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DC Hound Seeks Help: 5 nights in SF/Napa?

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I'm working my way through the posts here but would love to hear from y'all. Big b'day, 5 nights--3 in SF, 2 in Napa--in mid-March.

We have reservations at French Laundry but would love to hear any and all thoughts as to must-eat places (e.g., is Boulevard worth it? is Madrona Manor worth the drive out to Healdsburg?) They don't have to all be high-end, etc. We haven't been to SF in a long, long time, so any/everything will be new. If among your suggestions, you could include great Japanese and Chinese, that would be great.

Thanks to everyone in advance for their thoughts!

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  1. For a few rec's that are unique to San Francisco:

    Aziza for Cal-Moroccan & unusual cocktails
    Tadich Grill for coipino or mesquite grilled seafood at a SF instutution (great gin & tonics too)
    Berma Super Star for casual Burmese (be sure to order the tea leaf salad and somosa soup
    Zuni Cafe for Cal cuisine (famous for the whole roasted chicken)
    Slanted Door for Vietnamese fusion in an energetic environment.

    -----
    Aziza
    5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121

    Burma Superstar Restaurant
    309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

    Tadich Grill
    240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Slanted Door
    1 Ferry Plz, San Francisco, CA 94111

    1 Reply
    1. What days of the week will you be here? What days in Napa and what days in SF? Recs for brunch, breakfast and other things could depend on that.

      There are very mixed opinions on Boulevard. IMO, no. I would not make that one of my one meals here.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Thanks for following up. We'll be in SF Thursday night, all day Friday and Saturday, then Sunday and Monday in Napa.

        1. re: the sobsister

          Given you're coming from DC and there is so much good food there - I'm sticking to places that I think are unique in SF.
          With 3 nights of dinners AND knowing you're going to French Laundry - my picks would be Bar Crudo, Aziza and Slanted Door. If the weather is good while you're here, recommend you pick up breakfast or lunch at Sentinel and grab a bench outside to enjoy it. If you're wine tasting in Napa - Taylor's Refreshers is a fun quick lunch. Enjoy!

          1. re: the sobsister

            Definitely go to the Ferry Building Farmer's Market on Saturday morning (here are a few good threads about it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/546326 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/512277 -- some of the same vendors won't be there, since they're seasonal, but many will be), and have either breakfast or lunch there. I like the suggestions of Aziza and Zuni, I would also recommend Canteen (either for breakfast/brunch on Saturday before or after the farmer's market, or for dinner).

            As for Napa, Ubuntu is a very bay area kind of place, and you could go there for dinner on whichever day you don't go to The French Laundry.

            1. re: the sobsister

              Trevalion and JasmineG have some good suggestions ... except I'm not much of a fan of Taylor's Refresher though
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595950

              Here's a list of popular SF restuarnats and the above are mentioned. If you click on the restaurant name there is a link to the Place records with reports, websites and other info
              http://www.chow.com/lists/790

              There are some good breakfast spots in the above list.

              If you find yourself in the SF Mission District, here's some suggestions
              http://www.chow.com/lists/1180

              French Laundry sounds like it should fulfill your fine dining quota, but if not, here's what is available in the city of SF. I liked the food at the Ritz better than the FL.
              http://www.chow.com/lists/edit/161

              On Sunday if you are driving up to Napa that day, Murray Circle in Sausalito has a fantastic pastry chef and the buffet breakfast is nice. It's the first exit off the Golden Gate Bridge look up the Place record as it is a little tricky to find.

              If you are in Napa, then Brix just north of Yountville has a great Sunday Brunch. They also have a swell happy hour on Monday-Friday. Currently they are closed on Monday during the winter but should re-open March 1st.
              http://www.chow.com/places/31850

              In the City of Napa, the Oxbow Public market has some great casual upscale restaurants and shops
              http://www.chow.com/places/12512

              I haven't been yet but I'm interested in trying breakfast at Bank Cafe which is near Oxbow in the Westin. La Toque restaurant recently moved there and it seems like a cheaper way to try the cooking of the chef.
              http://www.chow.com/places/45011

              And out of all of this, if I had to choose one thing it would be the Saturday farmers market at Ferry Plaza which IMO is a don't miss.

              Hope you report back about where you ate. It keeps the info fresh on the board and helps you if you come back. We have an idea of your likes and dislikes.

              Happy Birthday

          2. I would skip Boulevard but drive up to Healdsburg for Madrona Manor. I love Redd in Napa

            1 Reply
            1. re: norcalfoodie

              Thanks to all for the great advice. I'll report back with my experiences.