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Appetizers and Drinks

This shoudn't be so hard, but I am having the worst time thinking of a place that has all of the following elements:

Serves appetizers
Serves drinks - preferably with a full bar
Is not downtown
Has easy parking, there will be three people coming from different sides of the city
Is fairly close to a freeway entrance for the Bay Bridge.

For some reason I am blanking on really anywhere that serves drinks and appetizers. I thought of Fresca in the Fillmore and am trying to think of somewhere in SOMA but can't come up with anywhere. We are open to just about anything. Thanks!

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  1. I'm not sure about parking in that area, but I thought about Coco500. SoMa, great drinks, and small plates that are appetizer-ish.

    1. how about mecca as your destination.
      parking is variable there.

      i think nihon whiksey lounge is a little expensive
      but it meets your criteria more or less ...
      again depends whether "easy parking" means
      instant [like in pot hill] or couple of min/couple of blocks.

      4 Replies
      1. re: psb

        I just found out the problem with the parking has gotten trickier. It is two people from SF who think a couple of minutes/blocks and are looking for street parking and someone from LA who just moved here and doesn't trust her parallel skills and would love it there was a garage nearby. I know we won't be able to get all of these options in.
        Someone just suggested Harry's on Filmore - does that roughly hit what I was requesting?

        1. re: Meredith

          Harry's hits most of your requirements, except the parking. Parking is not easy, parallel parking will be involved and I can't think of garages close by.

          1. re: meggie t

            That is what I thought. I am now suggesting Bruno's in the Mission. There is a lot two doors down, parking isn't usually that bad and while it isn't very close to an onramp, it isn't terribly far. Will report back - though having been there before, the food is standard bar food, usually well done but nothing that leaves me dying to go back.

            1. re: Meredith

              How about Lolo or Range in the Mission? Both are near the parking garage in the center of the Mission (at 22nd, maybe, between Valencia and Mission). I'm not sure that Lolo has a full bar, though. There is also Beretta, which opened recently; I haven't been.

        1. Two - the former Hawthrone Lane.

          1. You might want to check out Slanted Door in the Ferry Building. It's close the freeway (though is downtown which you are looking to stay away from), has tasty food, you'll pretty much have to park in a garage, and they run one of the best drink programs in the city.

            3 Replies
            1. re: boozemonkey

              It is the Friday downtown we are trying to avoid. It usually takes me almost an hour to get into downtown and parked on a Friday around 5:30. Insanity for coming from Noe Valley! Other days don't seem to be as rough, I think it is because almost everyone heads out of the office at the same time whether they are going home or going out for drinks.

              1. re: Meredith

                Might have been the last Friday of the month...ie., critical mass ride. That's pretty fun...if you're not in a car or bus. Stay away.

                1. re: Meredith

                  How about someplace near the New Mission Bartlett Garage or the Hoff Street Garage?

              2. Maybe Bacar.

                Sens has free parking with validation but it's downtown.

                What time on what day? Parking in some parts of SOMA can be tough on weekend evenings when lots of people drive in from the suburbs to go club-hopping, or when there's a Giant's game (or other event) at the ballpark.

                1. Laszlo, the bar next door to Foreign Cinema has good drinks and serves apps from Foreign Cinema until 11pm. Beretta, the new place on 23d and Valencia would be a good choice also, the parking around there should be reasonable, and depending on where in Noe you're coming from, you might be able to walk. I haven't eaten there, but the drinks are interesting, and the menu and open kitchen looked pretty good.

                  1. As mentioned, Coco500, Bacar and Orson have a full bar. They are in SOMA, have easy access to the Bay Bridge and nearby parking lots. One other consideration in that area is if there is a ballgame that day. In that case you might want to rule out that area.

                    1. Recently had a nice time at The Public Restaurant and Bar at Folsom and 11th.

                      The Public
                      1489 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: weem

                        The Chron says the Public's closing Friday. It'll be a spinoff of Basil Thai.

                      2. Not sure if you're still looking for a place, but maybe some place to consider in the future is the Nihon Whisky Lounge on the border of SOMA and Mission (next door to Rainbow Grocery). I went there recently and had a lot of fun. It's pretty lounge-like with a bar and lots of good food, especially during happy hour when the appetizers are half off.

                        Since it's in the area down Van Ness, I think it's pretty easy finding parking, although I just got off the 16th St. Mission BART station and walked a couple of blocks. And it's definitely close to the highway. I mean, you see it right there.


                        Nihon Whisky Lounge
                        1779 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: singleguychef

                          I actually just read your write-up of this on your blog. It sounds perfect for the next time. This question has come up (though without quite so many parking demands) fairly frequently in the last few weeks. We wound up going to Bruno's which was easy and good. They make nice drinks, and the food is standard bar food. But there is a lot nearby and easy street parking. Also, I have a feeling no one gets there before 8, which meant that we had almost the whole thing to ourselves. My friends (and I) tend to be of the needing to have somewhere to sit rather than wanting a packed house type. I thought Nihon would be perfect for us on a weekday.