Two Tucsonans Staying at the Triton, visiting the Castro
I'd like to get advice for three specific dining situations in the City. First, we'll be staying at the Triton Hotel and relying on public transit. We're both deeply coffee-addicted, so we would like to hear about good cafes near the Triton that open early (six a.m., perhaps) and offer more to eat than pastries -- say, fruit and yogurt or a good breakfast burrito. If the food at the Triton itself is good, that would be nice to know.
Secondly, Friday afternoon and evening we'll be taking a walking tour of my old 'hood, from the lower to the upper Castro, through Noe Valley, and down Valencia to Good Vibrations. Somewhere along there, we'd like to have good Thai or Mexican, with entrees running between $10 and $15. The Upper Castro would be nice.
Finally, we'd like to have a romantic dinner out that would run about $120, not including tip, for a glass of wine for each, an entree, and dessert. We especially enjoy lovely deserts, and will be dressed fairly casually.
I really appreciate whatever help you can give us.
Re: coffee - it doesn't open until 7 am - but I recommend Blue Bottle Cafe @ Mint Plaza, a short walk from the Triton.
The Sentinel opens at 7.30 am, it is take out only but everything they make is amazing and downtown there are lots of plazas to sit in on a nice day and enjoy your breakfast or lunch.
For the romantic dinner - suggest Gitane. Convenient to your hotel, a new restaurant you wouldn't have been to before, great wine list and food and wonderful atmosphere.
There's a Thai House Express on Castro & 19th that's your best Thai option. Unless you want Yucatecan at Poc Chuc on 16th and South Van Ness.
No idea where the upper or lower Castro is.
You can get coffee next door to the Triton at Cafe de la Presse. Cafe Claude for dinner is close by...could do the Dining Room at the Ritz Carleton, 2 Michelin stars...tasting menu right around $120.