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Dec 9, 2009 12:36 PM

First Visit to SF for New Year

Hi everyone:
This is my first post.
My family and I are traveling for the first time to San Francisco for 5 days. Here is what I need help from everyone: We are 10( 2 over 50, 4 between 25 and 30, 2 between 18 to 20, an 5 year old and 1.5 years old)
Well have 2 cars , so we are going to be making diferent plans except for ney years.
Fisrt and the one that seems to be the most dificult is the new years eve, What do you all recomend???
Second My Fiancee and I love good food from best cheap eats to not to be missed places, so we will like to try:
1.- Chinese or American Chinese (noodles, general tsao, orange chicken, rice, etc) In Chinatown for lunch.
2.- New American Cuisine (Eclectic, Fusion) For Diner
3.- City Speciality ( Example: Phily Chesse, NY Beagel, Salt lake Fries) any time.
4.- Japanese (sashimi, shabu shabu,Tempura ,sushi bar)
5.- Not to be missed Late Dinning.
6.- For New year something close to the watter for the fireworks show.
7.- Italian for my sister 20th birthday.

Thanks to everyone, posting back

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  1. For your sister's 20th birthday Perbacco would be quite nice. They have house made Salumi and very good pasta. If you are not averse to traveling across a bridge Dopo in Oakland on piedmont Avenue is quite good. Oliveto also in Oakland is an old favorite of mine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: skwid

      if you guys are staying near the Financial District or Embarcadero, Perbacco is a good option. Just had dinner there for the first time and really enjoyed it. The pricing was really reasonable as well for the quality of the food and space.

    2. Cool list of different cuisines. You're coming to the right place for all of your choices. It will be fun for you to visit the different neighborhoods at the same time.

      For New American, how about Firefly in Noe Valley? I can't wait to try Frances in the Castro, a must see neighborhood for a first visit to SF. Orson in SOMA is a fun place. Canteen in the Tenderloin. Outerlands in the Outer Richmond for something different.

      City Specialty can go in many different directions. There are cheap eats burritos in the Mission, try La Taqueria for lunch. Upscale Mexican is hot right now, Nopalito in the Western Division is great. Swan's Oyster Depot on Polk for seafood if it's just a few of you. A Rosamunde Sausage eaten at Toronado Bar next door is fun for Haight St. This is a brunch town on weekend mornings. My choice is Park Chow in the Sunset. Joe's Cable Car is a fun place for young people.

      Lots of choices for Japanese. Kabuto on Geary in the Richmond District for sushi, O Izakaya Lounge in Japantown has gotten good reviews and Ebisu in the Sunset is a class act. There's lots places with sushi boats if you have the kids with you.

      I think the fireworks are near the Bay Bridge on the Embarcadero. Lots of great restaurants but make reservations soon for a party of 10. It could be pricey at the nicest places, Epic, Waterbar, Boulevard and Americano. The Slanted Door at the Ferry Bldg is excellent.

      There's incredible Italian food everywhere in the city (Delfina, SPQR) but for a first time visit you really should hit North Beach. I like the Stinking Rose myself. Tony's Neopolitan just got a great review and I love the location. It's fun to walk around North Beach after dinner and get a pastry at Mara's.

      7 Replies
      1. re: mlutsky

        forgot to mention my favorite place for Japanese these days....Halu in the Richmond District.

        1. re: mlutsky

          Note that Halu is tiny and you'd have a hard time seating anything larger than a party of four. That said, don't miss the gomae. It is principally a robata bar and does not specialize in any of the items requested by the original poster.

          And please consider other hounds opinions of the stinking rose as well in making a selection.

          312 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

        2. re: mlutsky

          Can no longer recommend O Izakaya -- the chef decamped for the newly-opened Nombe in the Mission (MUCH better) and with his departure from O Izakaya, they slashed the menu from a stunning 20+ items to a mere six or so. And what remains is very poorly made.

          Right now, Nombe is my favorite Japanese and I live near J-Town.

          Also, keep in mind that SPQR is more California fusion/Roman than pure Italian.

          1. re: CarrieWas218

            Yeah, SPQR's menu changed completely after the remodel, not much left of the old Roman theme, which was more of a starting point anyway.

            Looks like Nombe still doesn't have its liquor license.


            1. re: CarrieWas218

              Is the burger gone from O-Izakaya too?

              1. re: grayelf

                The burger is not gone, but it is not the beautiful, glorious thing it once was... Less French fries, they have replaced the spicy pickle with a standard one, the meat is just not as juicy.

                So, so sad.

                1. re: CarrieWas218

                  Drat, I knew I would regret not going to try it before -- other priorities and now I've missed out. Thanks for the heads up and I'm sorry it's gone as I know it was one of your favourites, Carrie :-(.

          2. For your City Speciality, it's Dungeness Crab for this time of the year. Don't miss it, whether its steamed, cracked and dipped in drawn butter, or sauteed with salt & pepper and placed over garlic noodles Vietnamese style.

            Tadich Grill is a SF institution, and would allow you to also knock a couple of local specialties in crab cioppino (tomato based seafood stew) and real-deal sourdough bread.

            5 Replies
              1. re: lukshen

                I'm not sure of any good sit-down places to get it steamed and cracked, as it is much cheaper to take home and do it yourself. Any place that does it should be good though, as it is almost impossible to screw up. I would imagine places in Fisherman's Wharf would be a good start, although you will likely pay tourist prices.

                For Vietnamese style, I like the black pepper crab over garlic noodles at PPQ Dungeness Island on Clement. I also like the Chinese crispy garlic fried crab at Spices II (6th Ave @ Clement). For a real deal you can get a crab done various ways for $5 when you get three other entrees at Lucky Fortune (5715 Geary Boulevard at 21st Ave).

                Spices II
                291 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

                PPQ Dungeness Island
                2332 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                Lucky Fortune Seafood
                5715 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  Thanks for mentioning Lucky Fortune Seafood. I'd noticed the sign in the window a couple weeks ago and overheard some departing customers tallking about the crab deal. Do you like the other food here?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I would say the plates were a tad higher priced than your average low-budget SF Cantonese restaurant, but was pleased to see the quality was a tad higher too. So yeah, I would say the other food was pretty good. It has been about a year since I have been there though...