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Mar 10, 2010 12:00 PM

Up for the long weekend SF

Hi guys
I am coming back up to SF and we will be based in the city/inner richmond and using public transportation for a good 4 days.

So far my food plans are:
> Nopalito
> Jai Yun (Is there still the $9 lunch?)
> Vik's
> Quan Bac
> A Yucatec Joint (Is Poc chuc still in the lead?)
> Bocadillos (Maybe)
> Saturday Ferry Plaza
> Blue Bottle Coffee
> Tadich?

I am open to criticism/ ideas on the above. Maybe an idea for Japantown? Updates on the Yucatec situation. Inexpensive Chinatown eats. Other Latin or Vietnamese ideas?

Thank you all

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  1. I don't think Vic's (in Berkeley) is very accessible by public transit.

    Poc Chuc is indeed the Yucitan the leader, IMO. Great down-home cooking.

    I love Tadich as an SF institution, but just don't be expected to be blown away by the food. That said, simple mesquite grilled offerings are still quite good, as is the cioppino.

    You may want to look into a Peruvian meal while you are here. Inka's is a great lunch spot for rotisserie chicken, fried yucca. and empanadas.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Civil Bear

      Vic's is less bad that you might think. I'd get off at downtown berkeley and ride the 51 down University. Get off at 4th St (the Amtrak stop) and hoof it the 4 blocks south to Vik's. That's the old location --- but the 51 as reliable and frequent as possible.

      1. re: bbulkow

        can I take that same bus to get to the new location?

        1. re: kare_raisu

          Yes, the new location is 4 blocks from University. It's a short walk.

      2. re: Civil Bear

        Peruvian was something I was thinking about as well. I tried La mar cebicheria last time which while delicious (anticuchos) was pretty expensive. Inkas might work.

        I recall a place like Tadich's that is favored by many on this board? Sams or something?

        1. re: kare_raisu

          Some prefer Sam's because it is similar and a "tad" (pun intended) cheaper. I f I had to chose only one though, I'd stick with the real deal (Tadich).

          618 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

          1. re: Civil Bear

            Don't they mean Sam's Grill on Bush near Kearny?

            I had not been in a few years, always went to Tadich. Recently, just to try it again, I went to Sam's; never again. Everything we ordered was lousy, including a partially cooked, plain, boiled potato.

            1. re: Civil Bear

              I think you mean Sam's Grill. Locals only, pretty much, so not usually as much of a wait as at Tadich. Maybe slightly less expensive but basically the same menu.

              Sam's at 618 Broadway is a burger joint.

              Sam's Grill & Sea Food Restaurant
              374 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94104

            2. re: kare_raisu

              I personally prefer Mi Lindo Peru over Inka's. Inka's last time I went was a bit more bland in flavor.

              1. re: jlfoodie

                Wow, I never would have considered Inka's and bland in the same sentence. Does MLP offer rotisserie chicken?

                The one dish I do prefer at MLP is the fried calamari app.

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  Not with the magical yellow sauce, for sure :-).

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Oh yes. I think that sauce could be my favorite condiment...ever!

            3. re: Civil Bear

              To get to Vik's, you could also take the AC Transit G bus from SF. Its first stop is 6th and University.

            4. Vik's moved a few blocks south recently. A coworker went last weekend and said it was really backed up, so a weekday might be a better bet. I went lateish on a weekday and it was fine.

              Vik's Chaat House
              2390 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Just a note that the menu is smaller on the weekdays at Vik's.

                1. re: sfbing

                  Vic's is also vegetarian only during the week.

                  1. re: Civil Bear

                    I've definitely had meat at Vik's during the week -- the last time I went I had the chicken rogan josh. The list of weekday specials is now more extensive (up to maybe six or seven choices each day) at the new location.

              2. Aren't you down in LA right now? I don't think our Japantown has much to offer over what you can get in LA.

                A lot of people don't like Nopalito, but I like it a lot. I think of it as a still soulful Mexico DF interpretation of countryside cooking. Make sure to request a dish of hot salsa when your food arrives, and if you are going to want more tortillas, give yourself some lead time as they only make them to order.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SteveG

                  I'm in San Diego. Good to know.

                  Yes, Nopalito is my #1 on the list - I missed it last time. A place that grinds their own masa and makes their own QF is my kind of place. I appreciate your tips. What do you recommend me and my girlfriend to order. I think were gonna have to get the carnitas...

                  1. re: kare_raisu

                    The quesadilla roja with chicharrones is pretty good. Carnitas here are big braised chunks that just barely still hold together. They are in between crispy and soft, you can probably look around and spot some while you wait for your table to decide if you want them. The flavor is excellent.

                    The rest of the entrees are all pretty good, go with what you are in the mood for. A friend who has ordered the pescado a la talla liked it but I haven't ever had it. I'm partial to the pozole and the birria, but I've heard they're using leaner cuts of meat in them now due to popular demand.

                    One last tip: they have a call in wait list that's almost as good as having a reservation.

                2. LA has better Japanese food and sushi in particular. In SF J-town the only thing I can think of that's different is Maki Restaurant which serves Wappameshi (like a heated bento). The teriyaki is also excellent with a housemade teri sauce which is excellent (best I've ever had)

                  For snacks and food curio/tourism, might check out the Russian delis in the Outer Richmond around 18th to 22nd Ave on Geary. Also a few Burmese places in the Inner Richmond, Pagan, Burma Superstar that might be worth trying if you haven't already.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ML8000

                    I'm liking the idea of the Russian delis - which should I hit up and do they have any specialities.

                    I think Burmese superstars new restaurant is around the corner from where I'll be - is it worthwhile?

                    1. re: kare_raisu

                      New World Market is particularly good. And if the owner is there and it's not too busy you will leave very full.

                      New World Market
                      5641 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                      1. re: kare_raisu

                        I haven't been to B Star Bar (is that it?) but if you're there and don't have a plan could be worth it. Don't know how the Burmese is in LA but there's an explosion of sorts up here.

                        For Russian delis, use to live in epicenter of a lot delis but never "cracked" the code so to speak...just random purchases, never figured out the bakery stuff. The places that get mentioned besides New World are, Gastronome and European Foods.

                        1. re: kare_raisu

                          For Russian, (it's not a deli), but I recommend Katia's. It's a mom & pop restaurant and last time I went the chef (mom) actually came over and sat down at our table and just conversed with us and was just completely delightful. Her Napoleon is amazing too.

                          As far as Burmese goes, BStar serves different things than Burma Superstar - so just something to be aware of - there are some similarities though. And i think Bstar has less of a wait. But one thing I have to recommend about Burma Superstar is their coconut curry chicken noodle - the on named I think "non pia" (sp?).. anyways it's with a flat flour rice nooodle and was delicious. (if you like coconut, curry, and spicy)...

                          I second Melanie on Kappou Gomi. I'm always recommending Kappou Gomi to any one who wants really good Japanese.

                      2. I adore Kappou Gomi on Geary, but can't tell you how this compares to Japanese food in SD. I liked Quan Bac and will go back, but it's not as special to me. More info if you click on the Places links. And for Chinese, no need to head to Chinatown since you're in the Richmond. I'm really high on Hakka Restaurant right now and there are scads of others.

                        Kappou Gomi
                        5524 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                        Hakka Restaurant
                        4401 Cabrillo St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                        Quan Bac
                        4112 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I think I am really only interested in the Cha Ca long dish at Quan bac. Where should I go in the richmond for Chinese?

                          1. re: kare_raisu

                            I loved the chowlunch at Hakka. Your girlfriend might enjoy some Sichuan food at Spices II or Panda Country Kitchen. I've just posted on dim sum at Golden River. Shanghai Dumpling King if you're in need of xiao long bao. Five Happiness has some delicious knife cut noodles and other dishes at modest prices in an antique setting.

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

                            Panda Country Kitchen
                            4737 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                            Shanghai Dumpling King
                            3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                            Five Happiness
                            4142 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                            Golden River
                            5827 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                            Hakka Restaurant
                            4401 Cabrillo St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              I don't know when you are coming up, but Shanghai Dumpling King is closed for vacation until 3/22