Unique, Moderate & Comfortable in S.F.
I'm looking for suggestions for a dinner place in S.F. that either has a unique spin on a cuisine or represents an under-represented cuisine, is moderately priced (less than $60 pp with moderate wine & tip), and comfortable for a leisurely dinner. Neighborhood is open. I have La Ciccia planned, so I'm not looking for Italian. I was originally leaning toward Yaya, but have learned that they'll be closed by the time I get to town. I'm wondering about Karamanduka--it seems to get mixed reviews. Then again, I may end up at a Vietnamese roast crab place if all else fails.
Coming from New York, you will be hard pressed to find a cuisine here that you can't find at home, but you seem to be already aware that we are much stronger in Vietnamese. If you haven't tried it, maybe a good "Beef Seven Ways" would be interesting. I'm not much of a beef fan, so I'll leave it to others to suggest the best place for that.
Jai Yun is not a unique spin on Chinese food, but probably a unique presentation with its prix fixe tasting menus and all items personally executed by the Chef-owner. Probably couldn't sneak it under $60/pp, though.
Speaking of crustaceans, crab cioppino is unique to SF and may be worthwhile if you haven't tried it already.