isobune Sushi- I brought my husband here because he loves kaiten sushi though I was disappointed with the sushi, particularly the spicy tuna.

Tu Lan- I ate here twice--on our first night in SF, and once for lunch. I have a feeling that not all the dishes are good here as the quality of the noodle dish my husband ordered (which came with chicken, shrimp, and pork) was very poor but I really liked the chicken fried rice, which drew me back there for lunch. Does anyone know what spices they use in their fried rice? It's so tasty! Wish I had a place like this near my job. Thumbs down on their Vietnamese coffee though which I found very acrid.

Zachary's- I was determined to go here because I actually lived in SF when I went to Berkeley nearly ten years ago and always regreted not going there. We went on Friday evening and had to wait 45 minutes for a table. I think this place is overrated--the pizza is ok but definitely not worth the wait (or the extra price of the BART ticket from SF).

Town's End Restaurant & Bakery- This was my favorite out of the restaurants we went to. We went with two other couples and I think everyone was impressed with their meals--I know I loved my pasta and turkey meatball dish. Their dishes are reasonably priced and their prix fixe, which allows you to pick any appetizer, entree, and dessert for $20, is a good deal too.

Paxti's Chicago Pizza- We had reservations for Zuni Cafe Sunday night but we ended up bowing out after discovering that the roast chicken for two requires an hour wait and they don't serve hamburgers during dinner. We checked out the restaurants in Hayes Valley and ended up going to Paxti's which turned out to be a very good choice. We had a deep-dish pizza with l-f mozzerella, mushrooms, and sausages. We both liked their pizza better than Zachary's--it was very good and I could hardly tell that the cheese was low-fat!

Tokyo Go-go- I really wanted to go to Minako Organic Japanese Food but didn't realize they were closed on Mon so we ended up going here instead. We both really liked this restaurant, particularly since they have a happy hour for sushi and drinks--we highly recommend the Dynamite (or baked spicy scallops) roll. The miso-marinated black cod was also good.

Colibri Mexican Bistro- The food here is really good though I do recommend going with a group since their food is perfect for sharing. Highly recommend the guacamole appetizer, sangria, and their caipirinha, which one of the best I've ever had. The food and drinks here are pricey though.

Light(er) Bites:

Out the Door- I wanted to get an idea of what the hype was about so I had lunch here one day. I ordered the chicken with vermicelli which was good but didn't really stand out that much.

Kara's Cupcakes- I just had the vanilla with chocolate frosting because they ran out or didn't have the other cupcakes I wanted. I thought the cupcake was good, but I've definitely had better cupcakes in NYC.

Citizen Cupcake- The first cupcake I had here, the mocha chcolate cupcake, was tasty but was far eclipsed by the German chocolate cupcake I picked up our last day in SF which I'm quite sure is the best cupcake I've ever had (and I've had a lot of cupcakes, at least here in NYC).

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  1. Lori SF RE: urbanp Apr 2, 2007 07:30 PM

    Interesting choices, not ones i would freguent or go to a second time. Sorry it was uneventful.

    1. rworange RE: urbanp Apr 2, 2007 07:41 PM

      Thanks for the report.

      Glad you liked Paxti's, but the chicken at Zuni is worth the wait. Maybe next time.

      I love Townsend, but their specialty is breakfast. Great basket of mini muffins. The diiner prices are hard to beat and I can't say I was ever disappointed with the dinner there. It's not trendy or cutting edge ... just reliably good.

      I love caipirinhas. One of my favorite drinks. You might just have talked me into finally making it to Colibris.

      From what I hear, SF is no competition to NYC cupcake-wise.

      Did you ever make it to the Saturday farmer's market at Ferry Plaza?

      Again, thanks so much for reporting.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange
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        urbanp RE: rworange Apr 2, 2007 07:49 PM

        I went to the farmer's market on Tuesday--don't know if it's smaller than the one on Saturday but I wasn't that impressed. I liked the Ferry Building Marketplace though.

        1. re: urbanp
          rworange RE: urbanp Apr 2, 2007 07:50 PM

          Nope. Tuesday is nothing. Should have went Saturday morning.

      2. u
        urbanp RE: urbanp Apr 2, 2007 08:03 PM

        One other place I forgot to mention is Tango Gelato--it was probably not such a bad thing that Isobune wasn't so good because it meant I had room for gelato at Tango--the chocolate hazelnut was so-so but the chocolate expresso was really good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: urbanp
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          walker RE: urbanp Apr 3, 2007 02:30 AM

          Next time, try Gelato Milano on Shattuck in Berkeley -- best I've had, better than what I've had in Italy. I think Berkeley is foodie heaven. Just stroll 4th St, College, Shattuck near Chez Panisse.

        2. Squeat Mungry RE: urbanp Apr 2, 2007 08:07 PM

          Echoing Lori. And I'm truly sorry to hear you wasted an entire meal at Zachary's. Gah.

          1. v
            VirgoBlue RE: urbanp Apr 3, 2007 10:24 AM

            Not the best choices for a visitor, but I'm glad you enjoyed it nonetheless. Glad you visited Town's End. They're best for brunch. I'm sorry you had to endure Isobune for sushi. There are so many others that are better and that place hasn't been good for a very long time.

            Give us a head's up next time you're in town! We'd love to direct you to some of the best SF has to offer.

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