HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Help me decide - Dinner in Financial District

My mom will be traveling with me to San Francisco next week. I have a hard time choosing where to eat for dinner next Thursday evening. We are staying at the Hilton Financial District (750 Kearny). I have already made a lunch reservation at the Slanted Door for that day.

Originally, I was going to take her to Kokkari; but then I found out she's going to Greece next month, so I cancelled the reservation.

I'm looking for a place that is casual to business casual, apps around $10; and entrees between $20-30. I read good things here about Bocadillos and Tadish Grill, but neither one takes reservations which makes me a bit uneasy (planning to eat ~8:30pm Thurs).

My other choices are:
Plouf (no prices on menu - will this place be within our budget?)

What's your thoughts and any other suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Although I am probably one of the only people I know who have not been to Tadich Grill, and plan rectify that very soon, I can tell you that both my wife and I were disappointed with Bocadillos. More with the selection, perhaps, than with the execution. It is probably the most disappointing tapas restaurant we have frequented. As I said, I have not been to Tadich, but would hope, and must reasonably believe from the posts I have read, it would be the choice, should I have to choose one of the two.

    We love Slanted Door, and are confident you will be happy with that choice, although it is incredibly noisy.

    3 Replies
    1. re: grantham

      At dinner Bocadillos has 30 items plus cheese and desserts. What did you want that they were missing?

      Where do you prefer for tapas? The quality at Bocadillos is by far the best I've found around here.

      1. re: grantham

        Does Tadich Grill have a website?

      2. I am a big fan of Perbacco, right next door to Tadich. It's popular and lively and has a reasonably priced menu with lots of choices. Tadich is very old San Francisco (primarily seafood) and extremely popular, too. It's much more touristy, if that makes a difference. I'd guess you might have a wait at 8:30 on a Thursday and the waiting area is kind of crowded with no seating. Incidentally, Kokkari is another of my favorites and, though the influences are Greek, it has a Mediteranean feel to it's menu and has a nice atmospher. Check out the menu online and see what you think.BTW, Plouf and B44 are well within your budget and are almost next door to each other. Both are good but I would put Perbacco and Kokkari in front of them.

        1. Bocadillos is a lot more casual than it sounds like you're looking for. I think most restaurants in San Francisco are still below the $30 barrier for entrees so I wouldn't worry too much about menu shock. Appetizers are another story -- they seem to be well into the teens at a lot of places.

          I think either Perbacco or Tadich will suit you -- although they're not at all alike. I wouldn't worry too much about a long wait at Tadich on a Thursday at 8:30 -- that's a work night and San Francisco goes to bed early. If drinking is part of your criteria, Tadich has a great old-fashioned bar with classic drinks but not much of a wine list. Perbacco leans more to fancy cocktails and has a much better wine list.

          1. Deffinitely Perbacco.

            1. We don't drink, so wine list & cocktail selections are not important to us.

              Does Tadich Grill have a website or a menu online somewhere? I like the online menu of Perbacco, though that is a bit outdated (from May 08).

              Any further input is much appreciated!

              1 Reply
              1. re: y2000k

                A fair portion of Tadich's menu changes from day to day, but you can find an example menu linked at the Places listing below.

                Tadich Grill
                240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              2. Almost anywhere in SF would fit your price point and casual level, so that's fine. Of the choices, I'd definitely pick Perbacco, though I haven't been to Bocadillos. Perbacco and Tadich are right near each other, so you could always make a reservation at Perbacco, and see what you think of the line/menu at Tadich that night and cancel your Perbacco reservation if you prefer Tadich. Here's a sample Tadich menu: http://sanfrancisco.menupages.com/res...

                1. Plouf is fairly cheap, it will be within your budget. If you've had moule frite in belgium, you might be disappointed. I always enjoy the atmosphere more than the food. B44 and Perbaco are probably better choices.

                  Remember that anywhere from the inner mission, north beach, soma, inner height, should be fair game for you. The downtown part of SF is pretty small. Assuming you're willing to jump a $7 cab ride.

                  1. We had dinner last night at Tadich and as usual, thought it was perfect. We arrived early, about 5:45 and sat at the counter. The counter was about half full when we sat down but filled up quickly. We shared a shrimp and crab salad ($9.25) with lots of sweet crab chunks and tender clean tasting shrimp. Fried scallops for my DC, perfectly fried, me with pan fried sole with a light splash of butter sauce. Each plate served with lots of broccoli and some roasted potatoes. Unique non sweet or pickly tartar sauce with mashed potato to give it body. Iced tea for me and one Stella Artois draft, $64 before tip. Some knocks on this board for being touristy but I hardly take time to look around, and actually don't much care. Service has always been excellent ~ brisk, effecient and friendly in a reserved way. Consistently a winner, I think your mom would love it.

                    1. Perbacco is always great ditto other comments, but I also enjoy Scalas Bistro in the Sir Francis Drake hotel. I believe Perbacco's chef came from there, but having just eaten at Scalas Bistro, I found it still comfortable, casual with good food and drinks and a great bread basket!

                      1. Go to Bix! It's one of the few classy restaurants left in SF. Been in biz since 1988, it's consistent, not overly pretentious, but welcoming. Look at the website (google Bix), you'll hear the music! Old school cocktails, excellent apps. and entrees; desserts to "die for," and the atmosphere can not be beat. Jazz music plays on the main floor nightly. Late reservations are perfect, in fact that's when the place really starts humming...and you never know who you'll see walk in!

                        It's on an alley (Gold Street) between Montgomery and Sansome and Washington and Pacific in the old "Barbary Coast" area. Very close to where you are staying. You can easily walk, or take a fast cab ride. Even if you don't have dinner, go in for a cocktail. It's one of a kind!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: tsalad

                          I agree that Bix would be an interesting and fun spot, similar in formality and price to Kokkari - plus, it's very close to your hotel. Perbacco is also a good choice. Other possibilities for mid-range places downtown include Piperade and Town Hall. Your hotel is also very near North Beach, but nothing comes to mind, except perhaps for Ristorante Ideale. Maybe someone else will chime in with some suggestions.

                          1. re: Paul H

                            Sodini's is the place to go (Green, below Grant St.) Great italian food. A local's place. No reservations but the wait at Gino & Carlos is always a hoot. Absolutely no pretense, very friendly (run by two local boys). No desserts, but that's what Cafe Roma is for!

                        2. The atmosphere at Tadich is great, I don't mind sharing it with the tourists. I'd eat there more often if they'd stop using mediocre produce and be as rigorous in their selection of seafood as some places that charge less (e.g. Bar Crudo, Hog Island Oyster Bar, Pesce).

                          Perbacco's chef was previously the chef at Scala's.

                            1. re: compass

                              Very funny. Rubicon closed two weeks ago.

                            2. Sorry - Rubicon is closed. I would suggest Piperade