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Asian Fusion SF Mid-Priced and "Hip" Riddle

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Hi all. I try not to be a bother and post as little as possible but I couldn't get what I need from searching the archives so today I need your help. I am hosting a dear friend who has lived over seas for years and who always, with each visit, likes to work in some SF eats. I am sadly "behind" on the SF scene and having trouble landing a spot for tonight. She is pretty particular. She is looking for asian fusion but not sushi, and not too expensive (I had her look up Ame and Azie and Bushi-Tei and all were too expensive). Plus, she'd like it to be a pretty happening destination since she enjoys that SF energy and generally lives in boring places (although right now she lives in Beirut which is pretty happening but it's a different scene as I am sure many of you know). On past trips we have always gone to Slanted Door. Initially, when we were planning her visit she said she's sick of it but of course now that we are in a fix she'd gladly go but of course it's too late to get a reservation. And I detest the competition of lurking behind people eating at the bar, jockeying against fellow food lovers to get a seat without a rezzie. We did that one year and I swore never again. Any ideas? (or maybe the bar at slanted door is less crowded now that people are tiring of it??) She isn't hung up on having authentic food and she actually cares about atmosphere and vibe (I'd otherwise do maybe Vietnamese in the tenderloin or indian somewhere). To get us below that Ame pricepoint I'd say "House" but she declined because we've been there before and apparently she didn't love it (I still love house). My fallback is to convince her to go for vibe and pricepoint and abandon the asian influence thing because really nearly everything around here has some asian influence. In this spirit, I decided to just give up and make a reservation at Canteen but apparently they are closed. So I decied to post. She loves Zuni and I might just play the Zuni card but I know it's more than she wants to spend. What to do? Thanks in advance for any help

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  1. Since you mentioned Indian, what about Dosa in the Mission?

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    Dosa
    995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

    6 Replies
    1. re: PorkButt

      That is absolutely PERFECT. Calling right now

      1. re: PorkButt

        oops no reservations. I am no longer cool enough to think of these things. We can try to walk in (three of us actually but the third lives in noe valley so I can send her ahead if need be). Since I'll be leaving my husband with two screaming children and every minute counts from his perspective, I should ask: do you think we'd get seated within a half hour or so?

        1. re: rockridgechow

          It shouldn't be a problem getting seated quickly seeing that it's a Wednesday and the day after a holiday.

          1. re: PorkButt

            Just reporting back that my Noe Valley friend nixed Dosa. I wanted to blow my brains out. I am going to go one night early with my whole fam, can't wait to try Dosa. We ended up at Le Cheval in Oakland because I had recommended it for a different night and we never went. It was fabulous except the cubed beef was just OK (a little overdone and just not as good as shaking beef at Slanted Door). The soy marinated sole and lemon grass prawns were wonderful.

            1. re: rockridgechow

              Thanks for reporting back! I hope your friend was happy, even though I wouldn't call Le Cheval a happening SF scene. You're a great friend to be so patient with her demands!

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Thanks, she is pretty demanding about food but a dear otherwise. It's hard because she has such limited time in the states and fantasizes about perfection then works hard to try to achieve it. She was probably trying to make me feel better but she did comment that she loved the vibe at Le Cheval (very warm, great buzz). The restaurant choice also spurred lots of questions about the number of restaurants in downtown Oakland, both my dinner companinos were impressed with the overall activity in the area.

      2. What about Roti? Just looked on Open Table and you can get a res there this evening.

        1. Namu would be a good call- korean and japanese ingredients gone californian
          Very cool interior too- Outer Richmond, pretty easy parking
          http://namubar.com/menu_dinner101.html