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LA coming into SF for the weekend...where to go?

Just made last minute plans to come to SF! Will be there Sat night - Tues morning.

Have not been there in years, and certainly never to appreciate the food. But this time, I'd like to do it right. Been quickly looking over posts and friend recs, and I've come up wit the following list. I'll be traveling with a friend staying at the Clift hotel (wherever that is) and looking for fun, energetic, good meals. All over the board really with types of food....

*Townhall
*A16
*Delfina
Mo's (for burgers)
Myth
Rivoli
Bacar?

*I have reservations at already

Also, where in the city can I grab lunch and a beer with a good view or just a fun place during the day?

Would appreciate any advice or rec's. Thanks!!!

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  1. Salt House is getting better feedback than Townhall. It's the same owners, but they seem to be more passionate about the newer Salt House. Same nieghborhood.

    Gorden Biersch has good beer and a good view, decent food for a brewery, but the beer is their strong suit.

    The view from the Cliff House is good and you can take it in from the bar area. Kind of touristy, but a fun place to check out if you're making the rounds.

    1. Lunch and a beer -- go to Hog Island in the Ferry Building, and sit outside and look at the view while you eat your oysters and drink your beer.

      1. I'm a huge fan of Bacar, especially if you're into wine. They have an amazing list of wines by the glass. I forget the number, but it's astronomical.
        Perbacco would also be a great choice. If you looking for a spot for brunch, try Absinthe (be sure to get a side of potatoes) or Foreign Cinema.

        2 Replies
        1. re: christineb

          Have you been to Bacar since the major upheaval in the past couple of months? If so, hope you will report.

          1. re: rworange

            Yeah, new chef and mostly new kitchen staff started May 1, no reports here yet.

        2. For lunch and a beer with a view, try Crossroads at Delancy St off Brannan. There is an outdoor patio. If you go to Ferry building area $$$ just turn right -south -and its a beautiful walk along the Embarcadero. There are other places along the way but I was thinking of a less expensive, more relaxing place for lunch after doing all the trendy places you will for dinner. (Another good place for dinner is Scala on Powell St is just around the block from the Clift and is excellent but also $$$)

          1. Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm heading out now and will report when I get back!

            1. Ok, reporting back…Had a wonderful time in SF. Was an hour late (plane delay) for a 9:30 PM dinner reservation at “Delphina.” Even though they were close to closing down the kitchen for the night, they allowed us to sit and eat. The hostess was a sweetheart and our waiter was fantastic. He suggested an amazing glass of wine (on the cheap side) to my guest, and was very helpful/knowledgeable/courteous on everything through out the evening. We had a few app's, a few pasta dishes, and a lot of wine/fun.

              Woke up with a bit of a nasty hangover on Saturday and went on a brunch hunt. We landed first at “Dotty's” (just down the street our hotel) which had a line down the street. Apparently, that's the norm there - but was not going to work for me (at least with my head in that condition.) Someone in the line suggested we check out "Maverick's" in the Mission - which we did. In a bizarre event the host (who seemed very new to the restaurant) would not seat us as they were booked for the morning with existing reservations. This was odd because they had already been open for a few hours and the place was EMPTY. How they could not seat us, with every table being available is beyond me, but whatever. We finally ended up at the "pork shop (store?)", and had a good breakfast. Nothing to write home about, as the place was pretty bland, cramped and dirty, but the food was good (especially the bacon and bloody mary.)

              Later in the day, while shopping, we stopped in for a beer at “Molotov’s” bar in lower Haight. It’s basically a dive bar – but was filled with cool people, good music and cheap beers. One of the girls there (who I think may work there also) was celebrating her birthday that day and offered up slices of her pizza (she had several pizzas) to my friend and I. It was a very communal bar, and was much cooler than I would have expected after first glances. Again, a total dive – but cool.

              Sunday night was a bummer – “Town House.” It’s hard for me to dislike this place, because it was a really great room/vibe, but the food just did not pay off. With the exception of a great appetizer (shrimp in a Tabasco sauce) all three of our main entrees sucked. Bacon wrapped trout was dry and bland, the gnocchi was almost inedible, and my fried chicken (the best of the three dishes) was just flat out boring. All three dishes were EXTREMELY OVERSALTED. Our waiter seemed extremely nervous in the presence of my two cute female dates, almost to the point of embarrassment. He was completely uniformed about the wine list, the food menu, waiter etiquette and life in general. Our dessert (cheesecake) was covered in a mound of whip cream and was the only thing you could taste. I left having spent a lot of money, being aggravated with our waiter and not happy with the overall food or experience. If anything, I would suggest this place as a spot to stop for a drink (again, it’s a great space) and appetizer.

              Monday morning brunch was a disaster. Based off of a hotel front desk suggestion we went to “Cafe de la Presse”. There is nothing I liked about this place including the faux French décor, an unorganized manager/host, kitchen and waiter. I mean this waiter was REALLY bad. We had to flag him down and remind him of everything. It got so bad that at one point the chef came out to scold him. However, this did not change the fact that the kitchen brought out the wrong dishes and the food was decent at best. Actually to be fair, the French toast was actually pretty good – but that was it!) I hate saying this, and it was the first time in a long time (possibly ever) that I did not leave a tip. I know that sounds evil, but at the time seemed like the only option. Without getting into too much detail – this place should have paid for me to eat in there.

              Tried doing drinks at “Hog’s Island” in the afternoon – but it was too crowded. And seemed more like a place to sit and eat a full meal – not just grab drinks and relax. The Ferry bldg sort of freaked me out all together (apparently there is another Slanted Door somewhere other than this location? If so, I would highly recommend to anyone coming in from out of town to look into the other location as this one seemed touristy, and overly modern/cold.) Instead, we kept walking down the street and ended up stopping at a small little cottage-ish looking place called “Pier 25”. Much to my surprise this place was GREAT for beers. I would not go suggest anyone go near the food, expect good service, or a romantic time, but the location and view were great for a casual spot to grab some drinks. When you order a drink, I suggest ordering two for yourself though- as each round took what seemed like days to get. I definitely recommend this place for what it is though.

              “A-18” for dinner on Monday night. Much like Delphina I was very happy about this place. Once again I was an hour late for our reservation (slept in this time) and just made it down to the restaurant before the kitchen closed, which seemed not to bother the hostess in the slightest. She promptly sat us down in the back room which was filled with a very good crowd. The place had a good buzz/vibe to it, without being pretentious or too “clubby.” The layout was great, with the patio in the back, and the kitchen open to those who want to sit at the bar and look down at all the action. Had a great salad, a great pizza, some good simple pasta, and some gelato. Our wine was good –reasonably priced, and suggested by a great server who took care of us all night long. We ended up chatting with her for a bit after our dinner, as the restaurant winded down. This was a really great way to end our trip.

              There is so much food to be had in SF! It was a bit overwhelming, and there is so much I feel I missed out on. I’m really looking forward to getting back sooner than later and enjoying more of it. Thanks again to everyone for your advice!!!

              5 Replies
              1. re: Hoover13

                Definitely enjoyed your review, though I had a nice chuckle when I saw Delfina turned to Delphina, A16 to A-18, and Town Hall to Town House :)

                1. re: gemster

                  Ha! I wrote in such a hurry I did not even notice! Can I edit posts? Let me try. Thanks - lol.

                    1. re: lamlex

                      Also it's Pork Store Cafe, and Dottie's, not Dotty's, and Hog Island, not Hog's Island. There's no other Slanted Door (it moved to the FB) except the "Out the Door" Slanted Door take out, also in the FB.

                      Too bad you didn't check out Toronado and Rosamunde across the street from Molotov's! Both are Bay Area Chowhound gems. Next time...

                      1. re: Maya

                        There's a Slanted Door "Out the Door" type of place in the shopping mall on Market Street where Nordstrom is located.

              2. Ooooops, didn't notice OP date