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Dungeness Crab Restaurant - December

Hi there! My H and I will be meeting our daughter and son-in-law in SF for a weekend in December. D and I LOVE crab, H and SIL don't. D & SIL are not foodies - think nothing swanky or alternative. H will want a steak. I just want good crab!! We're doing Pan-Asian on Friday so I am looking for a western style place - simple steamed or roasted, melted butter, lemon...mmmm. I know the pier places are not well thought of - but are there any that are decent for what I'm looking for? Doesn't have to be near the Wharf/piers - we're staying near Union Square. Thanks very much!!

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  1. Replying to myself to "top" this topic! did I ask my questions badly? I did search on teh boards for what I want to know, but got mostly recommendations for Asian style crab. Are there seriously no decent places in San Fran to get western style dungeness crab? I've been to Swan Oyster Depot and love it, but we want fresh steamed or broiled crab, not cocktail. Help...please?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kireland

      Check the menus of the places on this thread along with Tadich.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588854

    2. In the past, Absinthe has done a cold cracked crab with warm truffle butter that was the best crab dish ever for me.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        For the OP, Absinthe is a full-service restaurant styled after a French Bistro, with a pretty good hamburger and steak with fries. Great cocktails, probably one of your better bets. Not cheap, but comparable in price to stuff on the Wharf but much higher quality.

        Generally speaking, it's hard to find a restaurant that does a plain cracked crab (rather than cakes, composed salad, etc), without overcooking the crab that will also have good meat options. Lots of good seafood only places, and lots of steak houses with a "surf" option on the menu that's invariably overcooked, but not too many places that do both.

        1. re: SteveG

          I have to agree. The combo is impossible. If talking good steak, you are talking swanky. if the steak is good the seafood isnt'. If the seafood is good the steak is an after thought.

          If the rest of the family will put up with other seafood and give up the steak, then one of the Woodhouse restaurants would fit all the other requiements.
          http://www.woodhousefish.com/

          A place that might work is Crab House at Pier 39.
          http://www.crabhouse39.com/

          It is part of a local restaurant group so there's a slight institutional feel to some of the food. However, they try more than most. There is Acme bread. One of their other restaurants is known for good prime rib. No prime rib on the menu here, but they do have filet mignon so I am guessing the do a good job with that ... especially for non foodies. The Crab House gets good reporbs here and there especially a recent report by a reliable Chowhound poster. There is a killer view.

          1. re: rworange

            Bobo's aka Boboquivari's is in the same group. It's a steakhouse with a subspecialty of garlic-roasted crab. Whether either are good I don't know, but it's not swanky.

      2. If you're willing to make a fun little trip to Sausalito, Fish! should be just what you are looking for.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kathleen M

          Except "Fish." does not prepare steak, in my experience. It's also not a restaurant--it's a super expensive lunch/dinner counter with tables available.

          1. re: SteveG

            Oh right, I did neglect that part of the OP. Still, it's the antithesis of "swanky or alternative" and there are lots of very simple preparations of other fresh fish. If hubby and SIL will eat fish at all, it would fit the bill perfectly for OP and D.

        2. We went to Bobo's last night -- excellent steak, and though we didn't have the crab the plates going by the table sure looked appetizing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: stomsf

            oops, link added....

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            Bobo's
            1450 Lombard St., San Francisco, CA 94123