Need a REALLY amazing, young, trendy restaurant to host 22nd birthday for a gorgeous girl!!
I'm planning a birthday dinner for my best friend for about 10 - 12 22 year old girls in San Francisco on Friday Feb 22nd and I need help finding the perfect place!! We haven't decided where we want to go out after dinner (something else I need help with!) but I do know exactly what we like and don't like!
We definitely enjoy finer quality food but also care a lot about atmosphere and a upbeat vibe. Something fun yet refined and upscale. We have all been going to school all over the country (LA, NYC, SD etc.) and haven't spent enough time in San Francisco which is right in our own backyard. Price isn't of much concern and at this point, neither is location. I don't want anything too stuffy, old or boring!
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Perhaps Bar Tartine or Andalu?
3198 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103
561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
First place that comes to my mind is A16. I'm in my 20's and this is where I go most often for a great upscale meal with other young friends. I *think* they can accomodate a party that size. It deffinitely fits all your criteria plus you can go out to one of over a dozen (mostly upscale) clubs afterward within a few blocks walking distance. (It is in the Marina.) http://www.a16sf.com/home.html
I just walked past a new place also in the Marina the other day, Laiola. It got a great write-up in the Chronicle and it looked really cool and young -- I'm planning on checking it out myself in the upcoming weeks. http://laiola.com/
There is always Slanted Door, which I would say is more "hip" than trendy and deffinitely isn't old or stuffy, but unlike a place like A16 where the clear majority of people there are under 40, the age range is completely spread out over the gamut. http://slanteddoor.com/index.html
Not "young trendy" but really cool, hip, and sophisticated, with some of the very best food in San Francisco is Ame: http://www.amerestaurant.com/home.html Food-wise I would say it is the best restaurant in San Francisco that might fit your bill, all of the other restaurants at its quality level are going to be more stuffy -- or at least older or more formal -- than what I think you are looking for.
It is mostly small plates and I don't know if they can accomodate a table of 12, and it isn't *trendy* per se, but while not 'trendy' Terzo is great and young. http://www.terzosf.com/
Thinking about it from a purely logistical perspective -- 10-12 people can be hard to accomodate -- you could take the communal table at Bushi-Tei which has very good food and is causual and not stuffy at all, but also not trendy; and I think the food is a little overpriced for its qulaity: http://www.bushi-tei.com/index.html
Just my $0.02 about some of the restaurants already mentioned...
Not a huge fan of Foreign Cinema
nopa I like, but it is probably going to be too loud for you, I think. I mean, there would honestly be no way to have a discussion at the table involving everyone -- the ambient noise there is more than any other restaurant I've been to in SF. Actually, I cannot think of a louder restaurant I've ever been in. (It is a little quiter if you sit upstairs, I think.) The food is very very good, though -- though I don't think it is outstanding.
I don't know much about Andalu, Bar Tartine or Frisson, but Cortez I've heard consistently good things about.
There is good buzz about Spruce -- particularly the wine list and apparently an incredible atmosphere/room -- but I have not been nor do I know anyone personally who has, I don't think, anyway.
But all of that said, if you can get into A16, that is the way I would go...
According to their website,A16 takes reservations for up to 20 Sunday through Thursday, but only 6 Friday and Saturday. OP could still call and ask/plead, though. I have deffinitley gotten away with things at restaurants in SF that their policies said would not happen. (Party size, corkage policies, etc) So I would not be too disouraged. My advice to OP, though, is not to speak with a regular reservationist -- the answer will be "no". Rather, i fyou decide A16 is your top choice, call and ask to speak with a manager. Just be honest and explain the situation. I have really found that most restaurants in SF are as accomodating as they can be.
For 8 people I would look into the communal table at Piperade http://www.piperade.com/ if you are having trouble with reservations. It seats 8 people and is really a great table 2x2 so everyone can talk to everyone. The restaurant itself has very good food. It is neither young nor old, trendy not square, etc. It wouldn't be my first choice -- but I do like their 8 person table in the center of the restaurant
The front bar area is perhaps "hip" and dark but the back area is more bright & open (where they may put a party of 8). You need to decide soon as the 22nd is getting closer and reservations for a party of 8 may be difficult on a Friday night.
One of the more "hip/cool" places that comes to my mind is Ozumo. They have a big bar/lounge area as you enter (with cute young hostesses) with music and then gradually opens to a big, loud bustling dining room with sushi station(?) in the middle. You can ask them about private dining also. They have specialty cocktails, nice variety of sushi, nice cooked dishes, and good service. You did say price is not an issue, right?
I don't think you would feel out of place at Kokkari at all, but I also don't think of it as particularly young or 'hip' in the young sense. I mean, it is where lots of lawyers have their power business lunches, so...
I have to reiterate, though, I keep walking past Laiola on Chestnut in the Marina, and I think it would fit your bill if you cannot get into A16, which would be my first choice for you.
Mentioning Kokkari, though, it is hard for us to gague exactly how "hip" you need the restaurant to be. I mean, outside of the Financial District, Pacific Heights, and Nob Hill most of the good restaurants in SF are frequented by people in their 20's, have modern designs, relaxed atmospheres. Some you feel like it is slightly scene-y, some are totally relaxed, some are in between. I'm guessing by "hip" you are nixing the "totally relaxed" options, but that still leaves you with a lot.
Of course, a lot of this will depend on where you can get a table at this point, tables of 8 are not so easy to come by. My best reccomendation would be to call a bunch of places, the ones I've reccomended ;-) and others, and get a few tables reserved -- they will all require a credit card number to reserve for 8 on a weekend, but all will have a good cancelation policy (usually, it is call any time before the reservation, have also heard of a 24 hour cancellation policy, though). Then come back here and tell us where you were able to get in, and we may be able to be of more assistance.
If you are having trouble making reservations, here are a few more places to call (In addition to th ones I and other have mentioned)... None of these places would be at the very top of my list for you, and some of them I've only heard things, never been. But that said, options are good...