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2 Days/Nights in SF... Suggestions?

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Having moved to DC from the Bay Area five years ago, I'm excited to be coming back through SF for a couple days before heading to a wedding up in Sonoma County. We'll be flying into Oakland on a Wednesday morning and leaving to head North around noon Friday. I'd definitely like to hit a couple of my old favorites like Taqueria La Cumbre (is the carne asada still as good as I remember?) in the Mission and Swan's Oyster Depot. Being sushi enthusiasts we'd probably like to hit Blowfish or Sushi Groove, which we've enjoyed many times in the past. We're staying at the Kabuki Hotel in Japantown and will be returning for a longer stay in October (saving the spendy dinners like Danko and Ame for that trip). So my question is... any musts that I should try that have popped up over the last few years?
Thanks in advance!

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  1. Also wanted to add; when I moved away in '03 the Ferry Building had just reopened and I know I won't be in town for an actual market on Sat or Tues.. Is it worth the trip to go on a Wed or Thurs?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Jamonportodos

      Yeah, definitely -- there's lots of good stuff inside the marketplace, including the Boccalone store (locally made salumi and sandwiches) due to open today, Recchiuti chocolates, Out the Door, Cowgirl Creamery, the Frog Hollow retail store, and Hog Island (you could try going to Hog Island for the $1 oyster happy hour on Thursday, just get there EARLY).

      1. re: JasmineG

        For the record, other than Boccalone, the other places you mentioned were already there in 2003, IIRC.

        Have the Thursday nignt markets been abandoned?

        1. re: Xiao Yang

          Right, but the OP said that the building had just opened when he left, so I wasn't clear from that statement of whether he had been able to go there or not.

          1. re: JasmineG

            True, Jasmine. Sadly I've never been to the Ferry Building since it reopened. Cowgirl Creamery actuallly opened a store in DC last year (one of the founders is from here originally) which made me very happy! I think I'll definitely try to hit the Oyster HH at Hog Island as well as checking out Boccalone. Any idea when the happy hour starts?

            Also, I had heard mention that the market was open on Thursdays during the summer, but when I checked the market website it only mentioned the Sun and Tuesday markets.

            1. re: Jamonportodos

              Happy hour starts at 5, so get there by 4:30 or so. Get to the building before that so you have time to wander around and see what's there and get some tastes. Definitely get some of the salted caramels at Recchiuti!

              1. re: Jamonportodos

                There used to be a Thursday "Night Market" from 4-8 PM, but there's no mention of it on the FB's event calendar or newsletter this year so I assume it has been tanked.

        2. re: Jamonportodos

          You can also go to the great outdoor market in the Marin Civic Center on Thursday morning (until 1). Well worth a trip for fresh food and great on-site eating and the toll is no more than parking at the Ferry Building.

          Have fun.

        3. The new restaurant/bar in the renovated hotel Kabuki is Da Bomb! It is called O Izakaya and their menu of Japanese bar eats as well as cocktails is both very interesting and innovative. I'm eating there at least once a week now (it is my neighborhood) so you won't be disappointed if you go to a happy hour which allows you to order a LOT of food at cheaper prices. Oh yeah, and their burger is amazing.

          -----
          O Izakaya Lounge
          1625 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

          4 Replies
          1. re: Carrie 218

            O Izakaya is very good. Prices are reasonable at all times.

            They serve breakfast, but I think it's normal American fare.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              O Izakaya has japanese breakfasts, but the menu is a bit over-priced. It is a hotel restaurant after all, and caters to the hotel guests. The crowd changes in the evening.

              1. re: Mr Conlin

                Yow! Those breakfast prices are steep, especially compared with the dinner prices. They've got both menus online now:

                http://www.jdvhotels.com/pdf/dining/O...
                http://www.jdvhotels.com/pdf/dining/O...

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Actually, I think those prices are in line with their dinner menu. Keep in mind, when read that the pork belly for dinner is $15.00, it is "a shared plate" and isn't that much food. That "dinner" menu is a bar-eats menu and is comprised of a handful of smaller plates which are expensive, not entrées-sized portions like one is accustomed to.

                  Yes, over-all it is pricey which is why I promote their happy hour offerings, but in relation to their breakfast menu, the quantity and price-range is roughly the same.

          2. La Cumbre's carne asada went down but then came back...if you watch and get a freshly grilled piece of beef. Turn over for carne asada seems to have gone down with healthier living. Since you're coming from quite a distance, I'd ask for freshly grilled. I also think they don't salt the beef, so I salt it mildly and if it's a fresh grilled piece it's like the old days.

            In Japantown, I'm a big fan of Maki although frankly I ignored it forever and I'm sure it was there in '03.