Decent mid-scale dinner around Golden Gate Park?
I'm going out there over the weekend, gonna see if the Bison are awake and sneak a peek at the SF Dream Home that's being raffled off above the Forest Knolls area or round abouts. Any recommendations? That's one area of the city I have not properly explored.
I want to give my feedback on Park Chow. I just went there with a friend and 3 of her children (age ranging from 8-13). Service is friendly and great. But the food was only so-so in my opinion. We ordered 2 apps of calamari and mussels. The mussels were very good, fresh with a perfectly balanced wine/butter/garlic sauce. The calamari had way too much breading and the accompanied seafood cocktail sauce had too strong of perhaps a fennel (?) aftertaste which I find a little weird. Two of the kids ordered pizzas which looked great and were devoured by them. I ordered the beef short ribs which the waiter touted as one of their signature dishes. I find it highly underseasoned and fatty. It was tender but did not have a lot of depth nor complexity. My friend and the daughter ordered the grilled fish of the day which was seabass. Neither one of them liked the fish which looked somewhat thin and anemic to me. I tried a bite and once again, it had no flavor. I can barely taste salt on it. This place is ok. I don't think I would go there again.
The only destination restys around the Park are probably Moss Room and Koo. MR has received some rave reviews and is run by a reputable chef (Loretta Keller of Coco500, I believe). Koo is one of only a handful of great Japanese-run sushi places in the Bay Area... you'll like this place if you're into omakase and the 'real stuff'. True sushi afficionados swear by this place (which also makes very good cooked dishes).
Park Chow is a great restaurant for the value.... unpretentious casual kid-friendly setting, but very well-executed dishes with mostly seasonal & organic ingredients.
San Tung is a Chinese-Korean dive constantly packed because of its dry fried chicken wings. Not sure if this is what you are looking for by "mid-scale" (usually defined as ~$25 main entrees), but many locals declare this place as one of the top chinese restaurants in the city.
Hope this helps...
Just a heads-up that the raffle house is on Hugo street - Inner Sunset, not Forest Knolls - is that what they're advertising? Either way, it's gorgeous and you have MANY great options for food. Park Chow is great, you can also try Naan-and-Curry for the best cheap indian, Plutos for salad or Yumma's for falafel in a beautiful garden patio. I live and eat very well in this neighborhood!
Thanks for the heads up...I wasn't totally sure where the raffle house was, going off the scuttlebutt. Glad you pointed me in the right direction!
Park Chow is sounding like the spot, since I've never been, but maybe more trips to the bison will be required. Is the Naan and Curry the same as the chain (Berkeley, Oakland) or a different place with the same name?
Park Chow is good. If you are looking for something different, there is also:
Koo for sushi and small plates, a bit pricey but much better than Hotei/Ebisu.
Lime Tree for cheap, spicy Singaporean inflected food.
Yummy Yummy for Vietnamese (Chinese-ified)
also Cafe Gratitude if you want to try raw...
It may be over your budget, and I haven't been there myself, but Moss Room gets good reviews. Its on my to-do list. Can't get any closer to the park.
Chouchou is another one that has been on my list of places to check out. You'll be near there. But I notice that recent reports have been mixed. Seems like there was a new chef a year or so ago who did not start out strong. Anyone have any recent updates to share about Chouchou?
400 Dewey Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94116
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA