SF Weekend from LA native (Kiss, Wharf, Bix, Dim Sum)
I inquired a few times about SF without much guidance from chowhound. So, I did my own searching through Opentable and yelp, and then checked the places with chowhound. It was a pretty good eating weekend.
The weekend started off with Japanese at Kiss Seafood in Japantown. I read reviews and was told that sushi in L.A. beats sushi in SF by a mile. Still, I was intrigued by the pictures and reviews about omakase at Kiss because I had never had omakase before. Starting at $40+, I thought the omakase at Kiss was a steal. The decor was modern but clean, and it was run by a husband/wife team. There were only about 12 seats max at the entire place, and they were only open for 4 hours a day. We had the regular omakase and the special omakase for $60. Each came with 6 courses. The first was a salad course where there were tuna with freshed greens. It wasn't a typical salad but more of a slightly cooked/marinated veggies with raw fish. Second came sashimi (giant clam, toro, among others). Third came some kind of fishballs and clams cooked in a clear broth. Fourth was sushi plate. Fifth came steamed eggs with dungeous crab. Finally, there was a wild mushroom soup. The food was awesome, and the service was wonderful. The best was the freshly grated wasabi, which I had never had before. I've had a lot of fresh fish in L.A., but the cooked food was very delicious and made the meal very special.
Our next meal was lunch at Fisherman's Wharf at Stand #2 on Jefferson. Shrimp cocktail, live steamed dungeousness crab, clam chowder. Lunch was just over $30 and very tasty. It was a little stand with a little bit of sitting room at a counter.
The next meal was dinner at Bix. I read yelp and was recommended to pick appetizers and first courses. We had potato pillows with cavier (very yummy and light), crab roll (dungeousness crab between toasted bread), corn and clam chowder, and we shared a Kobe "bavette" steak and truffle fries. Everything was excellent, including the service. I just wish I could try a few more of their yummy appetizers (hand-pulled mozzarella, crab louie, etc.).
Our final meal was brunch in Chinatown...dim sum at Great Eastern on Jackson. I also picked this from yelp. The dim sum was pretty good, on par with solid LA/San Gabriel Valley restaurants. It was solid but not at the same level of the best in L.A. The service was painfully slow. Our whole experience took about 1 hour 1/2, and we never got our final dish. I wish they had carts or the food came out faster. It wasn't bad for dim sum, and the place is very clean.
The one thing I must say is I feel that food cost is way lower in SF. In L.A., everything would cost a lot more, from the crab at the crab stand, to omakase to Bix. Our Bix meal came out to $90 before tip. Generally, omakase would cost $60 to $100 a person in L.A. at a good Japanese restaurant.