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Feb 26, 2010 06:56 AM

DC Hound looking for quirky, fun eats

I'll be in SF (staying at the Monaco, no car) in a few weeks, and I think I've got a good itinerary planned thanks to this board. I'm looking for low-to-mid-range bars and restaurants with quirky, fun food and drinks. Not like TGIMcBennigan's "fun" but things like creative, non-traditional sushi or non-pretentious but inventive cocktails.

All suggestions welcome, and sorry if I've been too vague.

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  1. As a former DC resident (15 years!), I have a few suggestions. They aren't necessarily low range but a value compared to what you get in DC. Italian (because DC doesn't have the hardcore authentic Italian SF does) - Perbacco, Delfina, Bar Bambino . High end (but surprising how much cheaper than than in DC) - Fringale, B Restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dcfoodblog

      I wouldn't consider either Fringale or B Restaurant to be more upscale than the others you listed. In the same general price range and for atmosphere, Perbacco is probably the most high end.

    2. Some of my favorites in order of most recent visits:

      1) SPQR: The most inventive Italian food in SF at the moment (prefer it to Quince, Delfina, A16, Perbacco, and all the other top Italian spots right now). The house made pastas are just incredible such as tortellini stuffed with sunchoke puree and served with black truffle butter or triangle shaped chestnut flour pasta stuffed with chestnut puree with a burnt orange butter sauce. Unusual Italian wines, vibrant atmosphere with no dish over $20.

      2) Range: California cuisine with a GREAT bar program. Food is sophisticated yet comforting at the same time. One of my favorite date spots.

      3) Fraces: A bit more upscale food wise than Range, hot and new.

      4) Aziza: New Moroccan which has become much more refined and experimental over the years. Cocktails are fantastic.

      1. Here is an idea: The counter at Zushi Puzzle. Note that you'd want to make a reservation since the counter is quite small and the dining room is not much fun even if the sushi is excellent.

        1. Thanks, all! Italian wasn't even on my radar, since I never bother going out for it here. (Grew up with an Italian gramma...and it's just never the same.)

          Sushi rec looks good too, and thanks for the tip about reservations.

          1. I'd stop at a taqueria or taco truck and some Vietnamese or Burmese for cheap eats and quirky. Larkin Street Express is close to the Monaco. Closest decent taqueria is Cancun at 6th and Market. The quesadilla suiza and burrito al pastor (regular) are excellent.