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Fifth time lucky: returning to the Bay Area for more food'n'fun

I will be in SF from Thursday Nov 5 to Wed Nov 11, 2009 with my SO. We will be using transit/walking. Willing to travel for good food but limited patience for long trips before breakfast and long lines anytime. I have a shellfish/crustacean sensitivity but can eat shrimp and prawns (no idea why). This will be our fifth trip since 2003 so we are reasonably comfortable with your different neighbourhoods, though we’ve hardly scratched the surface. Herewith our itinerary and some starred dining out opportunities to fill e.g. dinner on Monday and Tuesday, lunch Saturday, so if you have suggestions for these or anything else we’re thinking of, bring ‘em on. Thanks all. ~ Grayelf

Thursday dinner: Canteen 7:30 pm

Friday breakfast: Olympic Flame Grill [then Lands End stroll/Legion of Honor]

Friday lunch: Dog Off! Zog’s Dogs, Da Beef, Showdogs [Meandering in SOMA] hit Mitchell's Ice Cream SOMA and Tropisueno happy hour con botanas 4-6

Friday dinner: Mi Lindo Yucatan

Saturday breakfast: Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market for tacos al pastor or chilaquiles from Primavera or Mijita [Walking tour of Embarcadero South 11 am]

***Saturday lunch: ???????????????? [then Hyde Street Pier, Aquatic Park Stroll, new Maritime Museum]

Saturday dinner: Burmese Kitchen, Johnny Foley’s for a pint of Murphy's on the way home

Sunday breakfast: If with SO: grab pastries and coffee at ACME bread/Blue Bottle store in Ferry Building
Head to Oakland by ferry for Sunday Farmers Market (Cholita Linda fish tacos) and maybe more Blue Bottle at new roastery, check out Heinold’s First and Last Chance just because, stroll through Chinatown (more snacking but not sure where yet – Rico’s, Café 817, Café 15, Shan Dong Noodles, BC Deli for coconut and shredded pork noodle dish ???)

or if solo: Tartine Bakery to try morning bun, gougere, ham and cheese croissant, bread pudding for brekky
[Walking tour Mission Dolores or the Castro 11 am (if latter, ck out Cliff’s Variety at Castro and 18th)]
Sunday lunch/snacks if solo: La Oaxaqueña for tamal or enchiladas with mole negro; tinga de pollo tacos; tlayuda; avoid pupusas and chips; El Buen Sabor's carnitas tacos; El Cachanilla offal tacos (fish and carnitas also good); avoid pastor
Pirate Cat Cafe btwn Florida and Bryant bacon and maple latte; La Torta Gorda for a pierna enchilada torta or Tortas Los Picudos for a carnitas torta and pineapple agua fresca

Noe Valley to check out Martha & Bros, 24th St. Cheese Co., Noe Valley Bakery, Chocolate Covered [then back to FB for ferry to either Vallejo or Larkspur and back or walking tour of Nob Hill]

Sunday dinner: Lers Ros (I have a long list of reccos by CHers)

Monday breakfast: Moulin Rouge then Hayes Valley ramble plus Blue Bottle (Gibraltar) and La Boulange (chocolate croissant) then Alamo Square

Monday lunch: Nopalito (ck out Falletti’s) [Golden Gate Park after]

***Monday dinner: ???????????

Tuesday breakfast: Mama’s (lineup fallbacks: Curly's, Liguria or Pat's Café)

Tuesday lunch: Jai Yun [Stroll around North Beach/Chinatown, maybe do a tea tasting]

***Tuesday dinner: ??????????????

Wednesday breakfast: Café de la presse (because it’s an old favourite) [Union Square galleries after]

Wednesday (late) lunch: Tadich for sand dabs or petrale [Pick up luggage and BART off to SFO to return to YVR at 7:55 pm]

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  1. For snacking in Oakland Chinatown, I like the grilled pork banh mi at BC Deli and the egg tarts at Ruby King. Very solid, though as I mentioned in the other thread, I would just keep my expectations in check--it's tough to compete with the wealth of great Chinese food up in BC!

    Rico's is great, though I don't necessarily think of it as a snack spot--if I were to get one item, it would be the chocolate banana milkshake. However, the last I checked, it wasn't open on Sundays.

    Doesn't seem like you have Berkeley on your itinerary, but if you do go, I would strongly recommend Local 123 for coffee--I'd much rather do that than hit up Blue Bottle so many times. Best cappuccino I've ever had. Probably a 15 minute walk from BART. Right down the street is the original Berkeley location of Acme Bread. Other decent eats in the vicinity (Indus Village, Sea Salt, Digs Bistro, etc.), though perhaps none that are destination worthy.

    Also a longish walk away is the new Berkeley Bowl West--but I don't know if you're the type who enjoys visiting grocery stores in foreign cities (I do, but I'm probably just a weirdo--still, to me, Berkeley Bowl is the best supermarket I've been to anywhere. The day it opened I was snapping pictures on my cell phone just like a tourist).

    Anyway, I know that's a good bit of walking. But something to consider, perhaps.

    I'll let others chime in about the SF portion of the itinerary. =)

    50 Replies
    1. re: abstractpoet

      Links.

      -----
      Acme Bread
      1601 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

      B C Deli Sandwiches
      818 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

      Ruby King Bakery Cafe
      718 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

      Rico's Diner
      400 15th Street, Oakland, CA

      Berkeley Bowl West
      920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA

      Local 123
      2049 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

      1. re: abstractpoet

        As huge a fan I am of Local 123, it's good to note it's a 15 minute walk from North Berkeley bart, not downtown berkeley bart. If you just go to 'berkeley bart' and hoof it, it's 30 minutes each way.

        I am shocked, shocked that Commis isn't on your list, given all the recent buzz, unless you caught it last trip. Like, Tuesday dinner?

        1. re: bbulkow

          If going to Piedmont Ave. in Oakland for dinner at Commis, then I would add a gelato/sorbetto at Lush Gelato either before or afterward to the list of must-do's. (Lush isn't under places yet, so I'll just put the address below.)

          No direct BART access, though.

          Lush Gelato
          4184 Piedmont Ave.
          Oakland, CA

          -----
          Commis
          3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

          1. re: bbulkow

            Commis is closed both Monday and Tuesday (otherwise I would have suggested Commis)

            1. re: skwid

              Lers Ros is open seven days, and Burmese Kitchen is open for dinner on Tuesday, so those are potential swaps. If you're in Oakland on Sunday anyway, why not stay for dinner?

              1. re: skwid

                Perhaps could be swapped with Lers Ros on Sunday, if the OP is coming to the East Bay that day anyway. Could just cab it over after a day of walking/snacking in JLS and Oakland Chinatown (or maybe there's a bus?).

                1. re: abstractpoet

                  Garyelf said they were going to take the ferry over to Oakland which would put them right at Jack London Square. Getting to Commis would be easy with a taxi. However using the ferry to get back would be difficult given that the last ferry back is at 7:10 p.m.. From Camino you could easily take BART (about a 20 minute walk to 19th street BART).

                  1. re: skwid

                    Camino to BART about 2 miles around the lake, at night.

                    1. re: skwid

                      Thinking of BARTing back regardless as SO is not much of a sailor so one ferry trip will be enough for him :-). The reason for Lers Ros on Sunday is that we are meeting up with some folks there if all goes as planned.

                    2. re: abstractpoet

                      Yeah, I would agree with staying in Oakland for dinner on Sunday night if you're going to be there on Sunday. Commis is a great idea if you want a little splurge, and then it's a quick cab ride to the MacArthur BART station afterwards (you could walk, but it's a kind of dreary walk in the dark if you're alone, there's also a bus that will get you there). If you want something less pricey, I'd suggest going to Wood Tavern -- the food is great, it's excellent for a solo diner because you can grab a seat at the bar, and it's about 5 blocks from the Rockridge BART station, and an easy walk.

                  2. re: bbulkow

                    I've been reading about Commis esp on this rather staggering thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/633013 (it was open when we were last there in March) and I did consider it but I think it is outside our comfort level. Let me 'splain: we would feel out of place at a resto that looks like it should have white tablecloths even if it doesn't (see OP singleguy chef's comment) when we're visiting. We're not slobs but we don't travel with "nice" clothes and to be honest we aren't looking for that kind of experience, especially when it seems there are so many wonderful places to try that are a bit more casual cf Canteen (don't get me started on Denis Leary or you will die of boredom -- suffice to say I have huge Chow crush). I don't want to insult anyone so I hope you will get what I mean when I say we tend to focus on the "mom and pop"/"ethnic" places even at home, not necessarily because we are cheap but because that is what we like. Super excited about Lers Ros for example as we just don't have great Thai that is interesting and "authentic" in Vancouver -- and now I've officially exceeded my quota of " " for this post.

                    1. re: grayelf

                      Perhaps consider Dopo or Camino as less formal (and perhaps more rustic, foodwise) options, if you do decide to do a dinner in Oakland. Wood Tavern, which someone else mentioned, is also excellent, and not at all formal.

                      -----
                      Dopo
                      4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

                      Wood Tavern
                      6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                      Camino
                      3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

                      1. re: abstractpoet

                        I'm not sure Camino is less formal than Commis. Feels more like a church and less like an architect's office.

                      2. re: grayelf

                        I kind of got that impression from your posts, which is why I recommended Wood Tavern -- this Dennis Leary fan loves it, and it seems in line with the other non ethnic kind of stuff that you've liked.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          I haven't been to Commis, but it's in Oakland, so it's not going to be dressy, especially given the overall casualness of dress in the Bay Area. So I wouldn't let that stop you. If it's not your thing, then it isn't, but I'm guessing this is going to be a chance to say "I ate there when...."

                          Piedmont Ave. is actually a nice little neighborhood to stroll in and check out the food scene, from Dopo/Adesso at the north end to Bay Wolf and Commis on the south. In between there's Caeser, Gregoire, Lush, and a plethora of other small restaurants, delis, coffee shops, etc. If you walk all the way to the north end there's Mountain View cemetery (designed by Frederick Law Olmsted), which is supposed to be one of the nicest places to walk in the area (open until sunset).

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Sorry for the non-food related question but I suck at geography/distances. Can anyone give me an idea of how far it is from Jack London Square to the Piedmont Ave are Ruth describes above? It looks like about 40 blocks crossing two freeways on the map. Is it walkable/strollable for a lazy Vancouverite? How long would it take?

                            1. re: grayelf

                              I would not recommend walking this. It's nearly three miles from the ferry terminal to the beginning of Piedmont Ave., walking down Broadway--and most of that stretch isn't remotely pleasant (unless you like car dealerships). Would take close to an hour (according to Google Maps), maybe a little less if you're starting out from Chinatown. The distance wouldn't be terrible in and of itself if there were anything to see or do along the way.

                              1. re: abstractpoet

                                Right. However, you can hop on a bus on Broadway and be there in short order.

                              2. re: grayelf

                                I've done that walk lots. It's about an hour. You can hit Grocery Outlet, taco truck, soul food truck, Oasis market, Trappist, numerous other attractions.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  The new Oasis market? That's on Telegraph, not Broadway, which means hiking over Pill Hill. It's not an awful walk, but not a particularly nice way to spend limited amounts of time and energy during a short visit, either.

                                  Where does the soul food truck park?

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      Shuga Hill is sometimes in the GrocOut parking lot. And there's often a taco truck with great tortas on the street.

                                      Yeah, there's a little hill in the three blocks from Broadway to Oasis, but then you get to go by the Korean supermarket, Dan Sung Sa, and some other halal places.

                                  1. re: grayelf

                                    Take the bus. It's an easy bus ride, but a long and pretty boring walk. Get off the bus at Piedmont or Broadway and West MacArthur, and you'll have a lovely walk down Piedmont Ave, with lots of delicious snacking and drinking (including the new La Farine on Piedmont, great pastries there). If you time it right, you can end up at Adesso right when they open and get the free happy hour snacks, and then move on to Dopo to dinner.

                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                      And, don't forget, Lush Gelato for dessert! That's reason enough, by itself, to make the trip.

                                      1. re: abstractpoet

                                        While Adesso and Dopo are great suggestions both are closed on Sunday.

                                        1. re: skwid

                                          Right, I forgot about that! Best to eat at Cesar then (if staying on Piedmont), or take the bus or a cab over to College and eat dinner at Wood Tavern, then it's an easy walk to Rockridge BART to go back to SF.

                                      2. re: JasmineG

                                        I feel pretty much the opposite, there are some really interesting places along Telegraph and Broadway (admittedly scattered over a couple of miles), while Piedmont is tediously upscale and most of the food is boring and mediocre. It's like Union St. in the Marina or 24th St. in Noe Valley or Solano in Berkeley.

                                        Things have been getting better in recent years, with the opening of Cesar, Dopo, Adesso, and Commis, but Piedmont's not a street where I want to spend much time.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                          Well, there are also some hole-in-the-wall type places along Piedmont--Simply Greek (for the gyro wraps) and Geta (for cheap but decent sushi and rice bowls) are solid spots I like to get takeout from. Not destination-worthy by any stretch, but, in my view, very good for what they are.

                                          Not to mention Lush Gelato (not to keep harping on that)!

                                          Piedmont Ave. is also, to me, a somewhat nicer area to stroll and window shop, at least if you get there before all the shops close at 6:00 or 7:00-ish. And the movie theater is right there. I like a lot of the restaurants in Temescal, but I'm not really going to go to Telegraph to do anything but eat my meal and leave.

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            I think that there are a lot of great places along Broadway and Telegraph, and so if she had a car, that would be a much more interesting option. But it's a boring and long walk in between all of those places, and she's only in Oakland for the day, if that. Piedmont has fewer interesting food places, but is a much more pleasant walk. However, I forgot that she was going to be there on a Sunday -- in that case, I think that College would be a much better walk; it's easy to get there, easy to get back to SF from there, and there are lots of good food stops along the way (Ici, Taras, Wood Tavern, Cole Coffee, La Farine, Zachary's -- loved by many, hated by some -- Market Hall, Oliveto, A Cote, Marzano, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some).

                                    2. re: grayelf

                                      I hear you, but you really shouldn't be worried about the fancy quotient. Peidmont is a residential area where people don't dress up much for dinner. From the outside, the place seems casual even compared to its cousins: less fancy in tone than nearby BayWolf, Oliveto, A Cote, and appears to be serving better food than any of them. Commis is in a little storefront, has a big kitchen in the middle of the floor, and tables scattered / packed artfully around the room. From the looks of it, the place could be almost anything. Architect's office is apt - and no tableclothes is a cue.

                                      As mentioned, if it's not your thing, it's not your thing. You read the thread, people are very excited about the cooking, if that doesn't sell you, what am I going to say?

                                      If you want some non-fancy before or after, I recommend Cato's next door for beer. They've got about 30 on tap, a good pacific northwest selection, and wood tables and benches. Sunday afternoon music, often - I remember wandering into Duckmandu, the heavy metal accordion trio - bands just hang out by the end of the bar. More refined is Cesar, a quick block up, with actual cocktails, wine, pimentos de padron, desert, etc. No tablecloths either - forks in a big basket on the table.

                                      Regarding transit, the downtown area has a few cab ranks. Generally, any bart station has a few cabs loitering, or the big hotel down there at broadway and 10th. According to Google, a car is 9 minutes (and no waiting), walk + bart is 35 minutes (walk up to 12th, take the bart to macarthur, then walk over on 40th and down), the 51 bus is 25 minutes but you might have to wait 15 minutes, straight walking is about 45. Just so you know - it's a trudge. Going back to SF you would certainly go out to Macarthur bart, although that area is a little spooky for walking at night - not dangerous, but very deserted.

                                      1. re: bbulkow

                                        Thanks so much everyone for your enthusiastic and enlightening responses, including the area cautions and transpo tips. You're making me think I need to come back out to Oakland for more touring and even if I don't make it to all the great places you've suggested, we'll be back in the spring(inshallah), this time with the Senior Hounds (my parents) in tow.

                                        Thanks also for the beer related recs, moto and bbulkow. I didn't mention it but the SO is a bit of a beer Hound so those are valuable.

                                        1. re: grayelf

                                          Re Beer: In Oakland not far from Jack London Square (and on your way toward Piedmont Ave) there is The Trappist (which I think is already mentioned) and Pacific Coast Brewing which is a brew pub that has their own fine beers and several guest beers.

                                          -----
                                          The Trappist
                                          460 8th Street, Oakland, CA

                                          Pacific Coast Brewing Co
                                          906 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                          1. re: grayelf

                                            not sure if you made it to the Toronado and its sausage serving neighbor on your last visit. Lower Haight. You owe it to your SO.

                                            -----
                                            Toronado Pub
                                            547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA

                                            Rosamunde Sausage Grill
                                            545 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                            1. re: tranewreck

                                              Pacific Coast duly noted, thanks (you're right, already had Trappist!)

                                              Toronado has been on the radar for a while -- we are just so lame that usually after dinner we are ready to hit the sack but will try to make it this trip.

                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                Afternoons at Toronado are mellower (if one can use that descriptor for T) and you get happy hour prices. Consider Memphis Minnies for some Q to carry across the street.

                                              2. re: tranewreck

                                                I agree. and if you go there you can definitely skip Pacific Coast Brewing.

                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                  I like the idea of bbq (I've only heard of getting sausages from Rosamunde's) -- on the list!

                                              3. re: grayelf

                                                You really should spend some time in oakland. From what you say, being "non table cloth" kind of people. I mean, is there another Michelin one-star that goes without? Only in oakland.

                                                Re: piedmont vs Telegraph/Broadway, Telegraph/Broadway is far more mom&pop. There's some great beer options (Lanesplitter, get what's on the cask!), the korean places, the ethopian places, Bar Lata, a couple of others. A bit grittier. I agree with Mr Lauriston that Piedmont is a little dull, but I'm a big fan of the Catos/Commis/Caesar combo - and I lived in that nabe for quite a few years. If you want to try something different, check into Piedmont Springs between food excursions, an amazing hot tub place. For a few bucks you can get an open-air, real-wood hot tub room for an hour - and they're open pretty late. It's located between Commis and Caesar.

                                                Pacific Coast is really on the bubble for me. I like the place, I meet people after work there on occasion, it's "fine", but it's not a destination. The beer is just not all that. The Trappist is a destination. Lanesplitter (did I mention the cask?). Cato's. Luka's (good beer made great by authentic belgian fries).

                                                1. re: bbulkow

                                                  Looks like we'll we be spending a good portion of Sunday in parts of Oakland, bbulkow. Telegraph/Broadway does sound good. And rest assured I am compiling all these great recs for my future file, as we couldn't possibly hit them all this time...

                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                    Now you've got me thinking about Korean.

                                                  2. re: bbulkow

                                                    Third on skipping Pacific Coast. Perfectly nice brewpub but with Trappist a couple of blocks away I'll probably never go there again.

                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                      That's a perfectly fine choice Robert, but your beer types a pretty limited at the Trappist. If all you want is Belgian style beers then the Trappist is a perfect place. However the beer types at Trappist are fairly limited and I'm not always in the mood for Belgian beers and would much rather go to Pacific Coast Brewing during those times.

                                                      1. re: skwid

                                                        Skwid, that is helpful as the SO is not a huge fan of Belgian beers, which I should have stated.

                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                          Toronado.
                                                          Seriously.
                                                          For true beer fans - it's Mecca.

                                                          1. re: malachi

                                                            Also the Trappist in Oakland.

                                                            -----
                                                            The Trappist
                                                            460 8th Street, Oakland, CA

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                              But as noted above not the grayelf's SO.

                                                              1. re: wolfe

                                                                Trappist has non-Belgian beers too, e.g. right now Pliny the Elder on tap.

                                                          2. re: grayelf

                                                            If you do end up going to Toronado, but find it's a zoo, "The Page" is about 4 blocks away, on the corner of Page & Divisadero. Much more low-key with plenty of chairs instead of all stools, 2 pool tables, around 15 beers on impeccably clean taps, and a decent selection of bottled beer. Not total beer nerd heaven, but things like Anchor Steam Barleywine are on tap, which I've never seen anywhere else. Something to file away in your "backup plan" notebook.

                                                            -----
                                                            On the Corner
                                                            359 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                            2. re: abstractpoet

                                              Thanks for the specific recs at BC Deli -- I've never had banh mi in SF Bay Area so that would be a good option to get the coconut noodle dish too. I'm trying to like egg tarts so may test the ones at Ruby King :-).

                                              Thanks for the heads up on the Sunday closure at Rico's, abstract -- I need to keep that in mind more generally, though I've finally beaten it into my head to beware of Monday closures at least.

                                              I kind of have a yen to try a big ol' burger while we're in SFBA, and thought that might be the opportunity (split of course -- the Alternate Stomach and I are getting very good at sharing to maximizie tastes). Maybe the Bix burger will get one of our open dinners after all??

                                              For some reason I have my heart set on the ferry to Oakland this time but I do have a great list of Berkeley options and will add Local 123. We are both big fans of Blue Bottle (esp the Hayes Valley blend), having tried Dynamo, Ritual and a few others, hence the seeming proliferation of BB stops.

                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                My favorite banh mi is the meatball banh mi (with a fried egg added on top) at Banh Mi Ba Le (on International Blvd. in Oakland). That would be a fairly long walk from the Fruitvale BART station, and it's probably too much of a detour for you, unless you plan to hit up some Mexican joints in Fruitvale anyway.

                                                Local 123 does Flying Goat coffee and is excellent.

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/628187

                                                -----
                                                Banh Mi Ba Le
                                                1909 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                            3. If you end up in Jack London Square, go to Chop Bar - they have some of the best sandwiches I've ever tasted. They served up some fantastic roasted pig on flatbread at a street fair a few weeks ago - unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be a regular on the menu. I've also had their grilled tri-tip panino with roasted pasilla peppers, grilled vegetable mojo, and queso ranchero - smoky, flavorful meat that melded beautifully with the other components. I've heard that they have two chefs, so the menu can appear a little all over the place, but so far, I feel pretty confident that anything with grilled or roasted meat should be good.

                                              Yes on BC Deli's big coconut noodles with shredded pork! It's one of my favorite dishes ever, and I don't think I've seen it anywhere else. It's not posted on the wall though, so ask for the regular menu. I like their Chiu-Chow rice cakes with scrambled egg and pickled veggie, too. My other current favorite Chinatown snack is the egg puff at Delicious Food Co.

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: daveena

                                                Ah, so Chop Bar opened! Haven't noticed any reports on this board, but I'm excited to try it--that roasted pig on flatbread was the best thing I had at that whole festival. What's the vibe of the restaurant? Gastropub-ish?

                                                1. re: abstractpoet

                                                  Not quite gastropub... maybe luxe hipster hangout? Lots of reclaimed wood, stone floor. They have some nice pictures (and the daily menu) on their blog:
                                                  http://chopbar510.com/

                                                  1. re: daveena

                                                    Thanks, daveena. Wine on tap! I think that's the first I've heard of that. Menu looks pretty appealing, and the prices seem very reasonable.

                                                    1. re: daveena

                                                      daveena, I couldn't find any mention of beer on the website. Am considering it for a future group dinner for which beer is a must. Would it work for a thirsty group of ten to twelve who also like good food?

                                                      1. re: susancinsf

                                                        Hey Susan - I only got a sandwich for takeout and didn't check out the beverage options myself, but I scanned the Yelp reviews and a few mention beer. I wonder if they can fax you a copy of the beer list?

                                                        1. re: daveena

                                                          The Chop House menu does look interesting/varied but they seem only to have brunch on Sundays, no sarnies... will definitely wander by for a look at least, thanks daveena.

                                                          1. re: daveena

                                                            thanks! one of the other diners that will be participating in the group the night I was planning for called, and yes, they have a beer selection (including a fair number of Belgians, apparently) that met her criteria, and she is definitely a beer person. Looks as though it may work for my group, and if we go I will report back! I really like the looks of the menu...

                                                  2. Mitchell's isn't in SOMA, it's way down in the Mission, about a 15-minute walk from the 24th ST BART station.

                                                    You probably know this, but Burmese Kitchen closes at 8:30.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                      Thanks for the correction, Robert -- I was going by an old SF Gate article that said there was a Mitchell's at 3rd and Mission.

                                                      "Mitchell's Ice Cream: Fans of Mitchell's Ice Cream, a longtime San Francisco favorite, can finally get fresh scoops somewhere other than the store at 29th Street and San Jose Avenue. This little 16-flavor scoop shop, opened in 2002, makes for some great downtown ice cream breaks. Mitchell's has been around for almost 50 years, making its mark with unusual flavors like mango, avocado, purple yam and a Chronicle Food staff favorite, baby coconut. Traditionalists can still get chocolate, mint and outrageously rich praline and nut. -- SF Chronicle 825 Mission, (near Third Street), (415) 495-4237"

                                                      We'll hit BK early (thus the pint of Murphy's after, a big night for us elves!)

                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                        I guess that location didn't last long. It's currently Green Papaya.

                                                    2. I think we are switching places for those days - i will be in Vancouver.

                                                      Anyway, at Primavera I also love their seafood tostadas if they have them. Sometimes if you are there early enough and there isn't a line, they will do a split dish with half sizes of two entrees. You have to smile nicely though and hit at the right moment.

                                                      If you want ice cream in SOMA there is the Island Market at the Metreon with Tara's. They have an interesting product and flavors. Also some other rotating grub there. If you haven't been to cocoabella it is near there too. I love Lillie Belle farms which they carry - Oregon based not local though.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: jsaimd

                                                        Oops looks like Tara's might have left the Island market - anyone know for sure? I know they were thinking about leaving in August.

                                                        1. re: jsaimd

                                                          +/- Tara's, thanks for the reminder about the Metreon market which had fallen off my radar -- will deffo stop by during our SOMA sojourn, jsaimd. And I trust you will be posting on my home board before your trip to Vancouver!

                                                          1. re: grayelf

                                                            Colour me red, jsaimd, the penny just dropped. You've been getting great advice from the Vancouver Hounds already. I'm very bad with screen names, sorry :-(.

                                                      2. Planning on going to Lers Ros this weekend, I've looked at many posts, but haven't compiled a list of favorite ch dishes, can you send me your list?
                                                        Thanks

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: saeyedoc

                                                          My pleasure, saeyedoc. It's reasonably complete, even including things I can't eat like clams :-). I'll look forward to reading your additions/subtractions on the appropriate thread after your visit!

                                                          Recommended: catfish salad with green apples and cashews, crispy pork belly, koh moo yang, or grilled pork shoulder (slices, great sauce), Kao Kaa Moo rice plate (well stewed pork leg in 5 spice soup with green mustard, chinese broccoli, and chili vinegar sauce), silver noodle salad was excellent with bright flavors, stir fried clams, stir fried pork with crispy rind and chinese broccoli, deep fried whole tilapia, salted egg salad, spareribs with roasted chili paste, yum koh moo yang (grilled pork shoulder salad), tom yum pla kra pong (sea bass in spicy and sour soup), Som Tom Poo Dong shredded green papaya salad w/ chili, cherry tomatoes, lime based salad dressing & crabs, fish cakes (excellent), calamari with chili sauce, raw shrimp salad, beef salad, fried quail, fried tofu, thai herb sausage, boar with housemade chili paste (#105?), pork larb, fried trout, fried sun-dried beef jerky (Nuer Tod) #62 pork belly dish and the #103 beef dish with young black peppercorn, rad nah has great sear on the noodles and the gravy was full of flavor, Gai GaProw , duck larb--Larb Phed Yang, pork belly with cracklings and basil

                                                          Skip: green curry, Pad ped moo pah- boar stir-fried w/ a house made chili paste, eel w/chili paste and galingale, whole steamed bass with lime juice

                                                          1. re: grayelf

                                                            you list the boar with housemade chili paste in your recommended list, but mention another boar with housemade chili in your skip list, with its thai name. i had one of these and loved it, but i don't remember there being a second boar dish on the menu. i can't find my copy of their take-out menu, but are they separate dishes?

                                                            1. re: augustiner

                                                              Drat, I knew I should have reread that list before I posted it. It's either a typo or a disagreement. Sorry about that.

                                                              Oh and just to be clear, these are the (apparently ineffectively) compiled recommendations of Chowhounds from threads on your board -- I've not yet been to Lers Ros.

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                              That's the thread I got the recs from Robert.