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Aug 17, 2008 09:24 AM

One Night in San Francisco

My husband and I will be arriving in San Francisco late on a Wednesday night and heading on on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend in Napa. That means we have one night for dinner - Thursday. We are staying at the Clift Hotel in Union Square. We are looking somewhere with a younger crowd, good atmosphere, trendy, some good drinks and preferably small plates (though that isn't a necessity, just a preference). From doing my research online and specifically on this board, it looks like the Mission area is the place we need to be. Is Medjool a good choice? Any other recommendations? I understand we can only book the main restaurant with a reservation - not the rooftop. Should we opt for no reservations and wait for a table on the rooftop - is that the better atmosphere?

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  1. Orson or Foreign Cinema might be a better fit. The latter has rooftop seating, though the weather probably won't make outdoor dining appealing at dinnertime.

    Reports here on Medjool are mixed at best:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      We went to Medjool last night and the meal and experience was very enjoyable. We had a mix of the tapas-like dishes. Medjool Sampler with Hummus, Tabouli and Baba Ghanoush - great appetizer, the baba ghanoush was delicious. Lamb and Fig Tagine - the lamb was tender, and the couscous was fluffy and flavorful. Pommes Frites with Parsley and Preserved Lemon - addictive! thinly sliced and crispy. Grilled Baby Octopus with Saffron Potatoes and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette - fresh and tender.

      None of the flavors were overpowering... good balance of flavor. I would defintiely go again.

      1. re: travelames


        2522 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

    2. I haven't been there myself, but based upon what my freinds have said, I deffinitely think Orson may be the way to go.

      1. As a city we don't do trendy well, and, while trendy, as a restaurant Medjool doesn't do food very well. Though the roofdeck is a great place to enjoy a drink.

        Some trendier, small plate options with terrific food (in addition to Orson):

        Bar Bambino
        2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

        Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant
        330 1st Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

        1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. I would head to the Ferry Terminal, Hog Island Oyster company has $1 oysters for happy hour and then check out the Slanted Door (reservations necessary). Take the trolley over to Fisherman's Wharf for a late night Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista, then cable car it back to Union Square ... perfect night.

          1 Reply
          1. re: thompsdo

            I don't think any of those fit the younger crowd / trendy request.

          2. I am not sure I am the right person to judge trendy, but Cortez might fit the bill if Orson does not. It is right across the street from the Clift (which is actually about a block or two off of Union Square).

            550 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

            Orson Restaurant
            508 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107