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Soma dining spots

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A couple of friends and I will be in SF for a weekend in May. And are looking for great food and atmosphere in the Soma nieghborhood. I read good things a while back about Hawthorne Lane, Fifth Floor, Azie and Lulu. I would welcome any feedback on them or other places. I am also wondering if Zuni is worth the money and potential wait. We could probably do one expensive meal so I am looking for reasonable prices (is that possible?) with some splurge suggestions.

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  1. Just FYI...

    Hawthorne Lane is no more. The owners have recreated this restaurant, now known as Two. Reviews have been mixed. Please do a search and read for yourself.

    Fifth Floor's executive chef (the source for the accolades) left not too terribly long ago. My understanding is that they still are in the process of replacing her.

    I personally love Zuni and I recommend it frequently. Many share my opinion, many don't - it tends to be a "love it or hate it" restaurant.

    You also might want to consider branching outside of SoMa for restaurants. SoMa has a number of nice places; however, if you have a car/are willing to take a cab/public transportation, you have many, many more wonderful options.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jrhsfcm

      Thanks for the update. We are actually staying in Union Square but I thought SoMa would be fun because when I used to live in SF twelve years ago there wasn't much there. We really would rather walk to all of our destinations. What would be your top recommendations?

      1. re: prairiehound

        Well, of the places you've listed, I personally really like Zuni - regardless if it's one of the most controversial restaurants in the city. I've always had great meals there - and if you like oysters, they have one of the best raw bars in the city, IMHO. The burger, Caesar, chicken-for-two are great, too. I think it's a fine example of the type of restaurant SF does best: mid-range.

        I also would say Boulevard is a good choice - pretty much the consensus is is that if it comes out of the wood-burning oven, well, it's good. ;) I've not been to Coco500, though I have heard good things about it.

    2. Some reports on TWO:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/374219
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/359508
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361349

      1. I live in SoMa so these suggestions are from a "daily living" view point but they make my life functional.
        Roccos---adequate food---good breakfast--not fancy
        Brainwash---yes, the laundrymatt--really great brewed coffee and fun bike messenger(sorta) scene + food
        Mochica's--Peruvian--one of my favs.
        Sushi Groove--tres cool <G>
        Tu Lan--Vietnamese--on 6th street--not so savory grounds
        Frission---actually in the Fin Dist but fun
        Boulevard---sorry guys, I love it.
        Chez Spencer--near Best Buy(14th Harrison)
        Nihon---amazing atmosphere--Japanese Whiskey Bar(14th/Folsom)
        CoCo500--good food--good price--cool inside.
        AsiaSF--food not so great but a SF experience.(do a google)
        Basil--eh, good but....
        Koh Samui---Pumpkin Curry--hmmm
        ok that's enough, again functional places. Hope this helps.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bamabuilt

          For searching the archive, note that the name's Mochica, not Mochica's.

          http://www.mochicasf.com

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Mochica sounds interesting. What is your opinion on Mochica?

            1. re: prairiehound

              Haven't eaten there. Reports:

              http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...

          2. re: bamabuilt

            Thank you very much for all of the info. You have piqued my interested about Boulevard and Basil. Can you elaborate?

            1. re: prairiehound

              Boulevard reports:

              http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...

              Basil Thai is upscale, pretty place, above-average food, but not as good as Thai House Express at Geary and Larkin. Basil is allegedly related to Soi 4 in Oakland but the food's not as good. Reports:

              http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...