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Dec 31, 2008 12:36 PM

Mom Treating College Boys

I'm an LA mom on a one-night mission to San Fran. I have the opportunity to host an east coast college's "a capella" group (my west coast son included) for their Friday night post-singing dinner. But where? Is there a spot in Chinatown or Little Italy that will provide local color plus good food? A burger joint that can handle a dozen or so of us? Undoubtedly, the guys will need to ditch me for their own carousing once dinner is done. All suggestions welcome. It will also be my birthday and so I'm hoping for a memorable night, whether it be the food or the setting or the company that makes the occasion.

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  1. you'll probably get more helpful replies if you indicate amount you're willing to spend, when "post-singing" means and if you have geographic limitations ;) Happy b'day!

    1. Depends on what you want to spend, as mentioned. I hope you don't mean this Friday since that's kind of late in the game to be getting reservations for 12 or more

      Joe DiMaggio's Italian Chophouse is pricy but would have burgers.

      Lots of people seem to like R & G lounge in Chinatown.

      Caffe Sport serves family-style and has a fun atomosphere for groups.

      I haven't been for a while, but for inexpensive Italian, I liked Ristorante Gondola. It is nothing outstanding but is good.

      If you give more details, there will be more recs. The restaurants mentioned can be found in this list. If they have a website with menu it will be part of the info

      1. Not North Beach/Chinatown, but not far: How about Nick's Crispy Tacos? Open until 9 PM.

        Nick's Crispy Tacos
        1500 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94109

        1 Reply
        1. re: Atomica

          Nick's has GREAT food, but it does close and turn into a nightclub at 9:00 pm (which may not be a bad thing with your group ;-)

        2. Thanks much for asking the extra questions. Friday, January 16 is the date. Price is not a consideration (my birthday after all!). I will be at the Stanford Court, so a central dinner locale or one easily reached by mass transit seems in order (none of us will have cars). The dinner hour will depend on what gigs they cobble together for that day. Maybe they'll be free for a normal dinner hour, but I can also imagine 10 or later. Ouch.

          1. Zuni Cafe is essential San Francisco, is open until midnight, and I believe offers their burger on their latenight menu. Wouldn't be cheap, but not super expensive to start with the great Ceasar salad, chow on what many rate as the best burger in town, and have some dessert. Good oysters there if you're into that. Not in Chinatown/North Beach, but not too far on Market near the civic center -- could they be singing near there, by any chance?

            2 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              Zuni is a super idea. It is open till midnight, has a very SF vibe, the food is great, it woul be a great birthday place for you, the prices aren't too bad and it is right on the street car line on Market St. They don't have their menu on the website, but this sample menu should give you an idea if it is the right fit for you.

              Here's everything in SF in the Chow database that is flagged as late night which would be places open past 11.

              Maybe someone can chime in on how good a fit these would be but In North Beach (aka Little Italy)
              - The Monk's Kettle (are they drinking age?)
              - E Tutto Qua

              - Yuet Lee - open till 3am. Not fancy, but take a look at the place record in that list there are photos and reviews.
              - Brandy Ho's

              At one time North Beach PIzza was one of my favorites. Then they turned into a local chain and to me the pizza is currently inedible.

              1. re: rworange

                We just "discovered" Yuet Lee in the last year and love it. As you write, no ambiance except for the food and the crowd. Mmm.