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Aug 18, 2008 05:38 PM

Various & Sundry Q's: Low-key walkable from SF Zoo or L Taraval? Dim sum in City, no carts?

Hiya SF 'hounds! Popping in for a whirlwind visit that will be stressful and mostly beyond my control. For the couple of days within my control, I'm trying to keep it very relaxed.

1. Have you any recommendations for low-key, casual places with solid chow that are:

A. readily walkable from the SF Zoo (I've seen this thread and have been to several of the places mentioned, including John's Ocean Beach Cafe and Bull's Head Too. Also, some deli on Sloat--George's or something like that?-- a block or two from the zoo. Thought they were all okay, not spectacular. They will do again in a pinch, unless you know of better places. Ideas? ).


B. In the outer sunset, walkable from the L Taraval?

2. Absolutely must get my dim sum fix in on this trip, so, I'm seeking a casual dim sum place in the City itself, open on weekdays, preferably no carts. We liked the atmosphere of Louie's 2-3 years ago. Food as good or better than that would be terrific. I'd be willing to drive across town for it, but access by public transit would be fantastic.

3. Also, are the tarts at Golden Gate Bakery still worth going out of your way for? I know there was some angst that it had been closed for awhile but I lost track of how that sorted out.

4. I also must get my burrito fix in on this trip, but I'm not sure I'm going to make it to the Mission. I'd be willing to hop in the car and sneak away for it. Any decent burritos in the Sunset these days?

5. I was thinking PPQ for the garlic noodles and crab OR R&G Lounge for the S&P baked crab. Are either of those a good choice these days?

Thank you muchly. P.S. I'm so sad I wasn't able to time my visit so I could do my share of "Chowing with the 'Hounds." Maybe in 2009. ;-).


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  1. I really like the burritos at Burrito Express in the outer sunset. You can take the L Taraval there.

    El Burrito Express
    1601 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

    1. Old Mandarin is a few blocks from the zoo. It's worth the schlep out there for the Peking-style hot pot, lamb warm pot, lamb with green onion, or West Lake lamb dumplings. They don't make the usual sesame bread. The "stirred flour ball," "Peking beef pie," and "onion pancake" have their fans, but I found them bland and greasy.

      Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant
      3132 Vicente St, San Francisco, CA 94116

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Old Mandarin would be my pick, or Shin Toe Bul Yi (for dinner, so you can get the fried chicken). However Old Mandarin is not a good place to take people who don't like unusual foods.

      2. Off the L-Taraval, there is more - i.e., Ming's for decent cantonese, Kingdom of Dumplings, and Shin Toe Bul Yi for Korean.

        This won't help you, but there is a sign indicating that a Java Beach is opening up across from the zoo. They have pretty good sandwiches at the Java Beach on Judah, so it will probably be a good zoo lunch option soon.

        1. For very good dim sum, no carts, try Great Eastern in Chinatown. But maybe some of the places out in the Richmond/Sunset would be easier? I haven't been, but there were some very good reports a while back about a place in the Sunset: S&T Hong Kong Seafood on Noriega.

          Great Eastern Restaurant
          649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

          S&T Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant
          2578 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

          1. I like the roast duck at Win's. It is right on Taraval fairly far down the L line. The chow mein was good too.