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Help! Need a non-dive-y restaurant near Van Ness and Sutter for tomorrow (10/2)

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I'm looking for a nice, date-suitable restaurant in the Tenderloin/Civic Center area; style of cuisine is less important than decor. I was thinking O'Reilly's Holy Grail but appears to be closed again (?). Recommendations needed for dinner scheduled for tomorrow (10/2).

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  1. Farther south (Market bet. Franklin and Gough) but Cav is fun and nice:

    http://www.cavwinebar.com/

    Also Fina Estampa at Geary and Van Ness:

    http://www.finaestampasf.com/index.htm

    I haven't been to either in a couple of years since we no longer live in SF.

    1. in general, that area lacks the type of ambience you're looking for. alborz persian is decent though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: vulber

        +1 for Alborz.

        I *just* discovered Alborz persian last saturday night.

        I loved their food,
        Keep in mind, arab/persian/middleEast/moroccan cuisines are among my favorites, so I am biased. But they had a couple of super tasty stews, that blow some other local restaurants (La Mediteranee for example) out of the water.
        One stew we had was a chicken stew with pomegranite and crushed walnuts and the other beef and eggplant and yellow lentils in a red sauce.
        Both were terrific and unusual.
        They also had some very tasty pickles and bread at the beginning of the meal.

        The decor is kind of odd but very neat and clean. Kind of feels a little like a mid-level hotel restaurant or something. But there are crisp white tablecloths and it is definitely not a dive.

        Another good point: the woman running the place was really nice.
        My friend and I had just 30 minutes to eat prior to seeing a show. We poked our heads in to see if they'd be able to do it. The woman said if we worked out our order quickly she could do it, and she did.
        But we will surely go back to eat at a more leisurely pace, I loved it.

        1. re: pauliface

          Where did you go?

          -----
          Alborz
          1245 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

      2. Fly Bar on Sutter at Larkin would definitely work.

        1. It's a dive, certified by Guy Fieri, but I would take a date, assuming my wife would let me , to Grubstake.
          Also noted in the thread just next to this one, Modern Thai.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/656272

          1 Reply
          1. re: wolfe

            Grubstake's a diner, definitely divey.

          2. Another option is Olive on Larkin @ O'Farrell. Pretty good small plates and nice cocktaiils...plus the staff are always friendly.

            1. Probably too late of a reply to this... How about Acquerello?

              http://www.acquerello.com/

              1. Probably too late, but Saha (1075 Sutter St @ Larkin) is an excellent option