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Affordable food near Union Square

Boyfriend's work is paying for a night at the Grand Hyatt at Union Square, so we're migrating over from the East Bay this evening and pretending to be tourists for the night.

Any recommendations on quality places to eat dinner that are not crazy expensive? Thinking under $30 per person (though we are both very light eaters). Vietnamese, ramen, dim sum, pizzerias, and Persian/mediterranean sound great, but we're flexible. (No Indian -- sorry, Shalimar.)

Alternatively: is there something in the general area that is better than anything similar in the East Bay?

Tenderloin, Ferry Building, North Beach, SOMA are all ok, too.

Thanks!

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  1. Lers Ros is better Thai than we have in the East Bay.

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    Lers Ros Thai
    730 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

    1. I'd go to Larkin Express Burmese Chicken. Three of us ate for $40 and had one of the best meals ever. The only problem is that you have to dine relatively early; I think they close by 8:00.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CarrieWas218

        That's Kitchen, not Chicken, now open until 8:30 Tuesday through Saturday. It is the best Burmese around.

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        Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
        452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. re: ML8000

          That list is missing too many of the best places (e.g. Poc-Chuc, Larkin Express, Lers Ros), includes places that are popular but not good or cheap for the quality (e.g. Taylor's, Picante, Fenton's), and in various other ways is just weird (e.g. two Korean places east of the Caldecott and none in Oakland).

        2. Pagolac is very good; although not amazing. They do however do the best rendition I've had of the ever-present fried banana dessert.

          1. zuni chicken for two will meet your price point and leave money left-over for wine or gimlets.

            i know you know this. i'm just sticking up for my goto place.

            4 Replies
            1. re: steve h.

              Zuni's chicken is $48 and takes an hour. Sitting there for an hour with no food would not be my idea of fun.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                fun is ordering as you walk in, sipping a vodka gimlet and talking about the day. fun gets funner when the chicken arrives.

                zuni is comfortable shoes.

                oh, the bread is pretty good.

                1. re: steve h.

                  but you probably know this better than i do.

                  let the record show that deb and i hit up zuni first-thing when we arrive in the city (oysters, burgers and gimlets). we'll be back next month and fully intend to drop our bags off at the hotel before taking the "f" to zuni for an early lunch. cav wine bar is high on the list, too.

                  let the beatings begin.

                  1. re: steve h.

                    on a more interesting note, forbidden island calls to us. thanks for the map.