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recommendations for an under-the-radar-not-too-late-to-make-reservations restaurant?

hello chowhounds,

just made last minute plans to come to SF to see the de Young YSL show Sat. April 4th and i was unable to make reservations at Delfina, Zuni, or Slanted Door. Gee whiz, what's a hungry guy to do? since i will only be in SF for a couple of days I don't want to spend too much time waiting for a table but i do want to have a truly great SF culinary dinner experience before heading back to LA.

any recommendations for an under-the-radar-not-too-late-to-make-reservations restaurant?

any suggestions are welcome!!!

sincerest thanks!!!!!!

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  1. I would try Range, Foreign Cinema or Perbacco.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Frosty Melon

      thanks! i havent tried Range or Perbacco. i've been to Foreign Cinema and it was great but looking to try something new so thanks for the recommendations!!! ciao!

    2. Did you call, or did you just check Open Table? Because we tried to get lunch reservations at Slanted Door this week and there weren't any reservations on Open Table, but we walked in figuring we might have to wait and got a table no problem. Plus, we could have eaten at the bar. Not that I'm recommending Slanted Door, but I wouldn't give up too quickly on your first choices.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        i just checked opentable. lazy boy, right! i showed up at the Slanted Door without reservations a few months ago and it was hectic to say the least. so i think calling might be a good option. THANKS!

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          When opentable says a place is full, I often get a reservation by phoning.

        2. Bocadillos (tapas) doesn't take reservations, so if you're there it's a matter of time.

          1 Reply
          1. You could try Quince. http://www.quincerestaurant.com/
            or
            Conduit. http://www.opentable.com/rest_profile...

            Conduit is really fun while Quince is more elegant.

            6 Replies
            1. re: foodlove

              What do you like at Conduit? I live nearby and went once soon after it opened, honestly can't remember much about it. I never hear anyone talk about it nor see many people inside when I pass by.

              1. re: Frosty Melon

                I loved everything about it. However, the service was a bit pretentious. I loved the wine list, impressive prices. They don't mark up much and have great choices. I loved our beet salad and wouldn't let hubby have any even though we were sharing our appetizers. The entree was a pork dish, can't remember the sauce but it was cooked perfectly.

                It was a bit loud but I really enjoyed the atmosphere, very fun.

                1. re: foodlove

                  I have been to Conduit several times and the food is decent enough but the service more than offsets for the food. For the prices they are charging I never leave feeling like my business was appreciated.

                  1. re: foodlove

                    Their wine list is great, but the markup looks like typical 2X undiscounted retail to me.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Hum, maybe they've raised the prices. I did go when it was first open... However, still a great list.

                      1. re: foodlove

                        link

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                        Conduit
                        280 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

              2. Not under the radar but in the same class as the three places you mentioned I'd suggest Spruce, Quince and Bar Crudo.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tvham

                  Bar Crudo's a great idea.

                  Spruce and Quince are even harder to get into than Zuni and Slanted Door.

                  1. re: tvham

                    I second Bar Crudo. I used to walk in on Friday nights without reservations and usually got seats for 2 within 20 min. I love everything abvout Bar Crudo (great food - amazing chowder, casual but upscale ambiance, friendly waitstaff, GREAT selection of beer).

                    I've also walked into Range and gotten seats for 2 at the bar right away. Bar Tartine is another idea.

                    1. re: carfeng

                      Sorry, links

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                      Bar Crudo
                      655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                      Range
                      842 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  2. Incanto, Aziza (nearish the exhibit and maybe a neighborhood you haven't been to), Canteen, Kokkari?

                    1. Not sure this qualifies as "under-the-radar," but why not try The Moss Room right across the park at the Cal Academy?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Mola

                        I've heard mostly discouraging things about that place. One report here:

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564572

                      2. Given you've looked at Delfina & Zuni, I'd take a gander at Incanto or the smaller, more casual, La Ciccia

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                        La Ciccia
                        291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                        Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
                        1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131