Anyone tried Frisee in the Castro?
I have out of town guests who want to eat in the Castro, which has such awful selection. But they're gay and want to have some fun. I'm trying to plan a decent dinner with good food at average prices (entrees $18-20 range). I'm thinking of going to Lime but someone mentioned Frisee. Never been and the Yelp reviewers, of course, are polarized. Any first-hand knowledge?
Comments from friends on Frisee were so negative that I've never bothered. Lime's OK. You might consider L'Ardoise, a new French bistro on Noe around 14th. I think the most expensive entree was filet mignon at $28, with plenty of cheaper options in the $18-22 range like coq au vin, duck confit, etc.
I'd describe the food as solid french bistro food. Much better than many restaurants in the city targeting that type of cuisine at a similar price point, but maybe not the best. For instance, my hangar steak was tasty and well cooked, with a simple pan sauce, but the fries were rather limp and greasy, especially after the transcendent fries I'd had earlier in the day at Bar Tartine. Fresh porcinis in a puff pastry box made a delicious appetizer, butter lettuce salad with sweet fresh sardines was good but not revolutionary, the charcuterie plate was hit or miss but would satisfy people not used to Fatted Calf and Boccalone.
We brought our own bottle of red, but glasses of Sancerre were of respectable quality so the list is probably acceptable.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised, especially by Castro standards. In terms of atmosphere, it's not exciting or particularly jovial, perhaps because it's so crowded you feel like if you got boisterous everyone in the entire place would hear every word you said.
If your friends want excitement, Lime is probably the best bet. Thai House Express could be OK if the group is all adventurous, but if you get too many people ordering pad thai and asking for peanut sauce you're going to have a dumbed down meal.
151 Noe Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
You could eat in the Mission and have a very short walk to the Castro afterwards. My best friend and another pal were visiting last weekend and spent most of their evening hours in the Castro, but we didn't have to eat there.