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Nice without breaking the bank, with big dinner salads and fish!

  • d

This is what Mom has requested. We are going to be between Protrero Hill, Haight and metro SF

Where is a nice and yummy place? Does Greens serve fish?

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  1. Greens is in the Marina district. Swan Oyster Depot makes a great seafood Louie. Small place, with limited menu and very limited counter seating. Don't take your dad
    if he isn't going to behave.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      good advice! Thanks.

      Are there any other nice places that serve big dinner salads as well as meat and fish entrees in SF without crossing to the east bay or such?

      1. re: Diana

        Greens doesn't serve fish.

        San Francisco is not the best city for entree salads, especially at dunner.

          1. re: grishnackh

            Yes, I know that now. Thank you.

      2. Maybe you look into John's Grill for their well-known Jack Lalanne's Favorite Salad?

        John's Grill
        63 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. Mel's has Chef's and Cobb's salads.

          11 Replies
          1. re: wolfe

            Not Mel's diners, right? Where is Mel's? Do they have a website?

            1. re: Diana

              Yes Mel's Drive In. I know it a chain but it has what you asked for. Go to Places and put in Mel's and it will show you where the 4 spots are. It did start in San Francisco, I believe. Think retro.

              1. re: wolfe

                I think my parents will murder me if I take them there for a nice dinner. Be serious!

                1. re: Diana

                  I'm afraid fine dining and dinner salad

                  1. re: Diana

                    What do you want in your dinner salad? Fine dining and some of these big salads may be incompatible.

                    1. re: wolfe

                      not necessarily. Great chefs embrace creating fabulous salads with local, organic, often heirloom veggies and fresh fish or legumes!

                      I find salad's from Mel's sorta sad. 1000000 calories, covered in bacon and glop and full of iceberg.

                      Fresh greens, grilled veggies, or perhaps roasted veggies, fresh fish and parhaps legumes and a lite dressing.

                      1. re: Diana

                        But at dinner mostly as an appetizer not the whole meal. Places with Salad Nicoise some canned some seared Ahi.
                        Le Central,Tartine,Zazie,Liverpool Lil's and Bisto Boudin.

                    2. re: Diana

                      Thanks for your sanity here, Diana...Mel's doesn't break the bank but it is far from any reasonable definition of a 'nice' restaurant.

                      1. re: grishnackh

                        That is true but if the poster puts enough restrictions on the places
                        and dishes they want at some point sacrifices must be made. See the modifications suggested by JasmineG on 2/5 at 10PM.

                        1. re: wolfe

                          I hardly call looking for a dinner salad served in a place that also serves fish a "restriction"

                          1. re: Diana

                            It is in San Francisco. Honestly, the only place I could think of that serves dinner salads (as opposed to appetizer ones) is the Cheesecake Factory, and I'm clearly not going to recommend that. You should check out the Chow/Park Chow ideas that someone else suggested, though I think they might be more casual than you're looking for.

              2. What about a place like Askew Grill - they have one in the Haight. Oddly, their website doesn't have price info but I don't believe it is very expensive.

                1. I don't know any nice place in San Francisco that has dinner salads. I think you're going to have to change your quest to great appetizer salads and good fish, in which case you'll have lots of options. Zuni has an excellent Caesar, and while their menu changes, there's usually fish. Bar Tartine has great salads, and really well prepared fish. Delfina also has great salad and usually has a fish dish on the menu. Also, if you're looking for a really great seasonal salad, with excellently prepared fish, Chez Panisse upstairs is your place, even if it is in Berkeley.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JasmineG

                    I would love Chez Panisse! Sadly, it is Closed Sunday, the night we have open to go out. Saturday is already taken with the VIP party at Anchor

                  2. Diana, I think you asked a reasonable question and are getting some crazy replies. Two thoughts I had were:
                    Alamo Square Seafood Grill- meets your fish request better than your salad one but they do have a nicoise salad and a spinich salad
                    Park Chow or Chow in the Castro- has nice dinner salads, one special seafood option. Casual but fine

                    good luck!

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: suebe

                      My thought was she was looking for something like this.
                      At 186 calories per serving it is hardly dinner.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Wolfe, dinner can be any number of calories. My dinner salads Imake at home are HUGE, but with mostly fresh and roast veggies and legumes or fish, are very low in calories. That, and working out a whole lot when I DO eat lots of calories, is why I am not a whale. Low calorie diests are showing in multiple studies to lead to longevity and youthfulness and vigor.

                        Plus, to fall off my high horse into the puddle, I DID just eat a largish bbq dinner with meat and potatoes and beer aplenty at the Party at the Anchor BRewery last night. Hey, I wasn't the one who chugged the Old FOghorn from the Homebrew CLub of the year Trophy!

                        THen I took my mom on a cheezy tourist triip andwe both had a scoop of vanilla Icecream with tons of fudge and caramel and whipped cream at the Ghiradelli Square cafe. *blurg*

                        Now they want to take us out for a nice dinner, and I would prefer to eat lighter fare and still be full. It would be nice if the wallet wouldn't be empty afterwards. Greens (the food, not the dining establishment) and fish will do it. Dad doesn't eat like that, he likes lamb and meat and stuff, but will do fish, and he's sorta picky in other ways (it's genetic, I think)

                        So there is my reason behind my request.

                        How is Kan Zaman? What about EOs? Indian Oven? Nopa? Annie's Bistro? Zazie?

                        I hate to say this, cause I love hounds, but I'm finding local touristy guides more helpful! Please, say it ain't so. Dinner's tonight, and my rep as a chowhound researcher, and the board's rep as a resource for the 'rents, is on the line!

                        1. re: Diana

                          Big dinner salads are out of fashion here. Places that do more or less American food tend to focus on small plates.

                          If you forget about entree salads, look at the menus for Firefly, Local Kitchen, Luella, Maverick, Q, Spork, and Two.

                          1. re: Diana

                            Perhaps you are asking for non-houndly requests, and that is why the hounds are having trouble helping you.

                            Or you are sending enough mixed messages that folks don't know HOW to help you. For example, you ask about wanting just simple, light greens and fish for a picky eater, and then inquire about Indian Oven. Huh? And Kan Zaman is primarily a hookah bar. Double huh??!

                            Nopa will probably be too noisy for your father. Annie's Bistro has NEVER gotten a good review on CH that I have ever seen.

                            I think Zuni was a good suggestion, but it is too late to get in without a reservation. Edited to add: however, you might be able to go for an early dinner or get seated in the bar.

                            Perhaps you should report on those places you liked from the tourist guides, and then we might be able to help you. (because then we would have a better idea what you are looking for)

                            1. re: susancinsf

                              For a party of four, on a holiday weekend, I think Zuni will be way too crowded.

                              Lulu's similar and easier to get into. Opentable shows they've got tables. They have lots of vegetable sides that might substitute for the huge salad.


                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                For some reason I had the impression that very loud was out of the question. If it is, be warned, Lulu's is VERY loud. (much louder than Zuni, in my experience)

                                Aziza has truly lovely salads, but they aren't huge.

                                Saha might have worked if OP really did want Middle Eastern food, but I believe they are closed on Sundays.

                                1. re: susancinsf

                                  The raised area on the west side of Lulu's dining room is not so loud. It also has more comfortable chairs. I always request that when reserving.

                            2. re: Diana


                              Had you given an example like you just did ... Kan Zaman? What about EOs? Indian Oven? Nopa? Annie's Bistro? Zazie... along with the parameters you wanted to eat light, you might have gotten more response.

                              I actually searched around for large dinner salads using foodiebytes, a great restaurant menu search site.

                              Not much out there that is decent.

                              I was thinking you wanted chef's salads, nicoise salads and things like that. Also, giving a price range or the restaurant examples would have given an idea of what 'break the bank meant' I do this all the time posting. I know what I'm talking about, but sometimes the others on the board can't read my mind.

                              Given the last minute nature of this post, I'm going to link you to a few places on Opentable that might meet your criteria. They have links to the websites and menus so you can look around and then see if they have reservations.

                              Restaurants in the class of Eos and Nopa would be in the same category as these restaurants. Those two are in the haight as you know and are fine. Nopa I'ver heard is noisy, so if that matters. Anyway, a few more ideas ... in metro SF

                              1550 Hyde ... my fav restaurant in SF. They have a three course prix-fixe for $31.95. The quality of the veggies and fish is stellar. Some things from tonight's menu you might like
                              - marin roots farm baby beets with goat cheese, starwort greens and satsuma mandarins
                              - grilled local squid with frisee, fried capers and salsa pimento
                              - corvina sea bass with borlotti beans, bloomsdale spinach and salsa verde


                              Fish and Farm


                              Less expensive restaurants (according to opentable)


                              Cafe Maritime


                              Farmer Brown



                              I haven't been to all of these, but the all have had favorable mentions on the board. They should meet your criteria.

                              Good luck and hope you report back on where you select. That will help us next time you are in the city to determine what you do or don't like. It will also help other vistors to the city with fresh info.

                                1. re: rworange

                                  LOVE the Foodiebites website concept... if only they did Canadian cities.

                          2. WIsh I'd seen this when posted. Bistro Clovis would have fit the bill.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Trevallon

                              I think Bistro Clovis is mediocre and expensive for the quality.

                            2. Didn't reply to the original thread b/c didn't have ideas, but after reading it now I wonder why no one suggested that the solution to the dinner salad issue - as - why not order 2 "appetizer" salads if large dinner salads are not in fashion? That way you could get a variety (sort of a "tapas" version of salad)?

                              1. On Potrero Hill, you might try Couleur Cafe on DeHaro between 16th and 17th. Excellent, very traditional (i.e. olive oil canned tuna and plenty of anchovy) Nicoise salad, salad with baked goat cheese, and good frisee aux lardons. Definitely won't break the bank and the French owner and Uruguayan 2nd in command are very charming. For fish, the salmon on black rice with a honey roasted bell pepper sauce is one of my favorite entrees anywhere. There is also a tuna entree I have not tried and 5 or 6 mussel preparations (go for the moules Potrero, a mariniere type with tarragon and tomato). Great frites, by the way.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Joan Kureczka

                                  Oops just saw this was quite an old post. Oh well. Would have probably fit the bill.