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Apr 15, 2009 03:41 PM

Girlfriends SF get-to-gether

We all lived in Marin at one time and have moved away. A a 3 day get together next week is planned (wed-sat) ; Academy of Science, museums etc. Staying in Cow Hollow area, have car, need recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Previously had a very nice dinner at Dragon Well on Chestnut, one of my friends suggested Betelnut but have seen mixed reviews. Prefer to stay away from downtown, Chinatown, financial areas; spots between Cow Hollow /Polk St and the Beach would be great. $ is an object so would like to keep it moderate or below. We're married, "mature" women so no need for swingin' , singles spots. We all love spicy, Asian, Mexican, Thai or something different that we don't cook at home. Like the Beach Chalet out on the Great Hiway for lunch, the Cliff House has great views but seems overpriced. Maybe something in the Fillmore, Jackson, Laurel Hts, Richmond areas. Also, any cool spot for a late afternoon wine/cocktail & appetizers would be great. Need something yummy to start the day, too. If the weather is nice might want to pick-up a sandwich before the museums and eat in the park rather than drive to lunch.
Love this website. This is my 1st post. Have tried many recipes, many thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. My wife and several of her "mature" friends recently has a class reunion, Lowell circa 60's, at the Beach Chalet. May be great for old memories but the food was described as awful.

    8 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Thanks for the update; it 's been several years since I've eaten @ Beach Chalet or any place else in the city and things do change at restaurants which is why I'm asking for recent suggestions.
      P.S. Does anyone have a recommendation for excellent calamari, either fried or sauteed? Not one of those smooshed together "calamari steaks"( I'm talkin' the real thing) and not out of a box and thrown in the deep fryer! Many thanks

        1. re: kmaha

          You might try the second location of Woodhouse Fish in the Fillmore for calamari.I haven't had that, but the fried clams are swell and all their seafood is fresh. Also, that's becoming a fun area with lots of new places opening/ Woodhouse in the Fillmore is only open for lunch this week, but starts serving dinner on April 20th.

          Another place that has always had great calamari is Coco500. Any prep has always been stellar. Currently the menu lists
          - grilled squid, gigande beans, tapenade, arugula, preserved lemon

          However, the menu changes alot, so you might call to see if there's squid on the menu that day. The online menu lags a bit. It is also a great place for a get together.Some great stuff on the menu - fried green beans, flatbread, any braised dish and most items from the wood-fired oven, confits, vacherin (signature dessert and shareable). I ate at this place monthly for a decade when it was under a different name and format. The food is the same. The things that I didn't like as much included the soup, pizza and house made coldcuts. Great cocktails.

          1. re: rworange

            Full house at noon! ... great service and fun food. The parchment-wrapped halibut was a burst of heaven as the paper was cut open at the table and declared to be excellent ... the crab melt with fries and coleslaw, ditto... the lobster roll - all quite satisfyingly toothsome, generous with crab (or lobster) - the fries are crisp - the coleslaw is crunchy and fresh. All to our liking. The cups of clam chowder are in cups with handles and warmed us on a foggy day... the oysters are a good selection of fresh and briny.
            photos: building front - halibut - crab melt - lobster roll
            website menus differ at the Fillmore location and the original Market Street site

            Woodhouse Fish Company
            1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

            1. re: Cynsa

              photos: halibut in parchment packet; specials today; squid art

              1. re: Cynsa

                Did you get the 50-50 clam chowder ... white with a touch of red?

                1. re: rworange

                  The Hartford is touted as New England with a splash of Manhattan red; actually my cup was just the reverse with a splash of my fave NE topping huge chunks of potato in the Manhattan red chowder. Next time - I'll go for the straight New England chowder. I walk the line on chowder... and I like it milky with butter floating on top - NOT thickened.

            2. re: kmaha

              My son ,the picky eater, loves fried calamari. Go figure. So I too am interested to find more fun places that have good calamari.

              The place where he fell in love with calamari is Primo Patio. Excellent. He definitely likes the Woodhouse calamari. His latest venue is Cafe Stefano @ 30th & San Jose. it is a lighter batter than other places, but cooked just so -- like everything else at this little hidden gem. The S&P calamari at Heaven's Dog is outstanding. Haven't taken the boy there to get his seal of approval, but who needs it. It is great. He's tried the calamari at Esperpento's and it was not his style -- I think it was not battered or not crispy enough. I thought it was goo, FWIW.

          2. I think that DOSA on Fillmore is perfect for you: on Fillmore, spicy, great bar area, for the grown and sexy, but not too wild for married women. I'm attached myself and I found it to be fun. I think Aziza for Cal-Moroccan would be a unique choice as well - in the Outer Richmond District. SPQR on Fillmore for Roman small plates ($8 each or $21 for three).

            If you are on Polk, I suggest Boulange de Polk for their canelles and chocolate-hazelnut croissants for a quick breakfast bite before heading to museums and the Nick's Crispy Tacos for a Pescado taco or a carne asada for lunch.

            I'm drawing a blank, so I'll probably post something else later on.

            DOSA on Fillmore post from my website:

            Nick's Crispy Tacos post from my website:

            1. I second the DOSA & Aziza recs; however with drinks, this may run up the tab. Aziza's amazing cocktails are tailor made for a girls night out. In order to be more helpful, could you give us an idea of how much you would like to spend pp before/after tip? Another chow rec, though not contemporary/hip, is the Helmand.


              4 Replies
              1. re: ceekskat

                Will send this to my friend who is flying in from Palm Springs. She wanted to go to Betelnut and also mentioned Kuletos and The Boulevard. I think $35 would be fine + drinks. Any recommendations for GOOD calamari? Not frozen, deep fried or "calamari steak".

                1. re: kmaha

                  Kuluto's on Powell? McCormick & Kuleto's? Cafe Kuleto?

                  1. re: kmaha

                    Frankly I'd avoid any of the Kuleto's and Epic Roasthouse and Water Bar as well...all are nice and pretty but the food...well look at the reviews.

                    You might check out Two, the restaurant.

                    22 Hawthorne St., San Francisco, CA 94105

                    1. re: kmaha

                      I recently had some fantastic Salt & Pepper Squid at Heaven's Dog. While food prices are on the lower side the tab can add up if you order cocktails (which I would recommend as they are delicious!)

                      Heaven's Dog
                      1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                  2. How do you feel about the Castro? My girlfriends and I love going to 2223 Market for brunch and we are in our 30's and, for the most ,part married with kids. They got great food, fun atmosphere and all reasonably priced. If you are going to the Academy of Science, Park Chow on 9th/Lincoln may be worth looking into- not too far from the park. Both restaurants are American style and very delicious.