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2 Dinners in San Fran - where to eat!?

My Wife and I will be spending 2 days in here in August. I dont really know where we will be staying.

She is not big into Asian Cusine, she loves mexican, seafood, and sushi. I love it all. Not to worried about price at this point. We live in Atlanta, so not looking for any national chains, really some unique places, with great food, that the locals go to. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Also, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Berkley (sp) area, as my god mother got her PHD there in linguistics and I used to visit her there when I was young. A good lunch spot in the area will for sure be in the cards.

    7 Replies
    1. re: phar71

      I'm afraid there are many, many possibilites. Would you fine upscale dining (The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton), classic California (Zuni Cafe) downtown new Italian (Perbacco), old-style San Francisco Seafood (Tadich Grill), mid-size quality (Delfina or Range)? You really need to think about what kind of experience you'd like. And then have fun!

      1. re: Calvinist

        I am looking for something Unique, Classic California. Used to eat at the Ritz Dining Room here in Atlanta. Really I want something that I cant get here.

        My wife is much more about the experience than the food. Me mroe about the food. Thanks.

        1. re: phar71

          Just FYI, the Dining Room at the Ritz is a completely different restaurant from the one in Atlanta (or anywhere else). Not that I'm saying that you should eat there, just that if you think the food there is just like the one in Atlanta, you're mistaken.

          1. re: phar71

            I wouldn't bother with Spanish -- not particularly strong here. Eat the local cuisine. If someone from SF were going to be in Atlanta for a couple of days would you recommend they eat "ethnic" food over Southern/New Southern?

        2. re: phar71

          Chez Panisse Cafe for lunch would be good choice. It doesn't get any more Berkeley then that.

          1. re: ML8000

            Thanks. I will look into that one for Lunch!

            1. re: phar71

              Try out Nopalito for some great fresh local ingredient Mexican food (has some seafood). National chains should be no problem in SF - we generally don't have many of those except in the more touristy areas. For some different Mexican food - Poc Chuc is some Mayan cuisine and La Oaxaquena is Oaxacan food.

              Oyaji - a bit far out is good for sushi, Eiji - probably easier to get to, and if you want more Izakaya - I recently tried Izakaya Sozai in the Sunset and thought it was well priced. But for my favorite Japanese (not really sushi) - Kappou Gomi.

        3. How about Poc Chuc for Mexican? Also, consider Ame which is Japanese-French and has very creative sashimi plates. (Sushi is an Asian food, btw)

          4 Replies
          1. re: sfbing

            Yes I know :-). So far for the trip, (when we head south) I am planning on these two....

            Passion Fish
            Manresa

            I have also read some good things on Flour and Water?

            1. re: phar71

              How about Spanish food? We have some good mexican places in Atlanta, but no good Spanish places. Just now have 2 Italian places that are worth anything IMO: Sotto Sotto, and Pietra Cucina (if you ever come this way)

              1. re: phar71

                Italian is a strong area in SF: Quince and SPQR have the best pastas by far (but price is quite different so depends on whether you want fancy or casual atmosphere). For Pizza, Delfina, Flour and Water (too much attitude and mediocre service for my taste) and A16. Other solid spots are Perbacco, Delfina, Incanto and La Ciccia. You really can't go wrong with any of these in terms of food and wine.

              2. re: phar71

                Highly recommend Manresa. Haven't been to Passion Fish.
                Flour + Water is very popular, but I was underwhelmed possibly because everyone was talking about how great it was. Pizzeria Delfina might be a good place for lunch. If it was the pasta you were looking for, consider Quince, Perbacco, La Ciccia, or Incanto.

            2. For seafood, you can't do better than Swan's Oyster bar, just hunker down and slip some oysters down your throat, have a crab cocktail, and then a scallop crudo.

              Or, if you want your fish cooked, I'd recommend Bar Crudo (although their raw fish is spectacular as well).

              I really like Ame, but only their crudo. Once they get into the cooked proteins, I lose interest.

              9 Replies
              1. re: CarrieWas218

                The ideas of slurrping oysters is fantastic. I will bookmark that place for sure.

                1. re: phar71

                  For oysters go to Hog Island in Ferry Bldg. Better oysters and great view and atmosphere. Swan is a SF institution a real step back in time type place but is one of the most uncomfortable places I have ever eaten in.The bar stools are torture devices left over from the 1906 earthquake. If your wife wants a nice experience, the rust and gunk that has collected on the bar over 75 years or whatever is a little off putting IMO. The crab Louis is great in that old classic style though.
                  I have been to Passion Fish in Pacific Grove many times. Food is OK to good the fish always fresh he uses some Asian influences with the fish. The wine list incredible and he only marks it up slightly over retail so you can get some incredible bargains.

                  1. re: scfinson

                    Spanish food would suggest Piperade, Boccadillos, B44.

                    1. re: scfinson

                      I don't agree that Hog Island has better oysters than Swan and at Hog Island, you don't even get the classic Mignonette, but their horrific "Hog Wash." There is something to going to a city and seeing and being a part of its history and in that regard, nothing can beat Swan's. And listening to the banter of the guys behind the counter is priceless while the service at Hog Island is cold and aloof at best.

                      1. re: CarrieWas218

                        I would never dip a good oyster in any of that stuff. Swan is a great step back in time before health codes and standards.

                        1. re: scfinson

                          It wouldn't still be open if the restaurant were violating health department codes.

                          And I don't dip my oysters in anything. Just plain lemon, thank you.

                          1. re: CarrieWas218

                            I'm sure it passes but lets be honest its very crusty in a charming sort of way. Lemon is too much adulteration for me. Swan is a very SF experience I just have never been comfortable there. Whether its the line or the jerk looking over my shoulder staring at me to hurry up so he can have my uncomfortable bar stool. Ciao!

                            1. re: scfinson

                              We love oysters, if we have time we will try both and report back! Thanks again for all the help.

                              1. re: phar71

                                Highly recommend Manresa & Hog Island OR Bar Crudo (great chowder and crudos).