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Need Nice, Simple Seafood Dinner recommendation

After many searches and much perusing of the San Francisco Board, I still haven't found the answer I'm looking for. I'm looking for a nice, simple seafood restaurant for dinner with my boyfriend and my father. Nice, but not overly fancy - pretentious people make me a little nervous :-P

Preferably not over $30 per entree - a $15-$20 average would be great. We like the basics - fresh seafood, grilled or broiled, potentially sauced but not overly so. Lightly fried stuff is always appreciated, when done well (not too greasy). Something along the lines of Fish. in Monterey or even Devon in Philadelphia.

Location: We're staying in San Mateo, but will be spending the day in San Francisco, so really anywhere in or between the two areas will work. We will have a car - easy/cheap parking is a plus, but not a necessity.

OK I think I've covered all the basics; please help me, Chowhounds! Thanks in advance :-)

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  1. Hayes Street Grill?

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    Hayes Street Grill
    324 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

    1. That's a tough one...good seafood in the city is usually expensive. If you're willing to cross the bridge into Sausalito, I'd recommend going to Fish. It's the definition of unpretentious, most entrees in the $15-20 range, and they serve the freshest local seafood you'll find anywhere. Parking is no problem, naturally, and it's located right on the bay.

      1. If you could be persuaded to spend the day in the East Bay, rather than the West Bay, I'd say Sea Salt. http://www.seasaltrestaurant.com/ Of course, depending on where you'll be in San Francisco, it still might work. If you're downtown or South of Market, you're right next to the bridge and not more than 20 minutes from Sea Salt (assuming you can avoid traffic...so much depends on when you're going to be there). I think it's just what you're looking for.

        If you'll accept your seafood even more "basic"--and by that I mean raw--you might consider Bar Crudo in San Francisco. There are a few cooked items, but it would be pointless to go if you were not happy with the raw bar. The prices should be just right for you. http://www.barcrudo.com/menu.htm

        1 Reply
        1. re: lexdevil

          As much as I love Sea Salt, their portion size puts them into the $30 range—except for the fish and chips, I always need to order another dish.

        2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Tadich Grill. It's not cheap, but it's not $30 an entree, either: most entrees are in the $18-20 range. Although you can get "fancy" seafood preps, their simple preps are the best -- get the sand dabs if they have them. Traditional atmosphere, servers who are old and occasionally brusque, not pretentious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I was thinking the same thing, Ruth. I second either Tadich or Hayes St. Grill.

          2. Fish in Sausalito is a clean, fresh and simple as you can get- it's casual outdoor, pinic style dining, great on a nice day with a big parking lot.

            I agree with Robert L about Hayes Grill is good, I have not been for a while so can't say as of lately.
            Parking difficult.

            I think One Market offers great seafood, might be a bit more than what you want to pay. Parking Lots near by.