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One Night Restaurant Recommendation

My husband and I will be in San Francisco for a wedding in April - we have one night free for dinner by ourselves before wedding festivities kick off. We're staying at the Omni on California, but are open to a cab ride of course. I have been through many many SF boards to peruse your recommendations and have narrowed down some possibilities, now would like some feedback from SFers on which place to choose. I want someplace relatively upscale but not super-snooty. Here are some places that looked promising based on board postings, etc.


Any help would be much appreciated in deciding which of these to visit or if I should consider another place entirely. Thanks!

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  1. this is sooo hard to judget, because it depends on what you like of course. That said, it would really help to know why you picked the ones you did. Frankly, Farallon and Chaya wouldn't even be on my long list, much less my short list, and I am not sure about Bix.

      1. FWIW, Myth is in the middle of a chef change.

        1. Some were recommended by a friend in San Fran, some I picked looking around online. Bix sounded interesting and their menu looked good. I apologize, I should have said - it's a Thursday night, and we don't mind eating early, so getting in somewhere crowded shouldn't pose a problem. We are not picky with regards to type of food. Coming from Kansas City, I would say steak is not a priority since we have plenty of great steakhouses here. Seafood is always tops so that would be a good option. Ethnic cuisine is fine but also not a huge priority for this particular trip.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jrivard

            If you want seafood, I'd go to Bar Crudo, which is just a short cab ride away. Lots of reports on this board, great food, fun environment (though it may not be as upscale as you want). Bar Tartine is in a very different part of town (the Mission), but is really easy to get to, and I've had a number of great meals there recently, and it definitely fits the bill of upscale but not snooty.

          2. Unless you are committed to an upscale (often overpriced) SF destination spot, you can walk to Tadich on California St and have sand dabs. You sure won't get them in KC. If you want upscale, Aqua next door is quite good (and expensive).

            1 Reply
            1. re: OldTimer

              Reports here on Aqua have been mixed, with some strong negatives:


            2. I'm in agreement with others...Myth was great, but they are in the midst of a chef change and some turmoil so I'd wait for that to settle before trying it. I've been to Chaya 2 or 3 times for business dinners - the food is totally forgettable. Haven't been to Bix in an age. If you are interested in seafood, check out Ame - it may be too upscale - I didn't find it to be snooty, but not sure what price range you have in mind. Food there is excellent. Tadich is a fun old-time SF place - if you go there, order something simple - sand dabs are a favorite of many. Frankly, I'd go to Zuni Cafe before I'd go to the places on your list. Couldn't find an online menu for them (website under construction), but they take reservations on Open Table! Many on the board (including me) really like Aziza - it is Cal-Moroccan. They have good food and cocktails. You would have to take a cab, but that's no big deal. It is not a restaurant you are likely to find elsewhere! Sorry if we seem to have trashed your choices!

              2 Replies
              1. re: dinnerout

                NOT Farralon.

                I second Zuni ... get the chicken.

                Aziza is fun and unique ...a bit of a cab ride though.

                What attracted you to your choices? They really aren't the best SF has to offer.

                1. re: dinnerout

                  Ame is a great suggestion, and I think that it's upscale without being snooty.

                2. Thanks everybody for your feedback - I think I remember looking at Ame's website and dismissing it but I will give it another look. I appreciate your time and recommendations, sometimes I think I do too much research when visiting out-of-town and I get paralyzed by all the choices. If anybody needs any good KC restaurant recommendations in future, just let me know!

                  1. So if I narrowed it down to Ame vs. Aziza, could I get a consensus on which to choose??

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jrivard

                      You aren't likely to get a consensus. Ame is more formal, more creative, and more expensive and much easier to get to. Ame would be my choice, but they are two very different sorts of places.

                      1. re: jrivard

                        I would pick Ame over Aziza just for the convenience factor -- both restaurants are great, so that's the only way that I would be able to pick one over another. Aziza is a lot harder to get to, it would either be a long bus ride, or a long and expensive subway ride, and if you're coming from somewhere far away and may be tired, that just doesn't seem like fun.

                        1. re: JasmineG

                          No subway or streetcar to Aziza (or anywhere in the Richmond District). Would take about 45 minutes on the 1 California or 38 Geary.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Sorry, read "cab" when I said subway. Long and expensive cab ride.

                      2. If it helps in your decision making, Ame is more a destination restaurant than Aziza and not at all snooty. It is located in the sleek, stylish new St. Regis hotel in a touristy/bustling/commercial area of town (complimentary way). Aziza is a nice, somewhat casual restaurant in more of a residential area and also quite a bit away from the Omni. If this is a weeknight, I am not sure how long a cab ride would be in rush hour traffic (6:30/7:00). Then of course, there are have been some nice reports on Zuni:-) Sorry if this is more confusing!

                        1. I think of Ame as a more special place and would choose it for my one meal. Oh and one more thing - we have been able to switch one of the items on the tasting menu so don't be shy about asking for something like that if you are so inclined. The service is excellent at Ame. Hope you enjoy your stay in SF!

                          1. This is just me, but when I visit a city, I like to go to a place that's creating buzz. I feel like the list you have are sort of old standbys. Especially Chaya and Farallon.

                            I think a lot depends on what kind of experience you want? I'm not sure I can tell from your initial post.

                            For example, Orson's by Elizabeth Falkner is the newest restaurant creating buzz for her molecular gastronomy dishes. The biggest recent open is Pat Kuleto's pair of restaurants by the Embarcadero, which is also nice for out of towners for the setting.

                            As for just real tastes in food, everyone's talking about SPQR in the Fillmore as well as the new Yoshi's.

                            All would bring a uniquely different San Francisco dining experience. I think a lot depends on what you like to experience when you visit a different city, especially a food city like San Francisco.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: singleguychef

                              SPQR's been open for a few months and they've got their act together. But they've also gotten rave reviews and take no reservations, and people have reported waits over an hour for a table.

                              As for Orson, Epic, and Waterbar, if somebody's only in town for one night, I don't think it's wise to risk that one dinner on a brand-new restaurant, especially when reports haven't been uniformly enthusiastic.

                              1. re: singleguychef

                                Yoshi's is a good idea. It features a unique menu of modern Japanese food, and the decor gives off a nice modern vibe.


                                Yoshi's Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant
                                1330 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA