Visiting Hound in SF Needs Dinner Recs
Hi SF Hounds,
My BF and I will be heading from Hermosa Beach to SF next weekend to visit both his brother and my brother/sis-in-law, and will also be celebrating said BF's birthday. It's been a while since we were last in your fair city, and we're soooo looking forward to some quality chow, which--ahem--can be a tad more difficult to come by in LA.
Would love to hear about any must-try places (both special occasion and casual) that have come on the scene of late. Places we've been to and love include Delfina, Slanted Door, Plumpjack, Betelnut, Bix, Gary Danko, Girl & the Fig, Tartine.
We're contemplating whether to go to Michael Mina, where BF's brother has been sous-chef'ing at.
Haven't been to Michael Mina but Myth might be a nice spot to try.
Some of my favorite meals out lately have been @
Myth -- great food, nice atmosphere
Ame - also great food and atmophere
Canteen -- fantastic food; too small to accomodate your size party
Sebo -- sushi
Incanto's been on my list to try for a while, as is Gary Danko.
If you want to try places that are fairly new, then I would consider Mission Bay Cafe as a mid-range place to check out. (Range, for example, has been open for awhile.) Another place getting a lot of buzz is Laiola in the Marina area.
But if you're just going for good food, then I would say to not miss getting pizza at Pizza Delfina. (You may not have tried that when you went to Delfina the first time.) Also add Incanto if you haven't been to it yet. The chef is turning out to be a celebrity chef with his stints on Iron Chef America.
Yank Sing for sure.
Tadich for a lunch.
Foreign Cinema for Saturday or Sunday Brunch.
I would add Zuni Cafe (I recommend this place to everyone coming to SF) and Aziza to the dinner list.
5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110
I think Limon is still great and it continues to be filled for dinner. If you know the chef, then you should definitely go to meet the chef and maybe try a specialty. I love any of their ceviches, especially the cream version. If you've never been, then you should try it. But I have to say that there are so many new restaurants in the Mission, if your goal is to try some place new, then you should consider places like Spork, Mission Bay Cafe, Maverick, Bar Tartine, etc., which are all fairly new compared to Limon. But if you're craving Peruvian food, then Limon is a gold standard.
Zuni Cafe for seafood platter and martinis or Champagne cocktails, Foreign Cinema for Brunch would be my recs. Your other faves are mine as well.
I thought Michael Mina was good, but nowhere near as good as Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Eat upstairs, much more casual and awesome!!
Can't recommend M. Mina, because no matter how precious the food can get, you still notice very much that you are eating in a hotel lobby.
Gary Danko is definitely one of my favorites, and Myth is very hot right now. Zagat's ratings for SF are pretty reliable for top food.
For a more casual atmosphere but top-notch food, try Incanto (you will want a reservation). Try the handmade handkerchief pasta with pork ragu. All their starters are terrific, especially the unusual soups and salads. One of the things I like about this place is that no matter how many times I've been there, there's always at least one item/ingredient on the menu that I've never heard of, and need to ask the waitperson about. The menu changes daily, but the handkerchief pasta is always on.
And for even more casual, plus local flavor in addition to the top-notch food, there are two places I always take out-of-town guests: Kezar Bar & Restaurant for dinner (not to be confused with Kezar sports bar, located nearby), and Ti Couz for brunch.
At Kezar, you will probably have to wait for a table, but it's worth it. When you sit down, order chips and guacamole immediately before you start reviewing the menu (they make everything fresh when you order, and the chips take a while). This is my absolute favorite place to get a bacon cheeseburger in the Bay Area (wonderful, charbroiled burgers; they make their own buns daily, and their own mayo--they used to make ketchup too, but found that patrons actually preferred traditional bottled ketchup). Also I can highly recommend the Taqueria Glen(sp?). The menu has a bizarrely wide range of dishes (made even more so by the fact that it all comes out fresh of the tiny little kitchen in back), but they somehow manage to do everything well. Kezar has black walls, visually interesting waitstaff (they will be a bit gruff and slow unless they recognize you as a regular that tips well, but the food is worth it), and lots of local atmosphere.
Ti Couz: Saturday and Sunday brunch starts around 10:30am (Officially they open at 10am, but they can be very casual about getting around to opening the doors. Best to play it safe and come around 10:30. At that time, there aren't a lot of people and there is still parking in the area (the Mission). If there is a crowd, run to the dry-erase board on the right side and write in your name and # of people.). It's a funky little French place with colorful locals, and lots of Breton-related decoration. Ask to sit in the bar area (the left side), where the four of you can share one of their high tables, or perhaps sit at a sunny table on the sidewalk. Their Bloody Marys are too spicy for me, but my friends adore them, and the Ti Couz Mimosa and hard ciders are excellent (If you want water, you need to ask for it.). Their main food is traditional Breton crepes (savory for meals, or sweet for desserts), and you pick what ingredients you want in them. I strongly recommend anything with mushrooms, because their mushroom sauce is amazing. They also make their own ground sausage. I usually ask for "a sausage, mushroom and cheese." YUM!!! Don't order more than 2-3 ingredients, because it will be harder to appreciate individual ingredients, and also because each additional ingredient is expensive. Soups and salads (especially the seafood salad) are surprisingly good. My French friends tell me that this place is the only place in the Bay area that makes a decent crepe, and that the quality of the crepes themselves is fantastic. Great place for people-watching, especially if you're seated outside (but I prefer the bar).