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Jan 24, 2008 07:00 PM

SF Trip Report (Crudo, SPQR, Aziza, Range)

I've been a silent champion of this board for a number of years. I've used the board to get recs on the local scene. Now that I've moved out of the Bay area and have come back for a visit, I searched the boards to revisit the awesome food scene in the area. Thanks to everyone, I had a wonderful visit filled with awesome meals!

Note: Of course it would have been nicer to have had tables, but all the meals that I had with my partner were walk-ins and so we ended up eating in the bar area which wasn't too bad.

Dim Sum at South Sea Seafood Village
- The dim sum place I went to when I was living in the Outer Sunset. The place was exactly as I remembered it as well as the food. The abalaone dumplings, pan fried chive dumplings and the Shanghai pork dumplings (can't remember the name of it now) were as awesome as I remembered them. Also ventured to try pig ears which basically seems to be flavored cartilage...

Dinner at Bar Crudo
We had a 20 minute wait to get seated in the bar so my partner and I went to the bar next door. Awesome Caprinhas. The hostess came over to tell us that our table was ready. Even though the bar tables aren't the most comfortable ones, they didn't detract from our enjoyment of very fresh and interesting fusion of flavors and textures that we had from our meal. We ordered:
- Crudo Sampler: the Arctic car and scallops were awesome. The tuna was nothing special and I can't remember the 4th dish but it was also quite good.
- Seafood Platter: they were out of lobster and crab so we had more servings of the other things which I can't complain because they were so fresh and delectable: oysters on the halfshell, mussels and for the first time, I had clams on the half-shell


Brunch at SPQR
Wow what a brunch! Here's what we had:
- Sunchoke salad w/radicchio, almonds, tangerines
- grilled pecorini with mushrooms - interesting concept
- brussel sprouts (caramelized and browned with garlic) - one of the best dishes
- calamari with fried breadcrumbs and onion - you've got to try if you're into calamaris
- polenta pancake with maple syrup - what an interesting combination
- housemade pork sausage - I'm not particular to pork sausage but my partner loved it

Dinner at Aziza -- we first went to Ponzu but was disappointed by the menu so went out to Aziza to see if we could snag a table. We got a seat at the bar and had quite the awesome meal:
- Interesting cocktails: bloody mary with harissa, caprinha with tarragon
- Lentil soup - thick, hearty and oh so filling
- Sardines with lentils and fennel - what a great combo and fresh sardines
- beets with frisee, blood orange and feta
- lamb sausage
- lamb shank - one of the best lamb dishes that I've had
- scallops with creamy lemon rice - made a nice contrast to the lamb shank


Breakfast at Dottie's -- what can I say except that only in SF do you come across a diner that looks like a dive but serves fresh, californian infused breakfast

Lunch - awesome spaghetti and meatballs with a salad of sauteed oyster mushrooms at my chef friend's house

Dinner at the Range - had a good neighborhood feel to the place as well as good, heartly food. In particular the lamb dish was one of the best lamb dishes that both my partner and I have ever had. I also enjoyed the Hawaiian sashimi Ono appetizer and the beet salad. We also ordered a soup but can't remember exactly what it was.

Overall my partner and I had a wonderful time in SF and the great meals provided a special touch to the experience. Thank you all!

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  1. Great report, thank you! We've been getting some really wonderful visitor reports lately... they always remind me of all the restaurants I still have left to try. Thanks for taking the time to write this up!

    1. Sounds like you hit all the right places for your trip!

      1. Nice report. Hope you won't be so silent on your new home board.

        How was sitting at the bar at Aziza? It seemed like it might be cramped.

        5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121

        Bar Crudo
        655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

        842 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

        South Sea Seafood Village
        1420 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

        Dottie's True Blue Cafe
        522 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          The bar seating at Aziza was actually quite tolerable -- even when we had 3 dishes and 2 serving plates. And it was nice to chat with the bartender who was making a lot of interesting drinks! The bar seating at Bar Crudo was a lot more cramped -- and we sat right by the door. But I'm just thankful we were able to get seating on a walk-in basis during a weekend to enjoy the great food.