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ISO *somewhat hip* with good food in SF

my husband and I have 2 young children, and I'm planning to take him out for dinner for his upcoming b'day. The problem? It's been so long since I've been to a new place that I no longer know where to go. Looking for something that is not fussy, serves really good food and is somewhat hip (although not so hip as to make people who are 35+ feel really old). We live in Noe Valley, so someplace close would be great. We love all kinds of food.

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  1. With or without the kids?

    1. Nopa. Very good cocktails, sexy lighting, great pork chop.


      3 Replies
      1. re: adrienne156

        Second for Nopa. It's hip without being trendy, no-one should really feel out of place here, the staff is very nice. The food is simple, well thought out and fresh, the bar/cocktail list is nothing short of amazing. Get a reservation though.

        1. re: virtualguthrie

          totally agree with the rec-- it is one cool place that we have been to! any other thoughts in that vain. to clarify, this is for an evening out without the kids.

          1. re: cookingthatworks

            What about Range?

            Also, is there a price range you are looking at? If I recall correctly, Range is about the same as Nopa.

            Here's a link to my recent report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608944

      2. flour + water
        front porch (not many 4-seaters)

        1 Reply
        1. re: BernalKC

          If you're going w/ kids, try going early to Berreta (they don't take reservations for parties less than 6). Get a good cocktail, great pizza, and some small plates. And friendly service. Warning -- they can get quite busy later.

          1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        2. Beretta
          Velvet Cantina

          1. Not sure what your price range is, but I had a good meal at Bar Bambino the other night. Definitely hip, and definitely not fussy. All of the service staff gave off a very friendly vibe (except one meticulous-looking guy who I am guessing was the sommelier, something of the Parisian, BCBG, moneyed, slightly annoyed hipster to his demeanor.)

            The food was excellent - gutsy Italian fare, perfectly executed, a to-die-for charcuterie plate (and a super-sweet expert who explained all the meats with such passion.) My companion ordered the chicken, here's a snapshot. He said it was incredible - juicy, flavorful - what chickens used to be.

            They also have an enclosed back garden, sexy lighting, and great wine. The tables are a touch close, but it feels cozy rather than cramped.

            1. oops, should have included a link to Bar Bambino, here you go.

              Also, re someplace close to Noe, I am guessing you already know about Contigo (probably a little noisy for a bday dinner) and La Ciccia...The latter is not hip, but damn the food is great.

              If you are looking for a little glamor, I love Spruce as a place to celebrate something special. It's got a great, sexy vibe, and one feels both cosseted and enlivened by the atmosphere. Plus they shake your martinis tableside. :)

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

              Bar Bambino
              2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

              3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

              1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114