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LUNCH near California Academy of Sciences

Anne Sep 26, 2008 02:18 PM

DH & I will be meeting his (senior) parents in San Francisco in late November/early December. We'll be going to the new Academy of Sciences on MONDAY, Dec. 1st. I know there will be two restaurants there, but since they haven't yet opened, I'd like to have a "plan B" for lunch. We'll have a car, and the seniors may have some walking problems, so we need a restaurant where we can park nearby. Foodwise, we're looking for something simple, but tasty. Great sandwiches or simple seafood would work. Most Asian would be out ("too exotic" for the seniors!). Any ideas? Thanks!

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    bex109 RE: Anne Sep 26, 2008 04:11 PM

    Park Chow at 9th and Irving might fit the bill. I'm not quite sure how to describe it...maybe New American? Or comfort/homestyle food with a twist? But everything I've had there has been delicious, and it's a pretty short walk from the museum.

    Also, just across the street from the Academy is the cafe at the DeYoung, which is pretty good, and definitely a convenient option!

    2 Replies
    1. re: bex109
      buoncibo RE: bex109 Sep 26, 2008 05:04 PM

      DeYoung is closed on Monday, unfortunately. Would have been nice to take your in-laws up to the tower and see the view. One does not need to purchase museum admission to do that.

      1. re: bex109
        Anne RE: bex109 Sep 29, 2008 08:37 AM

        Thanks. I checked out Park Chow's website and it looks perfect for our needs that day. I can easily find something each of us will enjoy on the menu---admittedly NOT an easy feat!
        Too bad about the De Young being closed that day. I'll keep it in mind if we get back to the area that week.

      2. v
        virtualguthrie RE: Anne Sep 26, 2008 09:06 PM

        Check out this thread.

        1 Reply
        1. re: virtualguthrie
          Anne RE: virtualguthrie Sep 29, 2008 08:41 AM

          Thanks for the link, but while several of the places listed appeal to DH & I, most would be too exotic for the seniors!

        2. d
          deanpaul2 RE: Anne Sep 26, 2008 09:28 PM

          Chow is definitely a great choice...perfect for a casual lunch and dependable for quality. You might also try Cha Cha Cha just off the park on Haight St - great food, unique atmosphere and killer sangria..

          1 Reply
          1. re: deanpaul2
            Anne RE: deanpaul2 Sep 29, 2008 08:42 AM

            Cha Cha Cha sounds interesting---but their website says they are only open for dinner. Are they now open at lunchtime?

          2. maria lorraine RE: Anne Oct 1, 2008 02:29 PM

            Review of restos IN the museum today:

            1 Reply
            1. re: maria lorraine
              singleguychef RE: maria lorraine Oct 1, 2008 02:37 PM

              Yes, both restaurants are open, so with seniors, might be more convenient to just eat at the museum. If not, I would say Park Chow or Pacific Catch would be good alternatives because they're physically closest to the park's Lincoln and 9th St. entrance.

            2. maria lorraine RE: Anne Oct 2, 2008 03:32 PM

              And yet today, a very nice -- and funny -- write-up of the Museum by Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle:

              "But you're wondering about the cafeteria. It is designed in the modern manner, with stations rather than one long snaky line. There's a dim sum station, and a Vietnamese spring roll station, and a quesadilla station and a grilled things station. All very healthy; men armed with special cell-stun devices stand ready to maim any trans fat that attempts to enter the eating area.

              "Oh, and there's a noodle station. Three kind of noodles - spaghetti, penne and rice. A lot of kids gravitate to the noodles. And here's a fact: A lot of kids just want a little butter on their noodles. They don't want the special secret sauce that goes into the $10 noodle entree. A person can ask for rice noodles with just butter, say, but not without the chef sighing and rolling his eyes. Look, put it on the sign. Name it after a penguin. Rice noodles with butter, butter from cows so happy they compose sonnets in their spare time. "


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                Anne RE: Anne Dec 4, 2008 12:27 PM

                Original poster here. Just got back from our trip to San Francisco and wanted to report on our day at the Academy of Sciences. Fabulous place. Can't imagine anyone NOT enjoying it! Foodwise, we decided because of the parking situation to eat at the cafeteria in the academy. It was surprisingly good! The seniors each had a sandwich---one got ham, the other salami. They looked good and the seniors seemed to like them.
                My husband got the falafel wrap. I had a taste and it was good, but not great. A friend we met there got the lemongrass chicken. He found it to be rather disappointing, noting that it contained more bones than meat.
                I ordered the clear "winner": the rock shrimp over rice noodles from the pasta station. The sauteed shrimp were flavorful (and plentiful), served over Vietnamese-style rice noodles with a clear sauce, with bean sprouts, shredded raw carrots, cucumbers, mint, and romaine lettuce. Very tasty combination.
                One other note: my husband ordered a caffe latte that was surprisingly good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Anne
                  rworange RE: Anne Dec 10, 2008 01:16 PM

                  Thanks for reporting back.

                  Academy Cafe
                  55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA

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