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Cow Hollow area restaurants

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Ouf SF trip is less than a week away. My husband and I will be traveling to SF with our 14 yr old daughter from Cleveland, OH. All of you chowhounders have been wonderful in helping with restaurant suggestions for various cuisines all over SF. I just realized I haven't asked for restaurant recommendations within walking distance near our hotel (Chelsea Motor Inn) in the Cow Hollow area in case we need breakfast quickly nearby before starting out our day or need a dinner nearby at the end of a long day. I figure I better have some nearby options "just in case." There's a Taco Bell & KFC right across from our hotel but the foodies in us would not be happy with that. We have a rental car & plan to get a 3 day passport pass for public transportation but I just want to have some options near our hotel. Thanks for all your help!

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  1. There is a abundance of very good restaurants with the Marina and Union Street near by. If you want more seafood pre or post Half Moon Bay check out Nettie's Crab Shack a few blocks( about .3 miles) away.

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    Nettie's Crab Shack
    2032 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Thank you for the suggestion - looked at their menu - looks good. That's on my list.

    2. Chestnut Street, one block north, has a plethora of places, though I confess I don't eat at many of them. Mezes is not bad for Greek (near Divisadero--about 5 blocks west from your motel); same block is A16, a chef-operated, highly regarded southern Italian place we've eaten at many times, often finding the descriptions a bit better than the actual dishes but nonetheless a major addition to the SFBA dining scene and, IMO, a great move in the right direction--that is, regional cooking. Reservations advised.

      I'm also partial to the Spanish tapas and paella restaurant, Alegrias, less than a block east on the north side of Lombard; it's the place we frequent most in the nabe. (It's about to get some publicity so may need res there too)

      Another possibility is Betelnut, an oddly appealing if not totally authentic pan-Asian hot spot on Union, less than 5 blocks from you: south 3, east 1 1/2. Reservations often needed here too.

      Others will have to help with breakfast or lunch choices.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fine

        Great - thanks. That's very helpful. I'm really interested in seafood & ethnic restaurants since we are lacking in some or both in someways in northeast Ohio.

      2. Rose’s Café on Union St. is a casual and quality place. I've had only lunch there and really liked it each time.

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        Rose's Cafe
        2298 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mick Ruthven

          Thanks for the suggestion - added to my list.

        2. For breakfast, Home Plate and Bay Watch ( in Cow Hollow Inn, sister hotel of Chelsea) are both excellent. Both are on Lombard within a block or two of your hotel. Rose's Cafe on Union, mentioned by a previous poster is also a great breakfast spot with some outside tables. On Chestnut, Judy's Cafe is also an excellent breafast choice.

          For dinner in the neighborhood, Alegrias is great if you like Spanish. Laiola on Chestnut is also excellent, though don't know if your daughter would be that excited about it. Izzy's Steaks & Chops, Bistro Aix, Parma, Three Seasons (Vietnamese), Isa, Amici's Pizza and Pasta - all on Steiner between Lombard and Chestnut are good options for dinner. Dragon Well, on Chestnut, has excellent Chinese. Mamacita, also on Chestnut, has excellent Mexican and is a hot spot for the young crowd. All in all, you've got lots and lots of good options in the neighborhood--that's one of the reasons we live there. Have a great time.

          10 Replies
          1. re: bobpantzer

            Wonderful! I'm getting lots of options for breakfast and dinners. It is better to have options & lists available rather than be stuck & try to figure out where to go to please everyone. Plus we want good food. Thanks so much. We are really excited about our trip to SF.

            1. re: bobpantzer

              You mentioned Rose's Cafe has outside tables - is it really warm enough this time of the year in SF to sit outside for breakfast???

              1. re: CurryLover

                First rule of San Francisco weather, layer. A sweater in the morning with short sleeves possible in the afternoon unless it rains.

                1. re: CurryLover

                  Rose's has heaters for the outside tables. It's very good, very nice, and fairly expensive for breakfast, which is not everyone's cup of tea. The Home Plate (mentioned above) is less expensive, "homier", though it's not nearly as nice inside, more about the food, which again, isn't for everybody.

                  For a great, quick lunch, we always go to La Canasta for great, fresh take-out burritos. It's on Buchanon right off of Union. Really cheap, huge burritos, super-nice people, but you have to sit on one of the benchs out front, or take it to go.

                  1. re: winedude

                    winedude is right--Rose's is on the expensive side for breakfast. They do make their own pastries, though, and have some unusual breakfast items. I love the polenta with fennel sausage, poached egg and spicey tomato sauce. The smoked salmon breakfast pizza is also excellent. If you sit outside on the west side of the restaurant, not only are there heaters but you are kind of protected from any wind by some shrubbery.

                    1. re: bobpantzer

                      Nice recs, bob. Hope you report more about places in your nabe.

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                      Rose's Cafe
                      2298 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                2. re: bobpantzer

                  I second Home Plate for breakfast. I also like Bechelli's on Chestnut. Dragonwell does tasty neighborhood Chinese, but you're such a short (#30) bus ride away from Chinatown that I have a hard time recommending it to visitors. A16 is amazing, but you should definitely get a reservation. If you like grilled sausages, there's a What's Up Dog right near you. You might also consider Pluto's for sandwiches and salads. I'm also partial to the sandwiches at Lucca Delicatessen on Chestnut.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    Thanks for adding some more ideas to my list. We have about three days of flexibility that will depend on the weather.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      The sandwiches, both hot and cold, at the Blue Barn accross the street from Lucca's are exceptional. This place has common ownership with Mamacita, Tipsy Pig and Umami all of which are excellent, as well, and within walking distance of Chelsea Inn

                      1. re: bobpantzer

                        Interesting...I gotta try those sandwiches! I think they also serve Blue Bottle coffee at Blue Barn?

                  2. Just focused on your screen name and am assuming you enjoy curry. There's a tiny, tiny Indian restaurant named Ashoka on Chestnut between Filmore and Steiner. The food is quite good. In addition, if you take the 22 Filmore bus from the corner of Lombard and Filmore (which is where your hotel is located) up the hill, there is a relatively new higher end Indian restaurant named Dosa at the corner of Filmore and Post--about a 10 minute bus ride. The food there is very good, as well. Amber India, adjacent to the Marriott Hotel on Market and Fourth is a very nice higher end Indian restaurant and the food is excellent, though more expensive. The 30 Stockton bus from Filmore and Chestnut will get you right there.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: wolfe

                      bobpantzer is correct - I love curry - haha, although we have lots of horse farms around here I am better known for living in LeBron James's neck of the woods. Thanks for the laugh-

                      1. re: CurryLover

                        Although I haven't tried the place bobpantzer mentions, I urge you to leave your immediate area for ethnic food, which isn't a strong suit of the Marina/Cow Hollow.

                      2. re: bobpantzer

                        Great - you are correct I love curry - I made up that screen name in the spur of the moment, couldn't think of any other way to describe me. We do have pretty good Indian food in northeast Ohio but it is North Indian flair. We don't have any restaurants that specialize in South Indian cuisine around here. Thanks for the bus information - that will save me a lot of time trying to figure out how to get from A to B.

                        1. re: CurryLover

                          CL are you toying with me? Spur of the moment?

                          1. re: wolfe

                            No toying or pun intended. Just meant that when I had to think of a screen name, I probably just came from a wonderful Indian curry meal & that popped in to my head as a good way to describe one of my favorite foods....

                      3. Betelnut and Osha Thai on Union Street are both great restaurants with good food! Have fun!

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Aaron_NY

                          Thanks - lots of good options floating around. We plan to have a good time, too!

                          1. re: CurryLover

                            If you like steak, Bobos is fantastic and very close on the same street.

                          2. re: Aaron_NY

                            Sorry, but I think it's quite a stretch to call Osha Thai on Union a "great" restaurant. The food is fair enough and the lounge-y feeling might appeal if you want a cocktail. But it's not even close to the top tier of Thai food we have in the City, and SF isn't that strong in Thai to start with. Is there something at Osha that you particularly like and recommend ordering?

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              I agree. In the same area, Yukol Place on Lombard is much better.

                              http://yukolthai.com/

                              1. re: Husky

                                Haven't been to Osha yet, but I agree with Husky that Yukol Palace is excellent--the people there are very friendly, too.

                                1. re: Husky

                                  Thanks for mentioning Yukol Place. Gosh, it's gotta be nearly a decade since I was last there, but I do remember it positively. Any particular dishes that you recommend?

                                  -----
                                  OSHA Thai
                                  2033 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                                  Yukol Place
                                  2380 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                    My wife and I like the vegetable spring rolls ( I think they're number 1 on the menu) and the red curry chicken. Then we normally order one of the specials which generally involve seafood. There's also a snapper or sea bass dish with green beans, I think. Frankly, we've never been disappointed with anything we ordered and the prices are very reasonable.

                                    1. re: bobpantzer

                                      Thank you, bob. I just took a look at the online menu and am wondering if anyone can comment on the duck larb at Yukol Place?

                              2. re: Aaron_NY

                                Have to agree with Osha Thai (though I'm basing this on my experience with the Glen Park Osha -- one family owns the five or so outposts of this restaurant, and each restaurant is different to some extent). Osha can seem a bit pricey for Thai food, but the ingredients are so fresh that the flavor combos really pop. Also, I find Osha never overcooks anything, an issue I've had w/ both meat and tofu at many other Thai places. Their curries are also delicious.

                              3. Walking down Chestnut Street is interesting with lots of good places. Untion Street has some shopping and eating but, IMO, not the equal of Chestnut.

                                As mentioned, ethnic isn't the strong point here, but lots of great breakfast joints.

                                I like Judy's quite a lot for breakfast, especially the house-made pumpkin bread. I also like Bechelli's though others might not agree. There's nothing wrong with it, but it is a decades old restaurant that gets bypassed because of the latest and greatest new joint. Solid American breakfast and I like the Spanich breakfast item the best.

                                I've never been a fan of Home Plate which I find greasy and not pleasant. Also, the menu is the same idea as Town's End on the Embarcardero which does a much superior job that I can't bother with Home Plate.

                                Whatever you do, avoid Mel's Diner. This was once a decent restaurant till they started to chain-ize. Speaking of chains, I believe Bay Watch is also a chain. Rose's has been high on my list to try for breakfast.

                                Coming from Cleveland, I'd skip hot dogs and Italian except maybe for A16. Amcici's is a local chain and good enough if living here, but not worth wasting a meal on during limited eating options, IMO. I also like the pastries at Emporio Rulli. but it might not compare favorably to your area. Ditto Lucca's.

                                I'd go for Blue Barn over Lucca's for sandwiches and over Pluto's, another local chain. I agree that Izzy's is fine for locals, but not worth a stop with limited eating options. In general, steak houses are not a strength in SF, Izzy's being far down on the list. I doublt anything you'd get at Bobo's would be better than what you could get at home.

                                There are mixed reviews on Mamacita's. I'd save my Mexican food eating for the Mission or if you are on your way to Golden Gate Park, maybe check out the new Nopolito. I'm hoping on trying it this week. The menu is intriguing and despite having recently opened it made the SF Chronicles top 100 list ... not that that means anything ... but it is reading true to me menu-wise.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rworange

                                  NopAlito:

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                                  Nopalito
                                  306 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA