Boston hound in SF
I'm attending a conference at Moscone Center and staying at Marriott all week. If I were looking a midpriced restaurant for a get together with old friends (up to $40-50/person without wine), what one place would you recommend in the general area? Something memorable. Anything goes, Chinese, sushi, Afghani (love Boston's version of Helmand!)...
The Moscone Center area is in SOMA (SOuth of MArket), which has a few restaurants. Lulu should be good for the group... it's a Cal-Med menu, with iron-skillet roasted mussels and a daily wood-oven roast among their better items. It's on Folsom, near 4th St., just a few blocks from the Marriot.
There are a few new restaurants in the area, but they are VERY noisy -- Salt House on Mission St. and Town Hall at 342 Howard. Lots of folks love them, but for me the noise overwhelms the food.
In the Westfield/SF Centre basement is Out the Door, a low-key version of Slanted Door. Their hours are somewhat limited at night, I believe, but the food is quite good (Vietnamese).
Also a short distance to the north is the Union Square area. I love a little French bistro called Anjou... it's relatively quiet, and very good food. Colibri is great Mexican (not Tex-Mex, but more central Mexican), but again a bit loud. Cortez is a small plates restaurant that's trendy, buzzy, but not too noisy, and with very good food meant for sharing.
In the Financial District (also a short walk from your hotel), there is a new Northern Italian called Perbacco that people love. For the ambiance and the food, the cost is remarkably low.
Hope that helps!
I'm not trying to be snarky at all...asking what the best Chinese in San Francisco is is pretty much like asking what the best seafood in Boston is. It's everywhere, great stuff can be found in the places ranging all over in terms of price, decor, service, etc.
What kind of Chinese food do you like/are you looking for?
(If you're looking for the style more popular on the East Coast, you're unlikely to find it easily. I lived in Virginia for most of my life before moving to San Francisco last year.)
Within walking distance of Moscone is Taqueria Cancun (6th and Market), a complete dive in a shady area of town (walk up 4th St. to Market and down Market and you're fine). It serves great al pastor burritos. I wouldn't go for dinner but for lunch, yes.
For Chinese food, you might try R&G Lounge, a good bet, not the best ever but overall a good place, clean, modern, etc., walking distance. Do a search here on it...and bring a group. Upstairs is nicer then downstairs.
Asking what is the "best" anything is likely to lead to fisticuffs!
But for various Chinese suggestions, each of these is a bit of a walk or a short cab ride from your hotel:
Basic but good Chinese -- Hunan Homes (not so touristy that there's no locals or Chinese there, but not so "authentic" that it's intimidating)
Good Hong Kong style seafood -- R&G Lounge (or Great Eastern if you can't get into R&G)
Really good but unusual Shanghainese food -- Jai Yun (must book in advance, chef's menu only, not fancy but very unusual dishes)